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Robert Conquest, RIP
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The historian of Stalin’s Great Terror and poet, friend of Kingsley Amis and Philip Larkin, was 98.

Isegoria lists these as Conquest’s three laws of politics:

- Everyone is conservative about what he knows best.

- Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.

- The simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies.

The first one is best known to me. I associate the second with John O’Sullivan.

 
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  1. Things are so much better now that Lenin’s guys are out and Dzerzhinsky’s are in.

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  2. I read his The Great Terror when I was in my teens, and it was a quite a revelation.

    RIP
    .

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Terror

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  3. Right, I always understood the second to be “O’Sullivan’s Law.”

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  4. - The simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies.

    That sounds like a pretty good explanation for the behavior of American leadership in recent years.

    Of course the most interesting question is this: How did they get control to begin with?

    Read More
    • Replies: @anon
    We voted them in.
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  5. By the way, that name “Robert Conquest” is pretty cool.

    Richard Florida has a pretty cool name too.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    By the way, that name “Robert Conquest” is pretty cool.
     
    A British thriller character was called Norman Conquest:

    http://www.internationalhero.co.uk/n/normconq.htm

    In regards to Robert Conquest's surname, I never knew that his father was an American:

    George Robert Acworth Conquest was born a few months before the October Revolution on July 15 1917, in a hotel at Great Malvern, Worcestershire, the son of Robert Folger Acott Conquest, an American of Virginian stock, and his English-born wife Rosamund. His grandfather, HA Acworth, was a friend of Elgar’s, for whose opera-cum-oratorio Caractacus he wrote the libretto.
     
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/11782719/Robert-Conquest-historian-obituary.html

    Conquest was born in Great Malvern, Worcestershire, to an American of independent means and an English mother. His father served in an American Ambulance Service unit with the French Army in World War I, being awarded the Croix de Guerre, with Silver Star in 1916.
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Conquest
    , @Harry Baldwin
    Richard Florida has a pretty cool name too.

    Can't agree. It sounds too much like the "Florida man" who features in so many lurid headlines he has his own webpage.
    https://twitter.com/_floridaman
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida_Man
    http://www.npr.org/2013/02/14/172034470/florida-man-on-twitter-collects-real-headlines-about-worlds-worst-superhero
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  6. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    - The simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies.

    This is applies to the immigration bureaucracy now. Those tasked with controlling immigration have their jobs literally threatened by Obama, while at the same time it’s riddled with thousands of midlevel of bureaucrats and administrative judges actively seeking to undermine the laws which created the jobs they hold.

    Read More
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  7. @JohnnyWalker123
    By the way, that name "Robert Conquest" is pretty cool.

    Richard Florida has a pretty cool name too.

    By the way, that name “Robert Conquest” is pretty cool.

    A British thriller character was called Norman Conquest:

    http://www.internationalhero.co.uk/n/normconq.htm

    In regards to Robert Conquest’s surname, I never knew that his father was an American:

    George Robert Acworth Conquest was born a few months before the October Revolution on July 15 1917, in a hotel at Great Malvern, Worcestershire, the son of Robert Folger Acott Conquest, an American of Virginian stock, and his English-born wife Rosamund. His grandfather, HA Acworth, was a friend of Elgar’s, for whose opera-cum-oratorio Caractacus he wrote the libretto.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/11782719/Robert-Conquest-historian-obituary.html

    Conquest was born in Great Malvern, Worcestershire, to an American of independent means and an English mother. His father served in an American Ambulance Service unit with the French Army in World War I, being awarded the Croix de Guerre, with Silver Star in 1916.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Conquest

    Read More
    • Replies: @JohnnyWalker123
    I wonder how much of a role a person's name has in their success as a public figure.

    It's common for actors and tv personalities to change their names. Roy Harold Scherer became "Rock Hudson." Would he have had the same success if stayed a Sherer?

    On the other hand, in the world of the intelligentsia, maybe people evaluate your ideas more than your persona. Still, all things being equal, I think having a charismatic name like "David Brooks" makes it more likely that you'll succeed.
    , @Reg Cæsar
    Scarborough playwright Alan Ayckbourn did a trilogy of comedies called The Norman Conquests, after the lead characters.
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  8. The best Conquest story(fake but funny)*

    “He was recently asked by his publisher to prepare a new edition of his book The Great Terror, incorporating Soviet archival materials now available to scholars. They asked for a new title for the upcoming edition. Conquest suggested I Told You So, You fucking fools.”

    *http://www.vox.com/2015/8/4/9097573/robert-conquest

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    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
    At least according to wikipedia, the mock title was actually suggested by Conquest's colleague, Kingsley Amis.

    Back during the '60s, the two friends co-edited several science-fiction anthologies, which I remember reading -- I remember later hearing about his work on the Great Terror and wondering how this sf guy got into Sovietology.

    Evidently, Conquest was a man of many interests.

    Most importantly, he told the truth.

    Dave Miller in Sacramento
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  9. Why DOES every non-explicitly right wing org turn left over time? Because sooner or later women will be in charge? :0

    Read More
    • Replies: @anon
    The YMCA? The GOP? The chamber of commerce? The YWCA? ;)
    , @Formerly CARealist
    Man, that's the million dollar question. I see it in the context of churches where the questions are not so much left/right as orthodox/easy-going. I guess it's just smoother to let the traditions slide and keep people coming to relax and feel good about God.

    Perhaps it's just as simple as we want to do what's easy. Being conservative is hard, being liberal is easy.
    , @Jason Roberts
    Has a left wing organization moved right? Commentary Magazine is the only one that comes to mind, but then it's hard to think of real institutions that were created to be left wing.
    , @pyrrhus
    Truth! Actually, ALL organizations become left wing organizations over time, unless they ban women from their ranks....
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  10. @syonredux

    By the way, that name “Robert Conquest” is pretty cool.
     
    A British thriller character was called Norman Conquest:

    http://www.internationalhero.co.uk/n/normconq.htm

    In regards to Robert Conquest's surname, I never knew that his father was an American:

    George Robert Acworth Conquest was born a few months before the October Revolution on July 15 1917, in a hotel at Great Malvern, Worcestershire, the son of Robert Folger Acott Conquest, an American of Virginian stock, and his English-born wife Rosamund. His grandfather, HA Acworth, was a friend of Elgar’s, for whose opera-cum-oratorio Caractacus he wrote the libretto.
     
