Eugene Genovese: Slavery and Serfdom Are Good Things! Really!!

Delong typepad com 20120123 econ 1 lecture pdf

Hoisted from the Archives from Two Years Ago: At least, slavery and serfdom are good things when done by Communists like Uncle Joe Stalin, according to Genovese:

Eugene Genovese: On Eric Hobsbawm (1995): "But still Hobsbawm raises hackles...

...especially with his argument that the collectivization of agriculture saddled the Soviet Union with economic inefficiencies from which it never recovered. Here he betrays a small dose of the Bukharinite romanticism that would have had the Soviet Union choose a slower, steadier economic course. His evidence, and the soberest parts of his generally lucid analysis, suggest what he finally and virtually concedes, which is that Stalin knew what he was about, while Bukharin was whistling Dixie.

The survival of the Soviet state required a forced-march industrialization at any cost, and the economic and political exigencies of such an industrialization required collectivization. The problem was not the economic burden of collectivization. It was Stalin’s penchant for solving every problem in the most brutal way, in his insistence upon making a virtue and principle out of every tactical necessity...

There are many, many things wrong with forced collectivization--enserfment--as an industrialization strategy, even conditional on Stalin and the rest of the Comintern's hugely ugly mistaken decision that Hitlerian Nazi Dictatorship was more attractive as a régime in Germany than a social-democratic Weimar Republic.

(Hitler, you see, was supposed to focus on fighting Britain and France over imperialist control of export markets, as outlined by Lenin's Imperialism in an argument he cribbed from Hobson. Stalin could stay out of the war by simply supplying Hitler with the raw materials he wanted. Then Stalin could sweep in and pick up the pieces after the peace of exhaustion and destruction. WRONG!!)

These additional flaws are left as an exercise for the reader...