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Banana past

Whenever I write about something touching on my experience of communism, I get a few kind commenters encouraging me to share more of it. I rarely do so, as busy life takes over. Still, today I managed to post an article on my other blog, Media Influencer, that I felt was perhaps not coherent enough or too personal for Samizdata.net. For those interested, follow the bananas…

bananas.jpg

43 comments to Banana past

  • ernest young

    Quote from your other post:
    One of the reasons I find so hard visiting my native country is that I resent the fact that people back there carry on as if nothing happened. I bear a grudge against the easy forgiveness (or forgetfullness?), with which those who lived there in the past 50 years seem to treat the past.

    Funny – I feel the same way when I occasionally return to the UK, and I see the very real socio-fascist state that it has become, all the very things that we fought for all those years ago…I’m not sure that you actually said it, but betrayal is the word that springs to mind…

  • ernest young

    that should read fought against all those years ago..

  • Earnest Young: Yes, in a way I did say it…

    Let the fire begin.

  • Bernie

    Thank-you again Adriana. Put me down for a copy of the book you ought to write.

  • What are you talking about? Those bananas are perfect! I rarely get them in that state, since the rest of my family eats them when they still have green on the ends and taste rather like raw potatoes. When the spots first appear, the starches are being converted into sugar, and then it is a race to finish them before they go too far.

  • Mitch: it’s just a convenient graphical representation of bananas, the reality was a bit more… squishy. As usual.

  • Verity

    ernest young – I feel your pain. I cannot bring myself to go back to Britain, even for a visit. The whole place is so seedy, so corrupted by the powerful… the BBC’s communist “correspondents” wittering away injecting their personal thoughts into big news stories … Any country that has Ian Blair as the most powerful police officer in the land needs a violent emetic. A violent laxative wouldn’t hurt, either.

    Tony Blair expecting to “hand over power” to Gordon Brown, just like any third world military strongman. . .

    Yes, a socio-fascist state. To what end did we waste all those fine young lives?

  • Brian

    Forgive this latecomer for asking, Miss Cronin, but what is your native country?

  • Does it matter? My native country does not exist as such anymore, it was Czechoslovakia…

  • Labrit

    Adriana, it seems to me that you are very much angry at the Communist past of your country.

    2 questions:

    Is it a general anger at the totalitarian system as a whole or have you had a very bad personal experience that made you furious at YOUR past?

    Were there any positive sides of the Communist regime/system? Something that was better then than now?

  • michael farris

    I think it’s ironic that Verity’s feelings toward Britain are so similar to Adriana’s about her almost former country (since her former country doesnt’ technically exist any longer) whereas Adriana seems so much more comfortable in Britain than in Slovakia (unless I’ve missed a lot).

    Freedom from history is a wonderful thing.

  • veryretired

    I value Adriana’s posts because there seems to be an inability on the part of those who live in the Anglosphere, and other generally free societies, to comprehend the immense weight of a totalitarian state as it presses down on every thought, every action, every emotion, every facet of life.

    I have often told my children that they are blessed on a scale they cannot understand to have been born when and where they were, walking to school across ground that has not seen war for more than a century, and that only minor skirmishes, able to read and learn and question whatever they wish without fear, or even the thought that it might lead to catastrophe for themselves and their family.

    I understand Verity’s anquish as she watches the continual intrusion of the state into more and more of life’s moments, like the molasses in that old comedy of W. C. Fields, “Spreadenest stuff I ever saw.”

    For all the missteps and boneheaded moves the free societies have made over the last few centuries, for let’s not forget how new this whole idea still is in human affairs, the increase in human freedom across the globe over the last few decades is truly astonishing.

    When I see Poles, and Czechs, and Lebanese, and Afghans, and Iraqis all voting, debating, and generally engaging in popular soveriegnty, as well as so many other countires that used to be under the heel of some general or junta, I can’t help but feel like we are on the front of the wave.

    It doesn’t hurt, once in a while, to take some time from all the problems to remind ourselves that free peoples have conquered some variations of collectivist totalitarianism over this past century that truly would have led to “a new Dark Age”, as Churchill said.

    The memories of Adriana, and the frustrations of Verity, all have a place in making sure we don’t lose the battle from complacency. The struggle continues, and always will.

  • Labrit: Without wishing to be disrespecful to your good intentions… you’ve got to kidding me!

    Please, someone deal with this, I cannot even begin to explain why those questions are just absurd!

