Quote Of The Day

“Again, one reason why intellectuals are so much more obsessed with Nazi crimes than Soviet crimes – even though in terms of human lives lost the Soviets way exceeded the Nazis – is that intellectuals, by the very nature of their professions, grant enormous attention to words and ideas. And they are attracted by socialist ideas. They find that the ideas of communism are praiseworthy and attractive; that, to them, is more important than the practice of communism. Now, Nazi ideals, on the other hand, were pure barbarism; nothing more could be said in favor of them. In the case of the Soviet Union, [intellectuals] could say, “Well, yes, the practice of Soviet communism was perhaps quite bad, but the ideas are wonderful; and if we did not disturb the Soviets and did not fight them or resist them but, instead, helped them, they might have realized these ideas.”” —Dr. Richard Pipes, acclaimed Russian historian and Harvard professor of Sovietology

56 Responses to “Quote Of The Day”


  • This is a straw-man argument. I never heard anyone say that we should have helped the soviets. Even socialists felt that the use of authoritarianism was a perversion of Marx’s theory of socialism.

    The percentage of Americans who supported the Soviet Union during the cold war was extremely minimal. Even most socialists did not support the Soviet union because of the authoritarian regime and its human rights atrocities.

  • I tend to agree with what you say Michael, but Pipes is not talking about the average joe on the street, he is talking about intellectuals, who could, and do, often have a far different opinion than the average joe on the street.

  • Kjerringa mot Strommen

    I’d have more confidence listening to the arguments of someone who takes the time to think and study rather than the “average joe” who does his research listening to Fox News. That is also a generalization, but enough already with the generalizations about “intellectuals”.

    One of the “down sides” of thinking is that one goes beyond stereotypes and is forced to see the nuances; to see both sides of an issue.

  • Well in this case intellectuals were not only wrong, but abysmally wrong.

  • Let’s keep in mind that Nazis were socialists (i.e. National Sozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei… translation: National Socialist German Workers Party)

    The Nazis appealed to the masses and German intellectuals by pushing socialist ideas. Take a look at their 25 point plan for the nation.
    “the State shall make it its first duty to promote the industry and livelihood of citizens” (Point 7)

    “an end to the power of the financial interests” (Point 11)

    “confiscation of all war gains” (Point 12)

    “nationalization of all Trusts” (Point 13)

    “profit sharing in industry” (Point 14)

    “extensive development of provision for old age” (Point 15)

    “communalization of department stores, and their lease at a cheap rate to small traders” (Point 16)

    “land reform… confiscation without compensation of land for common purposes, abolition of interest on and loans, and prevention of all speculation in land” (Point 17)

    “The state must see to the raising standard of health in the nation” (Point 21)

    and “THE COMMON INTEREST BEFORE SELF” (Point 24).

    Other language included a condemnation of: “class greed,” “greedy finance capital,” “slavery of interest,” and “international bankers [and] selfish scoundrels… who conduct business in an inhuman, exploiting way, misuses the national labor force and makes millions out of its sweat.”

    Or as Hitler himself put it:
    “I have learned a great deal from Marxism, as I do not hesitate to admit…. The difference between them and myself is that I have really put into practice what these peddlers and penpushers have timidly begun…”
    For more see The Ominous Parallels by Peikoff.

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