08 December 2005


Folks on the right sometimes tar lefties like me as Stalin apologists. I have no idea where this comes from. For the record, in my book, Stalin was evil, okay? Big league evil.

I tend to think that there was a certain artistic genius to Nazi evil that makes it worse than Stalin's reign in an important way. But I won't argue with folks who call Stalin worse than Hitler, since Stalin killed more people, which is an imprortant metric that transcends questions of style. On the other hand, I'm not letting Pol Pot off the hook; the Khmer Rouge may have killed piddling numbers of people by Hitler and Stalin standards, but there are ways in which they make even the Nazis look like the Boy Scouts of America.

If you are going to go by the numbers, though, I learned recently that Mao is the champion of twentieth century evil. So Uncle Joe has at least that much going for him.


Joe said...

One of the funniest comics you've never heard of, Jackie Kashian did a show at Cobbs a few months back. I bought her cd afterwards and she signed it for me.

"To Joe, Thanks for not being Pol Pot, Jackie."

That's probably the most brilliant autograph I've ever seen.

Joe said...

I'm always amazed by how little we know in this country about the other genocidal campaigns of the 20th century.

I didn't even know about Mao's staggering death toll till you blogged it this morning.

We never learned much about the Stalinist purges in school. I first got some insight as an adult when my grandma explained that we lost some of our cousins under that regime.

Indri said...

You have to be very careful saying the name Stalin in Ukraine, let me tell you. Only recently did the news come out that he forced food shortages there that led to millions of deaths--and cannibalism.