Re: JD Bernal

From: Jim Fehlinger (
Date: Thu Mar 01 2001 - 17:54:14 MST

Greg Burch wrote:
> [W]hen Bernal was writing... the Soviet Union was new, the Bolsheviks were
> engaging in agressive and effective cultural "outreach" to intellectuals in
> the West and the horrors of Stalin lay in the future. One is hard-pressed
> to find an intellectual in the West in the 1920s who wasn't at least willing
> to give the Soviet Union the benefit of the doubt in the 1920s.

Bertrand Russell comes to mind as an honorable exception:

"Russell had originally welcomed the Russian Revolution... After the war Russell
visited Russia with Dora Black and after meeting Lenin and Trotsky wrote a book,
_Theory and Practice of Bolshevism_ (1919), that was very critical of communism."
(from )

Russell managed to alienate both the Left and the Right, the former because
of his views about the Soviet Union, and the latter because of his pacifism during
the First World War and his views on religion and sexual morality. He didn't think
much of Lenin at all, after meeting him in person, according to his later reminiscences.
I recall reading that Dora Black had a much more mainstream left-wing view of the
Soviets, and that when their marriage broke up, Russell was terrified that she'd take
the kids and move to Russia.

Jim F.

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