Today's quote of the day from President Obama (town hall meeting in Racine, Wisconsin):
"We can return to what we know did not work, or we build a stronger future. We can go backwards, or we can go forward. And I don’t know about you, but I want to move forward in this country" (I heard it on TV, but copied the text off the site Organizing for America, whatever it means).
For those who have not lived in the unlamented Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, "building a stronger future" may sound either awfully nice or awfully hollow, depending on the part of the political spectrum one fits. For those who have spent any conscious years in the Motherland of the World Proletariat, among the Vanguard of Progressive Humankind, these words sound as coming from a nightmare. We, who did live in the Soviet Union, have heard the phrase about building a future since we started hearing anything. The self-name of the Soviet people was Builders - of Communism, of the bright future, of the better (best) society - always moving forward. During the Demonstrations of Laborers on the 1st of May holiday - for which mass "spontaneous" expressions of building enthusiasm the masses were "organized" by their employment places, - the announcer's voice from the megaphones on the lamp posts thundered, "Long live the great Soviet People, the Glorious Builder of Communism". The "glorious builders" joked, "yeah, long live the great Soviet people, the eternal builder of Communism." As for moving "forward", that is, in the direction of "catching up with and overtaking America" (an official slogan of Khrushchev's era), the joke was, "Why is the glorious Soviet people trying to catch up with and overtake America, which uncontrollably rolls to the abyss?"
Sure I know that the right wingnuts like myself always try to scare Americans with their paranoid fantasies of socialism in the land of the free. Perhaps we indeed are a bit scared - at least those who have the Soviet Union as the reference point for political events and phenomena. Some of us wingnuts, however, may be scared justifiably. Arguably, we are finely attuned to detect anything that may pave the road to the bright socialist future, including the use of familiar cliches and newspeak we are so used to. The 60's Soviet placard on the left, with the large ДОГНАТЬ и ПЕРЕГНАТЬ at the bottom, "catch up with and overtake", quotes Lenin: "Either to perish, or to catch up with the leading countries and overtake them economically... Either to perish, or to rush full steam forward." Sounds a little familiar? The Soviet people did go forward. The future was great.
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