Vladimir Bukovsky v. The Kremlin, Final Round

 

vladimir-bukovsky-807954I’m working on a much longer article about this, which I hope to publish today or tomorrow. I’ll link to it when I do. For now, some of you may remember these pieces I wrote about the unread Soviet archives:

In the world’s collective consciousness, the word “Nazi” is synonymous with evil. It is widely understood that the Nazis’ ideology—nationalism, anti-Semitism, the autarkic ethnic state, the Führer principle—led directly to the furnaces of Auschwitz. It is not nearly as well understood that Communism led just as inexorably, everywhere on the globe where it was applied, to starvation, torture, and slave-labor camps. Nor is it widely acknowledged that Communism was responsible for the deaths of some 150 million human beings during the twentieth century. The world remains inexplicably indifferent and uncurious about the deadliest ideology in history.

For evidence of this indifference, consider the unread Soviet archives. …

I wrote several articles about the papers smuggled out of Russia by Pavel Stroilov and Vladimir Bukovsky, including this one about the Soviet legacy in the Middle East. I also participated in a few online debates about them. Because I know Bukovsky’s work so well, I was particularly shocked to receive this e-mail about two weeks ago:

I greatly enjoyed your articles about the Bukovsky archives and I know you admire him. I thought you might want to know that he is on hunger strike now to protest the delay of his trial on child pornography charges in Britain. He says the FSB framed him and I believe him.

I’ve spent the past week looking into the story, and I too believe him. I’ve written a much longer article about it, which I hope will be published very soon. For now, here’s the Guardian’s summary. (They got the timeline wrong; the charges were filed about a month after he testified in the Litvinenko inquiry.)

He’s been on a hunger strike since April 20 to protest what he calls the the “Kafkaesque” British judicial system. It is not his first hunger strike, but it’s his first in protest of the actions of a Western government.

Here he explains why he’s doing this:

I’ve explained the larger context of this, and why I believe him, in the longer article.

But for now — if you’ll take my word for it — consider what this implies about Putin’s malice and that of the KGB’s successor organ, the FSB. The object of this exercise isn’t something as banal as killing a dissident on foreign soil. Bukovsky is 72. He’s suffering from multiple organ failure. When these charges were brought against him, he wasn’t expected to live. He couldn’t attend the hearing because he was having complex heart surgery, after which he was in a medically-induced coma and hospitalized for four months. He survived, but he was not expected to do so at the time.

So the point of the exercise wasn’t just to shut him up. He would soon be dead anyway. The point was to nullify his life. It was to prove to him, and to anyone tempted to emulate him, that the Kremlin will punish you for defying it even after your death. It will turn you, in the eyes of the world and of history, into a child molester. These charges, even if he’s acquitted, as he expects to be, would tarnish any man with an ineradicable stain. No one will believe there could be that kind of smoke without fire. They call into doubt Bukovsky’s entire life, testimony, and legacy. He is all too aware of this:

Frankly, I don’t care about the risk of being sent to prison. I have already spent 12 years in Soviet prisons having committed no crime in my life, I don’t expect to live for very long, and it makes little difference to me whether I spend the final few weeks of my life in jail. However, what is fundamentally important to me is defending my reputation. …

Throughout the 72 years of my life, my moral reputation had been spotless. It has been ruined in one day by the worldwide publicity given to the CPS [Crown Prosecution Service] allegations.

I’ll have much more to say about this in the coming days. But for now, Bukovsky is prepared to die rather than to permit the Kremlin to have the last word, and given his health, he may well do that. It doesn’t seem to me he can survive a long hunger strike. So I wanted to publish at least this much about the case before that happens. I want him to know that I won’t leave the story alone, even if the hunger strike kills him.

“I’m not afraid of it,” he told the Guardian. “How can you be afraid of something inevitable? It isn’t a senseless death. It’s a purposeful death. I’m an old man anyway.”

I’ve urged him, as have his friends, to give up the hunger strike. I expect the British justice system to be thoroughly unimpressed by it. He doesn’t care. He’s doing this, as he says in the video, for Britain. He doesn’t want the Soviet Union to come there. He finds the West childlike in its naivete about the USSR’s continued existence, through Putin and the KGB’s successors, and unwilling to confront plainly its reach, brazenness, and depravity. This is the only way he knows to make the world pay notice.

