The devil makes 'em do it the first time,
second time they do it on their own.
Lord put a handle on that Motorheaded man,
help him leave that treason alone.
(apologies to Billy Joe Shaver, "Black Rose.")
Sad to say, but Saint Judas is the patron saint of our times.
For some reason, I am reminded of the early Genesis song "The Knife". It sounds like a typical "lefty-revolution" song, until you realize (when you take a close look at the lyrics) that Peter Gabriel et al. may in fact be criticizing the revolutionaries' shortsightedness; they certainly don't make the Revolution sound any more honorable:
Stand up and fight
For you know we are right
We must strike at the lies
That have spread like disease through our minds
Soon we'll have power
Every soldier will rest
And we'll spread out our kindness
To all who our love now deserve
Some of you are going to die -
Martyrs of course to the freedom that I shall provide
Not to mention the cry of "WE HAVE WON!!" near the song's conclusion; it sounds not so much triumphant as ominous. One can only conclude that lyricist Gabriel was quite aware where such thinking leads.
That "faux German Black gothic font" is normally known as "Fraktur and is a pain for the modern German-reader to decrypt.
I won't be riding to utopia in that van.
My dream instructs me to blow it up.
You are a great teacher.
Welcome to the resistance.
Yes! Isn't Capitol Hill wonderful? Much like a visit to the zoo. An opportunity to view some near-human life forms having only a minimal contact with reality.
I've been visiting the "Huffington Post" website now and again; reading the articles and checking the comments. It's quite like an on-line Capitol Hill.
I love the way you write, Mr. V. That's why I'm slowly working my way through your archives.
Didn't Freud write something about "Civilization and its malcontents"? I am reminded of this somehow.
The amusing thing here is that Mr. Motorhead is mixing his rock/punk/metal visual cues, as it were. Or so it seems to me, having seen all that stuff the first time around.
Marxists, socialist pyschos, liberal demorats, animal rights nuts, enviromental wacko tree huggers, arab terrorist killers, illegal alien invaders supported by La Raza- It is all so sad. These sick evil mental midgets tying the Gullivers Travels USA giant down with thier psyhcosis. It is getting tiring swatting these infected insects buzzing around our collective heads, but don't use the DDT!
Second to Richard above: I love the way you write, especially the 1st paragraph.
Like many Seattleites, I was born in that neighborhood and so were two of my children. So sad to see it taken over by the America haters. Motorhead will find some crazy business or the other to consume the part of his life not already wasted by the toxic sludge he's advertising now. And his older seducer, whether motivated by gay undertones or political alienation, needs to be confined until he wises up or dies.
Someone's opinion on a bumper sticker "The Gene Pool Needs Chlorine" could apply to Capitol Hill. Scrub the whole thing down and put back only what does credit to the gorgeous views there.
"THESE DAYS its not often that you see a member of the Despairing Classes being seduced by classic Communism on a city street, but it does happen."
Not sure how I came to your site recently but I find your posts reminiscent of growing up in a lower middle catholic neighborhood / schools. It is a better than thou attitude that I missed for many years. Not even sure what religious beliefs you have? Lumping Zinn with the others is not fair but fair is not the issue - what is the issue? Do you know better or are you better? Are their worlds silly - could yours be silly to another? I really do miss the point of the piece, the haughty dismissiveness confuses me. Please clarify.
There is none so blind as you who will not see.
Doug, another puzzling comment? See what? How many here can say they have accomplished what Zinn has? Any?
Ah James. You too talk in riddles. What do you think Zinn accomplished? Writing a biased, limited and deceptive "history"? Helping spread a madness that killed millions? None here have done that. Nor would they have wanted to.
And the "haughty dismissiveness" is not confusing. Just dismissive, for those who carry their own confusion perpetually with them.
Class is over now. You may go.
Just to clarify a point or two. James asks:
" Do you know better or are you better? Are their worlds silly - could yours be silly to another? "
1. I do know better.
2. I am better.
3. Their words are worse than silly, they can be and have been deadly.
4. My words would seem silly only to those who believe the words of people like Zinn are wise and "accomplished" in anything other than making the world progressively worse with their "work."
Hope that clears things up for you.
