Category Archive 'Communism'
02 May 2020
If “The Simpsons” had been set in the 1980s Soviet bloc….
01 May 2020
Human remains at Kolyma.
Ten films on the subject of Communism’s demicide.
The most comprehensive statistical source for democide statistics, Death By Government, puts the toll at 106 million. Necrometrics estimates that Stalin and Mao alone killed 60 million. Wikipedia, defining democide more narrowly, puts the toll between 21 million and 70 million. The Museum of iCommunism estimates 100 million murdered. The Black Book of iCommunism estimates 80 to 100 million.
But these are just statistics. As psychologists have pointed out, itâ€™s impossible for the human mind to grasp the magnitude of that level of horror through sheer numbers. Just as Schindlerâ€™s List was instrumental in getting the public to come to finally terms with the Holocaust, it is perhaps through film that death toll of communism can best be understood.
Every May 1st for the last several years, Ilya Somin has written an editorial for the Washington Post declaring the â€œMay Dayâ€ so beloved by the Left to be renamed â€œVictims of Communism Day.â€ I concur, and so, while socialists blissfully celebrate their workerâ€™s paradise this May Day, indifferent to the human cost of their political philosophy, I propose that well-meaning people consider watching a film on the subject, both out of respect for those lost and to be intellectually armed against the ignorance of those still in denial. Here are some recommendations.
25 Feb 2020
Imagine thereâ€™s no bread
Itâ€™s easy if you try
No tacos or hot sauce,
Nothing cold or fried,
Imagine all the people living in the gulags
Imagine thereâ€™s no money
It isnâ€™t hard to do
Nothing to eat or drink
And no bacon too
Imagine all the people living short life spans ooooh
You may say Iâ€™m a commie
But Iâ€™m not the only one
And someday you will join us
Or weâ€™ll shoot you in the face
Imagine no possessions
Because all your stuff was redistributed
Lots of greed and hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing all your stuff, yeah
You may say Iâ€™m a commie
But Iâ€™m not the only one
Did you say you donâ€™t like that?
Then itâ€™s the gulag for you, son
HT: The Babylon Bee via Vanderleun.
14 Jan 2020
View over the Prague downtown Wenceslav Square with the hero’s statue in foreground. A huge crowd was assembling again, Thursday evening, November 23, 1989, for another demonstration for more democracy in Czechoslovakia.
Michael Brendan Dougherty quotes Roger Scruton’s memory of meeting the Czech dissidents with whom he would go on to create an underground university in the 1980s. There he gave lectures on philosophy, history, and literature â€” meditations on the whole inheritance of Western civilization â€” that were forbidden by Communist authorities. Scruton would finally be detained by secret police and his name placed on the Index of Undesirable Persons.
From How to Be a Conservative (2014):
In that room was a battered remnant of Pragueâ€™s intelligentsia â€” old professors in their shabby waistcoats; long-haired poets; fresh-faced students who had been denied admission to university for their parentsâ€™ political â€˜crimesâ€™; priests and religious in plain clothes; novelists and theologians; a would-be rabbi; and even a psychoanalyst. And in all of them I saw the same marks of suffering, tempered by hope; and the same eager desire for the sign that someone cared enough to help them. They all belonged, I discovered, to the same profession: that of stoker. Some stoked boilers in hospitals; others in apartment blocks; one stoked at a railway station, another in a school. Some stoked where there were no boilers to stoke, and these imaginary boilers came to be, for me, a fitting symbol of the communist economy.
This was my first encounter with â€œdissidentsâ€: the people who, to my later astonishment, would be the first democratically elected leaders of post-communist Czechoslovakia. And I felt towards these people an immediate affinity. Nothing was of such importance for them as the survival of their national culture. Deprived of material and professional advancement, their days were filled with a forced meditation on their country and its past, and on the great Question of Czech History that has preoccupied the Czechs since the movement for national revival in the nineteenth century. They were forbidden to publish; the authorities had concealed their existence from the world, and had resolved to remove their traces from the book of history. Hence the dissidents were acutely conscious of the value of memory. Their lives were an exercise in what Plato called anamnesis: the bringing to consciousness of forgotten things. Something in me responded immediately to this poignant ambition, and I was at once eager to join with them and make their situation known to the world. And I recognized that anamnesis described the meaning of my life too.
12 Jun 2019
How far down the road to Totalitarianism has our contemporary elite community of fashion gone? This far.
Aaron Bastani says:
The World Is a Mess. We Need Fully Automated Luxury Communism.
Asteroid mining. Gene editing. Synthetic meat. We could provide for the needs of everyone, in style. It just takes some imagination. …
But thereâ€™s a catch. Itâ€™s called capitalism. It has created the newly emerging abundance, but it is unable to share round the fruits of technological development. A system where things are produced only for profit, capitalism seeks to ration resources to ensure returns. Just like todayâ€™s, companies of the future will form monopolies and seek rents. The result will be imposed scarcity â€” where thereâ€™s not enough food, health care or energy to go around.
