"Blood Lies" Fighting Anticommunist Lies
Thursday, October 30, 2014 at 1:57AM

Book review of Blood Lies: The Evidence That Every Accusation Against Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union in Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands Is False, by Grover Furr
Since the days of Karl Marx, capitalists everywhere have tried to convince the global working class that communism is our enemy. For those who refuse to swallow that fiction, they tell us it’s impossible — because human nature is inherently selfish.
But the capitalists are holding a mirror and seeing their own hideous reflection.  It is capitalism, the competitive drive for maximum profit, that turns (some) people into selfish exploiters.  It is capitalism that violates everyone’s rights except for an elite few.
The cornerstone of anticommunism has long been the carefully constructed and widely believed myth that Joseph Stalin — leader of the Soviet Union for almost 30 years, until his death in 1953 — was a tyrant, a dictator, an anti-Semite, a mass murderer. In short, a monster. Countless historians and other writers presume that such a generally held proposition must be true.  Any writers who question it jeopardize their reputations, jobs, promotions, publication outlets and sometimes their very safety.  Such is the power of a paradigm that stands between the security of the capitalist class and its overthrow.  
Fighting Anticommunist Lies
Grover Furr, a professor of Medieval English at Montclair State University in New Jersey, has overcome these all-consuming fears to write his third book on Stalin.  Amid the rubble of anticommunist falsehoods, Furr is a prolific truth-teller. In Blood Lies he rips to shreds another book, Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin, by Timothy Snyder, a Yale University historian. Snyder’s book was published not by a university press but by the commercial Random House, which has promoted it for a wider audience. Its author is a shameless liar who hides his extreme anticommunist bias behind a glossy academic reputation. That bias leads to consistent distortion, always against the Soviet leadership.  
Over more than 400 pages, Snyder tries to show that Stalin was only slightly less evil than Hitler, and that both collaborated to murder tens of millions of Eastern Europeans and Soviet citizens.  Snyder’s sources are heavily weighted toward fascist Eastern European and Russian writers who are themselves extreme anticommunists and anti-Semites. In general, like the present rulers of Ukraine, they are the descendants and admirers of Nazi collaborators during World War II.  
Furr began his exploration of Bloodlands by assuming that at least some of it might be true. But he ended up discovering, and proving, that Snyder’s book is pure fiction from beginning to end.  In a thorough investigation of Snyder’s sources, he finds that many of them don’t say what Snyder claims they say, or that Snyder has omitted any passages that contradict his anti-Stalin bias. In other cases, the sources themselves are simply wrong. At certain points, as Furr shows, Snyder is an ignoramus; at other points, he makes it clear that Snyder is deliberately lying. Like similar works by other anticommunist authors, Bloodlands, Furr says, is “propaganda with footnotes.”
The ‘Manmade’ Famine Hoax
For example: Snyder contends that the 1932-3 famine, centered in Ukraine but afflicting other parts of the Soviet Union and responsible for several million deaths, was a deliberate plot by the Soviet leadership to bring the peasants to their knees and collectivize agriculture.  Furr shows, by relying on three agriculture experts, that famines had occurred in this region every two to four years for the previous thousand years! The famine of 1932-3 was exceptional only because collectivization (and the dispossession of thieving landlords and rich peasants) made it the last famine in the Soviet Union or Russia to this day. Full credit for this monumental rescue must go to the Soviet leadership, including Stalin. But this history is omitted from Snyder’s version and from all other anticommunist propaganda, with or without footnotes.
In reality, for centuries collectivization had been a spontaneous practice by poorer peasants to protect against the vagaries of weather and crop failures. Under the Soviets, collectivization was responsible for the production of enough food for both the cities and the countryside.  It underwrote the rapid industrialization that mechanized agriculture, providing yet more food for export. It also produced the tanks, guns and planes that helped destroy the fascist invaders from Germany and Japan, crushing their dream of conquering and enslaving all of Europe and Asia.  
A second example: Snyder argues that hundreds of thousands of innocent Soviet citizens were systematically murdered in the late 1930s by Stalin and the Soviet leadership.  Hundreds of thousands were indeed systematically murdered, but Stalin and the leadership were not the serial killers. The guilty parties, as Furr shows, were the traitorous internal affairs police (NKVD), led by Ezhov and Yagoda.  For months they covered their tracks amid numerous other conspiracies that actually did aim to overthrow the Soviet state and assassinate Stalin and his allies. The pair convicted and executed many innocent people as conspirators.  Their aim was to create such strong opposition to the young socialist state and its leaders that the masses would rise up and welcome the German and Japanese invaders.  Once their plot was discovered, it was abruptly ended. Ezhov and Yagoda were tried, convicted and executed by the Soviet leadership, including Stalin.
Read This Book
Furr’s three books on the true history of Stalin and the Soviet Union, along with numerous articles and essays, are available on his website, http://msuweb.montclair.edu/~furrg/. He has an advantage over most historians in that he reads and writes Russian, Polish, and Ukrainian. He uses recently declassified Russian documents about the Soviet era that are inaccessible to most Western writers.  
A dense and detailed work, Blood Lies is well worth the effort to read. Along with Furr’s other books, Khrushchev Lied and The Murder of Sergei Kirov, it is a must for those fighting for a revolution for communism. Reading these books and persuading others to do the same could go a long way toward convincing people to join Progressive Labor Party and bringing about a communist world.

Article originally appeared on The Revolutionary Communist Progressive Labor Party (http://www.plp.org/).
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