You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
December 04, 2016, 06:47:47 PM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Hark!  The Herald!
Holiday Issue 2016

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: Location Of Canadian Communist Victims Memorial  (Read 319 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline DimirTopic starter

Location Of Canadian Communist Victims Memorial
« on: March 01, 2015, 03:02:15 PM »
Here in Canada, the Conservative government is planning on erecting a memorial right next to the Supreme Court building for the victims of Communist regimes in a vacant property. No one is denying that the monument is a good idea, but some of the opposition party members want the monument in a less prominent location and the City of Ottawa is complaning because the Government did not consult them for the project.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/victims-of-communism-monument-should-be-relocated-liberal-mps-say-1.2973128

I have relatives who died from Communist regimes in Eastern Europe and I don't see the objection justification for displaying it in such an important location. Although school children are well taught about the Holocaust, there is far less discussion about the mass killings in Eastern Europe and China by Communist dictators over the past century. Millions of Canadians can trace their ancestry to nations where people were killed under Communist rule.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2015, 03:46:55 PM by Dimir »

Offline kylie

  • Bratty Princess of Twisty, Creeping Secrets. Frilly | Fussy | Framed | Dreamy | Glam | Risky | Sporty | Rapt | Tease | Ironic | Shadowed | Struggling | Whispery | Bespelled
  • Liege
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2005
  • Location: Somewhere in the future.
  • Darkly sweet femme for rich & insidious scenarios.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 1
Re: Location Of Canadian Communist Victims Memorial
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2015, 03:51:37 PM »
     I'm not Canadian and haven't read a lot about it...  But you could at least briefly reference or discuss some of the opposition comments unless you mean your own rhetorical closing to be interpreted 'how can there be any other opinion here, really now.'

    I just fished one out of the links branching off the link you gave...  Some architects feel that is prime land for complementary, key government buildings. Sounds like it would be sort of choosing between another central office of the domestic government, in a district largely organized for those on the ground thus far, and a single level (guessing there) monument more about a specific interest group or foreign policy view. And that's just one possible answer that's obvious from the links. I'm not sure if it's the most popular or convincing one, but seems viable enough on the face of it I suppose.

     Without further research, but another possible objection that just seems obvious to me is: What is the typical agenda in enshrining a particular group of victims in a space close to government functions?  It's one thing (though perhaps still somewhat debatable) if they were already citizens when the incidents happened and the events in question were undertaken by their own government.  It's rather another when crimes or oppression were carried out by some other regime or group, particularly sometimes regimes still existing and it's being placed where every time any odd foreign policy mention of Eastern Europe, Germany even, Communism in whatever sense comes up, then someone can posture in front of that monument: "It's placed there immediately at the heart of the state sites for a good reason you know, and how dare you oppose my bill which is the only way to be a good supporter of..." 

     So if you catch my drift, it might end up a bit like placing a giant Holocaust memorial or even vaguer 'solidarity with Israel' statue next to our own (U.S. I mean) Court just waiting for oh, some hawkish Israeli leader to draw on it as a symbol?  Or whoever. One may wonder what standing party seeks to benefit most in the domestic government, or which foreign group or governmernment is being set up as a target for policy when this sort of permanent reminder is in that location.

     A space for education and contemplation doesn't necessarily need to sit on the doorstep of central debate and decision sites... But once it does, it can, it can have a way of narrowing all the rhetoric various sides use about so many issues. 

     I do think maybe policymakers need some more symbols of things to strive for and disasters to avoid... Just a bit skeptical of placing say just such a single one right next to the highest court, off the bat myself.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2015, 07:23:47 AM by kylie »

Offline DimirTopic starter

Re: Location Of Canadian Communist Victims Memorial
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2015, 04:41:57 PM »
Sorry about that, I guess I don't have as much debating knowledge as I thought.

Offline gaggedLouise

  • Quim Queen | Collaborative juicy writer
  • Champion
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Jan 2011
  • Location: Scandinavia
  • Gender: Female
  • Bound, gagged and unarmed but still dangerous.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Location Of Canadian Communist Victims Memorial
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2015, 07:16:00 PM »
Honestly I don't think it's very educating or sound to have a big monument to the victims of a particular ideology - not specific regimes but plainly the ideology or idea itself and the people "it" killed (through its daughter regimes or movements). There's some fairly obvious axe-grinding going on here; it seems that what Stephen Harper and his cabinet want to show to the coming generations (without having to say it openly; he's letting the monument, and upcoming school class visits, do the talking but these talking points already have a long history with various right-wing think-tanks) is one or all of:

1 - Communist ideas always lead to mass murder, gulags and/or genocide, and communist rebellions are illegitimate by definition.

2 - Communism and Nazism are on a par morally, no matter who or what group/party/cultural movement it is that is (or has been) defending ideas tagged that way.

