The respondent seeks to prove how easily the previous claims against Dewey can be refuted, and brings forth four intellectuals:
David Sidorsky, a philosophy professor, says Dewey had: “suggested that Trotsky’s mind was ‘locked in absolutes’ ”
By God, that sure puts a mass murderer in his place! Seriously, I’m afraid it’s the respondent who is locked in denial that until well into the 1930’s Dewey was a fountain of praise for the “Great Experiment.” He thought communism was the wave of the future. Any criticisms he made during this time were minor compared to his gush of admiration.
Robert Westbrook, a professor of history, quotes Dewey referring to Trotsky: “... I have no sympathy with what seems to me to be his abstract ideological fanaticism.”
There was nothing abstract about Trotsky’s translating a code of murder into what came to be known as the Red Terror. He was the War Commissar during the period when the Bolsheviks consolidated their power.
Paul Kurtz, professor emeritus of philosophy, says: “Both Dewey and [Sydney] Hook deplored Trotsky’s defense of terrorism and his abandonment of democracy.”
Trotsky didn’t just defend terrorism, he was the terrorist.
Dewey changed his tune regarding the Soviet Union around the mid 1930’s. As for his view of Trotsky, I’ve yet to see a substantial criticism, just remarks like the above. Where is Mr. Kurtz’s citation of Dewey? Even if the respondent digs up something substantial, it should be clear by now that Dewey didn’t give it much exposure.
Arthur Blaser [I was unable to discover who he is] says: “... Dewey added personal comments critical of Bolshevism in reporting the commission’s work.”
What were those comments? Here is an address for the preliminary report in case anyone is more successful than I in finding them:
I don’t have access to the final report. It’s true that by 1937 Dewey denounced the totalitarianism of the Soviet Union. However, he continued to advocate the ideas on which communism is based. I am not responsible for Dewey’s inconsistency.
The respondent tries to make an advocate of old style individualism out of Dewey, and it won’t wash.<< Home page