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Fake News: How the Omelet Got Made in 1933 Moscow
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My new movie review is of Mr. Jones, the story of Gareth Jones who helped break in 1933 the story of the Ukraine famine that was being covered up Walter Duranty of the New York Times and the rest of the Western press corps in Moscow. Peter Hitchens writes:

But in some ways the most telling account of it comes in ‘Assignment in Utopia‘, by Eugene Lyons, first published in 1938. I see from my scribblings in my copy of the book (London, Harrap, 1938) that I first read it in 1985, when I was just beginning to be a regular reporter on Eastern Europe, and five years before my own assignment in Utopia, which began in June 1990. It greatly influenced me at that time and since.

Lyons, a disillusioned Communist (disillusioned by his experience of the USSR) was the Moscow Correspondent of the United Press, then one of the great international news agencies, in the Soviet Capital in in 1933. It is fairly certain that the totally cynical New York Times correspondent Walter Duranty, an Englishman not mentioned in this account, had other deeper reasons for helping to suppress the story – an approaching diplomatic recognition of the Soviet regime by Franklin Roosevelt, which he wished to encourage, or had in some way been persuaded to support.

But most of the correspondents knew they had to please The Soviet State, which could have kept them from reporting the approaching trial of British engineers, working for Metropolitan Vickers of ‘Metro-Vick’ on absurd charges of espionage. This would of course have wrecked their careers. In those days the Soviet State’s all-encompassing nature was confined to the USSR and other despotisms. Nowadays modern Western states also have their own ways of rewarding or punishing those media and journalists who please or annoy them.

Here is Lyons’s account, which is on page 574 (my emphases) :
‘The need to remain on friendly terms with the censors at least for the duration of the [Metro-Vickers] trial was for all of us a compelling professional necessity.

‘Throwing down [Gareth] Jones was as unpleasant a chore as fell to any of us in years of juggling facts to please dictatorial regimes – but throw him down we did, unanimously and in almost identical formulas of equivocation. Poor Gareth Jones must have been the most surprised human being alive when the facts he so painstakingly garnered from our mouths were snowed under by our denials.

The reporters in Moscow knew there was a famine in Ukraine, they just weren’t trumpeting it to their readers. Lyons felt that Jones over-emphasized his personal trip to Ukraine as the source of his facts rather than mention that he’d heard a lot about the Ukraine famine from Lyons and other reporters in Moscow. But, also, Jones had been to Ukraine a couple of years before when the hunger was getting going. Plus the Ukrainian exile press was covering the story in the West.

Still, Jones’ announcement on March 29, 1933 of a famine in the southern Soviet Union caused a bit of a sensation in the West.

‘The scene in which the American press corps combined to repudiate Jones is fresh in my mind. It was in the evening, and Comrade Umansky [the Kremlin censor], the soul of graciousness, consented to meet us in the hotel room of a correspondent. He knew that he had a strategic advantage over us because of the Metro-Vickers story. He could afford to be gracious. Forced by competitive journalism to jockey for the inside track with officials, it would have been professional suicide to make an issue of the famine at this particular time.

The Soviets, after inviting in Western firms, like Ford and Metro-Vickers, had just arrested a half-dozen British Metro-Vickers engineers as spies to hold as hostages. Presumably, the Soviet logic was that if anybody decided to burn their future career in reporting from the Soviet Union over the Ukraine famine, their employers would be extra-mad if they did at a time when they were supposed to be reporting on this M-V trial.

There was much bargaining in spirit of gentlemanly give-and-take, under the effulgence of Umansky’s gilded smile, before a formula of denial was worked out.

‘We admitted enough to soothe our consciences, but in roundabout phrases that damned Jones as a liar. The filthy business having been disposed of, someone ordered vodka and zakuski [Russian hors d’oeuvres] , Umansky joined the celebration, and the party did not break up until the early morning hours. the head censor was in a mellower mood than I had ever seen him before or since. He had done a big bit for Bolshevik firmness that night.’

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  1. Oddly relevant: The Ds and the Rs are failing spectacularly to come to any sort of agreement on the update to the Relief Package. Realizing this, the Rs are saying: let’s temporarily extend the Unemployment Coverage and the Eviction Moratorium. Until we can work out a comprehensive deal.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday dismissed out of hand the possibility that Democrats would agree to a short-term extension of juiced-up unemployment benefits while lawmakers iron out details of a broader coronavirus relief package.

    “I would be very much averse to separating this out and lose all leverage for meeting all of the other needs,” Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, told reporters on Capitol Hill. Pressed again, Mrs. Pelosi repeatedly said no.

    “Do you understand no?” she said as Rep. Dan Kildee, Democrats’ chief deputy whip, tried to chime in. “No. No.”

    This is a golden opportunity to make political hay at the Dems’ expense. But are there any politically-savvy Reps in the game at all? I guess Tucker will say something about it?

    • Replies: @Richard B
  2. moshe says:

    Off Topic and I’m sorry about that.

    This won’t derail the thread

    I just want to tell people that I predicted as the corona thing was ending that our 2020 Yovel have not yet come to an end and that more was to come.

    And I’m telling you as though I am a prophet, more is yet to come. I understand how history works and I have read and studied the most brilliant thinkers on this subject, many of whom lived two and three thousand years ago.

    And I am quite confident that the 2020 Jubilee that I explained in comments during the whole Corona business perhaps in March, has not yet come to an end.

    Hopefully when the dust settles we’ll like the most of the results.

    But the Yovel Revolution is not done with you yet.

    Heck, it’s not done with itself yet.

    It still has no idea who it is or what it wants.

    I recommend sitting back and watching because an unbidden historical cycle is unfolding before your eyes.

    Enjoy it.

    Yovels happen just twice a century. Play a part in it if you want but the forces are practically geological and in a billion-person game, it’s unlikely that your actions will win the “Meaningful Jackpot” and make any effect.

    Nor do you know whether the ultimate pinball effect if your cause will be something you like.

    But by all means, jump in the pool and splash! I’m doing it. I just don’t get too into the game that I take it seriously.

    But boy are we living through fabulous times!

    Again, I hope it ends well, with Citizenism, UBI, and some kind of falklands island thing in the distance where we can send all of our testosterone raging excess males.