  • Labrit

    I have asked this after following thoughts had emerged in my absurd brain:

    * clearly, the non-democratic setup in Eastern Europe before 90′s suppressed many freedoms and rights that a developed democracy values the most (freedom of speech, property rights, even freedom to travel, etc). But the same time, as far as I understand, it was compensated by a completely free education (basic and high), medical care, sport, (virtually) free housing, non-existing unemployment, e.t.c. The quality of all this could be improved quite a bit, ofcourse, but it wouldn’t change the overall picture.

    * The fact that you are well-educated, well-mannered and managed to integrate without major problems into a western-European country makes me think the system that “created” all that should have some positive sides, no?…

    * I have been in Czekhoslovakia in 1988 and frankly speaking, I liked it very much. Apart from the fact that I wouldn’t have been able to put BBC on or buy a “Telegraph”, that seemed to be a pretty nice place, even then. And I found your description of that place/time a little too grim, if I may say so…

    * Having said all that, please note, I am not defending the Communist system or attacking somebody. Just wanted to know your opinion on this.

  • mike

    “Is it a general anger at the totalitarian system as a whole or have you had a very bad personal experience that made you furious at YOUR past?”

    Labrit: your question is absurd because the former source for anger (living under a totalitarian system) is enough to be identical to the latter (a bad personal experience). I.e. living under a totalitarian state is a bad personal experience!

  • Sigis

    So funny, the first thing that jumps to my mind when someone speaks about USSR are bananas during New year eve. Bananas were so rare during my childhood I still see bananas as some special treat.

  • a completely free education (basic and high),

    And to get that ‘free’ education (and where exactly do you think the resources came from to provide for this ‘free’ thing: out of thin air?), you had to not be a political dissident. And do you think this ‘free’ education provided anything the Marxists did not like? Education, eh?

    medical care

    And presumably the high quality of communist healthcare was why sick communists leaders usually ended up in a Swiss clinc… and again, how exactly is it ‘free’ just because you are not handing money directly to a doctor?

    sport,

    And free steroids too if they decide they want you to be an Olympic athlete.

    (virtually) free housing,

    Have you ever been to the suburbs of most former communist cities and seen this ‘free housing’? The Paneláks? The ultimate tower block horrors.

    non-existing unemployment, e.t.c.

    It is easy to get a job when the state owned all the means of production, including your labour. The fact is that you cannot work for yourself in a communist system. That used to be slavery in less mealy mouthed times.

    The quality of all this could be improved quite a bit, ofcourse, but it wouldn’t change the overall picture.

    Quite.

    * The fact that you are well-educated, well-mannered and managed to integrate without major problems into a western-European country makes me think the system that “created” all that should have some positive sides, no?…

    No. She is Oxford educated actually and came from a dissident family.

    * I have been in Czekhoslovakia in 1988 and frankly speaking, I liked it very much. Apart from the fact that I wouldn’t have been able to put BBC on or buy a “Telegraph”, that seemed to be a pretty nice place, even then. And I found your description of that place/time a little too grim, if I may say so…

    But then the place that you ‘liked very much’ did not own your labour, did not threaten you with arrest for disagreeing with the party line, did not make you live in fear, so to put it bluntly, if you think you had a meaningful understanding of what it is to live under communism when it was in full swing, you clearly do not have the slightest idea what you are talking about.

    * Having said all that, please note, I am not defending the Communist system or attacking somebody. Just wanted to know your opinion on this.

    You will have to make do with my opinion, methinks. If my views sound a little harsh, it is because my views come from knowing people who lived through it all and hearing their accounts.

  • Labrit

    Perry,
    (and Adriana)

    we have a very different views on the issue

    I personally know a lot of people from former Warszaw-pact block, including Czechs and Slovaks.

    The picture of the east European Communist world, let’s say – after 1970′s provided by Adriana and yourself is very narrow, limited only to old banana’s, “bad” health-care, grey dirty houses and dissident chases.

    Methinks, you forget or you don’t know that a lot of things were MUCH better and even more advanced in Communist eastern Europe than in the west.

    1. No homeless people
    2. No people living below the poverty line
    3. No serious crime levels untill +/- 1985
    4. Extraordinary overall cultural development, literacy rates, excellent art clubs and in general – a high degree of “cultural consciousness”
    5. Sport. (you say steroids? this is hilarious. more than 3/4 of all olympics doping cases were from the west, did you know that?) Everybody who wanted HAD a REAL possibility to practice any sport they wanted (try this in the west – unless you have mid-upper class income – forget it!)
    7. Housing. Dirty tower blocks? Go to NYC (anywhere outside Manhattan or uptown) and you will want to go live in the “dirty tower blocks” of USSR.
    8. Education. Marxist? I don’t see how physics or chemistry can be influenced by a propaganda. And these (exact) sciences were more advanced than in the west.

