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soviet history writes itself into the american present

when i was in moscow, i knew many people who had lived through the stalin period. mainly the parents and grandparents of my friends. it was a fearful time and people did what they could not to be fingered. they never knew who might report them, what the consequences might be of a loose word here, an incautious observation there.

as >one of the writers from the nation boldly notes, this seems to be the direction that the united states is taking now.

As a legal concept, can someone explain the difference between George W. Bush’s “enemy combatant” and Josef Stalin’s “enemy of the people”? I don’t think there is one: In each case, a national leader on his own, without courts, without laws, without clear laws.

i’m not sure even i would put it quite so strongly. one of the worst parts of the stalin period is that those who came out the other side, especially those in the structures of power, were inevitably moral criminals.

they had failed to act. or worse, to save themselves had damned others. hopefully the stalinian period of modern american history will not last long enough or leave deep enough scars to cripple generations.

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