Can Political Correctness be Worse than Leninism?
Vladimir Bukovsky | Successful Nation
Vladimir Bukovsky (born. 1942) is one of the initiators of the dissident movement in the USSR, a neurophysiologist, and a writer. Since adolescence he was involved in anti-Soviet activities, and, as a result, expelled from school and university. In 1963 Bukovsky was arrested, judged to be mentally incapable and kept in a psychiatrist clinic by force. During this forced “treatment” he and his friend-in-misfortune Semion Glazman published “A Manual of Psychiatry for the Dissenters” – a tool for those whom communists tried to proclaim or make mentally incapable.
When Vladimir Bukovsky became widely known in the Soviets and in the West, the Soviet power decided to expel him. In 1976, this “hooligan”, of whom the Soviet authorities had more than enough, was traded for probably the best known political prisoner in the Western world – the Chilean communist leader Luis Corvalan. Mr Bukovsky settled in Great Britain, graduated from Cambridge University, and continued fighting communism. He was amongst the organizers of the boycott of the Moscow Olympic Games in 1980.
In 1978 he published his autobiography “To Build a Castle. My life as a Dissenter”, which later was translated into many languages. After the collapse of the USSR Mr Bukovsky visited Russia. At the invitation of the new authorities, he participated in the so called “USSR case” (July- October 1992) and acted as an official court expert of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation. When preparing for the process he had an opportunity to get acquainted with many top secret documents from the CK USSR, including KGB documents from the so called Russian Presidential Archive (later this archive was thoroughly cleansed by “specialists”). On the basis of those documents he compiled one of the most interesting archives to this day (http://bukovsky-archives.net), and wrote his book “The Moscow Process” Московский процесс (1995) on that very communism trial which never took place.
Although he does not live in Russia, Bukovsky remains one of the leaders of the Russian Democratic Movement. In December 2007 he was nominated as candidate for the Presidential election in the Russian Federation, but was not registered to run for the election. Being an ardent fighter for liberty, he belongs to many related organizations (Human Rights Foundation, The Freedom Association), and is a member of Great Britain’s Independence Party (UKIP) represented in the European Parliament. In 2009 he visited Sofia, Bulgaria, where he gave a lecture on political correctness, which did not go unnoticed by “Radio Svoboda” (Liberty Radio). Head of the programme “The Boundaries of Time” Mr Vladimir Tolz, dedicated his programme of 24 November 2009 to the subject of political correctness. This release was also taken notice of in Lithuania – its summary was published by the weekly Atgimimas.
Through the mediation of priests Petras Kimbrys and Robertas Grigas, the editorial office of NŽ- A contacted Vladimir Bukovsky and received full script of the said programme, which by then was published only by a small Estonian internet portal. With the kind consent of the author, we are pleased to present our readers with the full text of his lecture. It was translated from Russian into Lithuanian by Mr Nerijus Šepetys.
The text of the lecture:
You know what – I am mostly amazed at the events and processes, which started in the world right after the collapse of the Soviet Union. We all know that the Soviet Union was destined to fall apart. My friend Andrej Amalrik in 1969 wrote a book titled “Will the Soviet Union Last till 1984?”). Of course, he had in mind not the calendar year, but the Orwelian 1984. In any case, he almost hit it right, with a slight discrepancy of several years. And the plot he describes also came true – he predicted that the Soviet Union will break down into separate national republics.
It turned out to be that his forecast was fully realistic. And it is not only his personal opinion, but the shared view of us all. He only knew better how to formulate, convey, and argue it. So the downfall of the Soviet Union was by no means a surprise for me. In 1989 – 1990 I myself was about to release a small book in the West which thoroughly explained why communism was destined to collapse. The book received a cold welcome due to one peculiar reason. Back in 1989, in France everyone would say: “He made a gross exaggeration! How come! The Soviet Union now, with perestroika, gets back on track, and he wants to bury it…”. And when it appeared in Germany in 1991, everyone said: “Well, the Soviet Union is down, so what is there to write about?” So the book did not gain any popularity neither here nor there, and it was hard to predict where and when to release it.
