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The USSR Wasn’t Evil

Summary:
Shop all books by Tom Woods From the Tom Woods Letter: Folks, they are making this newsletter too easy on me. The former political director of a state-level chapter of the Libertarian Party just wrote this: Someone in my Supporting Listeners group came back with this retort: That comment alone kills him, but I can’t resist a few swings of my own rhetorical baseball bat. Our friend’s thesis: the USSR was not evil, but simply wrong in good faith. Now note: this same person considers your host here to be flat-out evil. You’ve got to believe me, folks: I’m genuinely trying not to be evil. After all, here are my totals: Famines caused: 0Famine deaths caused: 0Gulags opened: 0People imprisoned in gulags: 0Political executions: 0Political purges: 0Books banned: 0 Pretty

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Shop all books by Tom Woods

From the Tom Woods Letter:

Folks, they are making this newsletter too easy on me.

The former political director of a state-level chapter of the Libertarian Party just wrote this:

The USSR Wasn’t Evil

Someone in my Supporting Listeners group came back with this retort:

The USSR Wasn’t Evil

That comment alone kills him, but I can’t resist a few swings of my own rhetorical baseball bat.

Our friend’s thesis: the USSR was not evil, but simply wrong in good faith.

Now note: this same person considers your host here to be flat-out evil.

You’ve got to believe me, folks: I’m genuinely trying not to be evil. After all, here are my totals:

Famines caused: 0
Famine deaths caused: 0
Gulags opened: 0
People imprisoned in gulags: 0
Political executions: 0
Political purges: 0
Books banned: 0

Pretty good, huh?

Nope.

Woods, says our friend, is evil.

But the USSR? Why, they were “wrong in good faith.”

(Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn had a bit to say about the nature of the Soviet regime, I might add, but something tells me this person would consider Solzhenitsyn, rather than his captors, to be the evil one.)

They just wanted to improve conditions for the working class, you see. Sure, they went about it the wrong way, but their motives were pure.

Do you detect a slight — slight, I say — naivete there?

The Bolshevik Revolution gave rise almost instantly to a one-party state with suppression of dissent, summary executions, concentration camps (with some 70,000 inmates by the time of Lenin’s death in early 1924), a concerted state campaign against religion, terror against the countryside — and on and on.

Not to mention a secret police sixteen times as large as anything the Tsar had ever built.

And that’s not to mention the far worse atrocities that came later.

Hey, Ukrainians, we’re carrying out collectivization in a way that’s bound to starve millions of you to death, but honey, don’t you dare forget that our hearts are in the right place. Smooch!

Read Harvest of Sorrow by Robert Conquest, and see what was done to those people. Then consider that an outspoken so-called libertarian, who accuses the whole world of fascism and “white supremacy” (a term that to my mind instantly discredits its user), thinks this was not an evil regime.

This is the great moral exemplar who presumes to lecture the libertarian movement.

He’s also known for dismissing and dissenting from the Nonaggression Principle. Gee, how surprising!

And one more thing: this is the same person who said it would be a “huge stretch” to call Murray Rothbard an Austrian School economist. (I’ll bet Murray Rothbard, too, is to be considered more evil than the USSR.)

That’s just mind-bogglingly idiotic.

Whose price theory, production theory, interest theory, business-cycle theory, and monetary theory did Rothbard hold and promote, if not the Austrian?

Not to mention: Henry Hazlitt himself matter-of-factly described Rothbard as a member of the Austrian School, and one who in fact failed to appreciate his own significance.

Hayek, too, said Rothbard was clearly working in the Austrian tradition, as did Mises.

The USSR Wasn’t EvilSo we are dealing with a special kind of dumb here — or someone more brilliant than Hazlitt, Hayek, and Mises. (I don’t know about you, but I’m going with Option 1.)

Meanwhile, the chairman of the Libertarian Party nitpicks your host’s every move, but do you think the claim that the USSR wasn’t evil, just misguided, will receive a rebuke?

The question answers itself, my dear reader.

Now I know that most libertarians would be rightly appalled by this person’s remarks, and that includes even (I trust) most people in the Libertarian Party.

But it is this very kind of person who presumes to judge everyone else.

Physician, heal thyself.

About Tom Woods
Tom Woods
New York Times bestselling author, and host of The Tom Woods Show, most awesome libertarian podcast ever.

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