Jonah waxes poetic:
What to say of the gormless press-agent twaddle conjured up to describe the Soviet Union? In its opening video for the Olympic Games, NBC’s producers drained the thesaurus of flattering terms devoid of moral content: “The empire that ascended to affirm a colossal footprint; the revolution that birthed one of modern history’s pivotal experiments. But if politics has long shaped our sense of who they are, it’s passion that endures.”
To parse this infomercial treacle is to miss the point, for the whole idea is to luge by the truth on the frictionless skids of euphemism.
In America, we constantly, almost obsessively, wrestle with the “legacy of slavery.” That speaks well of us. But what does it say that so few care that the Soviet Union was built — literally — on the legacy of slavery?
Well, near as I can make out, it says that “liberals” will make any excuses they need to, and overlook any imaginable evil, to keep their hideous ideology viable and ascendant. But I think the real question is this: if the Soviet system was evil, and “liberals” are still to this day pimping for it and dismissing or hiding the truth about it, why is it then considered impolite or impolitic to acknowledge liberal-fascism as evil too? Must we wait until they slaughter more millions before we call them what they are?
Yes, yes, I know, not all “liberals” are Marxist. But is there really enough daylight between the soft tyranny the milder among them espouse and the hard Left’s out and out hateful authoritarianism to be worth making the distinction? Should we be careful about distinguishing between those Germans who disliked the Jews, but only favored expelling them from Europe or otherwise subjugating them rather than exterminating them? If your politics demand close supervision and control over the general populace and denial of their most basic rights “for their own good,” should we really bother ourselves about noting that at least they’re not advocating throwing dissidents into gulags…yet?
And is it really unfair or uncouth to note that, historically, there has never yet been a socialist/Marxist/communist/whatever Left-wing tyranny that didn’t eventually end up digging mass graves for those who refused to meekly go along? That bloodbaths are not just an unfortunate derailing of communist revolutions (I’m suddenly reminded of the “perversion of Islam” excuse for devout Muslims doing exactly what their most sacred texts demand, oddly enough), but one of their defining characteristics?
Fair use would demand that I stop excerpting this brief article already, but I want this bit seen by as many people as possible, lest anyone think my repeated denunciation of the defenders of communism as evil is mere hyperbole:
To read Anne Applebaum’s magisterial Gulag: A History is to subject yourself to relentless tales of unimaginable barbarity. A slave who falls in the snow is not helped up by his comrades but is instantly stripped of his clothes and left to die. His last words: “It’s so cold.”
Hava Volovich, a once-obscure newspaper editor turned slave laborer, has a baby, Eleonora, in captivity. Eleonora spends her first months in a room where “bedbugs poured down like sand from the ceiling and walls.” A year later, Eleonora is wasting away, starving in a cold ward at slave “mothers’ camp.” She begs her mother to take her back “home” to that bedbug-infested hovel. Working all day in the forest to earn food rations, Hava manages to visit her child each night. Finally, Eleonora in her misery refuses even her mother’s embrace, wanting only to drift away in bed. Eleonora dies, hungry and cold, at 15 months. Her mother writes: “In giving birth to my only child, I committed the worst crime there is.”
Multiply these stories by a million. Ten million.
Throw in the untold millions murdered by communists in the Far East. Toss in a couple more in Cuba and South America. And then consider the millions here who still insist that Marxism is “beautiful on paper,” or who insist that we trundle down a slightly more milquetoast version of this same black path. And then ask yourself how a presumably intelligent and educated person can refer to the Soviet Union, on American television no less, as “one of modern history’s pivotal experiments,” without even the barest, most backhanded acknowledgment of the cost in blood, pain, and sheer horror of that “pivotal experiment.”
Then ask yourself how it is that anti-communism became an epithet–a marker, with “liberals,” for blockheaded ignorance and xenophobia, a ready rationalization for knee-jerk dismissal of any and every other word uttered by the person espousing it. Something to be mocked as simple-minded and unsophisticated. A synonym for “hopelessly stupid, and not worth bothering about.” As if the savagery that has always walked in on the heels of communism were a slight error, a miscalculation, an unforeseen and nearly unimaginable development–a bug, rather than the feature it actually is.
Then ask yourself how it is that these self-same “liberals” can rage indignantly about supposed American “imperialism,” human rights abuses, and “genocide” with a straight face. Ask yourself why it is that scarcely anyone on the other side of the political divide even knows who Walter Duranty is, and certainly doesn’t consider him despicable and loathsome. Ask yourself how these supposedly superior intellects can wax damned near apoplectic about as weak-tea a conservative as George W Bush, but can’t spare a moment’s outrage for any of the long litany of Soviet fiends in human shape, each of whom buried more innocent human beings in a week than Dubya did his entire presidency.
Ask yourself how people who think this way can seriously accuse their opposition of “terrorism,” of “extremism,” of being motivated by hate or racism or misogyny or any of the other smokescreens they use to avoid debate. Ask yourself how it is that advocating for a return to government operating within clearly-defined Constitutional limits has become “radical,” “irrational,” and beyond the pale.
Ask yourself how obvious political depravity has become the default position, and exercising the right to petition the government for redress of grievances and working within the established system to effect change has become seditious, revolutionary, treasonous.
Ask yourself how far the rot has spread. Ask yourself how deep this rabbit hole goes.
Noted pyromaniac William Tecumseh Sherman once said: “War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out.” I would submit that you could replace the word “war” with “Leftism” and not be too off the mark, or out of bounds.
Ask yourself what we’re going to do about it, how we’re going to rectify it. No, I don’t have the answer; I only wish I did. Could be there ain’t one, or no good one, anyway. But we damned sure need one, and fast. I’m finding it difficult these days to make the case that it’s not already too late, as I’m sure you all have noticed by now.