The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #153529 Message #3622868
Posted By: Jim Carroll
29-Apr-14 - 03:52 AM
Thread Name: Obit: Pete Seeger (1919-2014)
Subject: RE: Obit: Pete Seeger (1919-2014)
"both Seeger and MacColl supported Stalin without reservation."
Not just them - their generation of social improvers and those of the left were brought up to idolise Stalin - members of my family included.
I know of people who wept when they learned of his death.
The Russian Revolution was seen as a workers revolution and the new Soviet State was regarded as the first Workers State.
Intellectuals like economists like Sidney and Beatrice Webb wrote huge tomes in praise of Stalinist Russia, with books like 'Soviet Communism, A New Civilization'.
The Dean of Canterbury, Hewlett Johnson wrote 'The Socialist Sixth of the World', an extremely popular work praising what was happening in Stalinist Russia.
Reports of what was happening in Russia were either regarded as "breaking eggs to make an omelette" or simply as propaganda.
It wasn't until Khrushchev's speech to Congress in 1956 that the cracks in Stalinist adoration began to appear, and even then it took time to sink in.
There is no doubt that the 1917 revolution brought about massive improvements in feudalist Russia - it's often forgotten that writers such as Tolstoy were writing about "Stalin's Gulags" in the 19th century, only in those days they were Tsarist.
It's always easy to be smug in hindsight.