    …I can go on and continue the list, but I hope you get the point.

    If Adriana has had a tough past and didn’t taste a fresh banana in Czechoslovakia back then, it doesn’t mean that it was only a dirty mess there. Objectivity is a tough notion when feelings are involved, I know…especially if you are coming out of a dissident family and you want to write about the system you HATE.

    I am sorry if someone would feel offended by this post, it is not the intention.

  • Labrit, unfortunately, you have the perspective of a visitor to the zoo rather than that of an inhabitant.

    And frankly, since the state appropriated virtually all property and labor, I would characterize the crime rate as 100%. That is, everything had been stolen.

  • guy herbert

    1. Not even those denied residence because their papers had been confiscated, the gypsies and other non-conformists? Is there any reliable evidence at all on that subject to found such an absolute assertion?

    2. Doesn’t that rather depend where you draw the line?

    3. Even if you don’t count the use of nomenklatura and police power for bullying and blackmail, that’s nonsense. Thieves Within Code were never eliminated by the fiercest repressions. The ‘Russian mafia’ that everyone has heard of these days did not appear from nowhere. The worst known serial killer was a Ukrainian. And you should talk, as I have, to Africans who went as students to the Soviet bloc, and find out about racial discrimination and violence.

    … Or perhaps you think that everyone in the very full jails or work-camp was a political prisoner, which would be OK.

    4. But largely dead, with cultural life exalted in propaganda, yes, but subject to intense political scrutiny and formal organisation.

    5. Sport was highly valued by the state because it was a means of external propaganda, and being meaningless in content it was an activity that did not require policing so carefully. Sportsmen and women were instruments, which was fine if you avoided injury and did not mind being an instrument–and if the sport you enjoyed corresponded with the authorities’ view of the best employment of your talents.

    6. I presume was unavailable because of counter-revolutionary activity, hording, profiteering (see 3).

    7. Here I agree with you. There is no ‘social housing’ anywhere that is not vile within two or three years of occupation however utopian its ambition. Strangely this is usually blamed on architects, who it seems have never created anything that works better than anything else–not on the common factors: tenants with no choice and no responsibility, landlords with no need to attract tenants. That wasn’t uniquely a communist problem. What was uniquely a communist problem was that almost all housing was social housing.

    8. Where do you get those strange ideas? The experimental sciences were hamstrung by the quality of equipment, by the subordination of all research to military goals and other state-controlled programs, by the need for political patronage. Soviet biology and psychology in particular suffered from political interference, but if you think that hard sciences aren’t subject to ideology then you haven’t seen Marxism-Leninism in action. All science needs open communication which was often denied.

    The sciences did benefit from the fact that they offered relative shelter from political control for able people compared with other disciplines, but the only area in which the communist world was clearly the equal of the West was pure mathematics, and within that, number theory – the area in which politics and facilities matter least.

    However, even if everything you say were correct, Labrit, there’s a curious symmetry between your views, Labrit, and those of the authoritarian-right commentators we sometimes get at Samizdata. They also think material welfare somehow trumps individual freedom, and that inculcating ‘culture’ (i.e. some authority’s approved selection of intangible goods) is better than permitting ‘decadence’ (the mix of intangible goods preferred by those who have the choice to take pleasure over worthiness).

  • michael farris

    I should know better, but … some rambling thoughts.

    I live in Poland, which during communist times was generally several rungs more advanced than Czechoslovakia in terms of political/social structure (though significantly poorer economically). This was due in part to a de facto (if not de jeure) opposition party in the form of the catholic church which meant that the party was constrained in ways it was nowhere else in east europe, so that for instance, most land was privately owned and private stores and businessmen also existed.

    Now, people here are divided and conflicted about the communist period. Everyone’s glad it’s over but many are disappointed with aspects of the new system and put on rose-colored glasses when glancing at the past and there’s some small aspect or something lost in the last 15 years that most people who remember the previous system would like to bring back (this varies from person to person).

    For many, it’s access to education. As access to higher education is more restricted now. Previously, one couldn’t be (too) openly opposed to the system and get into better high schools and universities but place of residence and money weren’t a concern. Now all that counts is money and kids in poor families or the countryside have no access to higher education (which requires hefty private investments that most people don’t have). Everything depends on tests in high school and if you can’t afford extra private lessons, you won’t do well on them.

