Eastern European commenter ‘Passerby’ validates my wistful reminiscences of having marched in two Communist May Day parades in Warsaw, one in 1978 with my elementary school class and one in ’79 with my dad and his coworkers, for whom participating was mandatory:
Communism was not supporting social liberalism and identity politics. Our communism was about the rich vs the poor. For some reason it protected EE from liberalism. In some ways, communism was traditional.
The West’s “communism” is about women vs men and minorities vs whites. With us, it was about “equality” between rich and poor. With them, it is about gender equality and racial equality.
I remember the first time i heard about “racial equality” from western media. I immediately thought, my God, these people already have communism (a different type), but they did not even know it. It is there already!
Equality was the catch word. I heard “equality” many times by communists, so i can smell the same thing happening in the West. They both have the same source, but communism was different than the left in the West now.
The communists saw liberalism and identity politics as something that weakens society. So they were against drugs, LGBT, sexualisation of society, and were natalists, trying to support higher birth rate. They also did not support immigration.
In key ways, communism was traditional. This praise necessarily glosses over a lot of villainy under communism but I’ve seen far worse in the Free World. The political atmosphere in the east varied by country and things were brutal in Poland through a decade after WWII. Stalinism was a reign of terror, but by the late ’60s the judeostalinist old guard had been purged.
There is always a tradeoff between short-term vs long-term orientation in economics. The economic repressions and counterproductive incentives of Soviet Block communism were, at least in their effect, an effort on the leaders’ part to think long-term, given the fatal attractiveness of free market economies just to the west of us. Socialism is its own bag of tradeoffs. Done in the national spirit, it serves traditional ends. Done the way we see around us now, it’s a White Pays, Mud Plays clownworld.
Free market economy devolves to a race to the bottom of short-term profit mentality. Everything’s for sale — from that patch of woods next to your neighborhood, to children’s innocence, to the very future of our people.
The West, from behind the Iron Curtain, looked like freedom from behind prison bars. But the West was being set up. Crank up the credit, channel the European creative spirit toward economic productivity… create this flower-garden and then release global vermin upon it.
May Day Parade 1975 in the video below: first you see the Communist Party leaders march, then yesteryear’s war veterans, then kids and youths and university students to inspiring effect. Man, it’s so easy to long for that world.
PS: it might seem that I’m looking back, but I’m in fact thinking about the future. To contemplate socialism today is to anticipate alternatives to metaphorical and literal cannibalism of our nations.