A Book to Fight Leftists With

Following my post on “Books to Fight Creationists With,” a reader emailed today to ask whether I could recommend a book or books to combat leftist propaganda in the same way; specifically the very common moonbat talking point that “real communism has never been tried.”

In a way, this is a much broader issue than the creationism-evolution war, because you get into topics like collectivism vs. personal responsibility and other very messy subjects that aren’t exactly amenable to solutions that can be tested in a scientific way.

But if we limit the discussion to communism, there is one book that everyone should read, for a true perspective on the soul-and-body-destroying nature of this ideology:

The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression.

It’s not easy reading, and it may even cause you to break down in tears at some points. But there’s no more effective refutation of the lies promoted by Marxists and communists than this powerful catalog of murder.

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189 comments

1 Kreuzueber Halbmond  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:02:58pm

From what history teaches, it may one day take more than a book to beat the Leftists back.

2 BlueCanuck  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:03:14pm

I think it's sad that we heard stories of the communist system from refugees, defectors, and others like that. Still people think that communism is good political system.

3 Semi Cartman  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:03:24pm

Purchased same a year ago, read it through. Now I wonder why such a brutal history still has so many fans. Mass psychosis is tough to figure out.

4 Fenway_Nation  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:03:44pm

Actually, I think phrases like gulag, dekulakization and holodomor define communism very nicely.

"We are fond of describing any peasant who has enough to eat as a kulak."

Gregory Zionviev, 1924

5 livefreeor die  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:04:07pm

Thanks for the recommendation, Charles.
I intend to read this at the liberal infested lake we visit during the summer.

6 OldLineTexan  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:04:45pm

re: #2 BlueCanuck

I think it's sad that we heard stories of the communist system from refugees, defectors, and others like that. Still people think that communism is good political system.

Or, more commonly, it has never been done the right way, as Charles pointed out. Someone always thinks HE has figured out what went wrong every other time.

7 hopperandadropper  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:04:50pm

The Gulag Archipelago by Solzhenitsyn is also instructive.

8 OldLineTexan  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:05:28pm

re: #1 Kreuzueber Halbmond

From what history teaches, it may one day take more than a book to beat the Leftists back.

A big, heavy book with leather binding and steel-studded cover?

/

9 livefreeor die  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:05:50pm

re: #7 hopperandadropper

The Gulag Archipelago by Solzhenitsyn is also instructive.

Ditto Eugenia Ginsberg's (sp?) books.

10 pingjockey  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:08:11pm

My 17 year old came home spouting nonsense about communism and socialism. I said fine how much money do you have from that job you did yesterday? He had twenty bucks, I gave his youger brother 10 of his money. He wanted to know why his brother got 10 bucks for doing nothing? I says welcome to communism/socialism. He didn't think it sounded like such a hot idea after that.

11 BlueCanuck  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:09:56pm

re: #6 OldLineTexan

Something like that can never be done correctly. It is a flawed philosophy that is utopian in nature. Utopia of course translates to no place.

/or as Mark Twain said, "It sounds like a country of sheep after the last wolf has been killed".

12 OldLineTexan  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:11:09pm

re: #10 pingjockey

My 17 year old came home spouting nonsense about communism and socialism. I said fine how much money do you have from that job you did yesterday? He had twenty bucks, I gave his youger brother 10 of his money. He wanted to know why his brother got 10 bucks for doing nothing? I says welcome to communism/socialism. He didn't think it sounded like such a hot idea after that.

Pure collectivism is a hoot, too. I had a neighbor that survived the Killing Fields of Cambodia (luckily, his bourgeoise parents owned a plant nursery, and the Khmer Rouge thought they could be reeducated, so they were not killed immediately). I used to think it was too bad he was such a productive member of society in his job, because I think he could have been a very effective speaker for high schools and colleges.

13 neomexicon  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:11:38pm

reading assignments for us lizards?
I'm definitely up for it

14 Kreuzueber Halbmond  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:11:42pm

re: #8 OldLineTexan

A big, heavy book with leather binding and steel-studded cover?

/

Or this one..

15 BatGuano  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:12:15pm

I just Bookmarked the Amazon page. Do I need to read the book? Since I had a class called Communism, in 8th grade, in 1968 I have followed their tactics for 41 years.

16 pingjockey  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:13:39pm

re: #12 OldLineTexan
He would have been awesome. However the asshats who infest the upper echelon of acedemia would never let such first hand knowledge be passed on.

17 Fenway_Nation  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:13:48pm

re: #13 neomexicon

I just finished reading a bio of Terry Francona....I think The Long Ball is supposed to be next.

18 OldLineTexan  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:14:02pm

re: #14 Kreuzueber Halbmond

Or this one..

Maybe a Necronomicon?

19 BatGuano  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:15:06pm

re: #10 pingjockey

Excellent! The best way to teach.

20 pingjockey  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:15:42pm

re: #19 BatGuano
Got his attention right quick!

21 livefreeor die  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:16:09pm

re: #10 pingjockey

My 17 year old came home spouting nonsense about communism and socialism. I said fine how much money do you have from that job you did yesterday? He had twenty bucks, I gave his youger brother 10 of his money. He wanted to know why his brother got 10 bucks for doing nothing? I says welcome to communism/socialism. He didn't think it sounded like such a hot idea after that.

Funny how people stop thinking it's such a great idea when they realize they're not the ones getting the free stuff.

22 BatGuano  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:16:38pm

re: #18 OldLineTexan

I'm scurrred of the Necronomicon, it's so Lovecraftian.

23 arielle  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:16:48pm

I find it hard to argue with people about socialism, because they just point to the US and say something to the affect of "well, America is imperialist/fascist/veryverybad and has killed zillions!" and that's supposed to be the end of the argument for them.

24 pingjockey  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:17:22pm

re: #21 livefreeor die
I really, really hope this lesson sinks in on the taxpayers who are footing the bill for all of obambis "free stuff" next election.

25 OldLineTexan  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:17:24pm

re: #22 BatGuano

I'm scurrred of the Necronomicon, it's so Lovecraftian.

Maybe we could get that bitey book from the Harry Potter movies ...

26 BatGuano  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:17:37pm

re: #20 pingjockey

Now, if only you can institute this nationwide.

27 OldLineTexan  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:18:06pm

re: #24 pingjockey

I really, really hope this lesson sinks in on the taxpayers who are footing the bill for all of obambis "free stuff" next election.

Those people already know. He's buying the votes of the ones who don't pay most of the taxes anyway.

28 SixDegrees  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:18:11pm

re: #21 livefreeor die

Funny how people stop thinking it's such a great idea when they realize they're not the ones getting the free stuff.

It makes them feel better to think that no one is hovering any higher above the muck than they are.

29 sonofsheldon  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:18:15pm

Unfortunately the true believers have tricks up their brains in order to deny the murderous reality of Communism. Check out the one star reviews at Amazon for this book and see the various ways the current crop of useful idiots still yearn for their "worker's paradise" as they complain about the evils of Capitalism.

30 pingjockey  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:19:15pm

re: #27 OldLineTexan
That's what I'm afraid of.

31 albusteve  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:19:36pm

I just finished 'Old Gods, Almost Dead', a history of the Rolling Stones and have started 'Merchants, Guns and Money'...Billy the Kid and the Lincoln County wars...I don't read much political stuff...I'm getting after the Mexican War next

32 stevieray  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:19:43pm

Excellent book... well researched and authoritative. It should be required reading in all US high schools.

(I can dream, can't I?)

