Re: [xmca] Pinochet

From: David Preiss (
Date: Tue Dec 12 2006 - 18:59:16 PST

Dear Paul,

Please try to keep civil when talking about these delicate issues.

That Stalin defeated Hitler does not make him moral but a more
rational commander in chief, I guess. As for Stalin crimes,
unfortunately he committed many more than Pinochet because as you
said Pinochet was indeed a small piece of history whereas Stalin was
such a big one. (And unfortunately this is the main argument used by
Pinochet's supporters when justifying his coup, Pinochet victims are
thousands, Stalin ones are millions). Please, don't forget the
political purges of the 1930s, note that Ukraine (and many others)
still remembers the social consequences of forced collectivization,
Russian Jews still have memories of the persecution of their yiddish
intellectuals in the early 1950s (just a few years after the
Holocaust!), and so many others have horrible memories of Stalinist
Totalitarian practices. Even during the Holocaust jews didn't have a
fun time when got into Stalin hands. And I am talking about this in a
very personal way since my own grandparents were sent to Siberia
after fleeing to the East escaping the nazis.

Coming back to CHAT, as the Luria biography that Mike edited nicely
shows, Stalinist policies decimated cultural psychology when it was
even taking shape. And coming back to memory issues, J. Werstch book
on collective memory among the Russian youth is a wonderful
application of cultural psychology to this issue. On a comparative
arena, I can avoid to mention Hanna Arendt book on totalitarism which
puts antisemitism, nazism and soviet communism well into place. Just
to close this note, if I were to chose between Pinochet and Stalin, I
really would chose a way out of life. Let us thank humankind that
there are better options.

On Dec 12, 2006, at 7:49 PM, Paul Dillon wrote:

> Diane,
> The comparison of Stalin with Pinochet shows a horrible
> misunderstanding of history. For all the excesses of that
> historical period, without Stalin you wouldn´t even be writing
> those lines, without Stalin moving his entire industry beyond the
> Urals, Germany would have won in the East and defeated the Allied
> invasion in the West. Without Stalin´s struggle against Hitler, we
> would all be sporting swastikas .. If you want to talk about
> historical crimes try the Catholic Church in the Andes during the
> period siglo XVI y XVII of which Pinochet was a direct heir. To
> appreciate Stalin, try reading Yevtuschenko´s description of his
> funeral or watch Eisenstein´s ¨Ivan the Terrible¨ , Pinochet was a
> small little piece of trash that was raised up by Henry Kissinger
> and all of the forces that struggled to maintain capitalist
> hegemony in Latin America, nothing more, a real piece of trash, a
> little man used by the big forces of capitalism headed by Milton
> Friedman and Henry
> Kissinger Too bad he died before being tried for his crimes. To
> confuse Pinochet with Stalin, an error that I have to address.
> Paul Dillon
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David Preiss, Ph.D.
Profesor Auxiliar / Assistant Professor

Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile
Escuela de Psicología
Av Vicuña Mackenna 4860
Macul, Santiago

Fono: 3544605
Fax: 3544844
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