The Economic Basis for the Withering Away of the StateOn The State And Revolution Part 4– by Amanda S. Green


Or how Lenin claims to talk economics but really only talks revolution and oppression.

Talking to Sarah as I prepared for this post, I made the comment that not only to I hate Lenin but that much of what he writes in The State and Revolution reminds me about this past presidential election cycle. There’s much about how the rich oppress and ignore the masses. There’s more about how the masses, the “majority” must rise up and overthrow the minority, the rich bourgeois. There’s the obligatory lip-service to redistribution of wealth, although the means differ from what we heard from Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. The path might have been described differently, but the goal was the same – to overthrow “the state” and bring into existence a socialist society.

Of course, Clinton and Sanders and all those like them fail to understand one simple truth when it comes to Lenin. He’d laugh at them, lumping them in with the Mensheviks and all others who weren’t card carrying members of the Bolsheviks.

But let’s see how Lenin tries to convince the world, or at least his little part of the world in 1917, how communism would inevitably grow first from capitalism and then through socialism into the great society Marx and Engels proclaimed. More than that, let’s check his interpretation of not only the so-called economy behind the “slow erosion of the state” but also the way human nature must change in the process.

And pardon me while I laugh hysterically. I actually managed to write that with a straight face. Maybe I’ve read too much of this shite already. VBEG.

The first question Lenin asks is, “On the basis of what data is it possible to pose the question of the future development of future communism?” (TSAR, p. 76) His response is that “the basis of the fact that it originates in capitalism, that it develops historically from capitalism, that it is the result of the action of a social force to which capitalism has given birth.) (TSAR, p. 76) Acting on the assumption, which he lays at the feet of Marx, that “contemporary society” is capitalist, he views it as inevitable that communism will follow.

Now, there’s nothing new here. Marx and Engels, not to mention others who followed after them, said basically the same thing. Hell’s bells, we’ve seen the same from those who came after Lenin. What most of them fail to mention is something Lenin didn’t shy away from. It is not just that “the state” will wither away but that there is no set time for it to happen. In fact, if you fast-forward to the end of this particular chapter, you find these little gems that boil down the basics of Lenin’s philosophy:

Until such time as the ‘higher’ phase of communism arrives, the socialists demand the strictest control by society and by the state over the measure of labour and the measure of consumption; but this control must start with the expropriation of the capitalists, with control exercised by the workers over the capitalists, and must be exercised not by a state of bureaucrats but by a state of armed workers. . . (TSAR, pg 87)

So, in the first phase of socialism, that which follows the initial revolution, Lenin advocates replacing one oppressive regime with another. Not only are those proletariats and farmers who have allegedly been so badly oppressed by the bourgeois not gaining the equality they’d been promised, they will find themselves regulated in much the same ways as before. Of course, he puts a good shine on it all by saying the oppression will begin with the “expropriation of the capitalists”. After all, who doesn’t want to see the rich stripped of their wealth and power, right? (yes, the irony was strong in that statement)

Here’s the first thing to really note – this control will be by a “state of armed workers”. Except it hasn’t been, not historically. Sure, the initial revolution might be by these so-called “armed workers” but once their workers government is in place, they are disarmed. After all, if you are going to start oppressing your own allies, you don’t want them to have the ability to revolt against you as they did against the previous regime. We’ve seen this happen in Russia and in other so-called socialist or communist countries time and time again over the last century.

Given these economic prerequisites it is fully possible, after the overthrow of the capitalists and the bureaucrats, to proceed immediately, overnight, to replace them in the functions of control of production and distribution, in the functions of keeping account of labour and products by the armed workers, by the armed population as a whole. . . (TSAR, pg 87)

Possible yes. But by whom? The answer, if you look at it historically, is by new managers and supervisors, new people who will make sure you work up to the levels set by the “people’s state” and woe unto you if you fail. Not that Lenin will admit that – or does he?

The whole of society will have become a single office and a single factory with equality of labour and equality of pay. But this ‘factory’ discipline, which the proletariat, after defeating the capitalists, after overthrowing the exploiters, will extend to the whole of society, is by no means our ideal or our ultimate goal. Rather it is a step for the radical purging of society of all the infamies and abominations of capitalist exploitation and for further progress. . . (TSAR, p 90)

And here’s the difference between what we hear from the likes of Bernie-bots and Clinton followers. They try to blind us with the glories of socialism by talking about the equality that will result. We’ll be paid the same for work not matter what our gender or color, etc. The government will make sure we all have healthcare and education. Whether they believe this is the ultimate goal of their version of socialism or just hoping we don’t do our homework and study the foundation documents of the philosophy, I don’t know. But, just in case Lenin is right and socialism is just a step on the way to a true communist society, we need to be prepared and we need to fight to stop the slide down this slippery slope our country has been on for the last 100 years.

Yes, 100 years or more. Going back to the early 20th Century, you can see some of the philosophic traces of socialism creeping into our government. Much of that came during the Depression and the policies Roosevelt instituted them. The slide increased in the latter half of the 20th Century. What do we need to do to make sure no further damage is done to our government and our way of life? We start by educating ourselves and our children. Then we start by speaking out and by standing up. The latter is exactly what Lenin and his ilk convinced their followers to do. So let’s take a page out of their own book.

For when all have learned to administer and really independently administer social production, independently keep accounts and exercise control over the idlers, the gentlefolk, the swindlers and other such ‘guardians of the traditions of capitalism’, then any escape from this popular accounting and control will inevitably become so incredibly difficult, such a rare exception, and will probably be accompanied by so swift and serious a punishment (for the armed workers are practical people and not sentimental little intellectuals, and they will scarcely allow anyone to mess around with them) that the necessity to observe the uncomplicated basic rules of all human intercourse will very soon become a habit.

And then the door will be opened wide for the transition from the first phase of communist society towards its higher phase, and simultaneously towards the complete withering away of the state. (TSAR, pp 91-92)

So, even as this worker’s paradise grows into fruition, Lenin admits there will be a need to suppress any who don’t fall into line. You must believe, comrade, or face “swift and serious a punishment”. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound like a government or society I want to be part of.

In his discussion of how capitalism will evolve into socialism, Lenin has the following to say: Modern wage slaves, as a result of capitalist exploitation, are so crushed by want and poverty that ‘they have nothing to do with democracy’, ‘nothing to do with politics’, that the majority of the population in the ordinary peaceful course of events is excluded from participation in the life of public politics. (TSAR, p 78) Doesn’t this sound like the talk of disenfranchisement we heard from the likes of Bernie and his followers during his campaign? Switch “modern wage slaves” with “women” or “persons of color” and doesn’t it sound like Hillary? They, as well as many other liberals running for office, continue to hit on how minorities are not allowed to take part in politics in this country, how they aren’t adequately represented. I’ll admit, gerrymandering still exists but not to the extent they’d like us to believe. They point to Voter ID laws as a way to keep the poor or homeless from voting. In doing so, they ignore how easy most states have made it to get a recognized form of ID, knowing there are those who can’t afford a driver’s license, etc. That sort of admission flies against the narrative and, if nothing else, they’ve learned how to push the narrative at the feet of the master, Vladimir Lenin.