  3. One wonders how much of this sort of thing is going on right now.

    Think of all the ordinary, innocent people, trying like you and me to live their lives, who suffered and who suffer now and will suffer in the apparently near future for this kind of game.

    No matter:

    The filthy business having been disposed of, someone ordered vodka and zakuski [Russian hors d’oeuvres] , Umansky joined the celebration, and the party did not break up until the early morning hours.

    Human beings are disgusting. You can’t tell the pigs from the men.

  4. I know it started with a movie review, but thank you for doing some writing about the evils of Communism, Steve. You don’t get much of that on the unz site, Ron Paul notwithstanding. I was pleased to see that Mr. Unz himself noted somewhere in a comment or article of his on this site, that he was in the middle of reading (hopefully reading, not skimming) the Black Book of Communism.

    • Replies: @Prester John
  5. Metro-Vickers = Tick removers.

  6. nebulafox says:

    >The reporters in Moscow knew there was a famine in Ukraine, they just weren’t trumpeting it to their readers.

    I’ve been doing a dive into the July Crisis recently. I do think “fake news” as we think of it is the result of the democratic post-WWI age, but if you restrict it to individuals on a leadership level, it goes back further. A lot of the decisions made in those crucial days at the end of the month were the results of the Russians starting mobilization on July 25th and keeping it secret/lying about it for five days. Deception has always been part of statecraft, but only in the 20th Century, 19th earliest, did technology reach a level where millions could easily die because of it.

    When Nicky tried to cancel the order in a last-ditch attempt to avoid a continent-wide conflagration, he let the cat out of the bag to Willy, coupled with Sazonov’s doing so with the German ambassador in Petersburg. That’s probably the point of no return, there, if you are looking at WWI. Moltke’s insistence on sticking to the Schlieffen Plan against political common sense insured British intervention, but a continent-wide war rather than a localized one was a fait accompli days earlier.

  7. syonredux says:

    Info on Eugene Lyons:

    Eugene Lyons (July 1, 1898 – January 7, 1985) was an American journalist and writer. A fellow traveler of Communism in his younger years, Lyons became highly critical of the Soviet Union after several years there as a correspondent of United Press International. Lyons also wrote a biography of President Herbert Hoover.

    Eugene Lyons was born July 1, 1898, to a Jewish family in the town of Uzlyany, now part of Belarus but then part of the Russian Empire. His parents were Nathan Lyons and Minnie Privin. His parents emigrated to the US, and he grew up among the teeming tenements of the Lower East Side of New York City.

    “I thought myself a ‘socialist’ almost as soon as I thought at all,” Lyons recalled in his memoirs. As a youth he attended a Socialist Sunday School on East Broadway, where he sang socialist hymns such as “The Internationale” and “The Red Flag.” He later enrolled as a member of the Young People’s Socialist League, the youth section of the Socialist Party of America (SPA).

    Lyons’ work for TASS led to his becoming the United Press (UP) correspondent in Moscow (1928–1934). Instead of reporting from the United States for the Soviet press, he would now write on Soviet events for an American audience. While Lyons never joined the CPUSA, he had close ties with it and was considered a fellow traveler.[11] The UP thought that Lyons’ political background and the close contacts it implied would give him and it an edge over its competition in delivering news from the Soviet Union. Lyons remained the UP’s man in Moscow from 1928 to 1934, which gradually transformed him from a friend of the Soviet state and communism to a tireless and fierce critic of both.

    UP’s choice of Lyons paid dividends in 1930. On November 22, he was summoned to the Kremlin for a surprise interview with Joseph Stalin, a move to eliminate rumors circulating in the West about the Soviet leader’s demise. Lyons thus became the first Western journalist to interview Stalin, and his report of the encounter represented a major “scoop.”[12] Lyons later recounted his meeting with the Soviet leader, a conversation that was conducted in Russian with the occasional help of a translator:

    One cannot live in the shadow of Stalin’s legend without coming under its spell. My pulse, I am sure, was high. No sooner, however, had I stepped across the threshold than diffidence and nervousness fell away. Stalin met me at the door and shook hands, smiling. There was a certain shyness in his smile and the handshake was not perfunctory. He was remarkably unlike the scowling, self-important dictator of popular imagination. His every gesture was a rebuke to the thousand little bureaucrats who had inflicted their puny greatness upon me in these Russian years..
    ‘Comrade Stalin,’ I began the interview, ‘may I quote you to the effect that you have not been assassinated?’
    He laughed. At such close range, there was not a trace of the Napoleonic quality one sees in his self-conscious camera or oil portraits. The shaggy mustache, framing a sensual mouth and a smile nearly as full of teeth as Teddy Roosevelt’s, gave his swarthy face a friendly, almost benignant look.
    ‘Yes, you may,’ he said, ‘except that I hate to take the bread out of the mouth of the Riga correspondents.'[13]

    On the heels of his journalistic coup, Lyons returned to the United States for a brief visit in March 1931, making a lecture tour to 20 Northeastern cities organized by UP.[18] Lyons had already begun to harbor doubts about the violence and repression associated with the Soviet regime and was torn between “looming doubts and waning loyalties,” but Lyons found himself engaged to speak mostly before businessmen’s luncheon clubs. “Looking into their self-satisfied faces, I could forget my doubts,” Lyons later recalled. He delivered a blinkered defense of the revolution to his assembled audiences.[19]

    “Had I remained in America permanently I might have evolved a new, if badly scarred and patched, enthusiasm,” Lyons wrote in his memoirs. “I might have ended by contributing high-minded lies to The New Masses and slept happily ever after.”[20] But Lyons did return to the Soviet Union later that year. He found the GPU imposing ever-increasing terror against recalcitrant peasants, anyone suspected of secretly holding gold or foreign currency, and those accused of economic crimes such as sabotage:

    The newspapers were filled with the same braggadocio and threats. Victories, successes, triumphs, but the plan for spring sowing far behind; three shots for sabotaging the rabbit-breeding plans; enginemen and signalmen shot for counter-revolutionaryary negligence in connection with a disaster on the Kursk line; eighty-four arrested for forging bread cards. Another internal loan was being oversubscribed — ‘voluntary’ contributions of a month’s wages or two months’ wages. Another blast-furnace started in Magnitogorsk. Poincaré-War and agents of imperialism and dastardly kulaks and Left-Right and Right-Left deviators and secret Trotskyists and heil Stalin and 2 + 2 = 5.“[21]

    Lyons was among the earliest writers to criticize the New York Times Moscow reporter Walter Duranty for journalistic dishonesty. Writing about Duranty in 1941, Lyons said, “Of all his elliptical writing, perhaps his handling of the famine was the most celebrated. It was the logical extreme of his oft-repeated assertion that ‘you can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.’ Now he made his omelet by referring to the famine as ‘undernourishment.’”

