Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Paul Robeson Jr, Trotskyites and Anti-Stalinism

The following text is a speech delivered by Professor Grover Furr
Professor of Medieval English literature at Montclair State University in New Jersey, during an online session (Watch the speech on YouTube organized by the Institute for the Critical Study of Society, at the Niebyl-Proctor Marxist Library in Oakland, California, on Sunday 31 March. 
(Warning: Not for faint-hearted Trotskyites

"In 1981, five years after his father’s death, Paul Robeson Jr made a startling claim. He wrote that when his father, Paul Sr, met with his old friend, Soviet Jewish poet Itzik Feffer, in June 1949, Fefer had told him something terrible – that famed Soviet theater director Solomon Mikhoels had been murdered the previous year "on Stalin’s personal order;" that he, Fefer, and other Jewish cultural figures were under arrest, and that they would all be executed.

I had not heard this story before Bonnie Weiss told it to me in July 2023. I decided to research it. In September 2023, I published an article on it.. On the basis of the evidence I found, I concluded that Paul Robeson Sr could not possibly have told his son this story or anything like it and that therefore Paul Jr. had invented this story.

Here is a shot passage from my article:

Fefer could not have informed Paul Sr that Mikhoels had been murdered "by Stalin’s order" because this false version of Mikhoels’ death was not even hinted at until the late 1960s, and not provided with spurious evidence until the 1990s. The fact that the first part of Paul Jr’s story -- the allegation that Fefer told Paul Sr that Mikhoels and Golubov had been murdered "at Stalin’s order" – cannot be true, strongly suggests that the second part is false as well.

Paul Jr allegedly heard the "Fefer" story shortly after his father’s return from the USSR in 1949 but did not tell it until 1981, thirty-two years later. In 1981 the false story that Mikhoels had been murdered at Stalin’s order was widely known.

But the fact that Fefer himself was responsible for the arrests of and charges against his colleagues in the JAFC was not known until it was published in 1994. Paul Jr’s 1981 story, therefore, is consistent with his fabricating, deliberately or unconsciously, a story containing elements as they were known in 1981 but not in 1949.

How did I go about researching this question? The answer is: I searched for EVIDENCE.

* I located the different versions of Paul Jr’s story that are in his own words, not summaries by biographers or interviewers. I discovered that Paul Jr kept changing his story over time.

* I discovered that the rumor that Stalin ordered the murder of Solomon Mikhoels, did not begin to circulate until the late 1960s. In 1949 Fefer could not have told Paul Sr that Stalin had had Mikhoels murdered.

* I discovered that the two sources of this rumor, Joseph Stalin’s daughter Svetlana Allilueva and Nikita Khrushchev, changed their stories. Allilueva falsified her second memoir. Khrushchev’s memoirs have been changed by others after his death. We cannot know what, if anything, Khrushchev really wrote about Mikhoels’ demise.

* I discovered that Itzik Fefer himself provided the evidence to the Soviet police that his own friends and associates in the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee had committed treason. It was Fefer’s testimony that caused the arrest of his associates and himself.

* I uncovered the fact that anti-Stalin researcher Vladimir Naumov, the one person who has been permitted to read the investigation materials on Fefer, stated that Fefer had not been physically mistreated by the Soviet police.

* Paul Sr continued to honor and praise Stalin. He could never have done this if he had heard from his friend Fefer that Stalin had murdered Mikhoels, falsely framed Fefer and his associates, and planned their executions.

Paul Jr also claimed that "Stalin personally, over a period of many years, was responsible for many anti-Semitic policies and acts." But Paul Jr does not mention even a single such act. No wonder! There were none.

For decades anticommunist researchers have been trying to find antisemitic acts by Stalin. Why? Because they want to equate communism with Nazism, the Soviet Union with Nazi Germany, and Stalin with Adolf Hitler. Hitler was an antisemite, so anticommunists fabricate stories that Stalin was also antisemitic. In our recent book Stalin Exonerated Vladimir Bobrov and I show that all such allegations are false.

So, what accounts for Paul Jr’s false story? The answer is: Anti-Stalinism. That is what I am going to discuss with you today.


In the spring of 1967, a friend and I were in Manhattan watching a gigantic march against the American invasion of Vietnam. We saw a contingent carrying the flag of the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam, whom the anticommunists called "Viet Cong." My friend remarked to me: "Maybe we should march with that group."