The events that took place 20 years ago were by no means unexpected. But the events that ensued took us indeed by great surprise. So what did in fact happen? Firstly, it is what had not occurred – the reflection of this horrendous phenomenon, unique in the history of the world, which destroyed people by the millions. The attempts to philosophically reflect upon phenomena of the kind, make proper conclusions, understand the underlying reasons how things like that could have happened with us, civilized people – this has never occurred. Far from it, some processes started to unleash and they were rather illogical, to say the least.
After the Second Word War, after the collapse of Nazism, it seemed that the political balance in the world has shifted to the left (it is obvious when we take into consideration that Nazism was considered a right wing ideology. By mistake, as a matter of fact, but it’s another subject). So in the wake of the collapse of Nazism the public opinion has moved leftwards, but nothing of the kind – when the opinions must have shifted rightwards – happened after the breakdown of communism.
But what happened after the collapse of communism? All over the world, especially in Europe, left wing politicians and parties come to power. Therefore, the move was clearly to the left, which seems illogical to me. Moreover, no hopes cherished back in 1989 (which were so high) ever came true. Communism survived. Francisco Fukuyama could have said that it was the end of history, but history proved otherwise – Cuba, Vietnam, China, North Korea remained communist. And in the very post-communist countries the processes did not go too far either. All what happened there were in fact cosmetic, exterior changes. Several personalities were replaced with others, who also happened to come from the communist establishment. Those countries appeared to be not free, but rather densely meshed by the remains of the nomenclature (communist establishment). But it was what happened in the West that surprised me most. It is at this time that the utopian ideologies appeared in the West. If we were to pinpoint when political correctness came into being, I could specify precisely – it came into being at the beginning of the nineties of the 20th century.
This movement, as a phenomenon or rather a deviation from the norm of political correctness, existed before that, too. My first encounter with it happened when I worked at Stanford University. It must have been back in 1984. One day I was walking down to my laboratory and approached a door. In front of me there were two girls coming down the stairs. I opened the door and held open for them the way I would have held it for anyone – be it a man or woman, young or old. It was an act of mere politeness. They stared at me and uttered with undisguised contempt: “male chauvinist pig”.
I was greatly surprised, I did not understand their reaction, and, having entered the laboratory, told the story to the laboratory guys asking them: “what was it?” They started laughing like a drain and explained: “you see, there is Berkley University close by; people call it the People’s Republic of Berkeley, because all weird radical left-wing movements are born there”.
The philosophy of student revolution of 1968 was shaped at Berkley, and now there is a feminist movement spreading there. According to the feminists, we repress them when we speak to them like they were women, when we treat them like women. They even have a concept that they promote – women are a social construct, so if men would start treating women like men, they would indeed become men. In their view, it is our attitude towards them that shape them the way they are”. And, what is most surprising, they even performed the experiment in one of the leading universities at the end of the 20th century. They took babies of both sexes and raised them in the same conditions: same food, same clothing, same games and education (I am surprised anyone would give them a permission to do that).
Surely, this experiment did not bring any expected results. They boys did not lose any of the organs that they had from birth, and the girls did not grow any extra ones. On the whole, the boys’ penchant for guns did not go, just like that one of the girls’ for puppets. Although the experiment failed, it did not stop the feminist women. On the contrary, they got even more involved and devoted even more attention to it. As a result, the concept born within the walls of Berkley University and saying that our stereotypical behaviour with women makes them the way they are, that is, victims of manliness, has shockingly spread everywhere.
My friends at Stanford laboratory laughed at that back in 1984, but 10 years later this crazy concept lacking any scientific evidence, became dominant throughout the world. All universities had departments of gender studies opened. But what was to explore there, if you forgive me? As a physiologist I cannot understand, because sexual relations existed for millions of years, and nothing new came into being. So why do we need to study it all now? What do we get from it, and what are the attributes of academic activity involved here? In any case, the number of departments grew very fast, and first and foremost they started to investigate our sins. Men’s sins. We do not behave properly, do not look at women the right way…
Countless new theories, first of all linguistic ones, came into being. Remember Orwell saying that the leftists always seek to win the terminological war first. And so it went: you cannot call them Miss or Missis, because this is how we define their marital status – this is unacceptable. An unlikely form for the English language showed up – Mis. It is hard to pronounce, but it was only the beginning. They went on saying that it is indecent to say history (his story), you should rather say her story. Countless linguistic novelties fell on our heads: we were told that we cannot use the word seminary, because it is originated form the word “semen” – one should say ovulary instead. And, on the whole, how should we call women? It was a great puzzle for the new academics.
