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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Communism and Barack Obama for "dummies", part one

We all know them- the people out there that accuse Obama of being a "socialist" or a "communist".  But is he?  That's a big question full of mixed up ideas and assumptions.  I am going to try to deal with this as simply and un-theoretically as possible.

First off, a real "communist state" has never existed.  That is why it was called the USSR and not the "USCR".  Communism in a pure form was theorized most famously by Marx and Engels.  They were dreamers trying to find a way to a perfect world, and the emerging capitalism they saw sure wasn't it.  A perfect world would be everybody working for the common good, and everybody getting an equal share of it, while capitalism was based on driven individuals amassing wealth through their efforts and using only a part of it to improve conditions, just enough that the benefit they created added to that wealth.  Instead of seeing mankind as advancing because of people gifted with intelligence and driven by opportunity, they saw only the (all-too-prevalent) dark side of those who were being left behind because of their lack of either, opportunity, intelligence, or motivation.  They conceived an ideal of human freedom, in which all would benefit from each one's labor.

Of course, to have this kind of world, you'd have to have a population with an ethic of work and one of morality, willing to set aside both selfishness and individuality (I'm being general here; take this as the good and bad sides of individual freedom) to work for the common good.  But in the world they lived in, Marx and Engels knew that what was established would have to be torn down in order to create this.  In other words, the have nots would have to overthrow the haves.  Only then, with everyone having an equal chance at prosperity would class divisions such as finances, nationalities, and religions dissolve so that, as another Lennon would say, "the world would live as one."

So there is the three highlights of Marxist thought- human freedom, proletariat revolution, dissolution of class lines.  To gain this, you would have to have a  proletariat savage enough to overthrow their rulers and kind enough to share; ambitious enough to build a new world and selfless enough to divide up the fruits thereof; intelligent enough to see themselves as better than their masters but equal to the masses that might be dumber than they.

Not much wonder that M & E never worked much on the practical applications.

Which is where Lenin comes in.  Lenin is Russian, and he knows a few practical things.  For one, the average member of the proletariat isn't that smart, isn't that ethical, and isn't that selfless.  They will have to be trained.  For another, people who have been trained over centuries aren't likely to give up "God and Russia" to make a better place out of a world they've never (and likely will never) seen.  To accomplish this, he devises the concept of a "vanguard party"- a Deux ex Machina that will teach the masses, lead the masses, and when necessary, force the masses forward.  Eventually, through a rule that brooks no opposing views, the proletariat will be brought to a point where they see the hows and whys of communist life, and then the party will wither away because everyone will do what is needful on their own.  This was what socialism was, originally- a waystation between revolution and utopia.

But for this kind of communism, you needed a different kind of people: taught by centuries of being serfs to go along with everything they were told, uncomfortable enough with the old regime to try something new- and you would need a charismatic, stand out leader to get them to do it.  Russia (and later China) had more than enough of #1.  Number two could be created by stripping them of their religion- the one thing (outside of alcohol) that made the miserable life bearable; And the third, well, that's where "Grandfather Lenin,"  "Uncle Joe", and "the wise Chairman Mao" sprang from.  So in leaping from theory to application, you had to change no state to one-party state, fairly intelligent masses to sheeple, and egalitarianism to cult of party and personality.  Not surprising, then that Lenin's plan of government was based on "reaching a decision democratically, and once reached, everyone must support and promote it."

Lenin was like Marx, a bit of a dreamer.  He saw the ugly reality of Stalin and tried on his deathbed to forestall the Stalinist future, without success.  Stalin went further from Marxist ideals.  Rather than try to eliminate nationalism to make a one world system, he used nationalism to promote the concept of "achieve socialism in one nation first; one established, then spread it."  Rather than the party being a semi-democratic caretaker until true communism is achieved, Stalin made the state stronger, for several reasons (besides the main one of being a paranoid fruitcake).  One, he saw the gradual path of Marxist-Leninism as too slow; they had to make strides NOW, before their enemies grew too strong and crushed them.  Another, class warfare could not be complete until ALL advocates of a class society, real or imagined, were rooted out, because- of course- everyone was out to get them.

On the other side of Lenin's bedstead was Leon Trotsky.  Trotsky was the ultimate Marxist dreamer.   He rejected both the "socialism in one country" of Stalin and the "gradual, democratic path to communism" of Lenin.  He saw a worldwide revolution as necessary, followed by an immediate move into pure communism, without either Lenin's "stages of capitalism" or Stalin's "copying of capitalism".  Needless to say, he didn't remain popular too long; the flow of this kind of socialism was too rooted now in the "real world" to put up with utopian ideals.