    At another extreme you have people who want to ‘purge’ (no sense of irony here) all those associated with the communist party from public life but the majority or more interested in moving on.

    And I would say former president (and former communist party member) Aleksander Kwasniewski understands and adapted to democracy far better than many former members of Solidarity. Here, I would include former and current presidents Lech Walesa and Lech Ka88ynski* who are more interested in ideological purity and punishing enemies than in creating prosperity.

    I remember one conversation years ago with a colleague. She was disgusted at by the biggest most vocal anti-communists of that time (mid-90′s) because they did and suffered very little during the communist period. Those who had actually suffered most (she was very active in dissident circles in the day) were less interested in revenge than in the future.

    spambot won’t let me print his real name which has cz instead of 88

  • guy herbert

    Ain’t it curious that supporting meritocracy in public education makes you right-wing in Britain but nostalgic for Communism in Poland?

  • Labrit

    Guy,

    appreciate your comments

    1. Anyone who lived in any Warszaw-pact country will confirm – nobody was forced to go and live on the streets. This wasn’t allowed neither. I have a reason for having this “absolute assertion”.

    2. You are right. By poverty line, I mean a limit, below which even basic needs are not satisfied by a person’s income (food, clean weater, warmth, 4 walls and a roof, medical care). No such a thing as “living under” it in the red corner of Europe back then.

    3. Repressions? Non-existing, even in USSR, after 1970.
    Police power? Nominal. Even less power than Police in the west (now or then). Russian Mafia? This notion came into existence in late 80′s only, when Gorbachev relinquished control of everything and first drops of freedom started sipping out. Serial killers, mafia, money laundering, drugs, AIDS….all this was virtually UNEXISTING there. It appeared in late 80′s, beginning of nineties….when the system collapsed.

    4. No extremes, please. Formal organisation, political scrutiny – yes, but that touched only the part of culture that clearly had an anti-comminist smell (anything that supported religion, private property rights, etc)…

    5. When I am receiving a gold olympic medal, I don’t really care what reasons the state had to offer me a completely free training during many years of preparation. Sport was indeed considered by the commies as a tool to help converting the world to marxists-leninists.

    6. :-) you got me here. Another example that exact sciences (math in this case) were better set in the red Europe.

    7. The lack of comfortable, nice housing in Communist world is the price the people had to pay for the fact that nobody was left behind. Crazy, but true – the so called “communal” appartments gave home to 2-10 families sharing 1 bathroom/kitchen/hallway. Disgusting reality of that world, indeed. But again – commies didn’t find a better way to push forward their idea to contrast the West with their crises, homeless people, unemployment, etc

    8. I have one very strong argument in my defence here. The IMMENSE flow of Eastern European scientists/researchers to the west beginning from 1990′s. Most of them are now very successful and wealthy people in Europe and U.S.
    Red and Western science proved to be completely compatible.
    The flow of those guys for better (economic) life was so huge, that it affected Eastern European emerging economies quite hefty. The effect of this is starting to show already. Whilst the rich west profiles in the world as a knowledge base, the East is merely a supply of raw materials (Russia) or cheap labor (Poland, Czech rep., Hungary). Communist scientists that weren’t reaching the “export level” or weren’t useful for the market went out cleaning the streets and begging in order to survive. They don’t even have half the income needed to reach the current poverty line. They are free now, yes. They can go out and shout anything about anyone they want. But I assure you – the only thing they think about is how to get a piece of bread today and how to find money to go to a doctor.

    Somebody posted here something in a sense “it is better to be hungry and free than fed but told what to do”. Agree. But it depends how free and how hungry.

    When you can’t feed your wife, child, mother – the last thing you think about is freedom of speech, I assure you.

    I know personally several professors of Bio-chemistry living in Warszaw on 140 EUR/month, of which they pay +/- 80EUR/month for utilities. They suffer a lot. They like the freedom of today, sure, but they wouldn’t hesitate a second to go back in time.

  • Labrit, you make me sick.

  • 1. Anyone who lived in any Warszaw-pact country will confirm – nobody was forced to go and live on the streets. This wasn’t allowed neither. I have a reason for having this “absolute assertion”.

    When the whole country is a prison, so what?

    2. You are right. By poverty line, I mean a limit, below which even basic needs are not satisfied by a person’s income (food, clean weater, warmth, 4 walls and a roof, medical care). No such a thing as “living under” it in the red corner of Europe back then.

