At the Overman hearings
in the Senate, which had resumed on February 11 , the government was calling witnesses, all of them former or current government officials who described heinous scenes in which Bolsheviks committed unconscionable atrocities. The Bolsheviks had caused indescribable chaos in Russia, said the witnesses. One man who had spent time in Petrogradi.e. St. Petersberg/Leningrad. Soviet-era joke: Where were you born? St Petersburg. Where did you grow up? Petrograd. Where do you live? Leningrad. Where would you like to live? St Petersburg.
testified that many of Russia’s misfortunes were due to the influx of Jewish agitators from New York’s Lower East Side.
“How would you describe these Bolshevik forces so that the average man would understand them and their composition?” a senator asked one witness.
“Like a mob of Captain Kidds with the exception that they operated by land instead of on the water,” the witness responded.
Another witness claimed with the utmost certainty that there were at least three million people in America, mostly of Russian origin, who were Bolshevik sympathizers, and among those, many were spies. And, he added, [President] Wilson seemed to be doing nothing about it. Yet another described the free love policy in Russia: all girls and boys upon reaching the age of eighteen become property of the State and must register at the Bureau of Free Love, which orchestrates forced, arranged matches once a month out of which come children who will then be government property. “Everything that makes life decent and worth living is in jeopardy if this thing called Bolshevism is allowed to go ahead,” testified a former U.S. Department of Commerce employee in Russia.
— — Ann Hagedorn, Savage Peace: Hope and Fear in America, 1919 (2007), p 129.
In a depressingly real sense, the Marxist glorification of work for its own sake, coupled with the naive assumption that as long as everybody is working hard
, all sexual “problems” will disappear, i.e., reduce to a pastoral (and suspiciously bourgeois) vision of respectful, shy, young working men getting up the nerve to propose to respectful, shy, young working women, who must get up the nerve to respond, quiveringly, “Yes” (both, finally, taking courage from the fact that they are serving the state—the Marxist equivalent of “doing it for Old Glory”?), is historically, if not archetypally, one with the nineteenth-century industrial mythos: “Keep the proles working hard enough and they’ll be too tired
to break out into the orgies of lust, rapine, and [incidentally] economic devastation [the absent text supplies for this term, “looting”] we know
seethes just below the surface of every prole soul. Under industrial containment [read: exploitation/exhaustion] their sex [read: aggression] can be limited to the most conventional and tepid of expressions.” The entire template, Marxist and Capitalist, is a pre-Freudian disaster area which Freud’s own inability to distinguish between sensuality, sexuality, biological gender, and sex role socialization has done as much to perpetuate in the West as his basic discovery of the unconscious, sexual repression, transference, and infantile sexuality have prepared the groundwork to alleviate.
— — Samuel Delany, “Of Sex, Objects, Signs, Systems, Sales, SF…” (1975) as collected in The Straits of Messina (1989), p 55, all brackets in original.
Same as it ever was.
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