In Defense of Uncle Joe. To the Stalin Haters

Michael D. Damore mdamore at moose.uvm.edu
Mon Mar 27 21:21:40 MST 1995


The first few lines make this seem like a joke, but since the writer gets
his ideas from the PLP, I understand.  WHat's next the representative
from MIM Notes.

Mike

On Wed, 22 Mar 1995, Alfred Joseph wrote:

> In defense of Uncle Joe.
>           I have become mildly distressed reading the mush about the
> so-called "crimes of Stalin".  Joe Stalin, "Uncle Joe" to the millions of
> European workers who waited for liberation by the RED ARMY during WW 2, was
> a revolutionary communist.  Attacks on Joe Stalin, whether from Rush or
> from some pseudo-leftist is in reality an attack on communism, workers'
> power.  The following is  an article that was printed in the  June 29, 1994
> issue of Challenge.  Challenge is the newspaper of the Progressive Labor
> Party.
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> --------------------------
>
> --I've just reread The Daughter of Time  by Josephine Tey, the skillful but
> reactionary, British mystery writer.  Although, this is a work of fiction,
> she shows how generations of historians have repeated the British "party
> line," the myth- first put abroad to justify Henry's VII's usurpation of
> the throne in 1485- that Richard III murdered the "Two Princes in the
> Tower."*
>         In the course of her argument she makes a few remarks through her
> fictional character, Laura, which I find highly relevant to discussions
> about the USSR during Stalin's time:
>         "It's an odd thing when you tell someone the true facts of a
> mythical tale they are indignant not with the teller but with you.  They
> don't want to have their ideas upset.  It rouses some vague uneasiness in
> them, I think, and they resent it.  If they were merely indifferent it
> would be natural and understandable, but it is much stronger than that,
> much more positive.  They are annoyed.  Very odd, isn't it?"
>         Or again..."Perhaps there was something in Laura's theory that
> human nature found difficult to give up preconceived beliefs.  That there
> was some vague inward opposition to, and resentment of, a reversal of
> accepted fact."
>         I first read this book half a decade or so ago after writing an
> article about the Military Purges in the USSR.  In doing research on them
> in the late '70s and early 80s, I found-as did Josephine Tey about the
> story of Richard III's "murder" of the Princes In The Tower- that there was
> no evidence whatsoever for the almost universally accepted version of the
> Military Purges of '37- '38: that Stalin planned this in advance, and that
> the officers in question were "innocent" of whatever they were charged
> with.  On the contrary, I discovered that there was a great deal of
> circumstantial evidence that the charges were true, and much evidence too,
> that Stalin and the Soviet government reacted with great shock to their
> discovery of a plot.
>         Persevering in this research, I read virtually every book and
> article cited by Robert Conquest in his "magnum opus," THE GREAT TERROR .
> With widening amazement, I discovered that Conquest either flagrantly
> misused his sources; misrepresented them; or that in many cases, the
> "sources" Conquest cited (often hundreds of times) were dismissed as
> virtually valueless by even anti-communist scholars at the time they were
> published.  I also discovered that virtually nobody ever sharply questioned
> Conquest on this- though there were certainly questions ( very polite
> questions) raised in some of the scholarly book reviews of his book.
>         In the '80s, I spent a good deal of time researching the movie,
> Harvest of Despair , about the so-called "man-made famine" in the Ukraine
> in the early '30s.  When I discovered that this story, too, was a complete
> fabrication, and was known to be such even before it was shown on PBS ( it
> is still making the rounds, by the way)-  I was less surprised than I might
>  have been.  Still, the extent to which utter lies were simply accepted as
> historical truth- as long as they were anti-communist, anti-Stalin lies-
> was breathtaking.
>         It was interesting to see a well-known article in the Village Voice
> in the  late '80s come to the same conclusion, and cite several historians
> as stating that Conquest was a liar.
>         Of the horror tales virtually taken for granted as true concerning
> Stalin, I have researched many at this point in my life, and have never
