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June 03, 2009

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vicong

c'mon greg stop patronising, you can't be that ignorant
communism is rooted on ideals of egalitarianism and justice,
apart from the obvious tongue-in-cheek naive nature of this pictorial,
by that time mao's atrocities were still unknown

in most cases of this chic communism trend if they're using those aesthetics they are supporting those ideals not gulags and repression,
what i'm saying, one thing is marx and another complete different thing is stalin
and by any means i'm not saying stalin or mao weren't communists...
cheers

Smudge

Was it my imagination, or did that last link used to point somewhere else?

Trav

communism can't help that it's only been tried by asshole dictators. we see how great pure capitalism is working. everything has a cyclic lifespan. and i do believe there is a means to merge communism and capitalism.
just like evolution and intelligent design- people only keep them separate because people like to be on a team- opposed to something. but what would be the most intelligent design of all? making something that could adapt itself...

Thunderbolt Pagoda

I would imagine that we are giving these images a lot more serious thought here than they were given by the magazine editors who initially ran them. Those guys were more concerned about how much ad revenue would be generated by a hot chick in a wet t-shirt, surrounded by provocative symbols of the day.

Sister Hairy Hymen

Where is the autopsy photos? Charles Manson was a singer and performer in his own right, why not devote a page to him.
Jeez there is a million dead blonde's out there. Why this one?

Brian

Everyone knows that Communist chicks are easy.

Chimpinalls

On the communist chic link look at the "oops silly me!" reaction by Cameron Diaz. What if she would have warn a bag with a swastika on it to visit Auschwitz. Why do we give totalitarian regimes on the left a pass for paying lip service to the notion of being "for the common man"

Ogie

Come on Chimpinalls, there is a fundamental difference between dictatorial communism a la Stalin and Mao and fascism a la Hitler and Mussolini. The ideals of fascism do not value freedom or equality for citizens, while the ideals of communism value equality, but not freedom, at least if you read Lenin. That is a fundamental difference in the ideologies. The ideals of communism have at least one aspect that appeals to people of good will, while fascism and its ideals deny human dignity. I agree that the communist experiment of the 20th century was an unmitigated disaster for its victims. I don't know what "pass" you are talking about left-wing totalitarian regimes receiving in our culture. Any fundamental examination of the documentation of our nation's history since the advent of fascism would show the reader we have been very forgiving of fascist versus communist dictatorships. We invaded the young Soviet Union at the end of WWI. We put up with fascist Germany for quite a while before they declared war on us after Pearl Harbor. Read some history and see that for the first couple of days after Pearl Harbor "our war" was to be in the Pacific. Hitler slit his own throat by declaring war on us first. Many "American Firsters" wanted us solely focus on the Japanese in the immediate time after Pearl Harbor. Enough history...

Chimpinalls

I'm not saying that communism and fascism are equivalent. Fascism sets out to enforce the leaders selfish human desires (power, greed etc.) over other men. Communism sets out to create a fair society but fails due to the selfish human desires of those running the show. Either way, the common people are screwed.

SIV

We didn't kill enough communists before the cold war was over.

jenjen

Bwahaha the Wendy's "Fashion Show" ad from the Trenddelacreme site was a family favorite. "Ees next, svimvear!" was a recurring line with us for years.

M Munro

I'm fascinated by the collision of controversy and kitsch. Political subtext aside, Sharon really was the most beautiful woman ever.

Spaceman One

Communism and Fascism are moral equals, their respective outcomes the same. Communism gets a pass from the left because it wasn't defeated in a total bloody war such as WW2. Before the Nazi invasion of the USSR, American leftists had no real problems with Hitler or Benito. Control of the economy, religion and institutions, i.e. NGOs for you Progressives, was seen as a sign of social progress, a dawn of a new man. What it lead to was an open pit of death, with Sharon Tate thrown in as an American example of what happens when people fall under the spell of dynamic crazy man with weak willed followers.

bartleby

I suppose if I were losing ground in contemporary debates I might consider starting shit about a movie star who died a lifetime ago too.

