Tag Archives: Communism

“Statistics Aren’t Enough to Discredit Piketty’s Failed, Blood-Soaked Ideas”

From Protein Wisdom—the money quote:

Piketty is a socialist. A collectivist.  Experience and history have shown us that the ideology and economic models behind socialism and communism, in all of its various iterations, leads to some sort of totalitarianism.  It turns the “masses” into subjects and undercuts the Enlightenment’s ascension of the individual and individual autonomy as a precondition of government.  It seeks to destroy a dispersed and organic market based on contractual agreement with a command and control economy lorded over by a bureaucratic ruling class who, surprisingly!, never feel that they themselves should have to live under the plans they devise (cf., Congress not subject to ObamaCare; the First Lady’s kids fed a completely different diet in their private school than she’s demanding the masses in public school consume, etc.).  In short, it is, a history has repeatedly shown us,  a blueprint for liberal fascism and a permanent ruling elite — and on that basis alone it should be dismissed out of hand….

 

A visit to the dystopian Havana that tourists never see

From City Journal, The Last Communist City, by Michael Totten: Although I’m not sure about the title—there may be more such cities, and more to come in unexpected places—the article describes a place where you wonder how such things can happen. There are, of course, answers to that question—it starts with Marxist ideology and faulty dreams of a utopian future, if only the right people were running things.

Thoughts on Orwell, Animal Farm, and socialism’s inherent contradictions

Lessons for today, from Neo-neocon, a fascinating piece, so read the whole thing. An excerpt:

Animal Farm isn’t about Orwell’s own complicated and contradictory political stance. It’s a parable that was meant to illustrate some of the inherent evils of Communism. Yes, economic exploitation by those in power towards the workers (all in the name of a false “equality”) was part of it. But the focus was on totalitarianism, lack of liberty, and statist control—problems he located in the left, not capitalism.

That said, it is also true that Orwell was very much against income inequality. In fact, that’s the main reason he identified as a socialist. His socialism was a strange beast, however, and he himself recognized the inherent contradictions and difficulties of adherence to it.

Never forget the Khmer Rouge

From GQ (2009, but it does say “never forget.”)

My, those commies have a huge predilection to justify almost any means for their theoretical ends. An excerpt:

FROM THE BOOK of Atrocities, the evil fable begins like this: Once upon a time, a group of men educated in Paris and steeped in communist ideology had a dream for their homeland. To create a Cambodian society that surpassed the greatness of Angkor, the kingdom that reached its pinnacle under the god-king Suryavarman II in the twelfth century with the construction of Angkor Wat. From the jungles—where their leaders had fled to escape the repressive measures of Prince Sihanouk in 1963—they fought a guerrilla war, led by a soft-spoken, enigmatic schoolteacher named Saloth Sar. These communists, however, did not believe in gods, kings, or culture, as it turned out, but they were good at biding their time. In the vacuum of power left after the eight-year American bombing of Cambodia, they swept east across the lowlands to the capital, Phnom Penh, finally wresting control from the corrupt U.S.-supported regime in 1975. (The premier, Lon Nol, had already fled to Hawaii.) Their first act was to evacuate the city, hurrying the populace under the pretense that the Americans were coming to bomb again, emptying hospitals, setting millions of people—including the elderly, lame, and pregnant—walking on the roads that led to the countryside, a scene of hunger and corpses straight out of Brueghel.

What the Khmer Rouge had in store was a radical agrarian revolution, one with the professed aim of completely renovating society while giving the peasants a better life, of evening the rewards and feeding the hungry, of bringing a rational and utilitarian nation-state into being. At first, without the world knowing their real intentions, they were partially applauded, even by American journalists and politicians. Prince Sihanouk assured Congress that the Khmer Rouge would establish “a Swedish type of kingdom,” and Senator George McGovern believed that the new regime would be “run by some of the best-educated, most able intellectuals in Cambodia.” But almost immediately the Khmer Rouge’s revolutionary pretenses gave way to the sickening irrationality of brutes. In that first spasm of violence, everyone wearing glasses was killed. Everyone who spoke a foreign language was killed. Everyone with a university education was killed. Word was sent to expats living abroad to come home and join the new Cambodia; when a thousand or so arrived on special flights from Beijing, they were killed. Monks, so revered in Cambodian society and long the voice of conscience there, were killed. Lawyers, doctors, and diplomats were killed. Bureaucrats, soldiers, and policemen, even factory workers (who in the minds of the Khmer Rouge were equivalent to industrialization itself), were killed.

