A musical tribute to… Communism

I guess someone at Yukon High School in Oklahoma thought that a tribute to the failed worldview of Karl Marx would somehow be an appropriate theme for the school’s 2017 marching band performance ~

The Pride of Yukon is excited to introduce our show for the 2017 Marching Season! “The Iron Curtain” is a representation of the situation that occurred in Russia as the Cold War was beginning, and the speech that Winston Churchill gave in Missouri that changed the way that the world viewed our former ally. This speech would be followed by a new type of war that would last for almost four decades – the Cold War. The Show features the music of Shostakovich, Chesnokov, Alexandrov and Hannigan. Please join us in supporting The Pride of Yukon in their powerful and moving glimpse of World History.


To be fair, the band isn’t really endorsing communism. Still, when you consider the misery, suffering and the massive pile of dead bodies that are Stalin’s legacy, the choice to showcase such a tragic episode in human history seems an awfully strange one. No doubt these kids are just victims of historical ignorance. Unfortunately they’re far from alone. As Jay Richards, writing at The Stream, explains – when it comes to communism and socialism, many Americans are still clueless ~

Here’s a brief primer: Marx and his disciples claimed that “capitalism” must give way to “socialism,” where private property would be abolished and an all-powerful state would own everything on behalf of the people. That’s what Marx meant by the word socialism, and that’s the main dictionary definition.

Yukon H.S. band comrades prepping for the show

This was only supposed to be a stage, though, not the end of all our strivings. At some point, under socialism, people would lose their silly fondness for property, family, religion, and other evils. A “new socialist man” would emerge and then the state would “wither away.” Everyone would enjoy peace, prosperity, and the brotherhood of man. Marx and his acolytes called that final, stateless paradise “communism.”
Here’s the point: Those regimes led by mass murderers with their gulags, death camps, man-made famines and killing fields were socialist. That’s not slander. It’s what these countries called themselves. USSR stood for the “Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.”

Joseph Stalin’s regime alone was responsible for the deaths of some 40 million. The “Cold War” was a war on his own people ~

Lenin’s paranoid successor was the runner-up to Mao in the mass-murder stakes. Stalin imposed a deliberate famine on Ukraine, killed millions of the wealthier peasants – or ‘kulaks’ – as he forced them off their land, and purged his own party, shooting thousands and sending millions more to work as slaves and perish in the Gulag.


So here’s some advice for the Yukon H.S. marching band; first, read The Gulag Archipelago, then follow it up with a field trip to Venezuela. Next year maybe you could perform a tribute to the good old U.S.A.
A vote for Bernie; a step closer to Venezuela

Putting a happy face on communism

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2 Responses to A musical tribute to… Communism

  1. anonymous says:

    This post is uninformed. As a member of this ensemble, I would like you to know that this production was not a “tribute” to communism. That was not the message intended. This show honors not communism, but the struggles imposed during Cold War (and, to an extent, the Russian composers we’ve featured in this production.) The props only add to the visual aesthetic. As for an American tribute, I’ll have you know, that last year our marching production, “Isle of Hope”, was, in fact, a literal tribute to the United States; it included very large American flags as backdrops. Perhaps, before you make an assuming post about this ensemble, maybe speak with Darnell Zook, the Director of Bands, and the writer of “The Iron Curtain”. You can email him at darnell.zook@yukonps.com if you have any inquiries about the intent/ basis of this production. Thanks.

    • m.k.wojcik says:

      Thank-you for my comments. I meant no disrespect to Yukon High School or its marching band. I was merely pointing out that musically showcasing the Cold War indicates a failure to appreciate just how ruthlessly authoritarian the Soviet regime actually was.
      To 21st century ears the term “Cold War” may have a kind of intriguing allure, but there’s nothing alluring about living in a country that you must escape from if you wish to leave. (Think North Korea) The unfortunate Russian people – existing under the soul-crushing thumbs of totalitarian elites for decades – were essentially prisoners of their own government.

      The sum total of deaths due to Soviet policy — in the Stalin period alone — deaths from the collectivization and the terror famine, the executions and the Gulag, is probably on the order of 20,000,000. [Source]

      Communism is antithetical to America’s fundamental values; freedom, liberty and equal justice for all. It is an ideology of propaganda, lies and subversion of western democracies.
      To understand this you don’t even need to read The Gulag Archipelago or Shakedown Socialism you can just listen to this fascinating interview with KGB defector Yuri Bezmenov, a former Soviet Cold Warrior.
      Finally, perhaps I wasn’t clear enough, but isn’t a marching band’s purpose to inspire, uplift, generate enthusiasm? Somehow honoring a struggle (that resulted in millions of dead Russians) doesn’t seem an especially fitting theme for a halftime show. Maybe a more serious approach, like a concert setting, would be the appropriate format to showcase these Russian composers…

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