King Daevid MacKenzie

...Phil Ochs put Mao's poetry on the back liner of his IN CONCERT album, which featured his most commercial tune "Changes," a year and a half before this pictorial ever saw the light of a newsstand. Then again, Tate married a guy from (then-Communist) Poland, while Ochs' wives were both all-American gals...

illlich

Ignoring the obvious (and valid) point others have made-- that communist IDEALS are perfectly admirable, and are supposed to be democratic despite being hijacked by dictators in the wake of a violent revolution (as always seems to happen)-- the design work of the Soviet Bloc is interesting to plenty of artists. I always loved the design of Soviet propaganda posters, and appreciated the very chiseled look of Soviet sculpture. But, like abstract expressionism, it's not for everyone. That said, this photo spread is kinda lame, and the commie props are pretty pointless.

Spaceman One : "American leftists had no real problems with Hitler or Benito"-- utter BS, read your history, the left was clamoring for some kind of intervention with Hitler well before 1939, while most of America was isolationist, and in fact many prominent conservatives were pro-Hitler (Henry Ford, Lindberg, several politicians). For years the Soviets had been opposed to Hitler, and when Stalin signed the non-aggression pact many American communists were confused and parroted the party line that the pact was a necessary evil, but previous to that (and again shortly after) they were completely anti-Nazi. American liberals not in the communist party were always anti-Hitler.

Thom

Ogle - who's "we" and when did they invade the Soviet Union?

illlich

FYI Thom-- the USA did indeed invade Russia during the civil war that birthed the USSR. American forces in league with French, British and other nations invaded Murmansk and held the port for more than a year in an attempt to support the White/Czarist forces in the civil war.

Pagoda

If I'm not mistaken, there were at least 5,000 American Troops involved in that occupation, and they were called "The Polar Bear Brigade."

Patootieface

Communist Party USA protested against going to war against Hitler. That is until he betrayed their beloved Uncle Joe Stalin. Look it up. Woody Guthrie's guitar didn't "kill fascists" until after Pearl Harbor was bombed.

Quizmasterchris

American leftists fought Franco in Spain long before Pearl Harbor - the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. Keep in mind also people who joined the Canadian forces or the Flying Tigers.

For their trouble a lot of these people were termed "premature anti-fascists" after WWII by American right wingers and blacklisted. Imagine that - holding a grudge against people for being against Hitler too soon!

The American Right: always full of crap.

LC

Following up from illlich, Communism has usually been most successfully installed in countries that are already accustomed to authoritarian rule, whether it's Czarism in pre-Soviet Russia or Cuban oligarchy under Batista's reign, where totalitarianism seems to come naturally because the citizens have grown up only knowing (a succession of) dictatorships. However, the problem with it stems from how the slants adopted by Communist leaders pervert Marxist theory and prove utterly reactionary in practice, from genocide in Cambodia to Naxalite terrorism in Indian and onward through the outlawing of homosexuality and attempted establishment of a sub-proletariat (wouldn't that mean the proles themselves are the bourgeoisie?) class in Russia. One's support of such a system is not an inherently misguided notion, but like any other governmental/economic model, it can either be implemented and overseen in a sensible fashion or – more often than not – become prone to corruption in ways that could potentially be harmful to the society it looks after.

illlich

RE: Totalitarianism and communism. Violent revolutions whether done under the auspices of democratic reform or not (and communism IS supposed to be a democratic form of government according to Marx, if not Lenin) always lead to dictatorships. Case in point: the French Revolution, they also were trying to institute democracy ("Liberty, Equality, Fraternity") and it lead to. . . Robespierre, and eventually Napoleon. Read the Communist Manifesto-- it's an admirable idea, and always sways idealistic youths. In fact the one glaring mistake Marx made was defining religion as "the opiate of the people"-- Christianity and Communism have much in common otherwise, like the belief that we ARE our brother's keeper.

The one exception to the "violent revolution breeds totalitarianism" idea is the USA, however the American Revolution (though venerable) was not a "true" revolution-- the people in power in the colonies before the "revolution" (the Jeffersons and Adamses and Madisons) remained in power in the newly created United States, AFTER the "revolution" -- George III wasn't even dethroned (so how does that constitute a "revolution"?).

I'm not defending Stalin, he was a monster. But saying "communism is evil" because so many dictators have hijacked it, is like saying "Christianity is evil" because of the Spanish Inquisition, the Crusades, the Salem Witch Trials, or any time someone kills in the name of Christ.

D.

Watching musicians and music fans debating politics is about the same as watching politicians and political scientists debating music.

jimson

"Watching musicians and music fans debating politics is about the same as watching politicians and political scientists debating music."

Correct, because only experts should ever discuss either. And of course musicians are never involved in politics, and politicians don't enjoy music.

In a democracy everyone's opinion on politics (or music) is valid.

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