I can’t tell you how angry I get when I think of how historians, the press and educators continue to ignore the history of the Soviet Union. Jean François Revel wrote about the whitewashing of communist history in his book Last Exit to Utopia. In order to examine the brutal history of communism, true believers would have to admit that there is no utopia.
What I don’t get is why those who aren’t true believers refuse to expose the truth. What are they afraid of? Sure, leftists will call them Nazis, but so what? They call everyone who disagrees with them Nazis. Isn’t a little mockery a small price to pay for correcting history? Apparently nobody seems to believe so.
Claire Berlinski, writing in City Journal, tells us of two Soviet dissidents, Pavel Stroilov and Vladimir Bukovsky, who put their lives on the line to smuggle thousands of top secret Kremlin documents out of the Russia. Unfortunately, they can’t find anyone to translate and publish the documents. Nobody’s interested. Nobody cares! Millions of human beings were exterminated. Gorbachev was more brutal than most people know, they sponsored terrorism and westerners, including Joe Biden, turned a blind eye. Isn’t that news worthy? Isn’t the history of the Soviet Union just as important as the history of the Nazis and the Holocaust? Apparently, not to those writing the history books.
You should read the whole article. It’s very eye opening, and Berlinksi’s conclusion is spot-on.
Indeed, many still subscribe to the essential tenets of Communist ideology. Politicians, academics, students, even the occasional autodidact taxi driver still stand opposed to private property. Many remain enthralled by schemes for central economic planning. Stalin, according to polls, is one of Russia’s most popular historical figures. No small number of young people in Istanbul, where I live, proudly describe themselves as Communists; I have met such people around the world, from Seattle to Calcutta.
We rightly insisted upon total denazification; we rightly excoriate those who now attempt to revive the Nazis’ ideology. But the world exhibits a perilous failure to acknowledge the monstrous history of Communism. These documents should be translated. They should be housed in a reputable library, properly cataloged, and carefully assessed by scholars. Above all, they should be well-known to a public that seems to have forgotten what the Soviet Union was really about. If they contain what Stroilov and Bukovsky say—and all the evidence I’ve seen suggests that they do—this is the obligation of anyone who gives a damn about history, foreign policy, and the scores of millions dead.
Maybe if we start calling the Soviets and other communists right wingers someone will finally take notice.
How tragic that this is what we’ve come to.