Sunday, November 15, 2009

Thoughts on the Berlin Wall

Since I am old enough to remember the Soviet era and the cold war quite well, I can recall being stunned and flabbergasted by those in the west who admired the political/economic systems of the Soviet Union and its satellites. That is when I developed a severe lack of respect for the left. People were risking their lives, trying to cross a heavily fortified wall, or going out into the open sea in tiny, overcrowded boats, and the left were trying to tell them they were running away from something good!

Kevin Myers writes about his memories of the fall of the Berlin wall:

Some days after the wall was demolished by capering youngsters, I was in Prague to report on events there. No one at that point realised what a hall of mirrors communism really was, a few commissars with their power magnified within the minds of the audience simply by the reflective power of the state. But then I saw the communist edifice collapse before my eyes: it was one of the most wonderful moments in my entire life.

A young Irish student there named O hEithir -- the son of the RTE broadcaster Brendan -- introduced me to some of his Czech friends. They knew nothing about Ireland, save the Workers Party, which they detested. "What are these people, the Irish Workers Party?" asked one, with the others listening in, and nodding in agreement. "Why do they come here, telling us we live in a socialist paradise? We live in poverty and humiliation, and they come here for a week, are shown the most touristic parts of imperial Prague by communist party hacks, they tell us how lucky we are, and then they go home. Bastards."

I will give credit where it is due. Many on the left were not fooled by Soviet communism. But almost every one of them want to replicate its policies here, including suppression of free speech and other civil liberties.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's life.