33 livefreeor die  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:20:15pm

re: #29 sonofsheldon

Unfortunately the true believers have tricks up their brains in order to deny the murderous reality of Communism. Check out the one star reviews at Amazon for this book and see the various ways the current crop of useful idiots still yearn for their "worker's paradise" as they complain about the evils of Capitalism.

I always find it interesting how so many of those people decide to continue living in the United States instead of moving to a communist country. I certainly wouldn't stop them.

34 albusteve  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:20:21pm

re: #32 stevieray

Excellent book... well researched and authoritative. It should be required reading in all US high schools.

(I can dream, can't I?)

can they read?

35 alegrias  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:20:48pm

Thing is, many are ENCHANTED to try "change" without realizing it's a slippery slope from liberty to much less liberty. It's easy to call this slope "change" and "progress".

For example, President Obama yesterday said through crocodile tears, he didn't really want to have to take over the banks, car industry, healthcare, etc., but he had to do SOMETHING.

We need Americans to better understand why our freedom of enterprise and individual liberties is BETTER than the alternative, collectivist centrally planned political systems.

Americans giving up the freedoms they have willingly, don't know what they have.

36 Syrah  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:20:55pm

From each according to his ability - To each according his need.

Look at it as a game.

How do you win? That is, how do you get the most stuff for the least effort.

37 pingjockey  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:21:02pm

re: #34 albusteve
They can read, it's what they're reading that has me concerned.

38 KipAllen  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:21:38pm

I strongly recommend Jonah Goldberg's "Liberal Fascism" to any conservative interested in countering progressive propaganda.

39 albusteve  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:21:48pm

re: #27 OldLineTexan

Those people already know. He's buying the votes of the ones who don't pay most of the taxes anyway.

and making sure he has those votes....immigration is the next honey hole

40 LGoPs  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:22:45pm

Appreciate the pointer but respectfully, I personally don't need to read the book. My parents lived communism and fought it and escaped to this country while I was an infant. And God bless them, they lived every day of their lives grateful for the opportunity that America provided them. And they passed that gratitude on to me. It is why I so passionately detest leftists whose default position is "My country sucks and is the root of all evil".
My parents taught me much and I supplemented it with my own reading. Communism is the most murderous concept ever devised by man and it troubles me deeply that we are tinkering with it and most people have no earthly idea of the evil that lies behind it.

41 Kreuzueber Halbmond  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:23:13pm

re: #18 OldLineTexan

Maybe a Necronomicon?

Abdul can haz hammr n sikl.

42 BatGuano  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:23:31pm

re: #31 albusteve

Which Mexican war? The one in which Pershing went into Mexico after Pancho Villa, or the one in which we took Mexico City? Neither of which would happen today regardless of the provocation.

43 BlueCanuck  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:23:40pm

Funny, I remember when "Animal Farm" was part of the reading material for high school english. I don't think it's on the list anymore for some reason.

44 nines09  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:23:42pm

The answer to all that would say "On paper it's the perfect system".

45 livefreeor die  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:23:50pm

My dad used to point out to us, when we were growing up, that communist countries had to have fences around them to keep the people from leaving.

46 FrogMarch  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:23:53pm

The Black Book of Communism is sitting on my bookcase. I must read it..

Some other books:
The Road to Serfdom, F. A. von Hayek
Free to Choose, Milton Friedman
The Way the World Works, Jude Wanniski

47 albusteve  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:24:13pm

re: #42 BatGuano

Which Mexican war? The one in which Pershing went into Mexico after Pancho Villa, or the one in which we took Mexico City? Neither of which would happen today regardless of the provocation.

1846-8....the BIG STEAL...

48 LGoPs  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:24:28pm

re: #35 alegrias

Thing is, many are ENCHANTED to try "change" without realizing it's a slippery slope from liberty to much less liberty. It's easy to call this slope "change" and "progress".

For example, President Obama yesterday said through crocodile tears, he didn't really want to have to take over the banks, car industry, healthcare, etc., but he had to do SOMETHING.

We need Americans to better understand why our freedom of enterprise and individual liberties is BETTER than the alternative, collectivist centrally planned political systems.

Americans giving up the freedoms they have willingly, don't know what they have.

What I said on November 5th was "You know not what you have done"

49 BatGuano  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:25:10pm

re: #43 BlueCanuck

Funny, I remember when "Animal Farm" was part of the reading material for high school english. I don't think it's on the list anymore for some reason.

PETA is against it.

50 FrogMarch  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:25:16pm

Never underestimate the left's desire to kill off political opponents - for reasons of ideology and to take your stuff.

51 alegrias  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:25:28pm

re: #40 LGoPs

Appreciate the pointer but respectfully, I personally don't need to read the book. My parents lived communism and fought it and escaped to this country while I was an infant. And God bless them, they lived every day of their lives grateful for the opportunity that America provided them. And they passed that gratitude on to me. It is why I so passionately detest leftists whose default position is "My country sucks and is the root of all evil".
My parents taught me much and I supplemented it with my own reading. Communism is the most murderous concept ever devised by man and it troubles me deeply that we are tinkering with it and most people have no earthly idea of the evil that lies behind it.

* * *
OK, then, since you are personally familiar with real communism, perhaps you can encourage someone ELSE to read the book!

52 OldLineTexan  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:26:39pm

re: #34 albusteve

can they read?

My kids can. My twelve-year old tests at college level.

53 albusteve  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:27:48pm

re: #48 LGoPs

What I said on November 5th was "You know not what you have done"

it's true...people are fools...I spent alot of time in Jamaica and those folks will walk miles down out of the hills and back to vote...barely literate they know every candidate and every issue and they know where they syand and why....the US is an embarrassment to itself with all this phony posturing and TV idolship

54 OldLineTexan  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:28:15pm

re: #43 BlueCanuck

Funny, I remember when "Animal Farm" was part of the reading material for high school english. I don't think it's on the list anymore for some reason.

My middle girl had to read "Brave New World".

55 Charles Johnson  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:28:51pm

They're melting down all over the Geert Wilders thread, by the way.

56 albusteve  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:29:13pm

re: #52 OldLineTexan

My kids can. My twelve-year old tests at college level.

great...we taught our kids to read from the old antique primers...they were reading before kindergarten...no big deal if you put the effort into it...parenting is a lost art

57 pingjockey  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:29:46pm

Communism and socialism are all about the gov't power to control the people. Not making peoples lives better. It is for the express purpose of the few contolling the many and living like kings/queens. The elitists who champion the vile crap are the ones who're sure that when they achieve this workers utopia, they will be the ones driving in the special lanes on the road and shopping in the stores reserved just for them!

58 LGoPs  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:29:46pm

re: #51 alegrias

* * *
OK, then, since you are personally familiar with real communism, perhaps you can encourage someone ELSE to read the book!

Certainly. But what I would encourage most, if only I had the power, is to teach it in school, in place of Howard Fucking Zinn's twisted history.
As a matter of fact the reason we have so many who have no earthly idea of what they're inviting is because of the deliberate removal of these subjects from the schools. The first thing that budding communists do is erase the past because if you do that you never have to answer any uncomfortable questions. Questions like...."how many scores of millions are you going to kill this time in your quest for the workers paradise.......Hmmmmmmm?"

59 albusteve  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:31:12pm

re: #56 albusteve

great...we taught our kids to read from the old antique primers...they were reading before kindergarten...no big deal if you put the effort into it...parenting is a lost art

not an art...a responsibility

60 LGoPs  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:31:56pm

re: #57 pingjockey

Communism and socialism are all about the gov't power to control the people. Not making peoples lives better. It is for the express purpose of the few contolling the many and living like kings/queens. The elitists who champion the vile crap are the ones who're sure that when they achieve this workers utopia, they will be the ones driving in the special lanes on the road and shopping in the stores reserved just for them!

