stalin etc

Macdonald Stainsby mstainsby at
Sat Aug 7 03:28:07 MDT 1999


>  As for Michael Parenti, I do not quite see him in the same light
>you do. It is better, as La Pasionara said, to die on our
>feet than live by genuflection along the creepy lines of
>'Well, yes, OK, I can admit he was a dictator, but we must
>avoid extremes of all kinds, even when denouncing evil.'
>This, as Lenin said, is just the support which the rope gives
>a hanged man. And as for "What we do know of Stalin's purges,"
>all I can say is that what Parenti knows and what actually
>happened are two different things.

         Take another look, Mark. He actually does praise some aspects of
Stalin, I agree with Louis on Parenti on Stalin, because Parenti gives it a
rational venner, rather than either glowing praise or invective
dramitisation. Here:
"...[Stalin could have taken the other route through the thities by] moving
in a liberalised direction, allowing more political diversity, more autonomy
for labour unions and other organizations, more open debate and criticism,
greaer autonomy among the various Soviet Republics, a sector of privately
owned small businesses, independent agricultural development by the
peasantry, greater emphasis on consumer goods, and less effort given to the
kind of capital accumulation needed to build a strong military industrial
The only problem is that the country would have risked being incapable of
withstanding the Nazi onslaught. Instead....
   Stalin's prophesy that the Soviet Union had only ten years to do what the
British had done in a century proved correct. When the Nazi's invaded in
1941, that same industrial base, safely ensconsed thousands of miles from
the front, produced the weapons of war that eventually turned the tide. "

He goes on in this vein, Louis gave some of Parenti 's more negative
evaluations, but they seem to be far more accurate than the usual prating by
any diehard "Stalinist" or "Trostskyist", it relys on just what the author
believed through study, IMO.

To criticize the people's shortcomings is neccessary, as we have already
said, but in so doing we must truly take the stand of the people and speak
out of whole hearted eagerness to protect and educate them. To treat
comrades like enemies is to go over to the stand of the enemy.

Mao Tse-tung, "Talks at the Yenan forum on literature and art".

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