    After his return to the United States early in 1934, Lyons wrote two books about his Moscow years. The first was a rather-subdued work, Moscow Carrousel. Published in 1935, it was followed by a far more outspoken account of events, Assignment in Utopia , which was published in 1937.

    Lyons’ writing directly influenced George Orwell.[23] In his seminal novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, Orwell borrowed a chapter title from Assignment in Utopia, “Two Plus Two Equals Five.” Lyons recalled that it was a common slogan in the Soviet Union during the drive to complete the first Five-Year Plan in just four years. Orwell adapted it as a metaphor for official totalitarian lying.

    After two books on his Moscow experience and a biography of Stalin, Lyons set to work on a full-length study of CPUSA influence on American cultural life in the 1930s, The Red Decade. The book was not popular when first published in 1941, however, as soon after it saw print, the Soviet Union was invaded by Nazi Germany and became an American ally in World War II. The book’s fame came only later, during the era of McCarthyism, when its title became a byword for the popular front alliance between Communists and liberals in the 1930s.

    In later years, Lyons’ political views shifted to the right, and for a time, he was editor with Reader’s Digest, Plain Talk and National Review. He was also involved with Radio Free Europe and was also a member of the American Jewish League Against Communism.[27]

    In the early 1940s and the Second Red Scare that followed World War II, Lyons was a frequent contributor to the popular press on antcommunist themes and criticized liberals whom he deemed inadequate in their denunciations of the Soviet regime. In The American Mercury, Lyons was critical of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt for lending her prestige to a gathering of the American Youth Congress, a front joint organization bringing together Communist and Socialist student groups.[28] In 1947, Lyons attacked former Vice President Henry A. Wallace as an appeaser of the Soviet dictatorship who refused to face up to the true nature of the regime.[29]

    Writing for the American Legion in 1950, Lyons accepted the premise that American government agencies had been infiltrated by Soviet spies.[30] He also lauded the work of the House Committee on Un-American Activities for its work investigating the activities of the CPUSA and exposing Communists in the government employ.[31

    • Replies: @GLT
    , @Achmed E. Newman
  8. Wokefishing. What you do when she’s irresistibly hot …but also brainless.


    Wokefishing is the act of pretending to have ultra right-on opinions in an effort to get social justice warriors into bed… because, apparently, some people want to do that.

    Apparently, techniques of these “wokefish” include pretending to be a “protest-attending, sex-positive, anti-racist, intersectional feminist who drinks ethically sourced oat milk…but in reality not giving a sh*t”…

    We hear from one gentleman who tells us that on his first date with a chap “they talked about racism in the UK.” Call me old fashioned, but that seems like a pretty heavy topic for a first date. As an opening gambit: “Hello, you look lovely, tell me, what should we do to address white supremacy in society?” wouldn’t exactly be a “move” I’d go for.

  9. Anonymous[934] • Disclaimer says:

    I heard some place that Duranty may have been a homo and easy to blackmail by the communists. Was he homo?

    Media Mendacity is so commonplace that I’m not sure Duranty qualifies as a special monster.
    Granted, there is a difference between willful naivete and knowing the truth but telling lies. Noam Chomsky once defended the Khmer Rouge, but it seems he was really in the dark about what was happening. Or he had good reasons to be skeptical of reports because so many anti-communist lies had been told during the Vietnam War. But once the Killing Fields were exposed, Chomsky didn’t deny it further. In contrast, reporters like Duranty and others seemingly lie out of habit. Some do it for ideological reasons. Some do it in support of the lesser evil. US and UK knew the Soviets did Katyn but pushed the lie that the Nazis did it to maintain the alliance. Some do it because it’s the only way to keep a job. Chris Hedges reported on too many stuff NYT didn’t want to hear about and was let go.

    Soviet Union was monstrous, but American record in the 20th century is also deeply marred. US wars in Philippines may have indirectly led to deaths of a million. US support of right-wing regimes in Central America led to death squad killings of 100,000’s. US created the situation in Vietnam and then got involved in another people’s conflict and killed over a million. And WMD were all based on lies. An entire nation wrecked. Lies were also behind Libya and operation in Syria. ‘Assad gassed his own people’. Most likely a lie, but even if true, which side did the US support? Complete Jihadi lunatics.

    And I fail to see how people like Clinton and Albright are any better than Stalin and Kaganovich. When questioned by Leslie Stahl, Albright really thought 500,000 Arab children had died as the result of sanctions. (The number could be lower but Albright accepted those numbers.) And she said it was worth it. Killing all those children is worth it? Is there a difference between that logic and the one that says it’s worth it to starve millions of Kulaks? And how many died in Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Yemen as the result of US intervention for the sake of Zion? Are all those deaths also worth it? Israel was founded on ethnic cleansing and practices apartheid in West Bank. To teach it a lesson, would it be justified to sanction that nation and kill 500,000 Jewish kids? Of course, that would be another holocaust but hell with Arab kids.

    One thing that can be said for US credit vis-a-vis the USSR is that US, at the very least, didn’t do mass killings on its own people. But when it came to foreigners, US sure loves to kill like the Romans of old.

    And speaking of lies, it’s just a universal thing. Even those who claim to tell the truth also tell lies.

    An example. Historian Bruce Cumings discusses a case where US puppet regime in South Korea killed thousands of people but the US propaganda machine blamed it on the communists. But Cumings who tells the truth on this has told many lies about the virtues of North Korea.

    So, all sides lie, but sometimes we get some truth when various sides call out the BS on the other side. That’s the most we can hope for from most sides.