At this point a gentleman standing behind us said to us: "You should not oppose the American war in South Vietnam." "Why?" we asked him. He replied: "Because the National Liberation Front is led by the Communist Party of Vietnam. The Communist Party of Vietnam is led by Ho Chi Minh. Ho Chi Minh was trained in the Soviet Union by Joseph Stalin. And Stalin killed 20 million people"

I didn’t believe this. But I did not disbelieve it either. I decided that at some point I would investigate the question of "Stalin."

In the early ‘70s I read Robert Conquest’s book The Great Terror. Stalin’s Purge of the Thirties, published in 1968. I was shocked by the many crimes and atrocities that Conquest claimed Stalin had committed. When I was established in my teaching job and was well along with my doctoral dissertation I pursued this question of Stalin.

During more than a year I took the bus every week to Manhattan to visit the New York Public Library. There I checked the footnotes – more than a thousand of them – in Conquest’s book. I made a file card for every footnote. A few years ago, I found that old card file from the mid-1970s in my daughter’s house in Newark, NJ.

What I discovered was this: Conquest had no evidence for the charges of crimes and atrocities he leveled at Stalin. He just quoted other books and articles that made these charges. So, I checked those sources. They too had no evidence, only assertions.

If "expert A" says a statement is true, and "expert B" agrees with him, that is not evidence that the statement is true. This is the logical fallacy of "argument from authority." Conquest’s whole book is like that. Conquest was a master of anticommunist propaganda. It earned him the Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush.

I realized that I would have to do some serious research to discover the truth about Stalin. I decided to start with the "Tukhachevsky Affair," the alleged military conspiracy involving Marshal Mikhail N. Tukhachevsky and seven other very high-ranking military commanders, who were arrested, tried, and executed in 1937.

It took me several years to research and draft an article. The academic readers for the journal Russian History finally accepted it. But then the publisher of the journal, a certain Charles Schlacks, refused to publish my article on the grounds that "it made Stalin look good."

Well, my article does no such thing! I merely concluded, on the basis of the evidence available then, that Stalin might, or might not, be guilty of "framing" Tukhachevsky and the rest. But Mr. Schlacks considered that unacceptable. This was my first encounter with what I now recognize as "The Anti-Stalin Paradigm."

My academic readers protested to the publisher, and he finally yielded. But when I read the editor’s introduction to the issue in which my article was published, I saw that he had written a paragraph introducing each article in the issue – except for my article, which he did not mention at all. The "Anti-Stalin Paradigm" had struck a second time!

The "Anti-Stalin Paradigm" is the unwritten rule that no book or article in the field of Soviet history can find Stalin "not guilty" of any crime or atrocity of which he has been accused. Moreover, every book or article in this field must say something negative about Stalin, must accuse him of some crime or moral failing, or it will not be accepted for publication.

This explains why Trotskyite research is readily accepted in the field of Soviet history. In order to be considered a "Trotskyite in good standing" by other Trotskyites, you have to condemn Stalin, either echoing what Trotsky himself said – this is a cult, after all – or inventing some new "crime" to accuse Stalin of. This Trotskyite practice conforms perfectly to the "Anti-Stalin Paradigm."

I will illustrate the falsity and the political motivation that originated and sustains anti-Stalinism by citing some documents sent to me by a Trotskyite acquaintance. The first is a quotation from some other Trotskyite whom my acquaintance refuses to identify.

Note that what Furr says in the email you forwarded is somewhat true, and he says this many times in his book, namely "my opponents do not cite evidence, but I do!" This is because the evidence that the Moscow Trials were fabricated and exacted through torture and intimidation was mostly published many years ago (Medvedev and Rogovin's books are among the last to do so). Since then, historians simply state these established facts without citing evidence.

This is a lie. These are not "established facts." This Trotskyite "scholar" cites no evidence that the Moscow Trials were fabricated, that the defendants were tortured and intimidated. He just claims that this "evidence" was published long ago, and that Roi Medvedev and Vadim Rogovin published it too. That is completely false. I have studied Rogovin’s and Medvedev’s books. They have no such evidence.

The Trotskyite continues:

[Teplyakov] accuses the neo-Stalinists of simply "believing" KGB files and Moscow Trial testimonies without producing any evidence to the contrary - because he doesn't think he needs to, like most historians. They consider this to be settled.