When I look at our choices in the presidential race, I ask myself: Which one of the candidates is more apt to grasp the nature of that regime? The one who offered Sergei Lavrov a misspelled “reset” button? Or the one who thinks he’ll get along great with Putin, thinks NATO’s obsolete, and suggests that as far as he’s concerned, Putin’s innocent because he hasn’t been proven guilty? All I can say is that if God loves America, he’ll give us another choice. And at this point, it seems as if only an act of God could bring that about.

Anyway, I’ll keep you posted and let you know when the article is published.

Putin and the return of the Soviet Union will be one of the major themes of Brave Old World. Thanks for making it possible for me to work on this story, which I couldn’t have done without your support.

Contributions made this week will go, specifically, to covering my travel costs when I do more research about this in London and, if Bukovsky lives through this, in Cambridge, England.

There are 50 comments.

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  1. Inactive

    Good luck and God speed, Claire. The world is spiraling toward a place I never thought I’d see in my lifetime. All we can do is try to keep the light aloft. You do an invaluable service to the cause of decency and truth.

    • #1
    • May 10, 2016 at 12:06 am
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  2. Member

    Thank you Claire for telling this story, I would find it hard to believe any charges levelled against Putin’s opponents given Putin’s history of murdering and imprisoning any who oppose him. I hope justice prevails in the case of Vladimir Bukovsky he seems like an honorable and brave man.

    I remember reading a book by the Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, before reading the book I had no idea about the evils committed by the Putin regime and I was horrified when I heard of her murder, it is only through the brave actions of Putin’s opponents that the truth has come out, sadly most of the western media aren’t interested in the truth and nor are our governments.

    • #2
    • May 10, 2016 at 1:36 am
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  3. Coolidge

    And Trump is a Putin admirer! Good choice by the Republican primary voters.

    • #3
    • May 10, 2016 at 3:13 am
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  4. Member

    And Hillary respects Putin. Bizarrely, she thinks he respects her.

    Putin is a strange and sinister man in a strange and sinister country. Apart from featuring as an all-purpose bogeyman (“you can’t do that, that’s just what Putin would want!”) he gets a pass because Russian stuff is hard to explain (they don’t even use the same alphabet, you know!), and bashing on Russia is a bit like bashing on the Soviet Union, and that’s a bit like bashing on socialism, which is just about people helping each other, really.

    • #4
    • May 10, 2016 at 3:25 am
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  5. Member

    Glad you have so much intellectual energy. Why the indifference in the West? Is it in part because our left was enamored by the Soviets and Mao too for that matter. They were complicit with the Soviets in a way they were not with the Fascists and Nazis who split the socialist international and eventually turned on the socialist homeland. Is it embarrassment or shared evil?

    • #5
    • May 10, 2016 at 4:05 am
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  6. Thatcher

    Kiddie porn? On a laptop? Do you have a provenance on that stuff, CPS? Website traffic, email correspondence, stuff like that? All of that can be faked too, of course — what made you go look? Anonymous tip from somebody in the Minsk area code?

    If Vladimir had moved to Rotherham and changed his name to “Farooq,” none of this would be happening.

    • #6
    • May 10, 2016 at 4:21 am
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  7. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    Jason Turner: I remember reading a book by the Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya,

    This is directly linked to that. The longer article will explain the series of events.

    • #7
    • May 10, 2016 at 4:22 am
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  8. Thatcher

    Why do you feel him not guilty of the child pornography charges in Britain?

    • #8
    • May 10, 2016 at 4:32 am
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  9. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    I Walton: Why the indifference in the West? Is it in part because our left was enamored by the Soviets and Mao too for that matter. They were complicit with the Soviets in a way they were not with the Fascists and Nazis

    I don’t think so. The first Cold War was a very real war, one we only barely survived. I don’t think very many people, even on the left, retained sympathy for the Soviet Union after the invasion of Hungary. Many were, indeed, so stupid that it took that to wake them up — despite all that was known about the regime to the American public by then. But that really disenchanted even the most committed leftists.

