Nathan Newman nathan.newman at
Fri Jul 14 06:58:33 PDT 2000

On Thu, 13 Jul 2000, Charles Brown wrote:

> CB: It's odder to claim that Bolshevism is not communism. Surely you
> don't think that Stiglitz is not saying that Bolshevism is communism,
> and that he is not trying to make an anti-communist statement here ?
> Or do you think Stiglitz thinks communism is something good and he is
> trying to distinguish communism from Bolshevism ( like you are) ? I
> don't think so. Stiglitz is trying to make an anti-communist
> statement, not a subtle distinction between "real" communism and
> Bolshevism.

If anticommunism means disagreement with Bolshevism, then every socialist and progressive who disagreed with Lenin and Stalin is by definition anticommunist. Including myself.

So in the sense that there is no difference in anti-communism between fascists, anarchists, wobblies and democratic socialists, Stiglitz is an anticommunist.

I had always thought that anticommunism was a narrower term, more equivalent to Red-baiting where any idea that smacked of progressive thought was assumed to lead to the gulag and that any association or alliance with communist elements was itself a murderous evil act.

There is no question that Stiglitz disagrees with Soviet-style communism and no question that by comparing the present Russian regimes methods to Bolshevism, he is measuring his disdain for them by his disdain for the Soviet methods of leadership.

By your argument liberalism equates with anticommunism, since liberals don't agree with the Bolshevik system of leadership. And democratic socialism equates with anticommunism, since democratic socialists don't agree with the Bolshevik system of leadership. And so on.

So anticommunism is holding any politics other than Soviet-oriented communism.

Fair enough, but it's pretty much a tautological definition.

-- Nathan Newman

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