#81

glomper_stomper posted:



The sentence i've waited my whole life for

#82
#83
[account deactivated]
#84
so tell us, swampxhing, what the purpose was in posting a Blood Lies thread in D&D in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ 2016
#85

tpaine posted:

who is thatg



whoever he is, let's hope he ends up in a worse situation than Vilerat

#86
sorry, "xhe"
#87

karphead posted:

so tell us, swampxhing, what the purpose was in posting a Blood Lies thread in D&D in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ 2016

There are legitimately good posts in that thread, including some perspective from an actual acquaintance of Furr, so I think it was the right choice, in the end.

#88
any chance we can get some c&p's or screenshots or anything for the folks who banned their own asses years ago?
#89

swampman posted:

karphead posted:

so tell us, swampxhing, what the purpose was in posting a Blood Lies thread in D&D in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ 2016

There are legitimately good posts in that thread, including some perspective from an actual acquaintance of Furr, so I think it was the right choice, in the end.



i agree but i thought your motives might have been multi-faceted and that one of the facets was trolling

#90
i've been reading hannah arendt recently and in her ideas, totalitarianism refers to a period of such intensity that politics proper, in terms of an open discussion of how to proceed, becomes impossible. this isn't a matter of the government killing opponents, the point is that "people are killed for saying yes", meaning that the terror extends to members and supporters of the regime in an unpredictable and horrific way such that public debate entirely freezes. it wouldn't apply to most of the soviet union's history even. the fact that governments kill people who oppose them isn't what was novel to her, which is lost in most of the useless debate on the topic.

also on that topic there is a really strange tendency in politics to think like think tanks do, like, when they produce charts that show the free market produces good things because if you look at countries with "market economies" then most of them are rich. i think a lot of socialists just use that same logic, like, oh, look, the life expectancy increased in china, that means that some monolithic thing called "socialism" is good, let's end the debate there. i'm not sure who that really convinces.
#91
Hmmm...
#92
i mean i also thought that you were legitimately trying to posit an argument that you knew would be not be well received in order to exercise the dialectic
#93
well, actually, to answer my own question, it convinced me, because i was a think tank nerd until i read mao.
#94
Thanks for this extremely helpful thread. I'm thinking about transcribing some of my rare stuff, now!
#95

chickeon posted:

any chance we can get some c&p's or screenshots or anything for the folks who banned their own asses years ago?


I have met Furr several times, and am also on a few listservs with him. I think I can contribute a few contextualizing tidbits that may help the conversation (if this can even be called a conversation at this point). His character is beside the point, but I will say that he's a likable and earnest guy.

First, as has been pointed out, he is trained as a literary medievalist. This is usually evoked to discredit him: to say that he has no right to speak on matters of history and historiography. Even today, though, the scholarship on Medieval literature is profoundly caught up in the problems of historiography -- how the hell anyone today can know with any certainty what was happening in 12th century Flanders, or whatever. The historical character of medievalist scholarship was even deeper when Furr was a graduate student, before "theory" became a thing. My point isn't that Furr thus qualifies as a 'trained historian,' but that the leap from Medievalism to straight-up history writing isn't as far as some suggest. This has not been a major point of contention in this thread, but it has come up. For what it's worth, I've never heard Furr say anything about medieval literature with the exception of one Chaucer excerpt in an email.

Second is the nature of Furr's project as he has described it to me -- to me personally and to groups of people I was in, at conferences -- on more than one occasion: his argument is not that Stalin did nothing wrong, or that no mistakes were made in the USSR under Stalin.His argument is that the state of historical discourse on communist nations is such that we cannot really say anything about that history with any certainty: that standards of evidence are noticeably lower than for other subjects, and sometimes evidence is lacking altogether. Furr is (obviously) a committed communist, and the relevance of Soviet history for him is that current Marxist movements can learn something from that history, which means knowing as reliably as possible what was successful and what was a failure. The moral evaluation of historical figures is pointless, and even worse is the desire to vindicate or condemn certain figures, for whatever reason.