 [A] progressive development, i.e. towards communism, occurs through the dictatorship of the proletariat and cannot occur otherwise, for the resistance of the exploiter-capitalists cannot be broken by anyone else or by any other path. . . And the dictatorship of the proletariat, . . . cannot lead simply to an expansion of democracy. . . becomes democratism for the poor, democratism for the people and not democratism for the rich, the dictatorship of the proletariat imposes a series of exclusions from freedom in relation to the oppressors, the exploiters, the capitalists. We must suppress them in order to free humanity from wage slavery; their resistance must be crushed by force: it is clear that where there is suppression, where there is coercion, there is no freedom and no democracy. (TSAR, pp 79-80)

Dictatorship of the proletariat. . .exclusions from freedom. . .we must suppress them. . .crushed by force. He advocates this and then, in the next sentences says there can be no freedom and no democracy when those conditions are present. How in hell is that supposed to work?

That’s simple. You see, the proletariat dictatorship is just the first step toward the glories of communism. Anyone who doesn’t recognize that forgets about the slow withering of the state. It’s gonna take time, comrade. You gotta have patience, comrade. Give us your work and your loyalty, comrade. Trust us, comrade. All will be well in the end – which might never come.

You see, it’s not enough to crush the state, you have to erase all the capitalists and then make sure there are no more classes. Then and only then is it possible to even start talking about true freedom.

Of course, what do you do about human nature in all this? How do you handle those who are self-starters and who want to push themselves and produce more? What about those who are lazy or who resent being told what to do? That’s easy – they comply with the proletariat dictatorship or they face being crushed the same way the bourgeois was. Think about it. You’ll have a state of Stepford comrades. Won’t that be fun?

And only then will democracy begin to wither away because of the simple fact that, relieved of capitalist slavery, of countless horrors, savageries, absurdities and infamies of capitalist exploitation, people will gradually become accustomed to observing the elementary rules of social intercourse that have been known for ages and repeated for thousands of years in all copybooks – and to observing them without force, without compulsion, without subordination, without the special apparatus for compulsion which is called the state. (TSAR, p. 80)

So, democracy – or the state – hasn’t even begun to wither away during the proletariat dictatorship. But it is during this time the new state will enforce – and force – everyone to observe “the elementary rules of social intercourse. . . without force, without compulsion .  .  .  .” So, we’ll force you to act a certain way until you are so beaten down you no longer resist, no matter how many generations it takes.

Here’s the million dollar question. While the proletariat dictatorship is doing all this, who is keeping those in power in check? No one, because they haven’t reached that advanced state of “social intercourse” that no one thinks about personal gain, etc. And that, my friends, it the fatal flaw with Lenin’s argument. In fact, with every argument for socialism or the ideal of communism. Human nature is not such that we will stop fighting to survive. We are selfish – or can be. We will fight to protect those who are dear to us. We are corruptible. In other words, we are not perfect, and perfection is what a true socialist society would require. Perfection not only in the masses but in those holding power during the years and possibly centuries or more it takes to reach that point in our evolution.

Economically, not much changes during this first phase of the path toward the withering of the state. Oh, the people in charge change but there is still taxation. They just don’t call it that.

The means of production are no longer the private property of individuals. The means of production belong to the whole of society. Every member of society, performing a certain part of the socially necessary work, receives a certificate from society to the effect that he has done such and such an amount of work. With this certificate he receives from the public store of articles of consumption a corresponding quantity of products. Consequently, after a deduction is made of the amount of labour which goes to the public fund, every worker receives from society as much as he has given to it. (TSAR, p. 83)

First, Lenin is smart enough to admit this isn’t equality – not yet at any rate. Under this new proletariat dictatorship, you work for society. You are paid according to how much work you do and that is how much you are paid for. Of course, before you then have to give your bit back to the “public fund”. That amount is – and I know you’re surprised by this – determined by the dictatorship. So, once more, the government is taking from you and you have no voice in the matter. If you object, you face being crushed just as the bourgeois were.

Here is probably one of the biggest lies of socialism and communism: the exploitation of man by man will have become impossible because it will be impossible to seize the means of production, the factories, machines, land and so on as private property. (TSAR, p. 84) There are so many other ways to exploit another, all you have to do is know how to manipulate someone emotionally or intimidate them physically. Or, as with the proletariat dictatorship, be in a position of power where you hold life or death over someone’s head – or over the heads of their family. Can we all say Josef Stalin? This “defect”, as Marx calls it, is supposedly only temporary but can the country survive long enough to pass into the next phase of socialism and then into communism?

It is clear, the more you read TSAR or the more you read the underlying documents, that socialism and the communism that is to follow it are pipe dreams of deluded men. Lenin took advantage of social problems within Russia to grab power. He was an opportunist who came in and decried and denounced the socialist who had been in Russia during the Revolution and who took power. He accused them of not being true socialists and yet what happened after he took power? Or, more precisely, after his successors took power? The state did not wither. Capitalism didn’t die – it moved underground with the state’s approval (as long as the right palms were greased). Russia did not move toward some enlightened state but, instead, became one of the worst dictatorships in history. And it’s not alone.

There are two more chapters left in TSAR – and, yes, I love the irony of the initials of the book forming the title of the ruler the socialists rebelled against. I think I’m going to try to combine them into a single post next time. Right now, I’m looking at doing Economic Facts and Fallacies by Thomas Sowell next. Of course, after TSAR, I might need something I can snark – probably do, to be honest. In that case, I could do either Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House by Donna Brazile or Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff. Do you guys have any preferences?

You can find the previous entries to this series of posts herehere and here.

[For raising the tone of this blog — ATH is culture! — and helping me with the exposing of the roots of the current mess — in her case with more facts! — if you decide to  send the woman a drink–  And her Amazon author page is here -SAH]



178 thoughts on “The Economic Basis for the Withering Away of the StateOn The State And Revolution Part 4– by Amanda S. Green

  1. First problem I have with ol’ Vlad is that Lenin was a damn self-centered lawyer, like too many of that breed. Grew up in a wealthy, middle-class family and had all the perks. Which is probably why he never thought his excrement stunk. Same deal with his brother, who got nabbed for making bombs and rightfully executed by the Tsar’s government. Isn’t it interesting that people like Lenin, Castro, Guevara all came from not-poor worker backgrounds, had excellent education, and could have had excellent professional careers in their fields of study? Never really had to live as a prole.

    “Modern wage slaves, as a result of capitalist exploitation, are so crushed by want and poverty that ‘they have nothing to do with democracy’”
    More likely modern workers, as a result of overwhelming government legislation are so crushed by the multitude of exacting, conflicting, and unnecessary regulations that they spend all their resources trying to understand and comply with the law, and no time actually being productive.