Which is why Chia and the Soviets eventually fell out.  Maoism was idealism in the extreme, a mad mixup of Confucian/Buddhist thought with Marxist economics.  Unlike Lenin, who saw the worker as the powerhouse of change, Mao saw the farmer, armed and aimed, as the revolutionary dynamo.  Where Lenin saw the party as the teacher, Mao saw the party and the people as learning from each other.  He took on the Stalin concept of nationalism without necessarily adding the caveat of "this nation first, then the rest".  And where Lenin's cult was based on his intellect and Stalin's on fear, Mao became an expert PR man, building himself into something like a modern day Confucius, a fountain of wisdom who was able to deflect hard problems with a philosophic shrug.

So the concept of noble communism, with human freedom as its goal, an intelligent, ethical workforce as its engine, and a classless society as its mantra, had become something else in application.  Classless had become two-class (us and them); the Party had become both engine and mantra, means and goal; and freedom replaced by the "hive-mind" that did only what the party told them.  Next time, how this worked out for them.

15 comments:

  1. CWM:
    You knocked another one outta the ballpark!

    This is a marvelous prologue to what I believe you're going to divulge to us in upcoming "chapters"...

    VERY well done and explained.
    (too late to be a history teacher?)

    Excellent post.

    Stay safe up there in the ever-free state of Sambomnia.

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    1. Probably is too late... memory ain't what it used to be. Thanks for bopping by!

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  2. Well written and very informative. While it's nice to try to dream of a utopia, obtaining that is pretty much impossible.

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    1. I kinda wonder if that isn't why Marx stayed away from practical applications- he was too smart. Too bad Lenin wasn't that bright.

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  3. A perfect world would be everybody working for the common good, and everybody getting an equal share of it

    I wasn't clear if you were stating their view of a perfect world or yours.

    Even though there are examples of commune-style living in the Bible, I think that capitalism (done right, not the way America has transformed it), coupled with the values espoused by our founding fathers (who happened to be Christian) is the best system out there.

    I'm not sure you answer your opening question.

    Is Barry O a Socialist?

    I have read where Obama has said he planned to "redistribute the wealth." Seems to be a socialist ideal.

    And certainly ObamaCare by it's very nature is a socialist program (not assessing a value here-insurance is built on the socialization of the expenses being insured).

    Actually the government owning a piece of GM is more of a fascist concept, but programs like "Cash For Clunkers" are also socialist by nature.

    He certainly seems to display Socialist ideals.

    And granting amnesty to a block of voters who tend to be lower income, high social program utilizers, and illegally immigrated from countries where the government plays a highly socialized role?

    Genius.

    I am not certain many Americans know what it means anymore to 'pick yourself up by your bootstraps,' and the reason is not solely that our boots no longer have straps.

    Well-written piece...good to get these posts in before the Thought Police shut us down.

    Larry

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    1. Well, of course I didn't get to Barry O. yet- it's a three part post! He'll get his in #3 in two short weeks. And I was indeed being snarky with Marx on the quoted statement. I'm smart enough to know that fallen man won't achieve anything of the kind.

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  4. Ahhh, it's here! Just came by to check. Will be back this weekend to read the entire post when I have more time (right now, it's off to work I go).

    >>... a real "communist state" has never existed.

    Bingo! I've said and written the same thing numerous times. (Well, the very earliest period after Christ left and His followers began to band together, a type of "SPIRITUAL communist state" existed but it didn't last long.)

    You obviously know your stuffs, CW, and I'll be back to read it all over this upcoming 3-day weekend.

    Yak Later...

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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  5. OK, read it. Very good so far (I'm not surprised). The only thing I would add is that the "ideal" of communism was never truly embraced by a single dictator, nor did they enter into the program with the "ideal" in their hearts.

    A man being what he is in his fallen condition, without a genuine love and understanding of God's spiritual directive, would never build a true communist state and then step down. There is NO CHANCE that Communism would or will ever reach that point where the dictatorial stage could be relinquished, phased out, and a demise of the Elite / Proletariat stage would bring in a condition of Pure Communism.

    Not only would it NEVER happen, but Marx being a liar and a hater of mankind to begin with (and probably an actual satanist to boot), was never TRULY attempting to devise a program or outline a system that would benefit all of mankind equally. The dirty little secret is that from the get-go the idea of Communism was a "control the wealth" scheme rather than a "spread the wealth" goal. Marx wrote what he did for money and never truly believed in his outline's ideal.

    But, Brother Martin, I'm sure I ain't tellin' you anything you don't already know. Write on, Brother, write on!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. "Not only would it NEVER happen, but Marx being a liar and a hater of mankind to begin with (and probably an actual satanist to boot), was never TRULY attempting to devise a program or outline a system that would benefit all of mankind equally. The dirty little secret is that from the get-go the idea of Communism was a "control the wealth" scheme rather than a "spread the wealth" goal. Marx wrote what he did for money and never truly believed in his outline's ideal."

