Monday, January 19, 2004
RICHARD PIPES INTERVIEW
Speaking of the Pipes family, FrontPage has an interview with Richard Pipes by Jamie Glazov. Richard Pipes was the contrarian Russia scholar whose claim that the Soviet system was on the verge of collapse informed Reagan's hard-line stance against the USSR.
Pipes is also the author of Communism: A History, which is the best short history of communism I've read and heartily recommend.
Friday, January 16, 2004
CONSPIRACY THEORY'S NEW SYNTHESIS
Daniel Pipes has a great little article sketching the world of conspiracy theories and its new synthesis. Conspiracy thinking has now expanded beyond its traditional claims of nefarious and shadowy but thoroughly worldly groups (such as the International Jewish Conspiracy and Masons) being in secret control of events into incorporating the realm of occultism. The result is a conspiracy theory community that combines a political agenda with a larger, more popular following (and more hilariously bizarre claims!).
This article perfectly describes the mindset of my previously-mentioned weirdo roommate, who is enamored of both worldly conspiracy theories and the occult, and demonstrates the exact same manner of thinking in both areas. This passage in particular expresses his reasoning precisely:
By the way, if my schedule permits I will be posting more entries in the Weirdo Roommate Conspiracy Theory series in the future.
Tuesday, January 13, 2004
Various communism-related items from around the Web:
Wednesday, January 07, 2004
FASCISM & SOCIALISM: CONTEMPORARY OBSERVATIONS
Since I've gotten into yet another argument over the nature of Fascism on another blog, I'm thinking of this topic again and remembered wanting to post the following passage, which is rather illuminating:
Huxley's portrayal of Fascism as a "short cut" to socialist utopia is a bit startling, since I think it can be argued more persuasively that it is Soviet communism (i.e. Leninism) rather than Fascism that is the true shortcut. According to Marx, the "dictatorship of the proletariat" could only come into existence (and in fact would more or less automatically) after a society had reached a certain level of industrial development and advanced capitalism. That is why he expected communism to come into existence in Western Europe rather than in underdeveloped nations such as Russia. Based on this principle, the Mensheviks among the 1917 Russian revolutionaries argued that Russia must go through a long period of democratic reforms and capitalistic development before socialism could become a possibility. Similarly, the Fascists held that their nations must undergo further development before full socialism could start to be implemented. In contrast, Lenin and the Bolsheviks believed that communism could be forced into existence immediately despite Russia's backward economy and political system. Clearly, of the two views it is Soviet communism and not Fascism that can be rightly accused of being a "shortcut" mentality.