I think that the victims of Communism deserve more than a day. If Black history gets a month so should the hundreds of millions of faceless enslaved and murdered people to that soul eating cause. We need to remember what’s behind the pretty marches and shows, the parades with colorful banners.
It’s important to remember the dead listed in the black book.
In many ways, though they aren’t the true victims. After al their suffering is over, ended with their needless pointless deaths. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many the true victims of Communism over the years. I met them because, scarred, they were still alive. I don’t think that anybody who escapes Communism ever really gets over it. I’ve met too many to not see the pain. People Like Art there above, never mind the fact that by no means does he see himself as a victim.
That doesn’t mean that were no victims. those who could escape were the lucky ones. Many were too young or had too many ties to try. That’s the true tragedy of how it works. In order to escape you abandon everything.
Beneath the high sounding ideology “Liberte, Equaltie, Fraternetie” is the dark truth that all those seemingly great ideas require a denial of reality. A denial that, must, at all cost be enforced or the whole house of cards collapses.
THE MANAGER of a fruit-and-vegetable shop places in his window, among the onions and carrots, the slogan: “Workers of the world, unite!” Why does he do it? What is he trying to communicate to the world? Is he genuinely enthusiastic about the idea of unity among the workers of the world? Is his enthusiasm so great that he feels an irrepressible impulse to acquaint the public with his ideals? Has he really given more than a moment’s thought to how such a unification might occur and what it would mean?
I think it can safely be assumed that the overwhelming majority of shopkeepers never think about the slogans they put in their windows, nor do they use them to express their real opinions. That poster was delivered to our greengrocer from the enterprise headquarters along with the onions and carrots. He put them all into the window simply because it has been done that way for years, because everyone does it, and because that is the way it has to be. If he were to refuse, there could be trouble. He could be reproached for not having the proper decoration in his window; someone might even accuse him of disloyalty. He does it because these things must be done if one is to get along in life. It is one of the thousands of details that guarantee him a relatively tranquil life “in harmony with society,” as they say.
Obviously the greengrocer is indifferent to the semantic content of the slogan on exhibit; he does not put the slogan in his window from any personal desire to acquaint the public with the ideal it expresses. This, of course, does not mean that his action has no motive or significance at all, or that the slogan communicates nothing to anyone. The slogan is really a sign, and as such it contains a subliminal but very definite message. Verbally, it might be expressed this way: “I, the greengrocer XY, live here and I know what I must do. I behave in the manner expected of me. I can be depended upon and am beyond reproach. I am obedient and therefore I have the right to be left in peace.” This message, of course, has an addressee: it is directed above, to the greengrocer’s superior, and at the same time it is a shield that protects the greengrocer from potential informers. The slogan’s real meaning, therefore, is rooted firmly in the greengrocer’s existence. It reflects his vital interests. But what are those vital interests?
Let us take note: if the greengrocer had been instructed to display the slogan “I am afraid and therefore unquestioningly obedient,” he would not be nearly as indifferent to its semantics, even though the statement would reflect the truth. The greengrocer would be embarrassed and ashamed to put such an unequivocal statement of his own degradation in the shop window, and quite naturally so, for he is a human being and thus has a sense of his own dignity. To overcome this complication, his expression of loyalty must take the form of a sign which, at least on its textual surface, indicates a level of disinterested conviction. It must allow the greengrocer to say, “What’s wrong with the workers of the world uniting?” Thus the sign helps the greengrocer to conceal from himself the low foundations of his obedience, at the same time concealing the low foundations of power. It hides them behind the facade of something high. And that something is ideology.
Ideology is a specious way of relating to the world. It offers human beings the illusion of an identity, of dignity, and of morality while making it easier for them to part with them. As the repository of something suprapersonal and objective, it enables people to deceive their conscience and conceal their true position and their inglorious modus vivendi, both from the world and from themselves. It is a very pragmatic but, at the same time, an apparently dignified way of legitimizing what is above, below, and on either side. It is directed toward people and toward God. It is a veil behind which human beings can hide their own fallen existence, their trivialization, and their adaptation to the status quo. It is an excuse that everyone can use, from the greengrocer, who conceals his fear of losing his job behind an alleged interest in the unification of the workers of the world, to the highest functionary, whose interest in staying in power can be cloaked in phrases about service to the working class. The primary excusatory function of ideology, therefore, is to provide people, both as victims and pillars of the post-totalitarian system, with the illusion that the system is in harmony with the human order and the order of the universe.
