Filmmaker Boots Riley, Marxist-Humanist thinker and economist Andrew Kliman, and Richard D. (“Rick”) Wolff, co-founder of Rethinking Marxism, recently participated in a panel called “A Discussion on Leftism, Morality, and Community Growth.” The event took place on April 23, on George Mason University’s Fairfax (Virginia) campus. It was sponsored by the campus Students for a Democratic Society, along with other groups.
Kliman vigorously condemned the crimes of Stalinism and “leftist” support and apologetics for them, saying that they have besmirched the cause of genuine socialism, setting it back decades–if not permanently. Riley said that “mistakes” had been made, but he refrained from condemning Stalinist regimes. Wolff also refrained from even the slightest condemnation of them, attacked Kliman personally, and alleged that leftist opponents of Stalinism had done the most harm to the cause of socialism (presumably more than Pol Pot’s killing fields, the crushing of the Hungarian Revolution, etc., etc.). A fourth speaker, graduate student Bennett Shoop, also put forward a pro-Stalinist line.
The video was recorded live before a Stalinist audience. The full video, including discussion from the floor, is below.
We welcome comments on the video below this article. Also, in the coming weeks and months, With Sober Senses will have further coverage of the resurgence of Stalinism, so please continue to look for it.