We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

The left has never properly come to terms with its past, and has never fully accounted for its history of anti-Semitism (which today goes under the guise of ‘anti-Zionism’). As the critic and filmmaker Jamie Palmer has written: ‘Soviet anti-Semitism was diligently and uncritically reproduced in the communist press and thus made its way into the ideological bloodstream of the left’. Unlike the very public repudiation of racism on the mainstream right, no similar detoxification has taken place in the ‘bloodstream’ of the left. Properly rooting out anti-Semitism begins by challenging fanatical anti-Zionism. It is perfectly possible to oppose the human rights abuses of the Israeli government without completely dismissing the Zionist project, which in its most basic interpretation means simply the preservation of Israel as a Jewish state. If the anti-Zionists wish to be consistent, they should be equally scathing about other movements for ethnic and cultural self-determination – such as that of the Kurds or the Palestinians themselves. The fact they rarely are should worry anyone calling themselves a progressive.

James Bloodworth, International Business Times. I probably share very different political and economic views from the author, but he is right to call out the vileness of those who defame Jews.

Ken Livingstone really is a scumbag.

Being a libertarian, I defend the right of people to say what they want, however offensive or daft, but it is worth pointing out that much of the Left and certainly people such as Livingstone have made part of their careers out of criminalising “hate speech”, so it would be deliciously ironic if such lowlifes were criminally prosecuted for some of this nonsense. In so many ways, the Left resembles a circular firing squad.

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46 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • The left will be cured of its hatred of free speech only after some of them have been prosecuted for their habitual exercise of hate speech. The extreme one-sidedness with which this law is invoked is what keeps it alive. If I only thought this government intended to end the hate-speech laws, I’d praise their tactics if they first spent a year prosecuting every left-wing speaker of hate they could. Alas, I have no such confidence that the aim is to restore free speech.

  • Paul Marks

    Yes Ken Livingstone (and so many others in the Labour Party) are scumbags.

    However, just being angry is not enough.

    There needs to be a point-by-point refutation. And that is not happening.

    Mr Hitler did not “win the election in 1932” – the President of German was re elected (Mr Hitler lost – he became Chancellor in 1933, not 32, because he was appointed by the President).

    Also Mr Hitler was certainly not a “Zionist” out to support “Israel” (which did not exist in either 1932 or 1933).

    Mr Hitler actually supported the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem – the arch ANTI Zionist.

    A person who had organised the murder of Jews since the First World War.

  • Right,

    The labour MP didn’t criticise the government of Israel (which Red Ken seemed to be saying was OK – and it is) but the very existence of Israel. I crticise the government of my country (a lot!), I have opinions on the US elections too. Fair play but what Naz Shah said was not a criticism of a government (which is of course fair play) but of a an entire nation. There is a difference. One is standard political discourse and the other is genocide. I have been to Dachau (Holocaust beta) and Auschwitz (the full release model) and I have seen the posts at Auschwitz where the Red Army hung the evil-fuckersdirectly facing the ovens.

    Any talk of destroying Israel is Holocaust redux and not the general cut and thrust of genuine political debate.

    Anyway, I’d love to see Ken against an F-16I Sufa (Storm) The IAF have (I think) about 100 (or are getting said number) and they are block 50/52 F-16s with enhancements due to Raphael and Elbit in Israel. And Hamas who Naz and Ken clearly love the impotent dick-juices of fire bottle-rockets at.

    Typed on a Lenovo S440 with a Intel Core i5. Guess which country that was designed in?

    I have often disagreed with Ayn Rand but her dictum to always support civilization over barbarism is very sound.

    The F-16I is the Storm I Believe In.

    Oh, and everything Paul said.

  • Alisa

    made its way into the ideological bloodstream of the left.

    It was always there.

    Unlike the very public repudiation of racism on the mainstream right, no similar detoxification has taken place in the ‘bloodstream’ of the left

    That’s because racism is materially different from antisemitism (although the two are by no means mutually exclusive), and that is the reason why antisemitism is inherent to the socialist left: it is the resentment of success enjoyed by others (and is actually the opposite of anti-African racism, where black Africans are perceived as inferior). Rightly or not, Jews have historically been seen as disproportionally successful as a people, and that is the main reason they have been so resented – with that ancient resentment now being extended to Israel as a country. It is nothing but socialism under a different name, or more precisely a specific flavor thereof.

