, 15 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
One of the refrains of conservatism is that an institution that is currently bad used to be much better--a perspective I invariably disagree with.

Master thread of the NY Times reporting on the rise of the USSR, which garnered a Pulitzer for their man Walter Duranty
"Lenin has often been called the 'Red dictator.' This designation is wrong; Lenin never had the right to dictate, although in practice his opinion generally carried the day." Duranty, @nytimes 1/16/23
"The secret of Lenin's authority, which did in fact amount to dictatorship, was that long experience had proved him right far oftener than his colleagues."
"I venture to say that no one who behaves himself has any more to fear from the 'Gay Pay Oo' [i.e., KGB] than the average American citizen has from the Department of Justice." --Duranty, @nytimes 2/7/32
6/21/31
"Stalin is anything but remote or autocratic in method." --@nytimes 10/11/31
"There is no famine or actual starvation, nor is there likely to be." --@nytimes 11/24/32

The #holodomor genocide of 1932-3 killed millions.
"It is a mistake to exaggerate the gravity of the situation. The Russians have tightened their belts before to a far greater extent than is likely to be needed this winter." @nytimes 11/25/32

"Tightened their belts" is an interesting turn of phrase in this context.
"The Soviet press has made no secret of the food shortage and its effects. There is no need of a foreign observer to tour the villages, where it commonly happens that the disgruntled or disaffected elements talk loudest while others are busy working." @nytimes 11/28/32
"the food shortage is insignificant as compared with conditions in 1920." @nytimes 11/29/32
"The public is taught to know and recognize all three 'class enemies' and to welcome action against them."
"The [Soviet] press concentrates public opinion upon defects and ways to improve them, upon enemies and ways to defeat them, but it rigidly excludes the implication that there is anything wrong with the system itself." --@nytimes 11/25/32
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