Do the ends justify the means? Analysis of Stalin, Mao Zedong and Gorbachev.

Essay by mikozakovHigh School, 12th gradeA, November 2007

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20th century is the bloodiest century in the history of mankind - a century with 2 World Wars, Koran and Vietnam Wars. During this era, the world's population shrunk by 4.35% due to conflict related deaths. On the other hand, during this century nations such as China and Russia became superpowers. USSR and China under Joseph Stalin's and Mao Zedong's totalitarian communist regimes turned into world powers, however the leaders crossed all moral boundaries by killing tens of millions of people, and by creating oppression.

After Vladimir Lenin's death, Joseph Dzhugashvili took over the government. By that time, however, Dzhugashvili was known by a different name he created for himself - Joseph Stalin, which in translation from Russian means "Man of Steel." His rule was indeed one of a tyrant, and was marked by his intolerance to any opposition. One of his main goals was leading USSR to industrialization. With this purpose he introduced the 5-year plan, which included the complete establishment of collective farming.

In the process, Stalin dealt with the uprising of independent farmers, called Kulaks, who rejected his ideas of collectivism. Stalin ended their uprising by sending all of them to forced labor camps called GULAGs - a prosecution which in most cases resulted in death from hard work and poor conditions. During Stalin's reign, over 18 million people were sent to GULAG's for showing any opposition to Stalin's rule. These opponents of the government were tried for treason, and sent out to Siberia and other camp locations. In order to find the "enemies" of USSR and communism, Stalin established the KGB (Committee for State Security) and the secret police NKVD (People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs). Using different methods of propaganda, the government encouraged people to betray each other for the sake of security. One...