Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Ooh, how refreshingly...retro

From the always entertaining Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) blog ("Welcome to the CPGB-ML's weblog. We are for communism and against imperialism." is the cheery heading), an excerpt from a speech by one Joti Brar this year on the anniversary of the October Revolution. It provides a rare example to read the words of a modern day, unrepentant Stalinist:

Stalin’s name is a swear word; you can’t use it, it’s synonymous with fear and loss of liberty, with the evil KGB, and with a Big Brother culture, so that even those who’d understood in theory that yes, socialism is a good thing, and think that probably what happened in the Soviet Union might have been alright, they couldn’t find the enthusiasm, they couldn’t overcome this barrage of propaganda that had been instilled into them – all this prejudice – to find out for themselves, and to actually stand up proudly and say ‘You know what? This is nonsense! This is not the truth about socialism; this is not the truth about the Soviet Union.’

But we do need to understand the significance of the Soviet Union. We need to read works of literature produced in the Soviet Union. They bring to life life under socialism like nothing else can. And we should read books about the years when socialism was being constructed in the Soviet Union. Novels like How the Steel Was Tempered by Nikolai Ostrovsky, The Zhurbins, Ivan Ivanovich, or books like Soviet Democracy or The Stalin Era; books that describe the life of ordinary people at a time when the Soviet Union was going from strength to strength.

From the time of the revolution up until the time of Stalin’s death, if you read these works of literature, if you read the works of eye witnesses, [you find out that] the Soviet Union was the most incredible place to live, and the Soviet novels illustrate really beautifully how socialism can unlock the tremendous creative powers of working people, imbue them with a spirit of enthusiasm for their work and with a feeling that they really can achieve anything that they put their minds to.

And later there is praise for the wonderfully enlightened North Korean administration. On the grounds that there are no adverts there!

Like the Soviet Union before it, if you go to the DPRK today, something that hits people when they go there (and I’m sorry to say I never have yet, but it’s something that’s always related to me when I talk to people who have been) is that there are no advertisements on the streets. Can you imagine a life free from that bombardment of rubbish?

Well, it's a life free from liberty and enough to eat too, of course, but hey-ho, swings and roundabouts I suppose.

At a time when the glamorous parts of the far Left (if that's not an oxymoron), like Galloway and the SWP, have, unforgivably, embraced the grim, racist, communalist politics of Islamism and anti-Semitism, it is really quite cheering to come across a good old fashioned Communist.

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