Fools for Communism

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Glenn Garvin at Reason gives us a surprisingly entertaining account of how the American left intelligentsia continues to apologize for Stalin and other Commie monsters. Yes, my fellow Americans, here are your choices. An American Right that urges we mercilessly “pound” cities full of civilians. And behind Door #2, the American Left that says things like:

Theodore Von Laue, professor emeritus of history at Clark University: “[Stalin] supervised the near-chaotic transformation of peasant Eurasia into an urban, industrialized superpower under unprecedented adversities. Though his achievements were at the cost of exorbitant sacrifice of human beings and natural resources, they were on a scale commensurate with the cruelty of two world wars. With the heroic help of his uncomprehending people, Stalin provided his country, still highly vulnerable, with a territorial security absent in all history… The sophisticated design of Soviet totalitarianism has perhaps not been sufficiently appreciated.”

Columbia’s Eric Foner, past president of the American Historical Association, “denounces ‘the obsessive need to fill in the blank pages in the history of the Soviet era.’ He wasn’t talking about pesky American historians using the Freedom of Information Act to ferret out new horror stories about J. Edgar Hoover but about a Moscow exhibition on the Soviet gulag. What possible good could come of learning the details of that?”

Victor Navasky of the Nation argues that “espionage” is not right to describe the activities of American commies during the Cold War. “It would be more appropriate, he wrote, to say that ‘there were a lot of exchanges of information among people of good will.'”

Robert Conquest sums it up hilariously with his suggested title for the second edition of his now vindicated study of Stalin, The Great Terror, “How about I Told You So, You —king Fools?

12:35 pm on May 6, 2004