PS: No Catholic I in birth, baptism, upbringing, or schooling. If you are, as you seem, somewhat young and enamored with the "accomplishment" of those like Zinn I think it fair to say that, to my eternal regret, I helped invent you.
America has no idea how close we are to either endless PC thought control "paradise" or civil war. If McCain wins in november expect bad things from the left, if Obama wins, expect to lose more money and rights. Thats just the way it is. We have "tolerated" so much that fringe groups are starting to have enough power to cause REAL problems.
The problem is trendiness. Right now it is, quite frankly, just plain hip to hate America. Apparently you are just not intelligent enough if you are happy with being treated well. It shows some sort of advance intellect to not be won over by concepts like freedom, sacrifice, protection, and prosperity, all of which are currently provided in mass supply by our government. And what does this terrible government ask of us in return for seeing to it that we are DOING EXCEEDINGLY WELL as a society and a nation (regardless of how quickly we spit in the face of their efforts)? They ask what they have always asked since the founding of this country - that we continue to have the backbone to work for a living. That's all. There will always be enough Americans who are willing to stand up and do the fighting (and do it better than anyone else on Earth), the rest of us just need to shut up and work.
Human nature, we are a ship of fools. As the immortal Bugs Bunny would say What a bunch of maroons.
Gerard: In the last full line of the Poster above, "executed" should be "murdered". Execution is homicide (the death of a man) but it follows trial and is not unlawful. Murder is unlawful and premeditated.
Zinn: Let's admire the dude. He has made a lot of money off the ignorance of folks like James. A fool and his money. Grandpa's last words said, just before they sprang the trap, were "You can't cheat an honest man; never give a sucker an even break, or wise up a mark."
I do believe it was an ice pick, not an ice axe.
I take that back, it was the pick of an ice axe.
There is indeed a culture of treason these days and quite a few of the practitioners are national-level elected politicians.
I think things are going to get to the point where nothing less than a second American Civil War will turn it all around. We will have a choice of sliding comfortably into that good night of history and say goodbye to the Great American Experiment or do the horrible, necessary thing to save it.
Trotsky's assailant used an alpine ice axe for his attack, with a sawed-off shaft for easier concealment.
It has been a long time since I was on Capitol Hill. In those days the hook was a "Christian" Sex Cult whose name had "Children" in it if I remember correctly.
A much more wholesome come on all in all.
"Communism has been the greatest social engineering experiment we have ever seen. It failed utterly and in doing so it killed over 100,000,000 men, women, and children, not to mention the near 30,000,000 of its subjects that died in its often aggressive wars and the rebellions it provoked. But there is a larger lesson to be learned from this horrendous sacrifice to one ideology. That is that no one can be trusted with power. The more power the center has to impose the beliefs of an ideological or religious elite or impose the whims of a dictator, the more likely human lives are to be sacrificed. This is but one reason, but perhaps the most important one, for fostering liberal democracy."
R. J. Rummel
the Closer skins twenty bucks off Motorhead for Gramsci's Prison Notebooks available at Amazon for $14.95. Ha ha ha ha ha. That's a good one.
I would have gone for the Howard Zinn. At least flipped through to see what's in it. Haven't read that yet, although I know of it. I've been thinking of picking up a few copies to pass along as Christmas presents to a few friends so they'll know I'm sympathetic and still love them even though I insist they're colossally resolutely and dangerously retarded and insist they STFU. By way of peace offering. I am out, after all, to have a beer and not to listen to them banging on.
Banality of sedition. I like that. I'm going to use it -- for the parting shot as I turn away.
Banality? I find it quite fun, actually!
Wow, Glenn Reynolds leads one to the most interesting places.
Geez, Van der Leun, why don't you just take an automatic weapon up to Capitol HIll and get it all over with? (Bring some of your friends along, too.) It's gotta end up being less painful than what you're putting yourself through now. I mean, really—you think by whining about it on a blog you're gonna make people stop reading Gramsci?
Vanderleun: You've previously endangered my life by making me laugh too hard. But now you give me hope.
I think that, in the final analysis, your writing will tip the balance in the next battle between civilization and the barbarians. Glad to know you're on our side.
You deserve a bigger megaphone, a broader broadsheet.
(Is that in the South Park Kenny?)
