The Great Tradeoff

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.

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19 thoughts on “The Great Tradeoff

  1. Pingback: The Great Trade-Off | Western Rifle Shooters Association

  2. My favorite video from Poland is a dashcam of a truck driver picking up litter and throwing it back into the cab of litterbug. So much right there. Pride in one’s nation, defense of one’s people, courage in the face of the unknown, determination to correct wrongs, simple cleanliness, a longterm understanding of what it takes to make a livable world for our children in a modern industrialized society, a willingness to act, high morale knowing your countrymen have your back if things go pear shaped.

  3. This video would have been taken apart as “Communist Propaganda” back in the 80’s. Today, film like this would never be shown openly, only in secret or to small groups. Like the litterbug video, it has too much on display. A film of modren South Africa shows collapse and destruction. Any discussion of why things look so awful there can be spun, but ultimately it comes back to race. If a film shows a contrast between then and now, there, the introduction of decay and filth can’t be ignored.

    This film in Poland shows happy white people with no diversity whatsoever. The kicker is, Poland was considered a laughingstock by the “West” during the same time that this was filmed. Today, Poland appears to be the last bastion of the West, along with Hungary, neither of which are traditionally “The West”.

    Participation is those parades may have been mandatory, but that served a purpose. Decades later, memories of what was good are still there.

    A parade with happy, smiling white children and adults, interacting with each other though they may be strangers. Introduce some filth and the smiles disappear, replaced with the look of firm readiness. That’s not present here. These people are with their people. It’s like a massive family reunion, filled with people you don’t know but love all the same.

    I don’t even like going to the mall. Too brown. A parade is out of the question. What would be celebrated? Gay Pride? Blacks in green hats demanding “I’m black Irish!”

    The irony here, and why stuff like this can’t be shown publicly anymore, is that it’s a film of better times. The old films of old parades show happy white people celebrating their own people. We have nothing like that anymore. But we could.

  4. Participation is those parades may have been mandatory

    What might have been the consequences for not participating?

    Interesting video. The bigwig party pols look the same there as they do here, or at least as they did here in 1975: big blockheads and never beautiful, in suits.

    The video also showed students and a contingent on motorcycles. So they apparently were willing to appease those countercultural trends.

    This video would have been taken apart as “Communist Propaganda” back in the 80’s. Today, film like this would never be shown openly, only in secret or to small groups. Like the litterbug video, it has too much on display.

    Excellent observation, especially the first sentence. I could practically imagine a seventh or eighth-grade “social studies” teacher doing just that. I recall this teacher. I wish I could say her name because it was a funny name but to do so goes against policy.

    What kind of surname is Flom anyways. By her looks she was Slavic and the name was a shortened form of Flomowski. But yeah the Poles was the accepted butt of jokes. The reasons for this are old hat but, but we sure didn’t know the reasons then.

  5. In US public schools they did show films like these and take them apart as propaganda. Without a doubt though the May Day parades in Moscow and the Soviet Union were more blatantly propaganda and less suffused w/ any authentic folksy goodness. Or is that interpretation too, a residue misconception from a slanted American perspective?

    But the concept of Soviet propaganda was introduced in the US public school curriculum, in the 7th-grade, when the students would have been 12 years old. It had been going on like that for quite awhile.

    Did it ever have any validity, the concept of the evil Communists? They laid it on really thick circa 1960 with having the kids do nuclear drills and get under their desks.

    The off topic subject I wanted to introduce though, is “Social Studies” and specifically its role in the curriculum of public education. What a broad mandate was that topic. And to whom was given the privilege of teaching this crucial yet vague subject? (women mostly)

    I actually had another social studies teacher who was a young man. He was 9th or 10th grade though and introduced sincerely the very relevant concept of urban planning and the use of public space. Lol he was passionate about teaching. It was 10th grade I recall because made comments to me about my car, which was a manual transmission and he approved. So in summary, not all social studies teachers.

  6. — This video would have been taken apart as “Communist Propaganda” back in the 80’s.

    Good point about how today they’d be afraid to show it because it looks more appealing than Multikult Freedumb. What’s capitalist propaganda? It’s a McDonald’s commercial when they wanna be sneaky, Gillette commercial when they want to show you how they really feel about you.

    Adults back then in my witness, were very cynical about Communism. Especially the educated upper middle class milieu. Farmers and rural folk, in retrospect openly speak of that era as the good old days. Day-to-day life had its frustrations but that’s life, isn’t it? It sure beats the feeling of your government replacing you with aliens.

    — What might have been the consequences for not participating?

    Same as not attending Diversity Training at your corporate job today.

  7. I can now appreciate how the national Socialist system’s rhetoric was so in line with the same traditional rhetoric of the modern dissident Right. For example, this is what the television announcer says starting at 0:15 in that video, just as the aged veterans come into view:

    Today, they’re marching in the parade. But just a couple of decades ago, they took to the barricades to fight for a free Poland.

    [Now the children come into view.]

    They don’t have any life’s memories yet. But they do know that together with the adults, they are part of something important and noble.

  8. — The bigwig party pols look the same there as they do here, or at least as they did here in 1975: big blockheads and never beautiful, in suits.

    The main bigwig with the blockish face that you see there was the head of state Edward Gierek, officially the First Secretary of the Polish United Workers’ Party from 1970 to 1980. He was an ethnic Silesian, a micronation in southwestern Poland and he spoke with a bit of that accent. Coal mining background. His many detractors pointed out his lack of education and his inelegant speech. He was a resistance fighter during WWII, in Belgium with their Communist movement.

