Friday, 20 December 2019 19:00
Estonian Life No. 51/52 2019 - Laas Leivat
Is someone who produces an on-line bulletin of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada and who was the party's candidate in the last federal elections a useful and/or willing idiot for Moscow?
He amassed a total of 77 votes from people who definitely fit the description of useful idiot. But one might ask, why a Western communist in today's world, when the Cold War is supposedly over and communism as such has ostensibly been abandoned by the current Russian regime, still be pushing Soviet propaganda?
Because Western communists still perceive the Kremlin today as espousing the same totalitarian line, as the continuation of repressive policies of the old Central Committee. In fact they probably celebrate the steady growth of admiration for Stalin in Russia. That's why they, without apology, stick to abject lies and fabrications.
One Dougal MacDonald, a seasonal lecturer in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta, recently posted on his personal Facebook a rejection of the Ukrainian famine calling it a concoction of the Nazis.
MacDonald's timing was well-planned. November is the month when Ukrainians commemorate the memory of the victims of the famine. It has now been irrefutably established, through documents previously sealed and not accessible that the Holodomor of 1932-1933, that killed millions of Ukrainians, was a deliberate, targeted Soviet policy.
A Soviet era directive of 1932, shows that Communist officials ordered regions be placed on a “black list”, to endure the “immediate cessation of delivery of goods” and the “complete suspension of cooperative and state trade”, including “farm trade”. The crops that Ukraine had produced were requisitioned or left to rot. Soldiers were ordered to ransack villages for their edible goods before blockading their residents and denying them the right to buy food.
After decades of denial, dismissal and falsification through Soviet propaganda, it was solidly established that the Kremlin was intent on eliminating the defiance of Ukrainians to the ruthless forced collectivization of agriculture – the elimination of family farms. It was also a disabling strike against any visions of increased autonomy for Ukraine that might eventually lead to independence.
One might note that the right to independence was guaranteed in the Soviet constitution. But how many of the articles in this constitution were conveniently violated, such as freedom of speech, religion, assembly etc., etc? The same could apply to the modern Russian Federation constitution.
MacDonald carries the legacy of the of the first famine denier - Stalin – and his officials that helped perpetrate the deliberate genocide against the Ukrainian nation. His legacy includes prominent figures such as George Bernard Shaw, H.G Wells, Sir John Maynard, French Prime Minister Edourad Herrit – who was quoted in 1933 in Pravda that he “categorically contradicted the lies of the bourgeoisie press in connection with a famine in the USSR” - the apparent words of a useful idiot par excellence.
Perhaps the most notorious willing idiot was New York Times reporter Walter Duranty, winner of the 1932 Pulitzer Prize in journalism. He wrote at the time that “there is no actual starvation or deaths from starvation, but there is widespread mortality from diseases due to malnutrition”. He was fully cognizant of the famine and had reported to the British Embassy that the population of Ukraine and Lower Volga had reduced by six to seven million. His newspaper articles said otherwise.
British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge commented that “there was something vigorous, vivacious, preposterous, about his unscrupulousness which made his persistent lying somehow absorbing”, calling Duranty “the greatest liar of any journalist I have ever met in 50 years of journalism”.
In 1986, after public campaigns for the withdrawal of the Pulitzer Prize given to the New York Times, the paper refused to relinquish it. In spite of the fact that the Times in 1990 conceded that Duranty's articles “were some of the worse reporting in this newspaper”, the Pulitzer Board of Columbia University in 2003, after an independent review of Duranty's intentional support of Stalin's propaganda, ruled against the revocation of the award to Duranty. Is this a form of willing idiocy, willing to protect a willing useful idiot?
The Russian government still denies that the Ukrainian famine constitutes a “genocide”. The Russian Foreign Ministry in 2017 stated that the Ukrainian government's use of the phrase “the genocide of Ukrainians is “politically charged” and “contradicts historical facts”.
However, serious scholarship, with thorough investigation led the government of Canada to recognize the Holodomor as a deliberate act of genocide.
The supreme irony of Holodomor deniers is the fact that useful idiots, willing or unwitting live in a democratic society like Canada, where they have the freedom to express views offensive to the government but propagated by those regimes that would repress and persecute any citizen for the same type of behaviour, that which bucks the official line.Laas Leivat