The word woman contains the word man and this is terrible. Call it female – even worse. There is the word male in it. So they coined a new term to define women: wofe (wo from woman and fe from female). And now we are to call them this way, otherwise we are male chauvinist pigs!
It sounds nonsensical. Aren’t there enough madmen in the world? I was once incarcerated with many madmen and got fully used to them. But the thing is that the present day society, especially American, is primitive. It takes in any folly and soon turns it obligatory to anyone. Especially the American society. Although the European societies are surely no less conformist. So we are to accept everything thrown at us for the sake of success. For life to go smoothly, it is by no means unacceptable to be non-conformist.
This kind of American pattern has quickly spread as mandatory. It is a mandatory paradigm, because it is incredibly incorporated into legislation. Among other things, this new feminist movement blamed men of sexism. In their view, all men are sexists because they see a sex object in a woman, therefore everything in relation with the woman or sex needs to be eliminated. Any flirt between a man and a woman was called an “oppressive action” (with exploitation in mind). Therefore, if you make a joke at your co-worker, or, even worse, your subordinate, you are in trouble – she will sue you and you will lose your job.
Moreover, as if that were not enough, they gained the momentum and were not likely to stop! These people never stop, they go on and on. The only solution is to shoot them. If you do not do that, they will carry on without limits. Let us take the stereotype of a man. A man is an oppressor, therefore there is no place for him in power- there should be women only. A male is a rapist and a seducer. A big noisy campaign called “child abuse”, hysteria about “child exploitation” erupted in America. Right at that time I was about to leave America, so I made the sign of the cross and said to myself: “Thanks God! I do not want to come back here! Entire kindergartens were forced to close under suspicion of child abuse, but it was pure nonsense.
Soon afterwards the situation was cleared, and all the incarcerated were released. But an avalanche of recollections engulfed the society. The elderly sobbingly told of how they were sexually depraved, although the period that there stories covered could not have stuck in their memories. A grown up cannot adequately remember what happened with him at the age of two or three. Notwithstanding congressmen, senators, etc… A wave of “artificial memory” has risen. Out of the blue, all the depravations of childhood days would come to people’s mind. This all was nurtured by a simple feminist idea: a man is a predator, therefore he should never be allowed to govern. At the same time a campaign determined to have at least half of important positions filled by women came into being.
A big fuss was caused about the right to serve in the army. Not in auxiliary divisions but where it is most inconvenient – in military units, that is where people live in outside conditions, where they dress out together and go to shower together – where the conditions are most uncomfortable. So what is to be surprising there that after several months of service women would go to courts and file cases about “sexual harassment” – someone peeked from the back, whistled, and … this is sexual harassment.
By the way, no male manager would speak with his subordinate face to face. He would definitely call a witness, because he can be sued for sexual harassment, and this would be the end to his carrier.
But it does not end here. You cannot say that women are less inclined towards certain professions. For example, the president of Harvard University said in a private meeting that women, due to certain reasons, perhaps lack of interest, seldom chose precise sciences, especially mathematics. He lost his position, because a wild wave of hysteria followed his remark. He had to write an application to quit the job. And this is a mass phenomenon, reminiscent of the terror of 1937.
I remember when I came to the United States to give lectures (once or twice a year I would earn my living by reading lectures at universities). And here is the main news, at least how it is understood in Europe – communism is about to fall, Soviet Union is facing collapse, everything is on the verge. And what is the main piece of news on CNN? It is a story of a girl who was not accepted to join the boy scouts, because she is not a boy… That’s why everything must be changed so that girls would be admitted to join boy scouts. And it was the main piece of news.
I went on giving my lecture and explaining what was going on in the Soviet Union. After the lecture there was a question and answer session and a young lady, obviously not a student, stood up and asked: “Tell me, when will at last there will be women in Soviet Politburo? I replied: “It’s what they need most now. Yes, it’s what’s needed most, I fully agree with you!“
You see, the Americans had a surge of insanity, which had exceeded the previously accepted threshold of insanity. They had a wave of unhealthy campaign for racial equality. The campaign started on a fully sound basis at the end of the fifties, sixties and seventies. At that time the remains of racism were really obvious, especially in the South, but in the North it was never there. This was a really unacceptable and meaningless phenomenon, and the case for racial equality was fully grounded. But, just like all other campaigns of the kind, after this campaign reached its goals, its activists carried on until they got to the point of absurdity and started demanding for “positive discrimination”. The activists behind this campaign were blinded by utopia. They did not believe that inequality was a natural state, that we are all born unequal. It is like the followers of Rousseau, who believed that a human being is like a piece of clay and you can knead it into any shape you like.