I am in no position to evaluate this argument, but it is also the case that this thread (which seems to have people capable of doing so) has not evaluated the argument on its own terms, usually overconstruing his position in bad faith as "Stalin did nothing wrong" (he did, admittedly, in that famous youtube, say he has seen no evidence of "crimes" committed by Stalin, but a. I have never heard or read him say that anywhere else, and b. I am not sure what is meant by "crimes" that would have relevance for the way in which Stalin is usually condemned, or, in other words, why exactly this is construed in terms of legality and illegality -- I say that very earnestly, and if anyone can expand on this for me I'd be happy to read it). Swampman and others have tried to steer the argument back toward historiographical bias in the last few pages without much success. I would add, though, that if this bias needs to be explained causally (rather than described), we don't really need recourse to a cabalistic CIA conspiracy that grants the government the near-omnipotence necessary to intentionally shape academic discourse for political reasons, even if it's clear and indisputable that the impulse to do so was there. I don't think it's all that farfetched to say that anti-communism was not only a function of capitalist state apparatuses, but also took hold of the citizens of those states such that they "did the right thing" all of their own.

But even that is beside the point, because, again, the argument is only that this bias exists in academia, over and above how it came to be. My only wish would be for this thread to take this argument in good faith, because I can only think about it anecdotally at best. In short: the argument is about the writing of history, and not the actual historical events themselves, and this thread is wayyyy caught up in the latter.

Lastly, I would say that academic Marxists (this is the circle I'm in) tend to keep Furr's scholarship at arm's length. As a person he is well-loved and a welcome presence at conferences, and generally folks take his line on the relevance of Soviet history for contemporary communists. But, for any number of reasons, "the anti-Stalin paradigm" (Furr's phrase) has not really entered circulation, even among the radical left in academia (lol at the idea of such people). The most tangible effect of Furr's discourse in this circle is more sustained attention to "anti-communism," which absorbs the historiographical point without wading too deep into the Stalin question.

#96
now imagine 20 posts of STALIN == HILTER and you've got the thread vibe
#97

Constantignoble posted:

speaking of stalin-related scholarship, the new issue of crisis & critique is entirely dedicated to koba, featuring articles by lih, losurdo, boer, et al (and here's the all-in-one)



Yeah.... that's Slavoj Zizek's journal....... so..... let's not.

#98

gyrofry posted:

chickeon posted:

any chance we can get some c&p's or screenshots or anything for the folks who banned their own asses years ago?

I have met Furr several times, and am also on a few listservs with him. I think I can contribute a few contextualizing tidbits that may help the conversation (if this can even be called a conversation at this point). His character is beside the point, but I will say that he's a likable and earnest guy.

First, as has been pointed out, he is trained as a literary medievalist. This is usually evoked to discredit him: to say that he has no right to speak on matters of history and historiography. Even today, though, the scholarship on Medieval literature is profoundly caught up in the problems of historiography -- how the hell anyone today can know with any certainty what was happening in 12th century Flanders, or whatever. The historical character of medievalist scholarship was even deeper when Furr was a graduate student, before "theory" became a thing. My point isn't that Furr thus qualifies as a 'trained historian,' but that the leap from Medievalism to straight-up history writing isn't as far as some suggest. This has not been a major point of contention in this thread, but it has come up. For what it's worth, I've never heard Furr say anything about medieval literature with the exception of one Chaucer excerpt in an email.

Second is the nature of Furr's project as he has described it to me -- to me personally and to groups of people I was in, at conferences -- on more than one occasion: his argument is not that Stalin did nothing wrong, or that no mistakes were made in the USSR under Stalin.His argument is that the state of historical discourse on communist nations is such that we cannot really say anything about that history with any certainty: that standards of evidence are noticeably lower than for other subjects, and sometimes evidence is lacking altogether. Furr is (obviously) a committed communist, and the relevance of Soviet history for him is that current Marxist movements can learn something from that history, which means knowing as reliably as possible what was successful and what was a failure. The moral evaluation of historical figures is pointless, and even worse is the desire to vindicate or condemn certain figures, for whatever reason.