    I do think, perhaps, that in the immediate postwar period, people were, understandably, confused: We’d been in an alliance with “Uncle Joe,” and no doubt the Russians bled more than anyone, by far, in fighting the Nazi regime. There was, perhaps, some guilt about the horrors Stalin had perpetrated with our direct material assistance during the war, although I don’t know if things such as the deportation of the Crimean Tatars were widely known by the American public, and I’ve not seen archival evidence to suggest this weighed on policymakers’ consciences. (We’re still feeling the geopolitical aftereffects, though; that’s for sure.)

    Certainly by 1956 even fashionable leftists were not apt to defend the USSR, although they were willing to be its useful idiots in other ways. (They were unaware who, for example, was funding the CND.)

    I think the US probably just made a mistake when the Berlin Wall fell. We didn’t insist on a complete de-KGBification of Russia as we’d insisted on denazification in Germany. I think Bukovsky is perhaps right; a process such as the Nuremberg trials might have given Russia a better chance of becoming a normal country. But there’s no way to know. I can certainly understand what Bush was thinking: that we could and should be magnanimous in victory; that Soviet ideology had so obviously proved a failure that there was no need to worry about a recrudescence; that we needed the guys with the bloodstained hands: After all, we had to come to many agreements with them about such things as dismantling nuclear weapons in Ukraine. Even in hindsight, I don’t think our decisions were obviously unwise or unjustified by common sense. I only think it didn’t work out as we’d hoped.

    • #9
    • May 10, 2016 at 4:45 am
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  10. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    Fake John/Jane Galt:Why do you feel him not guilty of the child pornography charges in Britain?

    I’ve written a long piece about this, and I’m just waiting for it to be published. It will be easier to direct you to it when it is than for me to explain in a comment.

    • #10
    • May 10, 2016 at 4:48 am
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  11. Thatcher

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:

    Fake John/Jane Galt:Why do you feel him not guilty of the child pornography charges in Britain?

    I’ve written a long piece about this, and I’m just waiting for it to be published. It will be easier to direct you to it when it is than for me to explain in a comment.

    Far be it for me to poach on Claire’s hunting ground, but if your name appears on the personal enemies list of the dictatorial leader of a nation-state possessing a first class intelligence service with the scruples of a crack whore, the evidence against you needs to be without blemish.

    • #11
    • May 10, 2016 at 5:09 am
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  12. Member

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: I don’t think very many people, even on the left, retained sympathy for the Soviet Union after the invasion of Hungary. Many were, indeed, so stupid that it took that to wake them up … But that really disenchanted even the most committed leftists.

    I presume you are talking of the non-academic parts of the US, here. Because support for parties explicitly linked to the Soviet Union remained significant in Western Europe, and not every ‘intellectual’ joined the New Left and their shifting enthusiasms (assuming support for Cuba, Mao, and other Third-Worldisms was anything other than an attempt to avoid the question of the links between communism, Leninism and Stalinism).

    • #12
    • May 10, 2016 at 5:43 am
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  13. Member

    Clare:

    Certainly by 1956 even fashionable leftists were not apt to defend the USSR, although they were willing to be its useful idiots in other ways. (They were unaware who, for example, was funding the CND.)

    I don’t think leftists defended the USSR so much as they tried to undo the standing of Westerners to criticize it. Obama and his feckless foreign policy is the culmination of the but who are we to criticize tactic of nullifying anti-anti-Western thought. Leftists would rather we be silent than permit utterances of obvious truths about Communism that imply or tacitly endorse the goodness of Western ideals and institutions.

    Standing up to evil carries a pre-requisite self-examination of who we are and thus why we oppose it. That is precisely what the left seeks to avoid. Better a confused, amnesiac vague guilt that any reawakening of identity and principle. Only instruments of evil are permitted to have certainties.

    • #13
    • May 10, 2016 at 5:47 am
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  14. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    genferei: I presume you are talking of the non-academic parts of the US, here

    Yes.

    • #14
    • May 10, 2016 at 5:56 am
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  15. Member

    Bravissima, Claire. Russia is now and long has been the greater threat to the West, though perhaps not greater than our inner rot (a good bit of which they have promoted). I recall that in La Tregua, his story of his evacuation from Auschwitz, Primo Levi tells of the guard who told him that the Nazis would ultimately win because no one would believe what they did. The Russians have played that game with great success.

    • #15
    • May 10, 2016 at 6:11 am
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  16. Member

    From Cambridge, Mass (where else) I bring you: The Stalin Society of North America. (I do not claim this is a mass movement.)

