Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Selective mass-murdering [update 2]

UPDATE 2: I’m on Radio NZ’s Panel discussing this here.  Topic starts about 10:30 in, after ten minutes of waffle.

* * * *

When a Lincoln University student hostel held an Oktoberfest party that saw dickheads show up in Nazi regalia and concentration camp outfits , everyone and their grandmother went apeshit.

And when six lumpen idiots at Auckland Grammar were snapped bowing and saluting before Nazi symbols -- “kissing a swastika, bowing before a Nazi banner and making a Nazi salute at an exhibition” – the apoplexy could be heard all the way from Christchurch.

Che_at_Vic So saluting Nazis is not okay, alright.  But get caught carrying pictures of Chairman Mao (death toll around 70 million) – or have a poster of mass-murdererer Che Guevara on your wall (as Victoria University of Wellington’s student union has, as you can see in the pic at right taken from this video series of the VUWSA’s fraudulent democracy-capping) – or go sipping revolutionary coffee in the Havana cafe&bar (paying homage as you do to the murderous Cuban revolution) – and you fit right into today’s culture.

Indeed, head down to relax at the Lenin Bar in Auckland, which pays homage to the man who unleashed the Bolshevik state upon the world and the Cheka upon the Russian people, and you’ll be surrounded by the very journalists writing all those outraged articles about students dressing up in Nazi fancy dress – and who’d be just as violently outraged if a Hitler Bar were to set up next door – or a Himmler's Death's Head Bistro, Quisling's Croissants & Pastries, or Goering's Gelatos.

Surely shumthing wrong here, no?  Nazism is still rightly reviled, but the philosophy that killed 100 million people and at one time enslaved around three-fifths of the globe is still given house room.  How can that be?

BTW: If you want to track down modern history’s biggest mass-murderers, perhaps your best two resources are Rummel’s Power Kills website (and/or his excellent book Death By Government), and the French publication Black Book of Communism. Read them and weep.

UPDATE:  Jim Mora has invited me on as a phone-in guest on Radio NZ’s ‘The Panel’ this afternoon, to discuss the free-speech implications of larrikins in jackboots.  I’ll be on around 4:20pm.

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29 Comments:

Anonymous Sus said...

How can that be? Because most political parties still adopt its collectivist philosophy, albeit softer to varying degrees.

Che Guevara t-shirts leave me cold.

Well said.

10/20/2009 12:00:00 pm  
Blogger StephenR said...

All I can put forward is that communism/marxism/whatever has been so emasculated that it is more or less a joke,everyone has heard of it and vaguely knows it as something kitsch, quaint and weird. This can lend itself to being used to sell coffee or being a bar.

I would venture that no one is "paying homage" to any of these guys as you put it...except maybe weird student activists, on them I got nothing!

10/20/2009 12:13:00 pm  
Blogger libertyscott said...

Yes, shame it isn't emasculated in North Korea or Cuba, where the hammer and sickle will club and cut you with little mercy, or even Vietnam, Laos and China where you still can't openly talk about the communist party NOT ruling.

I don't find communism kitsch, quaint and weird - the Stasi and Securitate and KGB had bullets to ensure that, and all sorts of instruments of torture. If Mao can be used to sell coffee, why not Pol Pot? Or is it that people who survived this vileness keep quiet?

Nazism was more emasculated that communism, yet...

10/20/2009 12:22:00 pm  
Blogger KG said...

Damn fine post--I've put up an excerpt and a link.
No, Stephen it hasn't been "emasculated" at all. It permeates in one form or another every aspect of our lives and it's utterly corrupted the education of our kids. It infests academia and cultural Marxism (aka political correctness) threatens to turn us all into faceless cyphers.
What you describe as "kitsch, quaint and weird" is regarded that way because it's mutated into more insidious form of the virus, under the radar of most people.
The foul beast lives, except now it wears the robes of academia and the faux respectability of worthy causes.

10/20/2009 12:22:00 pm  
Blogger StephenR said...

