The hotness of young Stalin

In addition to trying to read more right-wing stuff, I’ve decided to start reading more Marxist stuff. I want something to the left of me, but I gave up on the firebagger blogs, because they lack ideological consistency, they’re mostly about trashing Obama and Obots, whereas, say what you will about the tenets of Marxism-Leninism, dude…

Some of them are really funny (via):

Look at that picture: transpose the young Stalin to any contemporary hipster bar and he would be outclassing the other hipsters with his hip good looks. Only he would also be holding up trains and robbing banks for the revolution, which would make him cooler than that guy who is trying to pick you up (and only wishes he was as hot and hip as young Stalin) with his knowledge of a bunch of obscure indie bands. Or maybe if young Stalin was alive today, he would seduce you with his indie band knowledge one night, and rob a bank for the revolution the next night––he just looks like that kind of hipster, doesn’t he?

I’m guessing not everyone will find this amusing at all, so have an open thread too if you want.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit

111 replies
  1. 1
    Joel says:

    Proof that you cannot trust fucking hipsters.

  2. 2
    SFAW says:

    I dunno, he sorta looks like a young Terry Jones.

    Oh, wait, wrong commie.

  3. 3
    Pillsy says:

    My wife: “That confirms what I’ve known for a long time. The cute boys are assholes.”

    I’m not really sure what that says about me.

  4. 4
    Liberty60 says:

    I keep saying that the rightwing shrieking and labeling everything “sockulism” wil backfire; the majority of voters today are too young to have really any fear and dread of that dreaded word, and I believe that many will be intrigued enough by these strange new terms “sockulism and Marxism ” to investigate, without the baggage us Boomers carry.

    I keep thinking of what will happen when they study the early labor movement, the Progressives, the Populists and agrarian collectives that flourished in the last Gilded Age, and draw some surprising conclusions.

  5. 5
    Smiling Mortician says:

    In addition to trying to read more right-wing stuff

    Seriously, you should stop doing that. It never ends well.

  6. 6
    efgoldman says:

    I am rooting for underdogs all over the place, and always for the SEC to lose. Hasn’t worked very well.

    Did you notice there are two “Intellectual Bowls” today?
    Stanford/Duke and Northwestern/Vanderbilt.

  7. 7
    Baud says:

    Can’t you just enjoy porn like a normal guy, Doug?

  8. 8
    Crusty Dem says:

    Stalin killed my family, you son of a bitch.

  9. 9
    Suffern Ace says:

    He’s. Cute I guess, but he was also kind of short. Now, I do tend to like the short shy nerdy types. Always have. I think, though, that breaking up with even a young Stalin would have been touchy.

  10. 10
  11. 11
    lamh35 says:

    Larry Flynt Offers $1 Million for Information on Romney’s Taxes

    I tell ya what, I have family and friends I know would sell me out for a cool $1mill

  12. 12
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    Stalin had a deeply pockmarked face due to smallpox, a disfigured arm and fused toes on his left foot. Many pictures of him were remarkably airbrushed. The guy was troll as well as a monster. He may have built the USSR as a superpower, but it was an expensive price for the people who lived there.(not just the Russian people but other nationalities too)

  13. 13
    Keith G says:

    ..they lack ideological consistency, they’re mostly about trashing Obama and Obots

    Well at least irony is alive and well.

  14. 14
    jwb says:

    @Suffern Ace: “breaking up with even a young Stalin would have been touchy.” As long as you did it for the good of the party…

  15. 15
    Smiling Mortician says:

    I want something to the left of me, but I gave up on the firebagger blogs

    The firebaggers aren’t really to the left of you — or at least, they aren’t really to the left of me. Most of them aren’t really about policy, or even politics. They’re full of outrage-for-the-sake-of-outrage, and some weird psychological kink makes them lash out not at the enemy but at the savior whose buckle isn’t quite swashed enough for their taste. They’re the emotional equivalents of the teabaggers in congress: if it’s not one thousand percent of what I ask for, then burn it all down.

  16. 16
    DougJ says:

    @Crusty Dem:

    I hate Stalin too.

  17. 17
    joel hanes says:

    For “lefter than Balloon Juice, I quite like Ian Welsh, A Tiny Revolution, Driftglass, Jon Talton, Avedon Carol, Will Bunch’s “Attytood”, Howie Klein’s “Down With Tyranny” and Chris Floyd’s “Empire Burlesque”.

