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Ed Driscoll

“The towering presence, the empire that ascended to affirm a colossal footprint. The revolution that birthed one of modern history’s pivotal experiments. But if politics has long shaped our sense of who they are, it’s passion that endures. As a more reliable right to their collective heart. What they build in aspirations lifted by imagination. What they craft, through the wonder of every last detail. How magical the fusion of sound and movement can be. How much a glass of distilled perfection and an overflowing table can matter. Discover the Russian people through these indelible signatures. Discover what we share with them through the games that open here tonight.”

George Orwell, call your office. As he wrote in “Politics and the English Language,” in 1946, such euphemisms are “designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable,” and certainly describing Communism as “one of modern history’s pivotal experiments” fits the bill in spades. Or as Stacy McCain accurately described it this week at the American Spectator, “The Worst Idea in the World”:

Five years after the Bolshevik Revolution, Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises predicted that the Soviet project was doomed to fail. In his classic work Socialism, Mises explained that the attempt to replace the market system with central economic planning could not succeed, because the planners could not possibly have the information necessary to make all the decisions which, in a market economy, are made by individuals whose needs and desires are reflected in prices: “The problem of economic calculation is the fundamental problem of Socialism.”

“Everything brought forward in favour of Socialism during the last hundred years,” Mises wrote in 1922, “in thousands of writings and speeches, all the blood which has been spilt by the supporters of Socialism, cannot make Socialism workable. …. Socialist writers may continue to publish books about the decay of Capitalism and the coming of the socialist millennium; they may paint the evils of Capitalism in lurid colours and contrast with them an enticing picture of the blessings of a socialist society; their writings may continue to impress the thoughtless — but all this cannot alter the fate of the socialist idea.”

Undeterred by Mises’ criticism, the Soviet Union spent the next seven decades proving his prediction correct. By the time the Communist utopia collapsed in bankruptcy and disgrace, it seemed that everyone with two eyes and a brain understood the lesson: The Marxist-Leninist project was a complete failure and, as historians documented in The Black Book of Communism, tens of millions of people had died for this mistake, deliberately starved or slaughtered by totalitarian Communist governments.

Not surprisingly, as Twitchy notes, numerous Twitter users are denouncing the morality-free brain-dead husk of the NBC television network:

nbc_soviet_union_pivotal_experiment_twitchy_twitter_roundup_2-7-14-1

As Greg Pollowitz notes today at National Review’s “Right Field” sports blog, Bob Costas and the rest of NBC appear to be going out of their way “to paint Putin in the best possible light.”

Pollowitz adds that former Soviet spokesman Vladimir Pozner is part of NBC’s on-air team, alongside Costas. As I warned in December, when news first broke that Pozner, who was a staple of American TV in the 1980s as a much beloved (among American chat show bookers, that is) apologist for the Soviet Union before that “pivotal experiment” was mercifully concluded, “NBC Goes Full Commie. Never Go Full Commie, Man.”

Update: “PUTIN PROPAGANDA: NBC’s Bob Costas portrays Russian leader as great peacemaker.”

Keep that in mind the next time NBC or MSNBC has an “anti-bullying” rant.

And one more Tweet:

Hey, if any network could — other than CNN, of course.

Flashback: Back in 2011, when Keith Olbermann was given his permanent vacation from NBC’s spin-off network, I asked, “Chat Rock or 3CP1? Where Does MSNBC Go From Here?” I should have known the answer — but once again, Muggeridge’s Law strikes again — I had no idea their parent network would openly worship the former Soviet Union before its subsidiary.

Update (2/8/14): Welcome those clicking in from:

As well as Instapundit readers. As Glenn Reynolds notes, If NBC thinks of the Soviet Union as one of history’s “Pivotal Experiments,” then “Viewed in that Light, So was the Confederate States Of America.”

NBC’s screwed up enough already these days. Don’t give them any ideas, Glenn…

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
NBC has already succeeded. Obama is still an aspiring player.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Putin is Obama's model. Putin's Russia is what the Democrat machine aspires to. And apparently NBC wants to be Pravda.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
"A pivotal experiment" -- that failed. Always leave the failure part unstated.
It was a valiant attempt to improve mankind -- that failed.
It was a grand and noble experiment -- that failed.

What was learned from this grand and noble experiment. "Next time, with better leaders we'll get it right. Next time with well trained populace and the right experts, it will work. Next time. . .
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (69)
All Comments   (69)
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It is truly odd that so many in today's media , those we've entrusted to bare witness as the guardians of truth, rarely heap praise like this on the country that affords them their soapbox with which they so often obscure, redefine, and demonize anything even closely resembling actual truth.
Their party line of spreading the wealth, under the guise of fairness, has only ever ended in spreading poverty among the masses. Only a Liberal voice would be bold enough to praise Socialism/ Communism, as pivotal, valiant, grand, or noble, and expect to be praised themselves for the effort. The media in this country has made a concerted effort to whisper words of acceptance for Socialist ideals, while rejecting, and demonizing the very ideals that have made this country the greatest experiment of all. Their unceasing assertions that success should be demonized, and punished, while failure commended, or rewarded, sickens anyone who can see past their deceptions. Accountability for ones own personal actions is a concept lost to these clowns, and it desperately needs to be restored.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sports guy Bob Costas & NBC don't have to heap ridiculous praise on Russia and the KGB guy who wants to sit in perpetuity as head of state.

Why do this ? Perks and flattery that made Walter Duranty tell all those lies about the Soviet Union (and get a Pulitzer for them) many years ago ?

Costas also self-righteously pontificated about that horrible name the Washington NFL team has called itself for decades, "Redskins".

Like that other commentator who disastrously ventured into political gab, Keith Olbermann, Costas should stick to sports.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Pivotal experiment? Yeah, I did them in my teen years resulting in flipped and burned family cars, arrests for drunk driving, hospital time and more. The Russians, followed by the Chinese, "experimented" with the economics of it and are busily trying find a way back, after 100 million murdered comrades. All they have left is the totalitarian state, and the only reason they still have that is the Russians have guns.

But, NBC will not be denied the right to pump smoke up some dead horse's butt and call it "cutting edge". What a crock!
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Three thoughts: If NBC thinks communism is so great why doesn't it move to Moscow which under Putin is slowly returning to its communist ways. It would free up one fat chunk of the spectrum here in the US. Second thought: How many of those bozos at NBC would have liked to have been part of the 'pivotal experiment'? I wonder how long they would have lasted in the gulag? Third thought: Can anyone see a difference between MSNBC and NBC?
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Delusional Americans call communism "A pivotal experiment" when the Russian people openly say they will never return to communism. Communism survives in the minds of the sociopathic elites in the US that rule over us serfs.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Of course the fellow travelers in the West blame the demise of the Soviet regime on bankruptcy brought on as a result of the ideological and military competition from the US and the Western democracies. An all-purpose argument which trumps all others. It's our fault it was a disaster, don't ya know?
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
In a sense, the fellow travellers are right. If the West had simply caved in and let the Marxists have their way in the world, the Soviets wouldn't have had to spend nearly as much money in trying to subvert the non-Marxist countries. Then, at least in theory, they could have had more money and resources to devote to consumer goods and the like and then, again in theory, their subjects might have gotten less sick of the whole disaster and let it live longer.

But in reality, I've read quite a bit about this and I don't truly believe that the Marxists would have suddenly turned all benevolent if only they ruled the whole world and had no foreign opposition. These countries had only minimal contact with the outside world and even less with the non-Marxist areas. I don't think they had any great fear that the West would overthrown them by invasion. The West did little enough as it was, tolerating one atrocity after the next - I'm talking about the (East) Berlin uprising in 1953, the Hungarian one in 1956, the Czech one in 1968 and various others - that the Soviets could not have been in any real fear of the West invading. Yet they continued to devote the lion's share of their economy to war. Something like half their economy was directly or indirectly geared to making war materials while consumer goods were few and shoddy. (A new car had to be ordered, would take 10 years to get, and often broke down on the drive on its first drive.) Freedoms were almost non-existent. They could have done much more for their subjects than they did if they'd wanted to.

32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm with you Hank. We should have nuked the lead tank on the Russian column heading into Budapest in '56. We had 'em and they didn't. Peace through superior firepower.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Since when does "pivotal" mean "good" or "awesome?"

http://nomoremister.blogspot.com/2014/02/right-wingers-try-to-make-america.html

Are conservatives going to declare war on the dictionary now?
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Most of the denizens of this site wanted, "wicked, depraved, abominable etc." "Pivotal" seemed to me like a judicious word to use for a network covering the games which are in Russia. Grumbling or wailing about "pivotal" is why it is getting increasingly more difficult to take a lot of the articles here very seriously. They seem to be aiming at an ever lower common denominator of political sophistication... and finding it. I do appreciate the folks here though, and there are more than a few who will cry "foul" on such low rent blather.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Since when does "pivotal" mean "good" or "awesome?"

That's how the Left gives itself cover. They didn't actually say good or awesome, which might be seen as biased, they said "pivotal" which might be seen as fairly neutral. However, their tone of voice IMPLIES awesome so you still get the message. And if you point out that the tone of voice seems biased, they accuse you of being paranoid.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yeah, after all, Obamacare is a Pivotal Experiment, too.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
It certainly doesn't mean bad.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Jeez, the Commies murder a few tens of millions of people, and right away everybody gets all judgmental.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
The U.N. would say we are not being sensitive enough to the cultural aspects.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Shortly after the USSR went belly up, a Russian official stated that the world owed Russia a lot of hard currency for conducing a massive experiment that proved that communism does not work.

Such a deal for you, comrades! What is yours is ours because of our world beating philosophy! And if in the end that does not work out, then what is yours is ours for us proving that our philosophy stinks.

When do we get to submit a bill to the commies for over 100K Americans KIA, untold billions of dollars spent on stopping a bunch of losers, and the world generally screwed up royally for over a century?
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Whatever we suffered in the sometimes feeble attempts to resist Communism pales in comparison to what the people in those countries suffered. Millions, if not tens of millions, of people died in the former Soviet Union at the hands of their dictators, murdered directly or via enforced starvation for not wanting to go along with the program of the Communist Party. I've seen estimates of 70 million Chinese killed by Mao. Pol Pot killed 25% of his country's population because they wouldn't get with HIS program.

And there were a lot of people who only suffered but didn't die. I've seen it said that not a single family in the Soviet Union was untouched by Lenin's and Stalin's repressions. In other words, every family in the country had someone that was killed or sent to the Gulag. The scale of that is ENORMOUS and almost incomprehensible.

Remember, no one elected Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Fidel Castro, etc. They all came to power via coups or as the result of their bully boys seizing power. Not one came to power by democratic means. (Only in very recent years have we seen (quasi-) Marxists like Chavez come to power via the ballot.)

The Russians, Chinese, et. al. didn't ELECT their dictators, they got them because their resistance to these movements weakened sufficiently that they were able to sweep to power via force.

If there is one ongoing peeve I have, it is the idea that the Russians or Chinese or Cambodians CHOSE their Marxist leaders. They did not. The Communists inflicted themselves on their countries and took power by force in all but a very few exceptions.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Q: What do you call it when a progressive throws a baby to a shark?

A: A social experiment.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
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