So we have to go beyond capitalism. Many will find this suggestion unwholesome. To them, the claim that capitalism will or should end is like saying a triangle doesnâ€™t have three sides or that the law of gravity no longer applies while an apple falls from a tree. But for a better world, where everyone has the means to a good life on a habitable planet, it is an imperative.
We can see the contours of something new, a society as distinct from our own as that of the 20th century from feudalism, or urban civilization from the life of the hunter-gatherer. It builds on technologies whose development has been accelerating for decades and that only now are set to undermine the key features of what we had previously taken for granted as the natural order of things.
To grasp it, however, will require a new politics. One where technological change serves people, not profit. Where the pursuit of tangible policies â€” rapid decarbonization, full automation and socialized care â€” are preferred to present fantasies. This politics, which is utopian in horizon and everyday in application, has a name: Fully Automated Luxury Communism.
Sounds good, doesnâ€™t it?
“Just abolish freedom of choice and market capitalism, just surrender all decision-making power to us scientific experts, the Nomenklatura, and the world will be different.
We’ll abolish scarcity and inequality and with our great big brains and unlimited benevolence, we’ll create heaven on earth. Of course, you better not disagree, or criticize our vision, or try standing in our way.”
It’s been tried before, of course, in lots of places.
05 Dec 2016
The Russian-made jeep carrying the ashes of the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro broke down in the middle of his funeral procession on Saturday, forcing soldiers to push the vehicle until it could be repaired.
Nearly every major news website buried the news, though it was perfectly symbolic of the Cuban regimeâ€™s economic failures, and those of socialism in general.
28 Nov 2016
Joel D. Hirst mourns the 57 years stolen from the lives of millions of Cubans by the bandidito tyrant.
I said I would write no more about the death of a tyrant. I lied. Well, perhaps only changed my mind. Because I read something yesterday â€“ something that nobody in Cuba would be able to read. â€œThe greatest evil of the tyrannyâ€ it said â€œwas the theft of six generations of life.â€
Forget the gulags and the concentration camps and the firing squads. Those are the stories that made the papers at least â€“ stories that were told. No â€“ the most important part of this tragedy is not what happened, but what didnâ€™t happen. The novels that were not written, stories of beach and mountain and freedom and loss; the beautiful paintings that did not come to be, which in turn did not inspire abounding love â€“ the love of storybooks. The cuisine that was not refined; the businesses that did not provide for families; inventions that do not help humanity; diseases that were not cured.
The life that was not lived.
This â€“ for me â€“ is the greatest tragedy of all. We have this life at our fingertips, those of us from America. To a greater measure than others; but even those from Panama, or Chile, or Paraguay can see that which they wish to attain. They can uncork the $1000 bottle of wine and dream of the day they will sit in front of the sheer white tablecloth and drink deeply. They can read the novel, and imagine how they would make the stories unfold, improving them. They can look at the girl across their own malecon and imagine how they will win their fortune and then come for her.
None of these things have been imagined â€“ for six generations â€“ in Cuba.
For those of us who are writers, the unwritten story of Cuba is the saddest of all.
Read the whole thing.
Hat tip to Vanderleun.
30 Aug 2016
UPDATE: Someone suggested that he might be a 1956 Hungarian Freedom Fighter. Horizontally, his sleeve band represents the Italian colors. Vertically: Hungary. I like the Hungary theory even better.
20 Jul 2016
Angela Merkel (then Kasner), age 17, in 1972, marching happily next to an East German Officer in her FDJ uniform.
Angela Merkel was embarrassed when newspapers all over Europe published photos of her marching and smiling in the uniform of East Germany’s Young Communist Movement as a teenager.
She denies she was close to the Communist rulers in East Germany, where she grew up.
So this 1972 photo of her in military-style uniform has left German Chancellor Angela Merkel â€˜not amusedâ€™.
Then called Angela Kasner and aged 17, she is shown happily involved in a civil defence exercise under the gaze of an East German officer.
Drills included first aid and preparing for nuclear attack.
All children had to take part if they wanted to go to university, but Mrs Merkel is also alleged to have been a propaganda secretary for the youth movement, the FDJ*.
The photo was found by an old schoolfriend, Sonja Felssberg, 58, and handed to a German newspaper.
Her smile is easily recognisable and her forage cap is set at a jaunty angle as she strides along at the High School Hermann Matern in Templin, where she was brought up behind the iron curtain.
* Freie Deutsche Jugend [Free German Youth], East Germany’s version of Russia’s Young Communists or Nazi Germany’s Hitler Youth movements.