“Great strides forward”

Reading the Wall Street Journal’s online book review this morning covering Kees van Deemter’s Not Exactly: In Praise of Vagueness, I came across a cue one-liner I’d never heard and thought I’d pass along.

Explaining how ambiguity has been an aid for those who dissent in totalitarian systems and who wish to voice their views to the world without inflaming the ire of their censors and keepers, the review’s author, Andrew Stark, relates a joke told by dissidents in the old Soviet Union: “During Stalin’s time our economy stood at the precipice of disaster. Since then we have made great strides forward.”

As we stand on the precipice in our own time, may we not say something similar in the near future…

One thought on ““Great strides forward”

  1. Were those “great strides forward” anything like Chairman Mao’s “Great Leap Forward” – into the abyss? 😀 (I shouldn’t be smiling given the results, but my sense of irony can at least laugh to keep from crying.)

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