Precisely. And these same bastards harp endlessly about hypocrisy. They're all apparatchiks in waiting.

61 BatGuano  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:32:01pm

re: #52 OldLineTexan

My kids can. My twelve-year old tests at college level.

/Uh Oh, You're both in for trouble. All student animals are equal! See the Animal Farm references. In fact, I think TOTUS would frown if he read that.

Seriously, I am sure you are rightfully proud. :)

62 alegrias  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:32:30pm

re: #48 LGoPs

What I said on November 5th was "You know not what you have done"

* * * *
As I said, it can be packaged as a seductive sexy slogan.
Kumbaya, Wealth for All, Healthcare For All, Respect For All, Dachas for All

Remember when the Italian Communist Party had a groovy new slogan, "Communism with a Human Face"?

Yet everywhere they have Marx, Lenin, Mao or Fidel's sexy slogans, people run for the exits to escape. How can this be?

63 pingjockey  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:33:25pm

re: #60 LGoPs
Damn straight, all the usual suspects, hell a lot of them act that way already. We know what's best for you and we're better than you.

64 Noam Sayin'  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:33:53pm

This book is also known as, "Nekama's Troll Hammer for Demmies."

65 Sunlight  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:34:45pm

re: #55 Charles

They're melting down all over the Geert Wilders thread, by the way.

He said something at the Israel anti-jihad conference that made me think that he had joined in with Atlas, et al, and I gave up on him then.

66 MandyManners  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:36:21pm

re: #58 LGoPs

Certainly. But what I would encourage most, if only I had the power, is to teach it in school, in place of Howard Fucking Zinn's twisted history.
As a matter of fact the reason we have so many who have no earthly idea of what they're inviting is because of the deliberate removal of these subjects from the schools. The first thing that budding communists do is erase the past because if you do that you never have to answer any uncomfortable questions. Questions like...."how many scores of millions are you going to kill this time in your quest for the workers paradise.......Hmmmmmmm?"

Gramscian whoredom runs amok.

67 swamprat  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:36:44pm

I swear Charles is just trying to give "the daily kos" whiplash.

68 alegrias  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:36:51pm

re: #58 LGoPs

Certainly. But what I would encourage most, if only I had the power, is to teach it in school, in place of Howard Fucking Zinn's twisted history.
As a matter of fact the reason we have so many who have no earthly idea of what they're inviting is because of the deliberate removal of these subjects from the schools. The first thing that budding communists do is erase the past because if you do that you never have to answer any uncomfortable questions. Questions like...."how many scores of millions are you going to kill this time in your quest for the workers paradise.......Hmmmmmmm?"

* * * *
HAHAHAHAHA. Well, you already know the National Education Association (NEA) better described as the Union of Socialist Teachers, will never approve your recommendation.

Parents need to supplement their children's education at home if they send their children to public school.

Dinner time is a great time to have these conversations. How did your parents tell you about their life under communism?

69 Truck Monkey  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:36:53pm

I grew up next to a Russian Jewish family who worked with recent immigrants from 1970's Soviet Russia. They told stories about going to the grocery store and breaking down a crying because they could not believe that so many things were available for sale and they could purchase what they wanted. Story has stuck with me for decades.

70 jim in virginia  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:37:05pm

Another good anti leftist book: Robert COnquest's The Great Terror.

71 MacGregor  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:37:46pm

The public schools around here in CT are indoctrinating the kids with this blather. A niece of mine received an A for a high school paper suggesting we turn to communism. The kids in JROTC uniform were teased by children of bds consumed parents while moonbat teachers passively encouraged it.

99% of my kids' high school class don't know what a financial market is. No idea about investing, lending, borrowing, interest rates, or what an APR is. Upon graduation, their heads are filled with fear of global warming and evil corporations. Perhaps they're the shovel-ready generation.

72 Mich-again  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:38:58pm

The classic excuse from the Marxists when you point out the death and destruction communism caused is that communism itself is not the problem, its just that it hasn't been done right yet.

The truth is communism is a fine system and works quite well for ants or bees or any creatures that lack individualism and a desire for self-determination. But it will never work with humans. Unless the ones in charge kill off anyone who resists the system to terrorize the others to fall in line. And that is pretty much how its gone wherever communism has been tried. The fear works as a motivator for a while but eventually even fear of death isn't enough to control the subjects.

Humans won't behave like ants or bees and Marx was an idiot for thinking they would.

73 albusteve  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:38:59pm

re: #71 MacGregor

The public schools around here in CT are indoctrinating the kids with this blather. A niece of mine received an A for a high school paper suggesting we turn to communism. The kids in JROTC uniform were teased by children of bds consumed parents while moonbat teachers passively encouraged it.

99% of my kids' high school class don't know what a financial market is. No idea about investing, lending, borrowing, interest rates, or what an APR is. Upon graduation, their heads are filled with fear of global warming and evil corporations. Perhaps they're the shovel-ready generation.

me thinks I'll watch it unfold from elsewhere

74 Sharmuta  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:39:29pm

The one book I've read that gave me the most insight to the leftist mind was Radical Son, the autobiography of David Horowitz.

75 Van Helsing  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:40:30pm

re: #62 alegrias

* * * *
As I said, it can be packaged as a seductive sexy slogan.
Kumbaya, Wealth for All, Healthcare For All, Respect For All, Dachas for All

Remember when the Italian Communist Party had a groovy new slogan, "Communism with a Human Face"?

Yet everywhere they have Marx, Lenin, Mao or Fidel's sexy slogans, people run for the exits to escape. How can this be?

That was one of the statements I used for commies: If you think communism is so great, you will probably be welcomed in the USSR. We won't keep you.

However, you may want to check into why such a large number of people are trying so hard to leave the worker's paradise.

76 alegrias  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:41:13pm

Today's Wall Street Journal had a great article by the president of the American Enterprise Institute, a Mr. Brooks, on Capitalism being at stake here.

If someone could link to it, you'd like the article very much. (Sorry I can't on this machine)

77 jim in virginia  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:41:44pm

re: #52 OldLineTexan

My kids can. My twelve-year old tests at college level.

Yeh, but she's genetically gifted. You went to Rice.

78 Truck Monkey  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:41:47pm

re: #64 Noam Sayin'

This book is also known as, "Nekama's Troll Hammer for Demmies."

Whatever happened to Nekama?

79 LGoPs  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:43:05pm

re: #68 alegrias

* * * *
HAHAHAHAHA. Well, you already know the National Education Association (NEA) better described as the Union of Socialist Teachers, will never approve your recommendation.

Parents need to supplement their children's education at home if they send their children to public school.

Dinner time is a great time to have these conversations. How did your parents tell you about their life under communism?

Often at the dinner table, interestingly enough. I was also very aware of it because all the rest of our family stayed behind. It was ironic that in later years, I was an Infantry Officer and stood on the West German border looking over into the worker's paradise. And we brought them to their knees ....but not without being infected with their virus apparently. Not fatally, I pray.

80 crazy ivan  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:43:06pm

"From the Gulag to the Killing Fields, Personal Accounts of Political Violence and Repression in Communist States" edited by Paul Hollander is another good book because many of the essays were written by people whose stories almost always start off saying: "I believed in communism, I fought and helped establish a communist government in my country, but then one night, I got a knock on the door ... " Cuban prisoners forced to drink sewage, North Korean prisoners using their fellow executed prisoners to fertilize the corn fields, communist agricultural policies leading to famine in Ethiopia, (the list goes on).

