Communism

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 »

The 15-Minute Video Book of Bernie

Featured image The good folks at ReasonTV put together this 15-minute highlight reel of Bernie Sanders’s greatest socialist hits, and I expect we’ll see parts of this rolled out by other campaigns—especially Bloomberg but ultimately Trump’s campaign—if Bernie does well in the early primaries. Worth it alone for the quote at the very beginning on the virtue of food lines in socialist countries. That one quote alone ought to kill Bernie’s campaign »

The Fall of the Wall, 30 Years Later

Featured image The fall of the Berlin Wall on this day 30 years ago was the most spectacular moment of the end of the Cold War, but in fact only represented the mid-point in the “last sad chapter” of this bizarre story, as Ronald Reagan once put it.  The occasion of remembering the last day of the Wall is a fitting time to recall the broader sweep of events that surrounded it. »

Bukovsky’s dissent

Featured image Vladimir Bukovsky died this past Sunday at his home in Cambridge (UK) at the age of 76. The New York Times obituary is here; the brief AP obituary is here. The Vladimir Bukovsky site has much more. Bukovsky was of course the incredibly brave dissident who spent 12 years in prisons, psychiatric hospitals, and labor camps before his expulsion from the Soviet Union in 1976. His memoir — To Build »

Kowtowing, South Park style

Featured image Britain’s Guardian reports on South Park’s mock apology to China in response to the regime’s censorship. The Guardian notes that the South Park crew has stepped up to show the NBA how it’s done: “South Park’s creators posted a statement on Twitter under the headline: “Official apology to China from Trey Parker and Matt Stone, which said: ‘Like the NBA, we welcome the Chinese censors into our homes and into »

Leninthink

Featured image I recently drew the attention of Power Line readers to Professor Gary Saul Morson’s essay “How the great truth dawned.” It leads off the September issue of The New Criterion. Beginning and ending with Solzhenitsyn, it 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 »

Socialism In Action

Featured image Violence continues in Hong Kong, as the Communist government continues to suppress popular demonstrations against Hong Kong’s loss of independence and freedom. This video gives a graphic sense of what is going on–a police riot. It is hard to disagree with Kyle Kashuv’s observation: “This is what real fascism looks like–the Communist Party of China.” Dear Antifa, This is what real fascism looks like — the Communist Party of China.pic.twitter.com/M1bKWOfViv »

Annals of Leftist Despair

Featured image You want to know how bad things are for leftists right now? In Berkeley, leftists are so despondent over the Trump Tyranny that they’re even giving up on the Soviet Union. Today, strolling through the streets of Berkeley after my mid-day class ended, I picked up this book on a free book table near a lefty bookstore—free!: Just imagine how bad things must be that you’d part with such a treasure, »

Herbert Meyer, RIP

Featured image Very sad news this evening of the passing of Herbert Meyer, one of the genuine heroes of the Cold War for his service in the CIA under President Reagan. It was Meyer who, in a famous memo to Reagan in November 1983 when things were very tense with our intermediate-range missile deployments in Europe, wrote: “if present trends continue, we are going to win the Cold War.” Over eight vivid »

Politics on South Street

Featured image Turner Classic Movies has a show called “Noir Alley.” It airs around midnight on Saturday/Sunday. The show presents movies from the film noir genre. Some are classics, many are quite good, and nearly all are worth watching. Eddie Muller hosts “Noir Alley.” He deserves great credit for presenting these films, some of which he helped restore, to television audiences and at film festivals. Muller also provides useful and sometimes fascinating »

Bernie’s Soviet honeymoon

Featured image The Washington Post runs a worthwhile account of Bernie Sanders’ 1988 honeymoon in the Soviet Union. The Post claims that this event is “little understood.” However, the article confirms, albeit sheepishly, what I take to be the common understanding of Bernie’s honeymoon: Sanders went because he had an affinity for the Soviet Union and left finding much to admire about it. The Post dances around what is perhaps the most »

The ideologue who wrote the textbook calling Trump and his supporters “racists”

Featured image Yesterday, I wrote about the AP U.S. History textbook By the People that calls President Trump and his core supporters “racists” and suggests that the president is “mentally unstable.” Today, I want to write about James W. Fraser, the author of this egregiously biased left-wing book. Stanley Kurtz blew the whistle on Fraser a year ago. Rereading Stanley’s piece made my blood boil, just as it was simmering down. Fraser »