Real History versus the Mainstream Morality Play

Good versus Evil Don't confuse me with the complexities
Good versus Evil
Don’t confuse me with the complexities

Real history is always more complicated and interesting than faked history, but faked history is mostly what we are offered. How can you tell the difference?

Faked history reads like a morality play. There are shining heroes and dastardly villains (the dastards!) a conflict between good and evil and a satisfying ending. Since it is history we are discussing, and history hasn’t ended (no, it hasn’t Fukuyama), the historian just chooses a satisfactory place to finish. If the morality play is ongoing, then it may end with a dire warning to get on the “right side” of history! Quick!

So in the Bad Commie, Good West morality play you will get different versions of the 1930s famine in the Ukraine (the Holodomor) during which (everyone admits) millions died. The Bad Commie version is that Stalin deliberately killed 20? 17? 11? Anyway, lots of millions of Ukrainian peasants. The U.S. Hearst newspapers even printed pictures of people starving in other places as proof that Bad Commies were still really, really BAD.

Certain fascist groups, who are fine with the Bad Commie version of history, use the Holodomor as proof that not only are Commies bad, but most of the Commies were Jews, particularly the local officials involved in killing of the Ukrainian peasants. So the fascist morality play is that Jews are Bad, and here is more proof. Oh, and by the way, they say, the Jews killed more people in Ukraine than died in the Holocaust, so they can just quit whining about that.

These fascists are still quite strong in the Ukraine, as you may have heard, (and then heard hotly denied) and are today in positions of political power. They may not be tomorrow, things change fast in the Ukraine.

So what really happened in Ukraine in the 1930s? Millions of people starved to death standing on what may be the most fertile soil on the planet. Stalin needed more food for the cities and for export to pay for his massive industrial modernization plan. The peasants said, “Screw you,” and balked at joining collectives. They hid their grain and refused to give their livestock to the state and instead butchered it, ate it and bartered with the meat.

As the granddaughter of a Slavic serf, let me tell you-that has the ring of truth. “Oh, you want our grain and our animals? Screw you.” Stalin was not a nice man and did not take “Screw you” lightly. These peasants were obviously enemies of the state. Many were arrested, summarily executed and their property was confiscated. Many starved to death and Stalin lost nary a night’s sleep over it. Bad Commie.

What about the Jews? Jews did make up a disproportionately large number of the Bolshevik leadership, and apparently of the Ukrainian enforcers. I do not know why, but- Bad Jews.

Hearst rather liked fascists and lied like a champ in his many U.S. publications. Bad Fascist.

And that’s the point-there are almost NO purely good guys. Purely good guys, though they exist, seldom make history because they won’t tromp all over others to attain power.

So if the history (or news) you are reading is holding up one side as pure goodness, go find the opposite side and read their version of the same events. The real history, the truth, is somewhere in between-and it is much more interesting.

Some Sources for the Other Side of the Story:


Middle East-Al Akhbar


Asia-Asia Times Online

Economy-Naked Capitalism


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