Tag Archives: Czech Republic

Looking Back in anger


The following essay has been cross-posted from Samizdata to here, by kind permission of the author.

Adriana Lukas

It’s been twenty years since my firm belief in a better way of life was vindicated. 17th November was the beginning of the end of an era shaped by collectivism, brutality and industrialised inhumanity. I have written about my experiences of communism on Samizdata before. Today I’ll use someone else’s words to describe the wasteland communism leaves behind.

In 1992, Peter Saint-Andre has written a disturbing, brilliant and accurate description of what communism does to the soul:

…the hunger that I found most disturbing was not of the body but of the soul. […] The socialist state cared nothing for the life of the individual, and this was driven home in innumerable ways.Yet the overall effect was not merely physical — it was a deeply spiritual degradation. It is difficult to put that degradation into words. To me, the most striking sign of it was what I called “Eastern eyes”. I could see and feel the resignation, the defeat, the despair, in the eyes of people I knew. It was an all-too-rare occurrence to come upon a person with some spark of life in his or her eyes (the only exceptions were the children, who had yet to have the life beaten out of them). If it is true that the eyes are windows onto the soul, then the Czech soul under socialism went through life all but dead.

It is tough for me to come up with something to say 20 years on that is not tinged with bitterness and disappointment and if not for the significant anniversary, I would have left this memory unturned. Despite the amazing change 1989 and its aftermath brought to my life I feel no closure over the past and a sense of proportion in the way the fall of communism has been ‘handled’. Today we should be looking back at the last 20 years counting the many communists who died in prison or are still rotting there… I can only hope that future generations will revisit the past and will have far lower tolerance of collectivism and totalitarianism. It may be a futile hope as today’s teenagers have little knowledge of the world my generation grew up and my parents lived in. And so I am bitter and disappointed that people can say the word “communism” without spitting.

I am also bitter and disappointed because those who opposed communism have not won. It is still with us, in the idiotic juxtapositions of Nazism and communism, or socialism and free-market, used by those who aspire to communism and justify it by positing Nazism as the greater evil. It still raises its ugly head in those who despise free-markets and attempt to put a human mask on socialism by pointing out ‘failures’ of capitalism. Rather hard as socialism, like all totalitarianisms, has no face. It is the ultimate denigration of humanity, destruction of individuality, and subjugation of human beings to the vast merciless machine of control and power.

Communism is still with us in China and North Korea. One befriended by the West, the other frowned upon… but neither is ever challenged because of the oppression of its people, and only when it manages to ‘inconvenience’ the rest of the world. Once it falls, it will be horrifying and beyond belief to examine the monstrosities committed by the communists in the light of day. Again, I can only hope that the world will be shamed and aghast at letting this happen for so long. Until then, we only have testimonials such as this: Undercover in the Secret State

I am grateful to those who remember, struggle to understand and explain communism, and especially to those who have managed to capture something of the nature of the beast. Here are the ones I found. Please feel free to share yours.

The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression – the reference book of the communist evil with a tag line “Revolutions, like trees, must be judged by their fruit”

Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall

The Lives Of Others captures the paranoia and danger of an Orwellian world where everyone is monitored and, unusually for such world, shows impact of the individual as making a difference. Here is my review.

Burnt By The Sun (Unaveni slnkom) from a sunny day to Stalin’s terror… One of the most powerful films I have seen for a long time. Possibly ever.

No End (Bez konca) – a complex, subtle and haunting film set in Poland 1981.

Repentance (Pokayanie) – for the more surreal amongst us. The first ‘anti-stalinism’ film I have ever seen and will never forget. I remember sitting through the entire credits at the end, stunned and shaken. For context, this was screened in Czecho-Slovakia, publicly, in a cinema in 1987!

The Voices of the Dead: Stalin’s Terror in the 1930s – from the book review:

It is impossible, of course, to undo the tyrant’s crimes. But one of the tasks writers have set themselves, in the last 50 years, is at least to preserve the memory of the dead, and so to resist the tyrant’s historical arrogance.

The book’s opening paragraph makes the history come the full circle, back to the suffering of the individual:

The dead cannot speak. Can one retrieve their voices? Death under I.V. Stalin, the ruler of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1953, has been written about but the dead themselves remain elusive because their voices have been lost to us. The present book is an attempt to recover the voices of those executed under Stalin.