    I don’t see anywhere that Lenin explains why the dictatorship of the proletariat is any better than dictatorship by the bourgeois capitalists. The proles don’t know how to run a system as effectively as the latter. Which usually means poorer outcomes.

    You know, I think we do have an example of the “withering away of the State” here in the West as socialism takes deep root. Only it’s not the leaders of the State that are withering, it’s the population of the proles. The education, social, and political environment combine to produce a shrinking native population. France, Germany, the U.S., all at less than replacement levels. And who’s pushing for open, uncontrolled immigration of the illiterate, easily controlled, blue collar class? Yeeaah, those self-same socialist leaders.

    TSAR sounds like a colossal con-job to me.

    As for “Economic Facts and Fallacies” by Thomas Sowell; Amazon drives me nuts. It lists the Kindle download as $11.99, yet I could buy 63 used hardcovers for half that, and 54 used paperbacks for less than a dollar more. Yeah, used paperback for more than used hardcovers? Go figure.

    1. I don’t think Lenin ever actually believed any of that. “It’s like the platform on the end of a train; it’s for getting in on, not standing on.”

      Lenin toured Europe lecturing, gauging responses, and tuning his schtick to what his listeners wanted to hear. Then he packaged it up into a mighty propaganda weapon. Most governments were far more worried about the Communists than they were about the Fascists. The Fascists just attacked other countries; the Communists tried to subvert their populaces instead.

      1. Actually the platform on the end of the old observation cars was meant for standing and/or sitting on, with providing a platform for making campaign speeches an added bonus. I remember the story of one electric railway in Utah that had to bolt down the furniture on the platform, to keep riders from stealing it by tossing it off the platform when the train passed by the thieves’ farms.

    2. George Orwell – Wigan Pier :

      The first thing that must strike any outside observer is that
      Socialism, in its developed form is a theory confined entirely to the
      middle classes. The typical Socialist is not, as tremulous old ladies
      imagine, a ferocious-looking working man with greasy overalls and a raucous voice. He is either a youthful snob-Bolshevik who in five years’ time will quite probably have made a wealthy marriage and been converted to Roman Catholicism; or, still more typically, a prim little man with a white- collar job, usually a secret teetotaller and often with vegetarian leanings, with a history of Nonconformity behind him, and, above all, with a social position which he has no intention of forfeiting.

        1. My favourite quote, from Orwell again, about who and what socialists are:

          “One sometimes gets the impression that the mere words ‘Socialism’ and ‘Communism’ draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, ‘Nature Cure’ quack, pacifist, and feminist in England.”

    3. You hit several of my thoughts about Lenin. Funny how so many who look at him as the paragon of socialism/communism forget his past. They ignore or overlook the fact he was actually part of the class he condemned the most. Of course, if you look at the apologists today — the SJZs and those decrying the whiteness of America the most — they are much the same. Are they charlatans and opportunists? Lenin was, imo. Or are the so filled with self-loathing, this is their only way to expiate their “sin”?

      As for the pricing of the book, that’s not on Amazon. At least not completely. Amazon can discount new copies of the book that it sells, iirc. But the kindle price is set by the publisher and used book prices are set by the sellers.

      1. Charlatans AND opportunists. They want their virtues signaled for all to see, but they still want to enjoy all the perks and bennies that they grew up with, in addition to being able to lord it over the rest of the proles.

    4. > colossal con-job

      “People hear what they want to hear.” It’s a truism because it’s so often true.

      You can find a lot of Famous People who skimmed through Mein Kampf, noted a few things they agreed with, and said something like “That Adolf, so serious. I’m sure we can do business with him.”

      Quite a few Members of Parliament and too many of the Royal Family were publicly pro-Nazi, and then were aghast when Adolf began doing exactly what he’d said he would do… politicians, used to dealing in misdirection and lies, had a hard time dealing with that.

      1. You can find a lot of Famous People who skimmed through Mein Kampf, noted a few things they agreed with, and said something like “That Adolf, so serious. I’m sure we can do business with him.”

        People still do.

        “Those Iranians don’t really mean all that! I’m sure that we can do business with Tehran!”

    5. “Isn’t it interesting that people like Lenin, Castro, Guevara all came from not-poor worker backgrounds, had excellent education, and could have had excellent professional careers in their fields of study? Never really had to live as a prole…I don’t see anywhere that Lenin explains why the dictatorship of the proletariat is any better than dictatorship by the bourgeois capitalists.”

      See, I suspect that these two points are closely related. Someone who actually lives among the so-called ‘proletariat’ would be forced to acknowledge that the workers are human beings who have the same range of virtues and flaws as other human beings. Those like Lenin and Marx and those who came after, can idealize the workers and either ignore their flaws or claim all those flaws are the result of oppression that will melt away in the Glorious New Socialist Future(tm).

      1. They love The People (the idea of the masses) and hate people. Which is fair, I suppose: I consider myself a people and I hate them right back.

          1. I don’t hate the idiots who believe that Communism will bring about a glorious and more fair society. As for those like Lenin, Stalin, Castro, Guevera, et al., I know a Christian shouldn’t hate even the worst sinner, but I have a hard time holding to that rule once the sinner in question has a death toll in the triple (let alone 10-ple) digits.

          2. “I love mankind; it’s people I can’t stand.” — Linus of Peanuts.
            Not to be confused with Linus Pauling, who might have said, “I love atoms; it’s DNA I can’t stand.”

            Odd tie-in, h/t Wiki:
            “Pauling later cited several reasons to explain how he had been misled about the structure of DNA, among them misleading density data and the lack of high quality X-ray diffraction photographs. During the time Pauling was researching the problem, Rosalind Franklin in England was creating the world’s best images. They were key to Watson’s and Crick’s success. Pauling did not see them before devising his mistaken DNA structure, although his assistant Robert Corey did see at least some of them, while taking Pauling’s place at a summer 1952 protein conference in England. Pauling had been prevented from attending because his passport was withheld by the State Department on suspicion that he had Communist sympathies. This led to the legend that Pauling missed the structure of DNA because of the politics of the day (this was at the start of the McCarthy period in the United States). Politics did not play a critical role. Not only did Corey see the images at the time, but Pauling himself regained his passport within a few weeks and toured English laboratories well before writing his DNA paper. He had ample opportunity to visit Franklin’s lab and see her work, but chose not to.”

  2. Lennon boils down into two words:

    Obey Me

    All else written was merely in service of those two words.

  3. > snark … Do you guys have any preferences?

    Trekonomics! Aw, c’mon, you need something humorous after slogging through Lenin. The author is so far out in the bozone you’ll ROFL.

    “If we can only overthrow the chains of capitalism, we can become the New Starfleet Man!”

    1. I’m afraid that would do me in. I’d hear Shatner narrating it in my head and that would drive me not only to drink but to jump off the cliff after a chapter or two. VBEG

      1. While I enjoy good snarkage, I simply don’t have enough of my own to do such a book justice. The author… like Sarah said about someone a while back, “the lines in his head are wrong.”