    If this be firebaggery, make the most of it.

  18. 18
    lacp says:

    “Right-wing stuff” and “Marxist stuff?” WTF? Are you trying for the Broderian Singularity Both-Sides-Do-It?

  19. 19
    Davis X. Machina says:

    I want something to the left of me, but I gave up on the firebagger blogs

    David Harvey.
    G.A. Cohen

    Neither quite orthodox….

  20. 20
    mark says:

    this sets a really bad precedence for this blog….

  21. 21
    lacp says:

    @joel hanes: Don’t forget ‘naked capitalism.’

  22. 22
    karl says:

    @lamh35: Everybody has some family and/or friends who would sell them out for million — but very few of us are worth that much to sell out.

  23. 23
    BGinCHI says:

    Pretty sure that’s a young Ricardo Montalban.

    Corinthian leather.

  24. 24
    BGinCHI says:

    Anyone else see Joe Walsh’s comments on Sandra Fluke?

    I fucking hate that guy. Duckworth had better beat his ass or I’m going up to Schaumburg and kicking some rich people in the nuts. Maybe Barrington too if I have time.

  25. 25
    efgoldman says:

    @BGinCHI:

    Corinthian leather.

    Showing your age.

  26. 26
    DougJ says:

    @lacp:

    I’m just curious what I’ll find.

  27. 27
    BGinCHI says:

    @lacp: I think in that case it’s “neither side does it.”

  28. 28
    BGinCHI says:

    @efgoldman: I was really little.

  29. 29
    gwangung says:

    @Smiling Mortician:

    The firebaggers aren’t really to the left of you—or at least, they aren’t really to the left of me. Most of them aren’t really about policy, or even politics. They’re full of outrage-for-the-sake-of-outrage, and some weird psychological kink makes them lash out not at the enemy but at the savior whose buckle isn’t quite swashed enough for their taste. They’re the emotional equivalents of the teabaggers in congress: if it’s not one thousand percent of what I ask for, then burn it all down.

    Yeah, it’s more about specific methods and tactics, rather than results. Their methods, their rules—getting there by a different route doesn’t count.

  30. 30
    efgoldman says:

    @BGinCHI:

    Anyone else see Joe Walsh’s comments on Sandra Fluke?

    No. Got a link? I haven’t filled my daily outrage quota yet.

  31. 31
    lamh35 says:

    Romney at NASCAR today

    @samyoungman
    Me: “Governor, who’s your driver?” Romney: “There’s a lot of drivers I like. Thank you.”

    https://twitter.com/samyoungman/status/244580367091249152

    maybe he was talking about his chaffeur?

  32. 32
    max says:

    @DougJ: I hate Stalin too.

    You *are* trollin’, ain’tcha? What is this, trollweek?

    Or maybe if young Stalin was alive today, he would seduce you with his indie band knowledge one night, and rob a bank for the revolution the next night

    …and gun down some innocent civilians for fun! Because that’s just the way the truly hip 19th-century boys rolled.

    Of course, these days the usual psychopaths don’t need Marx, because they’ve got coke and Ecstasy.

    max
    [‘Huh. I think I just accidentally argued that illegal drugs have improved the world. … And I’m OK with that.’]

  33. 33
    localnebula says:

    No one else is going to post a picture of the real-life hipster Hitler? Alright then, I guess that duty falls to me. Behold

  34. 34
    Dennis SGMM says:

    OT:

    I want to offer my thanks to raven among others who recommended that I read Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War.

    OTOH, why did the author have to remind me about the motherfucking leeches? I hated those things. If I had a buck for every one of them that I burned off of me I still wouldn’t be as rich as Mitt Romney but I damned sure would have a better set of tires.

  35. 35
    JPL says:

    @efgoldman: mediaite.com has it .. I didn’t bother watching.

  36. 36
    red dog says:

    What’s next a young Hitler photo? I think those two maniacs killed 100 million people. Have a nice day idiot.

  37. 37
    Suffern Ace says:

    @efgoldman: I hope you mean the congressman and not the rocky mountain way singer.

  38. 38
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    @efgoldman: Over at the GOS
    Actually it is kind of amusing when you think about the person trashing Ms.Fluke. I wonder where Mr.Walsh ranks in the rating biggest GOP douchbags, at least in the top 5.

