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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

For 'progressives'

A review in the October New Criterion "Into the whirlwind" by Daniel Mahoney (reg. required) of From the Gulag to the Killing Fields: Personal Accounts of Political Violence and Repression in Communist States edited by Paul Hollander (a Publisher's Book Pick in our Sept. 11, '05 issue). Here's a review excerpt:

Rooted in what Hollander suggestively calls the “violence of higher purpose,” the misdeeds of Communism do indeed get something of a free pass in “advanced” intellectual circles. It is certainly the case that the record is available for all those who wish to know it. Many had hoped, and even expected, that a broader public and scholarly recognition of the Soviet Union as a practitioner of state violence and repression on a truly unprecedented scale would follow the fall of Communism and would lead to its permanent discrediting. This has not come to pass. Instead, in academic circles, Communist regimes are often presented as having engaged in flawed but legitimate attempts at promoting rapid economic modernization and greater social equity...

If this book has a single lesson, it is that “progress” justifies nothing. From the abstract “love of humanity” flows limitless contempt for actual human beings. In the powerful words of Yakovlev: “What gives one group of people the right to sentence to death civil society, or popular custom centuries in the making?”

Posted by Kevin Steel on October 11, 2006 in Books | Permalink


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What are ends for if not to justify the means?

Seriously, everyone thinks their ends, their views are superior to those of others. If they truly are superior it can be proven by persuasion and force becomes unnecessary.

The reason why the communists required force to bring people under the thrall of their conviction is because communism runs contrary to human nature itself and none can be persuaded of it's efficacy but those who would like to be the ones applying the force to take what is not theirs from the people who created and earned it.

Posted by: Speller | 2006-10-11 11:20:26 AM


Compassion at the point of a gun?

Say it ain't so.

Say it's not what our children are being taught in the halls of indoctrination.

Posted by: Set you free | 2006-10-11 11:36:49 AM

I teach and find it hilarious that when I sit at the back of the classroom, where the kids can't see me, they seem to think that I can't see them, either. Then the talk begins...

For some reason the Leftists seem to think along the same lines. Their "reasoning" seems to be that "If I see no evil and hear no evil, because I'm covering my eyes and my ears, then, obviously, nothing evil is happening." This is not hilarious. It is reprehensible.

It's actually unbelievable that our chattering classes and elites still pretend that the Communist system advanced social equity and econonomic modernization, when we now know--and have for a long, long time--what actually took place in the Soviet Gulag and in other Communist regimes. That the Leftists continue with the see-no-evil, hear-no-evil charade is totally unacceptable and, yet, we seem to be stuck with it.

Will this new book, edited by Paul Hollander, help set the record straight? One can only live in hope.

Posted by: 'been around the block | 2006-10-11 5:19:13 PM

I agree that one can only hope, but I must admit I haven't much hope left when it comes to the Lefties coming to terms with truth and reality. The millions of innocent victims slaughtered by these regimes have never been a secret, but Western Lefties have done everything to hide and deny it. Russia today is every bit a totalitarian as it was under the Soviet Union and China inspite of her economic boom thanks to the West has never changed in its treatment of her citizens. Yet our Western governments discuss the benefits of talking and negotiating with these "said allies". Mind you they carry on the same stupidity concerning several Muslim regimes such as Saudi Arabie, etc., that are just as repressive and for whom human rights are totally foreign.

With such mushy thinking along with the internal rot from our home-grown Lefties, I frankly do not see much hope for Western democracies. Yet how I wish and hope to be wrong on this.

Posted by: Alain | 2006-10-11 9:54:11 PM

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