STUMP » Articles » Never Forget: 100 Years Since the Russian Communist Revolution » 7 November 2017, 12:16

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Never Forget: 100 Years Since the Russian Communist Revolution  


7 November 2017, 12:16

On Election Day here in the U.S., it would do well to remember that it’s been 100 years since the final push that put the Soviets over the top in Russia.

There are so many bits of the 20th Century that we should never forget. While the Holocaust and its horrors are remembered, some horrors are a bit too inconvenient for those who would like to “get it right this time”.

Forgetting that all the dead bodies was part of “getting it right”.

The “October Revolution” (which occurred November 7-8, 1917) was simply the jumping-off point for so much to come.

The violence inherent in the system wasn’t merely pushing around a peasant in a field of mud, but subjugating everybody, from the lowest to the highest.

But this time it’s different, you see.


Victims of the red revolution: The haunting faces of prisoners worked to death in Stalin’s slave camps emerge as 100th anniversary of 1917 Bolshevik takeover approaches:

This year marks 100 years since the 1917 Russian Revolution that led Lenin to take control of the Soviet Union

When Lenin died in 1924, Joseph Stalin rose to power and became the Soviet Union’s authoritarian leader

Between 1929 and Stalin’s death in 1953, 18million people were transported to Soviet slave labour camps

Labourers in the prisons worked up to 14 hours a day on huge projects, including the White Sea-Baltic Canal

By the time the last Soviet gulag closed, millions of people had died from exhaustion, starvation and murder

You can read more at the Daily Mail UK.

There are loads of pictures at the link, including masses of bodies that resulted from the Soviet system (only a couple pictures of dozens of bodies, but that’s enough).

Here is one picture:

the caption:

Posters of Stalin and Karl Marx gaze down at prisoners inside of their sleeping quarters at a gulag in the USSR in 1936. In the early 1930s, a severe famine swept across regions in the Soviet Union and six to seven million people starved to death. Until 1934, lack of food and outbreak had started destabilizing the gulag system. It wasn’t until the famine ended that the system was stabilized

Part of that famine was deliberate mass starvation in Ukraine — known as Holodomor.

The Holodomor … also referred to as the Great Famine, and The Ukrainian Genocide of 1932–33 was a man-made famine in Soviet Ukraine in 1932 and 1933 that killed an officially estimated 7 million to 10 million people. It was part of the wider Soviet famine of 1932–33, which affected the major grain-producing areas of the country.

Obviously, areas other than Ukraine saw mass starvation, but it had been particularly targeted. All sorts of groups would be targeted in the Soviet era for being a threat to the Soviet powers-that-were (and perhaps still are.)


While we may think deceptively editing video over Trump feeding fish is a new low, the most shameful time of journalism was during the decades of Stalin’s rise, when Soviet crimes were papered over.

The Walter Duranty Prize for Journalistic Mendacity is given in dishonor of a particularly egregious New York Times reporter of the day:

The Duranty Prize is named after Walter Duranty, the New York Times Moscow correspondent in the 1920s and 1930s who whitewashed Joseph Stalin’s forced starvation of the Ukrainians (the Holodomor) and many other aspects of Soviet oppression. Duranty was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for his efforts. It has never been revoked.

Roger L. Simon explains the “Prize”:

We use [Duranty] as our emblem of something that is all around us — journalistic mendacity so awful, so meretricious, so despicably self-regarding that it is indeed in the tradition of Walter Duranty who — basically for his own self-aggrandizement, he wasn’t even a communist — white-washed Stalin’s mass starvation of upwards of a million Ukrainians, not to mention numerous other atrocities of the Soviet Union from the Gulag to the Purge Trials, for nearly twenty years as Moscow correspondent of the New York Times, while using, as an excuse for totalitarian evil, his oft-quoted phrase “You have to break a few eggs to make an omelet.”

It was a hell of a lot of eggs… and there ultimately was no omelet.

UPDATE – Here’s an antidote to Duranty: Gareth Jones, a Welsh journalist who uncovered the Holodomor while Duranty turned a blind eye. Jones was murdered in mysterious circumstances in 1935, possibly by Soviet agents.


John Sexton at Hot Air comments: NY Times Publishes Column Critical Of The Left’s Soft Spot For Communism With Predictable Results:

Friday [October 27, 2017] the NY Times published an opinion column by Bret Stephens titled “Communism Through Rose-Colored Glasses” which makes the not very novel argument that fascism is everywhere denounced even while the left still seems to harbor a schoolgirl crush that makes excuses for even more deadly communism. Stephens writes:

“These aren’t original questions. But they’re worth asking because so many of today’s progressives remain in a permanent and dangerous state of semi-denial about the legacy of Communism a century after its birth in Russia.”

In response to this, there are hundreds of NY Times readers weighing in to attack Stephens and defend a) Democratic socialism, b) Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn, and c) American progressives in general.
Granted I’m cherry-picking but there really are a lot of arguments like this, i.e. I don’t see any communists around here and, besides, everyone knows the real communists in places like Venezuela and Cuba are bad people. Except of course that there are real communists here. You can see their signs at every major left-wing street protest from the anti-war marches during the Bush years to Ferguson to these events being scheduled across the country for next weekend. According to this article from March, the Communist Party U.S.A., which is headquartered in New York, has had 5,000 people join online in the past five years:
There are apparently even some genuine communists in the U.S. military. Granted 5,000 members is a tiny number in a country as large as the U.S. but so are the number of people supporting outright racists like Richard Spencer. Spencer gets routinely condemned (and rightly so) by the media while U.S. communists rarely get mentioned.