  • George Atkisson

    I just wish that circular firing squad was equipped with Uzi’s and extended capacity magazines. Their aim seems to be ineffectual, much like Imperial Storm Troopers.

  • Runcie Balspune

    The anti-Semitism of the left is a perfect storm from three fronts; the attitudes of pre-soviet Slavic states that initiated pogroms, which continued into and became part of influential eastern European communism under anti-religious clauses, Christian socialist beliefs which are inherently anti-Semitic due to fictitious historical blame, and the movement to import voters from Islamic countries.

  • Jake Haye

    If the over-representation of men in the boardroom is evidence of a patriarchal conspiracy, then the over-representation of Jews in the professions is …?

    It’s one of the few things leftist savages are consistent about.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Alisa: EXCELLENT point. Bang on. *standing ovation*

  • Alisa

    Thank you very much, Julie.

  • lucklucky

    The anti-semitism of the Left is not anti-semitism per se it is anti capitalism, anti western world since Israel is an icon of Capitalism and West.

    Israel is one best examples that proves that Neo-Marxist ideology is wrong, so it must be destroyed.
    In 60 years it prospered in a land without natural riches and defeated the weapons and military strategy of Soviet Union and let socialist countries with more advantages in the dust civilization wise.

    If Israel wasn’t such a successful and amazing civilized capitalist icon of Western World the Left wouldn’t need to fake they care one iota about Palestinians.
    We just have to see what kind of groups the Marxist-Left thinks that the Palestinians should be represented by.

    When Israel have bunkers, warning systems, medical help to protect their civilian population – the mark of a civilized place – the leftists use that against Israel. When that happens they talk about disproportionality, instead of asking that Palestinian groups should make the same for their civilian population.

    The Left want more dead Israelis if necessary at expense of more dead Palestinians.
    Because the Left is on a mission to destroy Western World.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Alisa… 🙂

    . . .

    From a most interesting shortish H-Net review, 3/13/2006, of the book The Socialism of Fools? The Leftist Origins of Modern Anti-Semitism, by William I. Brustein and Louisa Roberts:

    https://networks.h-net.org/node/2645/discussions/115417/brustein-and-roberts-socialism-fools-leftist-origins-modern-anti

    The development and implementation of rationalist theories from the Enlightenment is often depicted as the antithesis of irrational prejudice. Antisemitism is often associated with right wing political movements, such as fascism; however, William I. Brustein and doctoral student Louisa Roberts demonstrate that the relationship between the left and antisemitism has deep roots in the Enlightenment, predating rightist involvement and painting a far more complex picture of the origins of modern antisemitism.

    [Snip]

  • Richard Thomas

    See, where he’s going wrong there…

    Either fascism is left wing or what is currently considered the left is actually the right.

    Fix that and it all clears right up. That’s the problem with arbitrary non-descriptive labels, they can get swapped around so easily, something the left (or is that the right?) has become adept at over many years.

  • thefrollickingmole

    I hate to have to search for it again but heres an excerpt from the apparently pro-zionist Mr Hitlers party.
    Its worth a read for the “spot the cribbed from the Communist Manifesto” bits.

    http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/riseofhitler/25points.htm

    4. Only those who are our fellow countrymen can become citizens. Only those who have German blood, regardless of creed, can be our countrymen. Hence no Jew can be a countryman.

    24. We demand freedom for all religious faiths in the state, insofar as they do not endanger its existence or offend the moral and ethical sense of the Germanic race.

    The party as such represents the point of view of a positive Christianity without binding itself to any one particular confession. It fights against the Jewish materialist spirit within and without, and is convinced that a lasting recovery of our folk can only come about from within on the pinciple:

    COMMON GOOD BEFORE INDIVIDUAL GOOD

    But remember according to the left the Nazis were right wing, probably tea party people..

  • shlomo maistre

    The attempt to create a Jewish State will be a failure.

    – Adolf Hitler, “Table Talk”

    Source:
    http://vho.org/aaargh/fran/livres10/HTableTalk.pdf

  • shlomo maistre

    COMMON GOOD BEFORE INDIVIDUAL GOOD

    But remember according to the left the Nazis were right wing, probably tea party people..

    The essential difference between right and left is hierarchy versus equality, respectively. Another valid interpretation is that the right is particularist in its orientation, while the left is universalist.