This statement is true – but not in the way this Trotskyite thinks. Mainstream anticommunists and Trotskyites do not want to admit to others, or even to themselves, that they have no evidence whatever that the Moscow Trials were fabrications, that the defendants were tortured or threatened.

But they want others to believe that they do have such evidence. So, they just "consider the matter to be settled" – meaning, "We can state it without any evidence because only "Stalinists" would ever demand evidence. As in the following quotation:

Neo Stalinists are taking advantage of the fact that this is considered a closed debate in history, and nobody but the neo-Stalinists is willing to take a "second look" at it.

[The Stalinists] ignore the evidence that was produced years ago and is rarely repeated these days, and they find "new evidence from the archives" that exonerates Stalin and his people.

This is deliberately dishonest and, what’s more, incompetent..

First, the charge by Trotskyites and other anticommunists that I am a "Stalinist" is false. Unlike the Trotskyites, who are defending Leon Trotsky, unlike the mainstream anticommunists, who are defending capitalism, I am not "defending Stalin."

I am searching for the truth. I have been looking long and hard for decades for any real, provable, "crime of Stalin." So far, I have not found even a single one. It is conceivable that someday I will find a genuine "crime of Stalin." If and when I do, I will write about it. No Trotskyite or pro-capitalist anticommunist can honestly make a similar claim.

Second: In history, no question is ever "settled." No "debate" is ever "closed." Historians must be ready to reconsider any conclusion if (a) new evidence comes to light, or (b) a more compelling interpretation of the current evidence is brought forth.

That is what honest historians do. If the Trotskyite historian who wrote the words I quote above does not know this, he has no business writing or teaching history at all. If he does know it, he is deliberately lying to his readers, most of whom – he no doubt hopes – will NOT know it.

Trotskyites, like all other anticommunists, are promoters of anticommunist bias. They write what I call "propaganda with footnotes." They are not honest historians.

One more quotation from this hapless Trotskyite:

… liberal bourgeois historians and Trotskyist ones (like Marie, Rogovin, and Broué) all agree that the Moscow Trials were show trials based on false testimonies …

The overtly pro-capitalist and Trotskyite historians "agree" with one another. True enough! But why don’t the "liberal bourgeois" and Trotskyite historians identify the evidence that they claim is so convincing that it "settles the question," "closes the book" on the Moscow Trials?

The answer is simple: This Trotskyite is lying. No such evidence exists. If he knows this, he is lying. If he does not know this, he has no business saying anything about Soviet history, much less teaching it.

Some years ago, I published a book titled The Moscow Trials As Evidence. In it I use primary-source evidence to check the testimony of the Moscow Trials defendants.

This method is essential for examining and drawing correct conclusions from historical evidence. But this method is no good for anticommunists, anti-Stalinists, and Trotskyites. Because if you follow this method you will inevitably discover that the Moscow Trials defendants did not give false testimony. On the contrary: on the evidence we now have, they were clearly guilty of at least those crimes to which they confessed. In fact, we can now prove with primary-source evidence that some defendants were guilty of even more crimes, crimes they were not charged with and to which they never confessed.

The evidence shows that famous anticommunist historians, and Trotskyite historians, have been lying – about Stalin, about Trotsky and his crimes, about Soviet history. I have written two lengthy books in which I demonstrate, using primary-source evidence, that Timothy Snyder of Yale and Stephen Kotkin of Princeton, both world-famous historians, deliberately lied and falsified, dozens of times each, in their prize-winning books on Stalin and the Stalin period of Soviet history.

In 2023 my Moscow colleague Vladimir Bobrov and I published a book titled Stalin Exonerated. Fact-Checking the Death of Solomon Mikhoels. In that book we prove that world-renowned scholars of Soviet history forged false documents to try to "prove" that Stalin ordered the murder of Mikhoels in January 1948.

They did not even bother to cover the traces of their forgery. Very different drafts of the "smoking gun" document were published over several years. Anyone interested could have done what Vladimir and I did -- compare the different versions of this supposedly "archival document" and discover that it was being changed, parts left out, other parts added, until it was finally "inserted" into an archive to "prove" it is genuine.

I am serious – the fakery is as blatant as that. Yet to this day all so-called "scholars" of the Stalin period accept this blatantly faked document as "proof" that Stalin ordered Mikhoels to be murdered!