    Slaves were valuable assets in the American Old South too and all that could also have been said about them too.

    3. Repressions? Non-existing, even in USSR, after 1970.
    Police power? Nominal.

    Ok, this is the point at which I realise you are an lying ass rather than misguided and thereby loose interest in you.

  • michael farris

    “you make me sick.”

    With all due respect, that’s not much of an argument. I expect better and tougher argumentation from folks who’ve survived any central/eastern european school system (under whatever political system) not noted for creating wallflowers or folks who whither under unpleasantness.

  • J.Cassian

    “Repressions? Non-existing, even in USSR, after 1970.”

    Congratulations. That must be the most retarded statement I’ve read on any blog so far this year. Try googling Vasyl Stus, for one example, and see what you find.

  • that’s not much of an argument

    but then I am not arguing. Just expressing what I feel – after all it’s my blog. No point arguing with certain types as I can’t shift their metacontext. Instead I get on with my life instead.

  • michael farris

    “but then I am not arguing. Just expressing what I feel – after all it’s my blog. No point arguing with certain types as I can’t shift their metacontext. Instead I get on with my life instead. ”

    I can understand that you don’t like much of anything about your native country and want to stay far from it. Many immigrants feel that way.

    But don’t expect rational respect for your feelings or your hostility toward your countrymen who, like you, just want to get on with their lives instead of dwelling on the revenge fantasies you think they should occupy themselves with.

  • Unbelievable. People who have never lived in a totalitarian state tell those who have what they should think, feel, and even say in response to statements like “no repression since 1970″ (I guess being conscripted to fight in Afghanistan (1979-1989) doesn’t count), or “living 10 families to a flat with intermittent heat and power is better than homelessness.”

    Adriana, I may not understand your bitterness, but I wouldn’t dream of criticizing it unless I had walked several versts in your shoes.

  • But don’t expect rational respect for your feelings or your hostility toward your countrymen who, like you, just want to get on with their lives instead of dwelling on the revenge fantasies you think they should occupy themselves with.

    And where on earth did you get that idea from? And I don’t just want to get on with my life, I want the truth to be known and understood. That’s why I wrote the post in the first place.

  • Ivan, thank you. Although I am surprised that you don’t understand my bitterness. Oh well, I’ll have to write that book one day…

  • michael farris

    For the record, the “no repression since 1970″ remark is really daft, foolish and betrays virtually no knowledge of the subject matter under discussion (he knows there were countries there, but not much else).

    I was politely ignoring it the way one ignores a dinner guest who didn’t read the invitation and shows up at a formal dinner in a t-shirt and sandals and spills the soup on themselves.

    Adriana could have ripped him a new one (I would have enjoyed that, Slavic temprement is something to behold when it’s fully engaged and aimed elsewhere) but she punted.

  • Yes, as Perry pointed out in a comment on my blog.. the truth is not tolerable to some people and no argument can address the absurdity of such statement. Why should I bother?

    And my temperament is not derivative of any nationality. Just mine.

  • Some people are simply not worthy of the time it takes to engage them in rational discourse. As time is finite, the reality is sometimes “fuck you” or words to that effects is simply the only worthwhile response to someone that is clearly an ignorant jackass.

    It might not make good blog-theatre but this is an imperfect world we live in and fisking or even properly insulting someone who needs insulting takes time that isn’t always available.

  • michael farris

    “And where on earth did you get that idea from?”

    Probably a combination of:

    “One of the reasons I find so hard visiting my native country is that I resent the fact that people back there carry on as if nothing happened. I bear a grudge against the easy forgiveness (or forgetfullness?), with which those who lived there in the past 50 years seem to treat the past.”

    and

    “For me, this part of the world sucks.”

  • Labrit

    Oh well. I expected more from my counterparties in this discussion. Counter-arguments, facts, references (there was only one made by J.Cassian and I will check it out). More or less the only responses were “f**k you*, “not worthy”, “absurd”, “retarded”, etc. A 5-year old child can do this. As this is a subject I devoted a couple of years of my life to, I am confident with my statements. In an open discussion (not fighting or shouting) the truth can be born. In this discussion – only anger and frustration.

    For what it is worth – Adriana, I am sorry I make you sick. That wasn’t the intention. I hope one day you will learn to accept that there are also opinions diametrically opposite to yours in this world and these people have the same right to express it. It is pleasant to receive all the “good girl!” and “touching piece” comments, I know. It takes much more willpower and strength to deal with (constructive) criticism. You act the way you act because emotions are involved. Your hate hinders you from being objective, sorry to have repeated myself.