    It’s mostly in modern democracies (or “constitutional republics”) that the right tends to generally defend individual rights in a feeble (and sometimes unwitting) attempt to preserve differences in society.

    Collectivism is usually associated with the left (in democracy) but not always.

    The Nazis were so pro-hierarchy that they sought to eradicate those they considered too weak/low in society. Nazism is a largely particularist orientation to the world, unlike Leftism which in its various forms seeks after equality in various ways.

  • lucklucky

    The Marxist Left doesn’t seek Equality. That is just like the Left so called combat against Poverty, Racism, Sexism, Women rights, Gays etc etc etc. They are all false Leftist causes. If they can’t be employed against Capitalism, Western Culture they don’t exist.

    They are Red herrings of the Left. Just tools for the Narrative.

    The Left has only one objective: Total Discretionarity. Power.

    And when they reach that Discretionarity they start murdering each other.

  • Thailover

    “Unlike the very public repudiation of racism on the mainstream right, no similar detoxification has taken place in the ‘bloodstream’ of the left.”

    This is because the left has always been 50 times more sexist and racist than the right. That’s still their primary criteria today. Do you think that if Hillary were a man, she would even be considered as a presidental candidate for the jackass party? She has the personality of a gopher and has accomplished nothing. She’s listed among her alledged accomplishments as sec of state “flying a lot of places”. As Carly Fiorina has pointed out, flying is an activity, not an accomplishment.

    To discriminate merely means to discern based on characteristics. Said discrimination can be “postive” or “negative”. The left say the hate discrimination based on race, sex, etc, yet they do it CONSTANTLY.

  • shlomo maistre

    The Marxist Left doesn’t seek Equality. That is just like the Left so called combat against Poverty, Racism, Sexism, Women rights, Gays etc etc etc. They are all false Leftist causes. If they can’t be employed against Capitalism, Western Culture they don’t exist.

    Equality of outcome is one type of equality.

  • Thailover

    lucklucky said,

    “They are Red herrings of the Left. Just tools for the Narrative. The Left has only one objective: Total Discretionarity. Power. And when they reach that Discretionarity they start murdering each other.”

    Tennessee has passed a law ALLOWING therapists to refer patients to other therapists because they don’t want to treat them themselves. And the NAACP, and that super-genius Debbie Wasserman Schultz (I’m being sarcastic, of course. She’s a fucktard) are raising hell, saying that it’ll lead to “discrimination against members of the LGBT community”.

    So….if Bob the therapist says, “I don’t want to treat transsexuals because I’m a narrow-minded bigot”, Debbie Wasserman Schultz wants to FORCE the patient to see this bigot therapist and FORCE the therapist to see the patient, because referring the patient to someone sympathetic to their condition would be “discrimination” AGAINST this patient?

    You’re right, it’s all about POWER, forcing people to do what they otherwise would not do. They just want POLITICAL power. They don’t give a shit about the people themselves.

  • Thailover

    lucklucky said,

    “They are all false Leftist causes. If they can’t be employed against Capitalism, Western Culture they don’t exist.”

    When have we seen a prominent feminist raise hell about women being systematically abused in “muslim nations”?
    Answer: Never. That would go AGAINST their agenda, which is to gain political power in the west.

    Christianity? That’s fair game because it’s “western” and of course everthing western is decadent, right?

    Islam? That’s composed of “brown people” according to the leftists, which is yet another dead-give away that they’re racist and hell and don’t understand the difference between a race and an ideology. And, of course, that which involves a lot of “brown people” gets a free pass, even if “brown women” are being beaten into submission. That which is non-western is protected under the umbrella of multiculturalism. ALL cultures have intrinsic value…(except western culture because it’s “colonialist” an “exploitative”). To be a good leftist, one should be offended at “western” nations who have had ENOUGH goddamned “refugees” shoved down their throats and have closed their borders to them, but what about the muslim nations that NEVER allowed any of them in? Well, to be a good leftist, one should simply ignore that. (Those are “brown people” countries you see).

  • thefrollickingmole

    shlomo maistre

    Without ploughing over old ground the Nazis pre night of the long knives were far more radical than afterwards.
    Hierarchy yes, but in practice not much different than what the Soviets ended up with, though the Soviets camouflaged it with old copies of “das capital” and called it a system.
    Nazism was a race based leftist system
    Soviets were a class based leftist system.