For me, Dostoevsky's chapter "The Grand Inquisitor" in "The Brothers Karamazov" is one of the best explanations of the psychological motivations of leftists explaining why one would want to establish social justice and unite the world all at the cost of freedom.

Eric Hoffer's books have also always given me great insight into the psychology of extremists (The True Believer) and leftist thinking. One idea I just learned from him is in chapter 4 of "The Temper of our Time", and he compares intellectuals to colonialists: "When you read what New England intellectuals were saying about common people early in the nineteenth century you are reminded of what the British and French colonial officials were saying about the natives [...]." Today, leftist intellectuals view Kansas and the Midwest the same way British and French colonialists viewed India and Africa (remember "What's the Matter with Kansas" by Frank Rich?).

81 The Shadow Do  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:45:14pm

re: #78 Truck Monkey

Whatever happened to Nekama?

I think, like J.D. Salinger, he said all he felt needed to be said.

82 OldLineTexan  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:46:07pm

re: #74 Sharmuta

The one book I've read that gave me the most insight to the leftist mind was Radical Son, the autobiography of David Horowitz.

I liked Son of the Revolution. Funny how some of the "best" ideas of the Chinese Cultural Revolution are still being promoted.

83 albusteve  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:46:16pm

re: #78 Truck Monkey

Whatever happened to Nekama?

has a bar in Freeport...fishes all day long

84 919nc  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:46:54pm

The communist manifesto and rage against the machine (songs like "take the power back") are two good examples of effective rabble-rousing from erudite authors. Both are worth reading/listening to. Why? To understand the personal nature of their "fight" and to clearly see why they are so profoundly conflicted. It strikes me that the academic establishment (which produced rage's politics - Harvard), also does not fully understand the differences between left and right. It may also explain the outfits and facial hair configurations of most professors.

85 Syrah  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:46:58pm

I would not recommend these to anyone who has any leftist leanings, But I would to anyone who wants to understand how the mechanics of the street-theater left thinks and operates.

Rules for Radicals

Reveille for Radicals

They are "how to manuals".

86 OldLineTexan  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:47:31pm

re: #77 jim in virginia

Yeh, but she's genetically gifted. You went to Rice.

I Go To Rice - I Used To Be Smart

/wore THAT t-shirt out, buddy

87 formercorpsman  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:48:17pm

I had one episode which made it real for me, and something more than words off of a page, or the oral recollection of people lucky enough to recite their own experience.

In the early 90's, I was vacationing in Florida. On Daytona Beach, the remains of a makeshift raft washed on shore.

The people on that raft did not.

88 MJ  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:48:19pm

Plea Deal Reached With Agent for Al Qaeda


During the nearly six years that Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri spent in isolation in a Navy brig as the last enemy combatant held on United States soil, he denied the government’s charges that he was a sleeper agent for Al Qaeda, his lawyers said. But on Thursday, in a federal courtroom in Peoria, Ill., that denial fell apart when Mr. Marri reached a deal with the government to plead guilty to conspiracy to provide material support to Al Qaeda...

[Link: www.nytimes.com...]

89 pingjockey  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:48:27pm

re: #86 OldLineTexan
Ahahahahaa!
My dad went to USMA and has a ton of Aggie jokes.

90 alegrias  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:48:40pm

re: #79 LGoPs

Often at the dinner table, interestingly enough. I was also very aware of it because all the rest of our family stayed behind. It was ironic that in later years, I was an Infantry Officer and stood on the West German border looking over into the worker's paradise. And we brought them to their knees ....but not without being infected with their virus apparently. Not fatally, I pray.

* * * *
Thank you for your service.

My father was sent to Korea at 17 years old in 1947 before that war started and ended up with Communist North and Free South. Dad is amazed Korean neighbors from FREE South Korea are big and tall and entrepreneurs with straight-A childen in America.

North Communist Korea is a starving gulag.
Do most Americans even know why one Korea is rich and North Koreans eat dirt?

91 albusteve  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:50:06pm

re: #90 alegrias

* * * *
Thank you for your service.

My father was sent to Korea at 17 years old in 1947 before that war started and ended up with Communist North and Free South. Dad is amazed Korean neighbors from FREE South Korea are big and tall and entrepreneurs with straight-A childen in America.

North Communist Korea is a starving gulag.
Do most Americans even know why one Korea is rich and North Koreans eat dirt?

of course...it has to do with Bush

92 formercorpsman  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:51:39pm

re: #87 formercorpsman

It went through my head, we both were looking to reach the shores of Daytona.

I was going for fun & sun, they were risking their lives for basic necessity.

93 pingjockey  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:53:15pm

NBA fans...Boston/Chicago going to OT.

94 alegrias  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:53:25pm

re: #91 albusteve

of course...it has to do with Bush

* * * *
Well you have a point. Bush the Elder was a WWII Navy pilot, and helped beat Tojo and communism in the Pacific!

96 MJ  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:54:25pm

I'd like to recommend several books by the French philosopher Jean-Francois Revel:


How Democracies Perish

The Totalitarian Temptation


[Link: www.amazon.com...]

97 SasquatchOnSteroids  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:54:50pm

Old Commie joke.

How do you deal with mice in the Kremlin?
Put up a sign saying "collective farm".
Half the mice will starve and the others will run away.”

98 Noam Sayin'  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:55:06pm

re: #78 Truck Monkey

Whatever happened to Nekama?

She or he still comes around from time to time.

99 Jim in Virginia  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:55:13pm

re: #87 formercorpsman

I had one episode which made it real for me, and something more than words off of a page, or the oral recollection of people lucky enough to recite their own experience.

In the early 90's, I was vacationing in Florida. On Daytona Beach, the remains of a makeshift raft washed on shore.

The people on that raft did not.


Wow. Just wow. As long as we have people so desperate to get into this country, (Haitians don't try to sneak into Venezuela or Cuba), we are doing something right.

100 pingjockey  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:55:18pm

re: #95 Killgore Trout
Did the Czechs cut him loose or is he still a 'guest'.

101 OldLineTexan  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:55:30pm
102 LGoPs  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:55:47pm

There'a an Army badge. It's worn by Drill Sergeants and it says "This We'll Defend"
[Link: www.armystudyguide.com...]

We on the right need to define the core principles we believe in and draw a line on the ground and say "This We'll Defend"

103 OldLineTexan  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:55:53pm

re: #100 pingjockey

Did the Czechs cut him loose or is he still a 'guest'.

Tossed his arse outta the country.

104 A Man for all Seasons  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:56:05pm

OT Again! Some pundits have said that the series between the Bulls and the Celtics is a real world classic..If fact after one of the games last week it went within 24 hours on NBA Classic games....Well they just went OT Again..Call 911 this is really cool and I need oxygen.STAT!

105 BlueCanuck  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:56:37pm

re: #54 OldLineTexan

My middle girl had to read "Brave New World".

Ah, but spun right "Brave New World", especially in conjunction with the movie, can be spun as an anti consumerism/captialism screed.

/ummm actually spun left...

106 Jim in Virginia  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:56:51pm

Nekama married Becky Thompson and bought a store in Tupelo.

107 Midwestprof  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:56:55pm

To get my fill of communist perspective, all I have to do is talk to my wife about it. She escaped Ceausescu's commie "paradise" as a college student in the late 80s.

108 born conservative  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:56:58pm

Liberty and Tyranny
Mark Levin
5 weeks NYT #1 bestseller

109 pingjockey  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:57:01pm

re: #103 OldLineTexan
He should've looked at their oddball thought laws before he went!

