Does Teen Vogue understand what it means to be ‘literally a communist’? By Douglas Murray.
Last week [a young woman called Ash Sarkar] had her 15 seconds of fame when she managed the impossible and appeared to out-arrogant Piers Morgan in a television shouting-match ostensibly about Donald Trump’s visit to the UK. The exchange finished with Sarkar telling Morgan repeatedly that she wasn’t a supporter of President Obama because she is ‘literally a communist’.
The fact that she added the words ‘you idiot’ meant that sections of the internet went doolally for her. And Teen Vogue decided that she was a suitable subject for puffery, and presumably young female emulation. …
Would the Twittersphere have gone so moist with excitement if Morgan’s interlocutor had, by way of rider, finished their argument with the explanation ‘I’m literally a fascist, you idiot’. …
We all know where fascism leads. The inoculation to it lies deep in all civilised people. If someone were to say ‘I’m literally a fascist’ we hear the cattle-truck door shut. We see the train tracks narrowing. The piles of shoes and human hair. We see the destruction of a people.
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. … 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 [latter called the KGB] 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.
None of this comes to their minds. And why? There are only two possibilities.
The better of these is ignorance. Though it is not a simple ignorance. Rather it is an ignorance on such a scale and of such a catastrophic obscenity that any person becoming aware of it would hide away from shame. There to educate themselves. To inform themselves. To try to make better human beings of themselves. In a word to ‘redeem’ themselves from an ignorance that ought to be personality-shattering when it is recognised.
As I say, this is the happier explanation. The unhappier one is that anyone able to say ‘I’m literally a communist’ actually does in fact have — at the very least — an inkling of all of this. Or is merrily on board with atrocity. It means that they are happy to explain it away, diminish it, minimise it or otherwise excuse the horror.
hat-tip Stephen Neil