This article from Law & Liberty reminded me of the 1989 Revolutions, the largest political and cultural events of our lifetimes.  I felt pricked that I had also forgotten and de-emphasised those events in my thinking, I who have two sons born behind the Iron Curtain. Shameful, really. John-Adrian’s first memory is of angry crowds milling outside his apartment building in Oradea, shouting “Iliescu SOS!, Ceausescu JOS!” in 1989 when he was four.

One can make a case that rights for women or for black people were bigger issues over the last century, but those loom larger in North American and perhaps Western European consciousness than the rest of the world.  Also, it is difficult to separate out the life-improvements for those groups from the massive improvements in opportunities and standard of living for everyone in those societies.  Yes, there are infuriating stories of blacks or women of ability who could not go to college or enter certain professions in 1920, but that was true for a lot of white men as well. In Russia, people were routinely executed, starved, or sent off to the GULAG, and then decades later they just weren’t anymore, because those entire governments had collapsed.

We get caught up in anger at the issues of our day, but some are never going to amount to much.  We are fighting over whether people who claim to be a different gender from their birth sex are going to be able to game the system and make us all have to go along with it. Americans are very big on individual rights even at great inconvenience to the group, and Europeans are very big on looking modern and free of tradition (especially when they can compare themselves favorably to Americans), so transgender people in either direction may succeed in having the rest of us be made to shut up and go along.  As I said, it’s gaming the system, but it could work. And that will irritate many of us and have bad unforeseen consequences.

But it won’t be execution, or labor camps, or inability to choose our profession or where we live.

No, the rise and fall of communism has been the largest event of our days, but even those of us who should know that get distracted.  Popular culture has distracted us away from that main point to hand-wringing about smaller items. We are letting down the succeeding generations who are not hearing about these great events as much as they should. I listen to history podcasts, but seldom hear any historians make reference to those events in Eastern Europe and Asia.  The things they talk about are true, and valuable. Yet in talking about the planets, even the largest planets, they neglect to mention the sun. We need to mention the sun.

So I resolve to put in some effort in November to remind us of the rise of communism in 1917 and 1949, the executions and oppressions in mind-boggling numbers, the fall of the USSR thirty years ago and the economic reforms in China a few years after that.  That latter is certainly not a fall of communism, but it was perhaps a 25% fall, and it remains to be seen if it will also prove to be unsustainable.

The Romanians have a very good national anthem, “Awake, Romanians.” We can only make ours into a rock version by doing it ironically.  There is nothing ironic about this version, and you can feel their enthusiasm to your toes. It looks fun to sing. I still haven’t figured out how to embed a video, but it will be enjoyable for you to click the link.

21 thoughts on “Revolution”

  1. The largest political & cultural event of our lifetime — still ongoing — has been the victory of Fascism over both Communism and what is often called Capitalism but is better described as the Free Market System.

    Fascism — where private property is allowed, but has to kiss the ring of government (ie politicians).

    The astonishing thing is that both the former Communist countries and the former Free World countries have all quietly converged on this Fascist system where the Political Class has a hand in everything. This system can be run competently (as in China) or incompetently (as in California) — but it is fundamentally the same system everywhere.

    The philosophy of Fascism lost the war but won the peace. And we are all suffering because of it.

  2. Gavin…big benefit to the rulers in Fascism vs Communist: they can distance themselves somewhat from bad results.

    Case in point: California. If the state owned the power system outright, it would not be so easy to blame the problems of eevil corporations.

  3. Case in point: California. If the state owned the power system outright, it would not be so easy to blame the problems of eevil corporations.

    As they are bidding fair to do. Newsom yesterday threatened PG&E with state takeover basically if they don’t do what Newsom wants.

    Now no one has ever accused Newsom of being excessively bright, and so I doubt that your point has ever crossed his mind, if you’ll pardon the exaggeration.

  4. Yes, I would say in response to Gavin that they would like to be fascist (in another costume, of course) and keep moving in that direction, but somehow the horse keeps slipping the lasso. My Romanian friends, including my sons and their families back home, would assure you that the US has freedom leaking out all over the place, simply because new things keep popping up that are not yet under government control. Both of them would agree with you about government control in principle, but not in practical result. Son #4, Romanian #2, now lives in Norway, and he definitely sees both processes in play there: an increase in government demand for conformity, coupled with a stubborn rural and small-business populace who keep planting the flag where they like.

    Be of good cheer. Our enemies do indeed wish that end for us, and they do wield some power. But if they can’t even nail it down in Scandinavia, which has been soft-fascist for a century, they will have a much harder time in the Anglosphere.

  5. Sebestyen’s 1989, is one of the best primers on that era, he followed up with the opening to the Cold War 1946, which was not that satisfying,

  6. AVI: “… they [politicians] would like to be fascist (in another costume, of course) and keep moving in that direction …”

    This got me thinking about those poor Chinese under the thumb of a Fascist government — they have no vote, the Communist Party leaders don’t pay any attention to them. And then I compared it with my own situation in a South-Western US State.

    Over the last two decades, this place has become solidly Democrat at city, county, State levels. Part of that is Californication, part is the growing number of graduates from the doctrinaire school system, and part is probably good old fashioned ballot-box stuffing. The result is that I have a vote, but it is meaningless. Candidates are essentially chosen by a handful of extremist Party members, with occasional surprises at Primary elections but rarely any surprise at the General Election. The selection criteria for candidates used by that unrepresentative little clique of Party members do not include competence, wisdom, or even common sense.