110 albusteve  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:57:01pm

re: #99 Jim in Virginia

Wow. Just wow. As long as we have people so desperate to get into this country, (Haitians don't try to sneak into Venezuela or Cuba), we are doing something right.

many people get picked up off shore, away from Cuban waters...you never know

111 Noam Sayin'  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:57:04pm

re: #93 pingjockey

NBA fans...Boston/Chicago going to OT.

Again?

I think that's the third overtime game for those two.

112 Killgore Trout  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:57:32pm

re: #100 pingjockey

They cut him loose but I read over at Stormfront the other day that they asked him to come back for trial. I guess it's a way to keep him out of the country,

113 OldLineTexan  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:58:03pm

re: #105 BlueCanuck

Ah, but spun right "Brave New World", especially in conjunction with the movie, can be spun as an anti consumerism/captialism screed.

/ummm actually spun left...

They taught it as "soft totalitarianism". Actually made the kids work, though.

114 alegrias  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:58:08pm

Night all. Tomorrow I visit a wonderful friend who worked 8 years in Reagan's White House.

When Reagan died and came back to Washington, we followed Reagan's caisson from Constitution Avenue near the White House to the Capitol where it lay in state and we waited on foot until 1am to pay our respects, back in 2004.

All Hail the Conqueror of (Soviet) Communism, I say.

We always have work to do defending & promoting our manifestly better system.

115 pingjockey  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:58:11pm

re: #112 Killgore Trout
That would do it.

116 Dr. Shalit  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:58:53pm

Charles & All Lizardim -

Put it this way. "Communism" WAS tried here in the United States in the 1600's - By the Pilgrim/Massachusetts Bay Colony. It was an abject failure. Within about a Year, Common Sense prevailed. Common Holdings were changed into Private Holdings. The Colony Prospered, and the REST is an almost archaeological History - The Basis for the USA. That is ALL.

-S-

117 [deleted]  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:59:07pm
118 LGoPs  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:59:29pm

re: #114 alegrias

Night all. Tomorrow I visit a wonderful friend who worked 8 years in Reagan's White House.

When Reagan died and came back to Washington, we followed Reagan's caisson from Constitution Avenue near the White House to the Capitol where it lay in state and we waited on foot until 1am to pay our respects, back in 2004.

All Hail the Conqueror of (Soviet) Communism, I say.

We always have work to do defending & promoting our manifestly better system.

God Bless Ronald Reagan's memory.

119 OldLineTexan  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:59:32pm

re: #112 Killgore Trout

They cut him loose but I read over at Stormfront the other day that they asked him to come back for trial. I guess it's a way to keep him out of the country,

Did they make him pinky swear, like we do to illegal alien in Texas?

"OK, Senor Garcia, we are letting you go on your own recognizance. But you have to be back here in two weeks for your trial."

"Of course, your Honor."

/

120 alegrias  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:59:35pm

re: #96 MJ

I'd like to recommend several books by the French philosopher Jean-Francois Revel:

How Democracies Perish

The Totalitarian Temptation

[Link: www.amazon.com...]

* * * *
Temptation is key! Making Communism Sexy has paid off.

We must reconnect Sexy with Capitalism and Freedom.

121 Earick  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 6:59:39pm

"real communism has never been tried.”

I agree! If honest people ever tried communism it would be found guilty and sentenced to death for the murder of millions of lives and billions of dreams!

122 albusteve  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 7:00:27pm

re: #120 alegrias

* * * *
Temptation is key! Making Communism Sexy has paid off.

We must reconnect Sexy with Capitalism and Freedom.

Heff for Prez!

123 LGoPs  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 7:01:04pm

G'nite lizards.

124 pingjockey  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 7:01:21pm

re: #123 LGoPs
Nite!

125 rawmuse  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 7:01:48pm

Read "Das Kapital" if you can.
I found it to be a monument of impenetrable gibberish, based on the concept that there is such a thing as a Free Lunch.

126 Dr. Shalit  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 7:02:01pm

re: #121 Earick

"real communism has never been tried.”

I agree! If honest people ever tried communism it would be found guilty and sentenced to death for the murder of millions of lives and billions of dreams!

Earick -

See My #116 above. Thank You.

-S-

127 OldLineTexan  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 7:02:05pm

re: #106 Jim in Virginia

Nekama married Becky Thompson and bought a store in Tupelo.

ah, Tupelo honey.

128 Cygnus  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 7:02:25pm

From "Voyage of the Dawn Treader" (Chronicles of Narnia)

"But wouldn't that be setting the clock back," gasped the governor. "Have you no idea of progress, of development?"

"I have seen them both in an egg," said Caspian. "We call it going bad in Narnia."

129 [deleted]  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 7:02:25pm
130 MJ  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 7:02:35pm

re: #120 alegrias

* * * *
Temptation is key! Making Communism Sexy has paid off.

We must reconnect Sexy with Capitalism and Freedom.

Have you read these books?

131 alegrias  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 7:02:37pm

re: #102 LGoPs

There'a an Army badge. It's worn by Drill Sergeants and it says "This We'll Defend"
[Link: www.armystudyguide.com...]

We on the right need to define the core principles we believe in and draw a line on the ground and say "This We'll Defend"

* * * *
This We Will PROMOTE. We need more believers and promoters of a great system.

Celebrate Capitalism and Celebrate Freedom. If people cherished these more, they wouldn't give them up willingly.

132 The Sanity Inspector  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 7:03:08pm

re: #70 jim in virginia

Another good anti leftist book: Robert COnquest's The Great Terror.

And another good one by him is Reflection On A Ravaged Century. Sample quotes:

To congratulate oneself on one's warm commitment to the environment, or to peace, or to the oppressed, and think no more is a profound moral fault.

As is now generally admitted, a Soviet bomb would not have been achieved for several years more but for the success of Soviet espionage in obtaining secret information from Western scientists associated with the Manhattan Project. That is to say, political ideas in the minds of certain capable physicists and others took the form of believing that to provide Stalin with the bomb was a contribution to world progress. They were wrong. And their decisions show, once again, that minds of high quality in other respects are not immune to political or ideological delirium....In the Soviet case, those involved thought they knew better than mere politicians like
Churchill. They didn't.

...it would seem that Marxism-Leninism is no longer in the realm of
intellectual debate. Like creationism, it posited an immanent force in history. Like phrenology and Baconism, it relied on complex calculations and analysis. Like astrology, it will persist in some minds--though in its pure form it looks as though it may soon only be found, like the spotted owl, in a few sanctuaries on the American Pacific Coast.

133 aboo-Hoo-Hoo  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 7:03:19pm

re: #85 Syrah

I would not recommend these to anyone who has any leftist leanings, But I would to anyone who wants to understand how the mechanics of the street-theater left thinks and operates.

Rules for Radicals

Reveille for Radicals

They are "how to manuals".

They are also part of the collection of 'How-to-Stop-It' books.

134 OldLineTexan  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 7:03:24pm

re: #117 buzzsawmonkey

And with all the sex in it, I'm sure they read the book avidly.

Heh. Should have seen my "good girl" plow through that.

She also had to read Michener's "The Source" ths year.

I think our schools are a bit weird.

/

135 alegrias  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 7:04:07pm

re: #116 Dr. Shalit

Charles & All Lizardim -

Put it this way. "Communism" WAS tried here in the United States in the 1600's - By the Pilgrim/Massachusetts Bay Colony. It was an abject failure. Within about a Year, Common Sense prevailed. Common Holdings were changed into Private Holdings. The Colony Prospered, and the REST is an almost archaeological History - The Basis for the USA. That is ALL.