    And Perry, I am not insulted by you naming me a “lying a**” – I haven’t seen anything clever from you on this or any other blogs, so your opinion is irrelevant for me, sorry.

    After 1970′s there were no known political repressions in USSR. I have studied this thoroughly. A counter argument like “but there is no statistics or a way to prove it” works both ways. No one can prove there were political repressions neither. My being convinced of this is based on the de-classified and published documents made public in Russia since 1991. In fact, the last known political repression happened in 1968. After this – no records of anything similar.

    Do you want to know the truth, or at least approach to understand it as close as possible? Take more time to read different sides of the story. Not one or two comments from a very distressed person.

    Be well, everybody

  • Labrit, this is not about ‘balanced opinion’ – I want communism to be recognised for what it is, the same deadly ideology as nazism and fascism. The oppression and damage they cause is horrendous and nothing can change that.

    I know the truth, I had to face it every day. If you read samizdata.net, you’d note that differing opinions is our daily bread. What’s interesting is that you feel the need to dispute my story… why is it so unacceptable to you?

    Would you tell those who tell stories they suffered under nazism the same things? One of the reasons I write about my experience is to show the truth that many know about communism, but not to the full extent. It is necessary that people understand that communism, fascism and other totalitarianisms are just different faces of the same beast.

    Political repression was very very real and your desperate denials can’t change that. One of the reasons I referred to the Black Book of Communism in my post was to complement my personal experience with facts, of which there are plenty and that however dry still make me shudder. Happy reading.

  • And Perry, I am not insulted by you naming me a “lying a**” – I haven’t seen anything clever from you on this or any other blogs, so your opinion is irrelevant for me, sorry.

    I treat you the same as I treat holocaust deniers, i.e. contempt. Any person with half a brain and access to a library or Google can get the facts and those facts are irrefutable. That is why you are not worth debating. You are a liar and an apologist for a system that killed more people in the 20th Century that even Naziism. “Piss off” is all any rational person should have to say to you.

  • michael farris

    Labrit? How would you describe Martial Law and detention of dissidents in Poland? Using water cannons against peaceful protestors? The murder of Popieluszko? etc etc

    What about the domestic arrest of Sakharov and diagnosis of dissidents as mentally ill? The expulsion and stripping of Rostropovich and Vishnevskaya of citizenship?

    etc etc etc feel free to address any of these … or not of course.

  • RedComrade

    Hilarious, guys, hilarious.
    So, anybody been to South America? The famous backyard? Did you enjoy the freedom of capitalistic exploitation witnessed? The happy, rich people everywhere? The healthcare available for everybody?
    I wonder how many of them have nightmares at night of living in a Socialist “hell”, suffering free education, guaranteed job & living quarters, and other unbearable things?

    “Unbelievable. People who have never lived in a totalitarian state”
    But some of us have, honeybunny. Some of us have. And can’t but laugh at this little propaganda outlet for God knows what public segment. Dissidents are always failed people blaming their milieu for not being able to conform to the order they live in. Has nothing to do with WHAT kind of order. Crackpots with “state-repression” delusions are dime a dozen in US too.

    “I guess being conscripted to fight in Afghanistan (1979-1989) doesn’t count”
    Yeah, being hauled off to Iraq when you only wanted to make some easy cash while serving doesn’t count either, huh? That the Afghani finally went to schools, got hospitals and emancipated women is also a spit in the bucket. All thanks to BAAAD Soviet Union, the country with the highest industrialisation rate in human history.

    Delusions, delusions abound.

  • RedComrade

    Also I wish the thoroughly Russophobic and hateful denisens of this site would STOP using the Russian term Samizdat.
    It rings so horribly false from you, you see.

    In true capitalistic vein, it oughta’ve been copyrighted by some Russian contemporary publishing house, so that they at least can make a buck on Perry’s spewings. Since nothing better can be provided.

  • But some of us have, honeybunny. Some of us have.

    And if you still support the communists then you need to be put through a process rather like de-Nazification in Germany in 1946.

    I think you guys needed to be stamped on and brought to justice after the fall of communism and not allowed to slink off unpunished and unrepentant. Listening to you rave about all that free ‘education and all that is like listening to a pedarast or a rapist claiming “oh, but they enjoyed what we did to them!”

    You people got off far, far too easy.