The Liberal Love Affair with Communists and Dictators

 

030413-sports-dennis-rodman-visits-north-korea-Kim-Jong-Un-powerIn response to Ricochet member Mark’s post about the failure of President Obama’s Cuba policyTitus Techera, who is Romanian, left a comment that too few people born and raised in Western democracies will fully understand:

I was a bouncing baby boy when the communist tyrant was assassinated. I’m not sure it would have happened without Reagan and his foreign policy. Maybe the USSR was bound to collapse. But when? I am assured by the free-market devotees that it was born dead. What an attitude … So many people were cursed to live that death. My young miss told me the other day about how Americans go as tourists to Cuba, then go online and complain about the amenities. … We had a strange moment, again. Will no one understand what fate awaited us? Into what fate our parents were born? I’m not expecting world peace, but ridding Cuba of its communist tyrants is long overdue, and a permanent sign of American shame, of the cowardice of Kennedy and his followers.

Now, I myself understand a bit about communists, although not from first-hand experience; the first four years of my life don’t count. What I know was passed down through my own family. My family endured two consecutive communist regimes. The first was Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge, followed by the Vietnamese-installed regime in Cambodia. The second was a paradise compared to the first, but it was nothing cheery to talk about, either. My grandfather did his undergraduate studies in China in the 1950s, slightly before the Great Leap Forward. He used to tell stories about his time there. He had next to nothing good to say about China under Mao. My family said the same about the Soviet Union: My uncle and a distant relative did their studies in Tashkent in the 1980s. They pretty much confirmed to me that communism only produces misery, suffering, and death. This is why it’s so infuriating for me to see people who were born into a freedom they take for granted gallivanting around with dictators and old commies.

What is it about communists and dictators that gets western liberals so hot under the collar? The countless deaths? The starvation? It’s happening right now in North Korea, but Dennis Rodman has a glowing view of Kim Jong-un. The whole country is a death camp, but the New York Philharmonic thought nothing of it when they went on a grand tour of Pyongyang in 2008. Thomas Friedman writes love letters to the ChiComs every other day. Sean Penn lost a friend he was blessed to have when Venezuelan president-for-life Hugo Chavez died. How many people have been killed, tortured, and imprisoned by Castro and the butcher Che Guevara? But Michael Moore thinks the Castro brothers are generous dictators. The Democrats are having a love affair with a presidential candidate who honeymooned in the Soviet Union. Anita Dunn, President Obama’s former communication director, says Mao Zedong is one of her two favorite political philosophers I don’t want to know who her other favorite is.

Why do liberals remain enamored with communists and dictators? What would it take to end this love affair?

Published in General
Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 102 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Lidens Cheng:Why do liberals remain enamored with communists and dictators? What would it take to end this love affair?

    Lidens, your criticism of both is sound, but two things:

    • Local (as opposed to foreign liberal) support for Marxist parties is real, and stems from the failure of systems and states.  China was a hell hole before Mao, full of starving people.  Russia was a hell hole before Lenin.  And that’s why the Maoists in Nepal (and in Eastern India) enjoy some [you may well argue misguided] support.  Marxism only appeals where Capitalism is perceived to have failed.  I think that’s what Liberals respond to – though the NY Philharmonic (?) touring Pyongyang truly horrifies me.
    • While the Right holds up people like Sisi as exemplars of Democratic reform, it’s a bit like sitting in a glass house and throwing stones.  jmho.
    • #31
  2. hokiecon Inactive
    hokiecon
    @hokiecon

    Zafar: Marxism only appeals where Capitalism is perceived to have failed.

    Most of the college kids I know advocating socialism and the progressive virtues of, you know reporting “hate speech”, almost never have any engaging conversations with anyone older than themselves. When I was a stupid, naive undergraduate who toyed with socialism, or at least, was skeptical of capitalism, I got these ideas from spoiled children—usually from Northern Virginia—who themselves have hugely benefited from a free market system, and were bemused by their lives of privilege and wealth. I take it they were perhaps feeling guilty with their unearned privilege as Americans hailing from one of the wealthiest corners of the US, the greatest country on earth, and saw Leftism is a way to atone for it.

    It took me a while to come around and realize that socialism removes free will and instead, relies on force to accomplish its ends: “to each according to his ability; from each according to his need.” It really is a sick philosophy. I don’t care how Bernie spins it. And there’s nothing democratic about robbing Peter to pay Paul. Socialist punks in college nowadays piss me off.

