Saturday, February 25, 2012

My Dinner with André the Giant

Here’s an interesting confrontation: read as Marxist-Leninist Communism tries to run head-on into Ronald Reagan and try to rhetorically topple it with the mendacious assumption that the USSR’s radical leftism was the defender and standard-bearer of human rights.
Secretary General Gorbachev: It is a shame, Mr. President, that you and I do not have enough time to discuss humanitarian issues. We have concrete ideas on this which we simply are not going to have time to discuss. I have to say that people in the Soviet Union are very concerned about the human rights situation in the United States. There is one other important subject. This is the importance of mutual information in our day. The situation now is this: the Voice of America broadcasts around the clock in many languages from stations you have in various countries in Europe and Asia, while we cannot present our point of view to the American people. Therefore, to achieve parity, we are forced to jam Voice of America broadcasts. I propose the following: we will stop jamming Voice of America and you will be able to broadcast what you consider necessary to us, but at the same time you will meet us half-way and help us lease, from you or in neighboring countries, radio stations that would allow us to reach the American people with our point of view.
Then, as with today’s radical leftism, they continue to parrot the bogus position, still reading off the same, yellowing 3 by 5 cards as their fellow travelers were in 1986 and 1956.
President Reagan: The difference between us is that we recognize freedom of the press and the right of people to listen to any point of view. This does not exist in your press. Today in Washington there will be a press conference, and Americans will see it, and newspapers will publish the text of it. It is not that way in your country. Your system envisions only a government press.
In fact Leftism appears to have liberate no-one and subjected billions of lives to an unnecessary compromise between the individual and a power-hungry state whose only purpose is to preserve the privileges of a permanent, hereditary class that runs it and lives off of it. That outlook even modifies the notion of common sense, and the very idea that a civil society can guide itself in any endeavor, no matter how common or banal.
Secretary General Gorbachev: We are for parity in general. In the information field, for example, or in film. Almost half of the movies showing in our theaters are American. Soviet movies are hardly ever shown in the United States. That is not parity.

President Reagan: We do not have any ban on your movies. The film industry is a free business, and if someone wants to show your films he can do it.

Secretary General Gorbachev: I see that the President avoids this question and goes into talk about business.

President Reagan: Our government cannot control the film market. If you want to inundate us with your movies go right ahead. How our movies get to your country, I do not know.
What I can tell you is that the idea that half the films being run in the Socialist East were American is entirely false. What did give them a woodie, oddly enough, were films critical of American society freely made by Americans, something not one of the Socialist states permitted themselves.

Fast forward to day. Government run Voice of Russia runs flamethrower shortwave transmitters and have leased AM transmission capacity in London, Washington, and New York City that broadcast in English, is buying up capacity in other parts of Europe on MW and in India on FM, and attempt to entertain when they aren’t trying to counter the obvious conclusion anyone would have for the moves that Moscow makes.

The US, on the other hand, may do no such thing in Moscow.