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You Can’t Make an Omelette Without Breaking Eggs

Before we continue with the education part of Dewey’s glowing account of his visit to Soviet Russia in 1928, I want to make a correction to something I said earlier:  “The blood, the coercion, the KGB, the starvation  all ... ignored.”

In fact Dewey does address these things, acknowledges they exit, and then says  well, let Dewey speak for himself.

In the quote below Dewey discusses the books that describe the carnage perpetrated and on-going by the Bolsheviks, though he never describes this carnage himself.

From Chapter III  “A New World in the Making”

Page 47

“The books contain, some of them, much more information than I shall ever possess;  they are written, some of them, by men who know the Russian language and who have had wide contacts.  If, then, I indulge in the presumption of trusting my own impressions [note the innuendo] rather than their reports in some vital matters, it is not because I think they have  again, some of them  willfully falsified;  nor, indeed, because of what they say, but rather because of what they do not say, what they have left out, and which I am sure is there.  Consequently, these works [that is, though he never says it, accounts of murder, torture, looting perpetrated by the Bolsheviks] affect me as marked by a certain vacuity, an emptiness due to an insensitiveness to what is most vitally significant.  They present static cross-sections isolated from the movement which alone gives them meaning.

“These remarks ... may gain definiteness by reference to a particular book, and I select Kalgren’s ‘Bolshevist Russia.’  There is no doubt of the competency of the author’s knowledge of the language, or his assiduity in collecting data;  I do not question the honesty of his aims;  the authenticity of most of his material is vouched for by the fact that it is derived from Bolshevist sources.  Why not, then, accept his almost wholly unfavorable conclusions?  In part because the book does not sufficiently date its material;  it does not indicate the special context of time and conditions under which the evils reported occurred. But in greater part because I fail utterly to get from the book the sense of the quality of moving events which contact with these events gives.

“In consequence, admitting that all of the evils complained of existed at some time and place, and that many of them still exist, the total effect is dead, empty, evacuated of vital significance.

“Take as one instance, the very fact that Bolshevist sources are themselves drawn upon for the mass of damning facts.  The net effect of this material is one thing when taken by itself, as a pile of ultimate isolated facts which are self-explanatory.  It is quite another thing when taken as evidence of a characteristic tendency.  For when one looks for some positive and ruling endeavor with which the collection and publication of these condemnatory data are connected, one finds himself in the presence of a deliberate and systematic effort at exploration and self-examination [that is, on the part of the Bolsheviks] which is unparalleled in other countries.  And in turn one finds this movement to be connected with a belief in the reality of a science of society, as a basis for diagnosis of social ills and projection of constructive change.  One may not believe in the alleged ‘science,’ but disbelief does not alter the fact that one gets a dead and distorted idea from the report of isolated facts, however authentic, until they have been brought into relation with the intellectual movement of self-criticism of which they are a part.”

Your son was shot resisting the collectivization of your house?  This and thousands of other horrors are just a  “pile of isolated facts,”  “dead, empty, evacuated of vital significance,”  “insensitive,”  and  “marked by a certain vacuity”  when Dewey contemplates a collectivized, homogenized “society.”

Some readers of this during the original discussion were unable to see Dewey’s endorsement of killers.  And they call us blind who can see it.

(The last three paragraphs of the quote above are one in the original.  I split it because it was so long.)