Various media outlets have focused exclusively on Whoopi Goldberg’s comment that communism “looks great on paper.” But missed in all this flurry of coverage was a more revealing comment. Speaking of how it failed in Russia and around the world, she ended the exchange with “But, I keep my fingers crossed.”
It would be hard to find a better quote on the philosphy of the Hollywood Left than this. In the thirties, Hollywood screenwriters like Party members Ring Lardner Jr., Dalton Trumbo (who stated there was no anti-semitism in the Soviet Union since their constitution forbid it), Lillian Hellman (“the intellectuals revere Stalin”) and Dashiell Hammett (the idea of a secret Hitler-Stalin partnership was “a fantastic falsehood”) didn’t even need to keep their fingers crossed about Stalin’s Soviet Union. To them, the socialist utopia had already been achieved.
But with Kruschev’s Secret Speech in 1956, in which he admitted the falsehoods of the Purge Trials, all but the most diehard jumped ship (Hellman would denounce Kruschev for being an informer). But it was only the Russian ship. Lardner and even Hemingway would focus their hopes on Castro’s Cuba. Even though Castro himself would admit communism hadn’t worked in Cuba, there would still be latter day admirers that included Ed Asner, Oliver Stone (“Castro is one of the world’s great humane leaders”) and Chevy Chase, (“socialism might still work in Cuba”).
Today, Hollywood has shifted from Castro to Hugo Chavez as if the former is an aging sex queen and the latter is cosmetically younger. Sean Penn, Oliver Stone, and Ed Asner now see socialism working in Venezeula.
No one has ever wised up to the fact that no matter where it occurs, socialist governments repeat themselves by destroying freedom through the instrument of the secret police.
Goldberg herself has an interesting history regarding communism. When most reasonable people had concluded that East Germany was one of the most repressive Communist regimes, she saw none of the violations of freedom enforced by a prowling Stasi while she resided there.
For Goldberg and company, the dream is still alive, no matter how many bodies pile up from their matinee idol of the moment.
Fingers will remained crossed.