Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Chrenkin' off 

It's been a nice present for yours truly's birthday today - all those thousands of visits since yesterday afternoon. I hope that at least some of you like what you see and will keep coming back to take an occasional peak inside my head and be exposed to my "chrenkin' off" about what's going on around the world.

Since you're all here, a word about where I'm coming from. I was born in the then communist Poland (in Krakow to be precise) and I grew up in a stifling, oppressive, dreary society that (I'm paraphrasing P. J. O'Rourke from memory) didn't kill you anymore, just bored you to death. In 1988 I migrated with my parents to Australia; it was a year before the Wall collapsed; and no, just like the CIA and all the experts, we had no inkling when we left that the communism wouldn't be around much longer. I was then still a naive youngster who thought that the Cold War was a simple struggle between the communist world (where everyone but the elite wanted the other side to win) and the Western world, which was free, capitalist, and fiercely anti-communism.

Boy, wasn't I in for a shock. Very soon I discovered that while I was correct in first part, the West, to a large extent, was either indifferent or quite friendly to the whole idea of socialism. In particular I was shocked to find out just how many among the Western elites (political, media, academic, etc.) thought that the communists were the good guys, or at least believed in moral equivalence between the free and the un-free world; how many thought that free market was bad and socialism in some form was still the way of the future; and how many were hostile and patronising to the values that I held dear.

Well, almost 16 years on, nothing shocks me anymore. But thanks to the magic of information technology I no longer have to rave on about it only to my friends. So welcome to the world of Chrenkoff.

...and this, boys and girls, is why most* of the left shits me to tears.

* having friends on the "other side" and appreciating good debate with decent people of genuine good will on the left.


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