13 November, 2005

Jesus Would Vote For Mao

There are conversations that leave my head spinning from time to time. The one I'm having over at John Hutchenson's with a new (to me) guy called Gary S. is one of those.

Gary tells us that
Somehow my Christain roots likes the second method [Communism] much more than the first [Facism] and I really, really hope that all Americans are to the left of the center point of the line between communism and fasism.

When I was much younger, the Communists were the big villains. Everyone loved to hate them, until it suddenly became fashionable to make friends with Russian circus clowns and hope that the Russians loved their children too. The Nazis with their cool outfits and well-publicized genocides were au courant villains. They're still the only villians you can have without worrying about a lawsuit. That's why the last Tom Clancy movie replaced the Islamofacist villains of the book with the love-to-hate-'em Nazis.

Communists and Facists are natural enemies, like the Sharks & the Jets. Perhaps because one (Communism) rests and the far left of the spectrum, with the other (Facism) at the far right. We currently have a right-of-center president, and his biggest detractors skew leftward. So maybe that's why we hear cries of "Bush-Hitler" and not "Bush-Stalin". Then again, maybe it's because Stalin, although a much more bloodthirsty tyrant than Hitler, isn't as sexy a villain. Those Soviets, off in their cold and remote country with their vodka and their gypsies just don't make for as rip-roarin' a tale, do they? Many people here in the States know at least one family directly affected by the Nazi Holocaust. We've all read Anne Frank's diary and seen Schindler's List. But the millions more killed by Stalin were back behind that Iron Curtain. Who cares about them? It's too cold to film those stories on location.

So now we've accepted this world where Facism, cloaked in the steel gray of the SS is the great evil. Communism, by comparison, seems to be this slightly misunderstood but really not all that bad way to make sure old people get perscription drugs and everyone has three hots and a cot. We have willed ourselves to forget the outlawing of faith, the terror of the gulag and the sacrifice of individualism. Pardon me if I'm not so eager to embrace either one. For all its faults, we live in one of the few countries where the individual is allowed to exist on his or her own terms. I'd much rather be free to make my own choices and my own mistakes. I think that's why God granted us free will. I'm not about to subsume that gift of God to any governmental system, no matter how convenient it may be for homeless gypsies.

Kleinheider points out that I have completely misspelled "fascist" and "fascism" repeatedly. How Fascist of him, don't you think? ;-p


At 4:26 PM, November 13, 2005, Blogger thehomelessguy said...

The problem I have with your, and many people's, assessment of communism is that you equate what Stalin did, slaughtering so many, with Communism. There is nothing in the ideology of Communism that condones killing off large segments of the population. On the other hand, Hilter's guide to government explicitly called for the extermination of the Jews.

At 5:13 PM, November 13, 2005, Anonymous Sarcastro said...

The extermination of the Jews wasn't formalized until the Wannessee Conference of 1942. Prior to that they were forcibly removed from Germany and their vassal states. Yes, removed in a brutal manner, put into ghettos and were in constant fear of being killed, but not formally exterminated until well after Hitler came to power. In fact, the Nazi's denied that was their policy and the minutes of the meeting (except for one remaining copy) were destroyed. So it ain't like Hitler ran for Chancellor on the "Let's Kill Us Some Jews" platform. It was a little more subtle and sinister than that.

Just like your Uncle Joe Stalin used the tenets of Marxism-Leninism to justify liquidating the Kulaks during the collectivization of agriculture. In both cases, brutal dictators used a rationalization to achieve their murderous aims.

Of course you bring up Stalin like he was the only guy who killed millions under the Communism corporate logo. Expand your reading with some hard truths about Mao and Pol Pot. They also ran a better soup kitchen than Hitler, but killed far more people.

At 5:17 PM, November 13, 2005, Blogger Kat Coble said...

The hard truth of Communism is that they discovered in practice that it is far cheaper to feed everybody if the number of everybodies to feed is smaller.

That's the curse of any collectivist system. Well, that and the fact that collectivism eliminates any goals and therefore any striving.

Collectivism is the natural enemy of progress.

At 5:44 PM, November 13, 2005, Blogger thehomelessguy said...