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/11782719/Robert-Conquest-historian-obituary.html

    Conquest was born in Great Malvern, Worcestershire, to an American of independent means and an English mother. His father served in an American Ambulance Service unit with the French Army in World War I, being awarded the Croix de Guerre, with Silver Star in 1916.
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Conquest

    I wonder how much of a role a person’s name has in their success as a public figure.

    It’s common for actors and tv personalities to change their names. Roy Harold Scherer became “Rock Hudson.” Would he have had the same success if stayed a Sherer?

    On the other hand, in the world of the intelligentsia, maybe people evaluate your ideas more than your persona. Still, all things being equal, I think having a charismatic name like “David Brooks” makes it more likely that you’ll succeed.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux
    "I wonder how much of a role a person’s name has in their success as a public figure."

    Aptronym, aptonym or euonym are rarely-encountered neologisms for the concept of nominative determinism, used for a personal name aptly or peculiarly suited to its owner.[1]

    In the book What's in a Name? (1996), author Paul Dickson cites a long list of aptronyms originally compiled by Professor Lewis P. Lipsitt, of Brown University. Psychologist Carl Jung wrote in his 1952 book, Synchronicity, that there was a "sometimes quite grotesque coincidence between a man's name and his peculiarities".
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aptronym

    Nominative determinism (ND) is the theory that a person's name can have a significant role in determining key aspects of job, profession or even character. It was a commonly held notion in the ancient world.

    Synonyms and/or related concepts include: aptronym, apronym, aptonym, jobonyms, 'namephreaks', onomastic determinism, 'perfect fit last names' (PFLNs), psychonymics and, classically, the notion that nomen est omen, or όνομα ορίζοντας. Tom Stoppard in his play Jumpers labelled the phenomenon cognomen syndrome.[1]

    A related term, to refer to a name peculiarly suited to its owner, is aptronym, said to have been coined by the US newspaper columnist Franklin P. Adams. The distinction between cognitive determinacy and a mere aptronym is seen as subtle but fundamental: i.e. post hoc vs propter hoc. ND researchers are sometimes referred to as comiconomenclaturists — connoisseurs of humorous names.
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nominative_determinism
    , @Steve Sailer
    I'd be interested in a study of the influence of hard-to-spell names or easy to misspell names like "Sailer/Sailor/Saylor/Seiler."

    Italian names tend to be a nice combination of being fairly unique and fairly easy to spell and pronounce.
    , @The Anti-Gnostic
    "Adolf Hitler" vs. Adolf Heidler, Adolf Schicklgruber

    Also, per other comments, Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy is much more accurate.

    http://www.jerrypournelle.com/reports/jerryp/iron.html
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  11. @JohnnyWalker123

    - The simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies.

     

    That sounds like a pretty good explanation for the behavior of American leadership in recent years.

    Of course the most interesting question is this: How did they get control to begin with?

    We voted them in.

    Read More
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  12. @JohnnyWalker123
    I wonder how much of a role a person's name has in their success as a public figure.

    It's common for actors and tv personalities to change their names. Roy Harold Scherer became "Rock Hudson." Would he have had the same success if stayed a Sherer?

    On the other hand, in the world of the intelligentsia, maybe people evaluate your ideas more than your persona. Still, all things being equal, I think having a charismatic name like "David Brooks" makes it more likely that you'll succeed.

    “I wonder how much of a role a person’s name has in their success as a public figure.”

    Aptronym, aptonym or euonym are rarely-encountered neologisms for the concept of nominative determinism, used for a personal name aptly or peculiarly suited to its owner.[1]

    In the book What’s in a Name? (1996), author Paul Dickson cites a long list of aptronyms originally compiled by Professor Lewis P. Lipsitt, of Brown University. Psychologist Carl Jung wrote in his 1952 book, Synchronicity, that there was a “sometimes quite grotesque coincidence between a man’s name and his peculiarities”.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aptronym

    Nominative determinism (ND) is the theory that a person’s name can have a significant role in determining key aspects of job, profession or even character. It was a commonly held notion in the ancient world.

    Synonyms and/or related concepts include: aptronym, apronym, aptonym, jobonyms, ‘namephreaks’, onomastic determinism, ‘perfect fit last names’ (PFLNs), psychonymics and, classically, the notion that nomen est omen, or όνομα ορίζοντας. Tom Stoppard in his play Jumpers labelled the phenomenon cognomen syndrome.[1]

    A related term, to refer to a name peculiarly suited to its owner, is aptronym, said to have been coined by the US newspaper columnist Franklin P. Adams. The distinction between cognitive determinacy and a mere aptronym is seen as subtle but fundamental: i.e. post hoc vs propter hoc. ND researchers are sometimes referred to as comiconomenclaturists — connoisseurs of humorous names.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nominative_determinism

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Man From K Street
    The historian John Lukacs was a great proponent of this theory, setting up "Hitler" and "Churchill" as almost supernaturally ordained to be the names of the antagonists. The former, compared with "Shickelgruber" has a sharp, cutting feel to it, he noted, and not just because what the name has come to mean due to history. Meanwhile the latter name seems to be perfect for the defender of the *idea* of England.
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  13. @Father O'Hara
    Why DOES every non-explicitly right wing org turn left over time? Because sooner or later women will be in charge? :0

    The YMCA? The GOP? The chamber of commerce? The YWCA? ;)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Marty
    Hi, we've been ending racism since 1981.
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  14. @Father O'Hara
    Why DOES every non-explicitly right wing org turn left over time? Because sooner or later women will be in charge? :0

    Man, that’s the million dollar question. I see it in the context of churches where the questions are not so much left/right as orthodox/easy-going. I guess it’s just smoother to let the traditions slide and keep people coming to relax and feel good about God.

    Perhaps it’s just as simple as we want to do what’s easy. Being conservative is hard, being liberal is easy.

    Read More
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  15. @syonredux
    "I wonder how much of a role a person’s name has in their success as a public figure."

    Aptronym, aptonym or euonym are rarely-encountered neologisms for the concept of nominative determinism, used for a personal name aptly or peculiarly suited to its owner.[1]

    In the book What's in a Name? (1996), author Paul Dickson cites a long list of aptronyms originally compiled by Professor Lewis P. Lipsitt, of Brown University. Psychologist Carl Jung wrote in his 1952 book, Synchronicity, that there was a "sometimes quite grotesque coincidence between a man's name and his peculiarities".
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aptronym

    Nominative determinism (ND) is the theory that a person's name can have a significant role in determining key aspects of job, profession or even character. It was a commonly held notion in the ancient world.

