Thursday, 26 January 2012

The useful idiots of the past and who are the useful idiots of today; Tony Benn?

A few weeks ago I heard a very interesting radio programme on BBC Radio 4 about the useful idiots who propagandised on behalf of Communist Russia in order to protect the name of Communism:
'refers to Western journalists, travellers and intellectuals who gave their blessing – often with evangelistic fervour – to tyrannies and tyrants, thereby convincing politicians and public that utopias rather than Belsens thrived.'
It is a story that I know well but one that does deserve repetition because I don't think that many people do know  how so many on the left of western politics covered up the evil of communist Russia, and indeed China as well.

What struck me when listening to the programme was how those who criticised Russia were the ones that were disbelieved and whose careers suffered at the time whilst those that supported the evil regimes were rewarded:
'In 1952 Doris Lessing, a British writer who has since won the Nobel Prize for Literature, was part of a delegation visiting the Soviet Union.
Her memories of the trip are clear and unforgiving:
“I was taken around and shown things as a ‘useful idiot’... that’s what my role was. I can’t understand why I was so gullible.”
She was not the only one. The Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw and American journalist Walter Duranty were some of those people who also visited the Soviet Union.
They mingled with political leaders, were escorted into the countryside by Joseph Stalin’s secret police, and returned home to speak and write of ‘a land of hope’ with ‘evils retreating before the spread of communism’.
However as stories mounted of mass murder and starvation in parts of Russia and the Ukraine, reporters such as Gareth Jones and Malcolm Muggeridge investigated and reported on ‘the creation of one enormous Belsen’.
Duranty responded with an article in the New York Times headed ‘Story of the famine is bunk’, and got an exclusive interview with Stalin.
Soon after, Jones died and Muggeridge’s career nose-dived. Duranty was awarded a Pulitzer.'
I didn't hear the second part but was struck by the BBC's own summary:
'The journalist and historian Jonathan Mirsky, who has written extensively on China, describes former leader Chairman Mao as:
“He had an enormous impact on China – but he was a monster… and…responsible for the deaths of 40 million people.”
But the veteran British politician Tony Benn argues that Mao played a significant role in building China's global importance and economic power - and that his actions - both good and bad - must be seen in historical context.
From Mao’s China, General Pinochet’s Chile, Apartheid-controlled South Africa, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, to President Ahmadinejad’s Iran, why – and how – have so many supposedly intelligent people been manipulated by dictators into saying good things about bad regimes?'
'Historical context'? 'HISTORICAL CONTEXT'! Mao's regime killed around 50 million people but the BBC's hero Tony Benn thinks Mao's actions must be seen in 'historical context'. Maybe someone could ask Tony Benn what 'historical  context' justified the killing of 50 million people in communist China? Does Tony Benn also think that the millions of deaths ordered by Lenin and Stalin and the suffering in the gulags has to be seen in 'historical context'? What about the seven million Jews killed by Hitler's Nazis in Germany; do they have to be seen in historical context'? At this point Tony Benn would no doubt lean back and suck on a metaphorical pipe and tell you that he fought against Nazism during the second world war. Indeed you did Mr Benn, indeed you did but you still say that the deaths of millions more people needs to be seen in 'historical context'!

I wonder who the useful idiots of today are? Those who believed that the 'Arab Spring' would end other than with Islamist regimes perhaps.


Anonymous said...

The same "Americans" who approve of the police pepper spraying, beating, and imprisoning OWS for exercising their right to peacefully protest will also be turning in Real Patriots who battle the emerging communism in America ( The world has seen all this before. In colonial America most colonists believed the British propaganda about our Forefathers being crazies and terrorists. They helped the Red Coats capture many of them. In communist Russia informers and government laplickers were everywhere. Ditto for Nazi Germany. Their kind will do anything to ingratiate themselves to the authorities and save their own skins. These people try to convince us THEY'RE the real patriots because they "stand behind America", but they're just the opposite. America wouldn't be descending into communism if it weren't for their stupidity. REMEMBER, COMMUNISTS AND NAZIS DON'T PUT PEOPLE AWAY FOR TELLING LIES, IT'S FOR TELLING THE TRUTH. Finally, OWS and RON PAUL'S GENUINE ORIGINAL TEA PARTY have one very important thing in common: They both know the "jewish" bankers are behind most of the world's economic, political, and social problems and have been for a very long time (

DEAN BERRY MINISTRIES: "When a government outlaws 'terrorism', it's planning something for which 'terrorism' is the only recourse. Obviously."

Anonymous said...

There are useful idiots everywhere trying to put various political misadventures into a historical context: the First World War slaughter and America's invasion of Vietnam come immediately to mind. No doubt Amis and Mcewan will take up Christopher Hitchen's mantle as useful idiot for the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.