In that first moment, the lucky ones were directed to keep walking to their home villages—some traveled for months this way—where they were sorted, sent to collectives, and worked from sunup to twilight. A person’s worth was eventually measured by his ability to move cubic yards of earth. “To keep you is no profit,” said the executioners to the unworthy before killing them, “to destroy you is no loss.”

Book Review: ‘Karl Marx,’ by Jonathan Sperber

From The New York Times, A Man of His Time. The intro:

The Karl Marx depicted in Jonathan Sperber’s absorbing, meticulously researched biography will be unnervingly familiar to anyone who has had even the most fleeting acquaintance with radical politics. Here is a man never more passionate than when attacking his own side, saddled with perennial money problems and still reliant on his parents for cash, constantly plotting new, world-changing ventures yet having trouble with both deadlines and personal hygiene, living in rooms that some might call bohemian, others plain “slummy,” and who can be maddeningly inconsistent when not lapsing into elaborate flights of theory and unintelligible abstraction.

Still, it comes as a shock to realize that the ultimate leftist, the father of Communism itself, fits a recognizable pattern…If the Marx described by Sperber…were around in 2013, he would be a compulsive blogger, and picking Twitter fights with Andrew Sullivan and Naomi Klein.

Oh, no! Does this mean that there is some blogger out there about to unload a “new world order” on us all?

10 Things You Might Not Know About North Korea

From mental_floss:

Yesterday, the world was set on edge when North Korea tested a multi-kiloton nuclear bomb at a facility in P’unggye. It’s always interesting to know who’s on the other side of the Bomb, so here are ten things you might not know about North Korea.

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Communism, Fascism and liberals now

From The Times Literary Supplement, a review of The Devil in History, by John Grey…”some lessons of the twentieth century.”

I’m wondering if we ever learn the lessons….unlimited growth in government control seen as “progress,” the classification of those who don’t adhere to the liberal party line as less than human (“Have you no shame? asked by people who have no shame), a skilled propaganda machine by “Democrat operatives with bylines,” and a creeping fascism as we supposedly go “forward.”

In its predominant forms, liberalism has been in recent times a version of the religion of humanity, and with rare exceptions – Russell is one of the few that come to mind – liberals have seen the Communist experiment as a hyperbolic expression of their own project of improvement; if the experiment failed, its casualties were incurred for the sake of a progressive cause. To think otherwise – to admit the possibility that the millions who were judged to be less than fully human suffered and died for nothing – would be to question the idea that history is a story of continuing human advance, which for liberals today is an article of faith. That is why, despite all evidence to the contrary, so many of them continue to deny Communism’s clear affinities with Fascism. Blindness to the true nature of Communism is an inability to accept that radical evil can come from the pursuit of progress.

 

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The slow death of the Soviet Union—in pictures

From the Daily Mail:

These shocking pictures may look like something out of the Great Depression – but in fact they show life in the last years of the Soviet Union, less than three decades ago.

Shop shelves were often bare, it was normal to have to join a long queue if you wanted to buy groceries and many of the people looked ground down after a century of desperate poverty.

The dismal state of the USSR’s economy, during a time of rapidly improving living standards in the West, was a result of its dogmatic Communist political system, which stifled free enterprise and stopped the country moving on from its feudal past.

As these images show, by the 1980s that system was close to collapse, as Mikhail Gorbachev’s liberalising reforms did little more than open the door to ever louder clamours for change – and on Boxing Day 1991, just a few years after these photos were taken, the Soviet Union was finally dissolved.

 

 

 

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“Too Bad to Fail”

A book review of The Impossible State: North Korea, Past and Future
By Victor Cha, from Literary Review.

It’s remarkable that this absurd communist regime continues to exist. There are reasons….

Broadly speaking, Cha’s explanation for North Korea’s longevity is that the Kim family has constructed a state that is so ghastly that everyone else fears the consequences of its falling apart more than they look forward to its demise. Thus most of the foreign powers that matter, particularly South Korea and China, have a strong vested interest in maintaining the status quo.

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Slavoj Žižek: ‘Humanity is OK, but 99% of people are boring idiots’

From The Guardian:

A genius with the answers to the financial crisis? Or the Borat of philosophy? The cultural theorist talks about love, sex and why nothing is ever what it appears to be

The “Borat of philosophy” is possibly one of the best descriptions ever written. He’s also “incurably romantic” and a “complicated Marxist.”

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