Many extreme events are closely tied to the names of individuals – usually leaders of the nation at the time of the extreme act. Names such as Stalin, Hitler and Milosovic become entwined with the promotion of ultra-nationalism and the extreme acts, even if the leaders themselves did not physically commit the acts. To what extent are leaders accountable for acts of ultra-nationalism? Nations pursue national interest according to their agenda. A nation’s agenda needs to be promoted to be accomplished, however, depending on the plan, it can provoke conflict. When this conflict is unnecessary to the nation or it conflicts with other nations, that’s when the plan should no longer be perused and other options should be explored. A great example of this would be Soviet Union’s national interest from the late 1920’ to the early 1950’s. Joseph Stalin, the leader of the Soviet Union at this time, had one main goal; to unite the Soviet Union under a common culture. His national interest to achieve this goal was to build a country with a strong military and a strong industrialization. To achieve this he focused on rapid industrialization, collectivization of agriculture, and great purges to clean the land of ‘undesirable’ people. As a result over 8 million people were killed. Stalin’s plan to merge the Soviet Union under a common culture was one that conflicted with other nations that did not want to be assimilated, and the unnecessary conflict it brought by getting rid of ‘undesirable’ people. If Stalin had thought of other ways to pursue his goals and promote his agenda, he would have saved millions of people from a cruel death. A leader is like an architect in the building of Ultra-nationalism.
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