[Marxism] Hungary 1956

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Mar 23 14:04:29 MST 2004

Einde O'Callaghan wrote:
> I must say I'm also very surprised that Louis hasn't nixed this 
> discussion - indeed has participated in it - as I would have thought it 
> to be one of those themes that rapidly becomes bogged down in the 
> Stalinist vs. Trotskyist "debate" that Louis usually bans from the list.

Okay, my suggestion is this. If anybody has read Irving's book, go ahead 
and comment on it. It may or may not be free of the problems that would 
later become more obvious. I cited Ken McLeod, but I can also cite 
Norman Finkelstein:

"Not all revisionist literature - however scurrilous the politics or
motivations of its practioners is totally useless. Lipstadt brands
David Irving 'one of the most dangerous spokespersons for Holocaust
denial' (he recently lost a libel suit in England against her for these
and other assertions). But Irving, nortorious as an admirer of Hitler
and sympathizer with German national socialism, has nevertheless, as
Gordon Craig points out, made an 'indespnsable' contribution to our
knowledge of World War II."

Norman Finkelstein, *The Holocaust Industry* (London, NY: Verso, 2000),
p. 71.

We have a similar problem in evaluating Roger Garaudy, who before 
becoming a high-profile holocaust denier in France, was a leading CP 
intellectual. The Columbia Library lists 71 books by him, including 
"Mythical foundations of Israeli policy". Would one dismiss this book 
without having read it because Garaudy has become an anti-Semite or was 
when he wrote it?

In any case, Hal Rakovsky, who posted the original reference to Irving's 
book, is a graduate student with a keen interest in Trotskyist history. 
I wouldn't judge him by this--leaving aside the merits or lack thereof 
of Irving's book.

My guess is that we've heard everything that is worth hearing on this, 
so let's definitely move on.


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