Was just a thought - the 'end of civilisation' and all that.

10/20/2009 12:56:00 pm  
Blogger Richard McGrath said...

There was a radio interview this morning which can be found at
http://www.radiolive.co.nz/Audio/tabid/109/Default.aspx

Go to Tuesday (today) 7.30 a.m., about 12 minutes into the stream there is a segment with the radio host, a social historian and a libertarian.

It continues on the next segment which starts at 7.45 a.m.

10/20/2009 01:45:00 pm  
Anonymous frank black said...

"Che Guevara t-shirts leave me cold."

Actually I kinda smile at the sight - it reminds me that capitalism is profiting well from the image of a Commie killer.

Stick that in your Havana and smoke it Fidel!

10/20/2009 01:48:00 pm  
Anonymous Sus said...

Interesting that Marcus Lush raised the Guevara/Mao dichotomy, Richard. He's the first media personality I've heard do so.

PC, further to your comment about the double standard, I'd also add this:

Since the fall of Nazism, the left found a convenient adversary -- the odious fascists. In other words, being the Nazis' so-called 'opposite numbers' lent them a measure of legitimacy.

It'd be hilarious if it wasn't tragic. Doubly so, given the (seldom mentioned) 1939 Non-Aggression Pact that showed for all to see how much in common the bastards really had ...

Thanks for the advance notification re The Panel.

10/20/2009 02:25:00 pm  
Anonymous Sus said...

So there you have it. Neither Richard Griffin nor Linda Clark were rushing to equate the communists -- any of them -- with Hitler. Bad boy, Adolf! Bad boy! Che? Weeeell, he really only wanted the best for Cubans, didn't he?

Jeez Louise. Does anyone else find Richard Griffin wet & painful every time you hear him on air? Or is it just me?

10/20/2009 05:05:00 pm  
Blogger Owen McShane said...

Martin Amis spends some time on this double standard in his excellent book Koba the Dread - a book about the evils of Stalin. The subtitle is "laughter and the twenty million"
He is genuinely puzzled as to why all his parents friends and colleagues saw the evil of Hitler but would not or could not see through the evil of the communist regimes. He makes the point that you cannot tell the double standard even carries over to who you can make fun of and who you cannot. You can make jokes about communism but not about the Nazis.
Worth the read.

10/20/2009 05:47:00 pm  
Anonymous El said...

At the momement, I am having an extremely hard time reconciling the behaviour of a family member. Some time ago, I was to go to a family lunch, but opted out at the last minute. I was told later by my father that my Aunt's husband wore a T shirt with Mao on the front to rark me up and provoke a reaction. Very sick sense of humour, not to even begin on the extremely bad taste.

So last week I see a young (western) man with an image of Mao on his bag. I was too tired to go up and ask him if he could please explain his choice in images, so I let this one go. I told my aunt about this, she told he that her husband still has the Mao t-shirt. I replied that it is evading reality, completely dishonest, and that words and images do have a meaning, and because of the philosophy of these mass murdering men (Stalin, Mao, Guevara, Castro just to begin with), tens of millions have died. but then with some who don't think about this, well then perhaps it is a case of so long as it is not their property being taken by force, and their lives being disposed of, then it makes it OK. Her reply was, well, it is his opinion. My final say on it was that facts and opinions are worlds and miles apart. I was told I need to chill out. Like I said, I am having an extremely hard time reconciling this. This man should know better. So I am left wondering what the hell am I to do in this situation? If it was John Citizen on the street, I easily have nothing to do with him/her, but family?

10/20/2009 07:01:00 pm  
Blogger KG said...

El, I'd say that an Aunt's husband is far enough removed from immediate family not to deserve any special consideration on that basis.
In short, an ignorant asshole is an ignorant asshole, regardless of family ties.

10/20/2009 07:16:00 pm  
Anonymous Tim said...

Yep agree with you there Sus, god that dick Griffin, ummm sigh, is a, sigh, totally total bore (long winded sigh).

