>It is easy to trash the excesses of Stalinism.
Anybody new to this list might get the impression it is not easy.
>That approach minimizes the
>comparable crimes of the capitalist nations.
This is silly. By capitalist nations I assume you mean the usual suspects in the West, though many (as in the UK) have "socialist" governments. Just because someone criticises the former USSR (and in this thread many criticisms have come from a Marxist viewpoint) this does not necessitate the minimizing of comparable crimes in the West.
>I see no good in following that
The reason for doing so is consistency and concern for the welfare of workers, East and West. Some on this list agonize over US imperialism in Latin America but see only benefits with USSR imperialism in Eastern Europe. This may be explained by the US dominance of this list, just as it may also explain the absence of East Europeans. Similarly, the argument that reform was only possible as long as the "threat" of the USSR example existed. I'm one of those strange people who get on platforms in Hyde Park, London (and elsewhere), and I can tell you that the USSR created a lot more quietism among workers than a desire for reform. Or to put it in the often repeated vernacular: if that's your alternative, you know where you can stick it. -- Lew