  39. 39
  40. 40
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Count me in the “not amused” column. Even a hipsterly-ironic “appreciation” of this monster is too much. You wouldn’t put up a “hotness of young Hitler” post and you know it. Stalin has at least as much blood on his hands.

  41. 41
    👽 Martin says:

    He looks like a mountain man, at home above timberline on the Fourteeners. There is no better index of character. It tells of someone’s backbone under pressure, resourcefulness in facing adversity, and trustworthiness for power. Conservative or liberal isn’t the point. The high peaks simply test your mettle. Declinists and defeatists need not apply. Excuses are for flatlanders.

    I wonder if Stalin had baby blues and could run a sub-three marathon?

    Technically, it’s not Godwinning.

  42. 42
    Anne Laurie says:

    Okay, trolling it is, then.

    Although if you’re still (actually) looking for entertaining right-of-center blogs, I like John Wards’s Slog: A Diary of Deception and Distortion. He’s a xenophobic misogynist, but he spends more time lashing his government’s Conservative blockheads, and I like the terrier stories almost as much as the anti-Murdoch rants.

  43. 43
    Bruce S says:

    You know, if you’re into masochism why not just come out of the closet.

    Also, in reference to that link, WTF is “uncritical anti-Stalinism?” Almost as toxic and ideologically perilous, no doubt, as uncritical anti-fascism.

    If you seriously want to engage something “to your left”, that is “consistent,” Marxist or Marxian, and that isn’t insane, go back and read Michael Harrington’s “Socialism” and most of the rest of his work – which was quintessential social-democratic perspective with a fairly rigorous marxian core, or some of the other 20th Century left-wing classics like C. Wright Mills “Sociological Imagination”, Karl Polyani’s “The Great Transformation” or Fred Hirsch’ “The Social Limits of Growth.” These aren’t dogmatics and not even “Marxist” in the pure ideological sense, but they deal in theory and critical analysis in the tradition of Marx. For that matter, go back and read Marx – his political writings in particular are quite brilliant and his economic theory is challenging and prescient to a remarkable degree (though hardly “prophetic.” (Reading Marx v. the crap dispensed by contemporary “Marxists” is like the difference between reading The Bible and listening to a diatribe by Pat Robertson.) Don’t pollute your mind with total fucking idiocy. “Ideological consistency” is not a virtue. If you are looking toward the Leninist left for wonderfulness, you’re wasting your fucking time. Life is short.

    Also FWIW, Stalin wasn’t anything resembling a “Marxist.” Not even close. Far less, even, than Lenin, who started that shit.

  44. 44
    cynn says:

    Well, shit. I found some hilarious pics of Lea Michele posing (yes, posing!) in an alley by some grates and dumpsters, but I’ll be damned if I can figure out how to link them. Pretty much sums up for me the whole dysfunctional dynamic here. The elites on both sides of the putative “debate” just love to rub it into the rest.

  45. 45
    Liberty60 says:

    @DougJ:

    I hate Stalin too.

    Ah, but do you denounce him?

  46. 46
    jl says:

    Everybody has their own tastes, who am I to disagree? I can’t see much difference between Pumas and Marxists. Sure, some of it is silly, but you can never tell when you will start wading through pages of tedious verbiage with no meaning at all.

    Wingnuts produce hilarious comedy gold on a regular basis. And you get a quick pay off. For example:

    Romney Implies Obama Will Remove God From Coins, Obama Campaign Fires Back

    Mitt Romney suggested Saturday in Virginia Beach that President Obama wants to remove God from coins, provoking a fierce retort from the president’s campaign.

    “I will not take God out of our platform,” the Republican nominee said after reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. “I will not take God off our coins, and I will not take God out of my heart.”

    http://livewire.talkingpointsm.....from-coins?

    Aside from goodness for election of Mitt spending his time on this nonsense, and aside from pathos of seen a grown person talking like this, it is funny.

  47. 47
    Citizen Alan says:

    He is kind of hot in that (probably airbrushed) photo. Pity he grew up to be a mass-murdering fuckhead, as many reputable historians have said.

  48. 48
    JPL says:

    Stalin is hot in a Paul Ryan way.