-S-

* * *
Clearly, Thanksgiving need re-branding as a celebration of Private Enterprise Potluck, instead of the collective turkey dinner.

136 Dr. Shalit  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 7:06:35pm

re: #125 rawmuse

Read "Das Kapital" if you can.
I found it to be a monument of impenetrable gibberish, based on the concept that there is such a thing as a Free Lunch.

rawmuse -

My thought, for what it is worth, is this - Capitalism Is Nothing More Than Human Nature, with Monetary Values - in $, € or Y (with strike) to keep score.
That is all.

-S-

137 swamprat  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 7:07:35pm

re: #69 Truck Monkey

I've that in the US. Woman walked into a store (like a k-mart) and screamed.

138 alegrias  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 7:07:53pm

re: #130 MJ

Have you read these books?

* * * *
I could see Communists from my house! So I had practical experience, thank you very much~

Plus studied Das Kapital and other stuff later.

139 OldLineTexan  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 7:08:28pm

re: #138 alegrias

* * * *
I could see Communists from my house!

Like Sarah Palin!

////////////

140 Dr. Shalit  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 7:08:43pm

re: #129 buzzsawmonkey

Communism was very popular in the US in the early 19th century. That was the era of Utopian communities. Bronson Alcott--Louisa May Alcott's father--was involved with one, the name of which I forget. The Amana colony was one, IIRC.

In any event, communist communes were hot stuff back then--a sort of precursor to the hippie "back to the land" movement in the late 1960s, and not much more successful in the long run.

As an interesting side note, it was also during that period that Mordechai Noah tried to found Ararat, a city of refuge for the Jews, on an island below Niagara Falls. That, too, failed.

buzzsawmonkey -

They ALL failed - AS - All were against Human Nature to ONE DEGREE or another.

-S-

141 Dr. Shalit  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 7:09:32pm

re: #139 OldLineTexan

OLT -

Governor Palin - OR - TINA FEY?

-S-

142 OldLineTexan  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 7:10:20pm

re: #141 Dr. Shalit

OLT -

Governor Palin - OR - TINA FEY?

-S-

Hence the sarc tags ... Lizards know ... even if the masses do not

143 Dr. Shalit  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 7:11:52pm

re: #140 Dr. Shalit

Rely to Self -

Except for Eretz Yisroel - Eastern European Socialism was STILL strong enough in 1948 to Pull It Off. Thanks to HaShem.

-S-

144 alegrias  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 7:12:02pm

re: #142 OldLineTexan

Hence the sarc tags ... Lizards know ... even if the masses do not

* * * * *
Gov. Palin would know exactly how to deal with Communists.
She's a pugnacious believer in America, not an apologist for America.

145 Dr. Shalit  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 7:14:37pm

re: #144 alegrias

* * * * *
Gov. Palin would know exactly how to deal with Communists.
She's a pugnacious believer in America, not an apologist for America.

alegrias -

Every time I see "HIS" face, I Prefer "HERS." 'Nuff Said?

-S-

146 A Man for all Seasons  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 7:15:57pm

Double OT..Celts and the Bulls!
I need a really cute lizard to step up and offer mouth to mouth in case this goes 3 OT's..I need Oxygen!
/Just teasing..This is an absolute Classic playoff game..back in 5 minutes

147 Kreuzueber Halbmond  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 7:16:09pm

Tomorrow is the commie happy day.

May First, May Day, is the international holiday of revolution. It is a day of revolutionary rededication and celebration.

Revolutionary May 1: A day when we renew our vision of a world that has gone beyond exploitation...beyond the division of society into a handful who own and control the world, and the vast majority who do not...beyond all the oppressive social relations and thinking that go with that. A day when we rededicate to bringing into being a society in which men no longer dominate women, in which one nation “or race” no longer dominates another, when everybody works both with their hands and their minds, and where people come together in a world community of freely cooperating human beings.

[Link: rwor.org...]

148 hazzyday  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 7:18:55pm

Wild Swans is an interesting look at Chinese communism.

149 nadnerb  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 7:20:10pm

I read a biography of Mao when I was recovering from arm surgery earlier this year-I learned of this particular book from Dennis Prager: Mao: The Unknown Story. It's only the partial story of Communism, but enough to illustrate beyond doubt the folly and evil of this philosophy. Mao cared so little about his people and China that he left no will. One odd and depraved thing that I thought stood out was how he made historical preservationists who objected to his demolishing of ancient shrines and buildings destroy the buildings themselves.

150 Cato the Elder  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 7:21:31pm

For a quick fictional read showing the Revolution eating its own, Arthur Koestler's "Darkness At Noon" is pretty much unsurpassed.

Then there's "The God That Failed":

"a 1949 book which collects together six essays with the testimonies of a number of famous ex-Communists, who were writers and journalists. The common theme of the essays is the authors' disillusionment with and abandonment of Communism. The promotional byline to the book is "Six famous men tell how they changed their minds about Communism."

The six contributors were Louis Fischer, André Gide, Arthur Koestler, Ignazio Silone, Stephen Spender, and Richard Wright."

Jean-Paul Sartre is an prime example of the intellectual/moral contortions 20th-century leftist thinkers went through to avoid denouncing the USSR.

After [Che] Guevara's death, Sartre would declare him to be "not only an intellectual but also the most complete human being of our age" and the "era's most perfect man."

For an introduction to Solzhenitsyn, the one to start with, in my opinion, is "The First Circle". The reference is to Dante's Inferno.

151 NelsFree  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 7:22:05pm

"A Book With Which One Can Fight Leftists"
/Proper Grammar off

152 Cato the Elder  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 7:24:33pm

re: #116 Dr. Shalit

Charles & All Lizardim -

Put it this way. "Communism" WAS tried here in the United States in the 1600's - By the Pilgrim/Massachusetts Bay Colony. It was an abject failure. Within about a Year, Common Sense prevailed. Common Holdings were changed into Private Holdings. The Colony Prospered, and the REST is an almost archaeological History - The Basis for the USA. That is ALL.

-S-

Just curious - were you a classmate of John Bunyan?

153 The Sanity Inspector  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 7:25:21pm

And the appalling thing about The Black Book of Communism is that it isn't even the whole story. We still don't know a lot of the atrocities and their victims.

154 Dr. Shalit  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 7:28:01pm

re: #149 nadnerb

I read a biography of Mao when I was recovering from arm surgery earlier this year-I learned of this particular book from Dennis Prager: Mao: The Unknown Story. It's only the partial story of Communism, but enough to illustrate beyond doubt the folly and evil of this philosophy. Mao cared so little about his people and China that he left no will. One odd and depraved thing that I thought stood out was how he made historical preservationists who objected to his demolishing of ancient shrines and buildings destroy the buildings themselves.

nadnerb -

Sounds to Me Like Afghanistan, MARCH, 2001 - The Bamayyan Buddhas. That is all.

-S-

155 pingjockey  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 7:28:38pm

re: #151 NelsFree

"A book with which one can BEAT leftists with".

156 spudly  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 7:42:24pm

Death By Government by R.J Rummel.

Much is also online at his website: [Link: www.hawaii.edu...]

157 Crimsonfisted  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 7:57:12pm

Thank you.

158 BingoBunny  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 8:07:47pm

Those who will commit murder to get and or stay in power, fill the history books.. sometimes Our system can weed those kind out.. and sometimes parties become so power mad themselves that the checks slip by.. some of the thrills running up MSM legs might turn into snakes if they keep this worship up for a long time.. and for one party.

159 ThingFish  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 8:11:48pm

Thanks folks,
This is precisely what I need to be able to talk intelligently about communism.

