STALIN: KOBA THE DREAD I

The dirty thirties were experienced all over the world and it was during this time that Communism gained many new recruits as people rebelled against the Capitalist bankers and monied elite who ruled the world. Orwell was among the altruistic group from England and America who joined the Communist side against Franco during the Spanish Civil War. There his eyes were opened to the true nature of Communism and he left Spain in disgust, vowing to devote the rest of his life to exposing the tyranny of BOTH sides, and promoting instead a philosophy he described as democratic socialism which roughly means people (society) sharing in the resources of the nation to the benefit of the weak and the strong through government elected by the people to represent the people.

Orwell was well read regarding the facts of life under Communism and its threat to the free world. His masterpieces, Animal Farm and 1984 contain true depictions of the Communist Revolution and life under Stalin. Orwell wrote them in fictional form in order to get them published and reach a broad audience. In those days, as today, it was politically incorrect to spread the truth about Communism and life in the Soviet Union - especially since the western-world allied with Communism in both World Wars, ensuring its continued existence.

If Orwell were alive today he would no doubt read the following book which reinforces the truth of everything he wrote in 1984. ~ Jackie Jura

A novelist on the Stalinists:
Amis turns his writer's eye to a regime of cruelty, madness and evil

book review by Adam Kirsch, National Post, July 20, 2002

KOBA THE DREAD: LAUGHTER AND THE TWENTY MILLION
by Martin Amis, Knopf Canada, 306 pp., $36.95

Martin Amis published his last full-length novel, The Information, in 1995. Since then, he has undergone a transformation, from the Zeitgeist-riding enfant terrible of London Fields into an almost old-fashioned man of letters; his last two books were a collection of book reviews and a family memoir. With Koba the Dread, a book-length essay on Stalin and Stalinism, Amis goes one step further, bidding for the title of humanist sage.

If one should wonder why Amis, neither a historian nor a profound moralist, is qualified to write on this complex and terrible subject, the answer comes early in the book, in the section titled "Credentials": "I am a fifty-two-year-old novelist and critic who has recently read several yards of books about the Soviet experiment." This is admirably modest, and accurately states the limits of what Amis hopes to accomplish. He does not write a consecutive history of the years 1917-53, nor does he significantly add to our understanding of the period. Indeed, it helps to approach Koba the Dread with a firm grounding in the history of Communism, to avoid losing the forest for the trees.

Amis's approach is to cast a novelist's eye over his materials and pick out a collection of significant details, a gallery of horrors in which the essence of Soviet Communism is exhibited. He does this with a Dante-esque precision and boldness, and reading this book is like taking a guided tour of the Inferno -- with the difference, of course, that Amis's inferno really existed, less than 50 years ago. Different details will stay with each reader, depending on his or her particular nightmares. There is the ship that took prisoners to the Arctic camp of Kolyma: "more than two thousand women ... as in a gigantic poultry farm, they were cooped up in open cages, five of them in each nine-foot-square space." One such ship was trapped in the winter ice; all 12,000 prisoners died of starvation. Or there is Solzhenitsyn's account of the torture in which a prisoner was locked in a dark closet with "hundreds, maybe even thousands, of bedbugs.... At first he waged war with them strenuously, crushing them on his body and on the walls, suffocated by their stink. But after several hours he weakened and let them drink his blood without a murmur."

Above all, Stalinism terrifies with the sheer anti-rationality of its violence, the deliberate outrage not merely of justice but of ordinary fairness, common sense, even self-interest. Living in a Western society in which the whole purpose of government is the protection and improvement of life, one can only with difficulty comprehend that Stalin created a state devoted to the annihilation of its own people. During the famine in Ukraine in the early 1930s -- a famine deliberately orchestrated by the regime in order to allow seizure of private land -- five million died; parents ate the corpses of their children. In the party purges of 1937-38 -- just three years before the Red Army was called upon to stop the Nazi invasion -- Stalin executed 13 of 15 army commanders, 50 of 57 corps commanders and 58 of 64 divisional commanders, for sheerly political reasons. Even after the war had started, in 1941-42, the government executed a full 16 divisions of its own soldiers, for "cowardice."

Every page of Koba the Dread speaks of cruelty, madness, bloodthirst, hypocrisy and evil. Like reading about Holocaust, it is a frightening and miserable experience, yet a necessary one, if we are to remember what man is capable of. But why, at this late date, when the USSR has vanished and the moral equivalence of Stalin and Hitler is universally granted, does Amis feel the need to construct this book-length indictment?

The answer lies in the book's second theme: the strange tolerance of Western intellectuals for Communism, as symbolized in the subtitular "laughter" that is still permissible on the subject of Soviet crimes and failures. In particular, Amis is troubled by the softness on Communism of his father, Kingsley Amis, who joined the party in 1941 and turned strongly against it in the mid-1950s; and of his friend the journalist Christopher Hitchens, a former leftist who sold the Socialist Worker on the streets of London in the 1970s.

