J Bradford DeLong forgets to ask himself, 'Compared to what?':
In the 1930s the Great Depression made it very easy to be a Communist: no matter what the criticism, you could answer it with, "Oh yeah? And you'd rather have the system that gave us the Great Depression."
The Great Depression being worse than the famine in Ukraine? The purges and show trials in Moscow? The slave labor camps? The Great Terror? The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact?
At least The Great Depression was accompanied by Cole Porter and the Gershwins.