    • #16
    • May 10, 2016 at 6:38 am
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  17. Member

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:

    I Walton:

    You are being too kind to our left. They still never missed an opportunity to embrace left wing, Soviet or Cuba supported dictators or Cuban supported guerrillas, and support policies that undercut regimes with evolutionary promise, but which also presented opportunities to be replaced by the left, beginning with Cuba, but including Nicaragua, Venezuela tottering El Salvador, long suffering Guatemala. And all of the Andean countries.

    They came to see Stalin and the KGB as evil but the system, totalitarian socialism, marxism? In Europe and the US there was support for the narco terrorists in Colombia, the most democratic regime in South or central America, primarily through the human rights fronts of course, but that’s the point, ignorance is no excuse. They were fronts. The narco terrorists were… narco terrorists and only when it became obvious following Pastrana’s destroyed presidency that they were not marxists revolutionaries did our lefts back off. The FARC were thugs, kidnappers drug dealers and murderers but our left just can’t perceive evil if dressed properly. Marxism was just PR for them and a founding and rationalizing myth for a multi generational parasitical subculture that lived in areas not controlled by the government or ranchers big enough to defend themselves.

    • #17
    • May 10, 2016 at 6:45 am
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  18. Thatcher

    Claire,

    First, thanks so much for bringing this to our attention. The quality of your 2010 piece is magnificent. The quality of our political discourse has descended so far since Reagan & Thatcher that we have allowed important credible sources like this man to fall through the cracks. Now a revanchist Russian regime wants to silence him.

    I understand your desire to defend him. Every little bit of exposure of the truth helps to do that. We must find ways to make his statement that you quoted less true than it is. Justice must not be naive and over confident. Our focus on the fall of the Soviet Union as a phenomenon was glossed after the fact. The incredible pain of the Russian people and the risk taking of Reagan & Thatcher became very underrated. Here is a quote from your 2010 piece that jumped out at me.

    Lukyanov reports that the real number of casualties on Tiananmen Square was 3,000.
    Gorbachev: We must be realists. They, like us, have to defend themselves. Three thousands . . . So what?

    I suspect that the number of people in China murdered by communism dwarfs the Russian-European casualties. We lost this train of thought in the West as we participated in an uneasy alliance with the Chinese. Out of sight out of mind became our mental path of least resistance. To imagine Jihadist genocide as the “JV Team” was the result of our two decades of intellectual drift.

    I am working on something right now that will perhaps help. However, it is extremely abstract. I write things that are extremely abstract mainly because that is what I am good at. Early in life, I didn’t have the ability to even deliver that. Now with the help of Gd, computers, and good people to talk to on Ricochet, I think I can deliver my goods.

    Keep us informed of Mr. Bukovsky’s progress, however painful it might be. Perhaps Gd will hear his plea.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #18
    • May 10, 2016 at 7:45 am
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  19. Member

    James Gawron:Claire,

    First, thanks so much for bringing this to our attention. The quality of your 2010 piece is magnificent. The quality of our political discourse has descended so far since Reagan & Thatcher that we have allowed important credible sources like this man to fall through the cracks. Now a revanchist Russian regime wants to silence him.

    I understand your desire to defend him. Every little bit of exposure of the truth helps to do that. We must find ways to make his statement that you quoted less true than it is. Justice must not be naive and over confident. Our focus on the fall of the Soviet Union as a phenomenon was glossed after the fact. The incredible pain of the Russian people and the risk taking of Reagan & Thatcher became very underrated. Here is a quote from your 2010 piece that jumped out at me.

    Lukyanov reports that the real number of casualties on Tiananmen Square was 3,000.
    Gorbachev: We must be realists. They, like us, have to defend themselves. Three thousands . . . So what?

    I suspect that the number of people in China murdered by communism dwarfs the Russian-European casualties.

    I don’t remember the exact numbers, but I think it matters whether or not you count the people who died of starvation during the Great Leap Forward as murders. Mao wasn’t intending to kill them, they just died when his ideas resulted in the worst famine in human history.

    • #19
    • May 10, 2016 at 7:58 am
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  20. Thatcher

    Joe P:

    James Gawron:Claire,

    First, thanks so much for bringing this to our attention. The quality of your 2010 piece is magnificent. The quality of our political discourse has descended so far since Reagan & Thatcher that we have allowed important credible sources like this man to fall through the cracks. Now a revanchist Russian regime wants to silence him.

