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Maybe they forgot how to count? More from Pipes:

For such an ideal, was it not worth sacrificing the sorry specimens that populated the corrupt world Seen from this perspective, existing humanity was debris, the refuse of a doomed world, and killing it off was a matter of no consequence
The unprecedented destruction of lives was accompanied by a resolute drive against free speech designed to create the illusion of complete unanimity: along with bodies exterminated or incarcerated, minds, too, were dispossessed Lenin himself showed no respect for the expression of views that differed from his own; his very first decree upon coming to power ordered the closing of the entire non-Bolshevik press He was not strong enough as yet to enforce this measure, but in the summer of 1918 he did shut down not only all independent newspapers but also the entire nonparty periodical press. In 1922 he set up a central censorship bureau, called Glavlit. Nothing could appear in print or on the stage without its imprimatur.
Nevertheless, in the 1920s a certain amount of intellectual freedom was still tolerated. Early Soviet censorship, like tsarist censorship, was negative in nature in that it laid down what could not be published bur did not attempt to tell authors what to write. In the 1930s this policy changed: censor ship became positive as authors were instructed what they should and, indeed, had to write. All negative information about the country was suppressed-unless it suited the authorities to reveal some aspect of it Travel abroad was limited to official personnel, for ordinary citizens any contacts with foreigners risked charges of espionage No foreign publications, except pro-Communist ones, were distributed
A fantastic uniformity descended on Soviet culture. “Socialist realism” became the official aesthetic doctrine in 1932 it required writers and artists to treat the present as though it did not exist and the future as if it had already arrived. ” In consequence, what was printed, staged, filmed, or broadcast in no way corresponded to reality: it was a surreality. People adjusted to it by splitting, as it were, their minds and personalities, creating a schizophrenic condition, on one level of which they knew the truth but repressed it, sharing it only with their closest family and friends, while on another they pretended to believe every word of official propaganda. This created a strain that made life in the Soviet Union exceedingly difficult to bear.
It also left a psychic legacy that outlasted Communism. Lying became a means of survival, and from lying to cheating was bur a small step Social ethics, which make possible a civil society, were shattered, and a regime that wanted everyone to sacrifice his private advantage to the common good ended up with a situation where everyone looked out only for himself because he could count on no one else
One aspect of the Great Terror was the “cult” of Stalin, as it subsequently came to be called. In fact, it was Stalin’s deification: he was omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, infallible, and he remained such until his death in 1953. When he criticized a new opera, the composer groveled. When he pronounced on linguistics, philologists fell silent. At party congresses, deputies vied with each other, extolling the greatness of the leader,” while he sat modestly on the side, taking in his praises. Osip Mandelstam, widely considered one of the century’s great Russian poets, paid with his life for a poem about the dictator that contained the following lines:
His fingers are far as grubs And the words, final as lead weights, fall from his lips,
His cockroach whiskers leer
And his boot tops gleam.
Around him a rabble of thin-necked leaders
Fawning half men for him to play with
They whinny, purr or whine,
As he prates and points a finger,
One by one forging his laws, to be flung Like horseshoes at the head, the eve or the groin
And every killing is a treat.
One possible explanation of the deification of leaders common to most Communist regimes is that inasmuch as omnipotence and omniscience are universal qualities of divinities, it is natural to attribute to individuals endowed with them divine qualities
His veneration caused Stalin progressively to lose touch with reality. Surrounded by sycophants, he had no knowledge of the true condition of his realm. Afraid of assassination, he never traveled in the country, and formed an image of its life from specially prepared films, in which, according to his lieu tenant and eventual successor Nikita Khrushchev, collective farm workers sat at tables “bending from the weight of turkeys and geese”
The one institution familiar with Soviet reality was the security police, successively called the Cheka (1917-22), the GPU and OGPU (1922–34), the NKVD (1934-54), and the KGB (1954-91). It was the principal organ of terror, enjoying wide latitude in disposing of all enemies of the regime, real, potential, or suspected. It also operated the vast empire of forced-labor camps. Having abolished all outlets of public opinion, the government relied on the security police to in form it of the public mood, which it did through a vast net work of agents and informants. In many respects, in Stalin’s waning years the security organs usurped the powers that Lenin had bestowed on the Communist Party.

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