As for everyone knowing it’s wrong to support dictatorial communists (as opposed to wonderful Euro-socialists) I don’t know if I’ve ever seen someone wearing a Stalin shirt in the U.S. but I’ve certainly seen people wearing Che Guevara paraphernalia.
The left has certainly gotten very quiet about Venezuela in the past year but many of them adored Hugo Chavez, including Sean Penn, Michael Moore, and Oliver Stone. Another person who praised Chavez, as Bret Stephens correctly points out, was Jeremy Corbyn.
It’s worth noting that Corbyn did not see Venezuela as an example of extremism, communism, etc. He saw it (and apparently still sees it) as a model of “socialism” done right. Bret Stephens is absolutely correct about the tendency of the far left to excuse communist excesses even while going on about the pressing need to eradicate fascism in our midst is a problem. The fact that so many NY Times’ readers are eager to shield socialists like Corbyn even as Corbyn refuses to distance himself from dictators like Maduro suggests we still have a long way to go in recognizing that problem. Simply put, there really is solidarity between far-left leaders here and in Europe and far-left dictatorships like the one in Venezuela. That it becomes inconvenient for the left to acknowledge that at times does not make that solidarity cease to exist.

Jeremy Corbyn is a loathsome person for loads of reasons — being a communist/socialist (not much of a difference in him specifically) is just part of it. A huge part of it.

Many of these people know that for communism to “work” means that “bad people” need to be killed.

The thing is, when others start finding out what these “bad people” did to be targeted by communists, it becomes obvious that the monsters are the communists themselves. It’s not a great selling point.

The smearing of anti-communists continues, and one need not do anything other than show the truth: the numbers of people killed, the people imprisoned, the locations of the graves.


Richard Fernandez on the NYT op-ed:

“They will write about Stalinist playwright Lillian Hellman in tones of sympathy and understanding they never extend to film director Elia Kazan” because Marxism is ostensibly a moral enterprise. However many millions it killed, it meant well. The irony of this defense is that the Communist Manifesto argued morality doesn’t exist. It was simply a construct of the Party.

It doesn’t even matter how many proofs there are that “they” didn’t mean well. All of them — not only Stalin, but Lenin and Trotsky. And obviously Marx.

But plenty of people are still seduced by communism. Some are obvious hypocrites, like Corbyn, who live cushy lifestyles in decidedly non-communist and extremely capitalist nations. Some are foolish youngsters, as with my one-week stint as a commie followed by my few months as a Randite. I went on to vote for Bill Clinton the next year. Look, we all go through these adolescent phases. Young people now aren’t any wiser than I was in the 90s.

Some are just plain fools, thinking that this time it will work, we’ve got the technology! (keep an eye on the “universal basic income” folks)

And some welcome the evil, seeing it as an opportunity to pull down and take stuff from the people they don’t like. How dare they have nice things. How dare they have food. How dare they breathe air.

Well, Stalin got to live his dream, as did Mao and Pol Pot. Chavez managed to miss the culmination of his particular Venezuelan hell, but neither did Lenin get to see the full slaughter. Poor, dead commies.


National Review: They have multiple articles on the topic —

One Hundred Years of Hell

100 Years of Evil

The Russian Revolution, 100 Years On: Its Enduring Allure and Menace

WSJ: 100 Years of Communism—and 100 Million Dead

Anne Applebaum: 100 years later, Bolshevism is back. And we should be worried.

NY Times article: Critics Scoff as Kremlin Erects Monument to the Repressed

An amusing satire from The People’s Cube: Bolshevik centennial celebration marred by executions, coup

Open Democracy Russia: What can and can’t be said about the Russian revolution

WaPo: Communist supporters mark Bolshevik Revolution centennial

Al Jazeera: White and red: Tales from the Russian Revolution


Facebook group: Free Yuri Dmitriev (English language group) – Russian historian who has documented mass deaths/executions in Soviet history, and marked graves

Day of Remembrance, 30 October 2017 – in memory of the victims of Soviet repression –
BBC2 programme – documentary on Gulag – available in the UK

My blog posts:

A helpful book: Why Socialism Works

Some reader reviews:

5.0 out of 5 stars
Finished reading this well thought out book in minutes.
By Brian on June 26, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book cuts to the core of all pro socialism debates right on the first page, and sticks to it the whole way through.

The material is presented in such a manor that it is easy to retain and recite.

This is an amazing teaching guide. Well done.

5.0 out of 5 stars
The authors succinct and powerful message cannot be overstated
By Conor Burns on June 27, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I gave this book five stars for numerous reasons. In the words of Albert Einstein “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

The author entices the reader with a simple and concise, yet eloquent and complete explanation of socialism. I’m sure this will go down as one of the greatest texts ever written on the subject. I found myself furiously consuming the words on each page, totally engrossed in the text. It seemed I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough! I highly recommend this book to anyone studying the subject of socialism as it is sure to give you the best possible understanding of the subject.

I would especially suggest this seminal work to any and all supports of Bernie Sanders as this will give you unbelievable insight on exactly what he has been espousing for years. If you read the text and study it carefully, I promise you will have a near doctoral command and understanding of socialism.

I have a feeling these readers bought the kindle version when it was free because….

1.0 out of 5 stars
Rip Off, No Substance, Only “It Doesn’t”
ByAmazon Customer on September 6, 2017
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
Do not get this book. 200 pages has only two words written in it: “It Doesn’t”. No substantive argument is given. Complete waste of money and time, will return.

Seems compelling to me.

I agree with the one reviewer who complains there’s no hardcover version. I’d totally buy a coffee table version of the book to leave out for guests to peruse.

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