Kevin D. Williamson: The Eternal Dictator

Generalissimo Francisco Franco

Generalissimo Francisco Franco

The ruthless exercise of power by strongmen and generalissimos is the natural state of human affairs. 

kevin-williamsonFor National Review OnlineKevin D. Williamson writes: I’m 41 years old, which doesn’t feel that old to me (most days), but history is short. With the exception of those trapped behind the Iron Curtain, the world as I have known it has been remarkably free and prosperous, and it is getting more free and more prosperous. But it is also a fact that, within my lifetime, there have been dictatorships in Spain, Portugal, Greece, Poland, India, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, South Korea, and half of Germany — and lots of other places, too, to be sure, but you sort of expect them in Cameroon and Russia. If I were only a few years older, I could add France to that list. (You know how you can tell that Charles de Gaulle was a pretty good dictator? He’s almost never described as a “dictator.”) There have been three attempted coups d’état in Spain during my life. Take the span of my father’s life and you’ll find dictatorships and coups and generalissimos rampant in practically every country, even the nice ones, like Norway.

“Rexford Tugwell, a key figure in Roosevelt’s so-called brain trust, was particularly keen on the Italian fascist model, which he described as ‘the cleanest, most efficiently operating piece of social machinery I’ve ever seen.'”

[Kevin Williamson’s book “The End Is Near and It’s Going to Be Awesome: How Going Broke Will Leave America Richer, Happier, and More Secure” is available at Amazon]

That democratic self-governance is a historical anomaly is easy to forget for those of us in the Anglosphere — we haven’t really endured a dictator since Oliver Cromwell. The United States came close, first under Woodrow Wilson and then during the very long presidency of Franklin Roosevelt. Both men were surrounded by advisers who admired various aspects of authoritarian models then fashionable in Europe. Read the rest of this entry »


Vintage Pulp Fiction Book Cover Art of the Day: Behind the Iron Curtain

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[VIDEO] Russia Today Anchor Liz Wahl Quits Live on Air Over Putin’s Military Aggression in Crimea

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A “Russia Today” anchor broke through the Iron Curtain.

This has been making the rounds..in case you haven’t seen it yet, here it is with video. Don’t you wish anchors and reporters from ABC News, CBS News, PBS, NBC News, or CNN would quit, live on the air? Take a stand in protest to the stream of lies and deceptions pouring out of the White House? Don’t hold your breath.

The NY Daily News‘  reports:

 Liz Wahl, who was a Washington, D.C. correspondent for the state-owned television station, quit live on-air Wednesday because she does not agree with the network’s backing of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military intervention in Ukraine’s Crimea region.

“I’m proud to be an American and believe in disseminating the truth, and that is why, after this newscast, I’m resigning.”

The self-described “Filipina-Hungarian-American” said she faces several “ethical and moral challenges” as a reporter for the network. Wahl described herself as the daughter of a veteran who grew up in the United States. Her partner, she said, is a military-base physician “where he sees every day first hand accounts of the ultimate prices people pay for this country.”

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Liz Wahl via Facebook

“And that is why personally, I cannot be part of a network funded by the Russian government that whitewashes the actions of Putin,” she said as she went off-script on live TV. “I’m proud to be an American and believe in disseminating the truth, and that is why, after this newscast, I’m resigning.”

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The Left Still Harbors a Soft Spot For Communism

the_romance_that_began_in_the_throes_of_history

For all the brutal revelations, the romanticized view of communism as a failed but noble venture has yet to get a stake through the heart.

CCCP-HandMy headline would be “The Left Still Has a Boner for Communism“, but the editors at Reason don’t have the benefit of punditfromanotherplant’s talent for hyperbole. 

  writes:  In the mid-1980s, in my student days at New Jersey’s Rutgers University, I once got into an argument at the campus pub with a student activist who thought communism was unfairly maligned. (Back then, I had a reputation as a right-wing extremist because I didn’t think it was crazy to call the USSR—from which my family and I had emigrated a few years earlier—an evil empire.) When I mentioned the tendency of communist regimes to rack up a rather high body count, the young man parried, “Well, what about all the people capitalism kills? Like the people who die from smoking so that tobacco companies can make money?”

[Cathy Young’s book: Growing Up in Moscow: Memories of a Soviet Girlhood at Amazon]

Having recovered from shock at the sheer idiocy of this argument, I ventured to point out that cigarettes weren’t exactly unknown behind the Iron Curtain. I don’t recall where things went from there; but I was reminded of that conversation the other day, after reading an honest-to-goodness apologia for Communism on Salon.com, a once-interesting magazine that’s rapidly becoming too embarrassing to list on my résumé.

Bitches_0ad0f1_1276309The author, Occupy activist and writer Jesse Myerson, already caused some controversy last month with a Rolling Stone article that outlined a five-step plan toward eliminating inequality and collectivizing wealth. But at least in that piece, Myerson limited himself to extolling a visionary American brand of kumbaya communism rather than defend any of its actual, real-world versions. Here, in an article that purports to correct Americans’ “misconceptions” about communism, he takes the further step of arguing that the real thing wasn’t as bad as we think. Read the rest of this entry »


The Truth About Che Guevara

Truth About Che Guevara

Michael Totten writes:  Che Guevara has the most effective public relations department on earth. The Argentine guerrilla and modern Cuba’s co-founding father has been fashioned into a hipster icon, a counter-cultural hero, an anti-establishment rebel, and a champion of the poor. As James Callaghan once put it, “A lie can be halfway round the world before the truth has got its boots on.”

The truth about Che now has its boots on. He helped free Cubans from the repressive Batista regime, only to enslave them in a totalitarian police state worst than the last. He was Fidel Castro’s chief executioner, a mass-murderer who in theory could have commanded any number of Latin American death squads, from Peru’s Shining Path on the political left to Guatemala’s White Hand on the right.

Che

“Just as Jacobin Paris had Louis Antoine de Saint-Just,” wrote French historian Pascal Fontaine, “revolutionary Havana had Che Guevara, a Latin American version of Nechaev, the nineteenth century nihilist terrorist who inspired Dostoevsky’s The Devils.

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Hey Man, If You Think Those Communists Are Bad For People, Check Out What Those Red Bastids Did To The Planet

pollution

And it’s not a coincidence or accident of history

For The Federalist.com writes:  When pressed by Twitter critics earlier this month over the horrendous human rights record of his chosen ideology, Jesse “#FULLCOMMUNISM” Myerson struck back with this tweet:

In addition to being an advocate for an ideology directly responsible for tens of millions of non-war deaths and untold human misery, Myerson has revealed himself as something of an ignoramus concerning communism’s shocking record on environmental issues. Not only a blight on the human condition, communism’s impact on the planet’s ecology has proven consistently ghastly.

When the Berlin Wall came down and the Iron Curtain was finally lifted to expose the inner workings of communism to Western eyes, one of the more shocking discoveries was the nightmarish scale of environmental destruction. The statistics for East Germany alone tell a horrific tale: at the time of its reunification with West Germany an estimated 42 percent of moving water and 24 percent of still waters were so polluted that they could not be used to process drinking water, almost half of the country’s lakes were considered dead or dying and unable to sustain fish or other forms of life, and only one-third of industrial sewage along with half of domestic sewage received treatment.

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