Victims of Communism

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clw_uk
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Re: Victims of Communism

Post by clw_uk » Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:57 pm

What turned you around?
To be honest it's been a long journey from when I first embraced Communism in my late teens. First, the Dhamma made be turn away from Stalinism and murderous attempts at Communism. Then over the years it's been interactions with libertarians. Not to virtue signal, but I like to submit all my views to debate from those on the opposing side. Turns out their arguments were better. I then started looking into neo-classical economics, taking social-democracy more seriously and social-liberalism. What finally finished it off were events since 2016. I started seeing how authoritarian and anti-freedom the far left is and that it would always end up that way.

Now I support regulated capitalism, some measure of welfare (I'm British so I also support the NHS) but that's it. Outside of that the market should be as free as possible. In terms of social issues I'm quite libertarian now. Absolute free speech (bar calls to violence, threats etc), anti-hate speech laws, democracy, drug legalisation, legalisation of prostitution and i'm open to the idea that the State shouldn't be involved in marriage.
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Re: Victims of Communism

Post by DNS » Sun Sep 03, 2017 3:18 am

clw_uk wrote: Now I support regulated capitalism, some measure of welfare (I'm British so I also support the NHS) but that's it. Outside of that the market should be as free as possible. In terms of social issues I'm quite libertarian now. Absolute free speech (bar calls to violence, threats etc), anti-hate speech laws, democracy, drug legalisation, legalisation of prostitution and i'm open to the idea that the State shouldn't be involved in marriage.
:thumbsup: Middle way is best; center or center-right, like what you describe.

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Re: Victims of Communism

Post by clw_uk » Sun Sep 03, 2017 3:26 am

David -

From a British perspective I'd say I'm centre/centre-left, but yes you are essentially correct
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Re: Victims of Communism

Post by Buddha Vacana » Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:19 am

The thing is the notion of "center" seems to have drifted a lot over time. Today's centrists would have been yesterday's right wingers in many countries.

The history of my country is also pretty interesting. In 1939, France was defeated and occupied in a matter of weeks. After that there were basically 3 groups of people: regular people, "resistants" (who opposed the nazis and were presented as terrorists) and "collaborators" (who played along with nazis).

Unsurprisingly, working class people had much less to lose than rich industrials, so it turned out that a large majority of resistants (who formed armed militias) were working class class people and that a large number of rich business owners and industrials were collaborators. Resistants were routinely arrested and executed, not seldom tortured and arrests were not seldom made possible by fellow frenchmen from of the collaborator type.

In 1945, the resistants, still an armed militia, were to a very high proportion communists. They were hailed as heroes, while known collaborators were often publicly shamed, sometimes publicly lynched, sometimes tortured to death (such as dragged on a rope behind a vehicle).

At that time, a new government had to be created and for the first time in the history of the country, working class people, represented by resistants, had a number one seat at the table, the moral high ground and tremedous negotiation power as the oligarchy had often times been seen engaging in "collaboration" with the nazis.

The results were outstanding. They basically got everything they demanded with a communist agenda. That included:
- Strong workers' rights, specially contracts ensuring one could not be laid off without receving substantial compensation
- Strong union rights
- Massive nationalisations
-Universal health care
Etc.

These far left led social achievements did not stop the country from experiencing tremedous growth for about 30 years. Since the mid 70s, governments are slowly undoing those things, including increasingly privatizing healthcare.

These days, they want to overhaul workers' rights in the name of competitivity etc. Workers will basically have to give up a number of their rights. Interestingly, at the very same time, shareholder are shattering the records of profits made in a quarter. It is claimed by some journalists that French companies' shareholders have made the number 2 quarterly profit worldwide.

Less for the many, more for the few. Thats is why the current "centrist" Macron (who in a feat of double langage has pretended at different but not distant times both being and not being both right wing and left wing) is about as popular as Trump in the US.

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Re: Victims of Communism

Post by clw_uk » Sun Sep 03, 2017 12:49 pm

Buddha Vacana wrote:The thing is the notion of "center" seems to have drifted a lot over time. Today's centrists would have been yesterday's right wingers in many countries.

The history of my country is also pretty interesting. In 1939, France was defeated and occupied in a matter of weeks. After that there were basically 3 groups of people: regular people, "resistants" (who opposed the nazis and were presented as terrorists) and "collaborators" (who played along with nazis).

Unsurprisingly, working class people had much less to lose than rich industrials, so it turned out that a large majority of resistants (who formed armed militias) were working class class people and that a large number of rich business owners and industrials were collaborators. Resistants were routinely arrested and executed, not seldom tortured and arrests were not seldom made possible by fellow frenchmen from of the collaborator type.

In 1945, the resistants, still an armed militia, were to a very high proportion communists. They were hailed as heroes, while known collaborators were often publicly shamed, sometimes publicly lynched, sometimes tortured to death (such as dragged on a rope behind a vehicle).

At that time, a new government had to be created and for the first time in the history of the country, working class people, represented by resistants, had a number one seat at the table, the moral high ground and tremedous negotiation power as the oligarchy had often times been seen engaging in "collaboration" with the nazis.

