“What we learn from history is that we do not learn from history.” — Hegel
In the classic movie Alien, the crew of a spaceship accidentally brings a small specimen inside their ship when they land on an uncharted planet. As they resume their voyage, the alien transmogrifies into a bigger and deadlier form and begins to kill the crew one by one. At wit’s end, the few remaining crew members ask their android how to kill it. In a tone of incredulity, the android answers back, “You still don’t know what you’re dealing with, do you?”
People such as myself who have lived in countries controlled by Communist totalitarian regimes are thoroughly acquainted with their characteristics: censorship, divide-and-conquer tactics, fraudulent elections, mutilation of the arts and science, forbidding books, sadistic repressions, absence of comedy, snitching to authorities by friends and family members, constant propaganda, rewriting history books, toppling statues, relentless fanaticism, the rule of law jettisoned, political prisoners, self-censorship, propaganda posing as news, ruining the country’s economy, distorting the meaning of words. We can smell the stench of Communism, the plague of the 20th century, a mile away.
Except we can smell it here. Now.
We are the canaries in the coal mine.
I can give hundreds of instances of the above characteristics being carried out in America, which have been increasing in frequency and intensity. However, most people are unaware of them because the major propaganda outlets (CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, etc.) ignore them and, on the other hand, conservatives are notorious for only preaching to the choir and stubbornly and stupidly not reaching out to the general public because they are so lazy.
Equally affected by the news blackout of the propaganda outlets are the frantic warnings from immigrants from Communist countries. On several other occasions in various conservative outlets, I have expressed my alarm at what is happening and I could repeat myself here. Instead of writing yet another article sounding the alarm that the barbarians are not at the gates, but inside the gates, I will cite other refugees and dissidents if for no other reason that their voices deserve to be heard by more people, contrary to the efforts of the media hivemind to suppress them. Some may object to my merely listing their voices and that it is a long list. Well, the point is that it is a long list. So, you should pay attention.
And, remember: If it happened to us, why not to you? And, like you, we did nothing to stop it when it could have been easily stopped in its earlier stages.
A Russian mother [name was garbled] in Bedford Central, New York: “The proposed ‘anti-racist program’ is just a prettier name for racial Marxist teaching. You don’t need to sugarcoat it for me. I lived it. Same methods, same vocabulary, same preferential treatment to certain groups. That’s why equity is packed with good causes like ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion,’ so nobody can challenge it. But I know. Ask me how I know? I was born in Soviet Union and my family has seen it all. Suffering first from Nazi and then from tyrannical Soviet ideology. Back there, what started was ‘equity for all,’ quickly ended with nothing to eat for my people.”
Izabella Tabarovksy: “It feels weird to be explaining the perils of censorship to Americans. It was they who taught me about the absolute value of free speech. It was their readiness — so cool, so confident — to entertain the most heterodox ideas that had made me understand why the Soviet Union never stood a chance against their country. Do I really need to be telling Americans that censorship makes us dumb?”
Katya Sedgwick: “Although I could argue the mobs on the streets are the jackboots of the Democratic Party, and that they have friends in all sorts of institutions, the BLM organization and Antifa are not the entirety of our state. They do, however, make it nearly impossible to express a diversity of thoughts in a public sphere.”
Anna I. Krylov: “As a community, we face an important choice. We can succumb to extreme left ideology and spend the rest of our lives ghost-chasing and witch-hunting, rewriting history, politicizing science, redefining elements of language, and turning STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education into a farce.”
Konstantin Kisin: “So what it’s coming to is the fact that everyone feels that like we’re all under arrest. Everything we say can and will be held against you in the court of public opinion and they’re coming for the comedians first because we’re the ones that are allowed to transgress.”
Igor Mel’čuk: “I am significantly older and from the ex-USSR, so I have lived through and experienced first-hand all the charms of the regime that is now—slowly, but steadily—being installed in America (and, subsequently, in the whole civilized world). What I am referring to comes under different names and in different clothes . . . .”
