Thursday, September 27, 2018

The revisionist school of falsification

I've always been an anti-Stalinist, but I have to say that this book deepened my critical understanding of both Stalinism and Communism in general. “In Denial: Historians, Communism and Espionage” is a polemical attack on the so-called revisionist historians in the United States. In this context, “revisionist” refers to pro-Communist or even Communist historians who downplay, deny or justify Stalin's purges, Communist involvement in Soviet espionage and the dependency of the American Communist Party on Moscow.

The revisionists have been thoroughly debunked by material from the opened Soviet archives (including CPUSA material kept in Moscow), and also by the Venona transcripts released by the FBI (which deals with Soviet espionage). Yet, many of them still insist that somehow, in some way, the Rosenbergs or Alger Hiss were really innocent, that the Communist Party USA wasn't Moscow's pawn, that Uncle Joe didn't kill millions upon millions of Soviet citizens, and that the world would be a better place if Henry Wallace had become US president and nipped the Cold War in the bud. It's also disturbing to note that these people have occupied much of the history profession in the US, at least at institutions dealing with (surprise) Communist-related studies! In the end, the more die-hard revisionists believe that the crimes of Stalinism *don’t really matter*, cuz McCarthy.

“In Denial” raises a lot of questions about the nature of progressive politics, the state of American academia, the exact character of Stalino-Communism (is it a mind-virus, after all?) and the connection between the Old Left and the SJW-ish New Left. On a more concrete level, check everything you ever read about the CPUSA (or Stalin's terror) against the criticism found in this book…

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