Another Soviet comparison by David Mikics at Tablet:
Stalin’s most celebrated victims were themselves used to humiliation and self-abasement. As Robert Conquest writes in his indispensable book The Great Terror, “Their surrender was not a single and exceptional act in their careers, but the culmination of a whole series of submissions to the Party that they knew to be ‘objectively’ false.” Conquest tells of a former member of the Soviet Supreme Court who was informed by an interrogator, “Well, the Party demands that you, as a Bolshevik, confess that you are an English spy.” The man responded: “If the Party demands it, I confess.”
It is hard to imagine that the authors of the present confessions know anything to be ‘objectively’ false.
“Our harassment training makes clear that what matters is how an act makes the victims feel,” wrote the Times staffers. Even if McNeil “didn’t act maliciously or with hateful intent,” they added, that doesn’t matter, since “intent is irrelevant.”
Another difference. In the good old days intent mattered, it was the star of the show both as sincere sacrifice to the party and as the falsity to confess to. In the Zombie version without brains intent can play no role.