H. Bruce Franklin’s Most Important Books
Yes, Franklin is a great scholar and activist of the Left, but, I
wonder if , Doug Storm , who interviewed him , felt like turning off
the tape recorder , and gently chiding Franklin for,
the really over the top , fulsome praise for Stalin and Stalinism ,
that Franklin wrote for the mass market paperback published by
Doubleday books, 'The Essential Stalin,"
"This volume consists of an extensive introduction by Bruce Franklin
and some four hundred fifty pages of Stalin texts including: "Marxism
and the National Question," "Dialectical and Historical Materialism,"
"Foundations of Leninism," "Marxism and Linguistics," "Economic
Problems of Socialism in the U.S.S.R." and a number of shorter,
topical pieces. Franklin's essay is a veritable hymn to Stalin,
portraying him as one of the greatest revolutionary leaders and
Marxist theorists of the century. The idea and practice of 'socialism
in one country,' the collectivization and industrialization
strategies, the purge trials, the military and diplomatic strategies
from the mid-1930s through 1953 are all unstintingly defended.
Defended too is Stalin, the man, the allegedly authentic son of the
toiling masses, whose enemies from Trotsky on, according to Franklin,
have all been "aristocratic intellectuals," anti-communists or FBI
agents. The front cover displays a typical 'socialist realist'
painting of the genius at his desk, smiling warmly. The back cover
offers an enthusiastic billing by the publisher, Doubleday, who
considers all this some kind of ground-breaking achievement, which it
is. The book, in short, is a lulu. To conceive and put it together,
consciousness had to plummet to its absolute nadir. In fact, we have
here something more than merely a case of what Josef Weber once called
"the law of the dwindling force of cognition in bourgeois society:"
with The Essential Stalin we have an assault on cognition itself.
Franklin, a former spokesperson for the 'New Left in the Bay Area and
now for ihe Stalino-Maoist 'Venceremos,' a breakaway grouplet from the
'Revolutionary Union,' appears to have the requisite equipment for the
task: a flair for the idiotic as well as the fraudulent..." More @
"For instance, in 1972, a mainstream American publisher, Doubleday,
brought out a collection of Stalin's writings edited by H. Bruce
Franklin, a new-leftist English professor. His introduction began this
way: "I used to think of Joseph Stalin as a tyrant and butcher who
jailed and killed millions, betrayed the Russian revolution, sold out
liberation struggles." Franklin continued, "But to about a billion
people today"—a billion and one including Franklin—" Stalin is the
opposite of what we in the capitalist world" believe. According to
Franklin, who is now a chaired professor at Rutgers University, Stalin
was an authentic liberator, a true leader who is revered by working
people throughout the world. This stuff was hard to take in
1972—indeed, it would have been hard to take in 1932—but it was not
representative of the new left."
"Crash Course: From the Good War to the Forever War , " the latest
book by Franklin , which I do recommend reading ,
, for the TOC , d/l link @
http://library.lol/main/E6A397C557AEA8A951842E66CAB43505 . Premier
Stalin, as Franklin calls him in the book, is mentioned 11 times , but
, Franklin is this autobiographically inflected book , makes no note
of his Stalin anthology. Indeed , from only mentioning his group
Venceremos , once, on page 208 , in the chapter entitled , "Burning
Illusions," a reader like myself, would appreciate at least , some
paragraph or two, about when Franklin burned his illusions in Stalin
and Stalinism, because his work from the 80's onwards betrays no whiff
of the alignment he signalled in that anthology.
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To further strengthen his credentials as political swine, Franklin was (and probably still is) a vociferous defender of that great peoples' champion, Barack H Obama, who when he was informed of the extent of US torture chambers in Iraq and Guantanamo, courageously replied, "We have to look forward, not backward." Captured German Nazis after WW2 probably would have agreed, allowing them to escape from the judgment at Nuremburg!
On Sun, Oct 2, 2022 at 11:33 AM Michael Pugliese <michael.098762001@...> wrote: