Tag: USSR

Quote of the Day: Rush Limbaugh on the “Press” in America

 

This paragraph appears at the end of the December 2020 issue of the Limbaugh Letter, in an article entitled “American Pravda: Our Soviet-style Media”.  Rush quotes numerous publications, in sections titled “Disinformation”, “Outright Lies”, “Race Propaganda”, “Orange Man Bad”, “Orange Man Voters Bad”, “Lies of Omission”, and “No-Fraud Gaslighting.”.

You have to wonder how these so-called journalists sleep at night, with all their intentional deception, disinformation, fabrication, and distortions to serve the agenda of the hard-left Democrat Party.  In the old totalitarian USSR, reporters didn’t have a choice; but the American Pravda drive-bys do.  Of their own free will they’ve surrendered their talents, their objectivity, their spirit of free inquiry, and even their curiosity to the socialist hive mind; they have become the totalitarians.

Book Review: Live Not By Lies

 

To grasp the threat of totalitarianism, it’s important to understand the difference between it and simple authoritarianism.  Authoritarianism is what you have when the state monopolizes political control.  That is mere dictatorship – bad, certainly, but totalitarianism is much worse.  According to Hannah Arendt… a totalitarian society is one in which an ideology seeks to displace all prior traditions and institutions, with the goal of bringing all aspects of society under control of that ideology.  A totalitarian state is one that aspires to nothing less than defining and controlling reality.  Truth is whatever the rulers decide it is.  As Arendt has written, wherever totalitarianism has ruled, “[I]t has begun to destroy the essence of man.”⁠ (pages 8-9)

Many have fought and endured Hard Totalitarianism – repression at the end of a rifle – and while we may have (for now) seen the back of such regimes, Rod Dreher warns, in his new book Live Not By Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents, that we are facing a new form of totalitarian repression.  This new form, he warns, will not (for now) come at the ends of rifle barrels and the points of bayonets, nor will it come all at once.  It will come gradually, and it will attempt to corral us not with overt force, nor even fully from our government, but through the mounting pressures, nudges, and unseen pushes and constraints of the very technologies we rely on and willingly install in everything in our lives.  Dreher predicts the emergence of a Soft Totalitarianism which will resemble the Social Credit System of the People’s Republic of China, created by an alliance of ideological interests from the technology, information, and banking industries.  This new totalitarianism will be radically hostile to any religion, creed, or understanding of the world that conflicts with its own, and especially towards Christianity, which it slanders as repressive and “hateful”, especially on matters of sex and race.  How can we recognize it?  Can we fight it?  How do we survive and endure it without compromising?  Rod has much to say.

Rod Dreher is, by his own frequent admission, something of an odd duck in American conservatism.  His first book, Crunchy Cons, was about people very like himself – the heterodox conservatives who find themselves on the political right, usually for deep-seated social concerns (religion, family, tradition, anti-corporatism), but who also find that these core values are ignored, or else clash with other conservative orthodoxies on matters like free markets or foreign policy.  Dreher is also especially known for being one the leading reporters to blow open the sexual abuse scandals of the Roman Catholic Church, and unearth how deeply that rot actually ran – the integrity of the Christian faith is important to Dreher.  His prior book, The Benedict Option, was a statement to Christians that they have lost the culture war and need to rebuild the foundations of faith and society, with instructions on how to begin this process through intentional community formation – as such it is like a book warning on how to prepare for a cultural tornado, and clean up afterward.  Live Not By Lies can be therefore likened to a warning on what cultural tornado will do, how it will act, what it will try to destroy, and how to survive during it with one’s soul intact.

Cars for Comrades

 

“Cars for Comrades: The Life of the Soviet Automobile”, by Lewis Siegelbaum is one of the rare English language histories of that country’s motor industry, and it’s really more of a Soviet story than a car book.

The central paradox that gives the tale its drama is Communism’s ambiguous, and ultimately changing official attitude, towards the car. Evidently “auto” in early Russian parlance includes a range of rugged large vehicles that include all but the largest overland trucks. If there’s one country whose ex-urban areas justify the use of SUVs and similarly tall, hulking vehicles it surely is Russia.

