Yes, yes, yes...Gold Part 2 is coming, really!

Stalin Said WHAT???

Gunning Fog Index = 11.92

Most people these days don't remember or never even heard of the Great Books Movement (1, 2), a moment in American education that shined brightly but briefly. Then the collective consciousness of culture forgot about this too on our careening path toward over-specialization and the destruction of a broad and meaningful liberal arts education. I went to a post-secondary institution that still taught a Great Books-inspired curriculum, one of three left in the country (3), wherein I read everyone who mattered as dictated by the gurus of the curriculum. Not only did I get exposure to Marx, Trotsky, Lenin and Stalin, but having started with Plato and ending somewhere around Bertrand Russell, I gained an appreciation for not only how people said things over the centuries, but also learned how they tended to say them.

That appreciation leads me into consternation frequently - like today, for example. I made the mistake of glancing at Facebook instead of my usual practice of "make a post for the business and get out quickly." What I saw was this (4): stalin.png

I knew instantly that Joseph Stalin never said "socialized medicine is the cornerstone of communism." Why? Because of the language itself. The phrase "socialized medicine" became commonly known and used in America only after WWII and they were words put into the mouth of Harry Truman by his political enemies (5). Regardless of his discredited efforts to try to bring universal health care to America, Truman was a true patriot, even if he was a Democrat. Some folks just need to wake up to the fact that "Democrat" does not mean "traitor", "communist", or "anti-christ" despite what certain rabid Tea Party pundits want you to believe.

It is absurd that someone like Stalin would ever have used the pejorative Americanism "socialized medicine." He wasn't even writing his own stuff anymore when he was an old man in failing health after WWII and no socialist writer would ever have used a label of "socialized" in front of a term like "health care" or "medicine" anyway. I've read Stalin. He didn't write like that. If anything, he would have discussed health care by bragging how great it was under the world's existing communistic governments.

The concept of throwing the derogatory adjective "socialized" - a buzz word invoking Communism - in front of a proposed benefit program is one that is only relevant in a place where Communism is equated with the works of the Devil, like America. Based on history of buzz words and political expressions plus the language that Stalin typically did and did not use were the two reasons why I knew this was not a Stalin quote. And just to be sure, I did a rather extensive search of the writings of Joseph Stalin (6), using search terms like "medicine" and "health care" and such.

If you're interested in a rather decent discussion on the misquoting of famous Communists on "socialized medicine," check out this comment thread on the site (7):

Once again, Facebook has reinforced my belief that for most, thinking is work and people are lazy.


  1. (1) Encyclopædia Britannica Online, s. v. "Robert Maynard Hutchins", accessed August 25, 2014,
  2. (2) Wikipedia, "The Great Books", accessed 25 August 2014,
  3. (3) Columbia University, University of Chicago, St. John's University.
  4. (4) (accessed 25 Aug 2014).
  5. (5) Reid, T. R. (2010), The Healing of America, Penguin Books, ISBN 978-0143118213. - has a good history of the politics of health care in it
  6. (6) Stalin Internet Archive,, accessed 25 Aug 2014.
  7. (7), accessed 25 Aug 2014