Via Dan Foster, yet another oh-those-wacky-commies human interest story from a mainstream media outlet. This is perhaps the most understated lede in the history of journalism, from the wonderfully bourgeois-sounding New York Times journalist Channing Joseph: "If communists have a reputation for anything, it is seriousness.” Well, communists do have a reputation for something—and it’s slavery and mass murder, which I suppose is rather serious business, but why pick nits. For instance, the death toll from Mao’s Great Leap Forward alone, according to historian Frank Dikötter’s recent archival research, exceeds 50 million. But Joseph is interested in discovering what commies do for fun when they don’t control the means of production.
In a brief profile of the Brecht Forum, named after the Stalinist playwright Berthold Brecht, who famously defended East Germany’s slaughter of protesting workers in 1953, Joseph offers a deeply uninteresting look at Manhattan’s delusional Reds: "...[T]there is also the monthly Game Night, when regulars put down their copies of “Das Kapital” and immerse themselves in table tennis, foosball and a complicated Marxist version of Monopoly called, appropriately, Class Struggle."
Joseph writes that the Manhattan’s Gulag Center is a "surprisingly open and idealistic place," where "youngish, fashionable people" come to sandblast the crimes of communism from capitalist history books and shout incoherent platitudes like "Every woman that has a child is not a mother." I imagine a resolution was later passed to collectivize the children of Brooklyn.
But nothing beats this final paragraph, which I offer without comment: “While Mr. Balagun waved me out the front door, I imagined Marx’s ghost floating in the hazy light of the evening, watching over the poker players. Behind his famous thicket of a beard, I could almost see a grin."