The pain? There's no pain except the pain I observe in the two subjects of this tale. If that is pain that you cannot tell, no tale will tell you what you need to be told.
It has been a long time since I was on Capitol Hill. In those days the hook was a "Christian" Sex Cult whose name had "Children" in it if I remember correctly.
A much more wholesome come on all in all.
Children of God! Wow. Had to dissuade brainless then-boyfriend (now... well... the wench is dead)from joining. Probably more wholesome than the current bait, though, yes.
As for the nature of the weapon that killed Trotsky, rest assured I know exactly what it looked like. To render it more precisely than I did would mangle the meter of the sentence.
A clearly fictional account. I couldn't get past the line "a warm Spring evening on Pine Street in Seattle" as the writer could not have been talking about Globally Warmed Seattle in 2008.
Unless warm == 48 degrees F., in which case it could be true.
"Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged."
Just one question: do you have any real full-sized copies of that "poster", or is it made out of 1s and 0s only? Could sure use one for my cube at work...
If the body count doesn't put it into perspective for the James' and Kennys', maybe this will...
Communism turned a nation full of Germans into shiftless, unemployable bums and a nation full of Koreans into brainwashed starvelings.
Compare and contrast with how their siblings to the West and South, respectively, have fared under capitialism and both starting from the same, war-shattered basis over the same period of time.
That's how utterly Communism has failed, theory or practice. There's just no excuse for it.
Bravo! Excellent writing! Thank you!
To the lambs heading to slaughter (James & Kenny):
"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." --Goethe
You know you've encountered some fine writing by the comments it engenders. Well done.
Heh. You know the Fiddler on the Roof number "Tradition"? I don't think I've ever mentioned this to anyone before, but ever since the Fahrenheit 9/11 days, I've amused myself with a private joke in which I imagine Michael Moore and a supporting cast dancing about with wild abandon to the same tune, singing similarly exuberant chants of "Seditio---o---o---on!.... Sedition? Sedition!" Still gives me a chuckle. I just had to share that with someone. ;-)
On a graver note: What to make of those who still champion such ideologies after all the humanity-crushing misery that has gone before us? Solovetsky... Kolyma... Vorkuta... Lubyanka... Will it happen all over again? We're in danger of forgetting as a culture (to the extent that some of us ever knew in the first place). The ten-month-old VOC memorial in Washington D.C. is a small step toward institutionalizing that memory in the U.S., and I'm glad to have done my modest part to help support its construction, but with the genuflecting, self-deprecating way history is being taught these days, do such isolated gestures make any significant impact?
Thank you for this piece, Gerard. I'm reminded of Andrew Bernstein's excellent essay "Villainy":
Communism may have died in Eastern Europe, and it may be dying in Cuba, but it
flourishes in American universities where hordes of Marxist professors promote socialism,
racism and environmentalism. Today evil men hold enormous power in the world, and it
is not an exaggeration to say that they threaten our prosperity and our lives.
I will also never forget your notes from Brooklyn Heights on September 11th. Thank you for articulating so well what so many of us felt, and still feel. Sincerest regards.
Good Lord, what a pompous twit.
Thanks for the giggle, though.
Thanks for the insightful analysis.
The fact is, liberals are all faggots and the bitches of real Americans, Heartlanders like myself. We fight for decencey, freedom and against media bias.
I tried to start an elementary primer on what we are about to face, for those who have no knowlege of Marx, Pot, Mao, or Stalin. Imagine these psychos with 21st century weapons?
There seems to be an alliance forming between the Left and our Jihadist friends. 1930's all over again.
Gerard, you have captured the banality of Capitol Hill's relentless march to the Revolution with alarming detail for this former First Hill resident.
And a Gagdad Bob sighting! Nicely done!
Above, James asks:
Are their worlds silly -
Yes, James. They are not only silly, but have and continue to result in the deaths of millions of people, James.
The point of the piece, James, is that there remains a group of people who believe a socialist fairy tale, believe it so strongly that they are willing to destroy the foundations of the institutions that give them their freedom to be dangerously silly. And they are allowed to do that, here, without interference or jack booted thugs knocking down their doors at night and carting them off to a utopian gulag, much as they might wish for such justification of their pitiable existence.
As to Zinn's accomplishments, I've met people who pluck chickens for a living that have a happier, fuller life than he does. And I'd rather be like them, thanks all the same.