Therefore, the followers of the campaign took the fact that the racial equality movement did not produce a sufficient number of successful black people, such as professors, millionaires, etc., as their failure, and resolved to strive for equal results rather than equal opportunities. And so they started introducing the so called “positive discrimination”, which brought about the existing quotas. Those are not official, but they are working. Every university has to enrol a certain percentage of the black people. It has never been put down in writing anywhere, but everyone knows that if they don’t do this, they will have their eyes scratched, they will face endless court trials, and alike troubles. Quotas at work. Here is a private company, and, out of the blue, a public fury erupts – why is there only one woman on the board? Women make up about half of all inhabitants on the earth, so they should make about 50 per cent of all the board members. And so on. Isn’t it madness to push people to certain positions judging merely by the colour of their skin or gender, even if they could not claim such positions based on their personal characteristics and skills?
Let’s go back to the army. When women gained their right to serve in the army, they found a great niche: they go to the army, serve there for three months or so, file a case of sexual harassment, the court awards them several million dollars and they leave. It is a reasonable way to get rich in two or three years. In the US army, a new type of uniform appeared – that is of a “pregnant soldier”. I never have fancied I would live to see such a thing! The very concept of “pregnant soldier” is a terminological contradiction. Men are supposedly there to protect pregnant women. This riddle is not for my mind. Nevertheless, there is such a uniform.
The next step is priests. A priest is an authoritative figure, therefore it is not proper that only men are priests. Women should also be priests. A fury broke out and eventually there are women priests, who took little time to re-write the Bible. Now there is a new, feminist bible, where the Lord Almighty is a woman. I have a friend Winston, who is a grandson of Churchill. His mother, Pamela Harriman, died. She was a long-serving US ambassador to France, and she died while serving her duty as an ambassador, so she was eligible to a state funeral. Winston arrived to the US, and as he later told me, went to Arlington cathedral and saw that a woman priest was in charge. He approached her and said: “Lady, there is an ancient family tradition that during the funerals of parents the oldest son has to read a scripture from the Bible. It is a long standing tradition of the Churchill family. She went through several pages of the Bible he brought with himself and said: “No, you cannot read this. It is an incorrect Bible”. But she met the wrong guy – it was none other than Churchill. He looked at her and said: “Lady, if you do not like the Bible of our family, this is your business. But this is the family of my mother and I am going to read what I deem necessary, and whenever I deem necessary. If you have problems with that, I turn around and leave!“ Because it was a state funeral, the woman priest conceded and made everything appropriately. But think about it for a moment. What insolence is it to tell the son what he should and should not read from his family Bible at his mother’s funeral! What a nasty point has been reached!
If only it would all end with the feminism and racial issues alone! No, it all continues further, involving ever new minorities. The disabled, the incapables. They now demand that every building be adjusted for them to enter. Of course, this is all understandable with public offices in mind. But how about when they turn to private shops and say that if they are not readjusted for he disabled to enter, they will be shut down, the matter gets really serious. Small businesses cannot afford such expenses. In certain cases they have to close the shop.
The linguistic experiments that followed the gender studies have an anecdotal end. One must not say “dwarf” now, but rather use the expression “vertically challenged”. I don’t even know how to say it in Russian. A fat person is also a “no, no”. You must say a person with dimension problems instead. A quasi-orwelian era has dawned, which is far from funny, because it is followed by legislation. The all-encoding legislation. And all of the above are not mere ideological demands of some wacky personalities any more, because now it is a law! For example, current legislation defines the so called hate speech, which reminds me of the ill-memory Article 70 of the Soviet criminal code, under which I spend my term in prison.