    Synonyms and/or related concepts include: aptronym, apronym, aptonym, jobonyms, 'namephreaks', onomastic determinism, 'perfect fit last names' (PFLNs), psychonymics and, classically, the notion that nomen est omen, or όνομα ορίζοντας. Tom Stoppard in his play Jumpers labelled the phenomenon cognomen syndrome.[1]

    A related term, to refer to a name peculiarly suited to its owner, is aptronym, said to have been coined by the US newspaper columnist Franklin P. Adams. The distinction between cognitive determinacy and a mere aptronym is seen as subtle but fundamental: i.e. post hoc vs propter hoc. ND researchers are sometimes referred to as comiconomenclaturists — connoisseurs of humorous names.
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nominative_determinism

    The historian John Lukacs was a great proponent of this theory, setting up “Hitler” and “Churchill” as almost supernaturally ordained to be the names of the antagonists. The former, compared with “Shickelgruber” has a sharp, cutting feel to it, he noted, and not just because what the name has come to mean due to history. Meanwhile the latter name seems to be perfect for the defender of the *idea* of England.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    I once saw a standup comic (forget who) who had a gag about how different history would have been if Hitler's first name had been Bif. When he tells his inner circle he intends to invade Poland, they reply "C'mon.....Bif." Bif Hitler wouldn't have gone far as a fuhrer.
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  16. @JohnnyWalker123
    I wonder how much of a role a person's name has in their success as a public figure.

    It's common for actors and tv personalities to change their names. Roy Harold Scherer became "Rock Hudson." Would he have had the same success if stayed a Sherer?

    On the other hand, in the world of the intelligentsia, maybe people evaluate your ideas more than your persona. Still, all things being equal, I think having a charismatic name like "David Brooks" makes it more likely that you'll succeed.

    I’d be interested in a study of the influence of hard-to-spell names or easy to misspell names like “Sailer/Sailor/Saylor/Seiler.”

    Italian names tend to be a nice combination of being fairly unique and fairly easy to spell and pronounce.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Formerly CARealist
    I looked into buying a new Seiler piano, but for the price the quality wasn't so good. Instead I opted for a used Yamaha at the same price. How about that? Used Yamaha beats New Seiler.
    , @Anonymous

    I’d be interested in a study of the influence of hard-to-spell names or easy to misspell names like “Sailer/Sailor/Saylor/Seiler.”
     
    Steven Sailer: http://florida.arrests.org/Arrests/Steven_Sailer_5674715/

    Steve Saylor: http://mugshots.com/US-Counties/Illinois/Kane-County-IL/Steven-Saylor.276898.html

    Stephen Saylor: http://kentucky.arrests.org/Arrests/Stephen_Saylor_10338150/

    Steven Seiler: http://mugshots.com/US-Counties/Illinois/Williamson-County-IL/Steven-Seiler.1525613.html
    , @DH

    Italian names tend to be a nice combination of being fairly unique and fairly easy to spell and pronounce.
     
    Italian is arguably the most direct daughter of Latin. A good correspondance between the Latin alphabet and its pronunciation should be expected in Italian. What you see on paper is pretty much the same you say. Especially the vowels. I assume there is a similar correspondance in Greek.
    On the other hand in French, English and Portuguese, among others, what you see is not what you say.
    , @Jefferson
    "Italian names tend to be a nice combination of being fairly unique and fairly easy to spell and pronounce."

    If you want an example of an ethnic group have extremely difficult names to pronounce, look at the Thai people. Most Thai names are way too long to pronounce.
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  17. @Steve Sailer
    I'd be interested in a study of the influence of hard-to-spell names or easy to misspell names like "Sailer/Sailor/Saylor/Seiler."

    Italian names tend to be a nice combination of being fairly unique and fairly easy to spell and pronounce.

    I looked into buying a new Seiler piano, but for the price the quality wasn’t so good. Instead I opted for a used Yamaha at the same price. How about that? Used Yamaha beats New Seiler.

    Read More
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  18. @JohnnyWalker123
    By the way, that name "Robert Conquest" is pretty cool.

    Richard Florida has a pretty cool name too.

    Richard Florida has a pretty cool name too.

    Can’t agree. It sounds too much like the “Florida man” who features in so many lurid headlines he has his own webpage.

    https://twitter.com/_floridaman

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida_Man

    http://www.npr.org/2013/02/14/172034470/florida-man-on-twitter-collects-real-headlines-about-worlds-worst-superhero

    Read More
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  19. No. The simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucracy is to assume it exists solely to make itself larger, richer, and more powerful.

    Read More
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  20. @Steve Sailer
    I'd be interested in a study of the influence of hard-to-spell names or easy to misspell names like "Sailer/Sailor/Saylor/Seiler."

    Italian names tend to be a nice combination of being fairly unique and fairly easy to spell and pronounce.

    I’d be interested in a study of the influence of hard-to-spell names or easy to misspell names like “Sailer/Sailor/Saylor/Seiler.”

    Steven Sailer: http://florida.arrests.org/Arrests/Steven_Sailer_5674715/

    Steve Saylor: http://mugshots.com/US-Counties/Illinois/Kane-County-IL/Steven-Saylor.276898.html

    Stephen Saylor: http://kentucky.arrests.org/Arrests/Stephen_Saylor_10338150/

    Steven Seiler: http://mugshots.com/US-Counties/Illinois/Williamson-County-IL/Steven-Seiler.1525613.html

    Read More
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  21. His _What to do when the Russians Come_ is quite the page turner (pdf here:

    http://tapemark.narod.ru/conquest/

    )

    Read More
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  22. @Father O'Hara
    Why DOES every non-explicitly right wing org turn left over time? Because sooner or later women will be in charge? :0

    Has a left wing organization moved right? Commentary Magazine is the only one that comes to mind, but then it’s hard to think of real institutions that were created to be left wing.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Hokie
    The Chinese Communist Party
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  23. Richard Florida’s name brings to mind B Kliban’s cartoon “Map Filth”: Our continnent calling out across the ocean, “Hey, Europe! Eat my Florida!”

    Read More
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  24. @syonredux

    By the way, that name “Robert Conquest” is pretty cool.
     
