Quote of the Day: The Soviet Style in the US

 

From an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on December 23, by David Satter, titled “Soviet Politics, American Style”:

When the Soviet Union fell, it seemed the Soviet attempt to impose a deluded version of reality had died with it. Francis Fukuyama, in his 1989 essay “The End of History”, said that Marxism-Leninism was doomed as an alternative to liberal democracy. I argued at the time that the drive to make a religion out of politics had not disappeared.

The Soviet style has become a reality in the U.S. Speakers are routinely canceled on ideological grounds: In July the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbour, Maine, canceled a virtual talk by Leonard Leo of the Federalist Society because of “the moment of reckoning our society is going through.” At my alma mater, the University of Chicago, the English department announced that it would “only accept applicants interested in working in and with Black Studies.”

I thought of Pavel Morozov [who turned in his Russian parents to the secret police in the 1930s] when I read a June op-ed in the New York Times by Chad Sanders, a black writer. He told his white friends that he didn’t need their “love texts” and suggested that instead they cut off contact with family members until they sent money to Black Lives Matter or joined their protests.

Soviet-style, indeed. State governors ruling by decree, and citizens turning in their neighbors and local businesses for not observing or enforcing state-wide mask mandates.

By the way, Mr. Satter is a member of the academic advisory board of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. I did some research on that organization and added it to my list of supported charities this year. They are very efficient with their money and deserve our support.

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  1. Sandy Member
    Sandy
    @Sandy

    I was in a class with the brilliant and courageous David Satter at a time when freedom of thought was still respected in academia, but even then and even at the University of Chicago, there were signs of the trouble to come. Perhaps that is why he was attracted to the study of the Soviet Union.

    The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation is indeed a worthy organization. 

    • #1
  2. JennaStocker Member
    JennaStocker
    @JennaStocker

    It’s a brilliant choice for topic and cause (I donated and bought a shirt last year to support Hong Kong). I’d humbly add the corporate media is doing enough commie footwork for praising the “efforts” of communism while ignoring the violence done by those regimes. Meanwhile everyone right of Susan Collins is a nazi.

    • #2
  3. David Carroll Thatcher
    David Carroll
    @DavidCarroll

    I refer to this phenomenon as their Inner Stalin.

    • #3
  4. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Sandy (View Comment):

    I was in a class with the brilliant and courageous David Satter at a time when freedom of thought was still respected in academia, but even then and even at the University of Chicago, there were signs of the trouble to come. Perhaps that is why he was attracted to the study of the Soviet Union.

    The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation is indeed a worthy organization.

    I am so disappointed to learn about the University of Chicago, although I shouldn’t be surprised the poison has infected the English department. I thought UoC was a last holdout for free speech and academic integrity. The mighty have fallen.

    • #4
  5. Anon Member
    Anon
    @Anon

    Sic Transit Gloria Academia

    • #5
  6. MichaelKennedy Inactive
    MichaelKennedy
    @MichaelKennedy

    An interesting essay for the remaining NeverTrumpers here. Speaking of the Soviet Union.

    https://thefederalist.com/2020/12/29/2020-is-the-year-nevertrump-finally-admitted-theyre-neverrepublican/

    What began as a self-righteous crusade to supposedly save the Republican Party from Donald Trump has morphed into an explicit enterprise exposing who they were all along: financial opportunists capitalizing on media-fomented Trump Derangement Syndrome for personal profit while masquerading as white knight Republicans.

     

    More than any other culprit — the BulwarksThe Dispatches, the legacy papers promoting ex-GOP columnists as “conservative” — the vile con artists at the Lincoln Project reveal the left-wing campaign purportedly about preserving old-school conservatism has nothing to do with conservatism. The fall confirmation battle following the death of liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a prime illustration.

    The supposed GOP Chair in New Hampshire has quit the GOP. We might have known as she was a founder of “The Lincoln Project.” She lost two elections and has now joined the left.

    • #6
  7. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):
    More than any other culprit — the BulwarksThe Dispatches, the legacy papers promoting ex-GOP columnists as “conservative” — the vile con artists at the Lincoln Project reveal the left-wing campaign purportedly about preserving old-school conservatism has nothing to do with conservatism. The fall confirmation battle following the death of liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a prime illustration.

