Communism

Hu’s next

Featured image Reuters has a good story on the forcible removal of Chinese former President Hu Jintao from the closing ceremony of the Communist Party Congress on Saturday: Hu, 79, Xi Jinping’s immediate predecessor, was seated to the left of Xi. He was led off the stage of the main auditorium of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing by two stewards, a Reuters witness at the congress said. Video footage »

At the struggle session

Featured image Over at the University of Minnesota Medical School, one probably shouldn’t be seen with books such as Arthur Koestler’s novel Darkness at Noon or Fan Shen’s memoir Gang of One: Memoirs of a Red Guard. It might reflect an inclination to think for yourself and other such bourgeois indulgences. I’m thinking that they missed a few strokes at this year’s white-coat ceremony for new students. The video below is a »

In Cuba, Bread Lines But No Bread

Featured image It has been a while since we checked in on Fidel’s socialist paradise. You might think that an utterly failed and discredited regime would inevitably be overthrown, but that hasn’t happened, at least not yet. (See also Venezuela.) Meanwhile, when you think things can’t get worse, the decline continues. Babalublog reports: “After Milk and Beef, Bread Disappears from the Cuban Table.” From the balcony, Yudineya watched dozens of bread and »

It Always Goes Back to Marx, Somehow…

Featured image Leftists will get impatient or roll their eyes when they hear someone like Jordan Peterson describe postmodernist “critical theory,” critical race theory, or any aspect of identity politics (especially the phenomenon of “gender fluidity”) as “cultural Marxism.”  And yet. . . Michael Anton drew my attention to a passage in the transcript of Leo Strauss’s seminar on Marx that he taught at the University of Chicago in 1960 (emphasis added): Partly »

If I had a hammer & sickle

Featured image Ron Radosh was a student and follower of Pete Seeger. Ron recalls his personal relationship with Seeger as well as Seeger’s loyalty to the vagaries of the Communist Party line in his memoir Commies: A Journey Through the Old Left, the New Left and the Leftover Left, published by Encounter Books in 2001. Encounter has kept it in print along with the rest of the back catalog. In 1941 Seeger »

At the Bradley Prizes

Featured image The Bradley Foundation held its annual Bradley Prizes award ceremony this week in Washington on May 17. Moderated by the Wall Street Journal’s own former Bradley Prize-winning Kim Strassel, the event honored 2022 recipients Wilfred McClay, Glenn Loury, and Chen Guangcheng. Having been sent a link to view the ceremony via live stream, my wife and I watched at our kitchen table. When the great Bill McClay finished speaking, my »

Imagine Communism

Featured image The Babylon Bee made this video that parodies one of popular music’s more detestable songs. This version is much better: “Imagine Communism.” Via InstaPundit. »

The Chinese Communists Are Evil

Featured image One of the strangest phenomena of our time is the whitewashing of the Chinese Communist Party by American liberals. Fifty years ago, everyone knew that the CCP was vicious, cruel and evil. But over the years, economic self-interest–the desire to take advantage of what is at best low-wage labor, and at worst slave labor–has triumphed over moral judgment. With hindsight, maybe Richard Nixon’s famous opening up of China and Bill »

Is President Xi reviving Maoism?

Featured image China’s President Xi Jinping reportedly is moving down a Maoist path. If so, this is probably the most important development of 2021. The Wall Street Journal reports on this development in a story with the headline: “Xi Jinping Aims to Rein In Chinese Capitalism, Hew to Mao’s Socialist Vision.” The subtitle is: “Going beyond curbing tech giants, [Xi] wants the Communist Party to steer flows of money and set tighter »

My dad and Hubert Humphrey

Featured image Scott’s Father’s Day tribute to his dad includes a picture of his father and Hubert Humphrey. Scott noted that the picture was taken not long after Humphrey had led the charge to retake the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party from the Communists between 1946 and 1948. Around the same time as that picture was taken, my father, a socialist, was a leader in the movement to wrest control of certain union locals in »

Our men in Havana

Featured image Tim Weiner is a former New York Times reporter and author of Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA (2007). The history of the CIA, according to Weiner, is a history of the failures of the CIA. The CIA chose not to ignore the book. It posted a response by the agency’s historian that the agency has unfortunately removed from its site. The CIA historian’s response to Weiner’s book »

Suicide of the liberals

Featured image We have previously drawn attention to Professor Gary Saul Morson’s New Criterion essay “How the great truth dawned,” Professor Morson’s New Criterion lecture “Leninthink,” Professor Morson’s New York Review of Books review “The horror, the horror,” and Professor Morson’s book Narrative and Freedom: The Shadows of Time (Steve wrote about it here). To these I now want to add Professor Morson’s First Things essay “Suicide of the liberals.” Drawing on »

Talking Leninthink

Featured image We drew attention to Professor Gary Saul Morson’s essay “How the great truth dawned.” It led off the September 2019 issue of The New Criterion. Beginning and ending with Solzhenitsyn, Professor Morson’s essay takes up the Gulag, Communism, mass murder, Russian literature, the turn to God and much more. It is a great essay. The New Criterion invited Professor Morson back to deliver its inaugural Circle Lecture. It posted an »

Ben Mankiewicz’s heroes

Featured image Let’s try a thought experiment. Although the claim that Trump colluded with Russia during the 2016 election campaign has no basis, it seems likely that Russia tried to interfere in the election via posts on social media. Suppose Congress undertook to investigate this matter. Suppose that, in conducting its investigation, a committee called as witnesses people who participated in social media and who had past ties with Russia. Finally, suppose »

Useful idiots, Sanders edition

Featured image The late Paul Hollander wrote Political Pilgrims: Travels of Western Intellectuals to the Soviet Union, China and Cuba when the Cold War was still raging (it was published in 1981). It remains a valuable historical study of the phenomenon of political tourism to totalitarian countries by high-minded residents of free Western societies. Hollander briefly observes in the preface that “the pilgrimages to the Soviet Union are a thing of the »

Bernie Sanders’s party line apology for communist dictatorships

Featured image Fifty years ago in leftist circles, communist sympathizers like me could take one of two lines on Joseph Stalin. We could condemn Stalin and say he betrayed the communist revolution or we could spout the following: “Stalin did some good things and some bad things. He should be criticized for the bad things and praised for the good ones.” I tried out the second line — the party line — »

Why did Sanders cling to failing communist regimes decades longer than other leftists?

Featured image I think it was in the summer of 1962 that our family stayed with my father’s brother and his family in Brooklyn. I had a cousin who was a year or two older than I was and, being a New Yorker, probably five years older in sophistication years. During the visit, my cousin, age 14 or 15 going on 20, extolled the virtues of Fidel Castro. I was skeptical, but »