  49. 49
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    I used to read Righty blogs but stopped when my doc asked how long I’d had high blood pressure. I’d like to know what the other side is thinking but it’s not worth years off my life.

  50. 50
    Liberty60 says:

    @👽 Martin: Oh, thats good stuff.

  51. 51
    efgoldman says:

    @JPL:

    mediaite.com has it .. I didn’t bother watching.

    You know, if the bloated windbag had ignored her, no-one would ever have heard of Sabra Fluke. Own goal.

  52. 52
    JoyfulA says:

    For the left, try rdwolff.com per my DH.

  53. 53
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Liberty60: I do renounce him. And all his works. And all his empty pomps.

  54. 54
    JPL says:

    @JPL: Well duh.. By the time it takes me to type one sentence @👽 Martin: comes up with a way to say the same thing more eloquently. Well I for one will keep on climbing those mountains.

  55. 55
    DougJ says:

    @JoyfulA:

    I’ll try it and the others people have mentioned…but I am also curious about how similar the righty blogs are to the Marxist blogs.

  56. 56
    Ruckus says:

    @JPL:
    Someone in about 1985 asked me to talk to his daughter about what she should study in high school. My answer was everything but at least learn to touch type as longhand will be used less and less in the very near future, for everything you do. Not too far ahead of my time and I got at least one thing right.

  57. 57
  58. 58
    HRA says:

    “Mitt Romney suggested Saturday in Virginia Beach that President Obama wants to remove God from coins, provoking a fierce retort from the president’s campaign.
    “I will not take God out of our platform,” the Republican nominee said after reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. “I will not take God off our coins, and I will not take God out of my heart.”

    It begs the question of which God you mean, Governor.
    Wow talk about wading into the thickets.

    Yesterday G and I received new ID cards from our local Board of Elections, Erie County, NYS. They were sent in postcard form [i.e. no envelope] Somewhere while in transit they were damaged. Actually, the bar code was ripped on G’s and half of my bar code is missing.

  59. 59
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Lenin’s Tomb, with a UK/Euro slant-cum-bias.

  60. 60

    BTW one of the ironies of our current age is that soshulism is quite likely to become fashionable again. Especially if the Mormon wins Nov 6th.

    Won’t that be fun. I can imagine BJ in 2026, bitching about the evil left-wing commissars.

  61. 61
    jl says:

    Most of the hipsters I see around here in SF wear these narrow brimmed fedora (or trilby?, not sure) hats, soulpatch, tight untucked short sleeve square bottom shirts with goofy stuff or garish patterns on them, tight pants.

    Look like hapless sorry dweebs to me. but I am moving on towards oldster territory, I guess. Them damn kids should get off my lawn!

    Much hipster stuff I see elsewhere in SF Bay, especially East Bay, where all the less prosperous hipster and artiste types have gone, is beyond my understanding or powers of description. But have seen some along the virile young Stalin genre.

  62. 62
    Cermet says:

    Stalin was little different than Hitler; both killed (in very horrible ways) tens of millions of Russians. Not a bloody mass murdering pig worthy of jokes (or making light of considering his victums and the manner of their deaths.)

  63. 63
    DougJ says:

    @Cermet:

    On a blog where we make Hitler jokes regularly…

  64. 64
    Narcissus says:

    Bukharin is my favorite Marxist

  65. 65

    Hitler and Stalin walk into a bar.

    They had the bar shot in the back of the head on tv for their insolence. 50% of the public applauded.

  66. 66
    murakami says:

    If you’re going to link to any image of Stalin, link this one.

    I used to have this one on the wall when I was a young hipster. Such a beautiful contrast between the warmth of the painting, the friendliness of the marvelous moustache, and how absolutely monstrous the reality was.

    Tom, if you’re listening, a post on socialist realism would be amazing. For whatever pretentiously ironic reason, I never get tired of that style.

  67. 67
    magurakurin says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Stalin has at least as much blood on his hands.

    I’d say more. Without the non-aggression pact between Hilter and Stalin…WWII never happens.

    Major dick, that Stalin.

  68. 68
    JoyfulA says:

    @DougJ: Please provide your analysis when you’re done comparing rightmost and leftmost blogs. The project sounds interesting, but I’m too irritable to expose myself to anything but the thin slice between Obot and Firebagger.

