On the 100th anniversary of the October 1917 Revolution in Russia, The New York Times is intent on celebrating and whitewashing the legacy of Soviet communism.
As part of a series called, “Red Century,” The New York Times has run many piece reflecting on communism, some of them bordering on outright glorification.
One article by David Priestland titled, “What’s Left of Communism,” asks, “A hundred years after the Russian Revolution, can a phoenix rise from the ash heap of history?”
Priestland states, “We are only at the beginning of a period of major economic change and social turmoil. As a highly unequal tech-capitalism fails to provide enough decently paid jobs, the young may adopt a more radical economic agenda. A new left might then succeed in uniting the losers, both white-collar and blue-collar, in the new economic order.”
Another article, written by Vivian Gornick, is titled, “When Communism Inspired Americans.”
In the article, Gornick writes of communist sympathizers during the height of the Cold War and the “moral authority” of the Communist Party in America “that lent shape and substance, through its passion for structure and the eloquence of its rhetoric, to an urgent sense of social injustice.”
Another article titled, “Why Women Had Better Sex Under Socialism,” argued that women had more fulfilling romantic lives under communist rule.
The article states, “Some might remember that Eastern bloc women enjoyed many rights and privileges unknown in liberal democracies at the time, including major state investments in their education and training, their full incorporation into the labor force, generous maternity leave allowances and guaranteed free child care. But there’s one advantage that has received little attention: Women under Communism enjoyed more sexual pleasure.”
It continues, “Although gender wage disparities and labor segregation persisted, and although the Communists never fully reformed domestic patriarchy, Communist women enjoyed a degree of self-sufficiency that few Western women could have imagined. Eastern bloc women did not need to marry, or have sex, for money.”
Many of the articles published by the Times paint communism in a positive or whitewashed light.
Eastern Europe was home to massive loss of life under communism. Under Soviet rule, tens of millions were killed in political prisons, gulags, or through starvation from redistributionist policies. The communist government in China also led to tens of millions of deaths in the “Great Leap Forward” and mass human rights abuses during the Cultural Revolution.