Monday, July 16, 2007

Happy Birthday Bob

Peter Robinson hails the indefatigable Robert Conquest, still bringing his intellect to bear upon the world at age 90. Conquest is the author of the seminal work exposing Stalin's megalomania and paranoia, The Great Terror, and The Harvest of Sorrow, which detailed the famine that Stalin's collectivist policies inflicted on the Ukraine and throughout the USSR in the early 1930s.

After publication of The Great Terror, Conquest was pilloried by left-wing academics who were still in love with Stalin, the USSR and the communist system. Twenty-five years after its initial publication (1968), Conquest authored The Great Terror: A Reassessment, which added support for his initial thesis from the voluminous Soviet files opened after the USSR fell. Initially, instead of calling the book "A Reassessment," Conquest's publisher wanted him to re-title the whole work. His suggestion: "How about I Told You So, You F[*]cking Fools?"

From his incisive mind also came the Three Laws of Conservatism:
  1. Everyone is conservative about what he knows best.
  2. Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing. [The UN, EU, etc.]
  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. [The UK's Secret Intelligence Service, aka MI6, during the 1950s]
So happy birthday to the communist of 70 years ago who got mugged by reality and exposed the evils of that system long before his peers even recognized them.

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