Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Is there anybody more annoying than a Zionist?

For some time I have debated with myself as to whether Internet Stalinists or Internet Zionists were more annoying. I have concluded that the Zionists are more annoying. There seem to be a lot more of them in the English language section of the Internet and they seem to have a disproportionate influence on US media, politics, and academia. Whereas the Stalinists are limited in the political realm largely to the former USSR and only have a significant influence in the US in academia.


Leo Tolstoy said...

Militant atheists, fundamentalist Christians, and Libertarians top my list of annoying internet folks.

Allen Palmer said...

There aren't as many annoying people on the internet as there are annoyed people.

J. Otto Pohl said...


I do not see too many people in the categories you list on the blogs I read.


Very true, but most annoyed people remain invisible.

sotospeak said...

I couldn`t say I agree with your statements. I am not a big fan of "the" Zionists (is there such thing?) either, but am also not particularly annoyed. I don't see why they should be singled out. There are many things in the world that aren't perfect, and it is not fair to only look at imperfections of one side. Concerning the American academia, I don't think Stalinists have that much influence. Maybe it is true that part of American academia is biased, but there are many who are not. I want to remind you of Norman Naimark's "Stalin's genocides" or Timothy Snyder's "Bloodlands". I know there are some problems, bias and ignorance. But cheer up. It's not all that bad. Have a good new year!

LFC said...

You seem to use the word "Stalinist" to mean "people who think that Stalin, although very bad, was perhaps not quite so bad as Hitler."

This is not the generally accepted meaning of the term "Stalinist." The generally accepted meaning of "Stalinist" is (to put it colloquially) "a fan of, or apologist for, Stalin." In this generally accepted meaning of the term, there are virtually no Stalinists who have any influence in US academia.

J. Otto Pohl said...

Grover Furr, Slavoj Zizek, and a lot of other western Academics are Stalinists in the sense they think Stalin was overall good not just better than Hitler. Furr is a Stalinist as far as being a fan of Stalin. Zizek is an apologist for Stalin.

Other academics like Hirsch and Weiner deny that there was ever any institutional racism in the USSR even in the administrative exile of Russian-Koreans and special settlement of Russian-Germans, Crimean Tatars, and others. I suppose you could be anti-South African and still deny apartheid was racist, but it is an odd position.

LFC said...

I know nothing about the literature on Stalin's nationalities policies, but I understand what your position is w/r/t Hirsch and Weiner.

Grover Furr I know nothing about. The influence of Slavoj Zizek in US academia, such as it is, probably does not extend to his views of Stalin. (Though this is more or less a guess on my part.)

I recently heard John Lewis Gaddis, prof of history at Yale (formerly at Ohio Univ. in Athens, Ohio for many years) and one of the leading US historians of the Cold War, give a talk at a university in Washington, D.C., on his recent biography of George Kennan. A somewhat naive student asked him whether he thought Kennan had "caused the Cold War." Gaddis's response -- and this is a verbatim, word-for-word quotation -- was: "No. Stalin caused the Cold War."

Of course, not everyone would put it that bluntly and not everyone would agree. (I'm pretty sure Lloyd Gardner or Bruce Cumings, for ex., would not make that statement. Eric Hobsbawm certainly wouldn't.) Still, I was struck by how unhesitating and unambiguous Gaddis's response was.

J. Otto Pohl said...

Gaddis does not surprise me. I read his short history of the Cold War about a year ago. I have no idea who Gardner is unfortunately. Cummings I know is an historian of Korea who has revisionist ideas about the start of the Korean War. Hobsbawm I am pretty sure is a British historian with a definite Marxist bent. My reading of these last two authors, however, is limited.

Furr has carved out a niche for himself as a defender of Stalin in the US. But, his work gets cited by a lot of Russian Stalinists as support. He puts a fair amount of his shorter work up on the internet. So you can go read it if you want. He also has some interviews up on the net. He teaches in NJ.