Oleg Atbashian: Atbashian runs The Peoples’ Cube, a satirical website that highlights the increasing Sovietization of America. For that, the site has been demonetized and was removed from Wikipedia. Wikipedia is being constantly censored by leftists.
Anton Dmitriev: “I grew up in the Soviet Union and the ‘great fight for social justice’ is a slogan straight out of the old Soviet propaganda posters. … Lenin and Stalin used the quote ‘The End justifies the means’ all the time – if the goal is morally important enough in their view, any method of attaining it is acceptable. And there we have it — corruption, wrong data, communities broken apart.”
Rose Namajunas: “Better dead than red.”
Marlena Pavlos-Hackney, a small business owner in the state of Michigan, ruled by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), defied the irrational mandates over COVID (which the media assured us a year ago would kill millions of people in a matter of months) and kept her restaurant open. “We, the people, small business owners, like I told you, we have to fight, and I will fight for freedom, for American people. I encourage everyone: business owners, other people: stand up, and fight for your freedom before it’s going to be taken away.” For her defiance, she was taken away, arrested, jailed, and slapped with massive fines. “Marlena did not violate a law that the legislature passed,” said state Rep. Steve Johnson, R-Wayland. “Marlena violated an order issued by an unelected bureaucrat. No one should be able to go to jail because one unelected bureaucrat makes an order.” A GoFundMe account has been set up to help her.
Michigan Governor Whitmer, in the meantime, has on several occasions broken, or attempted to break, the various health mandates. Because she can. She’s a Democrat.
Artur Pawlowski: “In Canada to this day, prayer is illegal. But you can go to IKEA and abortion clinics and marijuana stores. I could bring my whole church to IKEA and have services there. But if one person comes to my church, I can be arrested. This is not about a virus! It’s about control.” And: “This is your destiny, America, if you don’t fight back,” warned Pawlowski. “If you don’t rise up like I did and say, ‘No! Get out!’ you will not have freedom.” He was eventually arrested for holding church services. “They are doing this to me. They are going to come after you. It’s just a matter of time.”
To my knowledge, a GoFundMe has not been set up to help out Rev. Pawlowski.
Chau Kelley: Unfortunately, an interview with her was censored out of existence by YouTube. The only surviving quote is, “Because we know what it’s like to lose the country to communism.”
Fi Duong has been accused of being part of a militia group, using a Bible study group as cover, according to the FBI, and was arrested. He fled from both China and Vietnam and stated, “Now we’re here. And at a certain point, you just gotta make a stand.”
Rep. Quang Nguyen: “You know, I just recently heard someone say that white nationalism, oh, actually, that communism is not the enemy, but white nationalism. So let me tell you something about white nationalism. White nationalism didn’t drown 250,000 Vietnamese in the South China Sea. Communists did. White nationalism did NOT execute 86,000 South Vietnamese at the fall of Saigon. Communists did. White nationalism did not put me here. Communism did. So, don’t take it lightly. Don’t mock me. Don’t mock what I [went] through in life. It’s rough. I lost most of my cousins, my family members to communism. If we don’t stand up to teach [about] communism to our children, we’ll lose this country.”
Slavenka Drakulic : “Living under a totalitarian regime one knows censorship in and out. One can smell it from far away and I smell it in this terror of political correctness — or, if we turn it around, in the danger of expressing different, unpopular views.”
Andrei Codrescu: “Doesn’t it strike you as ironic that the only Marxists left are American academics?”
Unknown: “If you don’t learn from history, nothing will save you.”
Bogdan Laurentiu: “If anybody would have told me before I came to America there would come a day when I would encounter or meet American citizens in favor of communism, I probably would have laughed in their face.”
Martin Dimitrov: “I grew up in Bulgaria during the socialism and what transpired with the redistricting brings horrible flashbacks from totalitarian times. This is slippery slope, folks, be vigilant and stay engaged.”