I am in no position to evaluate this argument, but it is also the case that this thread (which seems to have people capable of doing so) has not evaluated the argument on its own terms, usually overconstruing his position in bad faith as "Stalin did nothing wrong" (he did, admittedly, in that famous youtube, say he has seen no evidence of "crimes" committed by Stalin, but a. I have never heard or read him say that anywhere else, and b. I am not sure what is meant by "crimes" that would have relevance for the way in which Stalin is usually condemned, or, in other words, why exactly this is construed in terms of legality and illegality -- I say that very earnestly, and if anyone can expand on this for me I'd be happy to read it). Swampman and others have tried to steer the argument back toward historiographical bias in the last few pages without much success. I would add, though, that if this bias needs to be explained causally (rather than described), we don't really need recourse to a cabalistic CIA conspiracy that grants the government the near-omnipotence necessary to intentionally shape academic discourse for political reasons, even if it's clear and indisputable that the impulse to do so was there. I don't think it's all that farfetched to say that anti-communism was not only a function of capitalist state apparatuses, but also took hold of the citizens of those states such that they "did the right thing" all of their own.

But even that is beside the point, because, again, the argument is only that this bias exists in academia, over and above how it came to be. My only wish would be for this thread to take this argument in good faith, because I can only think about it anecdotally at best. In short: the argument is about the writing of history, and not the actual historical events themselves, and this thread is wayyyy caught up in the latter.

Lastly, I would say that academic Marxists (this is the circle I'm in) tend to keep Furr's scholarship at arm's length. As a person he is well-loved and a welcome presence at conferences, and generally folks take his line on the relevance of Soviet history for contemporary communists. But, for any number of reasons, "the anti-Stalin paradigm" (Furr's phrase) has not really entered circulation, even among the radical left in academia (lol at the idea of such people). The most tangible effect of Furr's discourse in this circle is more sustained attention to "anti-communism," which absorbs the historiographical point without wading too deep into the Stalin question.

get this man an account

#99
p. sure that's someone who has an account
#100
good work then comrades. another success. who says rhizzone cant organise.
#101

MarianneSadd posted:

Yeah.... that's Slavoj Zizek's journal....... so..... let's not.

Dear diary,
My life reminds me of a joke from the old times,

#102

getfiscal posted:

MarianneSadd posted:

Yeah.... that's Slavoj Zizek's journal....... so..... let's not.

Dear diary,
My life reminds me of a joke from the old times,

totes would read that not gonna lie

#103
Gyrofry did u write those paragraphs
#104

karphead posted:

p. sure that's someone who has an account


I do have an account! Happy to answer any questions about Grover for y'all

#105
also i'm claiming all of the upvotes on gyrofry's post for myself, can the cat doctor please transfer them to my account
#106
I met Grover Furr on scruff
#107
It's odd to me that Furr is a 'genocide denier' while other fields, while shaped around anti-communism, don't have this kind of popular presence in dicourse. For example, academia is overwhelmingly anti-China, anti-Cuba, anti-Vietnam, anti-Albania, etc. but all of these have socialist scholars who defend these countries and aren't called monsters. Cuba in particular is relatively popular, outside of self-important losers in D&D most Americans have kind of a mixed opinion of Cuba and Europeans are pretty positive. Obviously this is because the 60s and 70s led to a new generation of socialist scholars resisting CIA backed area studies while the only socialist scholars who survived the 30s were trots (CIA backed communism). But it's still strange that Bloodlands is considered a fine work of scholarship while Mao: the unknown story is considered an embarrassment.

Edited by babyhueypnewton ()

#108
Wait you mean bloodlands not blood lies right?
#109
yeah whoops
#110
Don't forget good ol Joan Peters - the opposite case I guess but from time immemorial is just as batshit bad history as Mao the unknown story or a holocaust denial book but it's still canon for Liberals
#111

MarianneSadd posted:

Constantignoble posted:

speaking of stalin-related scholarship, the new issue of crisis & critique is entirely dedicated to koba, featuring articles by lih, losurdo, boer, et al (and here's the all-in-one)

Yeah.... that's Slavoj Zizek's journal....... so..... let's not.