  69. 69
    Narcissus says:

    @Narcissus: I mean aside from Ray Walston

  70. 70
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    @murakami:

    Tom, if you’re listening, a post on socialist realism would be amazing. For whatever pretentiously ironic reason, I never get tired of that style.

    Agreed. Much of the Socialist Realism painting was of very high quality and far above that of the West as ideological advertising. It can also be quite beautiful and inspiring.

    ETA: I ran across some huge Russian theater posters from the ’50s and they were jaw droppingly awesome.

  71. 71
    jeff says:

    I’m not sure I believe that’s Stalin in the picture. Sorry.

  72. 72
    ericblair says:

    @DougJ:

    I’ll try it and the others people have mentioned…but I am also curious about how similar the righty blogs are to the Marxist blogs.

    Probably pretty similar. The hard right and hard left are both authoritarian radicals, and historically you’ll more likely see a hard right asshole turn into a hard left asshole or vice versa than either turning into a moderate. Most of the teabaggers seem to be authoritarians; their criticism of Obama is mostly that he didn’t abuse his power enough in the ways that they liked. Their “Executive Overreach” is like the right’s “soshulism”, in that it has no consistent meaning besides “stuff I don’t like”.

  73. 73
    maya says:

    The worst thing about Stalin is that he was responsible for the Koch brothers’ meritocratic start in life when he hired their daddy, Fred. The pogrom that keeps on giving.

  74. 74
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @DougJ: Send me a link to your young-Adolf-as-hipster posts.

    It’s OK, I’ll wait.

  75. 75
    DaddyJ says:

    I had to check the post in question; it is tagged “humor.” I can think of three to ten million reasons not to find it funny.

  76. 76
    maya says:

    @Gin & Tonic: You want a hipster Hitler? You got him.

  77. 77
    Dennis SGMM says:

    The hottie Stalin? What’s next, the Gaucho Marx?

  78. 78
    Crusty Dem says:

    @DougJ:
    It’s cool, I’m full of shit, just anticipating the inevitable pushback. Might as well praise Hitler..

  79. 79
    russell says:

    he needs to wash his hair.

    and seriously, “the hotness of stalin” is right up with “the hotness of vlad the impaler”

    just saying

  80. 80
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @maya: Don’t “want” anything of the sort. Would like DougJ to admit he screwed the pooch with this post, but doubt I’ll get that.

  81. 81
    divF says:

    @Davis X. Machina:
    Was the first thing I thought of, too. Catholic, or just have watched the end of “The Godfather” a few too many times ?

    When you’re done, you can work on denouncing Trotsky and Bukharin.

  82. 82
    SFAW says:

    @Narcissus:

    Bukharin is my favorite Marxist

    Me, I’m partial to Groucho, although Harpo was pretty good too.

  83. 83
    divF says:

    @ericblair:

    The major difference between left-wing nuts and right-wing nuts is that the latter all goose-step to the beat of the same drum, while the former break up into large numbers of factions over infinitesimal variations in dogma. Back in the day (early 70’s) you had endless left-wing splinter groups – a local favorite were the followers of Enver Hoxha (Albania’s answer to Mao).

  84. 84
    mclaren says:

    You do wish there were really some left bloggers. People who would, like, you know…suggest we dump capitalism for a whuffie economy, get rid of money, make charging interest illegal, abolish corporations, that kind of thing.

    Instead, the “far left” position now is that when we kidnap Americans without charging ’em with a crime we should refrain from torturing ’em.

    Too much, that is.

    Just torture ’em a little.

    That’s the “extreme leftist” position in 2012.

  85. 85
    Heliopause says:

    Hoo-boy. This is your most palpably stupid post ever, by a longshot, Doug. “Firebagger” blogs, whatever those are, are not to your left. Once you realize this then a cogent conversation on the rest of it can begin.

  86. 86
    chrismealy says:

    I’ll try it and the others people have mentioned…but I am also curious about how similar the righty blogs are to the Marxist blogs.

    They all hate Obama! I think Obama is pretty much the best you could get out of a Democratic president right now, and to blame him for the underlying forces that shape his options is nuts. You’d think Marxists would understand that, but no. And it’s not like there’s a alternative left-wing policy program on the shelf to use. Nobody knows what to do.