Yeonmi Park: “At Columbia University, literally every professor was saying the problems that we have in today’s world is because of white men, how they colonized Africa, Asia, that’s how they mess up everything and they are the ones who needs to be blamed. And I couldn’t believe it. Am I sitting in North Korea’s classroom or in America’s classroom? I couldn’t believe why people were hating their own people that much. I literally crossed the Gobi desert to be free and now I thought I live in a country where I can say what I believe and have my freedom to think. However, now I have to constantly censor my speech because in the name of a safe place. Columbia told us [what] we can’t talk about, and I am so concerned if America is not free, I think there is no place else left that is free — that’s why it’s really alarming to me,” she added. Park is the only individual who has been given some publicity –by conservative outlets, not ABC, NBC, CNN, CBS, or NPR.
Mario Sánchez: “What is shocking to me is how some Americans and one dominant U.S. political party actively advocate for socialism.”
Jasmine Campos: “During the Cold War, one of the most effective strategies of the Reagan administration was the fervor with which President Ronald Reagan denounced communism as not only economically but morally bankrupt. Somewhere along the way, we forgot to continue to pass on the message.”
Máximo Älvarez: “I’m speaking to you today because I’ve seen people like this before. I’ve seen movements like this before. I’ve seen ideas like this before and I’m here to tell you, we cannot let them take over our country.” “When I watch the news in Seattle and Chicago and Portland, when I see history being rewritten, when I hear the promises—I hear echoes of a former life I never wanted to hear again. I see shadows I thought I had outrun.” “Listen to the media. They’re no longer objective. You can tell how much they hate this country. Look at our, our academia! Our kids are not being … they’re indoctrinated! They are taught that America is a bad country. That we’re a bunch of racists, that we’re bad people, and we have to pay back. If this country was racist, I wouldn’t be here. If this country was a racist country, most of us wouldn’t be here because even some people in your family came from another country.”
Jaime Suchlicki: “We have seen what happened in Eastern Europe. We’ve seen what happened in Cuba and in Venezuela. I mean, private property is the engine of change. And private enterprise is what brings about new ideas, new inventions. So, societies that are controlled by the state are by nature unproductive.”
Jorge Masvidal: “American leftists who know nothing about real oppression and communism wear images of Castro … while Cubans living in the horrors of communism and real oppression are waving the American flag.” “Know ur history and facts, cowards like this fool [Colin Kaepernick] should be sent to live in Cuba see what they say after a day there.”
Pitbull, the famous rapper: “To whoever the f— doesn’t like the United States of America, may God bless you, but f— you at the same time. If you don’t like the United States of America, go back to the countries that we the f— from, and you’ll see how much you appreciate the United States of America.”
Veronika Kyrylenko: “In business and academia, media, and sports, we see people holding opinions that deviate from the leftist discourse being attacked. Practically anything, any piece of fact, statistics, sentiments like ‘All lives matter,’ any picture, any opinion expressed as civilly as possible may cost you your job, reputation, and even life.” “‘Social justice warriors’ are torching traditional liberal beliefs about free speech and tolerance with ideas so toxic and destructive that they shut the debate down, moving straight to shaming, threats, and intimidation — all while calling for a ‘discussion’ about race.”
Igor Kyrylenko: “Today’s Democratic political elite is beginning to resemble the USSR Politburo in the 1970–’80s.”
Alex Gordon: “Falsely understood and aggressively implemented, equality degenerates into a dictatorship.” He further quotes a Russian philosopher from the 1920s: “Freedom and equality are incompatible. Freedom is first of all the right to inequality. Equality is above all an encroachment on freedom, a restriction of freedom.”
Vasko Kohlmayer: “For me, however, it is especially distressing to see this, because when I left communism for the West some three decades ago, I would have never thought I would ever experience this kind of thing again. Unbelievably, it is now happening here as well. Who would have ever thought such a thing possible in America, a country that has always been seen as a citadel of liberty and free speech by the peoples of the world?”