The losurdo article is good tho (excerpt earlier in the thread)

gyrofry posted:

I have met Furr several times, and am also on a few listservs with him. I think I can contribute a few contextualizing tidbits that may help the conversation (if this can even be called a conversation at this point)


This is an excellent post and the author should post here more often

I will add that the more I read Furr, and his responses to his critics, the more I love his work. The biggest flaw he has imo has nothing to do with the quality of his research or his arguments, it's all about style. This is obviously an emotionally charged topic for him, and fair enough too, but he lets that come through a little too much in his writing, and it just makes it that much easier for the casual observer to dismiss, having already had it beaten into them by the academic freikorps that Furr is not a 'real historian' etc. When you're trying to wage an uphill battle from the start - countering decades of anticommunist propaganda and compromise of academia - it pays to keep a cool head.

Anyway, I commend Comrade Furr on all his great work, I look forward to reading his book on Trotsky when I eventually get hold of a copy, and I hope all his work reaches many more sympathetic eyes and ears because it is inspiring

#112
http://orientalreview.org/2012/12/17/episodes-10-who-organised-famine-in-the-ussr-in-1932-1933/
#113
hi corw
#114
im glad crow is alive
#115
Today, April 13, is "Katyn Memorial Day." This is the day that Polish nationalists, and anticommunists everywhere, commemorate the murder by the Soviets -- "Stalin" -- of 22,000 Polish prisoners of war in April - May 1940.

This is an anticommunist lie. The Soviets committed no "Katyn Massacre." IT DID NOT HAPPEN!

This lie was invented by the Nazis in 1943, and taken up by all the capitalist powers during the Cold War.

In 1990-1992 two fanatic anticommunists, Gorbachev and Yeltsin "admitted" Soviet guilt.

I believed it myself for a few years. Then for a longer time I was agnostic, believing that "We just can't know -- there's too much conflicting evidence."

But now we know that this story simply cannot possibly be true.

I published the reasons why in the journal Socialism and Democracy in August 2013.

"The 'Official' Version of the Katyn Massacre Disproven? Discoveries at a German Mass Murder Site in Ukraine."

You can download the original version of this article here:

https://msuweb.montclair.edu/~furrg/research/furr_katyn_2013.pdf

A preprint version, with more illustrations, is here:

http://msuweb.montclair.edu/~furrg/research/furr_katyn_preprint_0813.pdf

It was not I who made the discoveries that utterly disprove the "Katyn" story. Polish and Ukrainian archeologists did that.

The Polish and Ukrainian archeologists, funded by their respective anticommunist governments, found things they never expected to find, never wanted to find, and certainly hoped no one would ever find.

And now? Now they are keeping quiet about it.

Yes, the Poles, the Ukrainians, and the Russians too, are keeping this secret. This, the biggest World War 2-related discovery of the past several years, is simply hushed up, a real "conspiracy of silence."

In September, 2015 I published a short book, in French, that gives details about how this coverup is being engineered. You can see the book here:

Le Massacre de Katyn. Une réfutation de la version " officielle "? ("The Katyn Massacre. A refutation of the "official" version?)

Later this year I plan to publish a somewhat expanded English version of this book.

"Katyn Memorial Day", April 13, is a good day to tell the world:

"Stalin Is Innocent! The Soviets Are Not Guilty of Killing The 22,000 Polish POWs!"

This isn't going to stop the anticommunists. Of course not! Since when have anticommunists cared about the truth?

Capitalist Poland has spent at least $500 million on hundreds of memorials all over Poland, and three of them in Russia.

They aren't going to allow a little thing like historical truth spoil their wonderful anticommunist orgy!

So we should do our best to spoil it for them. Today is a good day to tell the world:

"The so-called 'Katyn Massacre' Is An Anticommunist Fraud!"

Spread the word!

Sincerely,

Grover Furr
#116

c_man posted:

im glad crow is alive


Crows shall die but crow shall not.

#117

CharlesFomsky posted:

Happy to answer any questions about Grover for y'all



what username would he like?

#118
he said he wants "tears"
#119
[account deactivated]
#120
.

Edited by CharlesFomsky ()