3 - If you're to the left of let's say Tony Blair or Ed Miliband, then you're steering dangerously close to the Commies, and therefore you're just as bad as those (outside Germany) who felt the Third Reich was okies in the 1930s. And having seen anything positive in Cuba in the 1960s would equal having pleaded that the Nazis were a necessary step around 1936, even if they could look a bit rough at the edges. The current Greek government are probably commies too. Bad guys.

4 - The crimes, wars and restrictions of communism all through the 20th century happened because the regimes were guided by an evil and flawed ideology, not because of historical forces or difficult choices that were hard to foresee or avert - andf no matter who actually wanted those wars. Politics is a mirror of ideology (Marx, Lenin, Mao...), period.

5 - Communism is the arch-enemy of justice and democracy everywhere and at all times (heavily implied by placing it right next to the Supreme Court Building)

I don't think much of this is helpful really, it only creates a simplistic idea of why people will act the way they do and how grievances grow and work in a society, sometimes over the course of many decades. Would anyone want to set up a monument to the victims of the crimes of Islam, without anything more to say about it? Even the monuments honouring the victims of the Third Reich in Europe are dedicated to those who were killed by a specific regime and at a specific time and place, or at most to "victims of antisemitism", not simply to "persons killed by extreme right-wing Fascism". And Fascism/Nazism is a special case anyway, to many of us it represents the face of ultimate evil and murder. It's not such a great idea to relativize that by implying that most communist regimes were every bit as evil and corrupt as the Third Reich. For instance, to me it's a terrible idea that the Vietnam War (seen from the US/Nato side) was in any sense comparable to the western allies fighting the Axis powers in the Second World War, or that the mass murders targeting communists, socialists and lots of ordinary people in Indonesia in the 1960s and in South America in the 1970s and 1980s, carried out by the local dictators and juntas with more or less clear US support, were a fair kind of preemptive action to avoid new evil governments springing up like mushrooms.

It doesn't stand up to say that "communism" as such was the author of everything that went in the wrong direction or that hampered freedom and prosperity in every country that ever called itself a communist state during the last century. In many of those countries, such as Russia, Mexico, Cuba or China, there was likely no open road towards a successful and stable "western liberal democratic" political framework at the time when the revolution happened, not a framework that would have managed to handle the woes of those countries and make them move forwards anyway. The 1917 revolution in Russia began without Lenin or the Bolsheviks being involved in any major way - it wasn't Lenin and his party that toppled the Tsar, he read about it in a newspaper in Zurich and was magnificently surprised - and he wouldn't have been able to get close to the seat of power if the country had not been in a turmoil far beyond the question of what to do with the Tsar's palaces and decrees, and also involved in a bloodletting war that most ordinary people wanted to get out of and felt they had never asked for. There was very little in the way of liberal parties and a nationwide democratic debate in Russia in 1917, most people were illiterate, few people had any idea of what a written constitution would mean, of independent courts or any means to protect such principles. It was a very run-down place and many communist regimes and revolutions began under similar conditions. Blaming the ideology for every bit of the bad outcome - and denying that countries like China, Soviet Russia and Cuba actually made amazing progress in fields like industry, popular education, public health and research (remember Sputnik, anyone?) seems a bit unfair.

Also, if we'll say Communism equals the ideas of Marx and Engels and any politics derived from them (the label is really a bit wider than that, but...) then it has to be said that many democratic parties and movements were inspired by Marx and his programs and methods too. Lots of democratic socialist and socially liberal parties and groups, lots of economists and social theorists have borrowed from Marx - from Jean Jaurès and John Maynard Keynes to Attlee, Whitlam and Chomsky - and many have even been shaped by some of his ideas. The implication that they were somehow licking from the same soup as Pol Pot or Stalin is just a cheap falsification of history.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2015, 07:37:25 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline kylie

  • Bratty Princess of Twisty, Creeping Secrets. Frilly | Fussy | Framed | Dreamy | Glam | Risky | Sporty | Rapt | Tease | Ironic | Shadowed | Struggling | Whispery | Bespelled
  • Liege
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2005
  • Location: Somewhere in the future.
  • Darkly sweet femme for rich & insidious scenarios.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 1
Re: Location Of Canadian Communist Victims Memorial
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2015, 07:21:17 AM »
Sorry about that, I guess I don't have as much debating knowledge as I thought.
     Eh, I might sound a little more fussy than I feel about it. To put it another way, actually was reading something by Daniel Dennett (philo) some time ago: basically that wherever an argument contains 'surely,' 'obviously', or a rhetorical question as a flourish, there is probably an unexplained assumption and see if you can find trouble there -- especially by answering the supposedly all-silencing question yourself.

     Not sure these are entirely avoidable myself... But maybe saying more just who/what one objects to can help. We often seem to 'know' more what sets us off, then just what situation (which is currently missing, so no wonder) we are rooting for in fine print detail exactly, too.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2015, 07:27:25 AM by kylie »