World War I The Russian Revolution and Stalinism

Chapter 2: Lado’s Disciple (Part 2) :: Stalin: Paradoxes of Power by Stephen Kotkin

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “When all is said and done, the future Stalin may have just outgrown the seminary, being two years older than his cohort and already deeply involved in Lado’s revolutionary activities. Jughashvili was not going to join the priesthood, and a seminary recommendation to continue his studies at university seemed unlikely.”
  • “According to agent information, Jughashvili is a Social Democrat and conducts meetings with workers,” the police noted. “Surveillance has established that he behaves in a highly cautious manner, always looking back while walking.”
  • “As late as 1900, the overwhelming preponderance of Tiflis inhabitants under police surveillance were Armenians, who were watched for fear they maintained links to their coethnics across the border in the Ottoman empire. But just a few years later, most of the police dossiers on “political” suspects were of Georgians and Social Democrats—238 of them, including Jughashvili’s.”
  • “His words were imbued with power, determination. He spoke with sarcasm, irony, hammering away with crude severities,” but then “apologized, explaining that he was speaking the language of the proletariat who were not taught subtle manners or aristocratic eloquence.”
  • “It was during this imprisonment that Jughashvili began regularly using the pseudonym Koba, “avenger of injustice.””
  • “Koba distinguished himself from all other Bolsheviks,” one hostile Georgian emigre recalled, “by his unquestionably greater energy, indefatigable capacity for hard work, unconquerable lust for power, and above all his enormous, particularistic organizational talent” aimed at forging “disciples through whom he could . . . hold the whole organization in his grasp.”

Thought Questions

  • In what ways did Lado impact Jughashvili’s early revolutionary years (1898– 1903)
  • Describe Jughashvili’s experience in Tbilisi seminary
  • How did the Russification policies at the Tbilisi seminary impact Georgian students and what was their reaction
  • Explain and Expand: “Jughashvili remained a book person, and more and more imagined himself in the role of teacher.”
  • Who was Lado Ketskhoveli and what impact did he have on Georgian radicals generally and Jughashvili particularly
  • Describe Jughashvili’s experience at the Tiflis Meteorological Observatory
  • Explain and Expand: “But whatever the bad personal blood, a genuine difference in tactics was at stake: the future Stalin, in sync with Lado, insisted that the Marxist movement shift from educational work to direct action.”
  • React and Respond: “The nominal charge was that his father, Beso, owed back taxes in Didi Lilo, the village Beso had left more than three decades earlier without, however, formally exiting the village rolls. … Nor is it clear why Jughashvili was not arrested for his own debt to the state from the seminary scholarship. Police incompetence cannot be ruled out. But the arrest for Beso’s debt does seem like a pretext, a warning to a young radical or perhaps a maneuver to mark him: Jughashvili was photographed for the police archive.”
  • Describe the origins of May Day
  • Who was Mikhail Kalinin and how did he become connected to Stalin?
  • Describe the role and impact of underground newspapers and pamphlets in pre-Revolutionary Russia
  • Compare and Contrast: demi- intelligentsia and worker members and their advocates in pre-revolutionary Russia
  • Explain and Expand: “Lenin’s advocacy for an intelligentsia- centric party would soon come to divide the Iskra group. 99 At the November 1901 Tiflis Committee meeting, meanwhile, a majority of Caucasus Social Democrats voted to admit workers to the party, against Jughashvili’s Lenin- like urgings.”
  • Explain and Expand: “Mass arrests ensued. Secretly, the Caucasus military chief confided to the local governors that Social Democrat “propaganda” was finding “receptive soil” because of the workers’ dreadful living and laboring conditions. Moreover, the policy of deporting protesting workers to their native villages was only magnifying the rebellious waves in the Georgian countryside. On March 9, a crowd carrying cobblestones sought to free comrades at the transit prison awaiting deportation. “Brothers, don’t be afraid,” one imprisoned worker shouted, “they can’t shoot, for God’s sake free us.” The police opened fire, killing at least fourteen.”
  • Describe the “Batum massacre” and the impact it had on Imperial Russia
  • Describe Jughashvili’s experience in exile
  • Who was Lev Rozenfeld – Kamenev and how did he work with Jughashvili during his exile
  • Explain and Expand: “Even officialdom showed awareness (in internal correspondence) of the strong impetus to revolt: the factory regime was beyond brutal; landowners and their enforcers treated postemancipation peasants as chattel; any attempt to alleviate such conditions was treated as treason.”
  • React and Respond: ” In August 1903, when Lado refused to stand down from the window, a prison guard, after a warning, shot and killed Lado, age twenty- seven, through the outside window of his locked cell. … Later, Stalin would not erase Lado’s independent revolutionary exploits or existence, even as almost everyone else connected to the dictator at one time or another would be airbrushed.”

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

World War I The Russian Revolution and Stalinism

Chapter 2: Lado’s Disciple – Part 1 :: Stalin: Paradoxes of Power by Stephen Kotkin

Up to “Agitator, Teacher”

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “He also developed into a voracious reader who started keeping a notebook of thoughts and ideas.”
  • “Because peasants in communes held no private property as individuals—either before or after emancipation—thinkers such as Herzen and Bakunin imagined the empire’s peasants to be inherently socialist and therefore, they argued, in Russia socialism could appear essentially before capitalism.”

