WSJ Notable and Quotable --Excerpt from Michael Cain's Biography on his Experience with Communism

by Administrator7. November 2012 21:02

It must be well known by now that I have a pathological aversion to anything communist. Having lived under a communist regime has cured me of every idealistic thought about Socialism, Communism and any other ism as in National Socialism. Nothing contained in those benign sounding appellations is ever congruent with the reality applied by the ruling system.

Knowing this, you can imagine the extent of my hilarity, when I read the Notable & Quotable section of the WSJ of Saturday, October 29, 2011. The piece was an excerpt from Michael Cain’s autobiography. To those of you, who do not Michael Cain I highly recommend the pursuit of some of his movies. Superb, most of them.

Well Michael, in his inimical pithy way gave a hysterically funny account of his brush and introduction to the Communist Party of England. His account, better than anything I could present you with, explains communism and its ways. Here is a concentrated version of his account.

Coming home one evening in the 1950s from his club he found himself surrounded by a bevy of very attractive… “older women, about twenty or twenty-two years old. They were offering leaflets. I took one and one of the girls said mysteriously: “Read it and let us know if you are interested. We will be back tomorrow night. What exciting proposition could this be, I thought as I walked home reading the leaflet.”

Does that not sound as if Michael was about eighteen-years-old? Well he read and found that he was asked to join the Young Communists. He thought he was really sophisticated because he knew that the communists were a political party, “very keen on Russia and that it had been invented by someone called Marx.”

Dear Michael knew the Marx Brothers from the movies and so he thought the thing might be amusing. As the leaflet told about the redistribution of wealth, he thought: “What luck my family and I would have to come out ahead. The clincher for me was that the communists believed in free love.” Assured of the two most pressing passions of his life—wealth and free love, he could not wait to meet the group of girls again. They came! He picked the one he wanted to have the free love with the most.

She dragged him off to a small dingy office where she deposited him with four men, “all doing smiling impersonations.” Although very young, Michael Cain was instantly suspicious. According to dictates of his father, he was surrounded by untrustworthy men. The object of his free love had disappeared, and the men milling about had obviously not done well in the redistribution scheme of wealth. One of them shoved a paper in front of him and told him to sign up and pay the subscription of five shillings. That’s when it dawned on him that the distribution of wealth was to be from him to them. Being a smart young man—he fled. Of course, without paying. He ended by saying: “A lingering suspicion of communism has remained planted in my mind forever.”

You can imagine that having lived the thing leaves me with a hundred times stronger suspicions—nay, aversions and disgust, which can never be changed.




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About the author

Born in Germany in 1941, Sigrid Weidenweber remembers the horrific aftermath of Fascism. At the end of the war, she found herself living under Communism. Both of these totalitarian regimes left indelible marks on her psyche and a healthy distrust of government’s, usurping too many powers to control people, supposedly for their own good. After the Berlin Wall was built, she managed to escape the repressive environment with the help of friends and a French passport. To this day she does not speak French.

She holds degrees in medical technology, psychology and an Honorary Doctor of Letters from Concordia University of Portland, Oregon for her trilogy "The Volga Flows Forever."

 Her first published book, “Escaping the Twilight,” deals with aspects of medical anthropology in an Islamic culture. In her trilogy the Volga Flows Forever, she brings to life Catherine the Great in her multiple roles as monarch, woman--lover, mother, grandmother and head of the general staff of the army, in volume one. The following two historical volumes deal with the Volga Germans brought to Russia by Catherine's edict.  The last book, “From Gulag to Freedom,” describes the lives of Russian-Germans and minority populations under Stalin’s regime and the systematic eradication of these minorities. The last part of the book is a comparison of communism, Russia, versus free enterprise in the USA. The heroin of the book settles in Fresno, California.

Three years ago she moved to Santa Rosa Valley, California from Portland Oregon. She has passionately embraced California together with her family that also resides here.

Always active, lecturing on historical and anthropological subjects and being a part of arts and culture in Portland, Oregon, she bestrode the same path when she came to California and is active on the Northwest Symphony League Board.

At present she is writing a memoir of her early childhood during WW I and later young adulthood under Communism.


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