Pravda on the Hudson

The New York Times has been running a series of articles noting the centennial of the October Revolution in Russia in 1917.  It’s certainly a good idea to keep people mindful of the impact of what the Times is calling the “Red Century,” as the only way to learn from history is to study it.

The problem is it seems most of the time in these writings that the Times hasn’t learned a thing:

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To be fair, such headlines are in keeping with long tradition at the Times, always looking on the bright side of Communism.  Their tweet today is a classic:

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“For all its flaws…”  Wow.  ‘Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?’  To be fair, the Times article being advertised does reveal it wasn’t all sunshine and roses for women under Mao.  But the tweet headline above comes from the closing paragraph, thus putting emphasis on the alleged positive developments.  Not once, however, does it mention the impact of millions of Chinese girls aborted–sometimes due to State force– because of China’s one-child policy conflicting with the traditional Chinese preference for male children.  A rather amazing omission.  Guess the Times considers abortion accessibility hand in hand with women “dreaming big.”

When I’m shaking my head in amazement that so many young people today see collectivism in a positive light, I have to remember this is what their vulnerable young minds are being fed.  This is simply more of the subversion I referred to in yesterday’s post: treason spread out over time.  With a century of well-documented communist experience behind us, modern defenders of centralized planning and top-down social organization are left only with the No True Scotsman defense for Communism: “it’s never really been tried”–all the efforts of Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot notwithstanding.  If only a society would fully embrace it, it could work, they say.

After all,

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I wonder what “big dreams” the young woman in the photo above might have had…

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Since we’re talking symbolism

Across the nation, Confederate monuments are coming down, and the question on many minds is whether the President was right: will it stop there, or grow to include any figure — including pivotal figures like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson — associated with slavery or other grievances?

So this would be a good time to examine the symbol of one of the more active groups on the Left: Antifa.  Their flag has been seen from Berkeley to Boston at various “protests” and “counter-protests.”  Why the quotations?  Because in nearly every case, it has devolved into violence.

This is Antifa’s flag:

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Note that the full name of the group is “Antifascist Action.”  The photo above is from an event in Oklahoma City.  Now take a careful look at this next photo:

3rd Communist International

This is the debut of that logo, at the first meeting of the “Antifaschistische Aktion” group in Berlin, July 10, 1932.  The organization was created by the Communist Party of Germany as a replacement paramilitary force after their original goon squad –the Rotfrontkämpferbund — was banned due to fighting between Communists and Nazis.

Note that the emblem is centered between two Soviet flags.  The banner on the table reads “Long live the Red Front.”  In essence, Antifa originated as the Communist answer to the Nazi “Brownshirts,” and the nature of the group was inherently violent.

The point has been made repeatedly in recent days that neo-Nazi symbolism has no business in the USA, and I agree.  But what about neo-Communism?  We’re reminded “we fought a war to conquer Nazi Germany.”  True.  We also waged a half century “Cold War” under threat of nuclear Armageddon to defeat the Soviet Union and its communist empire.  So why is Adolph Hitler the lone boogeyman and political epithet?

It’s because Communists and Nazis strongly emphasized their differences rather than their similarities.  This is deliberate deception.  BOTH belong on the “left” end of the spectrum, as both are collectivist totalitarian ideologies.  The opposite of each is not the other, but rather minimalist, individualist government.

But wait, there’s more!  Our society today is so historically ignorant that many people initially can’t understand why I lump Nazis and Communists together.  So here’s some info to chew on: Continue reading

Summoning the demons

(Note: this is a long post on a highly sensitive subject.  If you don’t have the time (or inclination) to carefully read and consider it all, please don’t read it AT all.)

Since Saturday, I’ve been trying to find the words to express how I believe we arrived at the tragic violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.  I have no sympathy for idiots who see Nazi paraphernalia as a statement.  History clearly shows where that road leads.

And yet, with all the focus on the swastikas why is it we never have criticism of the Hammer and Sickle often unfurled at various Leftist demonstrations?  Of the Che Guevara T-shirts worn by people who still think socialism or communism is a good idea? History also shows multiple examples of where THAT road leads.  Many of the gatherings of these supposedly “anti-fascist” groups are also violent — in the way that Hitler’s Brown Shirts were violent.  In fact, I think the wisest comment on Charlottesville is that is was a result of two groups descending on the city, looking for a fight.  It did not help matters that the police stood back and allowed the fists on both sides to start flying.  I wonder if anyone will be held to account for that…

We’re rapidly approaching 1930s Weimar Germany all over again – two brands of social collectivist thuggary duking it out for control.

There is more to this, however.  With higher academia firmly under Gramscian control, it’s easy to understand why many young people have a romanticized view of communism’s “liberation” movements and fail to realize “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.”  But what trend could be luring other young people towards neo-Nazism or the white supremacy ideas of decades past?

I think much of it’s a belated (though misdirected) defensive response.  Rod Dreher hits the nail on the head: it does no good for the Right to disavow the identity politics of neo-Nazism or George Wallace’s segregationism while the Left continues to make identity politics the center of everything:

Continue reading

Mayday! Mayday!

Ilya Somin has the right idea, and it needs to go viral:

“Today is May Day. Since 2007, I have defended the idea of using this date as an international Victims of Communism Day. I outlined the rationale for this proposal (which is not my original idea) in my very first post on the subject:

May Day began as a holiday for socialists and labor union activists, not just communists. But over time, the date was taken over by the Soviet Union and other communist regimes and used as a propaganda tool to prop up their [authority]. I suggest that we instead use it as a day to commemorate those regimes’ millions of victims. The authoritative Black Book of Communism estimates the total at 80 to 100 million dead, greater than that caused by all other twentieth century tyrannies combined. We appropriately have a Holocaust Memorial Day. It is equally appropriate to commemorate the victims of the twentieth century’s other great totalitarian tyranny. And May Day is the most fitting day to do so….”