    DougJ, I’ve been getting into Marxist stuff for a while now too. I tried back in the early 1990s but I could never tell what the fuck they were talking about it. It’s better now. Maybe the internet has dumbed everybody down to my level. Anyway, Jacobin is the hot thing now. I think it’s pretty good. You should subscribe. JW Mason is fantastic, but I don’t know how marx he is. Corey Robin you know already. Doug Henwood can be great but he’s such a bummer. His radio show/podcast is often terrific.

  87. 87
  88. 88
    Anoniminous says:

    You could read Henry George, Thorsten Veblen, the Wisconsin Idea, John Dewey, EPIC Plan, the History of the IWW, and other literature and ideas of the indigenous American Left.

  89. 89
    EconWatcher says:

    For an interesting modern take on Marx, try Marshal Berman’s Adventures in Marxism, or his All That is Solid Melts into Air. For Marx himself, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte (Robert Tucker translation) is an amazing piece of prose.

  90. 90
    EconWatcher says:

    Also too, even if you have no interest in history but are just looking for a rollicking good read, Simon Sebag Montefiore’s two biographies of Stalin (Young Staling and In the Court of the Red Tsar) are amazing.

  91. 91
    Nellcote says:

    speaking of things russian-esque

  92. 92
    Steve Finlay says:

    As was noted already, Stalin and Hitler had a lot in common. They each killed tens of millions of Russians. In addition, Stalin (Josef Dzugashvili) was no more of a Russian than Hitler was. He was a Georgian. (Linguistically, he was further AWAY from Russian than Germans are.)

    If the Russians wanted to get back at Georgia for what happened to them under Stalin, and if they wanted equal numbers, I think they’d have to kill every Georgian two or three times.

  93. 93
    Linnaeus says:

    Check out David Harvey’s online stuff about Marx’s Capital. I would say you need to start with the original Marx, then branch out.

    Jacobin is very good for left-wing analysis.

  94. 94
    BGinCHI says:

    @EconWatcher: I endorse these suggestions whole heartedly. Even Hal Hartedly.

    Berman is great.

    Making fun of Marxists is only funny if you are smarter than they are, and almost no one around here is.

    Sorry Charlies.

  95. 95
    Maude says:

    Truman said, I like Old Joe. Truman had some large faults.

  96. 96
    Anne Laurie says:

    @maya:

    The worst thing about Stalin is that he was responsible for the Koch brothers’ meritocratic start in life when he hired their daddy, Fred. The pogrom that keeps on giving.

    Not the worst, but it’ll earn him an extra 75k life cycles as a cockroach in every global hellhole, for sure. I wonder if stalin-roach will recognize the koch-roaches?

  97. 97
    Anne Laurie says:

    @russell:

    and seriously, “the hotness of stalin” is right up with “the hotness of vlad the impaler”

    Bram Stoker’s heirs & imitators have milked that puppy for millions, if not billions. Shades of Fan-fic Grey, anyone?

  98. 98
    Spectre says:

    Lennists are a perfect fit for Obama cultists, since both are essentially authoritarians, bending over backwards to make excuses for leaders that are actually the opposite of what they claim.

  99. 99

    @Spectre: Glenn Greenwald? Is that you?

  100. 100
    Djur says:

    I don’t see how it’s offensive to discuss the topic of personal charisma in the context of the subject of one of the most famous personality cults ever. And academic leftists are very interested in looking into the erotic and fashion aspects of revolutionary politics.

    I agree that DougJ should read Lenin’s Tomb. Richard Seymour is practical in the sense that his antifascist commitments mean that he’ll support liberals against fascists if necessary, and he doesn’t care enough about US politics to need to spend much time attacking Obama.

  101. 101
    Atticus Dogsbody says:

    @Suffern Ace: Stalin was really short. Apparently Mao was quite taken aback when they first met.

  102. 102
    Bruce S says:

    @EconWatcher:

    All That’s Solid Melts in Air is an A+ book.

  103. 103
    Bruce S says:

    If anyone is seriously interested in Marx, a good short course introduction is here, by Marshall Berman:

    http://dissentmagazine.org/online.php?id=483

  104. 104
    EconWatcher says:

    @Bruce S: Berman could write 400 pages about the process of paint drying and leave you breathless and begging for more. That guy has a magic pen.