"Of course you bring up Stalin like he was the only guy.." No, that was not my intention. Stalin was the guy mentioned in the post, and so I addressed just that. Don't feel much like rewriting ALL of history here. Like Stalin, Pol-Pot and Mao were not exercizing the tenents of Communism when they did them bad things.

In the same vein, you have Presidents who hide behind things like "Presidential Privledge" negating the notion found in Democracy that no man is above the law.

To sum up, They weren't true Communists - We ain't true Democracyists.

At 5:54 PM, November 13, 2005, Anonymous Mephistophocles said...

KB -

Are you familiar with a book called "Leftism Revisited" by Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn? I think you'd enjoy it quite a bit - he makes a very convincing case that both Hitler (or Pol Pot) and Stalin (or Mao) were leftists (and that communism and social facism or nazism are equally dangerous), even though the former are often associated with what is errantly called the "extreme right" in American society. I don't know if you'd agree with everything Von Kuehnelt-Leddihn has to say, but the book is well worth anyone's time.

At 6:06 PM, November 13, 2005, Anonymous Sarcastro said...

How were they not excersizing the tenets of Communism? What value does Communism put on the individual over the collective? If that individual impedes the goals of the collective, what must be done?

If lowering the value of human life to that as one of the means of production (labor) and eliminating any who stand in the way of the victory of the proletariat. Marx wrote that a process of class conflict and revolutionary struggle would result in the ascension of the proletariat, and a communist society in which private ownership is abolished and the means of production would belong to the communtiy. Now how are you going to make that omelet without breaking a few eggs?

Marx may have not written it in their Bible for them, they just took his teaching to their logical conclusion.

And I hate to hammer home this point, we aren't a democracy and have never been one. We are a federal republic governed by representative democratic principles. Next time you are in the library, look up "republic". The idea that we live in a democracy should be dispelled among children about the same time they realize there is no Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus.

At 6:49 PM, November 13, 2005, Blogger thehomelessguy said...

But, gee, every time Georgie Boy talks about what were doing in Iraq, he says were givin' em "Democracy." He says our troops are fightin' for "Democracy." Really, isn't a Republic just a subcatagory of Democracy?

It's also kinda funny that people who are against communism claim that it "lowers" all people to the same level - and that people who see benefits in Communism say that it "raises" all people to the same level.

In our society, and perhaps it's just the nature of humanity, that we judge people on a scale of "worthness" and that in Capitalism "worthness" is based on how much money a person can collect for himself. AND we justify treating with disrespect those who don't reach a high enough position on that scale.

Jesus was the first "equalizer" in saying that he valued no man above another. And I believe that the idea behind communism was an attempt to make this a reality for all people.

I'm just rambling now.

At 9:30 AM, November 14, 2005, Blogger Lee said...

The problem with Communism. It doesn't work. Name me one Communist country where the average person lives better than the average American.

There is an obesity problem among our poor for Pete's sake. In North Korea they're boiling grass.

China is CINO, (Commie in name only) and others, like Vietnam or Cuba, are either stagnating or moving towards a capitalist system.

At 11:35 AM, November 15, 2005, Blogger Exador said...

Let's not forget that killing your citizens isn't one of the tenets of Fascism either. Claiming that the killing part is "Uncommunist" is naive. As Sarcastro points out, when you devalue the individual, it is an unavoidable slide to the point where "worthless" persons "must be sacrificed for the betterment of the state". As day surely follows night.

It's easy to be the great equalizer when the family business is creating and running the universe. A lack of omnipotence drags the system down. That's why communism is such an attractive pipedream; if only we could miraculously whip up as much fish and wine as we wanted, wouldn't it be perfect?

At 3:41 PM, November 16, 2005, Blogger Gary S said...

In the year 2000, the entire population of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee totaled 53.3 million. It is estimated that Stalin had between 50 and 60 million folks exterminated in the 1924-1953 time period. They did not call it an iron curtain for nothing --OR-- dead men tell no tales.

That all being the case, my orignal point was not about the mad men running the asylums but about the underlying theory. If you had to choose between living in a fascist country or a coummunist country, which would you pick?


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