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Conversations With Stalin (1963)

Conversations with Stalin (1963)
3.79 of 5 Votes: 2
0156225913 (ISBN13: 9780156225915)
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Conversations With Stalin (1963)
Conversations With Stalin (1963)

About book: I finished CONVERSATIONS WITH STALIN feeling uneasy. I knew I would; but my curiosity had to be satisfied. To me, Djilas remained a nationalist romantic while becoming a liberal democrat as he observed the workings of 'actually existing socialism'. Formerly, bound to the mythologies associated with Leninism and it's more or less infallible leader Stalin, Djilas takes his readers on his political journey from bright-eyed, busy tailed enthusiastic supporter of Stalin's USSR and Red Army to his final disillusionment with the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the Marxist-Leninist State as a force for national liberation. Djilas never grasped what socialism meant, other than what was being asserted by Party authorities. Socialism was what had been achieved by his fellow Marxist-Leninists of the Stalinist variety. He makes no observations about the wage-system, classes, class rule or commodity production. He takes it for granted that socialism and the State can co-exist. In short, he is a liberal making observations about coming see how Stalin and cohorts were murderous, amoral monsters and how the rule of the Party was, shall we say, unnecessarity nasty, brutish and anti-democratic. Djilas was certainly anti-fascist and obviously brave, having taken up arms with Tito and his followers during the guerrilla war against the German occupation of Yugoslavia . He was profoundly nationalist. He also depicted himself to be a very decent and moral man in this memoir. I shouldn't be surprised if I found that he'd embraced Christianity after being thrown out of the Yugoslav version of the Party under its minor Stalin, Tito. He certainly was celebrated in the non-Stalinist world as being a truth teller. But that was to be expected during the Cold War. Orwell's disgust with Stalinism was used in a similar way. Stalin created myriad opponents for basically, if you weren't totally subservient to him, you were an enemy or used as a pawn in power struggles. Stalin's enemies were all labeled by Stalin's obsequious followers as being enemies of the bureaucratic, Party ruled, industrial feudalism which became known eventually as, 'actually existing socialism'--a nightmare of class rule, wage-slavery and the absence of civil rights. The followers of Stalin who headed up similar regimes in various nation States of the world, took on most of the bureaucratic, organisational forms which their leader, the 'Great Stalin' had used in setting up the system of wage-slavery in the Soviet Union, ergo, 'Stalinism'.Social ownership of the collective product of labour, administered by a free association of producers i.e. the socialism of Marx, never appears as an one of the many ideological ideals which Djilas condemns as having been betrayed by Stalin's rule. In short, what Djilas gives his readers is an insight into the naive, politically ignorant mind sets (much like his own) which propelled the bureaucratic rule of Party dictatorships posing as 'socialism' as they emerged in the wake of the Leninist political project of the 20th century.

Conversations with Stalin لطالما أثار لدي اسم ستالين الرعب، بكل ما ارتبط بعهده من إرهاب وتطهير وغولاغ، وبما قادت إليه سياساته من مجاعات وتهجير لشعوب مسكينة، وكنت قد قرأت كتاب سيمون سيباغ مونتفيوري عن ستالين شاباً، وحصلت على كتابه الثاني عن ستالين بعد الثورة ولكني لم اقرأه بعد – سبعمئة صفحة بالإنجليزية -، كما شاهدت وثائقيات كثيرة عن الرجل، وكان هذا الكتاب أحد الكتب التي أردت التعرف من خلالها أكثر على شخصية ستالين، وخاصة أن مؤلفه شيوعي يوغوسلافي، فلذا سيأتي الكتاب من وجهة نظر رفاقية، كما أن الكتاب وضع بعد سنوات قليلة من وفاة ستالين، أي بعد بدء مرحلة تفكيك الستالينية والتي استهلها خروشوف سنة 1956. يعرض المؤلف ميلوفان ديلاس لزياراته الدبلوماسية لموسكو خلال الحرب العالمية وبعدها، ولقاءاته بستالين وحواراته معه، كما يعرض لمآدبه والتي كانت تستمر لست ساعات وتحفل باللحوم والأطباق السوفيتية وأنهار الفودكا، وكيف كان مصير الاتحاد السوفييتي وشعوبه يقرر خلال هذه المآدب الطويلة. الكتاب ليس بذي قيمة كبيرة، أعجبتني منه لمحات إنسانية هنا وهناك، وملاحظات ذكية، ما عدا ذلك كتب مونتفيوري بضخامتها ودقتها أفضل للمهتمين بستالين وعصره.
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Fug o' Slavia
One of the better in the series of "The God that failed genre. Very insightful into the reasons and causes of the 1948 Stalin-Tito split and some of the less desirable aspects of Yugoslavv. However, Djilas as a whole comes off as a 1940s Yugoslav James Bloodworth, a Communist that believes in Communism so much they end up being a terrible US backed Liberal. The edition i read has an introduction from Anne Applebaum which made me sigh. It's quite interesting that Djilas later years were lived as a Ronin, constantly bleating for acknowledge of his role in the establishment of Yugoslav socialist state
Contrary to numerous reviews to this book, in fact it is not about post-war Yugoslavia, nor about USSR even nor about Stalin.It is easy to notice that throughout the history people used to create ideals for themselves. The main subject of the book is history of disillusionment with self-created ideals. Thus, socialism and Stalin’s figure act only as the background in this story.Djilas writes about his illusions about socialism: “…For the Yugoslavs, Moscow was not only a political and spiritual center but the realization of an abstract ideal – the 'classless society'…”During his life author faces facts that at first make him to doubt this point of view and later to revise it completely. Nothing can be harder than crashing of own ideals!Though Djilas keeps on trying to accuse of Stalin of this crash, may be it wouldn’t be so painful if the author didn't idolize Stalin from the beginning?.. At the same time, growth of each personality goes through such crashes and disappointments.Summary: this book is the Bible of denial of self-created false ideals and illusions and will be interesting for everyone who is interested in Stalin’s personality, socialism, history of USSR and Yugoslavia.
"I was experiencing my first conflict between my simple human conscience, that is, the common human propensity for the good and the true, and the environment in which I lived and to which my daily activity bound me, namely, a movement circumscribed by its own abstract aims and fettered by its actual possibilities. This conflict did not at this time, however, take that shape in my consciousness; rather, it appeared as a clash between my good intentions to better the world and the movement to which I belonged and the lack of understanding on the part of those who made the decisions.My anxiety grew with every moment, every yard closer to Moscow.Beneath me sped a land whose blackness was just emerging from the melting snow, a land riven by torrents and, in many places, by bombs - desolate and uninhabited. The sky, too, was cloudy and somber, impenetrable. There was neither sky nor earth for me as I passed through an unreal, perhaps dream, world which I felt at the same time to be more real than any in which I had hitherto lived. I flew teetering between sky and earth, between conscience and experience, between desire and possibility. In my memory there has remained only that unreal and painful teetering - with not a trace of those initial Slavic feelings or even hardly any of those revolutionary raptures that marked my first encounter with the Russian, the Soviet land and its leader."
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