No Minister

Karl Marx’s Christmas Present

with 6 comments

Thirty years have passed since this wonderful moment, fittingly occurring on Christmas Day. I recall sitting in Chicago watching this on TV in amazement.

The Cold War was over.

The following two articles that seem appropriate to the fall of the USSR.

First up is Peter Hitchens amusing anecdote, The last Noël in the USSR. It captures the bleakness of the time:

But when she came to rip open her gifts, the parcels did not contain the things she had hoped for. Instead, they were full of pale, oddly coloured and sometimes faintly dangerous Soviet products, breathing the last enchantments of the 1930s. Mrs Hitchens had queued fiercely to buy these delights in the colossal ‘Children’s World’ department store which stood just across the road from KGB headquarters.

But also the little joys, as well as the knowledge that having tried so hard, the atheistic determination to wipe out Christianity had failed:

Young Pioneers no longer patrolled the wintry streets searching for subversive Christmas trees, as they had done in the early years of the Leninist state. The air no longer trembled with the sound of cathedrals being dynamited, or of great bells being torn from their towers and spitefully smashed, as it had done in Stalin’s day… The League of the Militant Godless, once a huge semi-official organisation dedicated to mockery and hatred of God, of priests and believers, had quietly vanished during the war against Hitler. God had, during that odd period, proved a useful Comrade, at least as long as the war went on.

Looking for a Christmas turkey his wife finds an old woman selling a goose in a side-street. A nervous peasant dressed all in black, fearful of the Russian Mafia that even then was appearing as the KGB faded. The old woman gets more roubles than she can imagine.

I have never in my life eaten a more delicious goose, like a giant wild duck, not greasy as western geese are, tasting as if it had been reared in a snowy forest — because it had been.

The dark afternoon and evening still glitter in my memory. Outside, the brown slush and dirt of Soviet modernity, and the yelling, fist-pounding politics of an evil state (and it truly was) flailing in its death agony. Inside, a distillation of all that was good in our culture and theirs, and crowned with a small and defiant remembrance of the greatest enemy tyranny ever had, Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

December 25, 1991: USSR down at 7:32pm – Russia up at 7:45pm!

The second is an article that shows that, Things could have ended a lot, lot worse:

On December 8, 1991, two communist apparatchiks, Russia’s Boris Yeltsin and Ukraine’s Leonid Kravchuk, and relative political neophyte Byelorussian Stanislav Shushkevich, met at a hunting lodge near the Polish border on December 8. They signed the Belavezha Accords, named after the enveloping forest, dissolving the Soviet Union…Eight more signatures were added to the agreement in the following two weeks. On December 26, 1991, the Soviet flag was lowered for the last time. 

Although the U.S.S.R.’s collapse looks inevitable today, the dissident leaders feared arrest as traitors. Indeed, years later, local KGB head Eduard Shirkovsky said he wished he had done so. Shushkevich dismissed the idea: “I don’t think there was such a threat, given Gorbachev’s cowardice; at least I didn’t feel it.”

I think that’s a very harsh and unfair judgement on Gorbachev, though I understand how detested he is nowadays by his own people for having allowed an empire to be destroyed. He knew that he could have unleashed a still potent KGB and Red Army, invoking vast amounts of bloodshed as his predecessors had, not just in the USSR but in the Warsaw Pact nations. Certainly some of their scumbag leaders had been demanding such for three years, even as they went into the ash heap of history (in the case of Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu into the cold soil, courtesy of Christmas Day bullets). But in the end he decided that, Marxist to the core though he was, it just was not worth it.

Nominal communist regimes still exist, but they are knock-offs, systems determined to survive by being different. There is little Marx in China. Cuba also has gone to market to try to save itself. North Korea has enshrined Asian monarchy rather than European philosophy. But no one has attempted to remake Soviet communism. For this, we should thank Mikhail Gorbachev, inadvertently or not one of freedom’s best friends

Zombie Marxism still exists in other places too, most notably in the heart of American academics and Left-wing activism, but that’s a story for the New Year.

Written by Tom Hunter

December 31, 2021 at 2:00 pm

6 Responses

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  1. Note, however, that US academics and leftie activists might talk the talk of socialism but they have not eschewed the advantages of capital. They still own houses, enjoy any capital gain, invest their pension funds in the stock market and use places like Walmart and Starbucks.

    Cassandra

    December 31, 2021 at 2:20 pm

    • That’s why I call it Zombie Marxism, although I have to say that the likes of Burn Loot Murder’s Patrisse “I’m a trained Marxist” Cullors and her four houses fits nicely with the history of Soviet Politburo members and their Dacha’s, Castro’s riches and other such “Marxist” hypocrites. She was forced to resign from BLM because of this.

      Although that’s just food for the whole “That wasn’t real Marxism” brigade, which ironically includes those US academics.

      Tom Hunter

      December 31, 2021 at 2:25 pm

  2. And one more the US

    A Leftist German Political Party Is Influencing US Politics at Every Level

    https://www.theepochtimes.com/a-leftist-german-political-party-is-influencing-us-politics-at-every-level_4047633.html

    Lucia Maria

    December 31, 2021 at 2:32 pm

    • Ha! Poor old Rosa Luxemburg who had severe doubts about Lenin’s Vanguard Party shite but went along with it anyway. While the people using her name for this movement have not learned anything from past disasters, I suspect, were she still alive, she wouldn’t have learned anything either.

      Tom Hunter

      December 31, 2021 at 2:46 pm

  3. Spoke with a Kiwi brass on checkpoint Charlie in Berlin, who said the fall came as a shock to everyone. No one saw it coming.

    Then begat the period of Russian Oligarch who were mostly Jewish gangsters. Putin stepped in, and jailed most of these parasites, and has been there ever since.

    pb

    January 6, 2022 at 10:03 pm


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