Filling Academic Memory Holes

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

Here’s why we keep going: to rescue history from the memory hole academia has created. “The number of people in American jails and prisons has risen fivefold over the past 40 years,” Marc Parry writes in The Chronicle Review. “There are now roughly six million people under criminal-justice supervision.”

“In modern history, only the forced labor camps of the former U.S.S.R. under Stalin approached these levels of penal confinement,” Alice Goffmann, a sociologist at the University of Wisconsin at Madison claims.

“From 1929 until Stalin’s death in 1953, an estimated 14 million people passed through the Gulag,” Radio Free Europe reports. “About 1.6 million people died there.”

“Those in the camps were provided meager food, minimal medical care, inadequate clothing for the often-brutal weather conditions, and a near-total lack of modern tools and machinery.”

In that same issue of The Chronicle Review, Andrew Seal, a Ph. D. candidate in American Studies at Yale, makes a case for “Marxism for Millennials,” in which he claims, “The 20th century now looks far less like a century of merely red terrors; there was more than enough white terror to go around.”

As for the “merely red terrors,” Grove City historian Paul Kengor notes, “The Black Book of Communism tabulates a total Communist death toll in the twentieth century of roughly 100 million. And these frightening numbers actually underestimate the total, especially within the USSR.”

“The late Alexander Yakovlev, the lifelong Soviet apparatchik who in the 1980s became the chief reformer and close aide to Mikhail Gorbachev, and who, in the post-Soviet 1990s, was tasked with the grisly assignment of trying to total the victims of Soviet repression, estimated that Stalin alone was responsible for the deaths of 60 to 70 million, a stunning number two to three times higher than estimates in The Black Book of Communism.”

“Mao Tse-tung, as noted, was responsible for the deaths of 60 to 70 million in China. And then there were the killing fields of North Korea, Cambodia, Cuba, Eastern Europe, and more.”

“In fact, the Black Book went to press too early to catch the 2 to 3 million who starved to death in North Korea in the late 1990s. A mountain of skulls of at least 100 million blows away Hitler’s genocide in sheer bloodshed, and is actually twice the death toll of World War I and II combined.”

Paul Kengor is the author of, among many other fine books, Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century. He should probably interview Ms. Goffmann and Mr. Seal when constructing a sequel.

 

Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.
If you would like to comment on this article, e-mail mal.kline@academia.org.

 

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