A fascinating article about Soviet geologists stumbling across a completely isolated and self-sufficient Siberian family in the late 70’s.   It immediately made me think of this old favorite:

I remember the squawking this and other anti-Soviet digs provoked among certain Western elites back in the day.  And frankly, I reveled in it.  Collectivist Utopianism must be firmly mocked wherever and whenever it rears its ugly head.   (No kidding – I firmly hold that the various manifestations of the belief that Man is capable of perfecting Himself on this here Earth (and damn the fallout) are the works of the devil.  And one thing he can’t stand is being laughed at.)

I may have told this story before.  If so, bear with me.  When I was a lad at the People’s Glorious Soviet of Middletown, I lived in a residential college that was more or less Collectivist Ground Zero.  Don’t come away with any notion that ol’ Robbo ever went through a hippie phase himself.  It’s just that the school in general and this dorm in particular trumpeted “Diversity” as the summa of all socio-political achievements.  Since, as I looked about, it was readily apparent that every other person there had virtually identical tastes in politicks, musick, dress and, ah, recreational activities, I would only be doing  the Big D a favor by inserting myself into the mix.

Of course, here “Diversity” did not have its ordinary dictionary meaning, but instead, due to the inevitable perversion that attends all such politicks, actually meant rigid, lock-step, Soviet-style conformity.  (See above.)  They, meaning the kulturny, knew it was a crock.  I knew they knew it was a crock.  They knew I knew they knew it was a crock.  We were a very knowledgeable family.**

Anyhoo, we had a cafe of sorts in the basement of one dorm that served lunch to those who didn’t feel like shlepping over to the dining hall.  This cafe sported an ice cream bar.  I rarely went myself, but one day when I wandered in,  an Earnest Young Thing who had long since identified me as the Other took up station by said bar and started saying in a loud voice, “I’m a Capitalist! I’m going to take all of the ice cream!”  She repeated this several times, shooting side-long glances in my direction.

Finally, I sidled over and said softly, “I’m a Communist.  The People will decide how hungry you are, Comrade.”

I didn’t make many friends that day.   But I always wondered whether I actually got anybody to think.   If so, I’d count it as a win.

** Spot the near-quote.

Oh, and a glass of wine with Arts & Letters Daily!

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