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    Which ball are we swinging at,..., 2002-11-20 02:00:00 | Main | US Government not pulling its ..., 2002-11-20 02:00:00

    The "anti-American Left" apparently has a blind spot to Marxist genocides. I've seen it myself, mostly on obscure Leninist websites convinced that the numbers have been inflated by some variety of Capitalist conspiracy, alongside various excuses and apologies for whatever purges there "may have been". I wasn't aware such creatures existed outside occasional classroom presentations on perpetual motion machines and "Jump to Conclusions" doormats, you know, so the kids can get a good laugh at someone else's expedience with the facts. Anybody claiming "Stalin wasn't so bad a guy" is as cleft-brained. At the same time I can't see marching off, beating war drums, and blanketing my co-workers as commies as the only alternative, unless of course they are. But given that even the 4th International recognizes the Marxists genocides - given that they consider Stalin's purges as an attack on socialists, which is accurate insofar as they weren't excluded from the purges - it seems unlikely. On the other hand there's either more than a few or a few very vocal Troskyites out there more or less white-washing Lenin and other Bolskeviki in approximately the same fashion as cold warriors white-wash US imperialism - that is they justify crimes against humanity as necessary for the sake of some ideological belief and thus hold, to one degree or another, human welfare subordinate to a mere concept. This is hardly unique behavior. Then again Lenin didn't engage in genocide, Stalin and Suharto did. To my knowledge Lenin was just the typically viscious kind of ratbag scum that makes a great politician.

    What do I know? I heard the "60 Million" mantra often enough from commentators when I was a kid - who were these millions, and is it even possible to deny that the number was misrepresented in PR campaigns and previous to 1990 largely based on speculation and maybe even some outright fraud? Were these guys blaming Stalin for hundreds of thousands of deaths to Fusarium sporotrichioides? This isn't apology so much as recognizing the role of politics and "Evil Empire" speeches on research funding, nevermind the CIA's role in funding "research" for its propaganda racket. Nevermind some minor degree of interest in the actual truth of the matter. 2 million, 20 million, 100 million, whatever the number the guy is still a fucking monster - the real point of the debate is that guys like Conquest weren't blaming Stalin, they were blaming Marx, and to quote Karl, "What is certain is that I'm no Marxist!" I don't want to underestimate the reader's cynicism, but even one of NATO's kangaroo courts over at the Hague couldn't convict him.

    In any case where are all these Stalin apologists - I thought they all went the way of David Horowitz? This guy makes it sound like they're everywhere, reproducing like rabbits and about to swarm over us. The commie hordes are coming. I don't want to start a land war in Asia or anything, but maybe it's worth mentioning how many Kissinger apologists there still are? Probably not.

    And because the catfight is vaguely interesting, here's an example of a Stalinist apologist and a scholar on Stalin using the same research the apologist claims exhonerates Stalin, and related fumigation at wikipedia. "Until we agree on the interpretation of the event, we won't agree on the death toll." Matt White compares the figures. Myself? The guy was a monstrous, bloody, asshole: I would not invite him to my porch for a beer. Unless he brought the beer.

:: posted by buermann @ 2002-11-20 02:00:00 CST | link

    go ahead, express that vague notion

    your turing test:

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