Even though I'm a third generation Communist still in Red Diapers I have to say that this essay persuaded me that my entire gene pool was a dead end. I showed it to my grandfather and he stroked out on the spot. Thanks. Now I can inherit.
Your article seems both hipocritical and tainted by your own dellusional nationalism, which i find as a UK citizen both confusing and deluded. Clearly our nations do not share the same sense of patriotism, as who would seriously perpetuate their own 'lot' withouut a serious degree of irony. As for your ideas, yes, communism has produced serious atrocities and acts both brutal and terrible. However one could argue that so too, has capitalism. The endless desire for profit and greed has had little consideration for the deprived and poor of the third world, causing death, disease and exploitation. Furthermore the colonisation and imperialism of first older European nations, and the the USA has likewised caused thousands of deaths, (vietnam, korea case in point). Not fighting communism "an evil doctrine" but fighting socialists trying to improve the social and human conditions of their existance. So do not preach that socialism is deluded and inhumane as your article suggests, it is in itself, preaching the true values of egalitariansm; as opposed to the deluded constitutionalism which poses as eqality, of the USA and other liberal capitalist nations. True socialism is not stalinism or maoism, both of whom used propaganda and murder for their own despotic ends. If you actually bothered to read, and undersrtand Marx, Engles and Trotsky, you'd realise that their ideas could not be further from the actions of Stalin etc. Please consider the democratic left, before tarring every socialist with the same Stalinist argument. Furthermore i find it difficult to take seriously the nationalist self perpetuation within your piece considering the mass inequality that exists within your country. Look around you, then reconsider your views.
wow there are alot of ignorant statements here. i hope you all know that if your arguements of veiwpoints arnt factual then they mean jack.
I am of the same oppinion... but you need to give some evidence of why communism cannot work, rather than using character assasination,
unfortunately for you I like motorhead.
Communism will never work because 1 person may be genuine and have the best intentions but people are stupid, ignorant and selfish. It all sounds rather good but who can honestly say that they are pure and hold no predjudice against any national/ethnic/religious group?
Communism is not evil. If it was it would have been started by a man who thought to himself "how could I cause mass pain and suffering to as many people as my influence can extend to". Yes that is what happened but it was not the aim... He just wanted power like everybody else.
The way the world is right now is not perfect, we see this every time we turn on the tv and flick to the news. I am of the same oppinion as Winston Churchill "Democracy is the worst form of Government. Except for all those other kinds we have tried."
To be totally honest I will be happy so long as no ideology becomes dominant political or religious. I am happy knowing there is a struggle between right and left. Everyone who has died for the Right and the Left has made the world a better place by preventing us from being enslaved by either.
I must appologise if my comment has no relevence but I found this page looking for material on the Bolshevik influence on the Constructivist art movement for an essay I need to do for my Web Design course.
one last thing... 1st War on Terrorism?
A Terrorist is just a new word for someone who fights for what they believe in. If you did not resort to terrorism America would still be a British colony. Call it what you want but it's not Evil. Get every "Terrorist" on an island and NUKE them if you want, just don't pretend your righteously clensing the world of evil. The phrase "For the Greater Good" springs to mind... Now where have I heard that before? Oh and the way you go on about class and privelege having anything to do with it you're practically giving the Communists the ammunition they need to brainwash people. Funnily enough it was the Middle Class Educated Man that began and rode that storm that was Bolshevism. The pupose of political ideologies is that the few should have power over the many and it doesn't matter what the ideology was or is. So you should be thankfull that we live in a Democracy which is not any better in that regard, but at least it's not one big LIE about a perfect society.
Over and Out.
Funny how all the 'ism's' require a sacrifice from others to build the perfect world. The one who espouse it are the ones who don't practice it.
"After all, there's nothing evil in speech that argues for ideas that have proven, without exception, to be evil."
I have to disagree Gerard. Those who advocate for a system that killed 100+ million in the 20th Century ARE evil. We are doomed until we treat them accordingly.
