Hammer and Sickle at WSOP
At this year’s World Series of Poker one of the members of the final table was Moscow, Russia born Ivan Demidov. Whenever he was in a hand the television cameras would pan to his fans in the audience. When things went Ivan’s way, his friend, wearing a New York Yankee Jersey (a bit ironic), would wave not the white, blue, and red Russian flag; but the red and yellow, hammer and sickle, of the now defunct Soviet Union. Less than two decades after one of the most brutal regimes the world has ever known, was tossed onto the “ash-heap of history”, its flag is waved in celebration. Why?Have the Russian people and world forgotten about Lenin’s bloody revolution? Are Stalin’s purges and gulags ignored by history books? Is the depravity and abject failure of the Soviet system overlooked by historians, apparently so?
Aided by liberal institutions of “learning” around the world, the myth of the Soviet utopia lives on. A generation or more has been indoctrinated with the lie that Soviet communism was no different than American democracy. A lie that screams the evils of capitalism but turns a blind eye to mass starvation and razing of villages.
Perhaps the hammer and sickle is celebrated for the same reason Mao is worshiped in China; none of them was ever made to account. Instead, the world community did everything it could to conceal their atrocities and give their regimes legitimacy. Perhaps, if one, of the Russian dictators had to answer for their crimes, waving the hammer and sickle at presidential celebrations and poker games would invite the same disdain waving the Nazi swastika brings.
Unfortunately, each time the world ignores history, mass murderers are celebrated and the ideologies that brought them to power are tried again. Perhaps Lenin was correct when he said, “Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.”
God Help Us!