    • #32
  3. Hank Rhody Contributor
    Hank Rhody
    @HankRhody

    hokiecon: When I was a stupid, naive undergraduate who toyed with socialism, or at least, was skeptical of capitalism, I got these ideas from spoiled children—usually from Northern Virginia—who themselves have hugely benefited from a free market system, and were bemused by their lives of privilege and wealth. I take it they were perhaps feeling guilty with their unearned privilege as Americans hailing from one of the wealthiest corners of the US, the greatest country on earth, and Leftism is a way to atone for it.

    Granted, but Zafar has a point. Heinlein would say “Sure the game is rigged, but it’s the only game in town”. That’s not how people react. They don’t play a rigged game, they kick over the table.

    I think revolutions tend to be a solid indicator that something worthy of a revolution was going on. That doesn’t mean that the people usually profit by the post-revolutionary state.

    • #33
  4. St. Salieri Member
    St. Salieri
    @

    Hank Rhody:

    hokiecon: When I was a stupid, naive undergraduate who toyed with socialism, or at least, was skeptical of capitalism, I got these ideas from spoiled children—usually from Northern Virginia—who themselves have hugely benefited from a free market system, and were bemused by their lives of privilege and wealth. I take it they were perhaps feeling guilty with their unearned privilege as Americans hailing from one of the wealthiest corners of the US, the greatest country on earth, and Leftism is a way to atone for it.

    Granted, but Zafar has a point. Heinlein would say “Sure the game is rigged, but it’s the only game in town”. That’s not how people react. They don’t play a rigged game, they kick over the table.

    I think revolutions tend to be a solid indicator that something worthy of a revolution was going on. That doesn’t mean that the people usually profit by the post-revolutionary state.

    But if you study the revolutions Zafar mentioned, before things went belly up you find things were improving.  The French Revolution, The Russian, The Chinese, there was a period, usually late in the regime, in which reforms (usually only partial) and economic progress (often very badly rigged) was producing an improved situation, usually after a major disaster – it was the disaster the finally prodded these ancient regimes to reform – but then the reforms stalled or the economic growth was swamped.  Then the gloves came off, and blood flowed.

    • #34
  5. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    Regular folks were just easily propagandized, victims of the propagation of hate, an incessant drum beat of false narratives.   The people who are actually educated and enjoy a certain kind of intelligence who cling to their adolescent Marxist fantasy may not be educable.  Anyone who is still a marxist past the age of thirty is, as GBShaw said, a fool.   I try to remember what was going on in my head, if anything, when I was a political science undergraduate and thought Marxism really cool.  With one short book I could explain all history, all sociology and all economics.   I think it was a way to get through the confusion of adolescence and get some grasp on the impossible complexity of reality.   Trouble was the idea that the world was comprehensible was a real turn on and I kept learning, so the marxism was gone within a few months of graduate school, liberalism was deeply tarnished after my first job in the government, and it all vanished when I went back and did it all again in economics, but after having lived and worked in three other countries.   The point is we have to educate the people and take our schools back.  Most will accept what’s handed without question.We allowed the far left to take over our schools and most cultural institutions, weaken the family, undercut religion.  They’ve replaced Burkes “bank of nations and of ages, with a modern religion, with Hayek’s fatal conceits.

    • #35
  6. Paula Lynn Johnson Inactive
    Paula Lynn Johnson
    @PaulaLynnJohnson

    Great post.

    Lidens Cheng: Why do liberals remain enamored with communists and dictators? What would it take to end this love affair?

    I think it’s every liberal’s secret fantasy to dictate, without all the messy vote-getting and persuading and working through Congress, etc. It’s why they prefer judicial solutions and executive orders.

    Once I was moaning childishly to my mother in law about having a tough time keeping up with work, housework, the kids, etc.  She said, “Yes, life can be challenging.  I remember in Russia when we had no money for food and so I had to go sell some of my belongings at the market. Also, we had no toilet paper.” Nothing like a Russian mother in law to shut you up, fast.

    • #36
  7. Johnny Dubya Inactive
    Johnny Dubya
    @JohnnyDubya

    Years ago, I read a piece by one of our conservative pundits on this topic. I wish I could remember which one.

