Horowitz Lies about Grover Furr - and Why

(Note: The chapter on me in David Horowitz's book was evidently written by Rocco DiPippo, not Horowitz. But Horowitz claims authorship of the book and says DiPippo did the "research." Another lie? No doubt. But I want to deal with the more substantive lies. I refer to the "author" of this meretricious chapter as Horowitz. Since the book is his, he bears responsibility for its contents.)

Horowitz's chapter about me is on pp. 186-189 of his book The Professors. Most of the text accuses me of having views, and assigning authors, with whom Horowitz disagrees. He lies about those views and authors too, but I won’t deal with those lies here.

These are just the outright lies about me. I’ve appended a few comments at the end.

LIE: p. 186 - "A copy of the entire speech appears on his academic website, which is a site his students must use as a study resource."

There is NO link from any of my course pages to my "Politics" page, where this essay is linked, or to my Homepage, where there is a link to the Politics page, which is at http://chss.montclair.edu/english/furr/politics.html

I'll fix that next semester. Why shouldn't my students see this page?

But notice the dishonesty! He says "my academic website." The implication is that I am forcing my students to read my political views. This is the lie.

LIE: p. 187 - "...for instance denying that Stalin’s government was responsible for the Katyn Massacre of 15,000 Polish Army officers during World War II"

I do not "deny" it, and have never "denied" it. I refuse to affirm it, however, because the evidence is not there. For three examples, see this post to the DISCUSS list at Montclair State University of April 2006,  this post of mine to the H-RUSSIA list in January 2004, and this one to the H-HOAC list from October 2003.

I have looked into this in great depth, including all the central Russian-language documents, and all the historical criticism. I affirm that the question is open, in that the evidence does not exist to prove conclusively whether the Soviets or Germans killed the Polish officers.

Horowitz complains that I reached my views on the Katyn question "even though the Soviet government under Gorbachev admitted Soviet guilt..." (p. 187).

That is, Horowitz chooses to "believe" the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and complains that I do not uncritically "believe" him!

Let's take a closer look at this "believing" Gorbachev.

And that's what I did. Horowitz / DiPippo have not done any of this. They have not even pretended to do it.

So they claim: "We should all 'believe' Gorbachev!" In short, the "cult of personality": "Believe the leader!" What nonsense!

Horowitz is not interested in evidence or the truth, only in opinions that he himself prefers, and his complaint is that I disagree with him!

LIE: p. 187 - "denying Stalin's well-documented campaign to liquidate the Jews."

There are two lies:

Neither is true. There was no such campaign. And so, of course, it is not "documented" at all.

The main, and hugely anti-Stalin and anti-communist scholar of Soviet Jewish questions, Gennady Kostyrchenko, says is it a "mystification." Soviet dissident scientist and fiercely anti-Stalin author Zhores Medvedev, forcefully concludes that Stalin was not anti-Semitic at all.

For Kostyrchenko, see "Deportatsia - Mistifikatsia," Otechesvennaia Istoriia 1 (2003), pp. 92-113, or a slightly different version in Lekhaim No. 125, September 2002.

Medvedev's statement is in his book Stalin i Evreiskaia Problema. Novyy Analiz (Moscow, 2003), p. 92. It is translated in "Il'ya Erenburg, 'Answer to a Letter', Russian text with English translation, transcribed and with an introduction by Grover Furr."

LIE: p. 188 - on my Vietnam War course, Horowitz / DiPippo calls me "an amateur guided by political agendas"

The "qualifications" game is nonsense. Every faculty member has to develop and teach courses outside his area of specialty.

The real, valid questions to ask include these:

Neither Horowitz nor his "researcher", DiPippo, asked any of these questions about my teaching. In fact, neither of them ever interviewed a single student in any of my courses, or obtained a single complaint from any individual student!

Furthermore, Robert Conquest, the famous, anti-communist, and hugely dishonest historian of the USSR, is a poet. He has no academic degree in poetry or literature. Yet he has written about literature. Victor Davis Hansen, neo-con political commentator on any subject under the sun, is a Classicist.

What are THESE neocon liars' "qualifications"? Do Horowitz et al. complain that THEY are writing as "amateurs guided by political agendas"?

For that matter, what are Horowitz’s, or DiPippo’s, "qualifications"? They make basic, flagrant errors about Soviet history, and then accuse me of not agreeing with their nonsense.

I have done a great deal of research on the Vietnam War, and use the best research available. It is no mistake that the truth about the Vietnam War – truth as established by the best research – fails to support American and French imperialism in Vietnam.

Like "conservatives" generally, Horowitz and DiPippo are not interested in the truth.

LIE: p. 188 - "...he celebrates the violence that took place in Los Angeles after the 1992 Rodney King verdict as a 'rebellion'".

I called it a "rebellion", and stand by that description. I did not "celebrate" it, whatever that means. See http://www.chss.montclair.edu/english/furr/larebellion92.pdf

LIE: p. 188 – "…accuses the U.S. of being behind the 1981 assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II…"

Maybe the US was behind it -- but I didn’t say so. I conclude it was more likely planned in the West than in the East. See my essay of 1983, "The Politics Behind the Shooting of the Pope", particularly the last paragraph.

