Archive for category Liberalism

The Failed Communist Experiment With ‘Free Love’

 

Thinking of “free love” may invoke Woodstock imagery rather than early 20th century Soviet Russia, but it was the early communist regime that undertook perhaps the most ambitious attempt at unleashing human sexuality—with predictable results.

As soon as Communists took power in 1917 in Russia, they began systematically to enact policies following the doctrines of Karl Marx. Their dream of materialistic utopia could be attained “only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions,” Marx wrote in the Communist Manifesto.

That not only included confiscating “means of production,” like factories and land, but also disintegrating the institution of the family. Communists saw commitment to family as an obstacle to people’s devotion to the pursuit of their utopia. Instead, people were to live in “free unions,” mating at will.

Masses of Russians, especially urbanites, were sold on the party line that moral restraint on sexual desire, rooted in family ethics, had no benefits and was instead harmful.

The Communists convinced women they were “slaves” in their own homes, cooking for their own families, and raising their own children. Women would have been much more “free,” they said, working in state-owned factories.

What about the children left behind? They were to be taken away from mothers as early as possible—herded into preschools, daycare centers, and later schools—to be raised by the state as the next generation of “liberated” cogs in the socialist machine.

Based on Russian law and tradition, wives were materially dependent on their husbands, while husbands had an obligation to care and provide for their wives and the whole family. At the time, Russia enjoyed a certain degree of religious freedom, and individual religions were left to govern the rules of marriage. Divorce was limited to resolving situations like infidelity, abandonment, or impotence.

Communists scrapped and denounced the laws and traditions wholesale, just as Marx dictated, and put in place the 1918 Family Code. The law was “nothing less than the most progressive family legislation the world had ever seen,” wrote Wendy Goldman, history professor at Carnegie Mellon University and expert on Russian history, in her book “Women, the State and Revolution: Soviet Family Policy and Social Life, 1917-1936.”

Religious weddings were no longer considered valid. Instead, registry offices were set up, where people could come and simply register as married. Just as easily, at a request of either partner, they could request a divorce.

“The process of divorce is so simple that there is a loss of neither money nor time. Under the current law, the act of dissolving a marriage can be completed in fifteen minutes,” wrote P. Zagarin, a writer on the family, in 1927.

The idea was to “liberate” women from marriage and thus the family. And the idea caught on.

“Although Soviet citizens were slow to abandon church marriage completely, they availed themselves of the new divorce laws with striking alacrity,” Goldman wrote. “The crush of couples pushing through the doors of [registry offices] in search of divorce easily overwhelmed the first blissful pairs of newlyweds straggling out.”

By the end of 1918, almost 7,000 couples divorced in Moscow alone, while fewer than 6,000 married. In 1926, Moscow saw 6.1 divorces per 1,000 people—almost twice as many as New York City in 2014.

Countrywide, one Soviet couple divorced for every seven marriages in 1926. Three times the rate of Germany, more than 3.5 times that of France, and 26 times that of England and Wales. The only other country, at the time, with a comparable divorce rate was the United States.

Encouraged by the Communists’ teachings of unfettered sexuality, people increasingly stopped bothering with registering marriages altogether.

“The broad mass of people do not regard registration of marriage as the basis of marital relations. De facto voluntary unions are becoming ever more widespread,” wrote A. Stel’makhovich, chairman of the Moscow provincial court, in 1926.

Consequences

Instead of liberating women, the regime gave men the perfect excuse to abandon their families. Many men suddenly found they had “nothing in common” with their wives, while, shortly after a divorce, discovering striking commonalities with younger, unburdened women.

If extracting alimony seems hard in the 21st century, it was more so in 1920s Russia. Courts became overburdened with child support cases and men found many ways to avoid payments, like changing jobs and moving.

Making things worse, after a decade of war, civil war, and Red Terror, men were in short supply, making remarrying easier.

The promise that government would take care of children fell devastatingly short. In 1926-27, preschools served about 150,000 children out of a population of 10 million.

At the time, Vera Lebedeva, the head of the Department for the Protection of Maternity and Infancy, said: “The weakness of the marital tie and divorce create masses of single women who carry the burden of child care alone. Imagine yourself such a woman, without support from your husband, with a child on your hands, laid off due to a reduction in staff, and thrown out of the dormitory … with no possibility to continue supporting yourself.”

Women trying to sell their ornaments and clothes in a street market during a Russian famine in October 1921. (Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

Women trying to sell their ornaments and clothes in a street market during a Russian famine in October 1921. (Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

Oftentimes, the women ended up on the streets.

“The contrast between the socialist ideal of free union and the conditions of the time was nowhere so starkly depicted as in the spectacle of women selling themselves on the streets,” Goldman wrote. “It made a mockery of the idea that women were free, independent individuals who could enter a union on the basis of personal choice.”

The concept of free union failed even more miserably in the countryside. Divorce meant dividing the already small farming plots between the exes, who may have remarried and divorced again and again, quickly leaving everybody with land too scattered to depend on for survival. On the other hand, if policies kept the farms whole, women were left with next to nothing after a divorce.

Some could have blamed the failure of “free love” on a lack of contraception, but natality was already low, not to mention massive war and Red Terror casualties. With a demographic disaster looming, Russia actually needed more children, not fewer.

Some could have argued the Soviets just needed more preschools and daycare centers. But even if the state could accommodate all children, it’s unlikely mothers would have found it desirable to give up their offspring completely to the state.

Some could have said women just needed more jobs, but that would have only made their situation less miserable. “Even if a woman worked, divorce signified a substantial drop in her standard of living,” Goldman wrote.