I'm always so late to the thread...

160 [deleted]  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 8:54:31pm
161 Radar  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 9:14:10pm

I dunno why I felt the need to type this out. I teach history to college students and I learned a few things about how to argue against Marxism and FOR Capitalism. I have also learned that as much as the departments and educators and administration are rife with Marxism...you'd be surprised at how few students care about these ideas. Not that there aren't problems with their education which is full of wishy washy feel good PC diversity social justice garbage...but most switch off their brains about it. I guess it depends on the campus and the size of the school and even the department, but this is my experience on two local campuses. You'd also be surprised at just how many students actually support Capitalism or are Republican or libertarian and can argue for these things eloquently. There are a few. More than you might think. So take heart.

But anyway...

Some tips for dealing with Marxists or even people who are taking even just an interest or are mildly enthused by Marxist ideas.

1. You do not have to be a card carrying party member type Marxist to unknowingly adopt Marxist ideas. Some people really just don't know the ideas they have and the incorrect assumptions they have are actually Marxist in origin. Some do, they are the sly ones.
2. You know you are hearing bullshit when you hear or see the words "The means of production...". Any time I see those words, they are used as a straw man to define Capitalism so it is easy to knock down and elevate Marxism. I always, in any discussion with Marxists, define Capitalism simply as economic freedom. If pressed, I add "without government coercion of or involvement in citizen's economic lives".
3. Related to 2, Marxists will ALWAYS try to accuse Capitalism of killing more people. Calmly explain that true Capitalism has never killed anyone. Governments are responsible for the things Marxists accuse Capitalism of doing. Governments are not Capitalist. Societies can be, but governments are not. Governments are force. Capitalism if, again, economic freedom. Governments can only regulate, hinder, or destroy economic freedom. We are lucky to have a government who generally just regulates, and sometimes hinders...though where we are headed...who knows.
4. Marxists are truly terrified of freedom. The idea of people "just doing whatever they want" scares, and angers Marxists more than anything in the world. Above all the Marxist desires control over people. They sometimes fool themselves into thinking "It is only doing what is best for people, trying to help them" etc. etc. but it still comes down to an almost infantile fear of freedom.
5. Marxists are almost never actually workers themselves.

To be continued...

162 boxman  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 9:16:14pm

About 10 years ago I read the Black Book; it affected me greatly (depressed for weeks) and probably laid the foundation for me to change from (D) to (R). Of course, 9/11 was the true turning point ...

I had a snooty French Nation-reading (Communist) neighbor upstairs who would froth about how terrible the American system and its foreign policy was, but when I tried to discuss this book with her -- after all, it WAS written by 6 French lefties -- she didn't want to hear it. You know, somewhere/somehow/sometime there'll be that Utopia, we just have to keep working at it! The cognitive dissonance was amazing. We eventually stopped sleeping together ...

163 Radar  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 9:17:29pm

6. Marxists actually despise the common people they think (or pretend) to care about.

7. Most Marxists are not aware of the massive logical holes in their own ideology. They know nothing about their faulty understanding of human nature, how wealth is created and who creates it, how wealth is NOT finite, and how wealth moves in an economy and why. They are also unaware that for humans to provide every member of a society with all they need all the time, it would require an omnipresent deity to first discern everyone's needs, all the time, in real time, and even then, find a way to deliver (derived from the silly "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs" bullshit). Most importantly for the ones who think Marxism doesn't stifle freedom or creativity...they don't know how the very basis of their ideology, that if you want to control an economy, you MUST control people, actually diminishes and destroys freedom, is in fact, the antithesis of freedom. Marxists also have no concept of how human incentives operate (see faulty understanding of human nature).

8. Marxists will rarely be convinced they are wrong about their ideas on every fundamental level. Some may rethink their ideas, but will always feel, probably on some small level, that Marxism is a desire to "help" people and that their intentions are "caring" in nature.

9. Marxists will try to use the following arguments: Capitalism actually killed more people, Hitler was a true Christian and a true Capitalist, What Stalin and Mao did was actually some weird form of Capitalism, not Communism. Trust me, at some point, you WILL hear these things argued. Be prepared for them. There ARE counters to them. Learn those counters.

10. Truly, and genuinely LEARN about Capitalism, about its roots, how it is practiced etc. Learn about the Enlightenment and truly try to understand it's values. Read about the Framer's, the Constitution, John Locke, Thomas Paine, and the Federalist Papers. Read about Objectivism (you don't have to be a Randroid to learn it's value). If you have been "putting it off", don't. Learn how to argue FOR these things. Learn how to do so eloquently. You WILL win arguments this way because you will be armed with a foundation in rationalism.

If you are serious about changing how people think about these things, understand that it is a lonely place arguing FOR Capitalism and individualism. It is a wilderness at times, but you WILL find fellow travellers and you will open minds. You would be truly surprised at how excited people can get when exposed to these ideas and how much they want to learn. Mostly because at heart, they are simple, truthful, observable in daily life ideas.

Hope it helps.

164 Zodac  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 9:33:45pm

I would recommend Sir Karl Poppers "The Open Society an Its Enemies", which gives a good explanation why collectivism leads to tyranny.
Another good book is Friedrich Hayeks "Constitution of Liberty" which is more profound than his "road to serfdom".

But my insider tip is Milovan Djilas "The New Class".
Djilas was a high ranking member of Yugoslavia's communist Party who becomes a persona non grata and several years of prison after he published his marxistic analysis of communism.
It`s maybe the sole marxistic Book which every anticommunist could read with great pleasure.

165 Radar  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 9:35:04pm

Oh, I'd also recommend Lenin's Tomb: the Last Days of the Soviet Empire by David Remnick.

166 Nadnerb  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 9:44:10pm

re: #161 Radar

With that, I feel reading a book would be redundant! What's interesting is how you don't have to be a card carrying Marxist to espouse these ideals. People who aren't die hards might learn about this and take it lightly, but I think that's how it infects them. I don't know you, but you have given me a powerful weapon. Thanks from Fullerton....

167 Zimriel  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 9:56:45pm

Thank you Charles.

Yes, the Black Book is on my shelf already. It is a problem to the Left; and that is why there is a movement by Thomas Franks and Naomi Klein to cook up "black books of capitalism".

Which goes to Radar's #3.

169 Ringo the Gringo  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 10:05:34pm

Eric Hoffer's book The True Believer is also a classic.

170 wiffersnapper  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 10:38:24pm

Did I catch that right? 900+ pages?! My book list keeps getting longer...

171 Fierce Guppy  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 11:02:50pm

The authors of "The Black Book of Communism" are Socialists, but they have no qualms about detailing the horrors committed in the name of Socialism and Communism around the world. The only criticism I have to make about the book is that the authors fail to draw a causal link between Socialist ideals and the widespread destruction of human life and economies. One is left with the impression their Socialist ideals were usurped by opportunistic monsters rather than being a likely outcome of trying to implement Socialist ideals. In fact, no philosophical ammunition can be gained from this book because the principle ideas of Socialism are never examined and judged. However, if you already understand Socialism enough to figure out its destructive consequences, at least to the degree Socialism is applied, then The Black Book has truck loads of empirical data you can use to counter Marxist ideas.

Good memory retention also helps, a lot.

Tony.

172 Picayune  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 11:22:17pm

If ya can't beat 'em, join em! That's right, the better half is a Russian MD, a former Red Army Major (Dr's were automatically put into Red Army Officer Corps). Don't need the book, the history is well known and I get it first hand - all the time ( "taxes, what the hell are all these taxes on my US hospital paycheck? Welcome to America, sez I, and she hates it.)