All the definitions are very dispersed, and the ideology is especially hard to codify. If you attempt to do that, twaddle will be the outcome. Now we can apply the same “hate speech” to virtually all acknowledgements of sexual or racial differences. Basically, you do not have a right to recognize such things, and if you do so in public, you will be guilty of what is called hate speech. Here is an example: last year all public attributes of Christmas were eliminated in England. In our country Christmas is forbidden in public space. If you want, go ahead and celebrate it at home, but staging a Christmas performance in a public place is forbidden, because it will be offensive to Muslims. The English national flag (St. George Cross, red cross against white background, not to be mistaken for Great Britain’s flag) – forbid. Why? Again, the Muslims will be disappointed because it will remind them of the crusades. It is curious that the Muslims themselves do not support such decisions at all, and it is not they who initiate the changes of the kind. In a shop next to my home a Pakistani owner, a full-fledged orthodox, hoisted the flag of St. George to tell his clients: “No, it is not me, it is your leftists, your own white imbeciles came about with this bunk. I have nothing to do with it, I have nothing against Christmas or St. George flag, therefore, I put up the flag in my own place…”
What is it? Now the censorship has reached such a limit that I think that if Shakespeare lived in our times he would not be able to write. Many of his works are not welcome on stage nowadays: The Merchant of Venice – anti-Semitism, Othello – racism, The Taming of the Shrew – sexism. One teacher even refused to take her pupils to “Romeo and Juliet”, claiming that it is a “hideous heterosexual show”. The censorship is now omnipresent and supported by the criminal law. Recently, one deputy of the National Assembly made a public joke about homosexuals, and was fined with a hefty sum – 20 000 euro, if I am not mistaken. Today it is only a fine, but soon they will start imprisoning people for things like that. We know how quickly it all evolves, how suddenly reactions of the kind develop into repressions. This is what this case is all about!
Yuri Bezmenov ex KGB Agent, employed with Novosty: Interview with G. Edward Griffin: Deception was my Job: Life Under Soviet Collectivism & Subversion of the Free World Press [01/09] [02/09] [03/09] [04/09] [05/09] [06/09] [07/09] [08/09] [09/09]
Lecture by Tomas Schuman (aka Yuri Bezmenov) former KGB Propaganda Expert with Novosty Press: Psychological Warfare Techniques: Subversion & Control of Western Society [01/07] [02/07] [03/07] [04/07] [05/07] [06/07] [07/07]
I start with the same question: what is it? Are those random episodes, just a bunch of weird people who blatantly, obsessively force others to live according to their disgustful ideas? Alas, it is more complicated then that. Many of you must have heard of philosopher Herbert Marcuse from the Frankfurt School. It is his ideas that are being put into being in today’s world. And they are very simple ideas. Marcuse was a Marxist revisionary, and did not agree with Marx only because Marx thought the revolutionary class was the proletariat, while Marcuse claimed that the proletariat is a dwindling class, therefore the true revolutionary bridgehead included all sorts of minorities, outcasts, pathological personalities – all of them together making up the revolutionary element of the society. One of Marcus’s works is called Repressive Tolerance, where he argues that it is necessary to proclaim any pathology a norm, and only then, he says, we will destroy the bourgeoisie society. The activists who supposedly protect the rights of minorities, homosexuals, and feminists do not care about the minorities as such at all. They, just like Lenin, use the minorities as a tool to exercise pressure on the society and to control it. And, surely, they bring more harm than good to the minorities themselves. The minorities suffer from the activists’ activities even more than us all.
Some seven years ago my friend’s wife in America created a movement “Women against feminism”. It stared as an initiative of her friends, but now some 2 million women are involved in the movement. American women start realising that this “new feminism” movement is actually a movement against them. It destroys their lives, it prevents them from choosing freely what they like or dislike, and forces them to put up with something that is favourable to a bunch of activists only.
We are facing a serious ideology here, which, by taking the shape of supposedly such a stupid and absurd thing as political correctness, is trying to destroy our society. Its proponents do not care about the minorities nor do they care about their rights. The worse-off the minorities are, the better it is for the said proponents, because any difficult situation enables them to defend the minorities even more forcefully. Their goal is to destroy our society. It is in essence a rancorous version of Marxism.
I am coming back to where I began. Why did it all come to the surface in the wake of the downfall of communism? Well, it’s very simple – alas, we were not allowed to finish the job. Back in 1991 I was travelling to Russia and tried to explain to everybody I could that it is not enough to let communism go. It will not wither by itself. We have to finish off with it! We need to condemn it!