    The upshot of the piece was that assuming ignorance or naïveté was giving them too much credit. The view of the commentator – a view that I am beginning to hold, as well – is that they admire the communists and dictators because the strongmen actually “break eggs” when making their rancid “omelet”. They carry their convictions through to brutal and merciless action, and the liberal wannabes admire them for that and feel shame at their own inability to effect revolutionary change.

    You see the effects of this phenomenon in the actions of petty tyrants such as Missouri’s Prof. Click. “We need some muscle over here.” God help us if the radical progressives get some “muscle”.

    • #37
  8. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    I link to this on Google+ with this introduction:

    Makers and Takers.  Also known as free markets and planned economies.  Or Freedom and Slavery.  But best known, if not always well understood, as Capitalism and Socialism.
    Global trade, with no single regulatory mechanism and only voluntary rules, has slashed global poverty to unprecedented lows.  Wherever markets are free and regulation minimal, humanity flourishes.
    The wealth created draws parasites and the power-hungry, who have many rhetorical tools at their disposal, since the flourishing is never evenly distributed.  The unevenness empowers demagogues and revolutionaries under the banner of ‘fairness’.
    The ‘solution’ is always some form of forced transfer from the wealthy to the poor.  Eyes are averted from the slice the demagogues and revolutionaries take for themselves.  And as the productive environment evaporates, the level of forces rises, until the vaunted ‘fairness’ devolves to starvation and misery.
    Socialism in theory results in Rainbows and Unicorns.  Socialism in practice, demonstrated time after time by human history, results in misery, slavery, and mass murder.

    America needs to see this.  I block Facebook, so I leave distribution there to others, but please share as widely as possible.

    • #38
  9. Hank Rhody Contributor
    Hank Rhody
    @HankRhody

    St. Salieri:

    Hank Rhody:

    hokiecon: (…)

    Granted, but Zafar has a point. Heinlein would say “Sure the game is rigged, but it’s the only game in town”. That’s not how people react. They don’t play a rigged game, they kick over the table.

    I think revolutions tend to be a solid indicator that something worthy of a revolution was going on. That doesn’t mean that the people usually profit by the post-revolutionary state.

    But if you study the revolutions Zafar mentioned, before things went belly up you find things were improving. The French Revolution, The Russian, The Chinese, there was a period, usually late in the regime, in which reforms (usually only partial) and economic progress (often very badly rigged) was producing an improved situation, usually after a major disaster – it was the disaster the finally prodded these ancient regimes to reform – but then the reforms stalled or the economic growth was swamped. Then the gloves came off, and blood flowed.

    So, absent the revolution, do you think those reforms would have continued? More to the point, why should the revolutionaries expect that? They aren’t exactly known for trusting in the good will of their government.

    • #39
  10. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    St. Salieri:

    Hank Rhody:

    Granted, but Zafar has a point. Heinlein would say “Sure the game is rigged, but it’s the only game in town”. That’s not how people react. They don’t play a rigged game, they kick over the table.

    I think revolutions tend to be a solid indicator that something worthy of a revolution was going on. That doesn’t mean that the people usually profit by the post-revolutionary state.

    But if you study the revolutions Zafar mentioned, before things went belly up you find things were improving. The French Revolution, The Russian, The Chinese, there was a period, usually late in the regime, in which reforms (usually only partial) and economic progress (often very badly rigged) was producing an improved situation, usually after a major disaster – it was the disaster the finally prodded these ancient regimes to reform – but then the reforms stalled or the economic growth was swamped. Then the gloves came off, and blood flowed.

    This is very true and important to remember, but it doesn’t mean Zafar’s point isn’t correct. It was true in North America, too. People are better off, their expectations get raised, and they kick over the old regime.

    This is why it’s frustrating to read posts like “I’m pessimistic about pessimism,” in which conservatives make material well-being to be the measure of life.  It matters, but it’s a dangerous misunderstanding.

    • #40
  11. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera
    @TitusTechera

    wilber forge:In short, what do psyc evals reveal about those devoted to either branch of this think ? The previous leaders of same provide ample fodder. Yet this has continued and in large part promoted in academia to this day. The truth lies in the fact that these “Intellectuals” propose and hold themselves unaccountable for the results.

    Einstien commented on failed experiments. All of those with this mindset had a prime opportunity to test their theory, as Venezuala was a perfect petrie dish lesson. What is it about this constipated devotion that implies ” Well that would never happen me ! “.

