A few days ago, I was notified that Vile 666 had agreed with me on something, which means I — of course — immediately checked myself to make sure I wasn’t off track.
No, I was still right about the mechanics of collapse not happening in the way it’s shown in the movies, ie. what I refer to fondly as a Mad Max future. At any rate, and to make me stop doubting myself, they made a disparaging comment about my still having a problem with communism.
When I was told this (I don’t actually have time to waste on these sites, and if I did, I still wouldn’t because I’d rather be writing) it struck me as very funny. Because, I mean, come on, let’s toll the bell of communist successes, from the Cultural Revolution to the Stalinist purges, from Holodomor to the immiseration of Cuba.
My first thought was Yeah, it sure is weird that I have a problem with such an ideology. It would be like having a problem with the Aztec religion or the charming Carthaginian practice of baking babies en croute as an offering to the gods.
And then I remembered well meaning leftist/pagan friends who argued violently that the Aztecs had been innocent pacifists and that the Carthaginian’s had been maligned by the Catholic church (this was modified to “the Romans” when I pointed out their slight chronological slippage.
In fact, if you google either the Aztec sacrifices and/or the Carthaginian baby-killing you get varying degrees of apologist.
The Aztec ones because more recent, and I suppose more archeologically undeniable/well known are dressed up as “but they really believed this was needed.” (Yes, and Charlie Manson really believed he was bringing about a race war that would bring about paradise. Does this mean he’s innocent?) The Carthaginian ones are blamed on everyone’s misreporting or the numerous Tophets still unearthed in the Iberian peninsula (I always suspected there was one under the heart of the village, because of regional names that indicate a Carthaginian cultic center. I probably could point the right spot to archaeologists, though I’d frankly rather not know) and other Carthaginian colonies are either someone else’s problem attributed to the Carthaginians OR on this being a place to dispose of dead babies, but not sacrificed babies. The archaeology of such sites makes this poppycock, of course, but our fuzzier fellow westerners hold on to this because it allows them to hold on to their idea of the noble savage, that creature who was never guilty of aggression, slavery or murder, unlike we, evil westerners. (Jean Jacques Rosseau should be burned in effigy every year, for crimes against humanity.)
So if I say something about the horror that was the Aztec religion or the Carthaginian religion, they’ll jump all over me as racist (well, Carthaginians did settle in the North of Africa and probably were as tan as… as I am.) Because these people in their heads are “little brown people” and therefore innocent of the manyfold sins of humanity, which are, of course, part of white privilege. Or something.
In the same way I realized they were upset about my reviling of communists because what they are thinking of are not the same communists I’m thinking of.
No, the communists they are defending, the ones that they don’t wish maligned, are the communists they knew at college, which were probably the same communists I knew at college. (Well, not the same, let’s face it, while I’m no spring chicken, most of these people could spot me ten to twenty years. But the same model, give or take.)
They are the young men and women who don’t fit in, who continually critique the status quo. Some of them are actually compassionate, quick to stick up for the underdog. Some of them engage in extensive charity, or give money to beggars. Others are more faux-charitable, and yell at you for using the wrong word to refer to the victim of the week, or concoct elaborate narratives to explain how the latest mass murderer is really a victim.
These people were often some variety of “cool” — in my day this involved peasant blouses and elaborate tapestry jackets, the later mostly for the boys — and more often than not from very wealthy backgrounds.
In my day too, they organized protests in solidarity with the people of Mozambique or Angola, the same people at that time being massacred in batch lots by Cuban guerrillas in the pay of the Soviet Union. But of course, they were supposed to have a revolutionary government and so everything was okay. In my day — and now — they wore t-shirts with Che Guevara whom they idolized as a sort of communist hippie (even in those days this was unforgivable, but now that the full history of this psychopath is available for anyone to read, including the glee with which he killed students [more on this later] this is frankly inexcusable.)
In their day, too, probably, since the left has ensconced itself in Academia, they met more of these “radical sons” that fit the model laid out by Agatha Christie, in a book whose title evades me just now: he read the Daily Worker and he lectured everyone about the rights of the workers and the coming Communist revolution, but really he was just an upper class Brit and had even secretly married his girlfriend.
Agatha Christie nurtures a certain fondness for this type of character, which comes through in her writing, and I even understand it. Some of the nicer people I met growing up, some of the people I grew up with were of this mold. The “communism” was a trendy veneer, to look “intelligent” and to afford the opportunity to critique everything, but at heart they were decent human beings.
They were however adolescent (or just past) human beings. There is an age at which people naturally are at odds with everything around them, and communism offers a framework for this.
Other philosophies offer a frame work for this. Mine at the time was rather chaotic and anarchic and later hardened into hard core Libertarianism, which was blown apart by 9/11.
