The Hermeneutics of Closed and Open Minds (was "Leo Casey...")

Doug Henwood dhenwood at
Thu Jun 29 14:04:16 MDT 1995

At 12:15 PM 6/29/95, Andy Daitsman wrote:

>Doug, you're begging the question.  Are there real continuities from the
>1930s to the 1980s?  That is, did the system created in large part by Stalin
>remain fundamentally in place for the next fifty or so years?
>If yes, then we've got a social and political system.  We need a name for it
>(we do pretend to be scientists after all, and didn't all science begin as
>taxonomy?), and we might as well name it after the person primarily
>responsible for its creation.

There are continuities in any society. There are continuities between
czarist Russia and Boris Yeltsin. I don't see how "Stalin" could "create a
system." We make history, but you know, someone else gave us the tools.

Putting all of post-1920s Soviet history - and post-1917 if the
Lenin=Stalin line is accepted - into one category does violence to all the
shades of that history. I'm amazed to find myself more in agreement with a
bourgeois liberal anti-socialist like Stephen Cohen than many professedly
or apparently Marxish writers here.



Doug Henwood
[dhenwood at]
Left Business Observer
250 W 85 St
New York NY 10024-3217
+1-212-874-4020 voice
+1-212-874-3137 fax

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