    Maybe it should –

    Also, he was a believing socialist, so he may not have taken his empirical commitments, as schoolmen might say, all that seriously.

    • #41
  12. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera
    @TitusTechera

    The Reticulator:

    St. Salieri:

    But if you study the revolutions Zafar mentioned, before things went belly up you find things were improving. The French Revolution, The Russian, The Chinese, there was a period, usually late in the regime, in which reforms (usually only partial) and economic progress (often very badly rigged) was producing an improved situation, usually after a major disaster – it was the disaster the finally prodded these ancient regimes to reform – but then the reforms stalled or the economic growth was swamped. Then the gloves came off, and blood flowed.

    This is very true and important to remember, but it doesn’t mean Zafar’s point isn’t correct. It was true in North America, too. People are better off, their expectations get raised, and they kick over the old regime.

    This is why it’s frustrating to read posts like “I’m pessimistic about pessimism,” in which conservatives make material well-being to be the measure of life. It matters, but it’s a dangerous misunderstanding.

    Zafar is deeply mistaken about Russia. The idea that there was any support for the Soviets is a cruel joke. They only had a basis in a few cities, even in the harshest suffering of regime collapse during war. & those cities promptly were depopulated, half the population to three quarters moving to the countryside in desperation.

    As for the reforms, it is the thinking behind them that is the objective condition of the revolution; the revolutionists themselves supply the subjective condition…

    • #42
  13. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera
    @TitusTechera

    Folks, socialism is not the same thing everywhere. This kind of abstraction is not helpful for understanding politics. American kids who, as you say, have no idea what the world looks like beyond their small part of America, are not going to start a revolution or provide the excuse for someone to start it. Americans are too different from other peoples for socialism to work among you as it has or does among others.

    We make a political statement when we say: Look to where it leads–you are responsible. But this is not helpful when it comes to thinking about what’s going on with the new acceptance of socialism among your youth. It is obvious to the meanest capacity, Cold War victory is the objective condition of this phenomenon. There would be no large numbers for it were there a political danger from socialist regimes. Taking that into consideration, we can go further to see that a broad ignorance of foreign affairs, which is thoroughly un-Marxist, is typical of this new acceptance. It is then a dissatisfaction with American things that has to explain it. Above all, do not we suspect these students are just trying not to give up hope about the future? They’re faced with a country that lacks enthusiasm or a vision of the future aside from partisan anger & even hatred: These are young people, kids–it’s not their fault America is not a happy or hopeful place now. Help them out-

    • #43
  14. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    Zafar

    It’s more complicated than failed capitalism.  Indeed Russia had enjoyed a period of rapid growth, foreign investment and the old system was straining under these changes.  Cuba was booming, it was corrupt, but booming.  Argentina had reached the greatest wealth in it’s history following the commodity boom of the war, prior to Peron.  China was indeed chaotic and all centralized authority had collapsed from the Japanese invasion.  It certainly wasn’t failed capitalism.   The French Revolution reformed nothing, it was all chaos until Napoleon replaced the revolution with the first mass dictatorship.    Revolution in most of it’s forms occurs when rapid change, demographic, economic, technological erodes old institutions, makes many if not most cultural institution seem irrelevant. When we say alienated youth we are talking about youth who no longer can see their future within the cultural institutions they inherited but the unraveled old hasn’t re raveled into something recognizable coherent.  Indeed Marx got a lot of the process right as the west moved from feudalism and monarchy, into a new industrial world.  He missed a lot as well.  Indeed I’d say Marxism is a very narrow subset of Mancur Olsen’s “Logic of Collective Action”  But even that is too simple.  It’s chaos and man forms groups, builds culture to bring order to it, but it always unravels and has to re-ravel appropriately.   Dictatorships are failed attempts to bring sustainable order to chaos.  They fail because they destroy civilizations enduring building blocks.

    • #44
  15. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Great post, Lidens. I may have missed this in the comments, but from the liberals I know, I would add that they share an unwillingness to accept the ugliness of human behavior, and believe idealistically that we can perfect human beings. They would have to manage the difficult paradox that people can be ugly and it is impossible to perfect them. That along with the ugliness around us there is great beauty, and we are also flawed. These conflicts in ideas are too hard to handle, so they opt for idealism and perfectibility–they are much more satisfying and beautiful. They are also impossible. But to let go of them requires one to face ugliness and beauty, and they can’t manage that.