    I understand your desire to defend him. Every little bit of exposure of the truth helps to do that. We must find ways to make his statement that you quoted less true than it is. Justice must not be naive and over confident. Our focus on the fall of the Soviet Union as a phenomenon was glossed after the fact. The incredible pain of the Russian people and the risk taking of Reagan & Thatcher became very underrated. Here is a quote from your 2010 piece that jumped out at me.

    Lukyanov reports that the real number of casualties on Tiananmen Square was 3,000.
    Gorbachev: We must be realists. They, like us, have to defend themselves. Three thousands . . . So what?

    I suspect that the number of people in China murdered by communism dwarfs the Russian-European casualties.

    I don’t remember the exact numbers, but I think it matters whether or not you count the people who died of starvation during the Great Leap Forward as murders. Mao wasn’t intending to kill them, they just died when his ideas resulted in the worst famine in human history.

    Joe,

    Yes, the ideology destroys the productive capacity that starts the famine but it is also the ideology that denies that it is taking place and exacerbates the damage.

    China is also reputed to have a gulag system worse than the old Soviet system. This is an old book on it from the 1990s that I read a long time ago.

    Troublemaker:: One Man’s Crusade Against China’s Cruelty

    We must not forget our mission to defend Liberty. Even when the odds are against us. Reagan & Thatcher knew that. Now we are looking to Trump to pick up the torch. Oy Vey, we need miracles.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #20
    • May 10, 2016 at 8:18 am
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  21. Member

    Why are Communist atrocities treated with indifference, especially as compared with Nazi atrocities? One reason is that so many Western intellectuals were useful idiots for, or actual collaborators with, the former–but I think there is also another reason.

    Communism is a bastard child of the Enlightenment; Fascism (especially Naziism) is counter-Englighenment. Communism is *advertised* in terms of benefitting universal humanity; Fascism/Naziism in terms of benefitting only a selected nationality or ethnic/religious group. To people who were raised with Christian, Jewish, or secular universalist values…”all lives matter”…and who are not smart enough to look beyond the advertising, Communism is an easier sell as at least a ‘noble attempt.’

    • #21
    • May 10, 2016 at 8:47 am
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  22. Member

    That methodology is more common than you might think, and is much practiced by the American left.

    • #22
    • May 10, 2016 at 8:59 am
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  23. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    David Foster: To people who were raised with Christian, Jewish, or secular universalist values…”all lives matter”

    I think that’s right.

    • #23
    • May 10, 2016 at 9:08 am
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  24. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    genferei:From Cambridge, Mass (where else) I bring you: The Stalin Society of North America. (I do not claim this is a mass movement.)

    This site is kind of priceless:

    BYLAWS OF THE STALIN SOCIETY OF NORTH AMERICA The undersigned incorporator(s) is an (are) individual(s) 18 years of age or older and adopt the following articles of incorporation to form a nonprofit corporation (Chapter 317A).

    ARTICLE I — NAME AND PURPOSE

    Section 1: Name: The name of the organization shall be The Stalin Society of North America. It shall be a nonprofit organization incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois.

    Section 2: Purpose: The Stalin Society of North America is organized exclusively for charitable, scientific and education purposes. The purpose of this society is: To serve as an educational and research organization devoted to studying and popularizing the life, work, and legacy of Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin. Our aim is to engage the American and Canadian public with an end to countering anti-Stalin myths and propaganda; and with the goal of restoring, in the public eye, Stalin to his rightful place as Lenin’s most distinguished pupil and defender.

    ARTICLE II — MEMBERSHIP

    Section 1 – Eligibility for membership: Application for membership shall be open to any current resident of the United States or Canada, 18 years of age or older, that supports the mission statement in Article I,

    Section 2. Membership is granted after completion and receipt of a membership application and annual dues. Section 2 – Annual dues: The amount required for annual dues shall be $36 each year, unless changed by a majority vote of the members at an annual meeting. Continued membership is contingent upon being up-to-date on membership dues; and a lower membership rate for specific individuals will be determined on a case by case basis. Section 3 – Rights of members: Each member shall be eligible to cast a vote in …

    • #24
    • May 10, 2016 at 9:18 am
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  25. Member

    David Foster:Why are Communist atrocities treated with indifference, especially as compared with Nazi atrocities? One reason is that so many Western intellectuals were useful idiots for, or actual collaborators with, the former–but I think there is also another reason.

