J. Barkley Rosser, Jr. rosserjb at jmu.edu
Mon Mar 29 08:38:43 PST 1999



I think we have been here before with you avoiding responding to various points except indirectly. In particular, and relevant to (lots of) other messges currently on the boards, there is the question of Yugoslavia. Of course, Tito resisted and split with Stalin. I certainly grant that Tito was no great democrat with his tolerance for dissidence varying considerably over time. But by and large Yugoslavia was a much more politically and economically liberal place than the other officially Communist states of Central and Eastern Europe. He even managed the ethnic conflicts a whole lot better than they are being managed right now, ahem!

You may well argue that Greece ended up better off than it would have been if Communists had won after the war. Certainly there was a period of military dictatorship in Greece that was at least as repressive as the Tito regime, and arguably more so. Economic performance there is not noticeably superior to what has transpired in the better off of the former Yugoslav republics such as Slovenia (although certainly better off than pathetic Kosovo). And there is good reason to believe that the partisans in Greece were pretty independent of Stalin and would have very likely followed a Tito-style model than a Stalin model. (Of course they might have imitated Enver Hoxha.... ).

With regard to Kazan there was a truly obnoxious article in the Washington Post yesterday discussing how "On the Waterfront" was Kazan's defense of his own informing. Somehow the author of this article failed to note that, although one might compare Johnny Friendly (the corrupt union boss played by Lee J. Cobb) to Joseph Stalin, that Kazan was not informing on Joseph Stalin but on a bunch of his powerless supporters in the US who were under attack by a repressive committee. I like "On the Waterfront" a lot, but it does not cut it as a justification for Kazan's odious behavior.

I'm behind in my _The Economist_ and only saw that your web site got highly rated by them. Congrats, even if they undermined their credibility with an ignorant piece on Krugman and economic geography in the same issue (I have no doubt that they will NOT publish my letter pointing out their ignorance). Barkley Rosser -----Original Message----- From: Brad De Long <delong at econ.Berkeley.EDU> To: lbo-talk at lists.panix.com <lbo-talk at lists.panix.com> Date: Sunday, March 28, 1999 9:58 AM Subject: Re: Kazan/HUAC

>>We have no idea of how Europe would have turned out in the early post-WW
>>years had it not been for the Cold War and U.S. resolve to destroy the
>>USSR. U.S. policy helped create the repressive monster its propaganda
>>condemned - starting not in 1945 but 1917.
>I would agree with you if Stalin had died in the spring of 1945, and had
>been succeeded by Khrushchev--then I think there would have been a real
>genuine possibility for a relaxation of tensions. But as long as Stalin
>remained in power (or if he had died and been succeeded by someone like
>Beria or Zhdanov) it seems to me that the inner dynamics of the Soviet
>system and its leaders' psychology were driving toward the internal
>outcomes we saw in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe between 1945 and
>After all, at various times during the 1920s and 1930s, Zinoviev, Kamenev,
>Radek, Bukharin, and Kirov had thought that peaceful coexistence with
>Stalin was attainable...
>Brad DeLong

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