To reverse a society-wide chaos, by the 1940s the Soviet Union had abandoned the “free love” ideology and returned to pro-family policies, outlawing abortion, making divorce more complicated, imposing higher penalties for abandoning a family, and encouraging women to have as many children as possible.

“The idea that the state would assume the functions of the family was abandoned,” Goldman wrote.

Communism is estimated to have killed around 100 million people, yet its crimes have not been compiled and its ideology still persists. Epoch Times seeks to expose the history and beliefs of this movement, which has been a source of tyranny and destruction since it emerged.

See entire article series here.

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Obama-linked activists have a ‘training manual’ for protesting Trump

An Obama-tied activist group training tens of thousands of agitators to protest President Trump’s policies plans to hit Republican lawmakers supporting those policies even harder this week, when they return home for the congressional recess and hold town hall meetings and other functions.

Organizing for Action, a group founded by Obama and featured prominently on his new post-presidency website, is distributing a training manual to anti-Trump activists that advises them to bully GOP lawmakers into backing off support for repealing ObamaCare, curbing immigration from high-risk Islamic nations, and building a border wall.

In a new Facebook post, OFA calls on activists to mobilize against Republicans from now until Feb. 26, when “representatives are going to be in their home districts.”

The protesters disrupted town halls earlier this month, including one held in Utah by House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz, who was confronted by hundreds of angry demonstrators claiming to be his constituents.

The manual, published with OFA partner “Indivisible,” advises protesters to go into halls quietly so as not to raise alarms, and “grab seats at the front of the room but do not all sit together.” Rather, spread out in pairs to make it seem like the whole room opposes the Republican host’s positions. “This will help reinforce the impression of broad consensus.” It also urges them to ask “hostile” questions — while keeping “a firm hold on the mic” — and loudly boo the the GOP politician if he isn’t “giving you real answers.”

“Express your concern [to the event’s hosts] they are giving a platform to pro-Trump authoritarianism, racism, and corruption,” it says.

The goal is to make Republicans, even from safe districts, second-guess their support for the Trump agenda, and to prime “the ground for the 2018 midterms when Democrats retake power.”

The goal is to make Republicans, even from safe districts, second-guess their support for the Trump agenda

“Even the safest [Republican] will be deeply alarmed by signs of organized opposition,” the document states, “because these actions create the impression that they’re not connected to their district and not listening to their constituents.”

After the event, protesters are advised to feed video footage to local and national media.

“Unfavorable exchanges caught on video can be devastating” for Republican lawmakers, it says, when “shared through social media and picked up by local and national media.” After protesters gave MSNBC, CNN and the networks footage of their dust-up with Chaffetz, for example, the outlets ran them continuously, forcing Chaffetz to issue statements defending himself.

The manual also advises protesters to flood “Trump-friendly” lawmakers’ Hill offices with angry phone calls and emails demanding the resignation of top White House adviser Steve Bannon.

A script advises callers to complain: “I’m honestly scared that a known racist and anti-Semite will be working just feet from the Oval Office … It is everyone’s business if a man who promoted white supremacy is serving as an adviser to the president.”

The document provides no evidence to support such accusations.

Protesters, who may or may not be affiliated with OFA, are also storming district offices. Last week, GOP Rep. Dana Rohrabacher blamed a “mob” of anti-Trump activists for knocking unconscious a 71-year-old female staffer at his Southern California office. A video of the incident, showing a small crowd around an opening door, was less conclusive.

Separately, OFA, which is run by ex-Obama officials and staffers, plans to stage 400 rallies across 42 states this year to attack Trump and Republicans over ObamaCare’s repeal.

“This is a fight we can win,” OFA recently told its foot soldiers. “They’re starting to waver.”

On Thursday, Trump insisted he’s moving ahead with plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, which has ballooned health-insurance premiums and deductibles. “Obamacare is a disaster, folks,” he said, adding that activists protesting its repeal are hijacking GOP town halls and other events.

“They fill up our rallies with people that you wonder how they get there,” the president said. “But they’re not the Republican people that our representatives are representing.”

As The Post reported, OFA boasts more than 250 offices nationwide and more than 32,000 organizers, with another 25,000 actively under training. Since November, it’s beefed up staff and fundraising, though as a “social welfare” non-profit, it does not have to reveal its donors.

These aren’t typical Black Lives Matter or Occupy Wall Street marchers, but rather professionally trained organizers who go through a six-week training program similar to the training — steeped in Alinsky agitation tactics — Obama received in Chicago when he was a community organizer.

Chicago socialist Saul Alinsky, known by the left as “the father of community organizing,” taught radicals to “rub raw the sores of discontent” and create the conditions for a “revolution.” He dedicated his book, “Rules for Radicals,” to “Lucifer.” Michelle Obama quoted from the book when she helped launch OFA in 2013.

Obama appears to be behind the anti-Trump protests. He praised recent demonstrations against Trump’s travel ban. And last year, after Trump’s upset victory, he personally rallied OFA troops to “protect” his legacy in a conference call. “Now is the time for some organizing,” he said. “So don’t mope” over the election results.

He promised OFA activists he would soon join them in the fray.

“Understand that I’m going to be constrained in what I do with all of you until I am again a private citizen, but that’s not so far off,” he said. “You’re going to see me early next year, and we’re going to be in a position where we can start cooking up all kinds of great stuff.”

Added the ex-president: “I promise you that next year Michelle and I are going to be right there with you, and the clouds are going to start parting, and we’re going to be busy. I’ve got all kinds of thoughts and ideas about it, but this isn’t the best time to share them.

“Point is, I’m still fired up and ready to go, and I hope that all of you are, as well.”

Read more: http://nypost.com/2017/02/18/obama-linked-activists-have-a-training-manual-for-protesting-trump/

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