> found a single one that is true, or anywhere near it.  Naturally, they have
> a life completely independent of my research.  They go on and on.
> Naturally, because they are good anti-communist stuff.  And- not
> incidentally- they feed the prejudices of quite a few of those on the
> "left", such as the admirers of Trotsky, the Social-"democrats", and
> anarchists, whose whole political edifices are built around the figure of
> Stalin-As-A-Monster.
>         One can read books by J.R. Getty and the other historical
> revisionists associated with him nowadays to see how real, if bourgeois,
> research dismantles the fantasies and myths of the Stalin-haters.  Few do,
> I suspect, and for the reasons that Josephine Tey mentions in the
> quotations reproduced above.
>         The truth is that the statement by Marx and Engels- that the
> proletarians "have nothing to lose but their chains"- does not adequately
> take ideology into consideration.  Workers can, in struggle, abandon the
> false ideologies that have gripped their minds in this capitalist world.
> But many intellectuals on the "left" seldom engage in struggle, or in
> enough of it; or, there is too much "bookworm" allegiance to certain
> ideologies that have long been found comforting to really want to see them
> overturned.
>         How many  of us go out there and look for good critiques  of our
> own preconceived positions?  How many of us lean over backward, so to
> speak, and check out the evidence for the positions that call into question
> our own cherished preconceptions?  The truth is- we are, too often, afraid
> to do this.  The truth will forever elude those who act in this way.
>         Concerning Stalin, I personally have no fears.  When I find
> evidence, I look at it.  When the horror stories that are universally
> repeated by bourgeois and "leftist" sources together are supported with
> good evidence, I'll accept them.  Can the Trotskyists, anarchists,
> social-democrats, et al.., say the same thing?
>         Tey is an arch-conservative and elitist.  Nonetheless, The Daughter
> of Time  effectively demonstrates that a version of history that has no
> decent evidence can hoodwink, for centuries, even "professional" historians
> supposedly "trained" to look for evidence, but who in fact are looking for
> minor variations o some orthodoxy or other.  For Richard III, read Stalin;
> it works!
>
> *Henry VIII killed two of his wives: Anne Boleyn in 1536 and Catherine
> Howard, in 1542.  Richard III was, and is, said to have murdered his two
> nephews, who were one-time heirs to the throne of England, in 1484 or 1485.
>  The Josephine Tey book deals with Richard III and the "Princes in the
> Tower."  It concludes that probably Henry VII, who defeated Richard III and
> seized the throne of England in 1485, was the one who really had the
> princes murdered.  Their bodies were in fact found in the 17th century,
> buried under a staircase in the Tower.
>         Henry VII was the father of Henry VIII, but otherwise the murders
> are not related.  British history is confusing enough.  The Tower was a
> Royal residence then, not exclusively a prison, as it later became.
>
> Enough already with these mindless thinly veiled anti-communist attacks on
> Joe Stalin and the communist movement.  While millions around the world
> suffer and die from war and famine and homelessness and .... So-called
> "leftists" debate, wondering if Stalin is to communism as Ariel Sharon is
> to Zionism.  What madness. This is a prime example of how we are all
> susceptible to the vicious hegemonic process in this society, the ruling
> class has convinced some of us that Hitler and Stalin are the opposite
> sides of the same coin.  They bring out so-called "scholars" and other
> political reactionaries to present evidence concerning what occurred in the
> Soviet Union when the Bolsheviks were trying to established workers' power
> over one-sixth of the worlds surface.  Before you join the chorous, look at
> the mosic sheet.   Fight for Communism.
>
>
>
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> alfredo jose
>
> If the misery of our poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our
> institutions, great is our sin.  -CHARLES DARWIN.
>
> "The earth shall rise on new foundations. We have been naught, we shall be
> all."  Words from the L'INTERNATIONALE
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> ^^
>
>
>
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