My Trotskyite acquaintance also sent me an article by Aleksei Georgievich Teplyakov, a Russian researcher on the Stalin period and a fervent anticommunist and lover of capitalism who hates Stalin. Teplyakov writes:

[Historians must] refuse to trust the communists and agree with the priority of universal human values, the transition to a market economy and democracy. (17)

"Universal human values"? "market economy?" "democracy?" Teplyakov certainly does not hide his bias! Why would a Trotskyite recommend this article? Here is why.

Trotskyism is parasitical upon "mainstream" anticommunist scholarship. Both Trotskyism and mainstream anticommunist, pro-capitalist scholarship are viciously hostile to Stalin. Trotsky himself stopped at nothing in his hatred of Stalin. He conspired with his clandestine followers to murder Stalin and other Soviet leaders, sabotage Soviet industry, organize, in unity with the Nazi High Command, an uprising against the Soviet leadership, undermine and destroy the Comintern, and spy for the Nazis and the Japanese fascists.

I have published four books about Trotsky’s lies and conspiracies. In them I cite a great deal of primary-source evidence.

Teplyakov is worried because the position prized by both Trotskyites and pro-capitalist anticommunists is being disproven by some scholars today. Teplyakov cites some studies that disprove the capitalist – Trotskyite falsehood of "Stalinist terror." He urges that these works be opposed:

… the professional historical community should oppose to falsifiers, both historians and publicists, objective statistics and competent interpretation of the causes and consequences of Stalin’s terror.

Stalinist Terror?

A word about the concept of "Stalinist terror." It’s a lie. There was no "Stalinist terror." American scholar Robert Thurston argued this as early as 1986 in an article in the mainstream journal Slavic Review. Teplyakov is scandalized that the late Viktor Zemskov, a renowned Russian researcher,

stated that 97.5% of the population under Stalin were not subjected to repression in any form. (11)

Teplyakov is shocked that Zemskov did not follow "the capitalist and Trotskyite party line." He also complains that

Some historians … have veered off into a defense of the open trials of the Stalinist era, reviving the darkest historiographic specters. (13)

Among such historians he lists my colleagues Vladimir Bobrov and Sven-Eric Holmström, and myself. He complains that we, and others,

promote the very explanatory models rejected by academic scholarship, namely a variety of exotic concepts based on reliance on Soviet sources, especially the materials of the "Moscow trials" of the 1930s. (14)

Note that here Teplyakov admits that "reliance on Soviet sources" is rejected by anticommunist scholars.

Teplyakov complains that Russian historian V.E. Bagdasaryan has exposed the mainstream – Trotskyite conspiracy of lying about Stalin. Bagdasaryan writes:

Despite the declaration of historiographical pluralism, the theme of the "Great Terror" remains within the framework of an ideological taboo. A number of explanatory models of 1937 are simply not allowed into the field of academic science. (14)

Teplyakov also complains about me:

The American literary critic G. Furr, who speaks from an extremely orthodox Stalinist position, assures us that Marshal Tukhachevsky and his accomplices in the 1937 trial of the "military-fascist conspiracy in the Red Army" had criminal ties with both L.D. Trotsky, and German and Japanese intelligence services. (14-15)

In 2021 Vladimir Bobrov, Sven-Eric Holmström, and I published the book Trotsky and the Military Conspiracy. In it we reproduce and study the evidence, including non-Soviet evidence, which proves Tukhachevsky and the other military conspirators did collaborate with Leon Trotsky and the German General Staff to foment an anti-Soviet uprising in Leningrad with the help of the German air force and to sabotage the Red Army in the event of an attack by Germany and/or Japan on the Soviet Union.

This evidence is, of course, anathema to anti-Stalinists, anticommunists, and Trotskyites. That’s why persons like Teplyakov complain about people who "rely on Soviet sources."

Teplyakov cites some Russian historians who have also concluded that Tukhachevsky et al. were guilty. Like M.N. Zdanovich, who writes:

… the state security agencies stopped this attempt in time, which could have resulted in something bloody …(5)

In 2017 General Aleksandr V. Bortnikov, head of Russia’s FSB, the successor to the NKVD and KGB, stated in an official interview:

… archival materials indicate the presence of an objective side in a significant part of criminal cases, including those that formed the basis of the well-known public trials. [i.e., the Moscow Trials – GF] The plans of L. Trotsky’s supporters to remove or even liquidate Stalin and his associates in the leadership of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) are by no means fiction, as are the connections of the conspirators with foreign intelligence services. (Bortnikov, 2017, p. 7)

Teplyakov notes that Russian historian Aleksandr N. Dugin who has published in Voprosy Istorii, the most prestigious historical journal in Russia,

calls R. Medvedev, R. Conquest, and D. Volkogonov pseudo-historians.