Thank you again, Gerard. Three times now, I have had the sublime pleasure of seeing my poor effort alongside your craftsmanship. I am reminded of the Wilbur Smith line about the flea who rode across a bridge in the ear of an elephant and then said "We sure shook that bridge!"
first of all i have to say that its really great written post) i belive that nowadays with such serious resourses of information as internet its pretty hard to hide the truth, china is exeption but asian mentality is different-asian people are not as curious and greedy for the truth as americans or european ones.
"Communism is not evil."
Tell that to a Pole, Jack. Or an East German. Or a Hungarian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Latvian, Estonian or Lithuanian who endured persecution by the People of Marx and Lenin.
Or maybe you'd like to tell that to Armando Valladares. The name may not sound familiar, but it must. He spent 22 years in Castro's gulag. Count'em: 22. He's still alive, last I know, and lives in Miami. You might want to ask him, and his fellow Cuban-Americans.
Tell that to their faces. I dare you.
I DARE YOU!
You will be glad if you come out in one piece.
Or maybe scream that to the 100 million + souls who lost their lives because of Marx and Engels quest for the "Perfect World".
I met people from Eastern Europe - Poland, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic. All of them lived there during the time of Communism. All of them hated Communism. All of them saw how Communism seeped out any desire to live. All they saw in their countries were lonely souls, because they couldn't trust their fellow man. The KGB, Stasi and other "security" agencies accomplished exactly what George Orwell had said in 1984.
I also met a Chinese doctor who was present in Beijing at the time of the Tianamen Square Massacre. She treated many wounded and saw too many dead. It was hard to watch, she told me.
Jesus said "Ye shall know them by their fruits." The tree planted by Marx, Engels and Lenin has brought forth a poisonous fruit. A fruit that looks great when you have it in your hand, but when you bite, it will rot your soul and render it unrecognizable.
The only reason you don't see it is that you have eaten a truck full of it. You're so used to the poison that it seems not to harm you. But we all here know better: you are already rotten inside. And totally unrecognizable from those who love freedom.
In short, you're no longer one of us. You've changed, and have become a different species altogether.
Last I know of, Marx, Engles and Lenin are still dead. And hell-rotten, as their fruit is.
May those 100 million souls haunt your dreams like demons for the rest of your miserable life. Or again, maybe not. Dead souls like yours rarely feel any remorse or guilt. Or even grief.
I was born and raised in the Rainier Valley area of Seattle during the fifties and early sixties. I do believe that Seattle then was arguably one of the safest, cleanest and the most beautiful cities in the world. How times have changed.
Even then however, it was well known to all that the Capital Hill area had herds of weirdos living in cages with whips up there. (I'm trying to be nice) What in the hell do they put in that area's reservoir?
Gerard, if by chance you live up there please be careful to drink bottled water and be sure and go to the lowlands for groceries.
i've always wondered why hitler was bad so nazism was bad. but, stalin was bad , mao was bad, pol pot was bad, castro was bad, but, communism is still good.
Nazis were capitalists fool! Don't you get it? Communism AND capitalism are bad in the ways we use them.
From wikipedia re: deaths/communism.
"In the introduction, editor Stéphane Courtois asserts that "...Communist regimes... turned mass crime into a full-blown system of government". He claims that a death toll totals 94 million, not counting the "excess deaths" (decrease of the population due to lower than-expected birth rates). The breakdown of the number of deaths given by Courtois is as follows:
65 million in the People's Republic of China
20 million in the Soviet Union[page needed]
2 million in Cambodia
2 million in North Korea
1.7 million in Africa
1.5 million in Afghanistan
1 million in the Communist states of Eastern Europe
1 million in Vietnam[page needed]
150,000 in Latin America
10,000 deaths "resulting from actions of the international Communist movement and Communist parties not in power."
Courtois claims that Communist regimes are responsible for a greater number of deaths than any other political ideal or movement, including Nazism. The statistics of victims includes executions, famine, deaths resulting from deportations, physical confinement, or through forced labor."
One would expect these statistics to be enough for anyone with common sense.
Fantastic article Gerard!
All those books on communism to hand out when just one would have sufficed: The Black Book of Communism.
1969 Milwaukee, I'm sitting in a booth at Mom's cafe with a copy of the Daily Worker that was handed to me on the street. Mom and her husband were Polish Jews who survived the camps. As I begin to scan the front page articles, Mom's tattooed arm reaches down to place my breakfast before me. It wasn't a flash of lightning, more a spark of understanding; this is a load of crap, DANGEROUS CRAP. The Evil One has fooled me many times since on other subjects but never again on this. Whenever I hear of Marx, I see that faded tattoo before me.