On these subjects, however, Amis's anecdotal style is less successful. The allure of Communism for Western intellectuals is a well-worn subject, on which Amis has nothing to add but another reprimand. And there is a distinctly alienating complacency about Amis's reminiscences of what James Fenton said to Julian Barnes at the New Statesman in 1973. Indeed, the whole of Koba the Dread is excessively personal; it substitutes reaction for analysis and leaves the reader without a real understanding of Stalin. It would be time better spent to go directly to Amis's source -- especially the books of Robert Conquest -- where the focus is on the tale, not the teller.


The whitewashing of Stalin (history's been kind to this murderous leader with blood of millions on his hands). BBC, Nov 10, 2008

1930s journalist Jones exposed Stalin famine (to be honoured by Ukraine posthumously). WalesNews, Nov 10, 2008

USA FORFEITS ICELAND TO RUSSIA

PALIN RIGHT ON RUSSIA

CHESS MEN STRIP FISCHER

AMERICA ON RUSSIAN ROCKS

ORWELL NOT COMMIE, DUH

RUSSIAN COAL TO NEWCASTLE

ORWELL COINED "COLD WAR"

ORWELL & LENIN DIED & HISS JAILED

RUSSIAN REVOLUTION READING

AFGHAN KIDS DIG SOVIET BOMBS

FORD-LINDBERGH-ORWELL-HITLER

FABIAN'S WEBB WORSHIPPED LENIN

CANADA GROVELS TO COMMUNISTS

HUEY LONG & JOE MCCARTHY HEROES

ORWELL NOT A FABIAN

DESTROY LANGUAGE, DESTROY REBELLION

BOO FRIEND, CHEER ENEMY

ORWELL ON TROTSKY ON STALIN

RED DAWN SADDAM SAMES

RICH RUSSIANS LIKE LENIN

USSR USING WEAPONIZED WEATHER

USA HANDS USSR SPACE STATION

O'BRIEN'S A BIG BROTHER HOOD

O'BRIEN A MEMBER OF BROTHERHOOD?

ORWELL ANTI-LEFT & RIGHT

LEFT, RIGHT AND SOCIALISM

STASI GERMANY ROOM 101

VICTORY DAY UN-VICTORY

UNPEACE DAY WAR OF TERROR

ATOMIC-BOMB SCIENTIST COMMUNIST

ORWELL & THE NEW STATESMAN

COMMUNIST CAPITALIST ORWELL MOVIES

SELLING ROPE TO HANG US

CANADA/USSR DEAL IN LNG

THE HOUNDING OF A CHESS LEGEND

BOBBY FISCHER IN R00M 202

WHY O'BRIEN WATCHED WINSTON

USSR STEALING CANADA'S STEEL

CANADA BUYING USSR'S GAS

CHINADA'S SOVIETIZATION

WINDMILLS ARE GREEN STALINISM

UNCLE SAM FINDS BOBBY FISCHER

RUSSIAN WAR GAMES ANYONE?

EURO SCREWING DOLLAR

BYE, BYE AMERICAN PIE

NOT JUST GERMANY GUILTY

GULAG BONES UNCOVERED

CANADA FORCED LABOUR CAMPS?

PUBLIC PRIVATE LAND GRABS

COMMUNISM'S TRUE BELIEVERS

GARETH JONES PROOF DISCUSSION

WAS FARMER JONES GARETH JONES?

MY JOURNEY THROUGH FAMINE STRICKEN RUSSIA, 1933

EXPERIENCES IN RUSSIA, 1931, A DIARY

SOVIET UNION FAMINE EXPOSURE, 1930-1933

NO ESCAPE FOR GULAG PRISONERS

COZY DAYS IN STALIN'S KREMLIN

SPYING FOR STALIN WAS BAD, RIGHT?

POLICE STATE OF UNION

CANADA COPS UNLEASHED

SOVIET GULAG'S HAUNTING LEGACY

COLD WAR, WARM WAR

SOVIET DEFECTOR IGOR GOUZENKO

RUSSIA IS HELL'S INFERNO

MOSCOW MUSIC

CANADA'S RED TRUDEAU

STALIN'S LIAR IN NEW YORK

MCCARTHY GLIMPSED VISCIOUS TRUTH

REIGN OF TERROR AGAINST MCCARTHY

SUPERMAN A SOVIET COMMIE

COMMUNISTS COINED "MCCARTHYISM"

AN ORWELLIAN PURGE

GOLDSTEIN IS NOT TROTSKY

SLAVE-STATE CANADA

COMMUNISM CUBAN STYLE

ORWELL'S "CRYPTO-COMMIE" LIST

COMMUNIST CRIMES EXPOSED

ORWELL'S PUBLISHING PROBLEMS

1980 USA GRAIN EMBARGO

SOLZHENITSYN WARNS AMERICA

LENIN BEHIND ENVIRONMENTALISTS

STALIN: KOBA THE DREAD II

STALIN: KOBA THE DREAD I

DARK SIDE OF RED ARMY'S LIBERATION OF GERMANY

DISSIDENT MEANS TERRORIST

CAPITALIST COMMUNISM

CANADA'S SOVIET SCHOOL

FREEDOM FIGHTER DOUG COLLINS DIES

AMERICA LIKE ELEPHANT

ANIMAL FARM

6.Super-States & 7.Systems of Thought & 41.The Party Tells How & 42.The Party Tells Why

Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~