    A British thriller character was called Norman Conquest:

    http://www.internationalhero.co.uk/n/normconq.htm

    In regards to Robert Conquest's surname, I never knew that his father was an American:

    George Robert Acworth Conquest was born a few months before the October Revolution on July 15 1917, in a hotel at Great Malvern, Worcestershire, the son of Robert Folger Acott Conquest, an American of Virginian stock, and his English-born wife Rosamund. His grandfather, HA Acworth, was a friend of Elgar’s, for whose opera-cum-oratorio Caractacus he wrote the libretto.
     
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/11782719/Robert-Conquest-historian-obituary.html

    Conquest was born in Great Malvern, Worcestershire, to an American of independent means and an English mother. His father served in an American Ambulance Service unit with the French Army in World War I, being awarded the Croix de Guerre, with Silver Star in 1916.
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Conquest

    Scarborough playwright Alan Ayckbourn did a trilogy of comedies called The Norman Conquests, after the lead characters.

    Read More
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  25. Go with: Max Power(got that one from the Simpson’s). That name just radiates power and charisma, provided you’re fairly good looking and at least 6′ tall. Perfect name for a writer or spy.

    Or go with Slats Grobnik (taken from one of Mike Royko’s characters) for uniqueness. It conveys all sorts of things.

    Read More
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  26. @JohnnyWalker123
    I wonder how much of a role a person's name has in their success as a public figure.

    It's common for actors and tv personalities to change their names. Roy Harold Scherer became "Rock Hudson." Would he have had the same success if stayed a Sherer?

    On the other hand, in the world of the intelligentsia, maybe people evaluate your ideas more than your persona. Still, all things being equal, I think having a charismatic name like "David Brooks" makes it more likely that you'll succeed.

    “Adolf Hitler” vs. Adolf Heidler, Adolf Schicklgruber

    Also, per other comments, Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy is much more accurate.

    http://www.jerrypournelle.com/reports/jerryp/iron.html

    Read More
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  27. Conquest’s work on Stalin’ Terror has been superseded by the new research based on the actual archival data. Conquest’s estimates of Stalin’s victims turned out to be greatly overestimated; e.g. the total number of victims was exaggerated by the factor of five.

    In the absence of hard data, Conquest chose to use the worst possible interpretations of available circumstantial evidence. That’s understandable. But we have the data now. (Incidentally, the pioneer of this new research, Prof. Viktor Zemskov, who started working on this in the late 1980s, had passed away just 2 weeks ago.)

    Unfortunately, many still continue to cite Conquest’s numbers as though the last 25 years have not happened. Doing so in 2015 is tantamount to lying, and it hurts the anti-Stalinist case enormously. I have seen it first hand.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux
    The estimates that I see these days for Stalin's death-toll (1929-53) usually hover somewhere around 9 million:

    Ukraine Terror Famine: Approx 3.3 million

    Great Terror: 682,691+

    Deported nationalities (Chechens, etc): approx 231,000 deaths

    Gulag Deaths: 1,053,829 million official deaths for 1934–53, total estimates for 1929-53 (including people who died shortly after release) are around 1.6 million

    etc, etc
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  28. @Jason Roberts
    Has a left wing organization moved right? Commentary Magazine is the only one that comes to mind, but then it's hard to think of real institutions that were created to be left wing.

    The Chinese Communist Party

    Read More
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  29. @inertial
    Conquest's work on Stalin' Terror has been superseded by the new research based on the actual archival data. Conquest's estimates of Stalin's victims turned out to be greatly overestimated; e.g. the total number of victims was exaggerated by the factor of five.

    In the absence of hard data, Conquest chose to use the worst possible interpretations of available circumstantial evidence. That's understandable. But we have the data now. (Incidentally, the pioneer of this new research, Prof. Viktor Zemskov, who started working on this in the late 1980s, had passed away just 2 weeks ago.)

    Unfortunately, many still continue to cite Conquest's numbers as though the last 25 years have not happened. Doing so in 2015 is tantamount to lying, and it hurts the anti-Stalinist case enormously. I have seen it first hand.

    The estimates that I see these days for Stalin’s death-toll (1929-53) usually hover somewhere around 9 million:

    Ukraine Terror Famine: Approx 3.3 million

    Great Terror: 682,691+

    Deported nationalities (Chechens, etc): approx 231,000 deaths

    Gulag Deaths: 1,053,829 million official deaths for 1934–53, total estimates for 1929-53 (including people who died shortly after release) are around 1.6 million

    etc, etc

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    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    That's not very high a number at all. USSR lost close to 30 million just from WW2. Didn't the numbers lost under Stalin used to be much higher, say, around 30 million? So Uncle Joe wasn't so bad, at least from a global murderous dictator's perspective that liquidated his own citizens?

    Mao certainly had higher numbers. Thought for sure Stalin had closer to 30 million of his own citizens destroyed.
    , @athEIst
    Any death is a tragedy, but the death of millions--mere statistics.
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  30. “Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.”

    I don’t know.

    Communism died, and today’s idea of ‘leftism’ is Wall Street funding the ‘gay agenda’.

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    • Replies: @Hibernian
    Today's idea of leftism includes single payer health care.
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  31. @The Man From K Street
    The historian John Lukacs was a great proponent of this theory, setting up "Hitler" and "Churchill" as almost supernaturally ordained to be the names of the antagonists. The former, compared with "Shickelgruber" has a sharp, cutting feel to it, he noted, and not just because what the name has come to mean due to history. Meanwhile the latter name seems to be perfect for the defender of the *idea* of England.

    I once saw a standup comic (forget who) who had a gag about how different history would have been if Hitler’s first name had been Bif. When he tells his inner circle he intends to invade Poland, they reply “C’mon…..Bif.” Bif Hitler wouldn’t have gone far as a fuhrer.

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    • Replies: @Jefferson
    "I once saw a standup comic (forget who) who had a gag about how different history would have been if Hitler’s first name had been Bif. When he tells his inner circle he intends to invade Poland, they reply “C’mon…..Bif.” Bif Hitler wouldn’t have gone far as a fuhrer."

    Speaking of Biff Tannen, MAKE LIKE A TREE AND LEAVE.
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  32. @syonredux
    The estimates that I see these days for Stalin's death-toll (1929-53) usually hover somewhere around 9 million:

    Ukraine Terror Famine: Approx 3.3 million

    Great Terror: 682,691+

    Deported nationalities (Chechens, etc): approx 231,000 deaths

    Gulag Deaths: 1,053,829 million official deaths for 1934–53, total estimates for 1929-53 (including people who died shortly after release) are around 1.6 million

    etc, etc

    That’s not very high a number at all. USSR lost close to 30 million just from WW2. Didn’t the numbers lost under Stalin used to be much higher, say, around 30 million? So Uncle Joe wasn’t so bad, at least from a global murderous dictator’s perspective that liquidated his own citizens?

