…from the quill of Antisthenes the Younger
As the saying goes, it is not over until that famous fat lady sings, and at the moment she seems to be anorexic, tone-deaf and suffering from laryngitis. The persistence of what could be loosely termed a socialist agenda is a virtual monument to the eternal stupidity and covetousness of mankind.
George Orwell: “Two incidents stick in my mind as examples of the queer revolutionary feeling of that time. One day the master who taught us English set us a kind of general knowledge paper of which one of the questions was, ‘Whom do you consider the ten greatest men now living?’ of the sixteen boys in the class (our average age was about seventeen) fifteen included Lenin in their list. This was at a snobbish expensive public school, and the date was 1920, when the horrors of the Russian revolution were still fresh in everyone’s mind.”
The horrors of almost a century of the socialist rule in Russia and Eastern Europe were still fresh in everyone’s mind, when (in 2000 A.D.) Mr Clive Evatt QC, a nephew of Dr H V Evatt purchased an ex-USSR Lenin’s marble bust and installed the same at the Evatt’s family Blue Mountains retreat; perhaps so that the Labor’s Alte Kameraden could dream of the brighter future when the populace’s memories fade.
Tangible monuments are important to simple people and symbols work mostly on the subconsciousness. Yes, Virginia, emotions ply even at the Kremlin. Belatedly, oh so belatedly the Ukrainians pulled down the murderer’s statue at Kiev’s Bessarabia Square and hey presto, Putin remembers the Crimean naval base and organises ex-Spetnaz to spontaneously protest against Ukrainian fascists wherever they may be. I am not suggesting that the ordinary Russians, still mostly patriotic, do not care about the imperial glory, but the idea of wasting their time in the streets when there is money to be made and vodka to drink seems to be far fetched.
The geopolitical experts (and now everybody is an expert on Ukraine) lovingly hypothesise about the Putin’s profound strategies. Maybe so, as one look at the map and a casual glance at the Muscovy history would show. But I suspect that the sight of the Lenin’s statue toppled by those ungrateful Ukrainians really got Putin’s gander up. It certainly is not about a naval base which could be easily leased from Ukraine at the peppercorn (or a fluid ounce of crude) rent in perpetuity.
In March 2014 we have the Russian Federation troops unashamedly marching all over Crimea with hammer & sickle flags. The hammer & sickle is a sicker symbol than the swastika, Fog of Chaos – Left perspective but in the topsy turvy world dominated by the Leftist media it is trivial and unobjectionable.
Perhaps Ukraine pays for its reluctance to decisively reject the communist ideology in all its aspects, including its corporal symbols in parks, libraries and elsewhere. Just as one does not see and does not wish to see statues of the leading National Socialist Herr Hitler, one should not tolerate statues of the leading International Socialist comrade Lenin. Bagatelisation of the despotic past, however glorious it might have looked in those Great Patriotic War movies, may lead to its resurrection, as Ukrainians may soon learn to their sorrow.
It would seem easier to topple a lump of bronze or stone than the idea the use-by-date of which passed almost one hundred years ago. Often even that is a problem. Unfortunately, neither the ideological, nor the ‘symbolic’ fight against the evils of socialism is over. Time to sing?