    During the ’70s, he created an illusion of prosperity by borrowing a lot of money from Western banks. That boom ran aground by 1980, coinciding with the rise of the Solidarity movement. The great wave of general strikes collapsed the country’s economy, police committed several high-profile atrocities (most prominently — on Jaruzelski’s watch in 1984 — the assassination of a popular young dissident priest Father Popieluszko).

    The situation escalated. Gierek was relieved of his position and replaced with General Jaruzelski’s martial law. [This is when my parents took us to Austria, where we were granted asylum.] Gierek died in 2001 and for the most part is fondly remembered.

  9. Pingback: The Great Tradeoff | Reaction Times

  10. The perfect system of government, one that protects us from ourselves and which elegantly weighs the short term and long term, has never been invented and may never be. The perfect country, however, is right before our eyes in this video and has existed for thousands of years. It’s a country of blood connection. It’s tracing ancestry, and seeing two slots in the family tree 4, 5 and 6 generations back filled by one person. That’s what we are so close to losing in the west, whether it’s my relatives in rural Holland or PA’s in Poland.
    Did the US ever have a chance without it?

  11. “one that protects us from ourselves”

    “The perfect country, however, is right before our eyes in this video”

    “That’s what we are so close to losing in the west”

    I can do nothing but enthusiastically agree with everything you said. Inspired by what you wrote, I read through the comments under that parade YouTube video. A few token comments about how bad it was then, overwhelmed by the positive comments of old-people who lived thru Communism, as well as those of young people who love what they see, loving that parade.

    (My own participation in that very same parade in ’78 and ’79 was a bit of a forgotten mundane memory but now I am so glad I was there.)

  12. “Bigwig” is such a great Dickensian/Twainish/Pink Floydish tag. It got undercut and confused by being associated with one of the best literary characters of all time, the rabbit in Watership Down, who was decidedly not a bigwig as we know them. Still, everyone knows a bigwig in real life, even small children. It resonates.

  13. Communism was similar with todays Western SJW-isms in a sense, that you had your private opinion, which you only shared with your family and trusted friends, and your official opinion, which was the Communist opinion. Basically, you had to lie all your life.

    And the system was evil, built on the death and the blood of our people, the killers being Bolshevik Jews. The main problem is that these people all turned Liberal Capitalists in 1989 and there was privatisation which meant they stole everything and became the rich capitalists, while we remained the poor workers.

    The good thing is that with this background I can easily adapt to any Western SJW workplace, with the similar tactic: I pretend my official view agrees with them, while in real life I hate it just as I hates Marxism.

  14. It is a great old term. A friend of mine used it in real life about 20 years ago to describe doctors, whom he had the mispleasure of having to work with.

    Re Watership Down. Netflix did a recent reanimation of it, to mixed reviews. It was iirc in four episodes. I didn’t make it through the second episode; lackin a word it sucked. “Shit sandwich”

    The character of Bigwig himself was voiced by a black Englander, [ should Englander be in quotes? ] which is particularly typical of how they do it. They couldn’t find a bloke to with just the right accent to play that mythical character, who is such the archetype.

  15. Bigwig. The stalwart.

    The line Hazel said to him about Woundwort: “Not even you, Bigwig, would be a match for him, I think.” He survived fighting off Woundwort at the end though, did he not?

    Watership Down, the physical object of the book itself, featured in a place of prominence on father’s bookshelf. But the title, how it showed on the spine, made not sense. In retrospect it was the countryside dialect and speaking of a past sundered.

  16. — The main problem is that these people [Communists] all turned Liberal Capitalists in 1989 and there was privatisation which meant they stole everything and became the rich capitalists, while we remained the poor workers.

    Absolutely true. Former communists and their adult children are reliably pro-EU virtue-signalling liberals.

    — The character of Bigwig himself was voiced by a black Englander, [ should Englander be in quotes? ]

    Of course! Though I should have also put the word “virtue-” above in quotes.

  17. There was something to them blacks in England, post world war II, that was part of the culture. This was pre Diversity. The apocryphal story goes that they were brought over from the Caribbean to drive the drains. [ Even back then it was a bs excuse, it turns out. ]

    Of course they should not have been there, but it’s the difference between a little and lot. The great commenter Fred Scrooby, long retired, exclaimed on the difference between a drop in the pool versus dumping into it thousands of gallons.

  18. Why can’t a former communist be a current patriot?

    Because the fundamental criterion for advancing in rank within the Party was professed atheism. In communist Poland at least, Roman Catholic worship was tolerated, even accommodated by the government. But if you wanted to make a career and get the privileges that come with higher rank in the Party… say goodbye to all that if you’re ever seen in church or if your kids attend Catechism or receive the Holy Communion. The Party will always find out, comrade.

    Some Communists, like poet Czeslaw Milosz in his youth, were atheist for intellectual reasons. He was seduced by Marxism as a student and loathed Polish nationalism, which he associated with Catholicism. He did return to the faith in his late years.

    But most of the Party apparatchiks disavowed God for opportunistic reasons. So the kinds of people who would be self-selected for higher ranks in the Communist Party (and thus as post-communists they’d make connections and a career with the EU) were not the kinds of people who’d pass the basic test of character, loyalty.

    So it only follows that former communists are traitors today.

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