        Imagine… imagine Bernie Sanders writing a book about Star Trek, cherry-picking bits out of context to support his campaign positions, and how it’s the inevitable arrow of history.

        It would probably work best if your internal voice sounded like Wil Wheaton…

        1. Should I write that up as a campaign proposal and send it to Bernie? At least we’d know where it came from then.

        2. Oh gawd, take it back! Delete this post before someone thinks you’re serious and decide to do it. The very thought of such a book — or of Wheaton narrating it — sends fear coursing through me. You know one of the Big 5 would pay mega bucks for it.

          Wait, maybe that’s a good thing. Then we could point and laugh and say how Bernie isn’t practicing what he preaches, what with his huge publishing contract, his multiple homes, etc. Hmmm, can we just make sure Whiny Wheaton isn’t involved? VBEG

  4. Sowell would be fabulous as your next book. Wash the taste of Lenin right out of my mouth and mind. These have been depressing if very well written posts.

    1. Part of me agrees with you about Sowell — but I’m not sure I don’t need something to snark at. As for the posts being depressing, try reading the original material. I joked about drinking doing HRC’s book. This one practically demands it. And thanks for saying they’re well-written posts.

      1. Well, if you really needed something non-socialist to snark at; you could try Trumps old, “Art of the Deal”. I’ve been tempted to download it and use it for porcelain library reading.

          1. I got that one from my father. Douglas Raymon Houst would have gotten a smile out of anyone else using it. Raise a drink in his honor! Prost!!

      2. The problem with doing Professor Sowell is that he writes with such clarity and insight that there is very little to add. You wouldn’t find much upon which to expand, or to rebut, much less snark at, and thus would be limited to variations of “Dr. Sowell is right.”

        One of his earlier works, such as Vision of the Anointed, might at least offer the opportunity to point out how his observations apply to our modern SJWs.

        Perhaps a series on The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn or To Kill A Mockingbird, discussing the absurdity of contemporary bans on such books?

        1. You know, RES, you might be onto something. Besides, TKAM, there was another book recently that got banned because it made folks “uncomfortable”. What was it? We may need to gather half a dozen or so titles that the other side has tossed out because of feels and do a series for a month or so on that form of stupidity.

          1. Works for me.
            Probably best to stick to “classics” because there are far too many modern-pop books that they would gladly burn, and cook Puppy-Sausage-on-a-stick in the coals.
            I would add “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” which, although it has never been officially banned, has been effectively disappeared because of the prevalence of the sneering “Uncle Tom” canard that totally mistakes the true character of that courageous Christian gentleman.

            If there aren’t enough books, you could add some movies (old or new) that have run afoul of the PC/SJW/snowflake vigilantes.


            1. Hmmmmmm … old TV shows that are now horribly Politically Incorrect? Intended to appeal to mass audiences those shows were an accurate reflection of the life most people knew.

              I’ve seen a recent article on episodes of 90s sitcoms that are horrible triggering in the #MeToo era, but howabout The Honeymooners, with its constant threats of “To the moon, Alice!”? Or consider Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie which depict powerful women having their talents suppressed by the (not especially competent) men in their lives?

      3. See, this wouldn’t make me want to drink, it would make me want to get the *heavy* escrima sticks out and work some of the dead trees in the back yard.

        Which would further trash my shoulders.

        1. Oh, that’s been done. The only problem is the dog thinks it is all a game and then doesn’t understand when he gets whacked in the head as he tries to grab an escrima from my hand.

          1. Have your dog get a good strong bite on it, and then try swinging them together. Great strength building exercise for both you and the dog.

    2. If you’re looking for non-snark, you could do Liberal Fascism (after you do Mooselini). To sort of wrap up the whole affair.

        1. Up-twinkles.
          Jonah Goldberg has gone off the deep-anti-Trump end, but his book is totes on target.
          Another good one in that vein is Bernard Goldberg’s “Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News” about MSM liberal fascism.
          (No kin-relation of the two authors that we know of.)

  5. I agree with emily61, Sowell should be next, reading someone intelligent and knows what he talking about will make for nice change.

    1. And another vote for the palate cleanser of Sowell.
      Then, after that, Hacks…. as the other text sounds like I could have edited it whilst horribly underslept, snockered, and undercaffeinated… and still have done better. It’s not that it doesn’t deserve a takedown… but it might be like trying to hit the broad side of a barn… whilst inside it.

  6. I love the irony that the abbreviation for The State and the Revolution is…TSAR.

    Which, really, is what Lenin wanted to be. He wanted to be the absolute ruler with the power of life and death over everyone around him.

    What a little tit.

    1. Yep. But he sure used himself some pretty words to try to hide it, didn’t he? (Sorry, channeling my Southern roots and disdain for him and his credo)

    2. It’s in competition with RATS, which would have been a perfectly reasonable word-ordering in English.

    3. Both him and Mao.

      When you take a good close look at the Chinese Communist Party (and also the Kim family in North Korea), you begin to realize that they’ve been acting just like the dynasties that came before. The only difference is that their religion is Communism instead of Buddhism, Taoism, or Confucionism.

      1. Totalitarianism is just a nation’s political culture turned up to 11.
        Stalin was basically Ivan the Terrible with Communism. Mao was one of the vicious old Empire builders of China, with communism.

        1. Well, if we could get X as basically George Washington with Communism, that state might finally wither away.

          Which is just as big a pipe dream as anything Marx or Lenin wrote.

      2. Yep. All are excellent examples of how — and why — that “inevitable gradual eroding of the state” will never come to the conclusion Marx and Engels — or Lenin for that matter — claim.

  7. Given these economic prerequisites it is fully possible, after the overthrow of the capitalists and the bureaucrats, to proceed immediately, overnight, to replace them in the functions of control of production and distribution, in the functions of keeping account of labour and products by the armed workers, by the armed population as a whole
    And this is exactly what they did: replace people who knew what they were doing with people who had not a farking clue. Yeah, THAT worked soooo well.

    It’s probably the easiest invalidation (besides simple human nature and their lack of understanding thereof) of the entire edifice of Marxism. He truly thought (or wrote as if he did) that these people provided no contribution to the success of their enterprises. They just told people what to do, and any fool can do that. Oh, and they provided the funding – once you take it away from them, you can do that part, too.

    Now, Russia was never as successful in the modern era as western Europe or America. But the contrast from when the “capitalists” ran it to the absolute basket case it became under Communism is directly attributable to this idiocy, that you can just swap meatsacks and it will have no impact on production, because… proletariat!


    1. Absolutely true. I have no doubt he knew what would happen — he simply felt confident in his ability to intimidate the movers, the thinkers, and the innovators to stay at work and continue to produce as they had when they had a real stake in what happened. Of course, his death sort of derailed his plans for empire and what followed were decades of men running the country who had absolutely no desire to give up power or to have the “state” erode into the haven Lenin, and Marx and Engels before him, promised.