    Funny thing about our age is a different kind of lie. Duranty witnessed mass killings but said it wasn’t happening. In the US, there is NO mass genocide of blacks by white cops, but that’s the Narrative pushed by powers-that-be, and so many people, especially sucker whites, are using it as an excuse to lash at Trump and ‘bad whites’. See no genocide when it’s real and see a genocide when it’s unreal.

    • Agree: GLT
    • Replies: @Art Deco
    , @syonredux
  10. This was almost 100 years ago. All those “reporters” lying through their teeth about a colleague in order to please a dictator.

    Tell everyone that you know “objective journalism” didn’t suddenly die a few years ago.

    • Replies: @GLT
    , @paranoid goy
  11. Franz says:

    While nearly nobody heard of it, a Canadian movie called Bitter Harvest in 1917 covered the Ukrainian famine. It was a pricey production but was essentially bum-reviewed to keep audiences away.

    • Replies: @guest
    , @J.Ross
  12. There is no upside in telling the emperor he has no clothes.

    Fear is freedom !
    Subjugation is freedom !
    Contradiction is truth !

  13. @Buzz Mohawk

    Human beings are disgusting. You can’t tell the pigs from the men.


    Ending of George Orwell’s famous book “Animal Farm.”

    “Gentlemen,” concluded Napoleon, “I will give you the same toast as before, but in a different form. Fill your
    glasses to the brim. Gentlemen, here is my toast: To the prosperity of The Manor Farm! ”
    There was the same hearty cheering as before, and the mugs were emptied to the dregs. But as the animals
    outside gazed at the scene, it seemed to them that some strange thing was happening. What was it that had
    altered in the faces of the pigs? Clover’s old dim eyes flitted from one face to another. Some of them had five
    chins, some had four, some had three. But what was it that seemed to be melting and changing? Then, the
    applause having come to an end, the company took up their cards and continued the game that had been
    interrupted, and the animals crept silently away.
    But they had not gone twenty yards when they stopped short. An uproar of voices was coming from the
    farmhouse. They rushed back and looked through the window again. Yes, a violent quarrel was in progress.
    There were shoutings, bangings on the table, sharp suspicious glances, furious denials. The source of the
    trouble appeared to be that Napoleon and Mr. Pilkington had each played an ace of spades simultaneously.
    Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question, now, what had happened to the
    faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man
    again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.

    • Thanks: Richard B
  14. Glt says:

    Police are backing out of agreements to provide security for the Dem Convention.
    Sounds hopeful, but is there even going to be a Dem Convention??

    Democrats who have been clamoring to defund police and “reimagine” the force may soon get a small taste of what they’re asking for, after scores of law enforcement agencies reportedly refused to protect their convention.

    Anyway, it sounds hopeful. Keep hope alive!

  15. Svevlad says:
    @Mr McKenna

    Why would anyone in their right mind do that?

    Don’t stick dick in trash

  16. GLT says:

    LOVE your research, dude. But seriously. MORE tag.

    • Agree: bomag
  17. GLT says:

    It’s much worse than I’d thought, though. I haven’t read the NYT much in years.
    Here’s their NEWS article, not ‘opinion’ piece, on the AFFH deal.


    Trump Plays on Racist Fears of Terrorized Suburbs to Court White Voters

    President Trump painted a false picture of suburbs under siege, saying he was protecting them from low-income housing, as he seeks to win over white voters who were key to his 2016 victory.

    By Annie Karni, Maggie Haberman and Sydney Ember

    July 29, 2020

    WASHINGTON — President Trump vowed on Wednesday to protect suburbanites from low-income housing being built in their neighborhoods, making an appeal to white suburban voters by trying to stir up racist fears about affordable housing and the people who live there.

    In a tweet and later in remarks during a visit to Texas, Mr. Trump painted a false picture of the suburbs as under siege and ravaged by crime, using fear-mongering language that has become something of a rhetorical flourish in his general election campaign against the presumptive Democratic nominee, Joseph R. Biden Jr.

    Mr. Trump said on Twitter that “people living their Suburban Lifestyle Dream” would “no longer be bothered or financially hurt by having low income housing built in your neighborhood.” The president was referring to the administration’s decision last week to roll back an Obama-era program intended to combat racial segregation in suburban housing. The program expanded provisions in the Fair Housing Act to encourage diversification and “foster inclusive communities.”

    “Your housing prices will go up based on the market, and crime will go down,” he wrote, even though there was no evidence that the program led to an increase in crime.

    The tweet, sent from aboard Air Force One as Mr. Trump traveled to Texas, was the latest example of the president stoking racial division as he seeks to win over voters in his bid for re-election.

    The crazy thing is that Trump is crazy enough that you’d think they wouldn’t have to editorialize so heavily in their putative ‘reporting’ articles. Do they think their audience is stupid, or just brainwashed?

    Noted in passing: the assumption that all suburban whites are racist.

    • Replies: @Alden
  18. tyrone says:

    Jerry nadless thinks the violent riots are a myth…the federal agents trying to protect a billion dollars worth of OUR property are “stormtroopers”…….I guess history does rhyme…… the way, we are in the most dangerous period in any of our life times (oblivious ,I know)

  19. @Mr McKenna

    I recall having an opportunity to wokefish back in college before anyone had heard of wokeness. Girl was from somewhere in the Pacific Northwest, lol. I bit my tongue for about ten minutes while she spewed random leftism (moderate by Current Year standards, and no, I don’t know why she wanted that to be first date convo), until I couldn’t take it anymore and finally told her she was wrong. She reacted with the stunned outrage of a Victorian lady stung in her amour-propre. Before fuming off into the night, her last words were, “well you missed your chance with me!” I thought that was an oddly old fashioned sentiment for so self-consciously progressive a young woman. Anyhow, I never regretted it. Though if I had thought of Agree and Amplify back then I might have had more fun with it.

    • Replies: @HammerJack
  20. @Almost Missouri

    I don’t know why she wanted that to be first date convo

    Because she was brainless.

  21. @syonredux

    Thank you (non-sarcastically) Syon, for sorting out the relevant parts about this guy from the Wiki page. That was extremely interesting. Reading the progress of Mr. Lyon’s views teaches us the stark difference of someone who, though maybe naive (and indoctrinated) at a young age, spent his life seeking the truth. He arrived at a lot of it and used his efforts to bring the truth to others.

