Time for another LinkSwarm!
Archive for the ‘Communism’ Category
Today is an important day.
I’m speaking, of course, of Victims of Communism Day.
People may say that anti-communism is a cause that’s passe, but keep in mind that:
A few more Thatcher tidbits:
More on the late Margaret Thatcher:
“I am not a consensus politician. I’m a conviction politician.”
“There is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women and there are families.”
“We have not successfully rolled back the frontiers of the state in Britain only to see them re-imposed at a European level, with a European superstate exercising a new dominance from Brussels.”
Britain was a disaster: The lights frequently went out, trash was piled up in the streets, and the IMF was called in to bail the treasury out — in response to which the civil service decided that their role was to “manage” Britain’s decline and fall….’Diversity’ types are amusingly silent about her — and for good reason, as her example is utterly lethal to the culture of victimhood on which they rely. The global Left, likewise, has strong motives to disparage her: She realized that decline was a choice….She was right and they were wrong. While they blathered, she helped to defeat Communism, restored democracy to the Falklands, and saved Britain from the reds at home. She was, without doubt, our finest post-war premier and she made an incalculable contribution to the life of my country of birth.
Those on the Left who still probably regard Thatcher as a hate-figure, have either forgotten the history of the Cold War or possibly never understood that Communism meant the virtual enslavement of millions of people in the East European countries, who loathed its ideology as much as Margaret Thatcher herself. It is simply not possible to imagine Thatcher visiting Russia in the 1930s, like certain Left-wing useful idiots from Britain, and being taken in by Stalin’s propaganda machine. Ordinary East Europeans took a different view of her to her critics in this country. For them she symbolised opposition to Communism; indeed she was given a tumultuous welcome by the shipyard workers in Gdansk when she visited them. She wept at the sight.
Thatcher on Socialism
Announcing the invasion of the Falklands
Her statement on European integration (“No! No! No!”).
(Hat tip: Ace of Spades.)
Thatcher on William F. Buckley, Jr.’s Firing Line:
On the danger of the Euro:
Margaret Thatcher has died. With Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II, she made up the trio of moral leaders in the West who understood what a great evil communism was when so many wanted to appease it, paving the way for the West’s ultimate triumph in the Cold War. Her free market polices reinvigorated a strike-wracked UK economy many thought moribund. She arrested the British military’s decline and retook the Falkland Islands while Tory “wets” were quitely pushing to let them go.
She tamed the IRA and forced a Labour Party dominated by communust-friendly fossils Michael Foot and Neil Kinnock to reform and tack back toward the center.
She was hugely influential, smart, capable, and exactly the sort of leader the UK needed in the dark days of the late 1970s. The UK shall not see her like again.
It’s been a rough week for conservatives, so by way of some cheering up, here’s the best of Ronald Reagan, so you can remember what a real president sounds like.
Warning: Sound gets a little sappy and out-of-hand.
A quick LinkSwarm for a busy Friday:
And the world in general, and the international left in specific, still hasn’t come to gripes with the scale of the scale of mass murder committed in the name of communism.
“Chinese broadcasters have axed two-thirds of popular TV shows in line with a government directive to curb “excessive entertainment,” according to local media reports.”
“Air time will be filled instead with extended news bulletins and ‘programs that promote traditional virtues and socialist core values.’”
I don’t think you want to do that, sunshine. People like their TV, and they need something to distract them from China’s imploding economy, general unrest, specific unrest among the Muslim population, unequal sex ratios, Communist Party suppression of dissent, and the endemic corruption. You want to give them more circuses, not less. Do they really think that The Happy Socialist Progress Hour is an acceptable substitute for a popular drama or comedy, or can they just not afford circuses anymore?
And if they can no longer afford the circuses, how soon will it be before they can no longer afford the bread?
To set the historical record straight, it is necessary from time to time to point out that the majority of “Left Wing Intellectuals” did not spend the Cold War criticizing communist governments for oppressing their people, but rather attacking any attempt by the U.S. government or conservatives to oppose communism. In their eyes, Ronald Reagan was an “insane imperialist warmonger” for calling the Soviet Union an Evil Empire and attempting to fight communism throughout the world.
So in the High Church of the American Left, praising America’s fight against communism was the ultimate sin, right up there with opposing global warming. Even so, some may find it surprising just how viciously that High Church’s uncrowned Pope, Noam Chomsky, attacked Vaclav Havel for the sin of praising America as a “defender of freedom.”
Sayeth Pope Chomsky to his leftwing pal Alexander Cockburn:
As a good and loyal friend, I can’t overlook this chance to suggest to you a marvelous way to discredit yourself completely and lose the last minimal shreds of respectability that still raise lingering questions about your integrity. I have in mind what I think is one of the most illuminating examples of the total and complete intellectual and moral corruption of Western culture, namely, the awed response to Vaclav Havel’s embarrassingly silly and morally repugnant Sunday School sermon in Congress the other day. We may put aside the intellectual level of the comments (and the response) — for example, the profound and startlingly original idea that people should be moral agents. More interesting are the phrases that really captured the imagination and aroused the passions of Congress, editorial writers, and columnists — and, doubtless, soon the commentators in the weeklies and monthlies: that we should assume responsibility not only for ourselves, our families, and our nations, but for others who are suffering and persecuted. This remarkable and novel insight was followed by the key phrase of the speech: the cold war, now thankfully put to rest, was a conflict between two superpowers: one, a nightmare, the other, the defender of freedom (great applause).