    Mao certainly had higher numbers. Thought for sure Stalin had closer to 30 million of his own citizens destroyed.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    That’s not very high a number at all.
     
    I dunno; killing 9 million people between 1929 and 1953 sounds pretty terrible to me.

    Didn’t the numbers lost under Stalin used to be much higher, say, around 30 million?
     
    An estimate of around 20 million used to be popular, but that was before we had access to the Soviet archives

    So Uncle Joe wasn’t so bad, at least from a global murderous dictator’s perspective that liquidated his own citizens?
     
    Actually, in terms of absolute numbers, Stalin is one of the greatest mass killers of the 20th century.The only person with a higher absolute death toll (using your definition of liquidating his own citizens) is probably Mao.Estimates for his death toll run at around 40 million, but we won't know for sure until the state archives are opened.The true figure might be higher or lower.

    Mao certainly had higher numbers. Thought for sure Stalin had closer to 30 million of his own citizens destroyed.
     
    As I said, estimates for Mao are in the 40 million range:

    Great Leap Forward Famine: Approx 30 million

    Early Purges (late '40s-early '50s): Approx 3 million

    Cultural Revolution: Estimates run from a low of around 500,000 to a high of 2 million

    The Laogai (Chinese Gulag): This one is really uncertain.Some estimates run as high as 27 million during the Mao years (1949-76).However, since most estimates for total deaths in Stalin's Gulag (1929-53) currently cluster around 1.6 million, I think that a figure of around 2 million deaths seems more plausible.


    So, the mass killer ranking looks roughly like this:

    Mao: Approx 40 million

    Hitler*: 11-12 million

    Stalin: Approx 9 million


    *Hitler differs from the other two in that most of the people that he killed were not German citizens:

    Soviet POWs who were starved to death: 3 million plus

    Civilians in Occupied countries who were killed in "reprisal" operations: Approx 700,000

    Jews killed in the Holocaust: 5 million plus (only around 160,000 were German Jews; Jews from the East-Poland, Ukraine, etc-made up the overwhelming majority of deaths)

    Civilians in Leningrad who were starved to death in the siege: 632,000-1,000,000

    etc, etc
    , @PapayaSF

    USSR lost close to 30 million just from WW2.
     
    Yeah, well, maybe. The numbers of deaths the USSR reported immediately after the war were much lower. Later on they decided that they'd get more international sympathy with higher numbers, and the numbers went up.

    Plus, those numbers may well include some of Stalin's victims. Certainly many soldiers who died were victims of Stalin: when Soviet soldiers committed minor infractions or made politically-suspect remarks, got placed in penal battalions, and were then forced at gunpoint to clear a minefield by marching through it, it's a stretch to blame those particular deaths on Hitler.
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  33. @anon
    The YMCA? The GOP? The chamber of commerce? The YWCA? ;)

    Hi, we’ve been ending racism since 1981.

    Read More
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  34. @syonredux
    The estimates that I see these days for Stalin's death-toll (1929-53) usually hover somewhere around 9 million:

    Ukraine Terror Famine: Approx 3.3 million

    Great Terror: 682,691+

    Deported nationalities (Chechens, etc): approx 231,000 deaths

    Gulag Deaths: 1,053,829 million official deaths for 1934–53, total estimates for 1929-53 (including people who died shortly after release) are around 1.6 million

    etc, etc

    Any death is a tragedy, but the death of millions–mere statistics.

    Read More
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  35. @Sam
    The best Conquest story(fake but funny)*

    "He was recently asked by his publisher to prepare a new edition of his book The Great Terror, incorporating Soviet archival materials now available to scholars. They asked for a new title for the upcoming edition. Conquest suggested I Told You So, You fucking fools."


    *http://www.vox.com/2015/8/4/9097573/robert-conquest

    At least according to wikipedia, the mock title was actually suggested by Conquest’s colleague, Kingsley Amis.

    Back during the ’60s, the two friends co-edited several science-fiction anthologies, which I remember reading — I remember later hearing about his work on the Great Terror and wondering how this sf guy got into Sovietology.

    Evidently, Conquest was a man of many interests.

    Most importantly, he told the truth.

    Dave Miller in Sacramento

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  36. He should have married Anne-Marie Slaughter in the interests of science.

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  37. DH says:
    @Steve Sailer
    I'd be interested in a study of the influence of hard-to-spell names or easy to misspell names like "Sailer/Sailor/Saylor/Seiler."

    Italian names tend to be a nice combination of being fairly unique and fairly easy to spell and pronounce.

    Italian names tend to be a nice combination of being fairly unique and fairly easy to spell and pronounce.

    Italian is arguably the most direct daughter of Latin. A good correspondance between the Latin alphabet and its pronunciation should be expected in Italian. What you see on paper is pretty much the same you say. Especially the vowels. I assume there is a similar correspondance in Greek.
    On the other hand in French, English and Portuguese, among others, what you see is not what you say.

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  38. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    That's not very high a number at all. USSR lost close to 30 million just from WW2. Didn't the numbers lost under Stalin used to be much higher, say, around 30 million? So Uncle Joe wasn't so bad, at least from a global murderous dictator's perspective that liquidated his own citizens?

    Mao certainly had higher numbers. Thought for sure Stalin had closer to 30 million of his own citizens destroyed.

    That’s not very high a number at all.

    I dunno; killing 9 million people between 1929 and 1953 sounds pretty terrible to me.

    Didn’t the numbers lost under Stalin used to be much higher, say, around 30 million?

    An estimate of around 20 million used to be popular, but that was before we had access to the Soviet archives

    So Uncle Joe wasn’t so bad, at least from a global murderous dictator’s perspective that liquidated his own citizens?

    Actually, in terms of absolute numbers, Stalin is one of the greatest mass killers of the 20th century.The only person with a higher absolute death toll (using your definition of liquidating his own citizens) is probably Mao.Estimates for his death toll run at around 40 million, but we won’t know for sure until the state archives are opened.The true figure might be higher or lower.

    Mao certainly had higher numbers. Thought for sure Stalin had closer to 30 million of his own citizens destroyed.