    This is as opposed to the life of Mr. Duranty, who was that Monta-something term that Steve used. I suppose he was a fun guy, great to hang out and drink a beer with. However, his writing of massive lies to keep his career on track and have certain people still like him caused so much grief over the years to people around the world.

    Which type of guy would we rather have more of?

  22. @Mr McKenna

    Yeah, you can only do this if you have nothing to lose… i.e. no assets, no job. Unless you’re a member of a protected minority… 😉

    • Agree: GLT
  23. guest says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    How much? As much as you can imagine.

  24. guest says:

    I imagine Bitter Harvest was allowed to be released because we were then in the midst of anti-Russian hysteria. (See: WWG and Donald Trump.) Which may or may not be ongoing; I’m not sure.

    Death of Stalin had more success with critics. Though I have no idea how it did with audiences.

  25. Jack D says:
    @Mr McKenna

    This goes back a LONG way. Back in the 30s/40s, Commie chicks were known to be sexually liberated at a time when most girls were saving it for marriage. A lot of the guys who later got caught up in the McCarthy era blacklists claimed that they joined the Party solely for the poon. They may or may not have been lying but it was probably at least part of their motivation.

    • Replies: @Alden
  26. guest says:

    “Lyons, a disillusioned communist”

    Mainstream anti-communists in the previous century tended to be former communists. Or “former” communists. Because who ever heard of an intellectual who isn’t a communist? Perish the thought!

    About Metropolitan-Vickers–which I think was a Westinghouse company–remember what Lenin said: “Communism is Soviet power plus the electrification of the whole country.” Which is a strange formula, but certainly the following regime tried to fulfill his hopes for electrical magic. They couldn’t do it on their own, because communism, so they invited dirty capitalists in to help.

    Now, Stalin being Stalin, his underlings had to discover conspiracies that didn’t exist. So outside electrical help got put on trial. Stalin was also adept at keeping hostages. He did it to both sides of the Chinese civil war, for instance. Mao’s son went to Moscow to study, naturally enough. But Chiang’s did too, during a brief period in the 20s when the Nationalists and Communists were allies. I wonder, did Stalin know occasionally putting Westerners through the Show Trial gauntlet would keep Western journalists in line?

    It’s all very medieval. With ransoms and everything.

  27. Sean says:

    The high in IQ always hate the lower orders, with their nationalism, natalism and opposition to prostitution or gay sex.

    The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism, Bertrand Russell
    First published November 1920

    The Russian Revolution is one of the great heroic events of the world’s history. […] I believe that Communism is necessary to the world, and I believe that the heroism of Russia has fired men’s hopes in a way which was essential to the realization of Communism in the future. Regarded as a splendid attempt, without which ultimate success would have been very improbable, Bolshevism deserves the gratitude and admiration of all the progressive part of mankind. […] The present holders of power are evil men, and the present manner of life is doomed. To make the transition with a minimum of bloodshed, with a maximum of preservation of whatever has value in our existing civilization, is a difficult problem. It is this problem which has chiefly occupied my mind in writing the following pages. I wish I could think that its solution would be facilitated by some slight degree of moderation and humane feeling on the part of those who enjoy unjust privileges in the world as it is.

    There were hundreds of books by Russian emigres through the Twenties about the famines and mass killings in Russia. If any intellectuals still did not know what was happening by the end of that decade it was because they they did not want to know.

    In the February 1931 Time magazine Duranty described a GPU torture of immersing the hand in a boiling water and drawing off the skin like a glove. He privately told British diplomats that there had been ten million deaths from famine in the USSR. The West knew, they just expected Stalin to fight Hitler instead of making a deal with him as actually happened. The Soviets gave Duranty a big American car with a GPU horn that terrified ordinary Russians. He was supplied with girls from the former aristocracy, who were sent to camps when he tired of them. HG Wells, Andre Gide and Romain Rolland all were seduced by femme fatale Soviet agents. Rolland’s had been a princess.

    Economic experts in Germany under the Nazis recognised Soviet liquidation of unproductive persons in the countryside as the logical outcome of a correct economic analysis of rural overpopulation. Selling the wheat gave them money to industrialise and import technology, but the rural deaths were a feature not a bug. Getting rid of the peasants in over populated Ukraine was a win-win.

  28. Jack D says:

    Aside from the fact that we don’t have to physically get all the “journalists” together in a room anymore to send out the Party Line (that’s what mailing lists like JournoList are for), in today’s world such actual co-ordination and persuasion is not even necessary. Reporters have internalized Woke Thought and spout it effortlessly and automatically – no need for an Umansky to pressure them to shape a story along Leftist lines – they are more than willing, in fact eager, to do so all on their own without any further direction. A virtual Umansky lives in their heads already so there is no need for a meatspace Umansky to ply them with vodka and zakuski.

    This is what the people who keep looking for conspiracies are missing – you don’t NEED an actual conspiracy if you have a group of like minded people. Is an ant swarm a “conspiracy” among the ants? It’s like the way that big corporations do legal price fixing without ever actually communicating with each other (which would be illegal). The most prominent or prestigious outlets ( NY Times, Washington Post) or politicians (Pelosi) sends the signal and then all the others fall into line.

    There are police shootings every day in the US involving all races – 1,000 of them per year (of course this is nothing compared to the number of black on black shootings – Chicago alone has way more, but never mind) . But the Borg decides to pick out one of the victims and make him their poster boy and set off another round of Black Lives Splatter and it’s off to the races we go.

    • Agree: Achmed E. Newman
    • Replies: @Art Deco
    , @Escher
  29. @Achmed E. Newman

    Even though I consider myself pretty well versed in the evils of Communism, I look forward to reading “Black Book” myself as I understand it is a veritable treasure trove.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
  30. Art Deco says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Human beings are disgusting. You can’t tell the pigs from the men.

    Try inserting the name of an actual human being as the subject of that sentence, and see if it makes sense.

    People aren’t disgusting, but the disgusting sorts are attracted to and retained in particular lines of work, especially word-merchant occupations.