    Communism is a bastard child of the Enlightenment; Fascism (especially Naziism) is counter-Englighenment. Communism is *advertised* in terms of benefitting universal humanity; Fascism/Naziism in terms of benefitting only a selected nationality or ethnic/religious group. To people who were raised with Christian, Jewish, or secular universalist values…”all lives matter”…and who are not smart enough to look beyond the advertising, Communism is an easier sell as at least a ‘noble attempt.’

    And it all started nice and sweet with socialism – the favorite new word of youth of today because, as someone quoted when defending Bernie Sanders, “Socialism can be whatever you want it to be”.

    Like Editor Tom Meyers recent story about WWII participants dying off, along with their history, these lessons are being watered down, scrubbed and not seen as relevant to today – that could not be farther from the truth – Go Claire! (just don’t drink any tea in London!).

    • #25
    • May 10, 2016 at 9:40 am
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  26. Inactive

    Joe P: I don’t remember the exact numbers, but I think it matters whether or not you count the people who died of starvation during the Great Leap Forward as murders. Mao wasn’t intending to kill them, they just died when his ideas resulted in the worst famine in human history.

    While true, that makes it even more of an indictment of the system itself.

    • #26
    • May 10, 2016 at 10:25 am
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  27. Inactive

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: Section 2: Purpose: The Stalin Society of North America is organized exclusively for charitable, scientific and education purposes. The purpose of this society is: To serve as an educational and research organization devoted to studying and popularizing the life, work, and legacy of Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin. Our aim is to engage the American and Canadian public with an end to countering anti-Stalin myths and propaganda; and with the goal of restoring, in the public eye, Stalin to his rightful place as Lenin’s most distinguished pupil and defender.

    Stalin is Lenin’s most distinguished pupil. From a historical standpoint Stalin is Lenin’s best friend – so terrible that historians are allowed to ignore Lenin’s crimes because he wasn’t quite as bad.

    • #27
    • May 10, 2016 at 10:29 am
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  28. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    Umbra Fractus: Stalin is Lenin’s most distinguished pupil. From a historical standpoint Stalin is Lenin’s best friend – so terrible that historians are allowed to ignore Lenin’s crimes because he wasn’t quite as bad.

    That is correct. Putin gets off on the same logic: “But at least he’s not as bad as Stalin.” (He is as bad as Khrushchev, however. And perhaps Brezhnev. And he’s surely as bad as Chernenko. But we’ll get along fine, because at least he’s not quite as bad as Stalin!)

    • #28
    • May 10, 2016 at 10:44 am
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  29. Member

    Umbra Fractus:

    Joe P: I don’t remember the exact numbers, but I think it matters whether or not you count the people who died of starvation during the Great Leap Forward as murders. Mao wasn’t intending to kill them, they just died when his ideas resulted in the worst famine in human history.

    While true, that makes it even more of an indictment of the system itself.

    Most certainly it is an indictment of the system.

    I merely meant to clairify that, purely as an exercise in accounting, the answer to “which Communist regime murdered more than the other” may vary by as many as 40 million people depending on what a “murder” is. Personally, I’d count them as murders.

    • #29
    • May 10, 2016 at 10:54 am
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  30. Thatcher

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:

    Umbra Fractus: Stalin is Lenin’s most distinguished pupil. From a historical standpoint Stalin is Lenin’s best friend – so terrible that historians are allowed to ignore Lenin’s crimes because he wasn’t quite as bad.

    That is correct. Putin gets off on the same logic: “But at least he’s not as bad as Stalin.” (He is as bad as Khrushchev, however. And perhaps Brezhnev. And he’s surely as bad as Chernenko. But we’ll get along fine, because at least he’s not quite as bad as Stalin!)

    My Dear Claire,

    I think we should get Godel’s Ghost or your Dad in on this. They could give this “bad” thing a full calculus treatment. Turn the lesser of two evils into a maxima-minima problem. Thus, we could accurately calculate the least bad and the greatest bad across a full range of bad.

    Oy Vey. I have a headache.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #30
    • May 10, 2016 at 11:00 am
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