The historian of Stalin’s “Great Terror,” and “Harvest of Sorrow,” and a poet, Robert Conquest passed away 03 August at the age of 98. Somehow this slipped my notice until now. Conquest was one of those authors that I was required to read in my Undergraduate education and along with Dr. Fred Schwarz and Alexander Solzhenitsyn, I was rooted in my continued interest in and resistance to all ideologies tainted with Marxism. Conquest was part of a handful of authors (Swarz, Gareth Jones, Malcolm Muggeridge) who had pointed out the bloodletting of the Marxist regime. He was not taken seriously until Alexander Solzhenitsyn confirmed Conquests’s conclusions. Conquest had limericked the genocide of Lenin and Stalin,
Conquest lived to see his disputed work and figures vindicated with the fall of the Soviet Union. After the opening up of the Soviet archives in 1991, detailed information was released that supported Conquest’s earliest conclusions that had been disputed by the Establishment Commie lovers in the West. When Conquest’s publisher asked him to expand and revise “The Great Terror,” after the opening of the Soviet Archives, Conquest is famously said to have suggested the new version of the book be titled, “I Told You So, You Fucking Fools.” Actually, this quote comes from one of Conquest’s friends (Kingsley Amis) and not Conquest himself.
Interestingly enough the NY Times in its obituary for Conquest had this to say about the proposed title,
In a moment of gleeful malice, Mr. Conquest told friends that his suggested title for the new edition was “I Told You So, You Fools” (with a vulgar adjective inserted between the last two words).
First, note that the NYT (the “Paper of record”) couldn’t even investigate far enough to realize that Conquest did not say what it accuses him of saying. Secondly, the NY Times does not manage to mention its continued malice that refuses to return the Pulitzer won by its journalist, Walter Duranty, who knowingly lied about and covered up the genocide in the Soviet Union that Conquest would later investigate. The New York Times finds it necessary to mention Conquest’s putative “gleeful malice,” without mentioning its complicit role of malice in the genocide of millions of people. The Times thus continues its jaded and irresponsible lying journalism.
Isegoria lists these as Conquest’s three laws of politics:
1.) Everyone is conservative about what he knows best.
2.) Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.
3.) The simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies.
I’ve read a good deal of Conquest and thought this passing of one of the few who didn’t sleep was worth noting. On this matter Conquest was a giant of the 20th century.