I will apologize in advance for the horrific images in this documentary. Well, on second thought, perhaps I won't. We need to realize, understand, and digest the truth about our once and future ally, and moreover, the philosophy behind its actions.
From the film's producers comes a brief synopsis:
The film tells the story of the Soviet regime.
- The Great Famine in Ukraine (1932/33)
- The Katyn massacre (1940)
- The SS-KGB partnership [in the late 1930s the KGB was called NKVD (more info)
- Soviet mass deportations
- Medical experiments in the GULAG.
These are just a few of the subjects covered in the film.
“The Soviet Story” also discusses the impact of the Soviet legacy on modern day Europe. Listen to experts and European MPs discussing the implications of a selective attitude towards mass murder; and meet a woman describing the burial of her new born son in a GULAG concentration camp.
The Soviet Story is a story of pain, injustice and “realpolitik”.
In other words, the USSR and Nazi Germany were only a hair's-breadth apart in their thinking. The Soviets persecuted anyone they thought disagreed with them, and the Nazis, anyone who was part of a group they disagreed with, Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, Catholics, etc. Stalin provided tremendous aid to Germany in the early part of World War II, enabling Hitler to proceed with his plans of domination of Europe. Stalin hoped to step in and pick up the pieces after Hitler paved the way. In their own right, the Stalinist Soviets murdered 20,000,000 of their own citizens, generally in most horrible ways.
Sadly, modern Russian leaders aren't so terribly far removed from this mentality, and there are still many in Europe who think Marx and Engles had it right (pun intended), that if only the inferior folks who are incapable of understanding what they were trying to accomplish were eliminated, a whole new era, a new race of human, would be forthcoming.
From Dr. Sanity:
Human nature is what it is. This is not tragic, it is simple truth.
When it comes to understanding human nature, the left and their do-gooder utopian fantasies get failing
marksMarx. They have a persistent biological fantasy that human nature is 'perfectable'; and that by some magical means, the implementation of their 'perfect' ideology will force people to behave in some 'perfect' fashion. Their delusional biological and psychological hallucinations about human nature always end in misery, suffering and death for large numbers of imperfect homo sapiens wherever it is implemented. No matter how many times this happens, the die-hard Marxists, communists, ocialists and all their variants and heirs keep trying force humans into some "ideal" state.
All their attempts and systems failed the real-world tests in the last century; and all current versions of these ideologies will also eventually fail and fade away (even Obama's). To the extent that they attempt to incorporate some aspects of "human nature" into their failing system, they may last a bit longer (e.g., China); but it is much more likely that human nature will transform the ideology than the reverse.
The one good thing about Marx's motivations is that, from all I have read about him, he genuinely thought of himself as a "humanist" who wanted to free the human spirit with his theories. Unfortunately, he never fully appreciated how his theories would be used to enslave the human mind (or, perhaps he had a some sense of the evil he had unleashed when he exclaimed later in his life, "I am NOT a Marxist!") Like his heirs today, he meant well.
Too bad, so sad that his 'good' intentions have caused so much fanatical revolutionary fervor and so much death and oppression.
So, what's the relevance to us today? Dr. Sanity continues:
These rich 'cultural Marxists' identify themselves as Democrats because it is just so cool and hip--and virtuous--to champion the 'poor and oppressed.' How unfortunate for them that this virtuousness requires them to nurture and maintain a never-ending supply of the 'poor and oppressed'; and to encourage and support victimhood and entitlement.
The truth is that the poor who are not brainwashed by this victimhood/oppression BS, aspire to the middle class and want to be free to improve their lives and those of their children. Most normal people don't want endless handouts, bailouts or pity. Nor do they want to be the recipient of some do-gooder's endless charity when it is based on the assumption that they are somehow inferior or defective and can't possibly be successful without being perpetually 'championed'. Funny, isn't it, that in spite of all the billions of dollars spent on the poor, it only seems to perpetuate their poverty? The old saying, "“Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime" comes to mind; but the last thing that the left or Democrats; or Marxists really want is for the poor to become independent of their virtuous and compassionate largesse.
. . .Here is where the Marxist garbage of "oppressor vs oppressed" has had the most impact on American society. Having been taught from kindergarden on that capitalism is a zero-sum game (and by definition, evil) many Americans have difficulty in thinking of resources or wealth as ever-expanding, and tend to think that someone else's gain must be their loss. If you have only two choices--to be either an "oppressor" or one of the "oppressed", most people would generally prefer the latter because it means they must be nicer people.
This kind of thinking inevitably leads to envy, and a cult of victimhood with all the associated social and political conflicts those emotions generate. Envy, in particular, is the lovely human emotion that drives all socialist systems; and it exists in pure, unadulterated and vicious form in those systems.
And, in answer to the unspoken question, yes; capitalism also thrives on envy--and even greed.
But, capitalism within a democratic and politically free system of government offers a healthy channel for the redirection of negative emotions like envy and greed into something positive for both the individual and the larger society.
Something, I might add, that Marxism, socialism and all its malignant variants completely fail to do. You cannot escape the reality of this dark side of human nature. You can either channel that dark side and use it constructively to benefit the individual and incidentally the society he lives in; or you can encourage and facilitate it in all its destructive power, and by doing so create the hell on earth we've come to associate with communist and marxist societies.
The Socialist/Communist model simply doesn't work. It never has, and it never will. There are still many who think it could work, if only the right folks (themselves, of course) were in charge. I'll get a lot of grief for this one, but I firmly believe that many of the people in high offices in the US believed just that. By the Grace of God, I'm hoping we are on our way back from that wilderness.
I've quoted this passage from Jacob Bronowski before, and it is apropos here as well:
I've quoted this passage from Jacob Bronowski before, and it is apropos here as well:
It is said that science will dehumanize people and turn them into numbers. That is false: tragically false. Look for yourself. This is the concentration camp and crematorium at Auschwitz. This is where people were turned into numbers. Into this pond were flushed the ashes of four million people. And that was not done by gas. It was done by arrogance. It was done by dogma. It was done by ignorance. When people believe that they have absolute knowledge, with no test in reality--this is how they behave. This is what men do when they aspire to the knowledge of gods. Science is a very human form of knowledge. We are always at the brink of the known; we always feel forward for what is to be hoped. Every judgment in science stands on the edge of error, and is personal. Science is a tribute to what we can know although we are fallible. In the end, the words were said by Oliver Cromwell: "I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ: Think it possible you may be mistaken." We have to cure ourselves of the itch for absolute knowledge and power. We have to close the distance between the push-button order and the human act. We have to touch people.
Think about it. Which side of the political debate constantly calls members of the other "stupid"?
None of us possess the Absolute Knowledge Bronowski spoke of, and none of us can be absolutely correct, not the Right, not the Left, not the Church, Judaism, or Islam. It is when we dare to believe that we do posess the knowledge of the gods that we give ourselves the power to do the unthinkable. To kill so as to "purify". To steal so as to "give". To taunt so as to dominate.
Let 2011 be the year we touch people. Gently.
(Hat tip to Dr. Sanity.)