In the years 1936, 1937 and 1938, a number of Lenin’s companions – Kamenev, Zinoviev, Toukhatchevski, Boukharine and others – were tried before courts under control of the totalitarian state being established by Stalin. They were accused of having betrayed the cause of Socialism ; History remembers these events, which led to harsh prison sentences in detention camps for all the accused, as the “Moscow trials”. Some features of these twisted judicial processes are strikingly similar to the LM trials which have taken place recently in Thailand. The aim here is not to say that the LM trials in Thailand are remakes of the Moscow trials – of course, they are not -, but rather to emphasize a few aspects which seem alike, in order to be able to get an idea of the mindset behind judicial processes intending to create fear in a given society. One feature of the Moscow trial – in which all the evidences were fabricated and all the witnesses were fake witnesses – was the quality of the accusation. Even the slightest deviation from the orthodoxy, in this case Stalin’s version of socialism, was considered a betrayal of the cause. Fervent communists who had opposed Stalin on some aspects of the policies, like the collectivization of agriculture, were branded traitors and castigated as enemies. There was no middle way, no possible criticism in the public interest or for the good of the cause.
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