Have you ever heard the lyrics to a popular Christmas carol “He’s making a list. He’s checking it twice. He’s gonna find out who’s naughty or nice”? Many people wrongfully assume that the carol is referring to Santa Claus, but it's actually Joseph Stalin. Stalin and Santa have a lot in common. They both rewarded good behavior and punished bad. They both like red, to a point of obsession. They both force people to work in workshops. And they both care about sharing… a lot (you could even be executed in Stalin’s Russia for not sharing).
Like many Americans, such as Jimmy Carter and Madea, Stalin was from Georgia. Georgia was never enough for Stalin’s ambitions, however, so he moved to Russia. It was there that he changed his name from something that no one remembers to a name that struck fear into the hearts of Russians and Americans alike: Joseph Stalin. In Russian, this meant “Man of Steel”, and Stalin chose it to have a more fearsome presence in Russia. The ploy worked, because when Vladimir Lenin died, he chose Stalin to succeed him because “it would be awesome to have a guy with a name like that in charge.” Or, at least, that was Stalin’s account of things, for a man named Leon Trotsky said that Lenin had actually wanted him to take control. Trotsky learned that speaking out was a mistake, when he was exiled and then killed by Stalin.
Stalin became famous when he fought alongside the Allies in World War II. He did this after Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union. The reason that Nazi Germany invaded was actually partially due to Stalin, who was a very bad judge of character. He was such a bad judge of character, he believed Hitler when the latter promised not to invade Russia after he invaded Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Denmark, and Norway. I guess it's understandable that Stalin didn’t see an invasion of his own country coming. As the German army blazed through Russia, Stalin thought he was done for, but when the Germans had reached the suburbs of Moscow, Russia’s greatest ally, the Russian winter, stepped in. The Russian winter obliterated the German offensive, and Stalin’s soldiers pushed them all the way back to Berlin, and the war was won.
When the Americans learned about Stalin, they wondered if they could work with the bloodthirsty dictator so soon after defeating another bloodthirsty dictator. Luckily, they didn’t have to be indecisive for long. It turns out that “Man of Steel” violates United States copyright law. It turns out that a Krypton-born superhero already had a movie under that name, and the company owned the rights to the name. When Stalin refused to change his name, a new war began. The war was called “The Cold War” and it was probably the lamest war in history. Instead of battles, there were diplomatic struggles, spies, and empty threats of annihilation by nukes. BORING, where’s the blood and gore of real war?
Anyway, Stalin’s health was not good, and he had a stroke in 1953. His death was a relief to the millions of Russians that lived in fear of his murderous rage and collectivist policies. As with all biographies, there are lessons to be learned from this story. The first lesson is that if Adolf Hitler says he will not invade your country, HE’S LYING. Second, never change your name to a copyrighted item. You might start a war.