Monday evening I received this email:
“right now on lbc a white English journalist is slagging off Churchill as a racist while Indians and a Windrush descendant are calling in to defend Churchill and saying he is a patriot and that they too love this country … What on earth has happened to white British educated people???”
Good question – to which many of us here know the answer: a brainwashing in Cultural Marxism that has gone on for two generations in our schools.
On that same day there was a report on Breitbart that astronaut Scott Kelly apologised on Twitter for having tweeted a Churchill quote with which he meant to shame Republicans over the Kavanaugh nomination. It seems that thanks to social media the slagging-off of historical giants now crosses the ocean from over there to over here in no time at all – the point being that some of our ‘social justice warriors’ don’t want to look weak and feeble in the eyes of their overseas comrades when it comes to the latest fashion in virtue signalling.
But there’s more to it than just that.
There are, for example, the more and more undisguised cravings of a large group of our younger generation for undiluted socialism, with Corbyn their preferred prophet. Evidence that socialism doesn’t work simply doesn’t come into it, else the gruesome example of what happens in Venezuela might have provided some food for thought, given that ‘history’ is uncool and these kids probably only just recognise the word ‘Stalin’ but have no idea what this meant in real life.
There is also the spectacle of the lefty-Antifa demos which grace our screens at every opportunity. Just watching them shows that there are obvious ‘performers’ in the front row. The experience of our colleagues in Bath has demonstrated this, admittedly in a very small way, to my satisfaction.
But what has all that got to do with books?
A personal experience will illustrate this: like many of my generation growing up in the 1960s, I was enthralled by the seeming righteousness of socialism and communism. Yes, I was one of those described by Churchill as having a heart at that age. Well, you know where I’ve ended up now, so obviously I did find my brains eventually… not least thanks to some books.
In the early 1970s, one Soviet writer, one of his works, detonated like a bombshell over the intellectual heads of us dreamy so-called ‘socialists’, dupes that we were. It detonated all over the Western world. He was subsequently expelled from the Soviet Union. I am of course speaking of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and his book “The GULAG Archipelago”. His book changed the way many Lefties across the Western world, especially the younger ones like myself, started to look at the then mighty Soviet Union, and it certainly changed the way I thought about socialism. It’s not too far-fetched to claim that it was the main impetus for the way to Perestroika and the eventual fall of the Soviet Union.
Let me note in passing that it is astonishing that this whole part of the history of the world is seemingly written out of our discourse and now totally swamped by the Russia-bashing in our MSM and governments – a bashing as bad as in the times of the Cold war. Mind you – the techniques of the then official way to daub everyone dissenting from the governments’ line of seeing a red under every bed has now been successfully adopted by the Matriarchat who sees a rapist in every man and who demands that the basic tenet of our Common Law, of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ should no longer apply to men.
It is also interesting to note that it’s now nearly impossible to get Solzhenitsyn’s books. If you have kept your original publications of nearly 40 years ago, you’ll remember that the “GULAG Archipelago” consisted of three thick volumes. You cannot get those any longer, but you can still get this abridged version:
The Gulag Archipelago [Abridged] (Harvill Press Editions) Paperback – 30 Jan 2003 by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
It may not have quite the impact the detailed, long-winded original has, but it is still miles better than modern attempts at rewriting this darkest chapter in humanities’ history. The access to Soviet archives may have added a few more data but it certainly lacks the immediacy of Solzhenitsyn’s work who, after all, wrote from his own experience, adding the many stories he was told by his co-prisoners. There simply is nothing like it and has not been, the many biographies form fellow sufferers notwithstanding.
So – this book matters more than most because it shows in gruesome detail not just how Stalin and indeed Lenin before him created the success of the Soviet Union on the blood and bones of millions of their peoples. Far more importantly, Solzhenitsyn documents that socialism, as created in the Soviet Union, could not have functioned without the GULAG and that this system of political slavery is inherent in socialism.
We can see this not just in the case of Venezuela where people are fleeing into the neighbouring countries – something the Cubans, being on a island, could only do under great danger – we see it in the more and more rabid utterances of certain parts of Labour, especially those engaged on social media. The same mental attitude of ‘crushing the enemy’ is deployed, so far without consequences to the freedom of those being attacked. We see it in the proliferation of ‘hate crimes’ on which the police now spends more time than on real crime.
This is something Solzhenitsyn has remarked upon: for the ‘socialists’, the soviets, the criminal classes were ‘one of us’, just misguided, needing a bit of punishment but generally deemed to be on the ‘right side of history’. The ‘politicals’, that is the dissidents, were the true enemy, their dissent worthy of death. How is that different from today where, in the minds of our brainwashed lefties thought crime is more heinous than burglary, robbery, rape and acid attacks in broad daylight on our streets?
If you can get your hands on that book – read it! And if you can actually make one of the social justice warriors in your vicinity read it (a hard task, I know) then you are on the way to help eradicate the poison that is cultural marxism.
[Picture credit: The leaflet designed by by Mikhail Makarenko; Макаренко М.Я. листовка для освещения проблемы ГУЛАГ в СССР]