Did Katrina vanden Heuvel think no one would notice her magazine’s affinity with friends of Joseph Stalin?
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But we now know that Stone was not always so honest. At one time, he was a paid Soviet agent. In their latest work, published by Yale University Press, historians John Earl Haynes, Harvey Klehr, and Alexander Vassiliev conclude that Stone was a “Soviet spy.” In an article excerpted from the book and published in the April 2009 online version of Commentary magazine, they wrote: “To put it plainly, from 1936 to 1939 I. F. Stone was a Soviet spy.” Also closely studying Stone’s case is Herb Romerstein, the authority on the Venona papers. In The Venona Secrets, Romerstein and co-author Eric Breindel wrote: “it is clear from the evidence that Stone was indeed a Soviet agent.” One of the stronger confirmations from the Soviet side is retired KGB general Oleg Kalugin, who stated flatly: “He [Stone] was a KGB agent since 1938. His code name was ‘Blin.’ When I resumed relations with him in 1966, it was on Moscow’s instructions. Stone was a devoted Communist.” Kalugin added that Stone “changed in the course of time like many of us”; in other words, he did not remain a communist — but for a time he was a Soviet agent.
None of this appears at Stone’s “progressive” profile at The Nation.
And speaking of progressives with communist sympathies, also on The Nation’s list is Margaret Sanger. Like Paul Robeson and numerous other hope-filled leftists, the Planned Parenthood matron sojourned to Stalin’s Potemkin villages in 1934. “[W]e could well take example from Russia,” advised Sanger upon her return, “where birth control instruction is part of the regular welfare service of the government.” Sanger enthusiastically reported this in the June 1935 edition of her publication, Birth Control Review.
The Planned Parenthood founder was, however, taken aback by the explosion in the number of abortions once legalized by the Bolsheviks. No fear, though. Sanger offered this stunning prediction: “All the [Bolshevik] officials with whom I discussed the matter stated that as soon as the economic and social plans of Soviet Russia are realized, neither abortions nor contraception will be necessary or desired. A functioning Communistic society will assure the happiness of every child, and will assume the full responsibility for its welfare and education.”
This was pure progressive utopianism, an absolute faith in central planners.
Even guiltier of such misguided Soviet infatuation was John Dewey, founding father of American public education, who was so suckered by the Soviets that I would need a few thousand words here just to detail the outrage (click here and here for more). Oh, yes, Dewey is also on The Nation’s list of influential progressives — at number 5.
Overall, the number of socialists, communists, and Soviet sympathizers on The Nation’s list is dizzying: Upton Sinclair, Henry Wallace, W. E. B. DuBois, Norman Thomas, Lincoln Steffens, Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Tom Hayden, Barbara Ehrenreich.
Thus, I’m compelled to ask: Is this “progressivism”? Is progressivism synonymous with liberalism, or is it to the left of liberalism? Is it socialism? Is it somewhere on the spectrum between socialism and communism? Does it include liberals, socialists, and communists?
I ask progressives, I plead with them: This is your ideology, could you better define it, if that’s even possible? Or is the definition of progressivism always progressing? Actually, it is always progressing — which is precisely the problem with this train-wreck of an ever-elusive ideology.
The Nation’s list of leading American “progressives” is an illuminating insight into the American left and the very essence of “progressive” thought — whatever that might be. Take a look at it, study it, think about it. This is truly a teachable moment.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?