In this explainer for Reasoned UK, Lukas Degut, a student at the University of Leeds, explains why his family history and Lithuanian background should be a warning to all of Britain’s idealistic, Black Lives Matter supporting, Marx-loving students at our universities.
As someone who is eastern European, it puzzles me why so many young people, particularly when they get to University, they declare their love for this horrid ideology. These same people who condemn Nazis and advocate how they stand up to Fascism in all forms are the same ones who turn a blind eye to Communism when in fact there are too many ugly similarities between them.
My family experienced occupation by the USSR. Freedom was fantasy, it did not exist. There was no freedom of movement, of speech, of thought, of sexual expression, or even religion. My father at the age of 5 would come back home from school and repeat that he loves Lenin, not actually knowing why. That was the only acceptable belief. My great-grandfather was deported to Siberia amongst around 300,000 other Lithuanians. All it took was for someone to come forth with an accusation of inappropriate behavior and the next day a car would pull up to your house. A lot of the times, including my grandfather’s, the accusation was false. There was no justice. That wasn’t in the worst of it. Anyone who had a professional qualification or we’re a doctor or an academic, they were torn away from their families too, all to minimize personal development, the freedom of thought, and a potential rebellion. My people were nothing but labor and objects for the state. When exiled to Siberia they’d be thrown into the same trucks with animals and upon arrival they would face endless amounts of physical work in every type of weather and dreadful living conditions.
So please, think twice before you fly that red flag at demonstrations or on campus or at Pride. And as for Black Lives Matter, the founders have openly expressed that trained Marxists, and it needs to be said that you can advocate for racial justice without supporting this antisemitic and radical movement.