    Both slaughtered their own “kulaks/Jews/deviants” mercilessly.
    Only one is considered all bad.
    If the Left lose the facade of “not racist” then the 24 points should cover most of what they want.

  • Nicholas (Excentrality!) Gray

    To all the creeds trying to use any excuse to expand the role of the government and the capital, libertarians should say “Share all power!” Decentralise, diversify. Insist on equality for all levels of government, as well as for individuals. We have let the government grow, because we have delegated politics to it. We should shoulder our fair share of power, by all of us having turns in government. I advocate time-share government, where for 11 months of the year, you would perform some community function (fire-brigade, militia, road patrol, emergency services, etc) on some weekdays or weekends, and then you and 1/12th of the citizens would become the local government. State and National governments should become conventions without power, like the U.N. was set up to be.
    Share all power!

  • shlomo maistre

    Without ploughing over old ground the Nazis pre night of the long knives were far more radical than afterwards.
    Hierarchy yes, but in practice not much different than what the Soviets ended up with, though the Soviets camouflaged it with old copies of “das capital” and called it a system.
    Nazism was a race based leftist system
    Soviets were a class based leftist system.

    Both slaughtered their own “kulaks/Jews/deviants” mercilessly.
    Only one is considered all bad.
    If the Left lose the facade of “not racist” then the 24 points should cover most of what they want.

    It’s not clear to me how you are defining “leftist system” – would you mind explaining?

    Modern usage of the (political) “right” and “left” is from the French Revolution. Those who sat on the Right were for the ancient régime – not because they were for individual rights or against collectivism or opposed to leftism but because they were for hierarchy.

    For the record, Right and Left also have deeper, spiritual/metaphysical meanings that are corollaries to their political meanings. Indeed, Plato was Right and Aristotle was Wrong…i mean Left. 🙂

  • lucklucky

    “Equality of outcome is one type of equality.”

    The Left does not care for equality of outcome when they have the power. The Marxist bureaucracy is full of hierarchy and privileges and benefits for the party members. You get that either a Soviet Russia or in a US University.

  • Mr Ed

    The left has never properly come to terms with its past,

    Isn’t that based on an at-best shaky premise, that the Left would come to terms with its past? Would a rabid dog ‘fess up to savaging a few people and start behaving? The whole point of Leftism is to destroy, to vent hatred for that which they despise, all the goodness and decency in humanity, all the myriad honourable, decent and good people in the world are those that they wish to enslave and kill. If, after 100,000,000 deaths, someone has not got the memo about what the Leftist want, then we need to keep reminding them what Leftism is all about. War, Famine, Death: the three key achievements of the Soviet Union.

  • Snorri Godhi

    It all depends on what one means by “left” and “right”. Contrary to Shlomo, i have long ago taken the extreme nominalist* position that there is exactly nothing ideological in common between the various movements that have been said to be “of the left” since the French Revolution. (The same for movements that have been labeled “of the right”, of course.) In this non-ideological sense, Shlomo is partially right … i mean, correct: “the right” was for the _current_ hierarchy, and the “far-right” was for the restoration of the former hierarchy. That does not mean that “the left” was against hierarchy: few societies have ever been as hierarchical as the Soviet Union; but the commies have never been in power in Western Europe or the Anglosphere, so they were “of the left” over there.

    (*So if Plato was “right” and Aristotle “left”, i am so far “left” that Aristotle looks close to Plato by comparison.)

    In continental Europe, there used to be a somewhat consistent pattern: the parties of the (current of former) ruling classes were said to be “of the right”, while the parties opposed to the current ruling classes were said to be “of the left”. (Unless they supported the former ruling classes, of course.) That explains why the classical liberals and the Bonapartists, originally “on the left”, ended up being “of the right” once they attained political power.

    Coming to the issue of “left”-wing antisemitism: from the French Revolution to the Dreyfus affair, it seems to me that the mainstream Left was _relatively_ free of antisemitism. The same cannot be said of the socialists … which at the time were not mainstream Left.
    The first link is to the essay that Paul Marks read a few years ago within half an hour of my posting the link. The second is just as easy to read, though perhaps more challenging of conventional “wisdom”.

