Dramatic changes have started happening across the West—unpredictable and unprecedented changes that are well beyond measure. The long-standing thirst for abolishing all inequities has finally broken through the surface of polite society in the form of violent Black Lives Matter protests. ‘Oppressive’ statues are falling; offending words are banned; and a new, more equal, and more ‘inclusive’ society is emerging from the ruins—one that promises to bring ‘peace and love’ to all humankind.
This revolution has spread from the U.S. to Western Europe, and now across the entire world. And it aims to soon establish a new community for all humankind, one that is open to all regardless of a person’s skin colour, gender, or beliefs.
But from an Eastern European perspective, the whole ‘BLM’ revolution seems very familiar. In fact, for anyone who lives in Europe’s semi-periphery, the idea of sweeping away all forms of oppression and building a ‘new world’ does not sound like a wholly new ideology.
Tearing down monuments of imperialist heroes? Erecting new statues of Karl Marx and Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (as we have seen in Trier and Gelsenkirchen)? Been there, done that. And we do not want to go through it again.
You can easily tell the difference between a capitalist and a socialist society when you test drive a Mercedes—and then try driving a Trabant. (In fact, many of you probably don’t even know what a Trabant is—which is not by accident.) Both car brands were manufactured in Germany by hard working German people who produced them to the best of their knowledge and abilities—but under two entirely different systems. The Mercedes is beautiful, precision engineered, and well-constructed. The Trabant, on the other hand, represents how wonderful socialist dreams often sound—but how awful they have worked in practice.
This same logic now prevails in the growing struggle against discrimination: it all sounds good as an idea—but it rapidly becomes something destructive in practice.
We in Eastern Europe have long admired the West. A recurring topic of debates used to be when we, too, might catch up to the West in economic, cultural, or democratic matters. No longer. In fact, I regret to say it but the fact of the matter is that today we are already far ahead of you—by at least 70-75 years. You see, we started to build a communist utopia in the ’40s—well before it was ‘cool.’
If you in the West insist on continuing what you have now started, then by all means, go right ahead. As an Eastern European, I can happily confirm that you are indeed on ‘the right track.’ A lack of academic freedom, banned cultural products, careers destroyed for political reasons based on a central dogma: these are all features that are rapidly emerging in the utopia you think you are beginning to create. And we have seen it all before.
Under pressure to keep up with the ‘New World of Equality and Tolerance’, a crazy competition seems to have begun between your political parties, corporations, organizations, and members of the public—each of them trying to outdo the other in a race to see who is the best follower of the ‘new dogmas;’ each trying to demonstrate the greatest loyalty, the most activism; each trying to go beyond where other “revolutionaries” stalled.
Also, as you are learning, it is not enough to just step aside. The ‘social justice’ movement of today demands action, since “white silence is violence.”
We, too, had such compulsion. I remember when it was obligatory—even for children—to march in groups holding banners and flags every May 1st. In Hungary, there was even one person in each and every house block who kept an eye on all the residents, making sure that nobody stayed behind, making sure that everyone marched. Anyone who stayed behind was suspect; whoever was suspect must be guilty; and whoever was guilty deserved punishment.
By now, you in the West seem to be enjoying the beginnings of your new utopia so much that I am sure you will love what will soon follow: cultural censors, political police, controls on mobility and travel bans, the nationalization of private property, eventually poverty—and perhaps even a new ‘iron curtain’ of sorts (and then, of course, the Gulag).
You have a lot of work ahead of you.
Unfortunately for you, the Soviet Union is no longer around to help you as it ‘helped’ us decades ago. However, you could try your luck with the Communist Party of China. They have quite a bit of experience with cultural revolutions.
So, good luck, ‘comrades’!