Tooley:”When Soviet Totalitarians Became American Allies”

Three quarters of a century ago, on June 22, 1941, Nazi Germany launched Operation Barbarossa, an attack on the Soviet Union across a front 3,000 miles long. Barbarossa moved the war into its global stage. It prefigured the final alliance system. It moved the Final Solution to the industrial level of killing. It helped bring the United States into the war, and certainly opened the floodgates of “pre-Lend-Lease” from the United States to Stalin’s Russia. As Ralph Raico has pointed out, the presidential powers inherent in Lend-Lease amounted to one of the great expansions of power in American history. On this aspect, see Raico’s review essay on Justus Doenecke’s Storm on the Horizon, as well as Raico’s rethinking of FDR, in which addresses the character of Hopkins.

But apart from Raico, Doenecke, and other historians in the libertarian and Old Right revisionist tradition, and in spite of the enormous impact this single event has had on world history, what a bundle of historical misinformation and misunderstandings surround it! In essence, two totalitarians agreed to divide Europe. After nearly two years of relatively close cooperation in invasion, mass killing, deportations, and forced labor, the two great apostles of the state parted ways, largely because their long range territorial, strategic, and economic plans were mutually exclusive. They were both still totalitarians, both still mass murderers.

Yet this whole issue of Hitler and Stalin as two roads to the same total state had to wait, really, until the 1980s and early 1990s before any hint of historical comparisons reached the mainstream, meaning college textbooks, academe, popular history, etc. Even all those years later, even when specialists among mainstream historians knew very well that the research on Stalin portrayed a horrifying record, treatment of the Man of Steel in textbooks, in the news media almost always pulled punches.

The amazing thing is that during the Cold War, educated Americans could hold both images in their minds: “Uncle Joe” on the one hand, and the evil Cold War Stalin on the other. A truly Orwellian feat.
Full Commentary by T. Hunt Tooley on the Anniversary of the German invasion of Russia in 1941, @ The Mises Institute https://mises.org/blog/when-soviet-totalitarians-became-american-allies

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