BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA – The academic community and “the anti-Stalinist left” are abuzz at news of a new biography of Joseph Stalin entitled “Stalin: Man or Monster? (Monster)”. The book was the work of professor of Polish Language and Literature at UC Berkeley, Philip Tannenbaum, and incorporates all of the most famous apocryphal Stalin quotes, as well as some new ones unearthed in discussion with various political figures around the world.
Tannenbaum describes the work as his own “humble contribution to the field of winning internet arguments”. “No longer will basement-dwelling Stalinists be able to smugly end discussions with basement-dwelling anarchists and Trotskyists by typing “”. Now people who say they like Rosa Luxemburg but clearly haven’t read Rosa Luxemburg can simply cite an academic work which contains all their worst fears confirmed without circumspection.”
Positive reviews for the work have been appearing in news sources from the New York Times to the Guardian to the Age, and top intellectuals otherwise not overly concerned with Soviet Historiography have made sure to put forth their highest praise:
“A masterwork which lays bare the paranoid and sociopathic mind behind the most frightening ideology of the Twentieth Century,” gushed reviewer and moral compass of the British left Nick Cohen. “Only by understanding the thought processes contained in pithy and more or less unverifiable quotes by Stalin can we properly identify the most dangerous elements in the regressive left today. Not reading this book is a wreckless and irresponsible act.”
The book, which contains no dates, sources, or information other than quotes designed to reemphasise the received knowledge of Stalin’s villainy, includes such classic quotes as “The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic”, “Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas? ”, and “Death solves all problems — no man, no problem”. It also includes brand-new quotes, such as “Hitler and I are both socialists, fighting for the same things, chief among which is the annihilation of the Jewish race”, and “Whenever I use the word ‘dialectic’, it should be understood as a term which signifies a conspiracy lying deep at the heart of the Soviet state, and drawn directly from the Machiavellian writings of Hegel.”
The book has predictably been attacked by the marginal and useless loonies who still defend “Russia’s Hitler”, including Grover Furr:
“I just think people should assess the Stalin era on the basis of verifiable information in context, and judge Stalin himself as a representative of part of the party apparatus, rather than a sadistic mastermind who hurt people because he took some sort of perverse joy in the act,” said the raving lunatic when reached for comment from his office at Montclair State University.
Other insane communists similarly attacked the book as “pseudo-scholarship”, “slander”, “not actually a biography on purely technical grounds”, and “lolwut”.
Alfonso Casal, an academic chiefly known for his enthusiasm for all that is horrifying, from Albania to vampire films to Cuban cuisine, responded in a harshly worded public polemic which was later co-signed by Harpal Brar of the CPGB-ML. It reads, in part:
They say Stalin was a baddie. Well I say it’s good to be bad. I’m pretty bad myself. I wake up evil, eat a hearty breakfast of totalitarianism, and set off to work where I teach malevolent and harmful ideas to a generation that is already plainly rotten. But as much as I enjoy being a nefarious man, and as much as I hope to see everyone embracing the pure un-good that Stalin preached, you have to go about it the right way. Stalin was badder than the baddest you’ve ever seen, and I’m sorry to say that this book is quite bad at capturing just how bad Stalin was.
In the book, Stalin is just quoted as wanting to kill people. Shit, everybody wants to kill people. Three Trump supporters have expressed their desire to kill me today. Nobody’s impressed by that. If that’s your idea of bad, allow me to give you a lesson in the art of bad.
Stalin did some bad shit. One time, he had the Red Army march into Berlin and set up a people’s democracy in the baddest part of Germany. East Germany was the baddest Germany, and don’t you ever forget it. Another time, he smacked his son for thinking he could ever be as bad as his dad. He so excelled at the art of badness that he even banned George Michael and the Care Bears. But he never said that stupid shit that all of you people who think you know what it means to be bad claim that he said. He said much badder shit, publicly available in the form of his Collected Works. But that Trotskyite book you’re all quoting? That shit ain’t bad. It ain’t nothin’.