  105. 105

    I’m guessing not everyone will find this amusing at all…

    Good guess. Stalin was a fucking monster, and a lot of people died because of his reign of undiluted fucking terror. (No, not talking about WWII and the millions of Russians who died because of a different fucking monster). Not amusing at all.

    Want to compare historical figures to idiots from Brooklyn? How about young Teddy Roosevelt

  106. 106
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    Was this at the end of the article when Doug first posted this?

    “Since over 5000 people clicked on this post today for some reason….”

  107. 107
    jimbo57 says:

    At the time this photo was taken, this young hottie had fathered a child with one young wife in Tbilisi and managed to knock up a thirteen year old during a stint in Siberia…

  108. 108
    xephyr says:

    What BruceFromOhio said. How hot is unmeasurable anguish?

  109. 109
    NCSteve says:

    Okay, guys, I stopped reading about a third of the way down, but somebody needs to do the full Godwin meets IOKIYC analysis here.

    First, and least substantively, any picture of Stalin that wasn’t taken by a western journalist not affiliated with any Communist Party of the era and developed outside of the USSR should be presumed to have been doctored more heavily than a Rachel Ray cover for Fitness Magazine. As someone noted above, the man was a deformed troll–a fact which is the source of much fascinating pop psych–and he invented, yeah, fucking invented, the kind of pervasive propaganda based upon the mutability of the past that we associate with the words “Minitrue” and “doublethink.” Stalin’s propaganda ministry was Joseph Goebbels’ university. A vast staff of skilled artists was doing stuff with paint and ink that we can’t do today with Photoshop–mostly ridding official photos of the image of people who’d been purged, but no image of Stalin was left undoctored.

    More substantively, even the kind of young socialist humor that wryly references Stalin as a way of acknowledging that the stuff they believe has gone horribly wrong in the past loses its humor when it gets published. Indulging in some dark humor over a few brews is one thing, posting it in a blog is something else entirely.

    Because here’s the thing–Stalin’s body count was comparable to Hitler’s. It is not clear which of them gets the bronze and which the silver in the 20th Century Mass Murdering Monster Olympics (Mao is, far and away, the winner of the gold), but both of them are somewhere on the wrong side of twenty million–not even counting direct combat casualties.

    And if you the idea of cracking jokes like this about Hitler makes you want to vomit–and it does, why the fuck is it okay to do it about Stalin?

  110. 110
    Mike B says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    David Harvey is great. I can’t stand Maoist blogs. Maoists always sound like religious cultists to me.

    For a Marxist blog that doesn’t sound crazy and is actually interesting and thoughtful, check out Louis Proyect’s blog.

    The Lenin’s Tomb blog can be interesting, too, though he’s more dogmatic and is pretty disgusting with regard to reactionary muslim extremism. He belongs to the SWP (UK), which is notorious for it pandering to muslim reactionaries and its support for Iranian theocrats, Hamas, and Hezbollah. Whenever wingnuts want to “prove” a link between the “left” and jihadism, they turn to the SWP (UK) for propaganda fodder.

    I also like the libcom.org blog. It’s a libertarian communist site based in the UK. A lot of interesting historical articles, there.

    Although Marxists IMO have utopian blinders, liberals IMO have legalistic blinders. Marxists and anarchists understand that rights and liberties were won through hard struggle, not bestowed on us all by old men in black robes ruling from court benches. I don’t think we would have ever had the New Deal in this country if there wasn’t a militant workers movement in this country at the time that including significant factions fighting with revolutionary zeal. Likewise with the civil rights movement. MLK was great, but I don’t think the gains that were won would have been won if it weren’t for significant factions breaking off in more radical directions (e.g. the Black Panthers) creating more pressure from the left on the mainstream liberal establishment — and giving them more leverage.

    It’s good to step out of the group-think bubble. More people should look at the more serious radical thought out there and think about it — though once you start looking, you do also see that there are wingnuts on the left that can put the wingnuts on the right to shame. There’s just a lot fewer of them — and fewer still of radicals that are actually worth listening to, but there are some.

  111. 111
    Mike B says:

    @Mike B:

    Oh, I forgot the best one of all! Doug Henwood’s blog should be required reading for anyone who wants to be taken seriously with left-wing opinions. It’s worth subscribing to his Left Business Observer if you can. It’s brilliant.

Comments are closed.