Dugin is correct. Notice that this is the same Medvedev that the Trotskyite historian whom I quoted a few minutes ago recommended as one of those who supposedly "proved" that the Moscow Trials were frameups.

The Trotskyite web site WSWS.ORG has called me a "pseudo-historian." No wonder! I base my research on evidence, not on swearing allegiance to a cult. So therefore, in the view of Trotskyites, there must be something wrong with me!

Dugin also rejects the "mainstream" position that the Soviets shot the 11,000 or more Polish prisoners in what is known as the "Katyn Massacre." In 2018 I published a book-length study of "Katyn". In it I show that the evidence is consistent only with German, not Soviet, guilt.

For daring to write this, I was expelled from the H-Poland mailing list, run by Michigan State University. The list managers refused to reinstate me. Krystyna Piórkowska, a Polish nationalist historian, and Dr. Jaroslaw Szarek, President of the [Polish] Institute of National Remembrance, a right-wing nationalist -- and racist -- organization, supported by the Polish government, wrote to the President and Trustees of my university to complain about my research.

My book has now been published in French, Russian, and Polish.

Dugin has written:

Many modern historians accuse Stalin of all mortal sins and attribute to him the inhuman idea of accelerated industrialization by means of merciless exploitation of the peasants, the seizure of even seed grain from them, which led to "multi-million" victims of famine in the early 30s. This version is nothing more than an invention of incompetent publicists or historians.

In 2011 I published Khrushchev Lied, in which I demonstrated that in Nikita S. Khrushchev’s world-changing "Secret Speech" to the XX Party Congress of the CPSU on February 25, 1956. not a single one of the accusations of crimes or misdeeds by Stalin (or by Lavrentii Beria) is true. Sixty of the 61 such accusations by Khrushchev are provably false, while the sixty-first cannot be proven either false or true.

Since that book, I have researched other accusations against Stalin by Khrushchev’s men, and then by Gorbachev’s men. So far, not a single one of these accusations can be supported by evidence. Most of those I have studied are provably both false and dishonest – intended to deceive.


Aleksandr N. Yakovlev was Mikhail Gorbachev’s right-hand man on questions of ideology. Gorbachev met him years before he became the leader of the Soviet Union, and promoted him to his Politburo. Ten years after the end of the Soviet Union, Yakovlev admitted that he, along with others whom he did not identify, had a decades-long conspiracy to put an end to socialism in the Soviet Union. Here is what Yakovlev said about his conspiracy:

After the 20th Congress, in an ultra-narrow circle of our closest friends and like-minded people, we often discussed the problems of democratization of the country and society. We chose a method as simple as a sledgehammer to propagate the "ideas" of the late Lenin. It was necessary to clearly, succinctly, and distinctly, isolate the phenomenon of Bolshevism, separating it from the Marxism of the last century. That is why we tirelessly talked about the "genius" of late Lenin, about the need to return to Lenin's "plan for building socialism" through cooperation, through state capitalism, and so on.

A group of real, not imaginary, reformers developed (orally, of course) the following plan: to strike at Stalin, at Stalinism, with Lenin's authority. And then, in case of success, to beat Lenin with Plekhanov and Social Democracy, and with liberalism and "moral socialism" to beat revolutionaryism in general.

A new round of exposure of the "cult of personality of Stalin" began. But not with an emotional cry, as Khrushchev did, but with a clear implication: the criminal is not only Stalin, but the system itself is criminal.

… The Soviet totalitarian regime could only be destroyed through glasnost and the totalitarian discipline of the party, while hiding behind the interests of improving socialism.

Yakovlev then gave his definition of Bolshevism. Here are a few sentences:

From a historical point of view, Bolshevism is a system of social insanity, when the peasants, the nobility, the merchants, the entire layer of entrepreneurs, the clergy, intellectuals and intelligentsia were physically destroyed … it is the exploitation of man and ecological vandalism based on all types of oppression; these are anti-human precepts, hammered in with the ruthlessness of ideological fanaticism that hides pettiness; it is a landmine of monstrous power that almost blew up the whole world.

… Internationally, it is a phenomenon of the same order with German Nazism, Italian fascism, Spanish Francoism, Pol-Potism.