  • Alisa

    Defining Left and Right is difficult, what with the regrettable absence of some kind of Supreme Language Authority (not to worry, it’s just a matter of time). So that being the case, I choose to define these terms on a scale of relative statism. It does not always work intuitively when looking at present or past political situations in this or that polity. But if one considers that the non-disputed Left-wing political movements and governments, such as those of the SU or communist China, were never averse to racism, nationalism and militarism when it suited them in their pursuit of power; and that political movements and governments commonly thought of as Right-wing – such as Nazism and Fascism – never saw a wealth-“redistribution”* or “nationalization”* scheme they didn’t like, then I feel that this definition works well, at least for me.

    Keep in mind that this is a scale, which means that no political movement or government can be defined as an absolute Left or Right, they can only be defined as such in comparison to others (i.e. more or less statist), and/or by their aspirations and preferred ideological direction (much more difficult to nail, but often possible).

    Outright socialism always puts one further towards the Left end of the scale, because it is necessarily more outright statist. At the same time, it also somewhat eliminates some of the aforementioned attributes of the pseudo-Right – namely, racism and nationalism (by no means militarism though), the simple reason being that its aspirations (statist pursuit of power) conveniently brush aside all those silly distinctions between races, ethnic and cultural groups, nations, etc., and go straight for the power to subjugate, rob and kill everyone, everywhere.

    All that as far as ideology goes – what any particular revolutionary or dictator may or may not feel about blacks, Jews or Arabs may vary. They may also vary in their colonial aspirations and their willingness to use the military to pick wars – these may often be dictated by practical considerations.

    *(legalized theft)

  • Mr Ed

    Isn’t there a song that goes?:

    Corbyn, has only got one ball,
    McDonnell’s, I’m told, are rather small,
    Burnham, has yet to earn ’em,
    And Poor Ken has no balls at all

  • thefrollickingmole

    shlomo maistre

    I dont view the Nazis as “right” until after the night of the long knives, when instead of overthrowing the old order (but showing token respect to old heros and the Kaiser) Goering and Hitler made a Faustian bargain to allow themselves to be co-opted by the existing industrialists and financiers.

    The brownshirts were agitating for the overthrow of the current system, the end of interest and finance, nationalization of industries and trusts and so on. (still scum, Im not taking their side)

    Goering and Hitler were offered a short cut to power, as long as they disposed of their own “bolsheviks, which they did with complete assistance of the old regime, including the army.

    My own vision of left/right might be different to yours.

    Right: Slow incremental change and light government with rule of law evenly applied. Individualism.
    Left: overthrow and experimentation, heavy regulation an laws selectively applied depending on your “class”. All for the State.

  • Thailover

    Nicholas,
    I wouldn’t say it’s about sharing power at all. Rather the ideal would be that goverment ISN’T a power position, though it would be a public one. Government should be small and deal with the small stuff, except for national defense. There is no way it should be lording over anyone. I’m an Objectivist, I don’t have a Lord.

  • Thailover

    thefrollickingmole,

    The Left-Right political scale is something we must deal with today, because everything political is shoved into that mold. But I don’t think the Nazis neatly fit into that mold. I suggest that it isn’t really about right or left, but rather about up or down.

    I quote Reagan from his A Time for Choosing speech.

    There can be no real peace while one American is dying some place in the world for the rest of us. We’re at war with the most dangerous enemy that has ever faced mankind in his long climb from the swamp to the stars, and it’s been said if we lose that war, and in so doing lose this way of freedom of ours, history will record with the greatest astonishment that those who had the most to lose did the least to prevent its happening. Well I think it’s time we ask ourselves if we still know the freedoms that were intended for us by the Founding Fathers.

    Not too long ago, two friends of mine were talking to a Cuban refugee, a businessman who had escaped from Castro, and in the midst of his story one of my friends turned to the other and said, “We don’t know how lucky we are.” And the Cuban stopped and said, “How lucky you are? I had someplace to escape to.” And in that sentence he told us the entire story. If we lose freedom here, there’s no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth.

    And this idea that government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except the sovereign people, is still the newest and the most unique idea in all the long history of man’s relation to man.

    This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.

    You and I are told increasingly we have to choose between a left or right. Well I’d like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There’s only an up or down—[up] man’s old—old-aged dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. And regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course.

  • shlomo maistre

    Reagan was a moron. And a politician’s speech is propaganda.