    As I said, estimates for Mao are in the 40 million range:

    Great Leap Forward Famine: Approx 30 million

    Early Purges (late ’40s-early ’50s): Approx 3 million

    Cultural Revolution: Estimates run from a low of around 500,000 to a high of 2 million

    The Laogai (Chinese Gulag): This one is really uncertain.Some estimates run as high as 27 million during the Mao years (1949-76).However, since most estimates for total deaths in Stalin’s Gulag (1929-53) currently cluster around 1.6 million, I think that a figure of around 2 million deaths seems more plausible.

    So, the mass killer ranking looks roughly like this:

    Mao: Approx 40 million

    Hitler*: 11-12 million

    Stalin: Approx 9 million

    *Hitler differs from the other two in that most of the people that he killed were not German citizens:

    Soviet POWs who were starved to death: 3 million plus

    Civilians in Occupied countries who were killed in “reprisal” operations: Approx 700,000

    Jews killed in the Holocaust: 5 million plus (only around 160,000 were German Jews; Jews from the East-Poland, Ukraine, etc-made up the overwhelming majority of deaths)

    Civilians in Leningrad who were starved to death in the siege: 632,000-1,000,000

    etc, etc

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Stalin has to be the leader in the subcategory of individual executions ordered of people on his own side.
    , @Jefferson
    "As I said, estimates for Mao are in the 40 million range:"

    40 million that's crazy. The number of people murdered by Mao Zedong is larger than the entire population of the Tokyo metropolitan area. The death toll he left is larger than the entire population of Canada.
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  39. Read More
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  40. Robert Conquest was a great man. In his writings he followed the dictum of Lord Acton, that the muse of history is not Clio but Rhadamanthus, the avenger of innocent blood. Let’s keep in mind that many still felt with Roosevelt and Churchill that Stalin was “Uncle Joe,” the affable but stern leader of the great crusade against “fascism.” A widely admired expert on Soviet affairs, Owen Lattimore, who had toured the Gulag and described it as a combination of the TVA and the Hudson’s Bay Company, was lionized. Conquest revealed the truth about the terror famine and the cannibalism in the villages of the Ukraine and North Caucasus, and about Kolyma, the system of slave labor camps that covered an area four times the size of France. Robert Conquest was determined that he would not let the bastards, in Moscow and the West, get away with it. His memory deserves to be honored.

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  41. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    That's not very high a number at all. USSR lost close to 30 million just from WW2. Didn't the numbers lost under Stalin used to be much higher, say, around 30 million? So Uncle Joe wasn't so bad, at least from a global murderous dictator's perspective that liquidated his own citizens?

    Mao certainly had higher numbers. Thought for sure Stalin had closer to 30 million of his own citizens destroyed.

    USSR lost close to 30 million just from WW2.

    Yeah, well, maybe. The numbers of deaths the USSR reported immediately after the war were much lower. Later on they decided that they’d get more international sympathy with higher numbers, and the numbers went up.

    Plus, those numbers may well include some of Stalin’s victims. Certainly many soldiers who died were victims of Stalin: when Soviet soldiers committed minor infractions or made politically-suspect remarks, got placed in penal battalions, and were then forced at gunpoint to clear a minefield by marching through it, it’s a stretch to blame those particular deaths on Hitler.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux
    RE: USSR deaths in WWII,

    Here are Overy's estimates in Russia's War

    Military deaths:

    Richard Overy, Russia's War (1997); also :
    KIA, DoW, etc.: 6,885,100
    Total Dead: 8,668,400
     
    As for how many of these deaths can be blamed on Stalin and not Hitler, that's iffier.Stalin did have 158,000 men men sentenced to death* for cowardice, desertion, etc (White, Atrocities, 388).And 442,000 men were sentenced to penal battalions as a form of punishment (White, 288).Those were the guys had to march ahead of tanks and clean out minefields, etc. So, a case could be made for assigning 600,000 military deaths to Stalin.That would reduce Hitler's share to 8,068,400.

    As for Soviet civilians who died because of Hitler, that's trickier.Most estimates that I've seen run from a low of 7 to a high of 10 million.

    I think that a pretty good case could be made for 15-20 million deaths, total.
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  42. 2. The simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies.

    Yes, Minister had this figured out nearly 35 years ago:

    Jim: They’re civil servants … they behave more like council, briefed by the transport interests to defeat the government.

    Bernard: That’s how the civil service works, in practice. Each department is controlled by the people it’s supposed to be controlling. [...] You see, every department acts for the power sectional interest with whom they have a permanent relationship. … [The Department of] Energy lobbies for the oil companies, Defense lobbies for the Armed Forces, …

    Jim:: So the whole system is designed to stop the Cabinet from carrying out its policies?

    Bernard:: Well, somebody’s got to.

    ==

    Of course, if we follow the Constitution, and cut the federal government off at the knees and stop feeding it a steady diet of carbs, we don’t have these problems..

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  43. @PapayaSF

    USSR lost close to 30 million just from WW2.
     
    Yeah, well, maybe. The numbers of deaths the USSR reported immediately after the war were much lower. Later on they decided that they'd get more international sympathy with higher numbers, and the numbers went up.

    Plus, those numbers may well include some of Stalin's victims. Certainly many soldiers who died were victims of Stalin: when Soviet soldiers committed minor infractions or made politically-suspect remarks, got placed in penal battalions, and were then forced at gunpoint to clear a minefield by marching through it, it's a stretch to blame those particular deaths on Hitler.

    RE: USSR deaths in WWII,

    Here are Overy’s estimates in Russia’s War

    Military deaths:

    Richard Overy, Russia’s War (1997); also :
    KIA, DoW, etc.: 6,885,100
    Total Dead: 8,668,400

    As for how many of these deaths can be blamed on Stalin and not Hitler, that’s iffier.Stalin did have 158,000 men men sentenced to death* for cowardice, desertion, etc (White, Atrocities, 388).And 442,000 men were sentenced to penal battalions as a form of punishment (White, 288).Those were the guys had to march ahead of tanks and clean out minefields, etc. So, a case could be made for assigning 600,000 military deaths to Stalin.That would reduce Hitler’s share to 8,068,400.

    As for Soviet civilians who died because of Hitler, that’s trickier.Most estimates that I’ve seen run from a low of 7 to a high of 10 million.

    I think that a pretty good case could be made for 15-20 million deaths, total.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    And 442,000 men were sentenced to penal battalions as a form of punishment (White, 288).Those were the guys had to march ahead of tanks and clean out minefields, etc. So, a case could be made for assigning 600,000 military deaths to Stalin.That would reduce Hitler’s share to 8,068,400.
     