      The oppression and repression Russians lived under with the Romanovs magnified under the commissars. Yet the rhetoric increased as the oppression — the quick and painful punishments — grew for any who dared not fall into lockstep with what the current dictator decreed.

      1. I titled my final paper for my Soviet and Post Soviet era history class, “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.” Starting with Nicholas II’s “Short Victorious War” against Japan and ending with Putin’s “Short Victorious War” against Chechnya.

    2. Replacing the Evil Capitalists who knew what they were doing, with the Virtuous Masses who did not, has also been a failure in Africa and the Middle East.

  8. I’m reminded of the first Soviet joke I read, in Arthur Koestler’s The Act of Creation:

    Teacher: Tell me, Comrade, what is capitalism?
    Student: The exploitation of man by man.
    Teacher: And what is communism?
    Student: The reverse!

    (The Soviets had the best political humor on Earth. They needed it!)

  9. Much of that came during the Depression and the policies Roosevelt instituted them.
    Wilson, actually. Globalism and Marxism. But it became more obvious during FD Roosevelt’s term.
    And even more obvious with 0bama.

    1. The Fed was sphincter-loosening terrified of the Communists, passing a whole bunch of Acts that are mostly forgotten today, regarding sedition and “anti-Americanism.” The Roosevelt administration was scared enough they came up with an interesting plan – adopt most of the CPUSA’s talking points as their own, and present them as Democratic fait accompli. The 40 (originally 44) hour work week, Social Security, more laws protecting unions and labor representation, overtime, “equal pay” regulations, etc.; big chunks of the New Deal were right out of the CP playbook.

      Lenin had actually listened to what people wanted; not that he had any intention of giving it to them. The Democratic Party adopted much of it for the same reason Lenin proposed it; to gain political power. Though they likely figured they were pre-emptively cutting the platform out from under the CPUSA, rather than giving people what they were asking for.

      Some of those laws had serious consequences I’m not sure their proponents had completely thought out. For a while there, American labor unions were the shock troops of the CPUSA, legally protected and untouchable, until better-organized crime took them over.

      1. Let’s be real here, though–a lot of that stuff actually made a certain amount of sense, and wasn’t incompatible with a free-market economy. The Communists adopted those programs because they sounded good.
        The reason Communism gains a hearing among the the general populace is the same reason Trump got elected–the establishment is perceived as having actively stifled the ambitions of those lower than they are. It’s no coincidence that the places where Communism was the most popular were Tsarist Russia and China.

        1. > Let’s be real here, though–a lot of that stuff actually made a
          > certain amount of sense, and wasn’t incompatible with a
          > free-market economy.

          Absolutely. The point I was (apparently poorly) trying to make was, that the CPUSA had put their finger on real social problems that voters could identify with, and promised to fix them if they were voted into power.

          Just because they were eaten up with Leninist ideology didn’t mean they were wrong about everything they said. You have to have enough sensible ideas for the fish to take the hook.

    2. Yep. Wilson certainly started it but it is FDR, the hero of the liberals, who made sure it got a strong foothold in the country. Kennedy, Clinton and Obama built upon it all.

      1. I agree. Wilson leaned toward technocrats and the other statist ideas that became Italian Fascism. I don’t think even he would have been able to stomach Soviet-style Communism. He was smart enough to realize that he would be one of the first ones against the wall if that revolution came.

    3. This is why I was active in the Libertarian Party for so long. I saw it as an analog of the Communist party in the 20s & 30’s for the Demonrats – a source of, and cover for, classical liberal ideas for the Repugnantcons. Promulgating ‘extreme’ versions of policies regarding Free Minds and Free Markets would let the GOPpers advocate for laissez faire while pointing at the LP and saying, “Hey, at least we’re not as crazy as *those* guys”, and allow steps towards liberty much as the CP provided ideas and unpalatable comparison for the Dims in the early 20th century.

        1. Weeelllll . . . Tax cuts, shall issue permitting morphing into Constitutional carry, allowing, even encouraging, private space ventures, education reform through issuing vouchers . . .

          Note I didn’t say the Reps were particularly *good* at adopting liberty-focused ideas or that they had any particular stick-toitiveness when such policies were enacted.

          And it seems to me that the only ones trying to put any brakes at all on the influx of migration are (some) Reps.

          1. The Republicans are the party of Trump: sure, he’s terrible, but not as bad as the alternative.

            I saw something today about a new party, the Federalist Party of America. They may be genuinely conservative … which would mean they only carry a large enough bloc of voters t ensure Democrats get elected. Sigh. The two-party system is the worst except for all the others.

          2. I’ll give you tax cuts.

            Most of the rest, granted, they allowed them to happen. Pretty much every one is a state initiative except manned spaceflight. Which, while it was supported under bush, got the big push under Obama when the sole available launch vehicle became soyuz.

            As to immigration, yes the only hardliners are in the gop but they showed today that 1/3 did not want anything more than a border TSA.

            But I’m also a major cynic. That way only negatively surprised half the time.

            1. Better benign(?) neglect than open opposition. And, at least as far as concealed carry is concerned, perhaps it is a matter *best* left to the States in the pursuit of federalism. Same-same on education.

              And again on carry, even in the state houses it is Reps that propose and carry the legislation as I can attest from assisting in my small way in making the reform happen in Minnesota. With the exception of a couple of long-term (safe) Iron Range Dems (who are probably more ‘conservative’ than any northeastern state Rep) it was all a GOP endeavor.

              1. Most things should be state. Or less. The populace should be able to accost you in grocery store if you go against your constituency.

                But the feds have taken so much of what should be state duties to reward friends and punish enemies and can drop edicts that mean that even the state with most liberties gets their laws destroyed because 50%+1 voters decided that they wanted to stick it to the enemy. And because the gop won’t defend itself it is shown as obstructionist for not acquiescing to the Democrat demands even if they have made significant concessions.

                I also would not be surprised if our governorship to go blue (a state where no county voted Obama) because politicians are unwilling to say the magic words “cut budget” and instead tried to push a sin tax increase. And all because the industry got slaughtered when gas and oil price fell, but the media and Dems can scream how it’s all because of tax decrease. All it would take is the EPA to find a way to outlaw fracking or push oil offshore and we’ll be in coal country territory. We have already seen the money extorted into the feds held hostage even in disasters.

                All it would take for the feds to outlaw carry would be to start adding”gun safety” stipulations into grants. The heroin addicts in power won’t be able to stop, same as speed limit and drinking

  10. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound like a government or society I want to be part of.
    *sigh* We keep telling you that is because you are among the wreckers and kulaks and reactionaries.
    50 more lashes for Amanda! Perhaps her example will serve to subdue all you other wreckers and kulaks and reactionaries!

      1. I reckon I would be joining you on the trains in the first roundup, I have strong streak of ‘here I stand, I cannot do otherwise’ in me and I would quickly fail how many fingers do you see test – four or five?