Her mother, Tamara, who lived with us, left us last year at 82, may she rest in peace, after surviving the Battle of Stalingrad at 19.

Never fight the Russians, better to marry them, and no, they like the genie out of the bottle better than living the lie! Freedom is powerful stuff to those without it. My wife can kick mis-guided liberal ass, all day long, and rightly so!

173 Salamantis  Thu, Apr 30, 2009 11:26:30pm

I would recommend the following:

The Case For Democracy by Natan Sharansky

The Power Of The Powerless by Vaclav Havel

Anti-Americanism by Jean-Francois Revel

Silent America by Bill Whittle

174 dmjboose  Fri, May 1, 2009 1:15:54am

Atlas shrugged (the book, not the blog) is the best refutation of communism I've ever read. It cuts to the core of the philosophy rather than skirting around saying that it's "just not practical."

Great book. Terrible Blog. Completely unrelated.

175 Oh no...Sand People!  Fri, May 1, 2009 4:37:31am

I know I am late to the game and can only put out a drive by post, but I have the "Black Book of Communism", "Chernata Kniga na Komynizma" in bulgarian. Cried my eyes out.

176 ducktrapper  Fri, May 1, 2009 5:32:59am

The "true" communism has never been tried meme is one of the most insidious around. What these movements lacked was better and more committed communists, I suppose. Indeed if your enemy is racial, you could eventually run out of victims but when the enemy is a "class" or anyone who opposes your ideology, you never run out because you can keep creating more.

177 Diamond Bullet  Fri, May 1, 2009 6:00:34am

Thanks for the tip Charles; I'd never heard of this book but look forward to reading it.

178 gegenkritik  Fri, May 1, 2009 6:02:38am

An interview with Dr. Stephan Grigat about Communism, anti-German criticism and Israel.

179 leereyno  Fri, May 1, 2009 7:43:48am

Thank you Charles for taking the time to read my message and respond to it. The posters here have made some great suggestions as well. I've ordered both the Black Book of Communism and the history of communism that Amazon was promoting alongside it.

My encounter with the communist troubled me more than I expected it to, perhaps because I wasn't expecting to run into him. It isn't that he said something that gave me pause, but that the things he said were so irrational and ridiculous that I simply could not comprehend why he would say them. He reminded me of a Holocaust denier more than anything else, someone who will claim with a straight face and with apparent earnestness that water isn't wet. To me, the truth is the most important thing there is. So when someone says things that are demonstrably false beyond all doubt, it really does bother me. I don't become angry, but instead find myself trying to figure out how someone could believe something so obviously wrong, and in this case evil.

Upon further reflection, I realized that the problem of dealing with someone like this is that, just like a Holocaust denier, they are not arguing in good faith. They are making arguments that they know are untrue, hoping that you will respond by attempting to refute them with the obvious truth, at which point they trot out another falsehood specifically crafted to deny what they KNEW you were going to say. It is a trick and a scam. A person who was speaking what they believed to be the truth would not behave this way.

Why do they do this? Why do they make carefully constructed false arguments that include canned responses to the most common refutations? I don't know. I cannot understand why someone would continue to believe something that they know to be false.

Trying to use logic, reason, or objective facts with such a person is a waste of time because they are not operating off of these things in the first place.

You can lead a leftist to reason, but you can't make him think.

180 Land Shark  Fri, May 1, 2009 8:00:22am

A book I wholeheartedly recommend is "Kruschev Remembers". I lot of the madness that communism is comes through, especially the chapters on Stalin.

181 leereyno  Fri, May 1, 2009 8:35:48am

re: #167 Zimriel

Thank you Charles.

Yes, the Black Book is on my shelf already. It is a problem to the Left; and that is why there is a movement by Thomas Franks and Naomi Klein to cook up "black books of capitalism".

Which goes to Radar's #3.

Leftists love to pit communism against capitalism. This is not by accident. They typically make dishonest arguments framed in a dishonest way.

The true antithesis to communism is NOT capitalism, but liberty.

182 JohnInTheWoods  Fri, May 1, 2009 8:40:32am

A big +1 for the Black Book. A terrifying read, without unnecessary window-dressing to soften the blow.

Also recommend: "United in Hate", by Dr. Jamie Glazov. A somewhat clinical book about the pathologies of the far left mind, and how it's inspired murderous regimes over the past century or so.

After reading both, I bought more ammunition.

183 Radar  Fri, May 1, 2009 9:37:09am

re: #181 leereyno

Leftists love to pit communism against capitalism. This is not by accident. They typically make dishonest arguments framed in a dishonest way.

The true antithesis to communism is NOT capitalism, but liberty.

Yes! Thank you for bringing that up. I wanted to mention that, but got sidetracked.

That is absolutely correct that Capitalism is not the antithesis (let's use the word opposite though, as thesis and antithesis are Marxist jargon-I used antithesis earlier myself). If you look at the history of Marxist ideology, it is the longest running straw man argument of any political ideology. Marxists have set themselves up as opposed to Capitalism when what they are opposed to is Democracy, and thus, as you said, liberty. Capitalism is not an ideology which believes will result in some sort of utopia. Capitalism is simply economic freedom and thus exists wherever any two people trade freely with each other. This can be in a free market society which respects the rule of law and features a limited government which respects private property and individual rights (the best combination to allow for maximum liberty) all the way to the black market in a Communist society which controls all aspects of people's lives (or attempts to) and everything in between.

So Capitalism is everywhere, it is just how MUCH of economic freedom is allowed.

Marxists never understood this, and this is why they have always, and always will, fail.

They oppose Capitalism, but the way they go about that is to actually try as hard as possible to destroy liberty. This is why they always MUST resort to force to be successful. No matter how many people they kill, arrest, torture, or control, they simply cannot succeed in destroying Capitalism because to do so you must destroy or control what comes naturally to people...to interact with each other freely (inaliable liberty) and in the most important way humans can interact...in how they trade with each other. This is why wealth is infinite, because people will always find something of value to each other. Money is just what we use to represent that basic concept. Marxists never got that either and still subscribe to the incorrect notion that wealth is finite and thus must be distributed equally which in turn requires force to (re)distribute.

They just don't get it because they just don't get that simple connection. Thus their views on everything are not just wrong, but literally, backwards.

This is why they lie, because they MUST. The trick is discerning between the ones who lie on purpose, and the ones who just don't know any better.

184 arf  Fri, May 1, 2009 10:11:58am

Another suggestion.

Try the movie "Soviet Story". It's now available on DVD.

[Link: www.sovietstory.com...]

185 landline  Fri, May 1, 2009 10:24:49am

I read the book and also highly recommend it.

186 Psychobarb  Fri, May 1, 2009 10:43:11am

Might I also recommend "Gulag" by Anne Applebaum.

187 Mike McDaniel  Fri, May 1, 2009 11:26:30am

"Mig Pilot", by John Barron, is worth reading.

188 vitoc  Fri, May 1, 2009 1:50:37pm

re: #164 Zodac

I would recommend Sir Karl Poppers "The Open Society an Its Enemies", which gives a good explanation why collectivism leads to tyranny.
.

Yes, this is an excellent suggestion. It was a very important book for me, since reading it made me move away from being a leftist for good.

189 David IV of Georgia  Sat, May 2, 2009 8:24:59am

re: #7 hopperandadropper

The Gulag Archipelago by Solzhenitsyn is also instructive.

I read all three volumes (it's three volumes in English) some years ago in a fit of masochism. Some people eat dirt for fun [Link: en.wikipedia.org...] others like communism—there is no sense or logic behind it, it is some mental handicap or disorder.


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