However, of all the prisms that adolescents use to critique their world, Marxism has proven the most persistent pathology and also (that I know) the only one that has managed to fill 100 000 000 graves (a number the Colonel tells me is lowball, and it might very well be.)
Yeah, okay, so the mass deaths aren’t caused by the sort of college Marxists I described. Except when they are, of course.
What I mean is that a lot of the most horrible things done by communists (and the less horrible but still terrible things done by socialists who kill economies softy and destroy futures in the name of equality) are done by people who started out exactly like those “radical sons” (and daughters) who were communists, but still decent human beings.
The philosophy itself, with its flaws, drives them to either greater radicalization OR… to the wall.
You see, Marxism’s great flaw is its misunderstanding of economics.
But Sarah, you’ll say, how can economics fill that many mass graves?
Well, see, the great ink stained angry blot (which is how someone described Marx as a human being) understood about as much of economics as my cat understands of rhetoric. Maybe less.
What he principally understood — in a life spent mooching off wealthy friends — is that he was done wrong! And that in a just world he would command a lot more power and money, but particularly power.
There are many errors in his damned (literally) theory, but the most important of them is that he visualized wealth as a closed pie.
Unfortunately this appeals to a certain instinctive human understanding of wealth, because in the hominid band there were only so many berries, or mammoth haunches and if someone was boggarting the food they were the villain.
If wealth really were a closed pie (nonsense on its face, else, our ancestors in the caves were all far wealthier than us, since there are more of us) then everyone who has more than average is by definition stealing. And everyone who has less than average is by definition a victim.
And the implication that things are badly arranged appeals to every adolescent, EVER, particularly the wealthy ones who have more time to contemplate how they should have a lot more of whatever the heck other people have and they don’t: power or race cars, women/men or prestige.
The philosophy, in fact, appeals to anyone who is envious of others. I remember reading a biography of the sainted (ptui) Evita saying that knowing there were rich people in the world made her unhappy. This is a sentiment you see oft repeated by communists and their soft-sisters, the socialists. Our very own president said that even if raising taxes decreased the amount collected (which it does, after a point) it was still “the right thing to do.”
Marxism/Communism/Socialism, by its belief in the closed pie, takes envy and removes all stigma from it, conferring upon it the power of a sacrament.
The problem with that is that envy is not just considered a sin by some religions, and is not just “a bad thing, ‘mkay” — envy is poison to the character. When you make envy “righteous” and “justified” you empower people to completely wash their hands of any of their failings. It’s not their fault “it’s the system.” They’re only not rich because “behind every great fortune lies a great crime.” It has nothing to do with their lack of application, talent or effort, no, it’s all “the man is keeping me down.”
Even if you start out sane, that way of thinking will slowly corrode anything worth saving in you. Just by virtue of sanctifying envy, you’re going to start uplifting the despicable and hating the admirable.
If you want to figure out how slippery that slope is, just ask your “nice” communist friends (or even socialist friends) what they think of Mao, Stalin, Che, the Kims, and watch them make excuses.
Worse, though, is that this sort of philosophy, by its very nature attracts the crazy. Of those, those who never grow past teen whining are the least threat. They continue wearing their cool bandannas and complaining against the man, in their academic jobs. But a certain number of those who present that way simply see that environment as a good one to hide. And those are the certifiable psychopaths. We’ll call them the Ches.
These are people who genuinely want power and who often want to kill people. Because the philosophy enshrines those who are angry, and those who are envious, it leaves people with no defenses before these psychopaths.
Any philosophy that requires no personal sacrifice, no personal work, but just louder denunciations of “the enemy” is going to grow these like brambles.
And when people give power to communists, whom they imagine to be like those communists they knew in college, what they end up with is Che, or Mao, Stalin (no, Lenin wasn’t much better, he just disguised it more and didn’t get to the massive purges.)
Which is why eventually all communist revolutions end up as a sort of fanatic and sanguinary top-down hereditary monarchy, like the Kims in North Korea or the Castros in Cuba. Unless of course the would be titular is too crazy even to establish an hereditary monarchy in which case you get fascist states like China.
The decent ones among those college “communists”? The ones who really thought this was for the downtrodden, and who confused the Communist party with the order of St. Francis D’Assissi?
Those usually end up as splatter against whatever wall the Ches are using to satisfy their psychopathic urges.
So yes, I DO have it in for communism. Yes, I am against Marxism. Given the amount of poverty, death and desolation the philosophy dreamed up by the crazed scribbler has caused, I don’t see what other position is moral or sane.
I disapprove most heartily of a hundred million untimely deaths. I disapprove of killing people and taking their stuff.
If you don’t, you should ask yourself why not, and precisely what is wrong with you.