  11. It’s gonna take time, comrade. You gotta have patience, comrade.

    It’s gonna take time
    A whole lot of precious time
    It’s gonna take patience and time, ummm
    To do it, to do it, to do it, to do it, to do it,
    To do it right child

  12. “Every member of society, performing a certain part of the socially necessary work, receives a certificate from society to the effect that he has done such and such an amount of work. With this certificate he receives from the public store of articles of consumption a corresponding quantity of products.”

    We could make these certificates up in standard denominations, and put pretty pictures on them, and take measures to make sure they can’t be copied. You know, like money.

    It’s money. He’s basically describing money.

    1. Yep. But the “socially acceptable work” is one of the phrases we need to be aware of. Most of us, as writers, wouldn’t be doing socially acceptable work because we wouldn’t agree to spout party dogma and nothing else. How many of the scientists would find themselves on the wrong side of it as well, simply because they felt it important to research something other than what the state told them? Everything about TSAR, when you really look at it, fails. Lenin either simply renames things already in existence and claims them as new and acceptable or he advocates for even more oppression and repression than already exists — and he wants it done in a way that will harm society instead of improving it.

          1. It really isn’t the same as money. You could use it to acquire consumer goods, but you couldn’t invest it in producer’s goods, or in shares in corporate enterprises. That remained true even in “market socialist” Yugoslavia, where the worker-owned coops could not sell shares or raise capital from any source other than the state.

            And I don’t think it served as a unit of account, either. Firms decided what to produce not on the basis of demand or prospective profit, but according to quotas assigned by some ministry or other. There were something like 50,000 distinct quotas. Of course, in the 1940s, the Soviet economy produced about 10,000,000 different goods, so each quota could be met by an average of 200 different products. . . .

              1. Actually, money was of limited use even on the black market. What you really needed was favors. The chief of police never had trouble getting goods. The teachers who could recommend, or had recommended, your kid for advanced schooling, either. Etc.

                You see, in other countries, black market money can simply be used to buy things in regular markets. In their regular markets, since the prices were fixed, the inflation was all in non-monetary stuff.

            1. “It really isn’t the same as money. ”
              It’s company script, same as the great Tennessee Ernie Ford sings about in “Sixteen Tons” —
              “I owe my soul to the company store.”

              Been there, done that; was eliminated as exploitation of the masses by the evil capitalist democratic politicians.

        1. But of course. Make your money worthless, and his the only tender of value. It’s the Socialist Way!

              1. last time i checked, 15% of the united way’s money actually got to the people using their services.

      1. renames things already in existence and claims them as new and acceptable
        And, sometimes, those things that already exist and get renamed are not good things – the “new and acceptable” sort of requires renaming, however.

      2. Consequently, after a deduction is made of the amount of labour which goes to the public fund, every worker receives from society as much as he has given to it.

        Doesn’t that sound like an economic version of a perpetual motion machine?

  13. Thanks for this write-up. Hope to read TSAR soon.

    Couple interesting (to me, at least) things: Hegel, while hardly humble, did at least acknowledge one thing: that we can’t know what History will unfold until it has unfolded it. If we could, History would not be a revelation of new developments, but rather an explication of known states. His whole idea of a Spirit unfolding hinges on that unfolding being new, unknown, not able to be foreseen or figured out in advance.

    Marx, on the other hand, KNOWS how it all works out. History unfolds no secrets to him. There is not, in fact, an unfolding at all in Hegel’s sense: we know everything right now! The details are just the sort of things Hegel would have dismissed as the concerns of non-philosophers, little people, and are likewise glossed over at a very high level by Lenin here.

    Marx and Lenin are, in other words, palm readers, crystal ball gazers, fortune tellers. They claim to KNOW the future based on things that haven’t happened yet. They on the one hand assert all the time that they are extrapolating from the known – the exploitation and oppression happening right now. On the other, the future they see as inevitable is completely unknown – a ‘solution’ that merely requires that all men behave in ways never before seen under the sun. Or die. There’s a divide by zero step or two in there.

    It’s hard to conclude the real attraction of the communist pie-in-the-sky is anything other than the promise that we’ll get to kill all the Bad People and take their stuff. The miasma and hand-waving that Lenin is here passing off as a plan for the future seems to lack the fire needed to sustain vigorous action. Unlike revenge fantasies.

    Marxism is a revenge fantasy for people with daddy issues.

    1. It’s all known because it’s Science! They’ve formed their hypothesis and proclaimed it fact, because Human Reason is the pinnacle of all things. Why do you doubt, oh unbeliever?

      1. Marx was absolutely certain that he’d identified Laws of History that worked like the Laws of Physics, and he spun an economic and social philosophy out of that, Hegel, and a gross misunderstanding of history. Granted, he did not have what we call “social history,” where we historians got out of the government documents and letters of the High and Mighty and dug into every-day society, but even in Marx’s time, a good historian knew that history was not all economic conflict all the time. (That was spun later, once you got so-called Social Darwinism and the ills that Pandora’s Box unleashed on the world.)

      2. Yep. A great deal of this chapter has to do with that. I didn’t spend much time on it because — STUPID. There’s only so much derp even I can handle and that went over the edge, down the cliff and into the deepest, darkest trenches of the ocean.

  14. Thank you for this young lady. It further confirms my long held opinion that socialists must be mocked, ridiculed, laughed at, and if all else fails taken for a one way stroll into the deep woods.
    But for Ghod’s sake woman, cease this self flagilation. First HRC then Lenin, what next? Starting to worry that what with GIGO being a real thing your consumption of such garbage will start affecting your own work. And I am really looking forward to the next witchfire book.

    1. Which is why I’m asking for recommendations. I really am leaning toward Sowell but may go with something I can snark because I need a laugh after this book. BTW, check my response to your comment on MGC. VBEG

      1. “BTW, Uncle, Lar, there’s a surprise for you in Light Magic when it comes out. VBEG”
        To quote that ancient sage Alfred E. Neuman, what, me worry?
        So why exactly do I have this sensation of fear and foreboding all of a sudden.
        You authors are a tricky lot, particularly you female ones. But then you do have a long proven reputation for being deadlier than the male.
        Doesn’t matter, as I’ve mentioned before, Witchfire Burning was so engrossing that I totally botched the copy edit I originally set out to do. The storyline grabbed me so completely that I kept skipping over the typos. I look forward to Light Magic no matter what Easter Eggs it might contain.

  15. One other thing: When I ask the question (of myself, usually, because it’s a conversation stopper when asked of true believers) what is the difference between National Socialism and International Communism, one practical thing stands out and is clear from TSAR: the actual fascists history has given us were not so stupid as to assume any party hack could do the job of a capitalist factory owner or even mid-level manager, while it’s a core belief of Communists that there’s no skill set required for higher-level jobs (there aren’t even supposed to be higher-level jobs, eventually).