Reading it brought to mind a number of past experiences in Southeast Asia, Central America, the West Bank, and even a kibbutz in Israel where I lived in 1953 — Mapam, super-Stalinist even to the extent of justifying the anti-Semitic doctor’s plot, still under the impact of the image of the USSR as the leader of the anti-Nazi resistance struggle. I recall remarks by a Fatherland Front leader in a remote village in Vietnam, Palestinian organizers, etc., describing the USSR as the hope for the oppressed and the US government as the brutal oppressor of the human race. If these people had made it to the Supreme Soviet they doubtless would have been greeted with great applause as they delivered this message, and probably some hack in Pravda would have swallowed his disgust and written a ritual ode.
I don’t mean to equate a Vietnamese villager to Vaclav Havel. For one thing, I doubt that the former would have had the supreme hypocrisy and audacity to clothe his praise for the defenders of freedom with gushing about responsibility for the human race. It’s also unnecessary to point out to the half a dozen or so sane people who remain that in comparison to the conditions imposed by US tyranny and violence, East Europe under Russian rule was practically a paradise. Furthermore, one can easily understand why an oppressed Third World victim would have little access to any information (or would care little about anything) beyond the narrow struggle for survival against a terrorist superpower and its clients. And the Pravda hack, unlike his US clones, would have faced a harsh response if he told the obvious truths. So by every conceivable standard, the performance of Havel, Congress, the media, and (we may safely predict, without what will soon appear) the Western intellectual community at large are on a moral and intellectual level that is vastly below that of Third World peasants and Stalinist hacks.
So: Vaclav Havel, a man who spent most of his adult life fighting communist oppression and imprisonment, was “morally repugnant” and worse than a “Stalinist hack” for saying that the U.S. was ” the defender of freedom.” Oh, and compared to any place America was fighting communism, “East Europe under Russian rule was practically a paradise.” So sayeth Pope Chomsky.
Havel wasn’t the only formerly left-wing public figure dying this week who attracted Pope Chomsky’s scorn for heresy. Christopher Hitchens also received condemnation for suggesting that Osama Bin Laden was, in fact, demonstrably more evil and culpable in the death of innocents than Bill Clinton. Hitchens, of course, gave at least as well as he got, and also noted he moral bankruptcy of Chomsky’s attack on Havel:
The last time we corresponded, some months ago, I was appalled by the robotic element both of his prose and of his opinions. He sought earnestly to convince me that Vaclav Havel, by addressing a joint session of Congress in the fall of 1989, was complicit in the murder of the Jesuits in El Salvador that had occurred not very long before he landed in Washington. In vain did I point out that the timing of Havel’s visit was determined by the November collapse of the Stalinist regime in Prague, and that on his first celebratory visit to the United States he need not necessarily take the opportunity to accuse his hosts of being war criminals. Nothing would do, for Chomsky, but a strict moral equivalence between Havel’s conduct and the mentality of the most depraved Stalinist.
Less than a year later, Hitchens himself would have enough of his former allies on the left and take leave from the High Church’s oldest organ, The Nation:
It’s obvious to me that the “antiwar” side would not be convinced even if all the allegations made against Saddam Hussein were proven, and even if the true views of the Iraqi people could be expressed. All evidence pointed overwhelmingly to the Taliban and Al Qaeda last fall, and now all the proof is in; but I am sent petitions on Iraq by the same people (some of them not so naïve) who still organize protests against the simultaneous cleanup and rescue of Afghanistan, and continue to circulate falsifications about it. The Senate adopted the Iraq Liberation Act without dissent under Clinton; the relevant UN resolutions are old and numerous. I don’t find the saner, Richard Falk-ish view of yet more consultation to be very persuasive, either.
This is something more than a disagreement of emphasis or tactics. When I began work for The Nation over two decades ago, Victor Navasky described the magazine as a debating ground between liberals and radicals, which was, I thought, well judged. In the past few weeks, though, I have come to realize that the magazine itself takes a side in this argument, and is becoming the voice and the echo chamber of those who truly believe that John Ashcroft is a greater menace than Osama bin Laden. (I too am resolutely opposed to secret imprisonment and terror-hysteria, but not in the same way as I am opposed to those who initiated the aggression, and who are planning future ones.) In these circumstances it seems to me false to continue the association, which is why I have decided to make this “Minority Report” my last one.
Condemning Havel, driving out Hitchens; two small examples of just how extensively a reflexive anti-Americanism and hatred of conservatism has warped the judgment of those still filling the pews of the High Church of the American Left.