This entire year, I’ve been a vagabond, but you, too, have been on a journey, away from just about everything you’ve known, into the vaguest of futures, and we’re just getting started. Steered by obscured hands, we’re whipped around blind bends, towards a reality we have no part in shaping.
Yesterday, my friend Chuck Orloski emailed me photos of Fiddler’s, a bar in Larksville, PA (pop. 4,400). They depict normal folks, men and women from roughly 30 to 65-years-old, sitting next to each other, each with a glass or bottle of beer. There’s a ketchup squeeze bottle as well, so at least hotdogs are served. With a bag of potato chips, it’s a fine meal.
Chuck and I have sat in many bars like Fiddler’s. It’s where guys like Johnny the Hat or Johnny AC go after work to reward and gather themselves. It’s where they drop in after dinner to banter, brood, listen to all those old songs, again and again, or stare at balls and strikes. If they’re retired or just unemployed, they can show up minutes after breakfast. Of course, no one goes to faggoty concerts, operas or art galleries, but even ballgames have become way too expensive.
“So bars in Scranton are operating normally now?” I asked Chuck.
“No. Have not seen any Scranton bars open like that. Fiddler’s is in a small town, Larksville, near Wilkes Barre. Was like being on another planet, Linh.”
Now, just having a beer in a neighborhood dive is “like being on another planet”! Looking more closely, I notice no one is smiling in Fiddler’s. All fifteen faces are blank or even grim, and who can blame them? How many have lost their jobs? How many can no longer pay for groceries and must rely on food banks or soup kitchens, like Chuck himself? How many have skipped several months’ rents and are facing eviction?
Soon enough, you may have to hit actual roads, just to eat, a nation of juked and jived Joads.
During the last Depression, thousands of Americans were desperate enough to sail all the way to Stalin’s Soviet Union. Though many were Communists or at least left-leaning, most were just economic migrants, with some arriving only on short-term contracts. These distinctions didn’t really matter. Most would be killed, either with a bullet to the back of the head or from overwork in gulags. With the conniving yet bumbling FDR as Stalin’s chum, these hapless Yanks got no help from their government.
Thanks to an Unz commenter, mark tapley, I found out about Tim Tzouliadis’ The Forsaken. Scrupulously researched and beautifully written, it’s 364 pages of harrowing yet mesmerizing reading, and entirely relevant to our times. Most instructively, Tzouliadis highlights the moral dimension of each character, from world figures to the forsaken and practically erased, even now.
Tzouliadis’ important book was completely ignored by the Washington Post and New York Times, etc., but it’s no surprise, really, for the red tinted Paper of Record has just run a remarkably bloodless, wistful and even optimistic series on Communism, The Red Century. Since there were a few unfortunate snags the first time around, let’s do it again, but more political correctly. It’s time for a Red redux!
Invited writer Kristen R. Ghodsee tells us, “Some might remember that Eastern bloc women enjoyed many rights and privileges unknown in liberal democracies at the time, including major state investments in their education and training, their full incorporation into the labor force, generous maternity leave allowances and guaranteed free child care. But there’s one advantage that has received little attention: Women under Communism enjoyed more sexual pleasure.”
Yuri Slezkine spins hammer and sickle childrearing, “The Bolsheviks never worried much about the family, never policed the home, and never connected the domestic rites of passage–childbirth, marriage and death–to their sociology and political economy […] Even at the height of fear and suspicion, when anyone connected to the outside world might be subject to sacrificial murder, Soviet readers were expected to learn from Dante, Shakespeare and Cervantes.”
Never policed the home?! What about all those Soviet kids who were brainwashed and hectored into denouncing their parents as enemies of the people? For accusing his peasant father of hoarding grain, 14-year-old Pavlik Morozov became a Soviet hero whose statues littered the Russian landscape.
Andrew Gittlitz concludes his piece, “‘Make it So’: ‘Star Trek’ and Its Debt to Revolutionary Socialism,” with a “revolutionary ultimatum” from Rosa Luxemburg, “socialism or barbarism,” and that’s pretty much the New York Times’ stance as well. There’s only one correct way forward!
Even with 85 to 100 million victims, Communism remains au courant, especially among the sophomoric, ahistorical and, well, Jews, so if you even dare to cite those unfathomably ghastly figures, you must be a Nazi or something.
With its absolute moral righteousness, us-against-them mentality and incitement to violence in the name of global justice, it attracts the worst kind of busybody fanatics. Cloaking their boundless hatred, anger and resentment with feel-good buzzwords, they can go on an invigorating offensive against accused bourgeoisies, kulaks, reactionaries, Fascists, spies, wreckers, diversonists and deplorables, ad infinitum. Since there will always be those who resist their suffocating orthodoxy, if only by a hair, they will never run out of enemies.
By 1937, Soviet Russia has already disappeared 17 million souls. Tzouliadis, “According to a report from Mech, a Russian-language weekly published in Poland, the  census declared a population total of 159 million, instead of the projected 176, amounting to 17 million people who had disappeared […] Stalin reacted to the news by having the hapless statisticians shot. A new census was ordered whose experts learned from their predecessors’ mistakes and wisely presented the ‘correct’ set of results. Years later a secret report ordered by Nikita Khrushchev revealed that between 1935 and 1941, the NKVD arrested more than 19 million citizens.”
At the beginning of the 1930’s, however, no one could foresee this impending carnage, so thousands rushed to the Socialist Paradise. “In the first eight months of 1931 alone, Amtorg—the Soviet trade agency based in New York—received more than one hundred thousand American applications for emigration to the USSR.” As the country collapsed, like right now, citizen
Article from LewRockwell