Professor defends Stalin, socialism at student-organized debate

2:18 AM  11/14/2012
Zachary Snider

At an on-campus debate hosted by the libertarian Young Americans for Liberty,  professor Grover Furr of Montclair State University (MSU) declared that he has  not found a single crime committed by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin.

One member of the audience questioned the legitimacy of Furr’s position in  light of Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev’s 1956 apology for the mass  murders that took place under Stalin’s leadership.

“It’s bullshit,” said Furr, who authored Khrushchev Lied, in which he writes  that none of Khrushchev’s charges against Stalin were true. “I have spent  many years researching this and similar questions and I have yet to find one  crime… that Stalin committed.”

Furr’s emphatic statement was received with gasps from the crowd, which was  gathered to witness a debate between Furr, Dr. David Tubbs and Dr. Yuri Maltsev — a liberal, conservative and libertarian, respectively.

Todd Seavey, host of New York’s Dionysium variety and philosophy events,  moderated the debate. Seavey previewed the event with a link from his  Twitter feed, in which he disclosed that Furr had denounced one of Seavey’s own  college acquaintances, Tim Snyder, because the two have written on opposing  sides of the Stalin issue.

Furr specializes in medieval English literature at MSU, the second-largest  university in New Jersey, and has written extensively on Stalin’s regime and  what he says is the distorted view most of the world has about Stalin’s true  ambitions for his country.

Furr gave an interview on the subject in which he  alleged that a right-wing conspiracy against Stalin, organized by Nikolai  Yezhov, the leader of the Soviet Union’s secret police, led to the mass genocide  that was carried out during Stalin’s regime as a means to remove him from his  position. He also says that many Soviets have a favorable view of Stalin.

Furr, a graduate of McGill University in Montreal, told the audience that  while both American and Canadian history is falsified, Soviet history is  falsified the most.

“This is the big lie: that the Communists – that Stalin — killed millions of  people, and that socialism is no good,” Furr said.

Furr went on to say that the U.S. has the lowest standard of living of any of  the industrialized countries, and that it should have socialist healthcare — a  statement that was received with a medley of applause, laughter and booing.

Seavey asked Dr. Maltsev, an ex-Soviet, to weigh in on subject.

Maltsev quoted Stalin, who he sarcastically called a “great humanist.”

“Stalin used to say, ‘Death of one person is a tragedy; death of a million,  just statistic.’”

Young Americans for Liberty Executive Director Jeff Frazee issued a  statement on Furr’s remarks, saying, “The suggestion that Joseph Stalin, one of  the most brutal mass murderers in history, didn’t commit any crimes is  outrageous. This is what is being taught at a public university with taxpayer  money.”

Furr has yet to respond to requests for a statement about his comments or the  reaction to them.

A statement obtained by The Daily Caller from MSU defended the First  Amendment rights of the individual:

Montclair State University is an open university in what is  fortunately a free society. As a consequence, we would never seek to censor or  interfere with such an event, no matter how absurd anyone might find some of the  views expressed. Free speech is the cornerstone of our democracy, and it is  a principle that is easy to defend when we are in agreement with, or at least  not offended by, the views being expressed. We are only really tested in our  adherence to the principle when the views being expressed are abhorrent to  us.

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Categories: Current Affairs, Hmmm?, Strange Behavior - Of Leadership Roles

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2 replies


  1. Professor Denies That Stalin Broke Any Laws Or Killed People | The Tree of Mamre
  2. “Communist Denier” Teaches Students | Not Good News
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