L'Europe in Bujumbura, Burundi, Central Africa
Visiting Stalin's Seminary, the Tiflis Spiritual Seminary

Learning from Stalin, Son of Satan

And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.

2 Corinthians 11:14

15 October 2021




“To sate the lust of power; more horrid still, The foulest stain and scandal of our nature Became its boast — One Murder made a Villain, Millions a Hero. — Princes were privileg’d to kill, and numbers sanctified the crime. Ah! why will Kings forget that they are Men?”

Death: A Poetical Essay

Beilby Porteus, 1759

Although Stalin was fully human, one cannot kill tens of millions of people without wholly living up to the role of Son of Satan.

Sometimes a bungler who took risks that endangered the regime, Ioseb Dzhugashvili (a Georgian who renamed himself “Stalin”) nevertheless held onto power for three decades and oversaw the transformation of Soviet Eurasia into an enslaved global superpower.

Through devilish insight into human weaknesses, an assiduous work ethic, and unyielding dedication, he transformed society into a wicked machine: a cruel factory of murder, terror, misery, and spiritual destruction.

By reverse-engineering what he did; by formulating the exact opposite of his tricks, tactics, and policies; one can glimpse the model of an ideal society.

What emerges from this analysis is a Virtuous Triad of human dignity, liberty, and democracy.

These three co-equal, mutually-supporting components of an ideal society constitute a stable pyramid that can endure through centuries.

If a society has two of these components, the third may develop rapidly, given favorable conditions.

If one component exists without the other two, it cannot hold.

If none of the three exist, centuries of slow progress may be necessary to achieve meaningful improvement, for these elements derive from intergenerational human capital and cannot easily be imposed by a political force or foreign intervention.

Although a connection between democracy and liberty is already widely acknowledged, human dignity is the missing element that completes the Triad and explains historical and contemporary problems.

While respect and love for one’s fellows constitutes the core of this concept, inherent and crucial corollaries exist. These concomitant conditions fall into the sub-categories of personal and community.

Human Dignity

Respect for all individuals (as individuals, not as collectives)


• Requires a conscience
• Entails respect for self
• Basic needs
• Confidence; no irrational fear, paranoia, or permanent crisis mentality
• Ownership (of land, housing, or professional skills)
• Work (free labor; no easy shortcuts to “paradise”)
• Sobriety
• Physical fitness


• Loving, peaceful families
• Loyalty (to locality, nation, humanity, nature)
• Civic engagement (as free citizens)
• Due process
• Respect for the law (in democracy)
• Protection of nature

Using the Virtuous Triad as a guide to human history and current conditions, one can correctly weigh the factors and understand why nations succeed or fail to make progress toward becoming a happy and right-minded society.

Unlike Marxism, which claims to predict events; but consistently fails and instead causes starvation, tyranny, and human degradation; this paradigm constitutes a vital framework for envisioning and articuling progress.

Importantly, because respect for individuals lies at the core of human dignity, one can understand why anti-liberal and anti-democratic forces seek to undermine human dignity by elevating the idea of collectives and suppressing that of individuality.

Using collective guilt and us-vs-them narratives, these bad actors seek to divide and demonize people according to class, race, profession, religion, or biological traits.