There’s a theory that kicks around sometimes about urban art. It goes something like this: that urban art tells you the mood of the population. Of course, it’s sort of like trying to interpret dreams. After all, when you’ve got a million and some-odd minds all patrolling the same approximate area, you’re bound to get some mixed messages.
Today, as I was wandering around one of the major Canadian cities (there are only about eight of them) I found a pair of Hammer-and-Sickle tags on a lamppost and a mailbox, respectively. The interesting thing, I thought to myself as I looked at them, wasn’t so much that they were there—I see swastikas around sometimes too, which aren’t anywhere near as bad—as that you can’t really misinterpret them anymore.
One of the nice things about current events is that it has really brought a lot of attention to matters of politics.
Nobody can help but know what these symbols are, and what they mean.
Communism, an unworkable method of governance where everyone supposedly gets equality of some description, always winds up killing significant bits of the population. At least you can say they got equality. Death is nothing if not even-handed in terms of result.
After a hundred million casualties, though, people should probably stop cracking jokes and start asking questions. What makes this happen? Why do people think it can still work? Why are elements of the same philosophy (national socialism or “Nazism”) vilified while other elements are glorified? After all, Castro was no saint; he was out-and-out in favour of nuking the United States and triggering World War III during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
It’s much safer to just understand that hard-left is as bad as anything that’s ever happened in the entirety of history, and Canada is as close to being there as it’s ever been.
My opinion? Tags.
Urban art. Street art. The mood of people. They don’t know exactly what they’re asking for. I’ll bet—and I’m going to go find out, so keep your eyes on this space—that most people have legitimately no idea what the hammer-and-sickle actually means.
They might say Stalin, but I’d be surprised. They might even mention China, and I’d be mildly less surprised unless Mao Tse Tung’s name appeared in conversation and then I’d be shocked. I bet they’ll repeat the normal schlock you see on college campuses about how great the system would be if everything was “fair.”
The thing about the liberal media not covering that police are being set on fire in France by people wearing the same symbol, and by people who worship that philosophy? It lets this happen. It lets discourse sour to the point where referent terms lose their meanings.
Like, you wouldn’t understand what “Nazi” meant if, after Hitler died, all records of the Third Reich, the Second World War and the Holocaust were totally erased, would you?
Instead all you’d have is this vague idea that “people in Germany were, I dunno, like, proud of who they were and went to war over it, or something. Maybe? Like, I dunno, but it sounds totes cool though and didn’t we just do that in like, Vietnam, or something?”
Because you can’t eliminate all knowledge of an event, no matter how hard you try—at least, the ones that make cosmic ripples in human history.
So when’s the last time you saw Communism represented as the reason a hundred million people were—not killed, but murdered? And I use that word quite purposefully. A hundred million people were murdered, and that is not counting war casualties. That’s all civilians and people in the wrong place at the wrong time. Chinese peasants and Ukrainian farmers who starved to death. Russian officers dragged away in the night. Artists who spoke against the regime in the Kremlin. Normal people who were turned in for “seditious remarks.”
Yet here’s this symbol, sitting on a mailbox in plain view on the Beltline in Calgary, Alberta, where the NDP already rules. The NDP is about as close as a non-police-state is going to get to Communism.
Nobody even notices. Maybe nobody knows, or maybe they secretly agree. Maybe they secretly disagree with its presence, but can’t think of what to do or how to protest.
Kind of like the average person might have behaved in Moscow, in the 1930s.
If the dreams of a million and a half sleepwalkers are starting to resolve into hammers and sickles, though, you can bet that some nasty things are coming your way.