    • Troll: Charon
    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  31. Art Deco says:
    @Jack D

    1,000 of them per yea

    The Bureau of Justice Statistics has been producing reports on this topic at irregular intervals for four decades. The ‘1,000 a year’ is a meme manufactured by the Washington Post and swallowed whole by people like Alex Tabarrok.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  32. Art Deco says:

    Historian Bruce Cumings discusses a case where US puppet regime in South Korea

    You’ve incorporated a false statement right there.

    • Agree: Ian Smith
  33. Mr. Hack says:

    Thanks for bringing this new film to your readership’s attention and also providing the amount of detail that you did within your Taki article. Duranty was indeed a coniving bastard, and the NYT has continuously darkened its image (if that’s possible), by continuing to support a positive memory of this commie sycophant.

  34. Escher says:
    @Jack D

    A virtual Umansky lives in their heads already so there is no need for a meatspace Umansky to ply them with vodka and zakuski.

    Well said.

  35. Quite a boring movie which I was happily able to screen for free. Famines just don’t translate well to the big screen, I’m afraid. “Look — this is bark! This is what they were eating!” Yawn.

    The idea that the general public in Britain and the U.S. suffering through their own miseries would care deeply about a famine in Ukraine strains credulity. Leftists would certainly care for narrative reasons, although it seems obvious they’d just roll their eyes at Jones’ reporting, the same way I roll my eyes at everything Charles Blow writes. The idea that Orwell suddenly “saw the light” after meeting Jones also beggars belief. Perhaps after Jones was murdered, maybe then.

    Also, if Orwell was that moved by famine, it’s odd how he ignored all of the famines engineered by his own country.

  36. Art Deco says:

    conomic experts in Germany under the Nazis recognised Soviet liquidation of unproductive persons in the countryside as the logical outcome of a correct economic analysis of rural overpopulation. Selling the wheat gave them money to industrialise and import technology, but the rural deaths were a feature not a bug. Getting rid of the peasants in over populated Ukraine was a win-win.

    The only ‘economic expert’ who ever suggested such a thing was an incompetent one.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  37. Abe says:

    So many things I’d like to say, but due to my day job probably won’t get to them before this thread has mushroomed to well over 100 comments.

    So I’ll just leave you with my most concise, if not most trenchant observation- in the 20th Century info wars of world geostrategic import (for example, keeping the general publics of France, Great Britain, and the US on a need-to-know basis of how Stalin starved to death millions of his own people- the need apparently occurring 50 years after the fact- and its subsequent effect on the timing and scope of war aid to Russia) the same Establishment (CIA) that ultimately proved up to the task of dealing with Communist apex predator sociopaths like Stalin and Mao is now seemingly powerless to stop around 100 or so black mean girls from bringing the most powerful nation in the history of the world to its knees (mystery of the Great Awokening solved, Steve- rise of Black Twitter with the universal adoption of smart phones + coming of age of thousands of Millenial black girls with worthless studies degrees who can write just passably + major cuts in newsroom budgets where a Jakarta desk is simply unaffordable but a Twitter desk costs almost nothing and produces constant rage-aholic copy guaranteed to lure millions of clicks + inevitable cop-induced death of some ‘aspiring rapper’/‘turning his life around’-nick under less than savory circumstances = (ta’da!) The Great Awokening! Sad.

  38. @Prester John

    Even though I consider myself pretty well versed in the evils of Communism, I look forward to reading “Black Book” myself as I understand it is a veritable treasure trove.

    I felt the same way. Then I read the Black Book of Communism.

    Robert Conquest’s books are good too.

  39. Anonymous[363] • Disclaimer says:

    Economic experts in Germany under the Nazis recognised Soviet liquidation of unproductive persons in the countryside as the logical outcome of a correct economic analysis of rural overpopulation. Selling the wheat gave them money to industrialise and import technology, but the rural deaths were a feature not a bug. Getting rid of the peasants in over populated Ukraine was a win-win.

    This doesn’t make sense, since industrialization involves urbanization and rural migration. Industrialization depends on and benefits from excess rural population moving to industrial cities.

    Unlike agriculture, industry has increasing returns to scale.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  40. @Art Deco

    Perhaps the “word-merchant occupations” allow disgusting people to spread their disgusting, smelly shit among the rest of us. They fling poo daily because it is made so easy for them, via the technological inventions of better men.

    Here you go: “Walter Duranty was disgusting. You can’t tell him from a pig.” Now you tell me why that sentence isn’t true. Orwell understood.

    I’m not sure what your point is. Your effort to save mankind from my oh-so-important wrath is noble, but nothing you or I write here matters.

    • Replies: @Ozymandias
    , @Art Deco
  41. Jack D says:
    @Art Deco

    What is the correct number of annual police shootings in the US? Even if it was two times 1,000, it is nothing compared to the number of black shootings. Chicago alone is already up to 2,249 shootings this year and the year is barely halfway over.

  42. Abe says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    One wonders how much of this sort of thing is going on right now

    I can’t find the the comment anymore to give credit to the original poster as I don’t exactly recall the fine turn of phrase used, but right after Trump’s election when the media was just beginning to ramp up its 24/365 infowar against him, someone here commented how Trump was giving us all a free master class on the methods of media reality distortion and for that alone we should be eternally grateful to him. After 4 years of media lockstep shrieking that the sun really rises in the West if Trump says it rises in the East I will never take anything again for granted:

    Just some of the lies I am embarrassed to say I unreflectively swallowed in the 90’s:

    * JFK was killed by a lone gunman instead of a conspiracy
    * Serbs are dime-store Nazis who deserve to be stealth bombed to the Stone Age
    * Michael Jordan is a big, PG-rated Space Jammin’ teddy bear who definitely has not run trains on half the skanks in Las Vegas with his buddy Charles Barkley
    * Tom Hanks is Mr. Americana, sharing 40% of the same DNA as an apple pie and the remainder the same as a Marine battle flag who definitely does NOT cruise for homeless albinos to bring back with him so that they can sit on his chest while ripping out his toenails (kidding…. or am I?)