As Somin goes on to point out, the comments of various candidates on both sides of the aisle here in America show the need for a regular reminder of exactly what Communism produces.  It is an insidious ideology that does its best to ensnare the minds of each new generation with utopian promises that can never be realized in the face of humanity’s fallen spiritual nature.  It appeals to our longing for heaven, but results in hell on earth.  So yes, let’s have a day each year to put the spotlight on history and remember what past experimentation has produced.

“We should not forget the tens of millions of victims of communism – both for their sake and for our own.”

How soon we (still) forget

Ninety-nine years ago today, the Bolsheviks in Russia confiscated church lands, canceled state subsidies for the church, made marriage a civil ordinance, and nationalized the schools, abolishing all religious instruction.

In 1983, prominent Soviet dissident Aleksander Solzhenitsyn, looking back at the wreckage and misery caused by communism in his land, had this to say:

More than half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.

Since then I have spent well-nigh fifty years working on the history of our Revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.

What is more, the events of the Russian Revolution can only be understood now, at the end of the century, against the background of what has since occurred in the rest of the world. What emerges here is a process of universal significance. And if I were called upon to identify briefly the principal trait of the entire twentieth century, here too, I would be unable to find anything more precise and pithy than to repeat once again: Men have forgotten God.

The Twentieth Century was the bloodiest in the history of mankind.  Exact numbers vary, but most historians agree that about 17 million people died in the First World War, and 50 to 80 million in the Second.  Out of the rubble of these two ruinous events emerged a virulent and murderous ideology – Marxist-Leninism, that would inspire another 110 million deaths in a vain attempt to create a ‘worker’s paradise’ that, in reality, amounted to nothing more than protection of a ruling class by another name.

Rather than return to the roots of Christendom, long since buried over in the eruption of militarism that spawned the First World War, the West has since run ever farther from God.  Determined to create its own solutions, Western Civilization decided that multiculturalism was the only way to prevent future violent catastrophes (despite history showing that multicultural societies are inherently unstable).    Wracked by guilt over the excesses of colonialism (itself a symptom of Christendom forgetting Christ), the ‘intelligentsia’ of the West opted for suicide.  Along the way, the United States has, like the Russians of 1917, redefined marriage, turned the schools hostile to any expression of Christian faith (while actively promoting alternatives), and generally tried to confine Christian expression to the confines of the sanctuary on Sunday.

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.  But it seems we’re crazy enough as a society to believe that pushing Jehovah God even further out of sight will result in a 21st Century that is better than the 20th.

O come, O come, Emmanuel!

The resilience of socialism

Britain’s Labor party tacks hard left, electing as leader a self-described “socialist” who has professed admiration for Hugo Chavez and considers Hezbollah and Hamas to be “friends:”

Jeremy Corbyn, a leftist former union organizer, was elected the leader of the U.K.’s Labour Party on Saturday, a result that signals a more socialist direction for the country’s main opposition and could herald a realignment of British politics…

Mr. Corbyn’s unexpected ascent within the Labour Party has happened at the same time as the rise of American antiestablishment figures such as Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, a socialist candidate for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, and Donald Trump, the billionaire businessman and reality TV star who is leading the field of candidates for the Republican nomination.

Based on the experience of the U.S. over the last several years, Britons would do well to be wary of former “organizers.”  As the article points out, though, the rise of Bernie Sanders in the U.S. shows that we have learned nothing, either.  And while some would like to label all this flirting with leftism to be simple “antiestablishment” politics, it’s really just the resurgence of a pernicious lie.

In 1989, with the collapse of the Soviet Empire, it seemed Marxist collectivism in all its shades had been discredited.  As previously secret archives were opened for inspection, the true cost of the horrors of trying the sustain the ‘Worker’s Paradise’ were laid bare for all to see.  But just as 14 years is enough time to forget the real danger posed by Islamic fundamentalism, whether of the al Qaeda or Iranian variety, it would seem a quarter century is ample time to completely rehabilitate the image of socialism in the eyes of a new generation.  The persistent idea of using government force to play Robin Hood — to take from the “haves” (who must be guilty of something, since they “have”) and give to the “have nots” (who are assumed always to be virtuous and innocent of any responsibility for their station in life) shows that human beings are emotionally rationalizing creatures, not rational ones.

Socialism and its more militant Big Brother, communism, represents the politics of envy, a policy of entitlement rather than achievement, and a gross misunderstanding of the fallen nature of man.  It promises freedom, yet results in more concentrated power.  It promises utopia, but produces disharmony at best, and purges and gulags at worst.  The young flock to its banner out of inexperienced naivete, only to see their energy and idealism harnessed to produce power for the well-connected.

We are but a couple years from the centennial of the Bolshevik revolution, which itself was part of the larger story of the 20th Century — the bloodiest in the history of mankind, not only because of two world wars, but because of an ideology willing to kill an additional 100 million of its own countrymen in order to maintain power and conceal the contradictions inherent in the system.   Have we learned nothing?

“Before some audiences not even the possession of the exactest knowledge will make it easy for what we say to produce conviction. For argument based on knowledge implies instruction, and there are people whom one cannot instruct.”
– Aristotle, Rhetoric