When Stalin was a schoolboy, “he talked about books all the time. If he coveted a volume, he was happy to steal it from another schoolboy and run home with it.When he was about thirteen, Lado Ketskhoveli took him to a little bookshop in Gori where he paid a five kopeck subscription and borrowed a book that was probably Darwin’s Origin of Species. Stalin read it all night, forgetting to sleep, until Keke [his mother] found him.
‘Time to go to bed,’ she said. ‘Go to sleep–dawn is breaking.’
‘I loved the book so much, Mummy, I couldn’t stop reading.’ As his reading intensified, his piety wavered.
One day Soso [Stalin] and some friends, including Grisha Glurjidze, lay on the grass in town talking about the injustice of there being rich and poor when he amazed all of them by suddenly saying, ‘God’s not unjust, he doesn’t actually exist. We’ve been deceived. If God existed, he’d have made the world more just.’
‘Sodo, how can you say such things?’ exclaimed Grisha.
‘I’ll lend you a book and you’ll see.” He presented Glurjidze with a copy of Darwin.”Simon Sebag Montefiore, “Young Stalin” (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2007), p, 49.
Young Stalin at Amazon.
See also: Michael Egnor on the relationship between Darwinism
and totalitarianism Egnor: Philosopher Hannah Arendt is, in my view, the most perceptive analyst of totalitarianism. In her magnum opus, The Origins of Totalitarianism, she points out that Darwinism played an essential role in the rise of totalitarian governments in the 20th century.