  43. Stogumber says:

    In a way we stand on the shoulders of giants. Men like Lyons (and women like Dilling) had to work from scratch in order to understand the Liberal-Bolshevist affinity. And they were successful only by sheer luck – Stalin’s policy of “socialism in one country” made him more flexible, but in the end also more unreliable for the whims of the Western Liberals. If Trotsky had prevailed, the West might have been captured in one nonstop process and would be under united Liberal-Bolshevist rule for times unlimited.
    Do we have a comprehensive book about these warners-before-the-time? In this our renewed Red Decade it might be useful to read about the efforts and sufferings of our precursors.

  44. Rob McX says:

    There’s another omelette in the making right now, and we whites are the eggs.

  45. Alden says:
    @Jack D

    You’re right. And many of the commie parents like the Dunhams urged their daughters to get it on with blacks so as to produce half black commie revolutionaries. Many commie girls did so. And Anne Dunham produced the longed for Messiah

  46. Alden says:

    The real problem is that few suburban Whites know what affirmative action housing means. They think they can keep in electing anti White democrats and somehow their suburb will be spared. They think the sec 8 will be elected in the south or some unenlightened White prole suburb.

    • Agree: Jim Don Bob
  47. Richard B says:
    @Mr McKenna

    This is a golden opportunity to make political hay at the Dems’ expense. But are there any politically-savvy Reps in the game at all?

    Did you see the “questions” some of the Republicans asked Big Tech recently?

    They’re so obviously bought and paid for. Disgraceful and depressing.

    I guess Tucker will say something about it?

    He did last night while interviewing Jim Jordan.

    Talk about disgraceful and depressing.

    Jordan’s a shameless sellout. They all are. It couldn’t be more obvious.

    And what was it with his manic and corny hand gestures?

    He clearly needs a new media consultant.

    But, guess that doesn’t matter. Because The RNC is about to be cancelled forever.

    If The DNC = Demonic Narcissistic Communists,
    The RNC = Really Never Cared, or, Repressed Neo Cucks.

    Either way, they’re about to be as irrelevant as a big pile of rotary phones.


    • Agree: GLT
  48. syonredux says:

    US wars in Philippines may have indirectly led to deaths of a million.

    Probably not. This is a good place to start if you want to get a sense of the complexities involved:

    • Replies: @nebulafox
  49. Charon says:

    Steve it’s past time for a new corona thread.

    And a “Trump & The Republicans are Bozos” thread.

    The Bozo in Chief thinks he can reschedule the presidential election now. The Republicans in the Senate think that voters want their unemployment compensation cut from 600 to 200.


    A party that dozens of Long Beach Island lifeguards attended has been linked to 35 cases of the virus, according to the state’s health commissioner. A house party in Middletown, N.J., has been blamed for 65 new cases; 52 of the people infected were between the ages of 15 and 19, Gov. Philip D. Murphy said. Judith M. Persichilli, the state health commissioner, said Wednesday that 15 Rutgers football players had tested positive.

    And a house party in Jackson, N.J., about 65 miles south of Manhattan, drew more than 700 people on Sunday night, leading the police to issue tickets to its organizers. More than 100 cars were parked outside, and it took the police more than five hours to clear the scene. (NYT)

  50. @Buzz Mohawk

    Woke Salad from The Word Weasels.

  51. utu says:

    While Duranty lived, the Times continued to support him professionally and personally. As late as 1957, just a few months before Duranty’s death, Times publisher Arthur Hays Sulzberger wrote him a personal check for $2,500 when he complained his funds were low. In recent years, the paper has been increasingly uneasy about its old reporter, even hiring a historian to evaluate his Soviet coverage. But when the historian suggested Duranty’s Pulitzer be revoked, the Times turned self-righteous. “The notion of airbrushing history kind of gives me the creeps,” said Bill Keller, the executive editor at the time.

    I thought of that last week when the Times editorialized in favor of pulling down Confederate statues. The editorial approvingly quoted Nancy Pelosi: “There is no room in the hallowed halls of Congress or in any place of honor for memorializing men who embody the violent bigotry and grotesque racism of the Confederacy.” Honoring lies in support of the violence and grotesquerie of Joseph Stalin is apparently another matter.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
  52. Forbes says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Survival and self-interest always trumps character traits such as honesty and integrity. Being a foreign correspondent was a gravy train–no one purposefully gives that up.

    When you look at how the (Obama) DOJ/FBI treated Flynn and Trump, etc., how is it that anyone is surprised that you can’t tell the pigs from the men…

  53. Art Deco says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    I’m not sure what your point is.

    My point was perfectly obvious and you’re striking poses.

    • Troll: Charon
  54. @Sean

    Russell’s book was more critical of the Bolsheviks than the above quotes suggest. Also from the preface:

    “But the method by which Moscow aims at establishing Communism is a pioneer method, rough and dangerous, too heroic to count the cost of the opposition it arouses. I do not believe that by this method a stable or desirable form of Communism can be established. …

    “… I think these elements of failure are less attributable to faults of detail than to an impatient philosophy, which aims at creating a new world without sufficient preparation in the opinions and feelings of ordinary men and women.”

    “… Bolshevism is not merely a political doctrine; it is also a religion, with elaborate dogmas and inspired scriptures. … I believe the scientific outlook to be immeasurably important to the human race. If a more just economic system were only attainable by closing men’s minds against free inquiry, and plunging them back into the intellectual prison of the middle ages, I should consider the price too high. …”

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  55. @James B. Shearer

    Bertrand Russell was one of the few leftist British intellectuals to go to the Soviet Union and be disillusioned by what he saw. Perhaps because he went about a decade before most, in the early 1920s, rather than after the Crash of 1929.

  56. Peterike says:

    Takes wild guess that Umansky the creepy Soviet censor was Jewish.

    Checks internet.


  57. J.Ross says:

    Totalitarians always want less people as a function of anxiety regarding control. Soviet cities were so crowded in the early post-revolutionary period that people were living in apartment floor bathrooms and going out to the hall when someone had to use it. Criticizing Soviet crash-projects in terms of development done right is a bad idea.

    • Replies: @Yngvar
    , @Anonymous
  58. J.Ross says:
    @Art Deco

    How many economists would we have if we insisted they have the competence of a dental hygienist?