  • shlomo maistre

    Reagan was a moron. And a politician’s speech is propaganda – not serious philosophical thought. I can see how it might appeal to an Objectivist, though.

  • Reagan was a moron

    Yeah the leader who was instrumental in winning the Cold War was a moron.

    The term “schmuck” comes to mind, however I am not suggesting you are an item of jewellery in German.

  • Hitler’s National Socialist German Workers party, though often misrepresented by left-wingers as the National (cough) German (cough) party, was in fact a true amalgam of aspects of the left with aspects of the right. It was born in the trenches, where the German socialists and the German nationalists found each other in WWI.

    Just as you cannot understand the full virulence of Nazi anti-Semitism without understanding Germany’s intense need to blame someone else for WWI’s start and outcome, so you cannot understand why the German right would embrace left-wing ideas without understanding the humiliation their officers and patriots felt as the army they led and fought with began to disintegrate. (Hitler’s own account of his November 1918 time in hospital is typical.) Paralleling the public, shouted-about “stab in the back” excuse was a deep private shame that morale had been mismanaged. Doenitz is a typical example of the WWII officer who in his youth saw this and took it to heart (remember, in WWI it was the Navy whose mutiny first triggered the debacle). As it was impossible for those still fighting to admit that the increasing numbers who gave up had been simply reacting rationally to obvious, certain, imminent defeat, it was necessary to decide that the gulf between officers and men had been too rigid, promotion too influenced by class, rations too unequally distributed. What was a goal for the left was for the militarists (who called themselves rightists before the war) a means to maintain morale and national unity. (This ideology blended acceptably with the ‘stab in the back’ legend, which included inequality between those at the front and the civilians in the rear.)

    Revolutionary socialists were equally willing to merge since a revolution needs violence, and socialists differ from anarchists in thinking that this violence, like everything else, must be organised. To the army-minded, organised violence was the purpose (to which Nazi racism lent a fundamental philosophical rationalisation) and equality the means to maintain morale across both military and civil parts of the nation. To the revolutionary left, equality was the goal and organised violence the means. Thus each could say to the other, “Your end is my means, your means is my end.”

    This (usually partial and unclear) realisation was not confined to Germans. I have read a letter from an English soldier training others in 1914. After praising how his raw recruits changed from timid new boys to fitter soldiers in their first three months, he wrote, “The effect on me is to make me a violent socialist when I see how underdeveloped capitalism has left them and a Prussian militarist when I see what soldiering does for them” (quoted from memory). Note the obvious similarity between “Violent Socialist Prussian Militarist” and “National Socialist German Workers Party”.

  • As regards Reagan, Gore Vidal quoted a Reagan speech once. Reagan described communism as a “sad, bizarre chapter in human history, whose last pages are even now being written”. In an essay mocking Reagan (that he wrote in 1987, not earlier !), Vidal quoted this remark, italicising the last 8 words as an example of how out of touch with reality Reagan was. 🙂

    I agree with Perry de Havilland (above, April 29, 2016 at 1:16 pm), that calling Reagan a moron, or, as Vidal did, “out of touch with reality” risks rebounding on the critic.

  • BTW, Alisa’s analysis (April 28, 2016 at 5:35 pm) is spot-on. There has always been the classism of contempt (e.g. snobbery) and the classism of envy (e.g. socialism). Likewise there has always been the racism of contempt (e.g. colour prejudice) and the racism of envy (e.g. anti-Semitism).

  • Mr Ed

    Saying that Reagan was a moron suggests of someone that they have swallowed the Left’s narrative, whether consciously or not.

  • shlomo maistre

    Okay, yeah, I went too far in calling Reagan a moron. I was wrong about that. I do think he’s quite overrated though.

  • CaptDMO

    “….which today goes under the guise of ‘anti-Zionism”
    (U.S.) The current trend among “not-racist” activists on college campuses (campi?) is B.D.S.
    Formerly an acronym for Bush Derangement Syndrome, B.D.S. has “evolved” into the DEMANDS of Boycott/Divest?Sanction for ANY investments in Israeli enterprise, ESPECIALLY in College/ “certain” labor retirement portfolios. The usual suspects seem to be the traditionally easy targets for Communist
    antagonists, and imaginary “rights/studies” folk. In My Humble Opinion, there’s a lot of stereotypical -The Blacks hate the Joooos, as well as The Communists/Socialists hate the “privileged” Capitalists, stuff.
    Off campus, the Legislative/Executive branches have their OWN “issues” in keeping these stereotypes (that come from SOMEWHERE) alive.

