Can We Make Communism Work?

Yesterday Interccect hosted a lecture by Jodi Dean over her new book The Communist Horizon. It was my first time meeting Jodi in person after many years of online interaction, but more importantly it was a great lecture.

One thing that came up frequently in the Q&A was the issue of how we can know that advocating communism won’t lead straight to the worst excesses of Stalinism. She had addressed this question already in the lecture — saying, for instance, that the very existence of the question shows that we “know better” at this point and that there’s no reason to assume that history will repeat itself in exactly the same way — but she also admitted that part of her theory is that there can be no absolute guarantees in politics.

As a Soviet Ukrainian Jew, I have to wonder why it is not OK to discuss Nazism in this manner but it is perfectly fine to do so with Communism. This is not some academic question. There are countless victims still alive and countless people whose relatives were murdered by the Soviet, Cuban, Korean, Chinese, Cambodian communists.

How many more of us need to die to prove to you, overfed, spoiled, stupid quasi-academic brats that this fucking system doesn’t fucking work? I am so tired of this condescending “Yeah, Stalin and Co did not turn out to be as completely cool as they could but we are so much smarter than you worthless Russians / Cubans / Chinese, etc. and we will make it work.”

As for absolute guarantees, if you try to install a system in completely different countries, continents, tine zones, climates, cultures, etc. and the result is always – and I mean every single time – starvation, genocide, tragedy and death, then even a brain-dead person starts to realize that probably there is something kind of a little  bit wrong with said system.

All that such pseudo-scholars ever do is intellectual masturbation. They can’t produce anything, can’t create any worthwhile scholarship, so they sit there, engaging in idiotic discussions of “would it or wouldn’t it?”. Idiots.

If you choose to do yourself a disservice and follow the link, I warn you that the rest of the post contains some pretty disgusting jokes about the victims of GULAG. Yeah, I know, those concentration camps and their funny victims always make me laugh hysterically, too.

I can just imagine the post’s author having a good meal (provided by that nasty, evil capitalist system, of course), enjoy a drink, settle down in a comfy arm-chair in front of an expensive gadget, burp in a satisfied way, and then make the day complete with poking some fun at the victims of Stalinism. Oh, don’t you just love these friends of the oppressed and downtrodden!

Video Games and Afghanistan

My friend “Jerome” is very sad. His 26-year-old son has joined a security company and went to Afghanistan. He already served two tours in Iraq and saw his best friend blow up on a bomb.

Jerome did all he could to persuade his son to stay home. He offered to pay for his college education, for a place for him to live, and cover any expenses he might have, but the son refused.

“I blame video games,” Jerome told me. “These boys get used to shooting people on a screen and then can’t stop. So they are driven to continue shooting in real life.”

Bad People Did It

A student is making a presentation on the 3/11/2004 terrorist attacks in Spain.

“This is all I have to say,” he ends the talk abruptly.

“So who organized these attacks?” another student asks.

“Bad people,” the presenter explains authoritatively.

“And who were these bad people?” I ask, trying to help him out.

“Well, they were just bad, mean people.”

Once again, the story of the bad guys who killed the good guys overtakes our course.