The results were outstanding. They basically got everything they demanded with a communist agenda. That included:
- Strong workers' rights, specially contracts ensuring one could not be laid off without receving substantial compensation
- Strong union rights
- Massive nationalisations
-Universal health care
Etc.

These far left led social achievements did not stop the country from experiencing tremedous growth for about 30 years. Since the mid 70s, governments are slowly undoing those things, including increasingly privatizing healthcare.

These days, they want to overhaul workers' rights in the name of competitivity etc. Workers will basically have to give up a number of their rights. Interestingly, at the very same time, shareholder are shattering the records of profits made in a quarter. It is claimed by some journalists that French companies' shareholders have made the number 2 quarterly profit worldwide.

Less for the many, more for the few. Thats is why the current "centrist" Macron (who in a feat of double langage has pretended at different but not distant times both being and not being both right wing and left wing) is about as popular as Trump in the US.
France experienced economic growth and prosperity because those policies were social-democratic, not socialist/communist. Capitalism was still driving the economy, raising living standards etc
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Re: Victims of Communism

Post by Buddha Vacana » Sun Sep 03, 2017 2:52 pm

I'm not trying to make a case for communism. But in my country we do owe most of our social safety nets to a bunch of armed communists who were not bloodthirsty psychopaths, who actually cared for their fellowmen and knew how to strike a deal with upper class peacefully.

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Re: Victims of Communism

Post by Will » Sat Oct 28, 2017 4:11 pm

A little historical reminder of Hungary and those who escaped Communism with help from freedom loving folk, in 1956:

https://www.theepochtimes.com/the-hunga ... 29464.html
Distrust everyone in whom the impulse to punish is powerful!
Nietzsche

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Re: Victims of Communism

Post by Will » Sat Oct 28, 2017 5:44 pm

No movement has been more hostile to all forms of spirituality than Communism. For a good one volume survey of it this old classic was reissued recently - The Naked Communist by Skousen.

http://www.myfreedomlibrary.com/product ... unist.html
Distrust everyone in whom the impulse to punish is powerful!
Nietzsche

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Re: Victims of Communism

Post by Dhammanando » Sun Oct 29, 2017 2:50 pm

Another great anti-communist classic now available online...

The God that Failed, edited by Rt. Hon. Richard Crossman MP.

It consists of six essays by disillusioned former communists (Arthur Koestler, Ignazio Silone, Richard Wright, André Gide, Louis Fischer, and Stephen Spender) recounting what first attracted them to communism and what later led them to abandon it. Probably the one of greatest continuing relevance is Koestler's account of his involvement with the German CP of the 1930’s.


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Arthur Koestler wrote:We lost the fight [against the Nazi Party], because we were not fishermen, as we thought, but bait dangling from a hook. We did not realize this, because our brains had been reconditioned to accept any absurd line of action ordered from above as our innermost wish and conviction. We had refused to nominate a joint candidate with the Socialists for the Presidency, and when the Socialists backed Hindenburg as the lesser evil against Hitler, we nominated Thälmann though he had no chance whatsoever except, maybe, to split off enough proletarian votes to bring Hitler immediately into power. Our instructor gave us a lecture proving that there was no such thing as a “lesser evil,” that it was a philosophical, strategical and tactical fallacy; a Trotskyite, diversionist, liquidatorial and counter-revolutionary conception. Henceforth we had only pity and spite for those who as much as mentioned the ominous term; and, moreover, we were convinced that we had always been convinced that it was an invention of the devil. How could anybody fail to see that to have both legs amputated was better than trying to save one, and that the correct revolutionary policy was to kick the crippled Weimar Republic’s crutches away? Faith is a wondrous thing; it is not only capable of moving mountains, but also of making you believe that a herring is a race horse.

Not only our thinking, but also our vocabulary was reconditioned. Certain words were taboo —for instance “lesser evil” or “spontaneous”; the latter because “spontaneous manifestations of the revolutionary class-consciousness” was part of Trotsky’s theory of the Permanent Revolution. Other words and turns of phrase became favorite stock-in-trade. I mean not only the obvious words of Communist jargon like “the toiling masses”; but words like “concrete” or “sectarian.” (“You must put your question into a more concrete form, Comrade.” “You are adopting a Left-sectarian attitude, Comrade”); and even such abstruse words as “herostratic.” In one of his works Lenin had mentioned Herostratus, the Greek who burnt down a temple because he could think of no other way of achieving fame. Accordingly, one often heard and read phrases like “the criminally herostratic madness of the counter-revolutionary wreckers of the heroic efforts of the toiling masses in the Fatherland of the Proletariat to achieve the second Five Year Plan in four years.”

According to their vocabulary and favorite cliches, you could smell out at once people with Trotskyite, Reformist, Brandlerite, Blanquist and other deviations. And vice versa, Communists betrayed themselves by their vocabulary to the police, and later to the Gestapo. I know of one girl whom the Gestapo had picked up almost at random, without any evidence against her, and who was caught out on the word “concrete.” The Gestapo Commissar had listened to her with boredom, half-convinced that his underlings had blundered in arresting her — until she used the fatal word for the second time. The Commissar pricked his ears. “Where did you pick up that expression?” he asked. The girl, until that moment quite self-possessed, became rattled, and once rattled she was lost.