There are no words... This piece is brilliant. Amazing!
Very nice piece of writing!
I saw your, um, Wings imitation over at Prof. Mead's blog and wondered, Why haven't I read that guy lately? So here I am, happy that my question remains unanswered and pleased to be reminded why I ever read you in the first place: fine detail, a pointed conceit and a clean thrust to a graceful finish.
May I offer one criticism, however? This line,
"there are some lies that lodge so deep in the hopes of man that they can never be killed no matter how many are executed to make the lie true,"
feels a bit awkward, pulled off its mark by a few infelicities of language. I would like to suggest a reformulation. Maybe,
"some lies lodge so deep in our hopes that they cannot be killed [or, will not die], no matter the murders they require to live."
For the present I agree and have altered the text accordingly. Thanks.
"Communism is not evil..."
Jack, that was a lot of words just to tell us that you understand nothing.
I am honored to have made my tiny contribution.
pst314, if you don't like Commies, you're all right by me, but on the evidence provided by your comment, you have no business discussing Gerard's comprehension. I would like to extend my compliments to you on a masterful stalking and killing of the piece's context.
"Maggies drawers", son, read it again, this time with an eye towards the writer's intent. Hint: Think about possible meanings behind the very last sentence, "Especially when the light has failed."
Have you read Mark Levin's Ameritopia? I've been. It makes the same point that you made here.
Great minds think alike.
Only someone as young and stupid as I once was could believe in communism, as I once did.
The best way to fight these assholes is to retreat directly through their forward positions. "But don't you want to stop violence against women?" "No. In fact, I support violence against women. The more the better!" Result: commie brain-lock. "A system that lets some get rich while others stay poor isn't fair." "There's no such thing as fairness. Fuck the poor." Result: blood spurts from commie eyeballs. "That's borderline racist!" "Borderline, hell! I'm 100% racist!" Result: commie screaming à gorge déployée. Total in all columns: 100% WIN.
Don't argue with lefties, commies, greenies, or race hustlers. It's like arguing with a staph bacillus. The next time some Soldier of the Revolution comes at ya, wad his (or her) pious bullshit up in a nice, tight ball and stuff it down his (or her) throat. Like a Lucky Strike -- It Satisfies!
So glad you posted this one again. I love to read your work.
You could change the word COMMUNISM to THEISM and the quote would work better.
Lev Bronstein, "the Christ of Communism, crucified with an ice-axe but still twitching...". Profound capsule psychohistory, Van der Leun. Says volumes
Rules for Radicals - Tactics of the Left - Saul Alinsky
Rule 1: Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have
Rule 2: Never go outside the experience of your people.
Rule 3: Whenever possible, go outside the experience of the enemy.
Rule 4: Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.
Rule 5: Ridicule is man's most potent weapon
Rule 6: A good tactic is one your people enjoy.
Rule 7: A tactic that drags on for too long becomes a drag.
Rule 8: Use different tactics and actions and use all events of the period.
Rule 9: The threat is more terrifying than the thing itself.
Rule 10: Maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.
Rule 11: If you push a negative hard and deep enough, it will break through into its counter-side.
Rule 12: The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.
Rule 13: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.
Evil is not banal, it is always injurious of the innocent.
Ideology is generally perverted by deliberate misuse of generally accepted meanings of words.
To understand an ideology observe how it is applied in all it's daily expressions
I worked many years on said Capitol Hill. After-work beers at the Vomit (Comet); morning coffee at the Cafe Paradiso. In the Eighties and the Nineties you could exist as a conservative, but of course you didn't wear a sticker on your back spelling that out, either.
What I remember best were the murderous death glares commies were good at broadcasting. You did want to watch your back all of the time; and before my day the same things were true of the toe end of Pine and Pike - the waterfront. In the Old West you sat with your back to the wall, and your face towards the door. In more contemporary times, you did the same if you didn't want to get a case of the Wobblies.
I'll bet that after the 45th Street overpass rally, they watered themselves at the Blue Moon.
Fucking Seattle. It ought to be condemned and quick.