Thought Questions

  • Briefly describe the history of Georgia and its relationship to Russia
  • How was 19th century Georgia in a period of transition? How was this different from the changes that took place in the 17th and 18th century?
  • Compare and Contrast: the human environment in Georgia villages such as Gori (I not Y) and the more urban Tblisi (Tbl – isi)
  • What role did the Russian Orthodox Church play in cultural life and education in Georgia
  • What role did the Russian Orthodox Church play in the early life of Jughashvili (spelling hint: Jug-hash-vili, a Jug of Hash with Vili)
  • Describe the educational experience of Jughashvili
  • Who was Vladimir “Lado” Ketskhoveli and what influence did he have on Jughashvili?
  • Describe the Georgia nationalist movement in the late 19th century
  • Regarding his skill as an insurgent. Explain and Expand: “But in 1895–96, he had to conceal his own Georgian-language poetry publishing triumph from the Russifying seminary authorities.”
  • Describe Jughashvili’s transition from populist nationalism to Marxism
  • Describe the Marxist theory behind the evolution of governing systems
  • How was Marxist theory blend with Russian history in the late 19th century?
  • What did Marx think of Russian evolution?
  • Explain and Expand on the relationship between Socialism and Communism
  • Compare and Contrast: Socialism and Communism
  • In what ways did Marx build theories on Adam Smith’s philosophy?
  • What was the International Workmen’s Association?
  • Who was Georgi Plekhanov?

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

 

World War I The Russian Revolution and Stalinism

Chapter 1: An Imperial Son :: Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928 by Stephen Kotkin

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “Over the more than four centuries from the time of ivan the terrible, russia expanded an average of fifty square miles per day.”
  • “Canadian agriculture was generally on a line with Kiev, far below the farms surrounding Moscow or St. Petersburg.”
  • “Too much has been made of Beso’s failings, and not enough of Yakov “Koba” Egnatashvili’s support. Too much has also been made of the violence in Soso Jughashvili’s early life. Beso beat his son out of anger, humiliation, or for no reason; the doting Keke beat the boy, too. (Beso struck Keke, and Keke sometimes thrashed Beso for being a drunkard.) 58 Of course, a sizable chunk of humanity was beaten by one or both parents.”
  • “To Iosif Jughashvili . . . for excellent progress, behavior and excellent recitation of the Psalter.” One schoolmate rhapsodized about Soso and other choirboys “wearing their surplices, kneeling, faces raised, singing Vespers with angelic voices while the other boys prostrated themselves filled with an ecstasy not of this world.”
  • “Stalin was very much a believer, going to all the services, singing in the church choir. . . . He not only observed all religious rites but always reminded us to observe them.”

Thought Questions

  • In what ways does the interior of the Russian Empire compare with the American western frontier?
  • In what ways does the availability of labor in 19th century Russia compare with the availability of labor in the United States?
  • Who were “Greater Russians”, “Little Russians”, “White Russians” and what is “Yellow Russia”?
  • Describe the situation Jews lived in during late Imperial Russia
  • Where is the Polish Pale of Settlement and what purpose does it serve?
  • What areas comprise the Russian Caucasus?
  • What are the principle cities of Georgia?
  • What areas comprise Russian Central Asia?
  • What areas comprise the Crimea?
  • Where is the Ossetia region?
  • Who were the “Old Believers” and how did they come into existence?
  • Explain and Expand: “Georgia’s Christian rulers were battling both the Muslim Ottomans and the Muslim Safavids and invited Christian Russia’s protection. That “protection,” in practice, was effected by opportunistic imperial agents close to the scene, and soon took the form of annexations, in 1801 and 1810.10 Russia terminated the Georgian Bagrationi dynasty and replaced the patriarch of the formerly independent Georgian Orthodox Church with a Russian Orthodox Church metropolitan (called an exarch). And yet, in another contradiction, the local “Russian” administration overflowed with Georgians, who were favored as fellow Christians.”
  • Describe the relationship between Russia and Georgia
  • Who was Besarion Jughashvili and Ketevan “Keke” Geladze?
  • Describe the Jughashvili family and their existence in Georgia
  • Explain and Expand:” These immense geopolitical facts that accompanied Stalin’s birth and early life—a unified industrial Germany, a consolidated industrial Japan, an American power greater than any other in world history—would shake the tsarist regime to its core and, one day, confront Stalin, too.”
  • How did industrialization in Russia impact the early life of Iosif Jughashvili?
  • Compare and Contrast: Clara Hitler and Ketevan “Keke” Geladze
  • Describe the relationship between the Orthodox Church and Iosif Jughashvili
  • Explain and Expand: “Much has been made over the young Stalin’s infatuation with a celebrated novel, The Patricide (1882), by Aleksandre Qazbegi (1848–93)”
  • How does Iosif Jughashvili assume the nickname “Koba” and who was Yakov Egnatashvili?
  • Describe the academic and religious education of Iosif Jughashvili
  • Compare and Contrast: The early lives of Peter the Great and Ivan the Terrible with Iosif Jughashvili
  • Who were Sergei “Kirov” Kostrikov and Grigol “Sergo” Orjonikidze