Commentators criticized a California professor after he tweeted on Saturday posts that called Joseph Stalin a “successful revolutionary” and “great listener.”
Self-identified communist Asatar Bair, an economics professor at Riverside City College, made multiple Twitter posts where he called for more nuance when discussing Stalin’s rule in the former U.S.S.R.
Bair said he does not “idolize” Stalin but holds a “fair and balanced view” of the dictator. “The man was neither savior nor saint, but he was, at once a very successful revolutionary, a great contributor to Marxist theory, and said to be a great listener and collaborator during discussions,” Bair said.
“I simply think one should read everything the man wrote and then make up your own mind,” Bair said. “I would certainly conclude that he is one of the great leaders of the 20th c(century) though”
Using the most charitable numbers possible, Stalin ruled over an authoritarian system whose security services executed 800k lives, forced labor camps ended 750k lives, and ethnic deportations ended 600k lives. None of these deaths served any worthy goal. Stop glorifying this man. pic.twitter.com/mREqXuK76I
— SDL (@SocDoneLeft) June 27, 2021
Bair and Riverside City College did not immediately respond to requests for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation. (RELATED: Joy Behar Quotes Stalin To Explain Why Some People Don’t Take COVID-19 Seriously)
“Stalin” began trending after Bair made the posts, and multiple commentators began criticizing his take on the dictator, according to Twitchy.
“We think dictators make decisions by fiat, and hence we are shocked to find that Stalin did not make decisions in this manner, but was known to listen and reflect on everyone’s POV before even making his own known,” Bair said in defense of Stalin.
“I know everyone’s dumping on this guy as a textbook case of #DeathOfExpertise, but that’s because well, because he is,” Tom Nichols, contributing writer at The Atlantic, said in response.
“Google is your friend. Also…Stalin was a murderous asshole,” Fred Wellman, executive director of the Lincoln Project, said to Bair.
Ben Shapiro, a conservative commentator, pointed out that Stalin’s rule led to the deaths of millions of people in his country. “Stalin was a mass murderer responsible for the death of tens of millions of human beings and the oppression of an entire continent, but hey, dude was great at meetings,” Shapiro said.
Stalin, who led the U.S.S.R. between 1924 until his death in 1953, and is responsible for the deaths of at least 20 million people during his reign, according to International Business Times.
A poll in 2019 showed 70% of Russians approved of Stalin’s impact on the country. Four years ago, nearly one in five millennials in a poll considered Joseph Stalin a hero, and a third believed Republican President George W. Bush killed more people than Joseph Stalin, based on a 2016 poll.
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