Xi Van Fleet: “It’s the same tactic; it’s Marx’s tactic. So what they do is to create chaos. As Mao said, ‘When the worst chaos emerges, that is when the greatest control can be achieved.’ They want to create chaos so that they [can] overthrow the existing system. … Cancel culture is the same because what the people [want to] do here is to overthrow the American founding [principles], just like [in] China–to overthrow the traditional culture and our civilization.” “I did not really want to go … public. It is difficult for the Chinese; most of us would rather be quiet. But now I feel like it’s really not about me. It’s about America.” “I want Americans to know that what’s happening today is communism taking over.”
Jennifer Zeng: “I think in the early days when the Communist Party was just founded in China, they also talked about freedom, talked about equality, talked about everybody living in heaven-like communities and society. Many young people also got deceived. They went to … the sacred place of communism. If you look at the history, many of them ended up being killed by the party, and all their families, all their children, they all suffered for generations, after generations they suffer.”
Jianning Zeng: [board chair] “Mavis Ellis is a dictator. For those who don’t respect people, they deserve not to be respected. They should resign from their BOE [Board of Education] position. Be alert, when an elected body tells citizens that they cannot even silently & politely express themselves—that the tyranny of communism.”
Ming Du: “It was a sad day, Ms. Mallo, a very sad day — you have completely repainted the image for the elected officials in a democratic society. I’ve never felt so belittled in front of a government official in America, and I was stunned to hear you rebuking your constituents, a scene I have not seen ever since I left the tyrannic China 26 years ago. … I thought America is different, until Nov 7, 2019.”
Chenyuan Snider: “ America is not a norm but an exception, which requires exceptional valor and gallantry to stand up and fight for her.”
The famous artist Ai Weiwei: “In many ways, you’re already in the authoritarian state. You just don’t know it.”
Niyada Hin: “Socialism is just a milder form of communism but is still a progressive path toward it. Nothing does more damages to a country and human lives than these ideologies when put into practice. … You would not know it until you live it. And I have lived it.”
Aleksander Mici: (is in an electoral David vs Goliath battle against Chuck Schumer) “The left’s vision for America is not the America that generations of immigrants like me fought to reach. My congresswoman, AOC, and my senator, Chuck Schumer, are pushing every day to make our nation look more like the communist dictatorship I fled than like the America that has been a shining beacon of hope for generations of people yearning for freedom,”
There are others, but most are unheard because they can only be found in obscure sites that are overlooked. Their voices await a Dinesh D’souza to record their voices in film.
Because the above warnings have been confined to conservative websites (today’s samizdat), their effort has been to preach to the choir. However, their impact will be enhanced if the reader (yes, you) forwards this article to everyone, every single person, he/she knows. Yes, even liberals (some of them are not too far gone yet).
All the signs are there. Put it all together, add 2+2, and you come out with 4—regardless of what American leftists now claim, like Obrien in 1984. Yet, I know of quite a few people who want to believe that the warnings are an exaggeration, alarmist (even when the enemy openly proclaim a Communist future), or who fervently wish that it would simply go away, who doggedly stick their heads in the sand, who want nothing more than to lead a quiet life. “As long as it doesn’t affect me” “Yes, I’m worried, but it’s going to be all right” are excuses that I have heard. They have no desire to learn more, to get involved, and even less to fight for their country. When it’s too late, they will be picked off, one by one.
Others who do realize the danger do nothing more than strut around, repeating with braggadocio their favorite mantra, “They’ll take away my gun from my cold dead hands,” as if it was some sort of magical incantation that will keep the monsters away, while still others are waiting for a Savior (Trump in 2024 — or even Jesus), who will rescue them so that they don’t have to lift a finger.
But, at some point, you simply have to connect the dots. You may not want to, it may be an inconvenient truth, but you have to.
Armando Simón is originally from Cuba, a retired psychologist and the author of The Only Red Star I Liked Was a Starfish, When Evolution Stops, and A Cuban from Kansas.