The smaller a dictatorship and the less stratified by modernization the society under it, the more directly the will of the dictator can be exercised. In other words, the dictator can employ more or less naked discipline, avoiding the complex processes of relating to the world and of self-justification which ideology involves. But the more complex the mechanisms of power become, the larger and more stratified the society they embrace, and the longer they have operated historically, the more individuals must be connected to them from outside, and the greater the importance attached to the ideological excuse. It acts as a kind of bridge between the regime and the people, across which the regime approaches the people and the people approach the regime. This explains why ideology plays such an important role in the post-totalitarian system: that complex machinery of units, hierarchies, transmission belts, and indirect instruments of manipulation which ensure in countless ways the integrity of the regime, leaving nothing to chance, would be quite simply unthinkable without ideology acting as its all-embracing excuse and as the excuse for each of its parts.
In a Communist Society, it is not enough that you express the Communist ideals once. Like a cult, the connection to the cult’s reality must be constantly reaffirmed. Because of that any deviation from the norms of the state at the moment cannot be tolerated. If some people get squashed along the way, individuals are replaceable.
What’s more, Stalin’s murder of party enemies has if anything been overemphasized—most of his victims in the 1930s were national and ethnic enemies, or victims on the periphery of his empire starved to death to create agricultural surplus and thus spur industrialization. In the Holodomor Stalin knowingly starved somewhere around 3.5 million Ukrainians. Those who couldn’t hand over the requisite amounts of grain were punished ultimately by having their livestock seized, meaning certain but torturously slow death. In his fantastic and chilling book Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, Yale history professor Timothy Snyder recalls in chilling detail the reality of this starvation campaign in a gut-wrenching chapter detailing how families resorted to selling or even eating their own to survive, and how children would sometimes even tear flesh off their own bodies to eat. Snyder stresses that any people would resort to this in the desperation than Stalin forced upon Ukraine. Stalin’s artificial famines also devastated other people, mostly on the outskirts of his domain, such as those in the Northern Caucasus, the Volga Germans, the Kazakhs and those on the edge of Siberia.
Stalin did in fact focus on class enemies—”kulaks,” which basically means relatively wealthy peasants—and later in the 1930s had ethnic Poles and other minorities summarily shot by the hundreds of thousands. The first ethnic-based genocide in mid-20th century Europe was thus inaugurated by the Bolsheviks, not the Nazis.
The thing is that like a cult, Communist states must have enemies both outside and inside. They need to have enemies outside to say to the cult members “we all must struggle against the evil whoever” and the internal enemies to show what a “bad person” looks like and reaffirm the value of the cult by inflicting righteous punishments. The fact that the “bad people” are innocent of any crime is irrelevant. In fact the randomness is a good way to keep people afraid and from questioning the reality of the state.
Now I’ve developed sort of a macabre fascination with the DPRK. Everything about the place is so wrong. The country is a perfect example of the Progressive end state. Looking at the pictures, It’s hard to figure out what the reality is there. That’s especially true with the current leader, who seems to be a caricature of a crazy dictator. Unfortunately the crazy part is all too real.
The bending of reality in DPRK is massive. An entire huge building is officially unseen because it could not be completed due to shoddy construction and is an embarrassment to the regime, even though the building are obviously visible from every point in Pyongyang and indeed the building’s pyramid shape is visible in just about every picture of the city. Perhaps though, the greatest delusions are the mass games and parades celebrating victories that never happened and prosperity that everyone participating has to know is a lie. Yet players participate in the massive lie because they don’t have any alterantives but to continue the lie.
Here’s a bunch of North Korea links.
One would like to believe that the DPRK is exceptional. That’s not the truth, though. History is full of failed Communist states and their attempts to remake reality in blood. Creating victim in unimaginable quantities. It’s not “one dead is a tragedy, one million is a statistic.” It’s one million individual tragedies all bound together into a truly massive horror.
One thing we cannot forget is that the biggest committer of violence against the innocent were their own governments, which created famine in one of the richest farming areas on the planet.
Turn crazy dreams into the people’s nightmares.
Only to wash and repeat, generation after generation.
Here in the states, when some high government official want us to be “reasonable about gun control” remember that the end game for them is that they control all the guns. Also remember the kind of people who wanted to have that power and what they did to the people they disarmed in the name of their distorted realities.
Also remember Orwell’s final warning, about the boot on the back of the neck. Progressives, whatever their flavor are intoxicated by the idea of forcing others to see the realities they create as the only possible alternatives. They are not afraid to inflict those realities by any use of force that they can to their advantage. That is the true lesson of the victims of Communism and that lesson should not be forgotten.