We need a Nuremberg process in Moscow which will reveal all the reasons, all the crimes, secrets, and all the philosophical foundations of this horrendous phenomenon which has destroyed tens of million of people in our country and hundreds of millions worldwide. We had a historical duty to do it, but we failed to convince the then government to take it up. First, it clearly understood that such a process would remove any chance for them to stay in power. But the most stubborn was the West. I saw with my own eyes hundreds of telegrams to Yeltsin from all over the world convincing him NOT to organize such a trial, not to open up the archives, not to reveal all the crimes. Not only because the world was so entangled with Moscow (although the links were much tighter than they seemed to be), but purely for ideological reasons. As one of the socialist leaders said to Gorbachev: “The fall of socialism in the East will cause the crisis of the very idea in the West, and we do not want it!“
This is why the West helped sustain the Soviet empire during the final days of its agony. Only during the Gorbachev rule as much as 45 billion dollars were wasted for that purpose, and they were never regained. The Western leaders continued coming to support Gorbachev till the very end. As you remember, Bush went to Kiev and wooed the Ukrainians into not separating from the Soviet Union. He talked about absurd things and deemed it to be his duty. The West was at the rescue of the Soviet Union.
This is why in the wake of the collapse of communism, when there was a good opportunity to bring this system to trial, to reveal all of its crimes and the underpinning reasons that brought them into being, to reveal everything, the Western leaders strictly opposed this idea, and continued making pressure on Yeltsin. As a result Yeltsin did not commit himself to take this step.
And what would we have said in the process of the trial if it did take place? What were we to reveal to the humanity during the process? Very simple things – all the fancy talk of the intelligentsia about the highest justice and equality ends with the empty shelves in the shops, long queues and the Gulag. And it cannot end otherwise! Or else there is proof of it which would have made it obvious, and not only to the very far sighted ones, that it is impossible to live in utopia and it will always end with the Gulag, because the utopians never admit that they are wrong. This is what was needed. In its due time the Nuremberg process discredited the ideas of racism, eugenics and the like. The Moscow process must have equally discredited all kinds of collectivist, socialist ideas and utopias, first and foremost the idea of social engineering. To force an ideology on someone else should be proclaimed a criminal act in this world! But it had not happened.
Today we are paying the price for it. And we don’t know for how much longer we are going to do that.
Today we have reached the point when a politically correct president is elected. Not because he had bright ideas, but because he is black. America should have demonstrated the whole world how progressive, non-racist it is, how they came to elect a black president. It does not matter that he has no clue about politics or economics, that he will spell lots of trouble and already has – to Americans this is all irrelevant as long as they look progressive in the eyes of the world.
The situation that we have now is the result of the fact that in the turning moment of history we failed to organize a Nurnberg trial in Moscow.
You are asking about having a discussion? They pay no attention to us. I would be glad to argue – my tongue is sharp, I would smash the views of any of the politically righteous in minutes. I would simply crash them into pieces. But they are not getting into that. They do not allow us into mass-media. Being a fully-fledged British citizen, I cannot write an article on it nor publish a book, and no one would invite me to any debates on this subject. Because public debates on the matter never take place. This ideology is simply imposed on us. I have nothing against mad people. I repeat, I am a tolerant man. I have spent many years in a madmen’s house and got along with them all really well. My only condition is not to have alien ideas imposed on me.
I remember the first argument with the KGB interrogator. I was 16 years old back then. He asked: “Why do you hate us so much?” I replied: “God forbid, it’s not that I hate you. I simply do not believe in what you are doing. You want to build communism – go ahead build it, but I don’t want to. If we agreed that I have two square meters for myself where I have the freedom not to build communism, I would be happy… You can build it all around me, as much as you like, I am not going to hinder you. But in those few square metres I will not build it…” “How dare you speak like that? All Soviet nation builds communism with great enthusiasm”. – “Well, let the Soviet nation go ahead and build it, but I am obviously not the Soviet nation.”
This is what utopians cannot take. They cannot accept the simple idea that one cannot impose on another person an ideology which that person does not believe in. No matter if these are communists or advocates of political correctness. At once you will become the enemy of the mankind. You continue arguing about sexual relations and sexual orientation it means you are intolerant, you are a homophobe. Why? Because you dare to disagree with their line of thinking. This is what those crooks and rogues are doing – they shift concepts.