  59. J.Ross says:

    Canada had something of a Ukrainian population, including a colony of Old Believers which had been supported by Leo Tolstoy.

    • Replies: @Franz
  60. @RichardTaylor

    “objective journalism” gave us that other big book full of stories about talking snakes, talking donkeys, men living inside fishes, eternal salvation for our souls…
    Journalism, taken to mean ‘sanctioned public information dispersal’ has been a whore to power ever since power invented journalism as sanctioned public infor… you get it.

  61. nebulafox says:

    The Filipino war and conquest was definitely not one of America’s finer historical moments-one of the more notable steps away from republic and toward empire, in my books-but calling it genocidal is hyperbole.

    Ironically, Theodore Roosevelt probably has the biggest image as the prototypical American jingo-imperialist, for not undeserved reasons (his proto-neocon views to WWI), but he was also the guy who was smart and pragmatic enough to realize that an amnesty was the quickest way of nipping things in the bud. A lot of other Americans weren’t, the notion that you give anything to “savages” being anathema.

  62. nebulafox says:

    I hold the Confederacy fanboys here in considerable disdain, as my commenting history should show: those agrarian fantasists first retarded America’s progress, then turned traitor and launched the most vicious war in American history. But compared to Stalin, they were monks. Or compared to any modern totalitarian.

    History has always had monsters, but until the 20th Century, there was only so much killing and controlling the technology would let you do.

  63. @Sean

    To add to James Shearer, the quote you (Sean) offer us should be read in the context of the person’s vocabulary. When Russel uses a word like “heroic”, it’s meaning is to be found in a dictionary, not a Hollywood story. I like the way you grab the opportunity to demonise Germany in the passing. The “German economists” you refer to must be the ones Hitler (almost) saved Europe from…
    Or are you seriously going to invent a Nazi campaign to cleanse the rural areas of peasants?
    Go on, bet you have all the New York Times articles lined up.

    • Replies: @Sean
  64. Franz says:

    Canada had something of a Ukrainian population

    An article from around the film’s release (in 2017, for some reason I had “1917” on my mind) mentioned that a rich Canadian with Ukrainian roots bankrolled quite a bit of it.

    Plenty of their ethnic kin is in Ohio, on the north shore of Lake Erie. The wife and I usually get invited to their Christmas get togethers and I’ve come to love Ukrainian cooking except for the how fattening it is. But then the wife’s Polish family is the same. Only Slavs can turn a fresh apple into an Apple Dumpling and add a thousand calories to it.

    Bitter Harvest was good. Having come to it only when it got to DVD, I have the impression it was a much longer film originally and had lots cut out. Quite a few continuity issues. But what’s there is memorable and too bad it was neglected.

  65. Anonymous[330] • Disclaimer says:

    You’re wrong. Population growth was an early Soviet and Stalinist priority.

    Sean’s notion that industrialization requires destroying your potential labor inputs to industry which has increasing returns to scale is completely wrong.

    The Soviets didn’t target “excess rural population” as such but rather the rural landlord and petty landholding class – kulaks – because as landowners they didn’t have to or were less willing to work in industry.

  66. Sean says:
    @paranoid goy

    Work is of two kinds: first, altering the position of matter at or near the earth’s surface relatively to other such matter; second, telling other people to do so. The first kind is unpleasant and ill paid; the second is pleasant and highly paid. The second kind is capable of indefinite extension: there are not only those who give orders, but those who give advice as to what orders should be given. Usually two opposite kinds of advice are given simultaneously by two organized bodies of men; this is called politics […] I remember hearing an old Duchess say: “What do the poor want with holidays? They ought to work.”( In Praise of Idleness 1932)

    Pretty clear that, rather like the way the super rich (who have no need to call on a group for help) are beyond religion and nationality, the hyper-intelligent Russell types are always internationalists. Above all, they resent the hierarchies of religion and state. The Bolsheviks were destroying such hierarchy in Russia, so of course Russell approved.

    In the late 1940’s he advocated the US use, or threaten to use, the Atomic Bomb on the USSR to prevent it developing and nuclear weapons. He was working towards world government in much the same way as leading economists. It is always presented as scientific rationality, this way intellectuals like Russell disparage the traditional basis of society. But competition between nation states is analogous to that between living things. So political and other conflict is fruitful.

    My information on what the Third Reich technocrats intended for the Eastern territories is from a book called Architects of Annihilation by Gotz Aly. Basically the debate was whether to kill off the slavs quickly or just reduce the,population over generations while German settlers moved in. The most able families (successful in rising in socio economic status ) were to be Germanised. This is Estonians I am talking about obviously, not Ukrainians. With its fertile land, Ukraine had been over populated for a very long time, but the Tsarist regime failed in getting people to go and settle underpopulated Siberia.

    • Replies: @paranoid goy
  67. @Sean

    I would not call Russel a genius… Messianic complexes tend to plague those impressed by their own wisdom, which proves their lack of wisdom. And psychopaths, like Cecil J. Rhodes, the notorious child-effer who led the genocide of the Boer Volk.
    As for that “Third Reich Plan” for the peasants: Do you have German friends? Do you know what freaks they are about paperwork being correct and up to date? Every word Hitler (or anyone else) uttered officially, was documented, and these documents are often displayed as proof for this or that.
    Show us your documentation, please. …and sorry, not testimony from a “holocaust survivor” or decendent, actual state documentation. After all, it was “the official plan”, no? I mean, if we can find the daily camp reports for Auschwitz, certainly such an important policy document can be found (not fabricated, found)?
    As for the

    super rich (who have no need to call on a group for help)

    Gangsters always make shure they have backup before they start any fight. The “super-rich” are as concerned about “turf” as any New York Brother. Right now, for example, there is an international turf war raging over child prostitution, it’s called the War On…Paedophilia. Watch that, and see the “super-rich” display their turf ‘colours’. “Who gets to vaccinate whom” is also streaming, as well as that old soap opera standard, “Who’s interfering in our election” . All of this you can follow day to day on any of the No-Fake-News channels belonging to each other. The best bit is where they deny operating on each others’ turf. All for “the cheeldrin” of course.
    As in 1933, it is still all about how you perceive “The Narrative”. The one reported by thousands of news outlets who belong to each other…

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