Episode 9: The Tankie Craze—Resurgent Stalinism among Youth

Anne Jaclard, MHI’s organizational secretary and a veteran of the left ever since the 1960s, joins Brendan and Andrew to discuss and offer follow-up reflections on “Both Times as Tragedy: the Resurgence of Stalinism among Today’s ‘Left’ Youth,” a talk she gave at last year’s Left Forum. They discuss her surprise upon discovering this retrograde trend; former “Tankie” youth who are now disillusioned with Stalinism and have reached out to MHI; why it is important for socialists to oppose the resurgence of Stalinism; and how to combat it. The discussion grapples with why many youth find Stalinism appealing, and it explores additional factors underlying the trend, including the prevalence of “post-truth” thinking and of reactionary Third-Worldist “anti-imperialism” that serves as an entry point into Stalinism.

During the interview, Anne and the co-hosts make reference to: (1) a Stalinist-dominated forum hosted by a student group that she attended and at which Andrew spoke (along with pro-Stalinist panelists Boots Riley and Rick Wolff), and (2) an article by Solarpunk Anarchist, “Why this Anarchist has Stopped Using the Word Communism (an overlong explanation).”

This episode’s current-events segment is devoted to a discussion of MHI’s new editorial statement, “Stop Trump’s Self-interested Drive to War Against Iran—and Against the American People.”

Radio Free Humanity is a podcast covering news, politics and philosophy from a Marxist-Humanist perspective. It is co-hosted by Brendan Cooney and Andrew Kliman. We intend to release new episodes every two weeks. Radio Free Humanity is sponsored by MHI, but the views expressed by the co-hosts and guests of Radio Free Humanity are their own. They do not necessarily reflect the views and positions of MHI.

We welcome and encourage listeners’ comments, posted on this episode’s page.

Please visit MHI’s online print publication, With Sober Senses, for further news, commentary, and analysis.

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