Sickle=Swastika Meme Spreading...

First Harvard, now Canada. The Sickle=Swastika meme is spreading.

It is truly one of the strangest distortions of our times, this selective myopia concerning the legacy of Soviet-style communism. Perhaps the most incisive analysis of this phenomenon comes to us in Applebaum's aforementioned study of the Soviet system of exile and labour camps, Gulag.

Applebaum examines the strange mix of idealism and selective memory that gives rise to what amounts to a collective apologia for among the worst crimes of the 20th century. She recounts, for instance, a conversation with the current lord mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, known affectionately among his constituents as "Red Ken" for his dalliances with pure laine socialism. Livingstone patiently explains that, while it is appropriate to describe the Nazis as "evil," one must understand that the Soviet Union was, by contrast, "deformed."

"That view," writes Applebaum, "echoes the feeling that many people have, even those who are not old-fashioned left wingers: the Soviet Union simply went wrong somehow, but it was not fundamentally wrong in the way that Hitler's Germany was wrong."

In other words, the teleology of a classless society based on the principle "to each according to their need from each according to their ability" mitigates the most heinous crimes, whereas Nazi Germany's race-based ideology does not...

"The notion that some types of people are superior to other types of people was common enough in Europe," writes Applebaum. "Both regimes legitimated themselves, in part, by establishing categories of `enemies' or `sub humans' whom they persecuted or destroyed on a mass scale."

For the Nazis, this began with the crippled and the retarded and moved on to gypsies, homosexuals and, above all, the Jews. And the Soviets? At different times, Stalin systematically persecuted Poles, Chechens, Tartars, and, on the eve of his death, Jews.

In the end, Applebaum draws a fine and chilling distinction between the two systems, both on the basis of intent and result. Whereas the Nazi concentration camps were designed specifically to eradicate the Jews and other "undesirables" from Europe, the gulag prisoners were exploited for economic ends.

"They were, to use Marxist language, exploited, reified, and commodified. Unless they were productive, their lives were worthless to their masters." From each according to his ability to each according to their need, indeed.

[via The Balko]

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Without the sheer luck of us

Without the sheer luck of us being located next to the biggest capitalist powerhouse on earth, this place(Kanadastan) would be EXACTLY like one of the 'stans. EXACTLY. 9 out of 10 people in this country are IN FACT left of what you consider socialists. it also explains their fantasies about Cuba and why its such a hot spot for the air heads of the left, which again is over 75% of the population. Talk to anyone on the street, they have absolutely no opinion on Stalin, but they are repulsed by Hitler. ?????:neutral: if you think libertarians are wasting thier time in politics in the US, whewwww the Kanadian Libertarian Party is definitely a NO GO here. You'd be physically assaulted immeadiatly and every time you appeared on 'CommieVision' they'd play minor chords behind a grossly over contrasted picture of you, supered over a swastika. you might laugh, but thats what they do now! when anyone has the nuts to suggest that socialism is slowly killing this country.