This rabid anticommunist Yakovlev became one of the most influential figures in Gorbachev’s regime. Yakovlev approved the avalanche of anti-Stalin books and articles that appeared during Gorbachev’s years in office. It’s possible that Gorbachev himself was part of the conspiracy against socialism that Yakovlev boasts about, though I can’t prove it.

I have researched a number of books and articles published during the Gorbachev-Yakovlev years. They are full of deliberate lies – statements that can be proven false with the documents from former Soviet archives that have been released in large numbers since the 1990s.

The publisher’s introduction to Aleksandr N. Dugin’s forthcoming book "Yezhov vs Stalin" – it has the same title, by coincidence, as my 2019 book – states:

We can now state with absolute confidence a completely obvious fact: the historiography of the Soviet period of our history has been deliberately and purposefully distorted and falsified for a long time.

Teplyakov quotes with distaste other historians who have begun to expose the lies about Stalin and to describe, using primary-source evidence, what really did happen in the Soviet Union during the period of Stalin’s leadership.

However, rejection of the phony concepts of "Stalinism," and "Stalinist terror," and demonstration that the "crimes" alleged against Stalin are disproven by the primary-source evidence, is occurring only in Russia. where there is a little space in academic history for honest historians to disprove the lies about Stalin, although anti-Stalinism remains the dominant force.

But in the West it is still "taboo" to say anything positive about Stalin. Even disproving, with evidence, false accusations of some "crime" of which Stalin has been accused, is rarely tolerated. This is "the Anti-Stalin Paradigm."

Ways of NOT Knowing

Anti-Stalinism, whether of the mainstream anticommunist and pro-capitalist variety, or its parasitical servant, Trotskyism, is not a way of learning the history of the Soviet Union of the Stalin period. Rather, it is a way of "not knowing" – of hiding one’s eyes from the truth as demonstrated by primary-source evidence.

It is like the proverbial ostrich, burying its head in the sand so as not to see something unpleasant. I have been informed by people who should know that, in reality, ostriches are too intelligent to do this. However, Trotskyites and anticommunists are not too intelligent to do it. And they want us to do it too!

Trotskyites do not want to know the truth because the truth dismantles the Trotsky cult. And let us make no mistake about it: Trotskyism is a cult in the true sense of the word. If you base your research on evidence you will be cast out of the charmed circle of the Trotskyites.

In the West, the Trotskyites have a network that helps their fellow cultists find academic jobs and get published. A historian who is determined to base his or her conclusions about Stalin and so-called "Stalinism" on primary-source evidence will almost certainly not be hired anywhere. The "gatekeepers" are all mainstream anticommunists or in some cases, Trotskyites.

Two different mainstream historians of the Soviet Union have each told me, on different occasions: "Grover, your research is good. But you have to say something negative about Stalin! If you do not, your research, no matter how good it is, will not be taken seriously." This is the "Anti-Stalin Paradigm" at work.

But I am not writing for the mainstream historical profession (or, of course, for the Trotskyite cult). I could never get a job teaching Russian or Soviet history. The articles and books that I write would not be acceptable to mainstream history journals or academic publishers.

I teach English literature. My job does not depend on kowtowing to the strictures of the corrupt field of study that is Soviet history.

I am writing for persons like you – people who recognize that an accurate history of the Soviet Union during the period of Joseph Stalin’s leadership is vitally important for any understanding of world history of the 20th century.

I am writing for persons who understand that primary-source evidence – not the opinions of "experts," no matter how famous they are -- is the only way to discover the truth. This is so in all scientific fields, physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, astronomy, and so on.

It is true in history too. But the history of the Soviet Union is not firmly founded on evidence-based research. In the study of the high politics during the period of Stalin’s leadership, anticommunist politics come first. Evidence-based research has to fit itself into the Procrustean bed of the Anti-Stalin Paradigm or it will not be published.

Trotskyite historians are tolerated, even encouraged, as a minor voice in mainstream Soviet historiography. Trotskyites can get jobs teaching Soviet history. They provide a false "left cover" for lies about Stalin and the Stalin period. But so-called "Stalinists" are not tolerated.

Down the Rabbit Hole

On the first page of Lewis Carroll’s masterpiece Alice In Wonderland we read that Alice was daydreaming :

when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her.

… Alice started to her feet … burning with curiosity, she …was just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole …

In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again.

