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  • The Soviet Hunger Games

    Photo from 1943 exhumation of mass grave of Polish officers killed by Soviet NKVD in Katy? Forest in 1940, under Joseph Stalin's reign.

    The Hunger Games has captured the imagination of the entire nation. The book-turned-movie is set in a dystopian world where 12 districts are held under the tyrannical rule of a far-distant Capital. To keep the districts from rebellion, the Capital uses an age-old tactic to manipulate the people: constant fear of arbitrary imprisonment, torture, and death.

    A very real hunger game took place during most of the past century in the Soviet Union. From 1917 to 1991, the Soviet Union was controlled from Moscow, which subjugated the 14 nations surrounding Russia. The Soviet dream of a worker-led utopian paradise led to families ripped apart by the secret police in the night, gulags filled with thousands of prisoners convicted for whispering their dissent, and 20 million murdered.

    In the 1940s, the hero rebelling against tyranny was not a young girl but a brilliant middle-aged journalist named Whittaker Chambers, who was born this coming Sunday, April 1,1901.

    Though he had been a spy for the Soviet Union, the terror of Stalin’s reign drove Chambers to reject communism root and branch. Chambers testified to the terrors of communism and the choice to turn away:

    On one side of that moment were nearly forty years of human waste on all paths and goat paths of 20th-century error and action. On the other side was humility and liberation, the sense that the strength would be given me to do whatever I must do, go wherever I must go.

    In 1948, Chambers stunned the world with his autobiography Witness, where he wrote that “what I had been fell from me like dirty rags.” In it, Chambers exposed the Soviet dream: to control society and remold human nature.

    Twenty years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Chambers still has lessons for the modern world. As Richard Reinsch writes, “Chamber’s enduring relevance abides in his diagnosis of a West ‘sick to death’ from philosophical and religious choices.” Though communism is no longer a threat to the West, the administrative state grows stronger as our civil society becomes increasingly frail.  We still are in need of Chambers’ Witness.

    Posted in Featured, First Principles [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to The Soviet Hunger Games

    1. John says:

      We must not forget the militant atheism of the communist state. They killed over 100,000 priests of the Russian Orthodox Church, burned Bibles, and forced many Christians to try to deny their faith.

      Article 13 of the Russian Communist Party (RCP) adopted by the 8th party congress:

      As far as religion is concerned, the RCP will not be satisfied by the decreed separation of Church and State… The Party aims at the complete destruction of links between the exploiting classes and… religious propaganda, while assisting the actual liberation of the working masses from religious prejudices and organizing the broadest possible education-enlightening and anti-religious propaganda.

      Versus George Washington's Farewell Address:

      Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice ? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

    2. David Chambers says:

      The quote comes from _Witness_ (New York: Random House, 1952), page 84.

      David Chambers | http://www.whittakerchambers.org/

    3. Stirling says:

      The problem with Holywood these days is the glorification of such historial events that should be remembered as horrible (never to be repeated again).. The "Truth" is being distorted by the media, and the next generation will unfortunately not be prepared to understand the atrocities, other then what they remember from a movie. Thanks for pointing out the origins of this.

    4. ToucheTurtle says:

      When I read about people like this, I wonder how we could reach a point in our own country where sometimes it seems we are fast approaching the kind of situation in our own country. Why have we failed to teach each generation the consequences of instituting this kind of government? Why so we become lazy and ASSUME that even though this atrocity happened only a little over 70 years ago, we are safe from the same kind of outcome just because we are the UNITED STATES?

      I shudder to think what the future holds for my grandchildren, and quite frankly I am glad I will not be around to witness it. Our country spends billions of dollars every single year on education, and yet we as a population are totally ignorant! Perhaps we should put the money to a better use, like paying off the national debt, because the outcome will be the same!!!

    5. deathtononbelievers says:

      we cannot forget the 3 or 4 million Ukarainien, who starved to death after 1945. uncle joe stalin confiscated ALL of Ukraina's food, and sent it to russia. he left the Ukrainians to starve because of their welcoming the nazi troops as liberators, now the Ukarainiens will pay for it. isnt communism wonderful.

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