The equally predictable and tiresome clark said it all about national socialist radio with her gasp of horror and disparaging snigger at the news that PC was to join them

10/20/2009 09:44:00 pm  
Blogger Richard McGrath said...

Well done PC, excellent that you got the quote in re Che Guevara's definition of a revolutionary as a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate.

10/20/2009 09:48:00 pm  
Anonymous LGM said...

El

People who try it on like that (wearing Che tee-shirts, promoting rape, asserting collectivist ideology etc.) are fair game.

I knew a guy who liked to do that sort of thing. I explained to him what the significance of the Lenin tee-shirt and the book he liked to carry round actually was. He didn't want to consider it. Later I held a dinner party and made certain to invite a few people who had experienced the situation in Eastern Eurpoe and in Cambodia first hand. What happened next sure was entertaining.

There was a vigorous explanation which was soon followed by some serious disagreement and finally a right brutal hiding. I had to go outside for a while and light up a ciggie or two or so (I don't smoke these days so I'd need to take some beer outside next time this occurs). When I got around to going back inside my Leninist guest had been well and truely subdued. He knew how to bleed. That was a mess. He has a dodgy knee now and a couple of facial scars. Fair enough. Anyway, I ordered him out of the house. He's banned now. Fool.

He used to be an offensive bastard. He doesn't say much these days- just limps around the show, the pathetic bastard.

El, people like the relative you describe require correction. Feel not ashamed when they receive it. Never be ashamed to make a big case about those ideas. Say to your relatives, "If this isn't such a big fucken deal then tell that cunt not to wear that tee-shirt." The hypocritical bastards need to wake up to themselves.

LGM

LGM

10/20/2009 10:13:00 pm  
Anonymous Sus said...

Hi El .. long time, no see. Hope you're well.

There's only one way to deal with a smartarse and that's to outsmart him. Fortunately, this is usually very simple. :)

Next time the issue comes up, just pipe up with ..

"You like your mass-murderers, so do you want a Hitler t-shirt to go with that Mao one? With a whole lot of small swastikas or just the one big one? And with or without the dead Jews on the back?"

Mockery and open questions beat earnest statements every time with these twits. Laugh at the fool, loudly.

Cheers.

10/20/2009 11:22:00 pm  
Anonymous El said...

LGM
I have no problem reprimanding those who foolishly choose to wear Che t shirts, or other commie images. The last time I did so, was a young chap I worked with (my second job, part time). He is 16 or so, therefore I was a tad less harsh on him. I told him that once he got home, to jump on the computer, and find out exactly what that man was responsible for. Once he got the information, he was to promise to burn the T shirt. I left not long after that, so never did find out if he did do his 'homework', but then, at least I gave him a few home truths, which I doubt he would have heard from anyone else, anytime soon.

As for the family member, well, his time is ticking. There has been almost a week pass since the converstaion with my Aunt, and a strange silence ensues. They are pretty much the only family I have in Auckland, but he does need to understand just how f'n offensive his actions are. That will come shortly, no doubt about that.

Incidentally, I have a few young Russian friends and was out on a Friday night, quite late, a month ago. We were walking along K Rd, and there is a large army surplus store which has a large picture of Guevera and Mao in the window. I had my little outrage at this in front of them, unapologetically. They understood, fine well.

10/20/2009 11:33:00 pm  
Blogger AngloAmerikan said...

Museum spokeswoman Karen Mason told Radio New Zealand staff were shocked and disgusted by the youths' behaviour.

Crikey, what a lot of fuss about a bunch of boys larking about and what a bunch of hypocrites. They were clearly making fun of the Nazi symbols which is quite a healthy thing really - possibly deserving a spot of detention but nothing more. In fact we should thank the boys for exposing the museum's and Western society’s penchant for glorifying the Nazis. Why the need for a spectacular floor to ceiling swastika? Looks like a sensational temple to Nazism and other mass murdering activity to me, just crying out for someone to lark about. The whole exhibition is sensationalist and titillating by design, Nazis are sexy just like Che. Huge chunks of bookstores and museums are devoted to the 'glory' of WW2 and violence. In a way those boys weren’t doing what many adults do - you can almost see the love in the way that spectacular swastika was applied to the wall while the boys were just having fun. What boy from earlier generations never wanted to own an SS dagger, wear jack boots or didn't scribble a swastika somewhere? Nazi memorabilia is cherished by the museum and adult collectors. This hysterical over reaction has just increased the power of Nazi symbols. Can't make fun of them, oooh no, they're sacred.

