Communism is great – like, the coolest thing ever!
I learn this from the latest issue of Teen Vogue, which has run a flattering, uncritical, celebratory interview with Ash Sarkar (pictured), a noisy young lefty blogger who has become briefly famous for saying on UK breakfast television “I’m a communist, you idiot”.
To be fair, the person she called an idiot was Piers Morgan.
But I really don’t think that excuses Teen Vogue’s decision to give this gobby child of privilege and her spray-on Marxist views such fawning coverage.
Here’s a sample of the kind of tough interrogation Teen Vogue gave Sarkar:
TV: Is that the biggest barrier to advancing leftist and communist policy positions? Is it a question of hearts and minds?
That was as tricky as it ever got. Really.
Nothing about the two or three million Cambodians starved to death or shot under Pol Pot; nothing about the 50 million or so Chinese killed in Mao’s famine or in his various purges of the intellectual class; nothing about the tens of millions murdered during Lenin’s destruction of the Kulaks or Stalin’s Great Terror; nothing about the immiseration of those who spent decades behind the Iron Curtain, deprived of freedom of speech, perpetually spied upon, doomed to enjoy a significantly less prosperous life than those in the West; nothing about the shortages, the brutality, the hyperinflation, the starvation, the torture and imprisonment and death being experienced in Venezuela right now as a direct result of communist policies…
As Douglas Murray argues here, the idea that communism should be treated as just another groovy youth fashion statement is quite terrifying.
Suppose that this woke little missy had boasted “I’m a fascist, you idiot” or “I’m a Nazi, you idiot”.
Would she now be being feted by Teen Vogue as some kind of generational role model?
Of course, she wouldn’t. And this, as Murray says, is one of the vices of our age. People on even the moderate right are endlessly interrogated and criticised, while no matter how far on the left you go you get a free pass.
Because on the political right the fall-away from the political centre is portrayed as being exceptionally close to that centre and almost unbelievably vertiginous from there. You might step one place to the right by arguing for lower taxes. But take one step further and – woah – it’s all the way down to Nazism. Take a step leftwards, by contrast, and you can just keep going and going, running all the way to an end. An end that never includes the Gulag.
Memo to Teen Vogue; memo to Ash Sarkar and all the other dim, historically illiterate, politically infantile kiddies out there who think the only problem with communism is that it hasn’t been tried properly yet…
The gulag was as real as the Nazi concentration camps. Real people suffered and died in them. Not despite communism but because communism.
Whatever the fifth-form pseudo-intellectual show-offs at Sarkar’s left-wing blog site imagine, communism is not a fashion statement.
Sarkar and her colleagues are now (and I refuse to link to this) even trying to monetise their communism. They have already made t-shirts available for purchase with the hilarious slogan ‘I am literally a communist’ on them. I suppose capitalism must have its uses after all. Perhaps in due course we will be able to see people wearing these casual moral insults. That they will worn by the same sort of people who have spent recent years telling everyone else that they must ‘call out’ fascism wherever they sniff if and should actually punch Nazis whenever we think we see them raises the interesting question of what attitude the rest of us should take should we see anyone wearing one of these obscene communist t-shirts?
Of course the wearers will have an advantage of a kind. Which is the advantage of ignorance. For alarming though it is, many people when they hear ‘communism’ do not think of the NKVD and the knock on the door. They do not think of the graves of tens of millions of people all across the globe. The millions of wasted lives, from the wastelands of Siberia to the blackened piles of human skulls in Cambodia. They do not think of the witness of Alexander Solzhenitsyn. Nor of Anna Akhmatova, whose husband was executed in a mass shooting and whose son was later sent off to the Gulag. They do not think of her testimony of the Yekhov terror, when she spent 17 months in the prison queues in Leningrad.
By the way, in case anyone is wondering, Teen Vogue isn’t some obscure leftist blog site passing itself off as a well-known brand. Teen Vogue actually is the junior version of the global Vogue imprint – and is published by Conde Nast.
In 2011 it had a circulation of over one million, but this collapsed to the point where, last year, it abandoned its print edition and went online only. Its style and tone shifted, too: less glamour and fashion; more deviant sex, identity politics and other SJW clickbait.
This article from last year set the tone for the new imprint. It’s called Anal Sex: What You Need to Know.
Are Conde Nast’s advertisers really happy to be endorsing this kind of thing? Is this really what we want our teenage daughters reading?
Maybe it’s worth dropping those high end advertisers a line and letting them know…