A recent poll by Marketwatch showed that 36% of millenials have a favorable view of Communism. Given that this is an ideology that killed upwards of 100 million people during the 20th century we have to wonder whether there is not a very unhealthy streak of masochism present in our societies. How else can this be explained?
Still, the level of ignorance required to sing the praises of an ideology that enslaves and demeans on an industrial scale is utterly breathtaking. Perhaps Gary Kasporov, former world chess champion who was born under Communism said it best: “It’s nice they have opinions about communism now, because once you’re living in it you don’t get to have an opinion about it anymore.”
We see this willingness to suspend belief in reality equally clearly in attitudes towards Islam in the West. Although not many Westerners are ready to embrace Islam lock, stock and barrel we do find many people who are ready to praise it to the skies as exemplifying peace, love and tolerance. I’m not quite sure how “Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them…” (Qur’an 9:29) gels with this, but facts are rarely allowed to get in the way of ideologically correct opinions. This means that people are sometimes, or rather often, able to maintain positions in the face of all evidence to the contrary.
In his novel 1984 George Orwell hit the nail on the head with a description of the mental contortions that those who embrace totalitarian ideologies have to make by listing ‘The Party’s’ key slogan as:
War is peace
Freedom is slavery
Ignorance is strength
Still people cannot be made to deny reality forever. This basic fact was behind the eventual fall of Communism in Europe. One of the most moving experiences of my entire life was seeing a video by the Czech anti-Communist resistance singer Karel Kryl that was playing on a loop in the Praque Museum of Communism. At the heart of it was the word ‘Dekuji’ (‘Thank You’ in Czech). In a deeply moving way he gives thanks for things like tears, weakness and the fact that his people were brought totally low by their subjugation – as this was what eventually motivated them to rise up and throw off their chains. (You can see the video, with English subtitles, here)
Desperation eventually led to freedom. But only after many years of suffering for millions. May it not be that the descendants of today’s cheerleaders for totalitarianism will one day have to write similar songs.
My book ‘The House Built on Sand’ is an exploration, in the form of a novel, of one way in which the totalitarian ideology of Islam can be confronted by digging deep into its history. Get your copy today at: www.thehousebuiltonsand.com