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Sources/Books on Revolutionary Communists

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So like a lot of communists, I get tired of constant debates about 'was X historical figure mostly good,' (leaving out those who choose to worship any world leader who claimed socialism and deny any faults at all.) We should borrow what worked, recognize their mistakes, and move forward rather than get into pedantic bullshit about where they fit on a d&d alignment chart.

And it's bad strategy. Maybe people like Che can be rehabilitated, but with the exception of some of the shit going down in a few places in Asia right now, trying to prove Stalin did far more good than bad is a waste of time, (also inaccurate, which I'm sure I won't get much debate from other anarchists on.)

Regardless, it comes up a lot, and I probably lean more Marxist then most of y'all and find myself wanting to defend the Soviet Union and Cuba etc. not for sentiment so much as frustration that people make sweeping, inaccurate claims about communist states not realizing everything they criticize is done on a larger scale in their own nation, (these are usually Americans, and of course the gulags and UMAP never touched the scope of labor camps that exist in the US.)

Even though I don't like bringing up these things, they will come up, and I've recently realized almost all the info I have on major communist leaders comes from either;

Western propaganda trying to spin things to look as bad as possible, or just making shit up

Hardcore Leninists and apologists who will go to any lengths to defend their heroes.

And I'm left trying to parse what is what. All this to say, do you guys know of the least biased, (note, I didn't say the most balanced, balanced reporting is a crock of horse shit,) sources on the following people? Like, dispassionate stating of the facts best we can figure them and the reasons things happened. Usually I can tell the authors bias by the second paragraph on any of these things.

I'm interested in the most famous ones, just because they are more likely to come up, and I don't need obscure examples because the kind of anarchy/communism I prefer has never really existed, anyway.

Lenin, Mao, Chavez, Guevarra, Stalin, and Castro are probably good places to start.

I'm asking this on an anarchist board not a Marxist one because if I hear the, 'Stalin did nothing wrong, kulaks deserved it,' joke (? how often is it a joke?) one more time I'm going to explode. Also I think I'll get slightly less biased sources, and I'm an anarchist myself.

asked Mar 7, 2017 by Denver332 (360 points)
No, that makes sense. I find labels/identifies useful sometimes, but not accurate. It's like when people go 'oh you sleep with men and women sometimes? So you're bi?' and I usually get slightly annoyed and will just shrug and be like 'sure, why the fuck not.' I suppose it doesn't make sense to treat my political views any differently.

I really like The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic by Marcus Rediker and Peter Linebaugh. It is addressing the historical period leading up to the 20th century, so not directly addressing the Soviet Union etc. but is coming from a very interesting perspective influenced by marxism and anarchism.

Also, I would second Dixie Be Damned, which is great.

It sounds interesting, thanks!
There are also several communistic books on little black cart publishing, here are two that I really enjoyed:



Also, it would be nice to read an abridged version of das capital by marx so that you have an understanding of marxism. It's still really hard to read (i read an older abridged version), but to me it was worth it:

counter-revolutionary :P

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