    Thus, not only was industry in the USSR run to tragicomically poor effect, but (if I understand correctly) even the army was lead in the field by inexperienced party loyalist or other idiots. (Making their victories in WWII even more impressive.)

    The Nazi, OTOH, had professionals at the top of their industry and army, and so produced high quality stuff and inflicted 30% more casualties than they took,

    Other than that, they kind of look a lot alike, once one understands that ‘international’ functionally means ‘run by Russians’.

    1. As warped as it sounds, I enjoy reading Mussolini’s writings. Not because I agree with the ideas, but because he is such a good writer and is so clear and up-front compared to those around him. He deserves more credit as a thinker than a lot of historians would like to give him.

    2. A very good observation and, in many ways, accurate. There were exceptions in the Soviet Union, but they were few and far between or they were smart enough to know the only way to get ahead was to join the Party and give the right lip service where needed.

    3. Side note: they figured out you couldn’t run an army that way after their utterly dismal performance during the Winter War–and the resultant reforms and rehabilitation of those officers who were purged but not killed were probably what kept the Red Army from getting destroyed during Barbarossa.

      1. Before the purges, the Soviet army was making a lot of progress in working out the tactics of combined arms operations- that merging of fast moving armor, motorized infantry, and airpower that was later part of the German Blitzkrieg.
        And this sort of innovation was seen as a threat by Stalin, and thus anyone who was anything but devoted to the same sort of traditional military tactics as Stalin was purged- and those who remained tended to be pretty wary about putting a foot wrong, so to speak.

  16. A Valentine’s question from Sarah:

    What’s love got to do with it?
    By Sarah Hoyt
    Believe it or not, love, as we see it now is not exactly as it has been seen throughout the ages.

    First of all romantic love is a relatively new invention. Sure, the Romans had romantic poetry, only let’s be honest here, for a little while, it was more like erotic poetry. The shadings of love and sex were as confused as they are in the modern romance novel. Hold on to that, it might come in handy.

    In Rome though, as far as I can tell, the ideas of romance and love were separated, at least for the patricians, even if there were some touching legends of old married couples in love who asked to die together.

    In Shakespeare’s time the idea that Romeo and Juliet would choose to marry because they were in love with each other was a little scandalous and at the same time the vanguard of a new way of doing things.

    Sure, forget all the stuff about the families at each other’s throats and all, those two crazy kids in love would still be shocking if all they wanted to do was marry in defiance of those that their families would prefer they pair with.

    You see, in Shakespeare’s time human society had a little more… give. There was more wealth, enough not to live so close to the bone (while all of them were still unimaginably poorer than anyone today, mind you) so there was a bit more room to indulge in romantic fancies and marry someone because you fancied them, instead of for solid qualities, like a woman being able to hold a pig under each arm, or a man being able to plow a field all by himself if the ox was feeling poorly.

    Okay, I’m joking – a little – but the truth is that for most of human history humans have married for reasons other than a nicely turned ankle, or a fascinating smile. …

      1. My usual radio station is doing all request, all dedication today, any format (rock, country, western, R&B). It’s encouraging to hear all the people calling in with dedications to spouses of 5, 10, 20 and more years.

        1. How about the entire Star Spangled Banner, every verse, dedicated to the spouses of all Americans.

    1. In medieval times, a Love Day was a day appointed for trying to reconcile people who were feuding or engaged in lawsuits.

    2. Maybe the idea of romantic love as a basis of marriage more than romantic love itself. In those days, a fortunate couple may come to love each other in the romantic sense, and maybe that was seen as an ideal, but romantic love was seen as a poor basis for marriage.

      1. My Favorite Song from Fiddler on the Roof (which has a LOT of songs about love and marriage in different guises) is “Do you love me? — after 25 years, it’s nice to know.”

  17. the funny thing is, regarding voter ID… those ‘poor and homeless that can’t afford ID’ have ID on them usually because many cities have vagrancy laws or similar that require you to have ID on you. Many homeless shelters will let you set the address on your ID to them…. etc. And yes, as others have pointed out, you need that ID to get food stamps and if you look young enough to buy your alcohol and cigarettes you can’t possibly afford,

    Before EBT cards when food stamps were little strips of paper with dollar values attached to them, very poor especially homeless people would go buy groceries a few small things at a time and purposefully buy something stupid like a pack of gum or some such just to push the purchase a few cents over the next whole dollar in order to get that 95 cents in change to pay for things food stamps don’t cover (after a few trips thru the store). Guess how i know.

    1. Yep. And states offer IDs for voting purposes at pennies on the dollar compared to the cost of a driver’s license. The real reason folks object to voter ID laws is because they can cut down on voter fraud.

      1. Colorado charge $160 for a concealed carry permit (basically an ID). That seems a tad excessive – especially since it’s not print-on-demand and you have to show up in person twice (once to request it and once to receive it). I shudder to think what the lines must look like because they’re only good for a couple (five?) years and you must renew in-person as well.

        1. I think TX charges something like $7 for an ID card that can be used for voting and at other times when all you need is to prove who you are. But that’s too much, according to the SJZs

          1. Most people “too poor” to pay the $5 for an Arkansas State ID Card are on some kind of program that provides an equivalent ID. And if they want the state ID, both the Arkansas Republican Party and the Arkansas Democratic Party will not only pay for the ID, they’ll also provide free taxi service to the polls. The Greens are too cheap for either…

            The whole “racist” and “poor” schtick is just an “any excuse will do, because we have the power to ram it down your throat” show of force.

        2. Some states have free ID cards to allow voting, otherwise they run into the constitutional amendment banning poll taxes. Some states even had a mobile unit. Of course, the Media says little about them, unless to complain. Odd thing, that.

          1. This refutes the whole “can’t afford ID” schtick — but they can afford movie tickets and popcorn.

            PS And I am all for registering legal voters anytime, anywhere, because some studies have shown that the actual outcome of more voters tends Republican; however, no votes for any non-citizens of any type, and that includes dead people and double-dippers, all of which have been adequately documented for any reasonable person to see.

    2. Another ploy is to buy drinks in “deposit only” bottles, empty them (not drink the water or soda), and return the bottles (also works for plastics that charge a recycling fee that is repaid when turned in). Or to take the empties to a bulk-buyer
      It makes more sense to me to drink the stuff first.
      I don’t mind them getting cash back on the empties, it’s the waste that infuriates me.

  18. Every time I read some of this stuff, I start to wonder. Could it really all have been an elaborate joke? Like Lenin writes a book on revolution with so much obvious pie-in-the-sky bullshit he’s sure that his educated friends will piss themselves laughing.

    Then nobody gets the joke and the whole thing blows up huge. After that, he’s caught. If he admits it’s a joke, he’ll be executed as a traitor to the cause. So with nothing to lose, he runs with it. Hilarity ensues… (for truly sick values of hilarity)

    1. Lenin, as best I can tell from reading too much about him recently, had no sense of humor. None, zip, nada. He was a hard-core True Believer, if the documents give a true picture of him.