    I called my Senator’s office a while back and asked to talk with him about a particular matter. His DC receptionist asked if the Senator knew me personally. No? Then send him an e-mail. A Communist Party official could not have been more dismissive of a peasant supplicant to the Big Man.

    The only way I could have a voice in the place where I live would be to join the Democrat Party, listen to lots of nonsense and repeat it enthusiastically, and work my way up the Party chain — which is essentially the same route that a Chinese citizen would have to take in his country. The only significant difference between my State and China is that ability & competence still seem to be important factors in promotion in the Chinese Communist Party.

    Houston, we have a problem!

  7. “The largest political & cultural event of our lifetime — still ongoing — has been the victory of Fascism over both Communism and what is often called Capitalism but is better described as the Free Market System.”
    I find Belloc/Chesterton to be by far the most prescient economic prognosticators of modern times, who stupidly aren’t even widely considered economists, due to their Catholic cooties. They wouldn’t be a bit surprised by anything that has happened in the past century, compared to Marx who would sputter some nonsensical explanation for why he was completely wrong about everything, and most “right”/”free market” advocates who would bemoan how we’ve ignored their warnings, but would argue among themselves about exactly how.
    The fundamental move of the last century and a half has been the obliteration by the state of all competitors to it. Big Business is not a competitor, it’s a tool/partner depending on how you want to phrase it. Once you start to bring the N entities participating in the economy (where N is very large) under government control, N pretty quickly gets quite small, due to regulatory capture/rent seeking/etc, and once it gets to single digits, whether you call that fascist or not, you’re not really all that far distinct from N=1 (communism). Again, it’s all there in Belloc and Chesterton.

  8. JG…”Newsom yesterday threatened PG&E with state takeover basically if they don’t do what Newsom wants.

    It would be like the dog who chased cars and finally caught one….what does he do with it then?

    It may just be intimidation tactics by the Gov…if he’s serious, he’s even dumber than I thought he was.

  9. Case in point: California. If the state owned the power system outright, it would not be so easy to blame the problems of eevil corporations.

    Then they’d blame power failures on Kulaks, wreckers, saboteurs, the Joooooooooos.


    Portugal is the Biggest Racist country that i have ever lived in. I feared for my life there and i consider myself lucky that my family got out alive! I have never lived in such poverty (Sopas dos Pobres everyday) 40% unemployment rate and 60% of the population earn less than $932 USD per month, and that’s considered Middle Class here! Within the European Union it is the worst of the worst place to live.

    The bottom line is the bulk of the People in our poor country exist in a brainless comma that is fed by Ignorance, anti-Spanish hate, and severe Racism of pretty much everybody that isn’t Portuguese! And, Portugal started the Global Slave Trade in 1441 so it is definitely NOT a safe place for Blacks!!

    I found important websites that explain the Severe multi-generational Racism and Hate that exist in Portugal today, and i highly encourage all to read them and spread the word in order to avoid innocent, and desperate people from living or visiting there. Get educated on the Truths about Racist Portugal now.






  11. Sorry, Augusto — you are clearly misinformed. Listen to the NYT or any Democrat — the USSA is the only Racist country on Earth, indeed the only Racist country that has ever existed. Everywhere else on the planet, including Portugal, all the people live happily in plenty and come together regularly to sign kumbaya.

    Get with the program, man!

  12. Newsom should be careful what he wishes for. If the utility is bankrupt, they’ve given up on salvaging anything for the shareholders. What’s to keep management from just walking away and leaving the creditors and the state to fight it out?

  13. I never watch TV, but happened to be in an eating establishment this morning that had on the local morning news, ABC affiliate (that’s the channel with George Stephanopoulos, iirc), and holy cow, I don’t know how the country is still even functioning. They had huge screen-sized excerpts showing quotes that Trump was threatening some woman or other. Plus of course whatever sound bites from Schiff, plus polls showing Trump down by 17 points or whatever. I know the Trump campaign has always focused heavily on Facebook, but I hope they have a plan for what to do when FB shuts them out next year. The left has been building to that for 3 years now, and it’s going to happen. I also hope they have a plan for when NY indicts Trump, and I really don’t know if slow rolling Durham has been a good idea. They’re just letting the Dems completely control the narrative, as has been the case for far too long.

  14. I also hope they have a plan for when NY indicts Trump,

    For what ? The taxes thing is a sham. I agree the media is hate Trump 24/7.

    As for Durham, he has said he will do the thing his way. That might mean indictments of the CIA/FBI folks next summer.

  15. Mike: What did they indict Tom Delay for? Ted Stevens? They’re going to indict him, the new AG has basically already said so, and the Manhattan DA is pretty clear about it as well.

  16. Delay was indicted by Ronnie Earle on supposed campaign finance charges, later he was convicted in an Austin (blue island in red state) court but the conviction was overturned on appeal.

    Ted Stevens was clear prosecutorial malpractice and his conviction was also overturned but it served its purpose. He was defeated for re-election.

    As for Trump, I’m sure Vance could find a NYC Grand Jury to indict but I don’t think a sitting president is subject to trial. I suspect the indictment would be thrown out by the USSC.

    Whether that would accomplish its purpose, I doubt. The Democrats announced their intention to impeach him before he was inaugurated. No one but rabid leftists think this is a valid proceeding.

  17. Right, Delay and Stevens were BS sham prosecutions for purely partisan political reasons, i.e. lawfare. The NY Dems are going to do the same thing. It will be stayed from moving forward, but they’ll get their “Trump indicted” headlines. All I said was I hope the Trump team has a plan for when (not if) this happens, and when (not if) they are cut off from facebook, etc.

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