enoughRon Radoshdefinitive little pieceTimeLos Angeles Times
As a lifelong liberal, I am quite naturally and obviously a lifelong anti-Stalinist; a liberal cannot support totalitarian ideologies no matter how persuasively they are presented. That's especially so when the true face of Soviet communism was so early and often visible. As early as 1931, there were public rallies protesting the Russian prison camps. The mass exterminations (through managed starvation) of Russian peasants were widely reported in the same era. Thereafter there were, in 1937, Stalin's parodistic show trials of old Bolsheviks, doomed by his paranoid need to eliminate all (imaginary) rivals for power, followed by the Nazi-Soviet nonaggression pact and the invasion of Finland in 1939. These were all moments when the "express train of history," as Soviet communism was sometimes referred to, came to a screeching halt and thousands of its passengers clambered off. Yes, the Soviet Union was our vital ally during World War II, but its essential nature did not change, and those who continued to support it cannot be excused. Sure, there were dupes and dolts among them, but domestic communism's leading spokesmen were neither. After the war, American communists were granted a great gift when the legitimate cause of anti-Stalinism fell into the hands of imbeciles -- yahoo congressmen and corrupt right-wing crazies whose ignorance and hysteria simply overrode the nuanced arguments of the anti-communist leftists and liberals. Those arguments had been honed in close combat with the Reds in a thousand union meetings and other forums. Left sectarian infighting was surpassingly vicious and, contrary to the communist line, many who "named names" before the House Un-American Activities Committee did so not to save their careers but to get back at long-despised enemies.