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Victims of comm…capitalism
So a few days ago the U.S. House of Representatives, in a very bipartisan vote, approved a resolution denouncing the horrors of socialism — the resolution being just a list of said horrors that included among them an impressive bodycount of 100,000,000. That’s a hundred million, if by chance you got tripped up by all the zeroes. In the concluding paragraph the resolution boldly stated: “Congress denounces socialism in all its forms, and opposes the implementation of socialist policies in the United States of America.”
Yeah, in all its forms. Including, I guess, things like Medicare, Social Security, the U.S. Armed Forces.
It’s funny how this resolution played out. It appears that the incoming Republican majority tried to play “gotcha” with the hardcore far-leftists of the Democratic Party, with people like Adam Schiff. They thought: “We’ll put out a resolution denouncing the evils of socialism. And because these depraved communists will never vote to denounce their own depraved socialist beliefs, they’ll be forced to reveal themselves to the American people, showing just how un-American they are! It’s genius!”
Well, it didn’t really work.
A majority of Democrats voted for the resolution — they voted for it even though the final text was, as I pointed out above, totally maximalist. Republicans refused to include denunciation carve-outs for popular programs like Social Security and Medicare and the Veterans Administration. And they also refused to add any language denouncing Nazis. The Nazis had nationalist or whatever before the socialist part, so National Socialism is a-ok!
A slight Democratic majority voted for thing, anyway: 109 YAYS vs 86 NEYS.
I didn’t go through the list methodically. But for me one of the funniest votes came from Ro Khanna, a Congressman repping a chunk of Silicon Valley. He voted yes to condemn socialism in “all its forms” — despite endorsing Bernie Sanders, a Democratic Socialist, for President and despite being an early proponent of Medicare For All.
It’s not that surprising, though.
Khanna is a typical shifty politician who I first covered in 2014 — when he was a standard pro-business Reaganite fighting to get into Congress. Back then he pushing for deregulation to unleash corporate innovation. I guess he moved towards Bernie when the thought the political winds were shifting, but now that the Bernie Moment is dead and the movement fizzled into nothingness, Khanna turned back to his default center-right state, joining other supporters of Bernie and Medicare For All who have also pivoted to the usual center-right or far-right that is this country’s default political position.
Anyway, this vote is another great example of how federal-level politics need to be avoided at all costs. It’s a total clown show,
What’s interesting to me is that from the looks of it, the text of the resolution came straight from the Victims of Communism Foundation — an org set up by Congress that currently runs a Victims of Communism museum in D.C. that pushes the 100 million victim number.
I wrote about the Victims of Communism people a while back, I even attended one of their events. A fascism appreciation society — that’s about as well as I could describe the organization. It was conjured out of the void by a unanimous, bipartisan act of Congress and signed into existence by President Bill Clinton. Since then, it’s been backed and funded by a bunch of American oligarchs and their various foundations — including people like Charles Koch. There’s a big reactionary and fascist Eastern European and Balkan emigre presence in it, too. And it’s all tied very closely into America’s imperial influence apparatus. In other words: good people all around.
So, basically, the resolution to condemn the horrors of socialism comes out of a political cesspool, a very bipartisan cesspool.
Reading about this reactionary virtue signaling resolution, I started to ponder things a bit. Denouncing and criticizing is fine, but sometimes you gotta do something positive. And I gotta say, I’m very tempted to launch a Victims of Capitalism Foundation and do some kind of pop-up museum showcasing all its victims. That number should be absolutely astronomical — easily in the many hundreds of millions. Dare I say over a billion? And it’s not just people. The entire planet is a victim of the industrial capitalism that’s annihilating and poisoning everything in its path.
We live in the center of a capitalist empire. So it’s not surprising that there’s no museum dedicated to chronicling and showcasing the destructiveness of our capitalist society. But why shouldn’t such a thing exist?
One of the reasons I started to write about my Soviet immigration experience is because I realized that we — as people who’ve been “saved” from communism — are used as living trophies, paraded around to show the denizens of capitalism that theirs is the only good system in the world and that there can be no alternative. We’re used to justify capitalism and whitewash its crimes — crimes that have piled up many so many bodies, it’s kind of scary to think about the scale of the thing. So in a way I’m perfect for the job. Launching this thing will be a way of absolving the sins of my weaponized immigrant existence!
I’m serious about this. Maybe start small with a pop-up here in San Francisco and then take the exhibit on the road to a few cities?