14 August, 2010

Useful Idiots (BBC Radio)

The term "Useful Idiots" was a term used by Lenin and Stalin to describe otherwise intelligent people, usually Westerners, who nevertheless turned a blind eye to the genocides and brutal repression practiced by the Communists. These individuals invariably became the mouthpieces for Communism in the west, vocally promoting the Soviet Union and later Mao's China as shining examples of Socialist Equality and either dismissing or even suppressing mounting evidence to the contrary. Individuals such as George Bernard Shaw, Walter Duranty, Doris Lessing, Simone de Beauvoir, and many others not only sympathized with the Soviet Union and its aims, but were adamant in their efforts to make excuses, apologize, or even outright suppress dissenting views -- branding all those who opposed them as Fascists or Racists (sound familiar?), and in many cases either obfuscating or even destroying evidence to the contrary. Even when evidence was laid at their feet of the atrocities committed by Stalin and his cohorts, these individuals would either publicly deny it or lie to the world about its significance. To them the ends justified the means, and if the cost of attaining a true Socialist World Order were the lives of a few (tens of) millions of individuals standing in the way, that was a small price to pay.

BBC Radio has put together a documentary about these individuals, one that does not pull any punches and places Stalin's victims squarely at their feet. Its well worth listening to. You can listen to it online, or download it as a podcast directly from the BBC.

Useful Idiots: The Full Documentary (Listen Online @ BBC World Service)
Useful Idiots: Part One (Download)
Useful Idiots: Part Two (Download)

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