Alice falls a long way down. At the bottom she starts to speak but soon stops and says:

"Oh dear, what nonsense I’m talking!"

This is what it means to "go down the rabbit hole." This expression is often used about supporters of Donald Trump because they believe the most incredible falsehoods. In their case, the "rabbit hole" is the network of far right-wing sites and apps on the Internet. Trump supporters get all their information from these sources. So, they are completely out of touch with reality.

The same thing is true about Trotskyism and most mainstream Soviet scholarship. They ignore, even attack, primary-source evidence if it does not conform to their own preconceived anti-Stalin, anticommunist, and/or pro-Trotsky falsehoods.

The difference is that, unlike Alice herself, they do not realize that they are "talking nonsense." And they certainly do not want the rest of us to realize it.

Their job is to mystify and mislead everyone who sees that capitalism is a terrible, inhuman system that requires racism, sexism, mass murder, war, and the exploitation and the human misery it inevitably causes – and who are attracted to the idea of communism.

Many such people begin to look at the history of the Soviet Union during the period of Stalin’s leadership. They see a desperately poor country, largely destroyed by the World War, the anticommunist Civil War, a devastating typhus epidemic, and four deadly famines during the 1920s alone.

They see that, under the leadership of Stalin and the Bolshevik party, the country industrialized, without foreign capital, using only the labor and ingenuity of the Soviet working class and peasantry; collectivized agriculture, putting an end to the centuries-long cycle of murderous famines; trained and armed its military to the point that the Soviet people defeated the invading fascist forces, the largest and best army that had ever existed.

Even a liberal anticommunist like the economist Paul Krugman recognizes these achievements. In 2022 Krugman wrote:

Indeed, in the 1950s, and even into the 1960s, many people around the world saw Soviet economic development as a success story; a backward nation had transformed itself into a major world power.

They see that the Soviet people did all this while uncovering and defeating deadly conspiracies led by Trotsky and other oppositionists, aimed at overthrowing the Soviet government and turning large parts of the country over to Nazi Germany and fascist Japan.

I have summarized only a small part of this magnificent history. The late historian Moshe Lewin, an anti-Stalinist but one who had grown up in the Soviet Union, called the 20th century "The Soviet Century."

What might discourage thoughtful persons from studying this history in order to learn what the Soviet working class did that was correct, that led towards a socialist society, and what they did that turned out to be incorrect, mistakes that, when compounded, ultimately led to the reversal of all the gains and a return to predatory capitalism?

This is the job of anti-Stalin pseudo-scholarship: to falsify Soviet history, and particularly that of Stalin and the period of his leadership, so as to discourage as many people as possible from learning the lessons of Soviet socialism.

This is also the job of the Trotskyite cultists, who repeat, without evidence, the anti-Stalin lies of the overtly anticommunist apologists for capitalism, trying to lead as many people as possible down the dead end of the Trotskyite rabbit hole.

Conclusion: "It Is Good To Be Attacked By The Enemy"

The class struggle is also waged in the field of history. It is a struggle for the truth as established by the best primary-source evidence. The anti-Stalinists, both "mainstream" and Trotskyite, oppose this struggle for truth with all their might.

Berthold Brecht wrote: "He who struggles can lose. He who does not struggle has already lost."

The famous French Marxist historian Lucien Febvre titled one of his books "Combats pour l'histoire" – "Struggles for History." We must struggle for the truth of the history of the Soviet Union during its heroic period – the "Stalin period."

The Trotskyites and the overtly anticommunist "mainstream" historians will continue to attack those of us who struggle for the truth. Mao Zedong, one of the greatest communists of the last century, wrote in 1939:

I hold that it is bad as far as we are concerned if a person, a political party, an army, or a school is not attacked by the enemy, for in that case it would definitely mean that we have sunk to the level of the enemy. It is good if we are attacked by the enemy, since it proves that we have drawn a clear line of demarcation between the enemy and ourselves. It is still better if the enemy attacks us wildly and paints us as utterly black and without a single virtue; it demonstrates that we have not only drawn a clear line of demarcation between the enemy and ourselves but achieved a great deal in our work.

This applies to historical research too. When those of us who are seeking the truth about Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union during the period of his leadership, are attacked by anticommunists and Trotskyites, when we have drawn some blood from these historical fakers and liars, we can be assured that we have achieved something in our work.

Thank you for your attention. I will be happy to answer your questions."