But suppose I had come to that conclusion – so what? It is a reasonable conclusion from the evidence available. Neither Horowitz nor DiPippo make any attempt to prove it is wrong.

What about the truth?

Here, as everywhere, "conservatives" reduce -- this is the right word -- every question to opinion, rather than being concerned about what the truth is.

They talk, and act, as though "conservative ideas" are "true" just because they are "conservative!" They want "affirmative action" for falsehood -- as long as it corresponds to their "conservative" prejudices.

LIE: p. 188 – "… and echoes the views of Ward Churchill and Noam Chomsky that on September 11, 2001 the U.S. got what it deserved."

There are two lies here, for neither Chomsky nor I say anything remotely like this.

Here’s what Chomsky wrote on September 14, 2001:

"The terrorist attacks were major atrocities. In scale they may not reach the level of many others, for example, Clinton's bombing of the Sudan with no credible pretext, destroying half its pharmaceutical supplies and killing unknown numbers of people (no one knows, because the US blocked an inquiry at the UN and no one cares to pursue it). Not to speak of much worse cases, which easily come to mind.

But that this was a horrendous crime is not in doubt. The primary victims, as usual, were working people: janitors, secretaries, firemen, etc. It is likely to prove to be a crushing blow to Palestinians and other poor and oppressed people. It is also likely to lead to harsh security controls, with many possible ramifications for undermining civil liberties and internal freedom."

- "On the Bombings"

I agree with that!

Here’s what I wrote, on September 11 2001 itself:

It's up to us to show the truth: all this is the result of decades of the most brutal US imperialist massacres and exploitation.

We should make it clear that we oppose terrorism, because it strengthens, rather than weakens, the forces of imperialist murder and oppression, and weakens the working class and its allies, like ourselves.

- "What we should do – a start"

It has nothing to do with Ward Churchill’s hateful "little Eichmanns" remarks. Neither does Chomsky’s view, of course.

LIE: p. 188 - "Professor Furr heads the association's radical caucus..." ["association" is the Modern Language Association, or MLA].

I don't; never have held any office in the Radical Caucus of the MLA. Its Secretary is Michael Bennett of LIU; its Chair is Barbara Foley of Rutgers / Newark. A simple letter or phone call to me or the MLA would have saved Horowitz  from making this elementary error.

Why didn’t he make that call? Because he is not interested in the truth.

LIE: p. 188 - "A sampling of the views of forty of Professor Furr's students is available on RateMyProfessors.com..."

Horowitz omitted all the positive comments and put in only negative ones.

And those negative ones only complain that they do not agree with me! So what if they don't?

What's more, RateMyProfessors.com is a fraud. There is no verification that anyone who posts about a given professor has ever been in that professor's class, or is even a student at the university. These comments could have been made by Horowitz, for all we know!


There’s a lot to say! I’ll limit myself to this:

The Horowitz-type conservatives rarely talk about the truth. When they do, as above, about Soviet history, they make fools of themselves. But it is rare that they do.

There’s a reason for this:

In addition, the Conservatives like Horowitz are not really interested in "diversity" either.

In short, they want THEIR views to be taught in university classes, period. They want this not only regardless of whether they have any validity at all, but despite the fact that their "conservative" views are all invalid – all of them.

Conservatives are to falsehood as News Radio is to news: "All Lies, All The Time."

A decade ago I wrote two short essays on what the "conservatives" are up to. They are here:

Conservatives are crude and obvious shills and apologists for exploitation. They are the enemies of working people, and champions of employers. Period!

All "conservative" ideas are false -- every one of them.

Horowitz specifically has chosen "to go where the money is." According to an essay in the Chronicle of Higher Education (Jennifer Jacobson, "What Makes David Run" CHE May 6, 2005 and another, more recent one in Inside Higher Ed (Alan Jones, "Connecting the Dots") Horowitz is funded by right-wing foundations such as the Bradley Foundation, Richard Mellon Scaife, Olin, Randolph, and others. Horowitz paid himself over $300,000 in 2003, plus tens of thousands more from speaking engagements before conservative organizations.

There is a lot of information about how super-rich businessmen, "conservatives" (= champions of poverty and exploitation) all, use Right-wing foundations to "buy a movement." See, for example, this article at People for the American Way.

Like all "conservative" organizations these foundations are anti-labor, pro-employer, pro-exploitation groups. Their ideological purpose is to justify lowering the cost of labor, and thereby the standard of living, of all working people in the United States. To this end they support authoritarian, elitist, and irrational ideologies that promote the subordination of working people to the rich.

That's the side that pays, and Horowitz is on it. Horowitz says that his change from being a leftist to being a right-winger had nothing to do with the fact that it pays big bucks to be a right-winger, while being a leftist pays nothing.

Of course! it is just a coincidence that the side he has picked pays so well!


Grover Furr
English Dept.
Montclair State U.