ACF Critic Series #21: Katyn

 

Our own @FlaggTaylor and I talk about Andrzej Wajda’s Katyn, his 2007 film about the terrible Soviet slaughter of the Polish officer corps–some 22,000 men — as well as its aftermath. The protagonist is the wife of one of the officers and we follow her through both the Soviet and the Nazi parts of occupied — and dismembered — Poland. We get to see various characters struggling with questions of honor and prudence as the country is being destroyed. Only memory is left to give reasons for hope for future freedom. Krzysztof Penderecki’s music is also worthy of mention.

After noting the start of a new Congress with Democrats running the House, Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley for realizing he had no chance of winning the 2020 Democratic nomination and deciding not to run.  They also note O’Malley is urging Beto O’Rourke to run for president, saying it’s time for a new generation of leadership.  Jim and Greg also shudder as President Trump not only thinks that the Soviet Union collapsed because of its failed efforts in Afghanistan but thinks the Soviets were right to invade in the first place.  And they practice their shocked faces as Democrats start pursuing the impeachment of President Trump on the first day of the new Congress.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America learn from the late National Review founder William F. Buckley that the left drew a moral equivalence between the USSR and the United States during the Cold War, and they warn President Trump not to make the same mistake. They also compliment Chris Wallace of Fox News for asking pointed questions about election meddling to Russian President Vladimir Putin, but they fear the interview and Putin’s weak answers will soon be forgotten. And they fret that the left has taken fair criticism of the Trump-Putin summit to preposterous extremes by labeling it as morally equivalent with 9/11, Pearl Harbor, the Cuban Missile Crisis and Kristallnacht.

Member Post

 

We’ve had a lot of posts here recently regarding the outrage being expressed by the Democrats regarding the real and/or imagined attempts by Russia to interfere with our recent election. Many of those posts have noted the irony involved after the Democrats long-running tendency to downplay any threats from Russia or (way back when) the […]

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Member Post

 

I’ve recently begun trying my hand at “storytelling” podcasts. I thought this one might be somewhat appealing to my fellow Ricochetti. This is the story of the most important man in the world. Most people don’t know his name, but I’m guessing many of you here will. Preview Open

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The Americans: The Best, Most Subversively Conservative Show on Television

 

The_Americans(Author’s note: Though this review discusses some elements from the show, it is spoiler-free and makes no reference to specific plot points.)

The year is 1981. Philip and Elizabeth Jennings (Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell) live in Falls Church, Virginia, just outside the District of Columbia. They are the owners of the DuPont Circle Travel Agency and have two children, Paige and Henry. They’re also KGB agents — but not just any KGB spies — deep cover operatives. Though born in Russia, they’ve lived most of their lives in the United States, were assigned to usurp the identities of American children who died young, and pose as loyal and faithful citizens while carrying out espionage. That is the premise of the FX Network’s series The Americans.

It’s hard to say whether the writers of the show have intended for this to be the message, but what consistently strikes me is how unambiguously good the life in the United States is depicted as in comparison to that in the Soviet Union. The writers put this on display repeatedly through the tensions that develop between the show’s titular couple.

A Conversation with Former Secretary of State George Shultz

 

In this wide ranging interview, Secretary Shultz talks about his time in the Reagan White House, from negotiations with Andrey Gromyko to the meetings between Reagan and Gorbachev in Reykjavik. It’s a fascinating recount of the Reagan years through Shultz’s eyes, ending with what he believes are important characteristics for any future president and leader to have.

Member Post

 

Thanks to the Daily Shot recommendation, I’ve been listening to the History of Rome Podcast (originally aired 2007 to 2012). I enjoy it a great deal, but I have a question for folks who have listened to it before. Recently I heard the “Hundredth Episode” (which is numerically episode 90). This episode is a special […]

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Member Post

 

In Gil Reich’s thread “Cheer Up! The Bright Side of the Middle East” (a welcome dose of optimism), he repeats a popular claim about Russia’s diminished role in world affairs since the end of the Cold War.  Russia and China support the Iran – Assad axis. But today’s Russia and China have neither the power nor […]

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