Those Who Lived Under Communism Speak Out
In 1972, one of the most celebrated ballet teams Valery Panov and his wife Galina Ragozina, sought to leave Leningrad for Israel.
After his dismissal from the Kirov Ballet, Panov was jailed for ten days, placed under surveillance and repeatedly refused a visa, despite a 21-day hunger strike. In essence, he became a "living corpse." His crime -- the unquenchable desire to be free from a communist dictatorship.
He was denied any work as a dancer, had to deal with constant harassment, the rejection and treachery by colleagues, imprisonment, threats to break his legs, and even an attempt at poisoning. In 1972, he was imprisoned during President Nixon's visit to the Soviet Union. He was considered a parasite -- the authorities would not let him work, but simultaneously punished him for not working. Fellow dancers would cross the street to avoid him and his wife.
Panov would spend his "days playing tag with the KGB." But during the nighttime he would write his autobiography titled, To Dance. It was only with the help of an international campaign on their behalf by celebrities, artists, Western statesman and other supporters, that the Panovs were finally able to leave and settle in Israel.
Back then, it was clear that communism was the enemy of all people both in body and soul. In 1985, the 99th American Congress pledged support for Soviet Jews. Newspapers were eager to tell the stories of the dissidents who were confronting the evil of the USSR. Those in the arts inherently understood the danger to their vocational pursuits.
But today these same groups have fallen under the spell of tyranny. The Hollywood crowd has abandoned any pretense for protecting the arts. Thus, "one Hollywood producer told PEN America that suggestions for projects critical of China aroused the fear that 'you or your company will actively be blacklisted, and they will interfere with your current or future project. So not only will you bear the brunt [of your decision], but also your company, and future companies that you work for. And that's absolutely in the back of our minds.'"
The sports world has also been compromised by the communists. The "relationship between sport, politics and diplomacy in communist China . . . has been profound. Sport has assisted the acceptance, implementation and endorsement of ideology. What has happened on the sports grounds and arenas of China has clearly demonstrated that sport is vulnerable to political exploitation, since it is one of the most powerful ways of implementing political ideals, ideas and policies. Sport had proved extremely valuable, too, as a diplomatic resource. It has enabled communist China to make approaches to Western opponents through a medium with a non-political image [.]" Hence, sports figures ignore the connection between their endorsement of Nike sneakers and communist China's slave labor and other atrocities.
But here in the USA, the PGA plans to move the 2022 championship away from Trump's Bedminster, New Jersey golf course as cancel culture is alive and well.
Moreover, one would think that the media would be daily headlining the horrors being dealt upon China's minority in its far west, its Uighurs. After all, "the detainees, from the province of Xinjiang, are treated to a strict 're-education' program that includes what one escapee described as horrific physical abuse, including forced organ removal, abortions and medical 'experiments.'"
Yet, the Nazi-like behavior is only bandied about when referring to Trump and his conservative supporters.
In his memoir The Captive Mind, Czeslaw Milosz "grappled with how liberal intellectuals came to collaborate with and work alongside, Poland's communist party. Milosz stated that: 'It’s as if we all took a magic pill, became temporarily enchanted and went along with this ridiculous thing.'"
Milosz writes that [i]t’s very difficult, now, to think back into that time, when people had very limited choices. If you chose to oppose the regime, that might mean you couldn’t get medicine for your sick mother, your children couldn’t go to school and you might get kicked out of your apartment. We don’t have to face those choices."
Oh really? Think again.
Americans across the country are now being fined, detained, and arrested for speaking out against lockdown restrictions, not wearing masks, and daring to operate their businesses. Professors who speak against the inherently racist critical race theory are being forced out. Teachers in Jefferson County, West Virginia who attended the rally in Washington, D.C. are now being threatened with termination.
But Marxist Black Lives Matter violent mobs are given a free pass.
As we enter a new era for America, many of us already attuned to the totalitarian bent of the Biden/Harris administration are acutely aware of what may await us. Thoroughly assisted by social media technology, the new administration will continue to ensure that we will suffer the "imperviousness of the tyranny" that is taking hold in this country.
In his book Madness and Terror, Rafael M. Madalozzo (p. 124) asserts that under Stalin "the goal was manifest: to make clear to everyone the helplessness of the individual vis-à-vis the omnipotent state, from which nothing could escape, not even time itself. The state could control the present, the past, the future, and even one's thoughts, and everyone was conscious of the fact they could be executed, tortured, or imprisoned for life at any moment [.]"
With increasing surveillance of our lives will we become more like China, where "using a ride-hailing service in Beijing, such as Uber or local Didi Chuxing, won’t be possible without first scanning our health records?
We are, as Chris Farrell writes, "slouching towards the socialist states of America" where the Democratic Party ". . . will pack the courts, including the Supreme Court, with politically friendly judges, so that the judiciary will be an extension of one political party rather than part of a system of checks and balances [.]"
Democrats openly say "they will remove the Electoral College, so that sparsely populated, rural states would be totally outvoted by cities." In addition, they want to "add more states, such as Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, to provide it with more senators to create a permanent one-party rule." And finally, the Democrat leaders assert they will "reverse core parts of our Bill of Rights so we could be jailed for free speech, or for owning a gun to defend ourselves, as the Minutemen did, against 'enemies foreign and domestic.'"
After all, Biden promises to "defeat" the National Rifle Association (NRA).
Recently, "Russian dissident Alexei Navalny offered a lengthy denunciation of Twitter’s decision to permanently ban President Trump [.]"
I think that the ban of Donald Trump on Twitter is an unacceptable act of censorship. Don’t tell me he was banned for violating Twitter rules. I get death threats here every day for many years, and Twitter doesn’t ban anyone (not that I ask for it).'
'Of course, Twitter is a private company but we have seen many examples in Russia and China of such private companies becoming the state’s best friends and the enablers when it comes to censorship.'
In fact, Navalny "warns that authoritarian nations would look at the decision by Twitter and use it to justify similar crackdowns of dissenting voices in their own countries."
Almost 50 years ago, Valery Panov wanted to
show the Russian people as an enslaved people on their knees. If you raise this mass, it begins to destroy everything. I am convinced the historical mission for the Russian people is a destructive one. You can't arouse the people and expect calm. I am convinced destruction will come from within.
As we continue to see the clamp down of our civil liberties via lockdowns, the tech giants quashing speech, and the impending total control of our health care, the American people may soon find themselves in an enslaved state as well.
In fact, never have so few been bent on hurting so many in America.
The massive 75+ million vote for Trump is the mass that has been aroused. They may be the only firewall remaining to protect American constitutional values. Trump led the way. We must continue. Now is not the time to go wobbly.
Eileen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Image credit: Twitter screen shot