    You mean back when Benjy Sasse’s speech in defense of Kavanaugh got sideswiped by Susan Collins from the right? Collins was excellent. Sasse was present.

    • #7
  8. MichaelKennedy Inactive
    MichaelKennedy
    @MichaelKennedy

    @Percival I don’t know where they go from here. Gary may dream of a post-Trump GOP but that is a dream. 140 GOP House members have agreed to contest the electoral college vote.

    https://twitter.com/jaketapper/status/1344749990703411205

     

    • #8
  9. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    @Percival I don’t know where they go from here. Gary may dream of a post-Trump GOP but that is a dream. 140 GOP House members have agreed to contest the electoral college vote.

    https://twitter.com/jaketapper/status/1344749990703411205

     

    They’ll keep all of those Northeast Republicans who think Mitt Romney is Mr. Excitement.

    Plus Gary.

    • #9
  10. Ray Kujawa Coolidge
    Ray Kujawa
    @RayKujawa

    JennaStocker (View Comment):

    It’s a brilliant choice for topic and cause (I donated and bought a shirt last year to support Hong Kong). I’d humbly add the corporate media is doing enough commie footwork for praising the “efforts” of communism while ignoring the violence done by those regimes. Meanwhile everyone right of Susan Collins is a nazi.

    I was in Powell’s Books in Portland years ago and bought a much aged book introducing the subject of fascism. It was in the section on right wing politics. I think your comment is well understood to be sarcasm, as most people on this site readily recognize fascism as being a phenomenon of the left. The key difference being that fascism places the wellness of the community ahead of the liberty of the individual. Powell’s had evidently placed the subject under right wing politics out of a European mindset, in which it becomes confused with a country’s conservatism, which has nothing to do with conservatism in this country. Hayek refused to be labeled a conservative, because he was well aware of the violently contrasting interpretations of that word in different parts of the world. Just a reminder in case you get yourself into an argument about what represents conservative positions with someone who is not from this country or who doesn’t understand our unique American history.

    https://www.debate.org/opinions/is-fascism-left-wing-yes-or-right-wing-no

    • #10
  11. JennaStocker Member
    JennaStocker
    @JennaStocker

    Ray Kujawa (View Comment):

    JennaStocker (View Comment):

    It’s a brilliant choice for topic and cause (I donated and bought a shirt last year to support Hong Kong). I’d humbly add the corporate media is doing enough commie footwork for praising the “efforts” of communism while ignoring the violence done by those regimes. Meanwhile everyone right of Susan Collins is a nazi.

    I was in Powell’s Books in Portland years ago and bought a much aged book introducing the subject of fascism. It was in the section on right wing politics. I think your comment is well understood to be sarcasm, as most people on this site readily recognize fascism as being a phenomenon of the left. The key difference being that fascism places the wellness of the community ahead of the liberty of the individual. Powell’s had evidently placed the subject under right wing politics out of a European mindset, in which it becomes confused with a country’s conservatism, which has nothing to do with conservatism in this country. Hayek refused to be labeled a conservative, because he was well aware of the violently contrasting interpretations of that word in different parts of the world. Just a reminder in case you get yourself into an argument about what represents conservative positions with someone who is not from this country or who doesn’t understand our unique American history.

    https://www.debate.org/opinions/is-fascism-left-wing-yes-or-right-wing-no

    You’re right. To be precise in terms for the uninformed is always welcome. It’s a good reminder. It’s also how time, coupled with repeated misuse, falsely attributes these labels, and becomes entrenched in the popular lexicon. Thanks for the clarity.

    • #11
  12. MichaelKennedy Inactive
    MichaelKennedy
    @MichaelKennedy

    How many know that Mussolini was an editor of a Socialist newspaper before founding the “Fascist Party ?”

    • #12
  13. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    How many know that Mussolini was an editor of a Socialist newspaper before founding the “Fascist Party ?”

    He said at the time that he would live and die a socialist.

    • #13