Les communisants

Screen Shot 2013-02-28 at 02.22.54Dalrymple very often finds it hard to conceal — in truth, he makes little effort to suppress — his utter disgust over the  decadence of Western Europe, its unbridled nature, the general antinomianism. At the same time he draws attention to the fact that it was the USSR, deadly but prim, that seemed to offer Western decadents the realisation of their fondest hopes. Moscow was akin to a sexual fantasy for these people.

The Soviet Union, the decadent intellectuals felt, could be their saviour. Why? Fundamentally because it appeared to be

the best hope for the destruction of the civilisation they so hated.Screen Shot 2013-02-28 at 02.24.46

They visited communist Russia and the ‘people’s democracies’ of Eastern Europe often, though the vast majority regretfully declined to take up the opportunity to emigrate there.

Dalrymple also points to

Raymond Aron’s observation that faith [in communist Russia] was at its most…fervent when the country was at its worst, at its most…murderous; faith began to waver when mass murder declined into everyday pervasive oppression.

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