Thoughtcrime, duckspeak & Jayasurya’s spine 

Rather than gracefully addressing or rebutting the issue, the CPM and its cyber comrades have unleashed a nasty smear campaign against the actor.
Actor Jayasurya
Actor Jayasurya

KOCHI: “Scratch some communists and you will find Great Russian chauvinists,” Vladimir Lenin remarked in his closing speech at the eighth congress of the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks) on March 19, 1919, cautioning about the ideological deviances among comrades.    

Today, in Kerala, scratch some communists and one will find well-concealed layers of arrogance, hypocrisy, intolerance, nepotism, and dictatorial tendencies.Here in Kerala, one can see how the mainstream left and its ‘ecosystem’ have their guns perennially trained northward. Issues such as human rights violations, farmers’ distress, rapes and child abuse in this part of the world, however, are brushed under the carpet. And anyone who raises their voice against the regime gets cornered, ‘punished’.
Praise the lord that power flows out of the ballot, not the barrel of a gun here.  

History buffs would remember the Moscow Trials of 1936, against Trotskyists and political opponents of Stalin. Andrey Vyshinsky, the state attorney of the USSR, thundered in court: “These mad dogs of capitalism tried to tear limb from limb the best of the best of our Soviet land. . . I demand that these dogs gone mad should be shot — every one of them!”

That’s the line. What’s expected is duckspeak as in the dystopian Oceania of George Orwell’s ‘1984’.Basically, “quack like a duck” – speak and praise “without thinking”. For, “unorthodox thoughts that contradict the tenets” of the “Big Brother” amount to “thoughtcrime”, as in the literary tour de force. The vitriolic attack on actor Jayasurya is a case in point. All he did was highlight the plight of farmers who have been kept waiting for several months for their dues.

Rather than gracefully addressing or rebutting the issue, the CPM and its cyber comrades have unleashed a nasty smear campaign against the actor.Forget celebs. Try scratching a comrade with uncomfortable questions on Stalin’s gulags or brief camaraderie with Hitler, or the ironically low elevation of Dalits or women to the CPM high temple, or the ill-treatment of Muslims under communist regimes, especially in China, where Islam is viewed as an “ideological illness”. You will get to know what intolerance and whataboutery are. Smiles quickly turn into snarls.

Can’t blame them, as many follow the “blackwhite” system of thought, as in Oceania. “Applied to an opponent, it means the habit of impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts,” writes Orwell.  

“Applied to a Party member, it means a loyal willingness to say that black is white when Party discipline demands this. But it means also the ability to BELIEVE that black is white, and more, to KNOW that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary.”

What happened to allegations of exorbitant “monthly cuts” being paid by a private mining company to the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s daughter, Veena? Did he care to respond convincingly? What’s the response to allegations of scams, fundswindling and illegal landholding by party leaders?
These, too, shall pass. Right?  

Communism, with its ideals of equality and shared prosperity, might seem like the polar opposite of fascism. However, history has shown that even the most ardent proponents of communism could not resist a little flirtation with fascist tendencies.

While communism preaches egalitarianism, several regimes throughout history have slipped into the territory of authoritarianism, censorship, and oppression – characteristics all too familiar in fascist regimes.
From Stalin’s purges to Mao’s cultural revolution, the extreme control exerted by these regimes over their citizens’ lives bore striking similarities to fascist autocracies. The cult of personality surrounding leaders like Stalin, Lenin, Mao, and Kim Jong-un mirrors the glorification of dictators in fascist states.

Another interesting aspect is “scapegoating” or “scapegoat syndrome”. Fascist regimes frequently employed scapegoating to rally support and divert attention from internal issues. Surprisingly, some communist regimes also embraced this tactic, pointing fingers at external enemies to maintain their grip on power.

No questions should be asked. For, falling back again on Orwell, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” The revised commandment in ‘Animal Farm’ holds very true for Kerala.
I am reminded of filmmaker Joy Mathew’s recent zinger: “There is no myth greater than communism.”
Equality, you know, is a bit like a buffet – everyone’s invited, but the pigs of the ‘Animal Farm’ get to cut the line and gorge on the prime cuts. It’s like equality, seasoned with a pinch of irony and a dollop of hypocrisy, served exclusively to the snouted elite.

Comrades would do well to remember Lenin’s final word of advice at the 1919 party congress: “If we behave like the frog in the fable and become puffed up with conceit, we shall only make ourselves the laughing-stock of the world, we shall be mere braggarts.”

Okay, time for me to go slog it out in the kitchen gulag at home. You guys have a brave, new weekend ahead.

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