A number of the [...] travelers had also involved themselves with the Sacco and Vanzetti cause - Douglas, for example, had sent money for the defense. But the pleas failed, and the execution of Sacco and Vanzetti was expected to happen while the travelers were in Europe. This act seemed to confirm American barbarism. Roger Baldwin, especially, wondered whether Soviet Russia might have found a higher sort of freedom. (p. 59).Baldwin was the founder of the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU. To be fair, in the 1930s he recognized that Stalin was a monster. But that was later.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Navel Gazing and Revolutionary Mass Murder
I'm reading Amity Shlaes' excellent The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression. Perhaps I'll review it here, by and by. In the meantime, a small anecdote that illustrates how some things never really change. In chapter two she's following a group of American progessive thinkers who in 1927 went on a fact-finding mission (that's what it would be called today) to the Soviet Union. Although this was before the worst excesses of communism, the communist revolution had already killed hundreds of thosands of people, and you needed to be a bit myopic or obtuse not to have noticed. Some were: