Stop sending people to kill me! We’ve already captured five of them, one of them with a bomb and another with a rifle…If you don’t stop sending killers, I’ll send a very fast working one to Moscow, and I certainly won’t have to send a second.
Yugoslavian leader Josip Broz Tito, in a letter to Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, 1948
Cultural Geography (weird name, but we learned about cultures while learning where they were on a map) was probably one of the best classes I’ve ever had. Why? Well, one day, we were learning about how hard it was to build a government. We were given 10 minutes with NO TEACHER GUIDELINES AT ALL. JUST 10 MINUTES OF US LEADING EACH OTHER.
This is what we did.
-Elected a kid (let’s call him Jack) to be in charge. However, everyone knew that he had a thing for Communism and walruses, so he became our dictator.
-Had a vote (before Jack became full-on dictator) and unanimously “executed” the annoying kid in the class (Let’s call him Carl)
-Had a group of girls try to form their own government. Jack got them back with the rest of the class, and those girls became the press for a meeting.
-Jack wanted to invade the class next door, but that fizzled out for some reason.
-Some boy (we shall call him Gerald) asked Jack to be a priest, and became class priest.
-Had another vote and “executed” me.
-Gerald the priest brought me back to life, and I started chasing around Carl, who somehow “came back to life.”
-Jack executed me again.
-And during all this time, this kid (we’re gonna call him Carlos) was known as the vice president of the class, despite our Communistic leader, was shouting that we needed a democracy. Nobody paid attention to him, though.
-I stood on at least 5 separate desks. (I’m under 5 feet, so I take every chance I get)
Needless to say, it was one of the best first period classes I’ve ever had.
this day in 1933, the Reichstag building in Berlin, which
housed the German Parliament, was set on fire. The Nazi government of
Adolf Hitler then ordered a thorough hunt to track down the arsonist.
identified the perpetrator as Marinus van der Lubbe, a Dutch communist;
he and four other Communist leaders were arrested for their supposed
role in the blaze. The Nazis used the
event as evidence of a Communist plot in Germany, and Hitler urged
Hindenburg to pass an emergency decree to counter the Communist threat.
This Reichstag Fire Decree gave Hitler considerable powers, and is
considered a pivotal moment in Hitler’s consolidation of power into a
one-party dictatorship. Van der Lubbe was found guilty
and executed by guillotine on January 10th 1934. However, his role has
been questioned by historians with some even suggesting he was not
responsible and that the fire was ordered by the Nazis themselves.
Kim Il-sung meeting the Hungarian communist leader János Kádár in 1984. Kim Il-sung, founder of North Korea, had a baseball-sized growth on his neck. Official photos of him were therefore taken from a leftward angle to hide the growth.
The Bolsheviks were the most organized and largest group on the far left, but they were not the only one. To their own left were groups of anarchists of various sizes, inclinations and degrees of influence. Decidedly a minority current, anarchism nonetheless enjoyed localised support across the empire, with various strongholds, such as Odessa — and Petrograd.
There in the capital, the most radical and influential were the Anarchist-Communists. Some of their leaders were held in esteem, like Iosif Bleikhman, a fiery, unkempt, charismatic figure who spoke his native Russian with what Trotsky described as a “Jewish-American accent” which his audiences enjoyed, and Shlema Asnin, a respected militant with the First Machine Gun Regiment, a dark-bearded former thief who dressed like a gothic cowboy, wide-brimmed hat, guns and all.
In the same chaotic expropriatory post-February wave during which the Bolsheviks moved into the Kshesinskaya Mansion, revolutionaries had taken and retooled the Vyborg summer home of the official P. P. Durnovo. Its gardens were now a park, with facilities for local children, and the building was hung with black banners reading “Death to all capitalists”. The house was the headquarters of several groups including the district bakers’ union, some far-left SR-Maximalists, and an Anarchist-Bolshevik group grandly styling itself as the Soviet of the Petrograd People’s Militia.
China Miéville, October: The Story of the Russian Revolution
hey ellie i was wondering what your thoughts on communism are? ive seen a lot of cuban americans who say they're socialist and hate communism in practice, but a lot of liberals who love communism.
ok so first off castro is a monster, my family was/is directly harmed by his regime. the human rights violations in cuba and other communist societies are unacceptable and it upsets how common it is for leftists to defend dictators
at the same time all communist societies have been polluted by US capitalist imperialism.
1) our government is responsible for incredibly violent persecution of communists bc it threatens our unjust economic system. they have literally over and over killed and replaced democratically elected community leaders with us sponsored dictators, like allende in chile. the US also used Latin American allies (the upperclass who feared loss of their wealth + status) and trained them in the 1946 panama school of the americas, which taught both how to recognize a leftist and how to brutalize them. they taught of repeated rape, electric shock, torture of loved ones. there were over 60,000 of los des apaecidos – the disappeared – in the 1970s suspected of communist activities
2) even without coups and general war crimes, the US has always refused to let assets be redistributed, instead just setting everything on fire if they cant keep it. in the case with cuba, US capitalists owned 80% of land in cuba due largely to the platt amendment forcibly added to the cuban constitution by the US which gave the US the legal right to intervene in Cuba’s political and economic affairs, as well as the US sponsored dictators who led the country to economic ruin and then let US capitalists swoop in and buy everything. Then after the revolution they refused to compromise to just to refine cheaper soviet oil, not even to give them up. when cubans seized them anyway, the US immediately put a devastating embargo that cut cuba off from pretty much the rest of the world besides the soviet union
so like, especially in the case of cuba, it’s complicated. i kno leftists say this a lot but the US hasn’t let communism actually be achieved. communist leaders are responsible for terrible violence, but more so are capitalist leaders, and capitalism even in its theory is inhumane. im pro communism. hope u have a great day!
Lying about Vietnam: it was now a Washington way of life. The lies started with the war’s ontological premise. We were supposed to be defending a ‘country’ called “South Vietnam.’ But South Vietnam was not quite a country at all. Vietnamese independence fighters had begun battling the French since practically the day they stopped fighting side by side in World War II. In 1954 they fought their colonial overlords to a final defeat at the stronghold of Dien Bien Phu. It was the first military loss for a European colonial power in three hundred years. Though these stalwarts, the Vietminh, now controlled four-fifths of the country’s territory, at the peace conference in Geneva they made a concession: they agreed to administer an armistice area half that size, demarcated at the seventeenth parallel (but for some last-minute haggling, it would have been the eighteenth). A government loyal to the French would administer the lands to the south. The ad hoc demarcation was to last twenty-four months, at which time the winner of an internationally supervised election in 1956 would run the entire country.
Instead, the division lasted for nineteen years. The reason was the United Sates, which saw to it the reunification election never took place. American intelligence knew that Ho Chi Minh, the Communist leader of the independence fighters, would have won 80 percent of the vote. The seventeenth parallel was read backward as an ordinary international boundary. If 'North Vietnam’ crossed it, they’d be guilty of 'aggression.’ Meanwhile, the CIA launched a propaganda campaign to depopulate North Vietnam, whose sizable Catholic population was shipped to 'South Vietnam’ via the U.S. Seventh Fleet. There, they found themselves part of a citizenry that had no reason for being in history, culture, or geography; even as the U.S. pretended- then came to believe- they were a brave, independence-loving nation of long standing. Actually the great city in the South, Saigon, had been France’s imperial headquarters. There, France had crowned a figurehead emperor at the tender age of twelve. During World War II, Emperor Bao Dai had collaborated with Vichy France and the Japanese. This was the man the South Vietnamese were supposed to venerate as the leader of their independent nation.
He was replaced by someone worse: a wily hustler named Ngo Dinh Diem. In 1952, Diem engineered a presidential election between himself and the emperor, with the help of U.S. government advisers, and 'won’ 98.2 percent of the vote. He then revived the guillotine as punishment for anyone 'infringing upon the security of the state.’ His favorite rebuff to an insult from a political opponent was 'Shoot him dead!’ His sister-in-law Madame Nhu, who served as his emissary abroad, told Americans the last thing her family was interested in was 'your crazy freedoms.’ This was the government to which the United States would now ask its citizens to pledge their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. Diem was not a Communist. And that, said America, made him a democrat.
Ho Chi Minh had no special beef with the United States. He liked to quote the Declaration of Independence; on the march to Hanoi during World War II, his forces called themselves the Viet-American Army; after the war, Ho sent telegrams to President Truman offering an independent Vietnam as 'a fertile field for American capital and enterprise.’ (Truman never answered.) The French reconquered Vietnam with what was practically an American mercenary force: 78 percent of the French army’s funding came from the United States. More hawkish Americans lobbied for direct intervention; Richard Nixon, after his visit in 1953, advised Eisenhower that two or three atomic bombs would do the trick. Ho Chi Minh’s supporters in South Vietnam began their guerrilla war in 1960. It led to a kind of Cold War nervous breakdown. Falter in Vietnam, Lyndon Johnson claimed in 1964, and 'they may just chase you into your own kitchen.
Can I supersize that for you? Part 1: Volvo 264 TE, 1975. World-wide there have long been coachbuilders and other third parties ready to stretch all manner of cars to create “limousine” versions. Less common are manufacturers themselves marketing extended versions of their luxury saloons. Volvo sold the long wheelbase version of the 200 series 1975-81. Famously the communist leader of East Germany, Erich Honecker, used one. The 264 TE was actually built for Volvo by Bertone with over half the total production being sold to East Germany for official use.