    Should have noted that, obviously, not all of the 442,000 men who were sentenced to penal battalions died.Hence, the 600,000 figure is more theoretical than actual.As near as I can tell, we have no solid estimates on how many of the men who served in the penal battalions died.However, Overy does note that the only way out was through being wounded in combat ("Atoned with his own blood"),which, combined with the extremely dangerous tasks that they were assigned, suggests that the chances of surviving a penal battalion were not good....
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  44. @syonredux

    That’s not very high a number at all.
     
    I dunno; killing 9 million people between 1929 and 1953 sounds pretty terrible to me.

    Didn’t the numbers lost under Stalin used to be much higher, say, around 30 million?
     
    An estimate of around 20 million used to be popular, but that was before we had access to the Soviet archives

    So Uncle Joe wasn’t so bad, at least from a global murderous dictator’s perspective that liquidated his own citizens?
     
    Actually, in terms of absolute numbers, Stalin is one of the greatest mass killers of the 20th century.The only person with a higher absolute death toll (using your definition of liquidating his own citizens) is probably Mao.Estimates for his death toll run at around 40 million, but we won't know for sure until the state archives are opened.The true figure might be higher or lower.

    Mao certainly had higher numbers. Thought for sure Stalin had closer to 30 million of his own citizens destroyed.
     
    As I said, estimates for Mao are in the 40 million range:

    Great Leap Forward Famine: Approx 30 million

    Early Purges (late '40s-early '50s): Approx 3 million

    Cultural Revolution: Estimates run from a low of around 500,000 to a high of 2 million

    The Laogai (Chinese Gulag): This one is really uncertain.Some estimates run as high as 27 million during the Mao years (1949-76).However, since most estimates for total deaths in Stalin's Gulag (1929-53) currently cluster around 1.6 million, I think that a figure of around 2 million deaths seems more plausible.


    So, the mass killer ranking looks roughly like this:

    Mao: Approx 40 million

    Hitler*: 11-12 million

    Stalin: Approx 9 million


    *Hitler differs from the other two in that most of the people that he killed were not German citizens:

    Soviet POWs who were starved to death: 3 million plus

    Civilians in Occupied countries who were killed in "reprisal" operations: Approx 700,000

    Jews killed in the Holocaust: 5 million plus (only around 160,000 were German Jews; Jews from the East-Poland, Ukraine, etc-made up the overwhelming majority of deaths)

    Civilians in Leningrad who were starved to death in the siege: 632,000-1,000,000

    etc, etc

    Stalin has to be the leader in the subcategory of individual executions ordered of people on his own side.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    Stalin has to be the leader in the subcategory of individual executions ordered of people on his own side.
     
    Yeah, executing 158,000 of your own men during WW2 is pretty incredible.The USA, for example, executed only one man for desertion during the war, Eddie Slovik*.


    *https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddie_Slovik
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  45. @Steve Sailer
    Stalin has to be the leader in the subcategory of individual executions ordered of people on his own side.

    Stalin has to be the leader in the subcategory of individual executions ordered of people on his own side.

    Yeah, executing 158,000 of your own men during WW2 is pretty incredible.The USA, for example, executed only one man for desertion during the war, Eddie Slovik*.

    *https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddie_Slovik

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    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    I just reread One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch. The main character is serving ten years in a labor camp. During World War II, he was captured by the Germans but escaped with six other men and made his way back to the Russian lines. Four of the escapees were mistakenly shot down by the Russian machine-gunners and the two survivors sent to Siberia, suspected of being spies.
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  46. @syonredux
    RE: USSR deaths in WWII,

    Here are Overy's estimates in Russia's War

    Military deaths:

    Richard Overy, Russia's War (1997); also :
    KIA, DoW, etc.: 6,885,100
    Total Dead: 8,668,400
     
    As for how many of these deaths can be blamed on Stalin and not Hitler, that's iffier.Stalin did have 158,000 men men sentenced to death* for cowardice, desertion, etc (White, Atrocities, 388).And 442,000 men were sentenced to penal battalions as a form of punishment (White, 288).Those were the guys had to march ahead of tanks and clean out minefields, etc. So, a case could be made for assigning 600,000 military deaths to Stalin.That would reduce Hitler's share to 8,068,400.

    As for Soviet civilians who died because of Hitler, that's trickier.Most estimates that I've seen run from a low of 7 to a high of 10 million.

    I think that a pretty good case could be made for 15-20 million deaths, total.

    And 442,000 men were sentenced to penal battalions as a form of punishment (White, 288).Those were the guys had to march ahead of tanks and clean out minefields, etc. So, a case could be made for assigning 600,000 military deaths to Stalin.That would reduce Hitler’s share to 8,068,400.

    Should have noted that, obviously, not all of the 442,000 men who were sentenced to penal battalions died.Hence, the 600,000 figure is more theoretical than actual.As near as I can tell, we have no solid estimates on how many of the men who served in the penal battalions died.However, Overy does note that the only way out was through being wounded in combat (“Atoned with his own blood”),which, combined with the extremely dangerous tasks that they were assigned, suggests that the chances of surviving a penal battalion were not good….

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  47. @Father O'Hara
    Why DOES every non-explicitly right wing org turn left over time? Because sooner or later women will be in charge? :0

    Truth! Actually, ALL organizations become left wing organizations over time, unless they ban women from their ranks….

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  48. @Anon
    "Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing."

    I don't know.

    Communism died, and today's idea of 'leftism' is Wall Street funding the 'gay agenda'.

    Today’s idea of leftism includes single payer health care.

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  49. The old trope of “The Soviet Union suffered so much in World War II!” is somewhat annoying to me, because one reason they suffered is that they started the war in alliance with Hitler. After the Hitler-Stalin pact, the Germans invaded Poland from the West, and the Soviets (a few weeks later) invaded Poland from the East. They fought as allies until June 1941. You don’t get as much credit for defeating a villain when the villain started out as your partner in crime.

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    • Replies: @5371
    Stale propaganda. Why should the USSR expose itself to all the dangers of war with Germany while the British and French remained unscathed? That was the trap the British government had set, they just weren't able to close it.
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  50. @syonredux

    Stalin has to be the leader in the subcategory of individual executions ordered of people on his own side.
     
    Yeah, executing 158,000 of your own men during WW2 is pretty incredible.The USA, for example, executed only one man for desertion during the war, Eddie Slovik*.