And for those of you who want to ban Che’s image why don't we ban all symbols that might offend others? The Union Jack, Star of David, Stars and Stripes, Confederate flag, Cross of St George....oh dear we are already working on that.

10/21/2009 06:26:00 am  
Blogger PC said...

@AngloAmerican: I was with you until your last paragraph:

"And for those of you who want to ban Che’s image . . . "

No one is calling for Che's image to be banned. You seem to have overlooked the crucial difference between approbation and a ban.

10/21/2009 07:48:00 am  
Anonymous LGM said...

El

Good on you. Let us know how the situation with the rellie plays out.

LGM

10/21/2009 08:05:00 am  
Blogger StephenR said...

There was a vigorous explanation which was soon followed by some serious disagreement and finally a right brutal hiding...When I got around to going back inside my Leninist guest had been well and truely subdued. He knew how to bleed. That was a mess. He has a dodgy knee now and a couple of facial scars. Fair enough. Anyway, I ordered him out of the house. He's banned now. Fool.

Five posts and no one seems to blink an eye - does LGM host a lot beatings?

10/21/2009 08:19:00 am  
Blogger KG said...

Approbrium, not a ban?

10/21/2009 08:54:00 am  
Blogger KG said...

Typos..sigh..

10/21/2009 08:55:00 am  
Blogger Richard McGrath said...

StephenR - a supporter of Marxist-Leninism flouted his Communist badges in front of some of the victims of this homicidal ideology, I think he's lucky to have escaped with his life.

Admit it - the Communists hosted an awful lot of beatings themselves. And murdered well over 100 million people.

10/21/2009 09:12:00 am  
Blogger Ruth said...

Talking about offensive symbols - don't forget the Christian cross. Catholics in particular have murdered a fair few...

Rand had a few choice words to say about the symbol of the cross - sure to be on the internet somewhere. More education is needed all 'round.

10/21/2009 09:19:00 am  
Blogger StephenR said...

Admit it - the Communists hosted an awful lot of beatings themselves. And murdered well over 100 million people.

Not in dispute.

I'm tempted to ask: "Are beatings of offensive people allright in the street too, or just in homes?", but I'm surely missing something...seriously.

10/21/2009 10:19:00 am  
Anonymous El said...

Anglo
Just where in these posts has there been a call to 'ban' images of Che etc? I have certainly not called for such a ban. I support freedom of expression, however offensive I may find the material(and I find images of mass murderers very offensive) So long as no force or fraud are committed with said freedom, of course. I just expect people to be honest and understand that the images they wear etc do have a meaning. I wrote a letter to Powershop when they were using the Che as an image for their advertising. I did state that they are free to do so, but it is in appalling taste. (PC posted this brief letter on his blog, earlier in the year.)

El

10/21/2009 10:36:00 am  
Blogger AngloAmerikan said...

Sorry, yes ‘ban’ was the wrong word to use. I should have written that the other symbols could also deserve approbation. Their perceived crimes may only differ in the number of victims.

It is funny that those who declared that they were “shocked and disgusted” provided the venue and the props.

And speaking of funny I’ll probably get a good dose of approbation for admitting that I own two T shirts that depict Chinese workers holding up Mao’s little red book - I honestly thought it fell within the legitimate genre of “black humour” as did the school boy's antics.

10/21/2009 11:37:00 am  
Anonymous Mark said...

None of them are OK, but it's not up to me and you to make that decision.
Period.

10/26/2009 07:21:00 pm  

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