Joseph Stalin and Soviet Science



What many do not realise is that even before Lenin ushered in a new era of human evolution, Russian writers were already formulating adistinct form of science fiction. Although ostensibly entertainment, this genre looked to the future with the pristine logic of a human mind freed from the drudgery of the daily grind (as many were either what might be called middle class, orat least comfortably well-off in a feudal empire riddle with illiteracy, primitive tribalism and all kinds of stupidity linked directly to impoverishment). Socialism changed all this in October 1917. Lenin, understanding what the human mind is capable of if only given a chance, called upon all people to develop discussion forums in their own kitchens, and express every and all ideas! These were to be discussed by those who could not yet read and write, and where possible, written-down by those who possessed this skill. The point of this was to create an advanced nation possessing a population that contributed to a common wealth of creative thought. Turning this body of structured imagination into practical experiments and functioning objects would come intime, as Soviet Russia threw-off the shackles of backward feudalism, imperialism and politicised religion.

With the passing of Lenin in 1924, Joseph Stalin was electedas Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolshevik), a post he would hold until his passing in 1953 (being re-elected a number of times). The electrification of Russia was very much seen as the means through which every household in the Soviet Union could be prepared to receive the benefits of modern labour-saving devices. This transformation, being the benefit of scientific endeavour, would inevitably lead to the general mind-set throughout the USSR being developed to think in logical and rational ways. From the humblest citizen to the most advanced scientist, the transformation of the USSR sought to generate a progressive Scientific Socialist Society, one that had dismissed predatory capitalism from its midst, and which now existed to demonstrate to the world how its scientific development would lead that world. From tin-openers, electric lights, central heating, baby care devices and facilities, door hinges, snow shovels, bicycles, motorcycles, automobiles, lorries, construction equipment, and self-defence machinery, all the way up to aeroplanes, rocketry and over means of high altitude exploration. As Soviet society progressed, so did Soviet science.

A point lost in the minds of many is that despite the devastation of the USSR during the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945) – four years of continuous warfare that cost the lives of between 27 – 40 million Soviet people– it was the tenure of Joseph Stalin that set in motion the progressive and developmental conditions through which a) the Soviet Union and Soviet people developed likeno other nation on earth, b) fought and won a tumultuous war against Nazi Germany (and her allies), and c) laid the foundations for the development of Soviet space technology and interplanetary exploration. If WWII had not occurred when it did, is could well have been the case that ‘Sputnik I’ could have been launched a decade earlier (i.e. 1947 instead of 1957), with the USSR placing a human Cosmonaut into space during the lifetime of Joseph Stalin! It is one of those sad ironies of history that these developments were to eventually manifest under Nikita Khrushchev – the man who did so much to demonise and misrepresent Joseph Stalin – as if he (Khrushchev) had somehow achieved all this through his recent rise to power, augmented by his lies and deception! Although Lenin laid the foundations for the USSR – it was the vision of Joseph Stalin who actualised these plans and gave life to the full range of Soviet scientific innovation. If Khrushchev had not risen power, I suspect the USSR would still be here today.

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