    *https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddie_Slovik

    I just reread One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch. The main character is serving ten years in a labor camp. During World War II, he was captured by the Germans but escaped with six other men and made his way back to the Russian lines. Four of the escapees were mistakenly shot down by the Russian machine-gunners and the two survivors sent to Siberia, suspected of being spies.

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  51. @Steve Sailer
    I'd be interested in a study of the influence of hard-to-spell names or easy to misspell names like "Sailer/Sailor/Saylor/Seiler."

    Italian names tend to be a nice combination of being fairly unique and fairly easy to spell and pronounce.

    “Italian names tend to be a nice combination of being fairly unique and fairly easy to spell and pronounce.”

    If you want an example of an ethnic group have extremely difficult names to pronounce, look at the Thai people. Most Thai names are way too long to pronounce.

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  52. @Mr. Anon
    I once saw a standup comic (forget who) who had a gag about how different history would have been if Hitler's first name had been Bif. When he tells his inner circle he intends to invade Poland, they reply "C'mon.....Bif." Bif Hitler wouldn't have gone far as a fuhrer.

    “I once saw a standup comic (forget who) who had a gag about how different history would have been if Hitler’s first name had been Bif. When he tells his inner circle he intends to invade Poland, they reply “C’mon…..Bif.” Bif Hitler wouldn’t have gone far as a fuhrer.”

    Speaking of Biff Tannen, MAKE LIKE A TREE AND LEAVE.

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    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    "Speaking of Biff Tannen, MAKE LIKE A TREE AND LEAVE."

    You just crawl out of a manure pile?
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  53. @syonredux

    That’s not very high a number at all.
     
    I dunno; killing 9 million people between 1929 and 1953 sounds pretty terrible to me.

    Didn’t the numbers lost under Stalin used to be much higher, say, around 30 million?
     
    An estimate of around 20 million used to be popular, but that was before we had access to the Soviet archives

    So Uncle Joe wasn’t so bad, at least from a global murderous dictator’s perspective that liquidated his own citizens?
     
    Actually, in terms of absolute numbers, Stalin is one of the greatest mass killers of the 20th century.The only person with a higher absolute death toll (using your definition of liquidating his own citizens) is probably Mao.Estimates for his death toll run at around 40 million, but we won't know for sure until the state archives are opened.The true figure might be higher or lower.

    Mao certainly had higher numbers. Thought for sure Stalin had closer to 30 million of his own citizens destroyed.
     
    As I said, estimates for Mao are in the 40 million range:

    Great Leap Forward Famine: Approx 30 million

    Early Purges (late '40s-early '50s): Approx 3 million

    Cultural Revolution: Estimates run from a low of around 500,000 to a high of 2 million

    The Laogai (Chinese Gulag): This one is really uncertain.Some estimates run as high as 27 million during the Mao years (1949-76).However, since most estimates for total deaths in Stalin's Gulag (1929-53) currently cluster around 1.6 million, I think that a figure of around 2 million deaths seems more plausible.


    So, the mass killer ranking looks roughly like this:

    Mao: Approx 40 million

    Hitler*: 11-12 million

    Stalin: Approx 9 million


    *Hitler differs from the other two in that most of the people that he killed were not German citizens:

    Soviet POWs who were starved to death: 3 million plus

    Civilians in Occupied countries who were killed in "reprisal" operations: Approx 700,000

    Jews killed in the Holocaust: 5 million plus (only around 160,000 were German Jews; Jews from the East-Poland, Ukraine, etc-made up the overwhelming majority of deaths)

    Civilians in Leningrad who were starved to death in the siege: 632,000-1,000,000

    etc, etc

    “As I said, estimates for Mao are in the 40 million range:”

    40 million that’s crazy. The number of people murdered by Mao Zedong is larger than the entire population of the Tokyo metropolitan area. The death toll he left is larger than the entire population of Canada.

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  54. @PapayaSF
    The old trope of "The Soviet Union suffered so much in World War II!" is somewhat annoying to me, because one reason they suffered is that they started the war in alliance with Hitler. After the Hitler-Stalin pact, the Germans invaded Poland from the West, and the Soviets (a few weeks later) invaded Poland from the East. They fought as allies until June 1941. You don't get as much credit for defeating a villain when the villain started out as your partner in crime.

    Stale propaganda. Why should the USSR expose itself to all the dangers of war with Germany while the British and French remained unscathed? That was the trap the British government had set, they just weren’t able to close it.

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    • Replies: @PapayaSF
    Sorry, I don't buy the "the Soviets were only buying time" argument. Two totalitarian gangs decided the cooperate for a while and carve up the countries in between them. The fact that Hitler betrayed Stalin before Stalin could betray Hitler (which he planned to do once Hitler had invaded England) does not excuse Stalin's actions.
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  55. @Jefferson
    "I once saw a standup comic (forget who) who had a gag about how different history would have been if Hitler’s first name had been Bif. When he tells his inner circle he intends to invade Poland, they reply “C’mon…..Bif.” Bif Hitler wouldn’t have gone far as a fuhrer."

    Speaking of Biff Tannen, MAKE LIKE A TREE AND LEAVE.

    “Speaking of Biff Tannen, MAKE LIKE A TREE AND LEAVE.”

    You just crawl out of a manure pile?

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  56. @5371
    Stale propaganda. Why should the USSR expose itself to all the dangers of war with Germany while the British and French remained unscathed? That was the trap the British government had set, they just weren't able to close it.

    Sorry, I don’t buy the “the Soviets were only buying time” argument. Two totalitarian gangs decided the cooperate for a while and carve up the countries in between them. The fact that Hitler betrayed Stalin before Stalin could betray Hitler (which he planned to do once Hitler had invaded England) does not excuse Stalin’s actions.

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    Great power politics isn't about intentions good or bad. If you want to claim my interpretation of Soviet actions is wrong, you have to show their situation was otherwise than I have portrayed it.
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  57. @PapayaSF
    Sorry, I don't buy the "the Soviets were only buying time" argument. Two totalitarian gangs decided the cooperate for a while and carve up the countries in between them. The fact that Hitler betrayed Stalin before Stalin could betray Hitler (which he planned to do once Hitler had invaded England) does not excuse Stalin's actions.

    Great power politics isn’t about intentions good or bad. If you want to claim my interpretation of Soviet actions is wrong, you have to show their situation was otherwise than I have portrayed it.

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