Ulbricht was a communist in the soviet model, closer to Stalin than others. He ran East Germany during most of his time in office as an occupied territory. Actual Soviet troops were stationed on East German soil and had powers to exercise there. The Stasi worked with the KGB, and if Ulbricht hadn't been backed by the Soviets, it's unlikely her would have remained in power there. When Reagan visited Berlin, he didn't say, "Mr Ulbricht, Tear down this wall!" He had at least some idea of who was running things and were the power lay. He understood the term "client state."
He addressed Mr. Gorbachov.
Client state under control of Soviet Union.
Freely elected socialist government or government with high level of socialist policies, also freely elected and re-elected freely, such as we have had on occasion in Scandinavian countries, in France, and — under other names — in the United Kingdom. The governments in this paragraph are different than the government in the last paragraph.
What about the term client state is there that I am failing to explain to you. It is a state that is run for the benefit for another country's economy. In the language of the Left, it is sometimes called a Colony. It is not governed for anything but the send its resources elsewhere and it impoverish it. It is the victim of a vampire. The soviets did this to East Germany and many other countries for a long time.
There is nothing in Marxist doctrine that suggests this is suitable behavior, by the way. I have no portfolio for Lenin, but even Lenin on his death-bed warned against Stalin. Lenin thought Stalin was basically nuts.
In a letter to his mom in the late twenties, Stalin said, essentially, and this isn't an exact quote, but the gist of it, Well, mom, you want to know what I do? Remember the Tsar? It's pretty much like that.
If you want the exact quote you can find it in Niall Ferguson's The War of The World, which I can't recommend enough, even if it is somewhat on the Right Wing side. It's a brilliant look at the twentieth century from a right of center military and political point of view that's worth anybody's time and attention, even if — as I do — you may disagree. It's writing is a pleasure, and its thinking is first rate. You can get it remaindered in hard-bound for under ten bucks and you can probably get it used off the internet for cheaper.
In other words, I think that what we think of as the old Soviet Union was simply another incarnation of Imperial Russia with all of Imperial Russia's concerns played out on a bigger field. I have similar ideas about China, by the way, and I think that we're still dealing with another dynasty of chinese emperors. I think funny, though, as you may see. I think the differences are more superficial and the similarities are more profound in both cases. And that we have gotten their traditional imperial aspirations confused with their superficial political thinking.
In Germany, the West Germans are trying to clean up the mess that fifty years of Russian occupation and paranoia have inflicted on East Germany. That's not Socialism. The Soviets lost at least 20 million dead from the Germans alone between 1941 and 1945. Possibly more. And at the end of world War I, they lost enormous swathes of territory to the Germans, including much of their industry, much or their agricultural lands, much of their resource rich land area. They were feeling paranoid and vengeful. The Germans paid.
Now they're trying to reconstruct something approaching a whole country. You might blame the Germans, you might blame the Russians, but the governments elected by the East Germans had very little to do with it, and the resources expended now by the West Germans aren't to repair the election of socialist or communist governments. They're to repair the effects of the imposition of governments by outside powers.
I really do commend that book to you and to anyone, left or right, who likes tight writing and solid thinking.
Sincerely, Mr. Bob