      1. Yep, that’s what he was. Of course, he was also the self-appointed arbiter of what Marx and Engels “really” meant and woe unto anyone who disagreed with him.

      2. That was just a cover! He was really a jovial grandpa-type given to insanely over-done practical jokes. But once the whole Marxist revolution gag blew up in his face, he HAD to convince everyone or KKKRRRRKKKK (slices finger across throat).

        No, I don’t really believe this, but the idea of it is kicking over my giggle box. What other horrible events in history “could have been” practical jokes that got out of hand.

        Emperor of Japan: Isoroku! What have you done?!? I totally did the wink and elbow nudge thing when I said “Gee, I guess we should bomb Pearl Harbor then”. Didn’t you notice I was using my JOKING voice???

  19. [reads…reads…reads…]
    So, in a nutshell… Kill the rich and take their stuff. Who knew highwaymen and pirates were good socialists?!!

    “You’ll have a state of Stepford comrades. Won’t that be fun?”
    _Why They Behave Like Russians_ points out that as a result of all the above, the good Russian people were (paraphrasing) patiently waiting for the good times they’d been promised, enduring shortages and poverty with stoic fatalism… basically, yeah, the Stepford Citizens.

    The book is out of copyright, so:

    1. And then, after you kill the rich, kill those remaining who are foolish enough not to agree with what you’re doing, punish those who aren’t producing enough to meet the needs of the state, tell the fools what they will study and what their profession will be. . . Funny, sounds sort of like a return to serfdom and, well, Tsarist Russia, doesn’t it?

  20. One of more interesting facts about Lenin.
    During his exile he lived in Switzerland near a Nestle factory. Never ever did he bother to ask the factory their opinion. Guess they’d have called him out and exposed him for the ďangerous doofus he was.
    Lenin was a really boring and banal guy 8n the end. I wonder if he suffered from a form of Asperger’s as he wasn’t able to speak until he was 7

  21. Nasty thought:

    There is increasing antipathy among rural people toward urban. Compared to rural folk, there seems to be a higher proportion of the wealthy in urban area. Add to this the drum of revolution the Democrats love to beat, and there’s a strong potential for unintended consequences, especially as they do their utmost to disenfranchise everyone who lives beyond the city limits.

    1. From the “I’m Not Saying, I’m Just Saying” Department:

      Group with ties to Obama, Clinton calls to restrict overseas U.S. military voting
      Report recommends banning fax, email balloting to improve cybersecurity
      After years of accusing states of voter suppression, the Center for American Progress, citing election security, wants to make voting tougher for Americans serving overseas in the military.

      The left-wing public policy group issued a report Monday, “Election Security in All 50 States,” that called for stricter standards to prevent cybermeddling in elections by foreign governments, including banning military stationed abroad from submitting ballots via email or fax.

      One state that allows such vote casting is Colorado. The center called on the state to “prohibit voters stationed or living overseas from returning voted ballots electronically.”

      “Regardless of the state’s secure ballot return system for electronically voted ballots, we recommend that all voted ballots be returned by mail or delivered in person,” said the 245-page report.


      Conservatives were quick to blast the report’s recommendation as unworkable and politically motivated.

      “Perhaps they think that Navy SEALs can swim ballots ashore, hand them off to Army paratroopers who can parachute into Colorado to drop off the ballots?” asked the conservative website Colorado Peak Politics.

      “You can bet that if the military historically voted Democrat instead of Republican, the Center for American Progress would not have a problem with it,” Peak said in a Monday post.

      The report is something of a departure for the center, given its record of fighting for greater ballot access, including pushing for same-day registration, encouraging states to make it easier for felons to vote and lobbying against tighter rules aimed at combating voter fraud.

      Founded by former Clinton and Obama White House adviser John Podesta, who sits on its board, the center has opposed state efforts to scale back early voting periods, remove inactive voters from rolls and require government-issued photo identification to cast ballots.

      J. Christian Adams, head of the conservative Public Interest Legal Foundation, said the latest recommendation “shouldn’t be a surprise,” given that members of the military tend to lean right.

      “CAP would oppose that because they don’t like that the military votes against their interests nearly all of the time,” Mr. Adams said in an email. “But there are very few votes that come in that way, so it’s not a really big issue. CAP wants to make it easier for felons and criminals to vote, but wants to make it harder for fighting men and women overseas.”

      The center graded the 50 states and the District of Columbia on an A to F scale based on their cybersecurity standards, paper-trail backups, postelection audits, ballot accounting and other procedures aimed at guarding against election manipulation by other countries.


      States like Arkansas that require paper ballots earned plaudits. “The fact that the state prohibits voters stationed or living overseas from returning voted ballots electronically is also commendable,” said the center.

      The report named the use of paperless electronic voting machines as the “biggest threat to election security,” given that they leave no reliable paper trail. Fourteen states use such machines in some jurisdictions, and five states rely on them exclusively.

      The center concluded by recommending more federal funding aimed at helping states “protect future elections from interference by hostile nations such as Russia.”

      “In this threat environment, Congress needs to step up and provide more resources to invest in America’s election infrastructure so that states can do the job right,” said Liz Kennedy, the Center for American Progress‘ senior director of democracy and government reform.

      Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

      1. What I found out following the last several elections is that many states simply throw those votes away, and others only count them if there’s a recount.

        There may be states with unified election laws; in my state, that’s a county-level thing. And there are 75 counties, and they *are* different in how they do things.

        1. In a somewhat-recent election, it was revealed that some states were sending the paper ballots to the overseas stations too late for them to be physically returned in time, even if the troops marked and posted them immediately.
          Why am I not surprised?

    2. Not to mention that we now have three generations who think their water comes from a faucet, their power from a wall plug, and their food from a supermarket. They’re going to be unpleasantly surprised when they get an education in logistics.

      1. I’ve noted that 3 generation problem too. So long as kids at least have grandparents who remember and speak of how it was on the farm, the kids get *some* grounding in reality, despite a mere 2% of US pop. still living it. Once that last farming generation is gone, kids grow up knowing nothing else, and we get that urban notion that every necessity arrives by magic.

  22. “Marx visualized that the abolition of classes would lead to the gradual reduction of the state apparatus. However, this is not the case and is better observed than contemplated. The state, rather, becomes more extensive in that while the powers of the central ministries are delegated, they are not reduced in the dividing organ of state power into smaller units at lower levels so although some ministers have actually disappeared in Moscow they have become more entrenched than ever at lower levels. Thus in dividing power you multiply units and in everyday life you become more and more dependent on these organs of state power. Wherever you turn you meet them and they touch the lives of the people more and more.”

    – Lee Harvey Oswald, from his journal, “Historic Diary”, circa 1962, while living in the Soviet Union.

    From: “Portrait of the Assassin”, copr. 1965, by Rep. Gerald R. Ford and John R. Stiles, from documents presented to the Warren Commission on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy

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