Repetitiveness of diction, the catechism technique of asking a rhetorical question and repeating the full question in the answer; the use of stereotyped adjectives and the dismissal of an attitude or fact by the simple expedient of putting words in inverted commas and giving them an ironic inflection (the “revolutionary” past of Trotsky, the “humanistic” bleatings of the “liberal” press, etc.); all these were essential parts of a style, of which Josef Djugashwili is the uncontested master, and which through its very tedium produced a dull, hypnotic effect. Two hours of this dialectical tom-tom and you didn’t know whether you were a boy or a girl, and were ready to believe either as soon as the rejected alternative appeared in inverted commas.

You were also ready to believe that the Socialists were: (a) your main enemies, (b) your natural allies; that socialist and capitalist countries: (a) could live peacefully side by side, and (b) could not live peacefully side by side; and that when Engels had written that Socialism in One Country was impossible, he had meant the exact opposite. You further learned to prove, by the method of chain-deduction, that anybody who disagreed with you was an agent of Fascism, because: (a) by his disagreeing with your line he endangered the unity of the Party; (b) by endangering the unity of the Party he improved the chances of a Fascist victory; hence (c) he acted objectively as an agent of Fascism even if subjectively he happened to have had his kidneys smashed to pulp by the Fascists in Dachau.

Generally speaking, words like “agent of...” “Democracy,” “Freedom,” etc. meant something quite different in Party usage from what they meant in general usage; and as, furthermore, even their Party meaning changed with each shift of the line, our polemical methods became rather like the croquet game of the Queen of Hearts, in which the hoops moved about the field and the balls were live hedgehogs. With this difference, that when a player missed his turn and the Queen shouted “Off with his head!” the order was executed in earnest. To survive, we all had to become virtuosos of Wonderland croquet.

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Re: Victims of Communism

Post by Will » Sun Oct 29, 2017 2:57 pm

Thank you much Bhante - I've heard of that book but never read it - now I will!
Distrust everyone in whom the impulse to punish is powerful!
Nietzsche

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Re: Victims of Communism

Post by Pseudobabble » Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:48 pm

Arthur Koestler wrote: Repetitiveness of diction, the catechism technique of asking a rhetorical question and repeating the full question in the answer; the use of stereotyped adjectives and the dismissal of an attitude or fact by the simple expedient of putting words in inverted commas and giving them an ironic inflection (the “revolutionary” past of Trotsky, the “humanistic” bleatings of the “liberal” press, etc.); all these were essential parts of a style, of which Josef Djugashwili is the uncontested master, and which through its very tedium produced a dull, hypnotic effect. Two hours of this dialectical tom-tom and you didn’t know whether you were a boy or a girl, and were ready to believe either as soon as the rejected alternative appeared in inverted commas.
Interesting, you can see this exact phenomenon (repetitiveness of diction, stereotyped language) in current leftward social activism: 'oppressive structures', 'patriarchal oppression', intersectional discourse'.



Amusingly, the effect it is having on people today was already noted by Koestler:
Two hours of this dialectical tom-tom and you didn’t know whether you were a boy or a girl, and were ready to believe either as soon as the rejected alternative appeared in inverted commas.
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

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Will
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Re: Victims of Communism

Post by Will » Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:06 pm

A dark centennial, proclaimed by President Trump:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-of ... -communism
Distrust everyone in whom the impulse to punish is powerful!
Nietzsche

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Re: Victims of Communism

Post by DooDoot » Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:17 am

Will wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:06 pm
A dark centennial, proclaimed by President Trump:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-of ... -communism
Influential Americans reportedly supported revolution in Russia, similar to American intervention to continues today on so-called grounds of "liberation". Often, people seem to think groups like the Bolsheviks & ISIS can overthrow governments but not receive financing & weapons from wealthy foreign supporters.
When you grow up, knife a Romanoff wherever you find him, loyalty to these cobras is treason to the nation; be a patriot, not a prig - set the people free... Mark Twain http://www.twainquotes.com/Revolution/revolution.html
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https://www.amazon.com/Wall-Street-Russ ... 1634241231

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Re: Victims of Communism

Post by Will » Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:41 pm

US Congress forms Caucus for Victims:

http://victimsofcommunism.org/members-o ... sm-caucus/
Distrust everyone in whom the impulse to punish is powerful!
Nietzsche

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Re: Victims of Communism

Post by DooDoot » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:32 am

DooDoot wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:17 am
https://www.amazon.com/Wall-Street-Russ ... 1634241231
I just completed reading this. Until shut down by Stalin in 1925, from the beginning of the 'revolution' in 1917, prominent US businessmen, with their political contacts, flocked to Russia doing or trying to do deals. Standard neo-colonial imperialism. This is a very well written & documented book. I highly recommend it (on Kindle). :reading: :spy:

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