Re: Not 'rescue Stalin,' but rescue the truth and the future (fwd)
Thu, 2 May 1996 09:58:52 -0400

Subject: Re: Not 'rescue Stalin,' but rescue the truth and the future

Grover Furr's post has dealt with some very relevant issues concerning
the 1960's: the failure of the Soviet model in the eyes of 60s activists as
a path to follow for their own libertarian struggles both now and then.
Of course, the anti-communist ideology was strong in this decade. But,
for many, including the May 1968 student activists in Paris, the CP and
the Stalin era were not models to follow for cultural and historical reasons.
However, Grover Furr has admitted certain things: the old CP system as
we knew it is dead and that Stalin was responsible for certain failings.
However, criticising Stalin does not make one exclusively "anti-communist"
in the manner he initially suggested nor does it make one an apologist for
either Hitler or Capitalism in the binary oppositional manner originally
suggested but since qualified by his other mailings.
Whatever the actual evidence concerning the numbers of those in the
gulags or purges etc, the fact remains that the Stalin Era remains for many
of us a blot upon the original ideals of Marxism and Bolshevism, a path which
proved impossible for many in 60s activism and beyond because of its tendency
to deny certain human freedom potentials.
Certainly, we must read these other sources he has suggested. But the fact
remains that criticising Stalinism does not necessarily mean embracing capitali
sm. Rather, it suggests learning from the errors (which Grover Furr does
emphasize in recent mailings) looking at the alternatives in 60's activism,
and moving forward in a new dynamic direction learning both from the failings
in the old Soviet systenm, 60s movements, and what these historical lessons
mean for us today.
Tony Williams