    • #45
  16. Larry Koler Inactive
    Larry Koler
    @LarryKoler

    Mike LaRoche:As Ronald Reagan once said, a communist is someone who reads Marx and Lenin, but an anti-communist is someone who understands Marx and Lenin.

    Wow — thanks for this. I hadn’t heard this before. I love it.

    • #46
  17. Larry Koler Inactive
    Larry Koler
    @LarryKoler

    Zafar: I had simply no idea that anyone believes that Mao was anything other than the worst mass murderer in history — how does that conflate into an improvement to the previous regime? Years ago I read a statistic that there is a 64 to 1 ratio of people being killed in the commie regime compared to the one that it replaced.

    You need to read Jung Chang’s book, Mao.

    I know you like tweaking people here but I have to ask: are you a leftist? (Maybe your comment was spoof?)

    • #47
  18. Ontheleftcoast Inactive
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    Titus Techera:Zafar is deeply mistaken about Russia. The idea that there was any support for the Soviets is a cruel joke. They only had a basis in a few cities, even in the harshest suffering of regime collapse during war. & those cities promptly were depopulated, half the population to three quarters moving to the countryside in desperation.

    As for the reforms, it is the thinking behind them that is the objective condition of the revolution; the revolutionists themselves supply the subjective condition…

    This is a very important point. The question then becomes: how did someone like Zafar, who is a man with above average knowledge of history, with life experience and a relatively sound political philosophy find himself able to believe that there was wide support for the Soviets? It can be hard to keep the propaganda that surrounds us and pollutes our vocabulary from polluting our thinking.

    We also shouldn’t underestimate the power of fashion in societies which are wealthy enough to spend a lot of energy and money on that sort of thing – which I believe to be a deeply embedded in primate nature: Monkeys would choose to see pictures of the high ranking members of their troupe rather than get a serving of a tasty juice (People Magazine, anyone?)

    Good grief. It’s been almost 46 years since Tom Wolfe’s still relevant Radical Chic: That Party at Lenny’s came out. The New York Philharmonic and the Norks, nothing new under the sun.

    • #48
  19. Ontheleftcoast Inactive
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    Susan Quinn: They would have to manage the difficult paradox that people can be ugly and it is impossible to perfect them. That along with the ugliness around us there is great beauty, and we are also flawed. These conflicts in ideas are too hard to handle, so they opt for idealism and perfectibility–they are much more satisfying and beautiful. They are also impossible. But to let go of them requires one to face ugliness and beauty, and they can’t manage that.

    Yes, except for the part that it gives “liberals” pleasure to think of doing (and some come, inevitably, to do) ugly things to stubbornly imperfect human beings foolish enough to not believe like them. In order to make them perfect of course.

    Solzhenitsyn begins Gulag Archipelago by demonstrating that the purges and the Gulag were baked into Soviet Communism from the beginning.

    It goes deep. One of the parents of an elementary schoolmate of mine was, as a child, taken to the USSR in the 1930s by his (her?) Communist parents, who soon realized that they were not in Paradise, after all. They somehow managed to get their family out in the late 1940s or thereabouts. My classmate’s parents bought a pretty successful small business; they were, IIRC, still on the Left.

    • #49
  20. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    We know a couple where the wife is Chinese. She was a military doctor. She came here around 10 years ago. Even then, it was a few years before she realized the devastation and ugliness of Mao.

    • #50
  21. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    It’s a good question how much popular support the Bolsheviks had, but they had some. Even the US Revolution was said by supporters at the time to have the support of only about one third of the population. (It may have been Adams who said so explicitly.)

    • #51
  22. Ontheleftcoast Inactive
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    The Reticulator: Even the US Revolution was said by supporters at the time to have the support of only about one third of the population.

    And that only about 10% of them were in the field against the British at any given time. There were about the same numbers of colonists on the British side as with the Revolution.

    Speaking of the Tories, Kenneth Roberts’ Oliver Wiswell is a very enjoyable historical novel of the American Revolution told from the POV of a young Loyalist. Roberts was an interesting man; according to Wikipedia,

    he enlisted in the American army for World War I, but he ended up as a lieutenant in the intelligence section of the American Expeditionary Force Siberia in the Russian Civil War instead of at the front in Europe. The contacts that he made in that role enabled him to become a European correspondent for the Saturday Evening Post after the war, where he became the first American journalist to cover the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch, Adolf Hitler’s first attempt to take power.

