This is purely a page-long rant derived from an observation that has occurred in history and now applicable to daily life. Allow me to indulge in a purely social-historical analysis beyond politics, nation and preferences.
Oct 23 1941 marked the day of Zhukov assuming command of the Red Army to stop German advance into the heart of Russia. Zhukov’s capabilities were proven with multiple engagements throughout war era. Having empowered Zhukov during the war, Stalin later saw him as a threat and decided to place him in less prominent roles – a sign of Stalin’s insecurity of public comparisons that may undermine his status.
Oct 31 1961, Stalin’s body was removed from Lenin’s mausoleum, five years after Khrushchev denounced Stalin’s cult of personality, having disregarded the wise choice of Zhukov’s appointment & the hard-won victory in WWII.
I do not pretend to comprehend all the brutalities of the era, but I did notice two stark issues in the above.
– Zhukov’s dismissal in importance was due largely to his capability – deemed as a threat to personal power, Zhukov’s value was undermined. Do we get punished for being capable? A recent debate on the rise of Khrushchev appeared to derive the same conclusion: the strongest link and the weakest link are often noticed and removed – as a threat or a burden. An unfortunate practice that prevails in life…
– Stalin was removed from the mausoleum following the period of destalinszation. Look at the power of words, how impressionable and forgetful the world might be. I recalled a news-cast I’d seen in 2008 fromRussiaon how Stalin remains a hero for the new generation. Interesting how people forget in 1956 the works of Stalin, and in recent years forget the brutality they had once denounced.
I have a strong stance and argument for Stalin’s case justifying or countering his moves, of which needs no discussion here, but I am nonetheless amused by how things have turned out.
Zhukov’s contributions are way beyond the imaginable – a soldier aligned with national goals. Stalin’s decisions are similarly in consideration of national success against external threat. Yet both have been sidelined after they have proven their worth.
As negativity is more prevalent than the positive, I question if this is truly a universal norm that has yet to be amended.