2009 … and in a Faraway Country Of Which We Know Little…


David Davis

Daniel Hannan is directing fire upon the EU BuroNazis, but for how long can Klaus stand, against EU commands to his own politicians to “impeach” him? The EUBastards must truly fear a Cameron rearguard action on Lisbon. Wonder why?

English libertarians have not, historically, taken the EU very seriously. It’s just them silly EuroNazis mountebanking about in the way they love to, and it’s over there somewhere, and it was only going to be about “regulating”  pipe-cleaners and fish. But now it starts to resemble the dark sprites in the Ark-opening-scene towards the end of “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, we should worry.

So this is what “Lisbon” is all about…


…and so it comes down to this: “Europe” is to be treated as a unitary Reich (again) so that one lot of people can claim civil torts against another lot, and all inside the unitary border. And the idea is that we’re all lovey-dovey now and nobody will raise a peep in contradiction. Ever-closer-union. That’s the style, that’s the way to get the money!

David Davis

If the “Sudeten Germans” can get compensation or “their” property back now, where will it end? Will the Pomeranian, Posen, East Prussian and Silesian Germans want the same? Where does that leave Poland? Will the USSR give up most of ByeloRussia and the Ukraine? What will Hungary want to do about Slovakia and Romania/Transylvania? Will the Basques try to confiscate parts of Spain and France, so they can get back to blowing each other up? Will England be able to demand Monmouthshire and Pembrokeshire from the People’s Democratic Republic of Wales?

i do not know.

And who is to “pay” for all this big game of musical chairs?

Good for Klaus to stand up to the Murdering GramscEUBastards. But I fear it will come to nothing, and we shall simply have to have a war. We’ll just have to see what comes out of the machine at the other side.

I can’t think that’s what the Brussels-Nazis have planned for or wanted, but then wars always occur when one side fails to correctly interpret the other side’s intentions. They haven’t even got a EUArmy. So perhaps Klaus ought just to stick this one out until the whole rotten wicked edifice comes crashing down, as it will.

Many years ago, I had a yahoogroup called “aftereurotyranny”. It may still be there: I have not checked since 2001, being depressed about the future of lliberty in the EU.  The plan was to create a group of people who would (1) actively strive to undermine and eventually destroy the EU, and then (2) actively work to obliterate all the supra-national structures and communautaire philosophy, followed by (3) very very active and authoritative regime0change programmes in any European nations whose governments might be even remotely suspected of favouring any kind of Gramscian bureaucratic stalinist nonsense. It seems it might be needed again.

Poland has gone: the Irish allowed themselves to be bribed, and also have their ballot-boxes evilly stuffed, under theor noses. If Klaus can’t hold the line – such that Cameron – or the Bastard Brown (never forget: he could rig it and win) succeeds in failing to offer the British a referendum, then libertarians ought to begin considering how to proceed, in regard to their well-articulated views about conflict, as the skies darken.

Vaclav Klaus quote of the day


David Davis

Vaclav Klaus: “I am afraid that the people of Britain should have been doing something really much earlier and not just now, too late, saying something and waiting for my decision”

h/t Englishman’s Castle

This is our Munich: what goes around comes around. It’s us in the firing line now, and if the Czechs decide not to come to our aid, then we have at last become the “faraway country of which [they] know little”: it’s our fault, and we should as he says, have been much more agressive towards [all] our scumbag politicos, much earlier.

The time, sadly, for merely delegating to our “representatives” is past. We need to “do more”.

NO REFERENDUM? NO VOTE

I like this chappy’s cynicism


David Davis

It’s probably because he’s Czech, or perhaps it’s despite that instead.

I have spent, some years ago, quite a long cumulative time in his country, probably more than anywhere else except here. And I found the Czechs, particularly the South-Moravians (whose accent and dialect I learned to fool people in Prague with) to be charmingly romantic, but maybe it was just the all-pervading afterglow of joy at being released from the Stalinist Jackboot.

Vaclav Klaus scragged by walk-outer-MEPs, while a guest in “his” own EU “parliament”


…amd a good plug for Sean Gabb’s speech to Conservative Future, from these good people over there.

There are no videos of Klaus himself being shouted at and with grasping, totalitarian, trough-pigging-socialist-scumbags walking out, but we’ll put them on as soon as possible if they appear.

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/daniel_hannan/blog/2009/02/19/meps_walk_out_when_vaclav_klaus_questions_european_integration

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