by David on February 13, 2012
The comprehensive Russian Rulers podcast moves on to Stalin's Purges. Part I.
I was at least half-fortunate in falling in with a Trotskyist outfit when I went through the mandatory youthful left-wing radical phase so I never held a torch for Stalin. He was always the enemy.
I'm very happy to forgive people who made a similar but less fortunate mistake when young, people who found themselves accidentally associated with the Communist Party. It's when they're older and still yearn for the lands of the Stasi, the Trabant, the famines, the purges and the Gulag…then I have absolutely no time for them at all. No time for their willful arrested adolescence, their Che posters and crazy anti-Americanism. Idiots, the lot of them.
Interesting fact: the Soviet Union didn't increase total factor productivity at all during its entire existence. All its economic growth came from the consumption of more resources. By contrast, over the same period, a whopping 80% of the West's growth came from productivity improvements and only 20% from increased resource consumption.
Another reason why, if you're Green, you should embrace Western capitalism and run a mile from planned, non-market economies.
Also, I notice the Philospher's Zone podcast is on Michael Dummet, a philosopher I've only recently discovered…an expert on Frege who was terribly shocked and disappointed when he found out about Frege's virulent antisemitism. The host, Alan Saunders, is extremely knowledgeable (I think he has a PhD in Philosophy himself) and makes a very helpful host. Recommended.