  • Cristina

    “Reagan described communism as a “sad, bizarre chapter in human history, whose last pages are even now being written”. In an essay mocking Reagan (that he wrote in 1987, not earlier !), Vidal quoted this remark, italicising the last 8 words as an example of how out of touch with reality Reagan was.”

    Niall, Reagan was wrong and Vidal was right.

  • harryr

    Well I don’t think Reagan was a moron, but I do think his role in the ending of the cold war has been overstated. He helped put the bullet in the head of a zombie. Brezhnev killed soviet and east european evil empire when he ordered the Warsaw Pact armies to invade and suppress the Prague spring. True believer communism died in the soviet bloc in 1968. I think the western and eastern dissident peace movements also contributed to the collapse of the soviets.

  • Niall, Reagan was wrong and Vidal was right.

    I must have been hallucinating when I was Central Europe a few weeks ago and no doubt it will happen again when I am in Kiev in a couple weeks.

  • Mr Ed

    harryr

    Why weren’t the ‘true believers’ disenchanted by the Bolshevik massacres in the Tambov, the Terror Famine in the Ukraine? The Nazi-Soviet Pact? The invasions of Moldova, the Baltic States, Finland, Hungary ‘56?o or even Afghanistan?

    There were the ‘Tankies’, those core Stalinists who refused to become ‘Eurocommunists’ after 1968?

    They believed in one thing, killing, as slowly as possible, and anything that would have helped was welcome to them.

  • harryr

    Well Mr Ed what sustained true belief in the 1930s in the Soviet Union was a generation born during and after the revolution who had been schooled in Marxism to the point that they would inform on their own parents. Hitler thought that the Soviet Union was a rotten door that could be kicked in, but regime was more resilient than he and many others suspected. Among the general population hostility to the regime probably dated back to the war communism era of 1918-1920. Among the workers and soldiers who fought the civil war many received a reality check with the repression of the Kronstadt Commune. The party peddled hope, that the future would be better, that they were surrounded by hostile enemies. From the revolution through to the 60s the soviets presented a coherent ideological program that would sustain belief in the regime and its future. The regime focused its efforts on each successive generation especially on university students and young technicians as it inevitably disillusioned those whose life experience jaded them on the regime. Those examples you give and a myriad more failed communism for successive generations. Remember the party controlled the narrative, and it knew how to rewrite history for the next generation. What I was referring to was the educated youth in Eastern Europe who had been schooled in Marxism but had hopes for a better future. I was a high school student in 1968, I remember coming home from school and watching the invasion and occupation on the TV news. What I saw in New Zealand was being watched around the world. Including East Germany, where people regularly watched West German TV. Moreover for two generations the youth of the Warsaw Pact nations had been taught Russian in school. The troops sent in had been briefed that there had been a counterrevolutionary fascist coup backed by NATO. The Czechs swarmed the tanks and in Russian informed the troops that they had been lied to. All the while clandestine camera crews filmed the streets from the upper stories of buildings. It is impossible to sustain a regime like the Soviet Union on cynical careerists, opportunists, and sociopaths it needed a significant minority that was socially and culturally influential to buy in to the bullshit. I contend that this event along with samizdat which originated in the 40s and was mostly circulated amongst the intelligentsia, which expanded exponentially after Khrushchev’s speech to the 22nd Presidium corroded belief in both party and ideology. The party no longer could control the narrative, western musicians like Frank Zappa became countercultural icons.They lost the youth, the rest is history. This in part is why I don’t despair over the success of the progressives on their march through institutions. Inevitably they overreach and they hav culturally a tin ear. The Soviet Union came about because a horrible government was losing a horrible war and starving people where desperate for peace and stability at any price. Thats not going happen in the USA or Europe anytime soon.

  • Thailover

    Shlomo said,

    Reagan was a moron. And a politician’s speech is propaganda.

    (one minute later)

    Reagan was a moron. And a politician’s speech is propaganda. – not serious philosophical thought. I can see how it might appeal to an Objectivist, though.

    What’s wrong, asshat, didn’t get enough baseless insults in the first post?