    • #52
  23. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    “The only problem with Stalin, Mao, and/or Castro was that they never attended Yale or Harvard.” – Hypothetical Elite Liberal

    • #53
  24. Larry Koler Inactive
    Larry Koler
    @LarryKoler

    Let’s not forget that Commies don’t just go where people need them to kick over the table. They go into healthy systems and try and undermine them. They developed a pathological hatred of the most successful democracy in the world — the U.S.A. — and they tried to undermine our success. They don’t move to help anyone — so history has shown us. They are satanic to their core — misanthropy mixed with self-hatred.

    • #54
  25. KiminWI Member
    KiminWI
    @KiminWI

    Susan Quinn: I would add that they share an unwillingness to accept the ugliness of human behavior

    At least they will not accept the ugliness of the behavior of those other humans.  It seems tribal doesn’t it?  “We do as we do because we do. You:  Do Not.”

    There is a scene in The Black Robe of an action which  is referenced earlier. There is a tribe out there in the wilderness that is known to be brutal to any captives, including cutting fingers off. And then we see them cutting fingers off. No explanation, it’s just what they do. Really there isn’t even judgement passed on it; it’s just what they do. There is no question of ugliness in your own behavior because there is only room for calling out the ugliness in others’ behavior. Leave them “other.”

    That is the danger of any stripe of totalitarian rule. The ease of casting others as less human, less evolved, less hip, less intellectual makes the impulse to justify ugliness toward them unnecessary. Then society regresses toward tribalism.

    • #55
  26. Mark Coolidge
    Mark
    @GumbyMark

    Larry Koler:Zafar: I had simply no idea that anyone believes that Mao was anything other than the worst mass murderer in history — how does that conflate into an improvement to the previous regime? Years ago I read a statistic that there is a 64 to 1 ratio of people being killed in the commie regime compared to the one that it replaced.

    You need to read Jung Chang’s book, Mao.

    I know you like tweaking people here but I have to ask: are you a leftist? (Maybe your comment was spoof?)

    The important point is that many Chinese were willing to take a chance that the communists would be an improvement, however mistaken they may have been about it.  China had very little experience with capitalism or democracy at the time, the existing regime was corrupt, and the country had seen decades of turmoil and war, both civil and external (with Japan).

    • #56
  27. Ontheleftcoast Inactive
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    Larry Koler: Let’s not forget that Commies don’t just go where people need them to kick over the table. They go into healthy systems and try and undermine them.

    “Go.” That’s one word for it. The Germans sent Lenin under diplomatic seal from Switzerland to Russia in 1917 to hamstring their enemy on the east. It worked.

    • #57
  28. Larry Koler Inactive
    Larry Koler
    @LarryKoler

    Ontheleftcoast:

    Larry Koler: Let’s not forget that Commies don’t just go where people need them to kick over the table. They go into healthy systems and try and undermine them.

    “Go.” That’s one word for it. The Germans sent Lenin under diplomatic seal from Switzerland to Russia in 1917 to hamstring their enemy on the east. It worked.

    Brilliant point and is the best example I can think of. Thanks.

    Also, it was the initiation of the whole Communist experience in the 20th century. From this evil deed came the paradigm of how to put evil dictators into place and keep them supported for a long time.

    • #58
  29. Lidens Cheng Member
    Lidens Cheng
    @LidensCheng

    Misthiocracy:“The only problem with Stalin, Mao, and/or Castro was that they never attended Yale or Harvard.” – Hypothetical Elite Liberal

    The problem with Pol Pot and his cohort was that they attended western universities.

    An old family friend went to the Sorbonne in the early 1960s, his father used to complain, “you send him to some fancy school in Europe, he comes back spewing nonsense.”

    • #59
  30. Beatrice Campbell Inactive
    Beatrice Campbell
    @BeatriceCampbell

    Lidens Cheng:

    Misthiocracy:“The only problem with Stalin, Mao, and/or Castro was that they never attended Yale or Harvard.” – Hypothetical Elite Liberal

    The problem with Pol Pot and his cohort was that they attended western universities.

    Not to mention all the Wahhabist princes. In my previous life, I was CIA :), so I firmly believe these kids are sent abroad to learn about their rivals.

    • #60
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.