Denial ain\'t just

What are the common defenses given for the evils of communism?

  • The Soviet rulers were nowhere as bad as the Nazis.
  • The numbers of tens of millions murdered are 'greatly exaggerated'.
  • Hitler was wrong to crush the Jews who he saw as traitors orchestrating Germany's demise, but the Soviet partisans of "treason and capitulation" had to be "crushed".
  • At least the socialists had their hearts in the right place.
  • Modern day libertarians are really fascists.
  • Soviet atrocities are in no way 'comparable' to the Holocaust.
  • The kulaks dumped in the middle of nowhere, having been robbed of their lives' work, had a decent enough time in the end.
  • Stalin had noble goals whereas Hitler had ignoble ones.
  • "blunders and crimes on a horrendous scale were inevitable"
  • The word "kulak" wasn't used pejoratively.
  • Because the Soviets were on the right side of the war, the "mass deaths of the millions of ethnic Germans" deserve no sympathy.
  • Hitler had no sympathy for the Russian peasants, which was bad. Stalin had no sympathy for the Russian peasants, which was good and necessary.
  • Someone famous once said that, "Death camps did not exist in the Soviet Union."
  • The Soviet Union was not an example the true Marxism.
  • National socialism was bad because it was based on an immoral philosophy but Soviet socialism was justified for its honorable ends.
  • The Soviet peasants needed to be whipped into shape for the war to come a decade into the future against a then pauper state. And if they flinched, they would be killed. So be it. It was unfortunate, but necessary.

Ken Macleod uses all of these and more in his defense of Stalin.

Share this

As the Hit and Run poster to

As the Hit and Run poster to which he was responding said, McLeod truly is the moral equivalent of a Holocaust denier. When will the respectable left disassociate themselves from these kinds of people in the same way the respectable right disassociated themselves from Holocaust deniers?

I always thought of MacLeod,

I always thought of MacLeod, along with people like Hitchens and Kinsley, as part of the decent left. That's what so disappointing about his post.

I agree with Jonathan 100

I agree with Jonathan 100 pct. About three years ago I attended a Libertarian Alliance conference in London, at which McLeod gave a superb and informative talk about science fiction writing and why SF is often so beloved by libertarians. He was charming, obviously was very widely read and in general, I thought, one of the good guys.

I have to say that I like his fiction, particularly the Star Fraction, but some of his political commentary would embarrass a teenager. The man still buys about 90 pct of the Marxist argument on economics, including the labour theory of value, for god's sake.

Disappointing. I would have expected better of him than to ape that other apologist for Stalin, the repulsive Eric Hobsbawm.

Jonathan: as late as July,

Jonathan: as late as July, 2002, amid a dust-up with his old freind Martin Amis, Hitchens was still saying that "Lenin was a great man."

See my remarks here

Hitch has come a long way, especially since 9/11, but "the decent left" is a very conditional thing. Many of these people are going to go to their graves without ever coming to terms with the central evil of the entire 20th century. And I'm not talking about the mere manifestion in the USSR. I'm talking about the essence of the matter: collectivism vs. individualism.