Episode 218 – Beware! the Counter-Revolution with C. Derick Varn

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C. Derick Varn is a poet, teacher, and “arm-chair theorist” (his words, not ours), but Steve called on him for his deep knowledge of history, specifically the history of revolutions.

Varn takes a realistic and nuanced look at some of the popular myths about the brutality of key figures, like Stalin and Mao. He suggests placing them in the context of historical geopolitical economic conditions.  

I’m also just going to remind people that both the Bolshevik Revolution and the Chinese Revolution, in particular, come out of the context of world wars. They happen when they happen during the world wars for a reason. You have highly traumatized societies where the power has been broken because of the consequences of world war, even when the powers at hand are actually allied with the winners. 

Steve asks whether one should excuse abandoning civil liberties in order to protect the gains of a revolution against very real internal and external threats. “What civil liberties?” asks Varn. Some revolutions never even got rid of their monarchies.  

The episode considers Bolshevism, Trotskyism, and fascism. Varn talks about why both socialists and capitalists were attracted to fascism, looking, again, to the conditions of the time. 

C. Derick Varn is a poet, teacher, editor, podcaster, and broadcaster. He is the host of VarnVlog and co-host of Gaming Materialists. According to his Patreon, Varn Vlog is a podcast and youtube channel dedicated to delivering high-quality interviews and analyses on philosophy, art, political economy, culture, geopolitics, pop culture, and history. Support his work at patreon.com/varnvlog 

@skepoet on Twitter 

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C. Derick Varn is a poet, teacher, and “arm-chair theorist” (his words, not ours), but Steve called on him for his deep knowledge of history, specifically the history of revolutions.

Varn takes a realistic and nuanced look at some of the popular myths about the brutality of key figures, like Stalin and Mao. He suggests placing them in the context of historical geopolitical economic conditions.  

I’m also just going to remind people that both the Bolshevik Revolution and the Chinese Revolution, in particular, come out of the context of world wars. They happen when they happen during the world wars for a reason. You have highly traumatized societies where the power has been broken because of the consequences of world war, even when the powers at hand are actually allied with the winners. 

Steve asks whether one should excuse abandoning civil liberties in order to protect the gains of a revolution against very real internal and external threats. “What civil liberties?” asks Varn. Some revolutions never even got rid of their monarchies.  

The episode considers Bolshevism, Trotskyism, and fascism. Varn talks about why both socialists and capitalists were attracted to fascism, looking, again, to the conditions of the time. 

C. Derick Varn is a poet, teacher, editor, podcaster, and broadcaster. He is the host of VarnVlog and co-host of Gaming Materialists. According to his Patreon, Varn Vlog is a podcast and youtube channel dedicated to delivering high-quality interviews and analyses on philosophy, art, political economy, culture, geopolitics, pop culture, and history. Support his work at patreon.com/varnvlog 

@skepoet on Twitter 

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