The Soviet Union, 1917--1991

13 Sep 2023 20:36

At some point here I need to write out my (non-serious) ideas about how the Leninists were like the Chinggisids and the Timurids, and similar Eurasian powers: explosive rise to dominance over a wide area of conquest, remarkable horrors, widespread emulation abroad, patronage of sciences and arts, profound cultural transformations and importations, collapse and fragmentation leaving many successor states struggling to sustain the same style. But Stalin wasn't Timur; he was worse. (Likewise, Gorbachev was better than Ulugh Beg.)