Once Queen Victoria remarked straight to the point when asked on the subject. The Queen said: “I do not care what they do as long as they do not do it on the street and do not frighten horses.” My approach is rather the same. But only try and say that you disagree with those activists… You know, there is a nomenclature here, because for the activists it is their career, life, status, money. They gain influence over the minorities, just like Lenin gained influence over the proletariat, and then proceed to use that influence as leverage in their struggle for power.
This is not a philosophical problem. If it were so, we would sit under concern as Socrates did and argue among those who are interested in the subject. But no – they fall on you with courts. And why courts? Why this hate speech? We have sufficient legislation to solve those disputes over the deprivation of dignity. If I insulted anyone with a joke, let him sue me in court under the civilian proceeds, why are all those special punitive laws on incorrect speech needed? They are needed to bully people into silence, that’s what they are for. You and I are experienced people. We used to live under totalitarian conditions and we know how those things work. And you would not say “well, that is only ideology, with time it will straighten itself up”. Communism has never straightened itself up until it was overthrown.
You said that you do not feel all that in Bulgaria at present, that you are waiting for something positive to come out of it. You know, it reminds me of the Western reaction to the Soviet communism. They also said that something positive was to come out of it all. All the talks about how bad things are there must be a mere exaggeration. And it has nothing to do with us in our country.
I don’t see why we should repeat the same mistakes the West was making all those 70 years throughout the Cold War. You will also have political correctness, let me assure you. You are in the European Union, and political correctness is but an EU ideology. It will reach you from Brussels and become obligatory. And you will have nowhere to hide, because the Brussels decisions have precedence over the decisions of national parliaments. The problem is not the idea that you may discuss. The problem is that discussions on the idea are not allowed. Discussing it will soon be punishable by prison. Trust me. I am an old jailbird, and I know when it whiffs with prison. And in the West this whiff starts to appear. This is the thing. It is not a matter of free choice. It will reach you like a ban on smoking. Today you think that it does not concern you. It will. In the West they always thought that they had nothing to do with communism. They had. This is why it is better to be prepared in advance. And what is positive? Well, a positive side can be found about anywhere. Communism had its positive sides, too. If we were friends back then, we were friends for real, for ages, risking lives for each other. And this means something. Under communism, atheism and the struggle for domination made science develop in huge strides. We had great physicists, mathematicians – well, that is positive, who would argue? But this doesn’t mean that the very phenomenon was positive. You could have achieved the same things by other more vegetarian means, couldn’t you?
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Locked Up: ‘Patients’ and their Gaolers: Vladimir Bukovsky
Vladimir Bukovsky conducts Inner Circle Seminar No. 161: introduced by Anthony Stadlen
Sunday 13 March 2011 | 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Vladimir Bukovsky (born 30 December 1942) honours us by conducting the first in a new subseries of Inner Circle Seminars, Locked Up: ‘Patients’ and their Gaolers. We shall interweave this subseries with other seminars as long as the Inner Circle Seminars continue and innocent ‘mental patients’ continue to be incarcerated and forcibly ‘treated’.
Vladimir Bukovsky spent twelve years in Soviet prisons, labour camps and forced-treatment psychiatric prison-‘hospitals’. A man of transcendent courage, integrity and intelligence, he exposed and denounced the brutal system of psychiatric-political imprisonment in the USSR. Bukovsky is careful to call it psychiatric abuse – not ‘abuse of psychiatry’, as it is termed by Western psychiatrists and journalists. In today’s seminar, he will explain how ‘sincere’ Marxist philosophers and ‘correct’ psychiatrists logically concluded – as they now do in China – that, as a dissident within a ‘perfect’ social system, he must be ‘insane’. He will discuss the social intelligibility of the interactions which led to his being locked up, as well as of those which lead to people being locked up as ‘mad’ in our society. Nothing could be more urgent than to hear Vladimir Bukovsky speak.
Venue: Durrants Hotel, 26–32 George Street, Marylebone, London W1H 5BJ(http://www.durrantshotel.co.uk/)
Cost: Students £108, others £135, some bursaries; mineral water, coffee, tea, biscuits, liquorice allsorts included
Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8888 6857 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information on seminars, visit: http://anthonystadlen.blogspot.com/
The Inner Circle Seminars were founded by Anthony Stadlen in 1996 as an ethical, existential, phenomenological search for truth in psychotherapy. They have been kindly described by Thomas Szasz as ‘Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools and colleges.
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