      Actually, having not done a lot of research on the good Karl, I didn't know that- though it makes a bit more sense than trying to figure out how a man so brilliant had a theory so critically flawed.

      But say Marx was a "true believer", I kind of thought that Lenin was as well, save for the influencing hatred of the established order, and was less corrupted by the power than slapped by the realities, and Stalin was the first one solely "in it for me". Trotsky may well have been the only "true believer" in either circumstance.

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  6. CW ~
    I'll admit that I have not examined Lenin "as a man" to the same degree I have Marx, but I am skeptical that there has ever been a "true believer" on the upper rungs of leadership. I think they all recognized the power and wealth that they could accumulate if they took the reins, and once acquired, how many dictators would ever really step down when they perceived that the "dictator stage" could be dismantled for the advancement of true Communism?

    I could be wrong, because I have studied the basis and the history of Communism more than I have the personal lives of its leaders. According to what I do know, I would guess you are right: If there ever was a "true believer" amongst the leaders, it was likely Trotsky. But I think the vast majority of "true believers" were to be found amongst the "worker" (bees). In my opinion, the "true believer" was Whittaker Chambers, Alger Hiss, and their ilk.

    But I always come back to this when considering the leadership: Does anyone who can adopt the view that "the end justifies the means" REALLY care about mankind? If they can't discern that, in a sense, the entire forest can be seen in one tree (or that the first word in "mankind" is "man") then I doubt they ever really cared about the whole any more than they did for the individual.

    And then we also need to consider the manner in which they often exterminated those they perceived to be standing in the way of Utopia. It's one thing to gas people to death, but when you're torturing them, starving them, and bayoneting them to death... what does that say about your authentic feelings about man and mankind?

    Anyway, Bro, I greatly enjoyed Part 1 and am definitely looking forward to the next 2 Parts. I am always heartened by someone who has done serious research into a topic and knows it very well - as you obviously do! If you gathered 100 Americans at random and put them in a room, how many would you find who understand this topic to the degree YOU do? Out of 100? Zero. Maybe one in ten thousand... and that's a cautious "maybe".

    Great stuffs, Brother Martin. Can I make one suggestion?... I wish you separated your topics a little more, maybe by using 3 different blogs, depending upon the subject. I mean, what you have written here is really important but it has already been buried under several other blog bits that are more "entertainment"-focused.

    I wish you would start a strictly Political blog - or, Political / Social Commentary blog - that was a separate entity from the Music / Walks With Scrappy posts. I feel this installment was too important and well researched to have been "pushed down from view" so soon.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. "But I always come back to this when considering the leadership: Does anyone who can adopt the view that "the end justifies the means" REALLY care about mankind?" Exactly what my son was getting at today when he read it and mentioned basically that it ain't utopia if it's populated by nothing but worker bees.

      I have considered splitting the blog, but I just don't see myself as a big enough fish to warrant it. The Caps blog and the Story Page at the top are about as far as I want to go with that.

      Oh, BTW, working on my concept of the one hit wonder post. Using the Wikipedia list, I decided to trim it further. Only top 5s, no other hot hundred appearances. How many do you suppose that left me from 1960-1983?

      Answer: Depending on how liberal I am with my rules, 22 or 25. Still deciding how to play with that info.

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    2. After this, I found an article at http://www.americandailyherald.com/pundits/christopher-c-m-warren/item/karl-marx-and-the-communist-religion-of-hate That clued me in on what you meant about Marx. I think there are two kinds of atheist. One is the guy who thinks he's an atheist just because he hasn't thought about it. The other is the true atheist, who has the void filled by Satan whether he realizes it or not, and follows in that same insane quest for "revenge on God" that Marx wrote about. Too blinded by the "strong delusion" to know that they aren't rejecting the idea of God- they are fighting the person of God.

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    1. Well, the top 5 thing cuts it from hundreds of chart hits to a more manageable couple of dozen. I'd like to make a post out of it, not a book! I'd probably still have 75-80 songs if I made it top ten. It's just going to make for too unwieldy a post otherwise.

      Caps blog gets it's own place because of it being my hobby (thus exalted status). Many bloggers I've known separate a hobby blog off from their general stuff.

      Tried to check out that book cover, but your link was broken and most of the others I couldn't blow up big enough for a good look, but I got the gist of it.

      I wish the link I told you about would have done more than a passing shot at Russian leaders being involved in "worshipping Moloch." That's the kind of bomb you throw in that messes up the whole credibility of the article.

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