Tag Archives: communism

The Myth of Progress

A good article entitled “The Myth of “Progressive” Thinking”, https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/the-myth-of-progressive-thinking
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“Progress” is, I believe a much misused and abused word.

“The Ballad of Lenin’s Tomb” by Robert William Service

The below extract is taken from “The Ballad of Lenin’s Tomb, a satirical and witty poem by Robert William Service:

“Where Lenin lies the red flag flies, and the rat-grey workers wait
To tread the gloom of Lenin’s Tomb, where the Comrade lies in state.
With lagging pace they scan his face, so weary yet so firm;
For years a score they’ve laboured sore to save him from the worm.
The Kremlin walls are grimly grey, but Lenin’s Tomb is red,
And pilgrims from the Sour Lands say: “He sleeps and is not dead. ”

To read the poem in it’s entirety please visit, https://mypoeticside.com/show-classic-poem-26448.

I have a sneaking suspicion that Service may have been just a tiny bit unwelcome in the former Soviet Union after having penned “The Ballad of Lenin’s Tomb”. But I can’t for the life of me imagine why that might be!

Karl Marx Discussed Factors of Production with His Maid

Karl Marx discussed factors of production
With his maid
Who, no longer staid
Learned about equality,
The seduction
Of maid
By master
And what it is
To be free.

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helene_Demuth).

Das Kapital Anyone?

In a Guardian comment piece entitled “The truth about Capitalism is out as Marx’s magic cap starts to slip”, Giles Fraser, an inner city priest in London launches a frontal attack on capitalism and, in essence argues that Karl Marx’s analysis of Capitalism is correct, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2017/oct/05/the-truth-about-capitalism-is-out-as-marxs-magic-cap-starts-to-slip.

The article contains many weaknesses:

1. Fraser fails to mention the many crimes committed by Communist states (E.G. Stalin’s Russia and Mao’s China). Of course it will be objected by some that true Communism/Marxism has never been tried and that the states styling themselves Marxist where nothing of the kind.

My response is, how many people need to die before Marxism is laid to rest along with Marx in Highgate cemetery?

2. Fraser details the problems associated with Capitalism but there is no such analysis of the profound difficulties flowing from attempts to implement Marx’s ideas.

3. Apart from a few extreme anarcho-capitalists, very few supporters of market economics advocate completely unrestrained capitalism. In the early 19th-century the Conservative social reformer, Lord Shaftsbury was instrumental in bringing in “The Climbing Boys Act” which banned the use of children as chimney sweeps.

Long before the first Socialist government was elected in the UK measures to curb the worst excesses of unrestrained Capitalism where on the statute books.

Again anti-discrimination legislation is not merely a preserve of the left.

The Americans with Disabilities Act was introduced by the Republican Party under Ronald Reagan while the UK’s Disability Discrimination Act (now the Equalities Act) was brought in by the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher).

Both pieces of legislation place limits on what employers can do by prohibiting discrimination against disabled people (I.E. by placing restraints on Capitalism red in tooth and claw).

Fraser fails to acknowledge this.

4. For all its faults a mixed economy (containing a good dose of Capitalism) is more efficient than any alternative yet discovered.

Again Fraser fails to acknowledge this.

In conclusion, there are many faults with Capitalism. The mixed economy (containing a good dose of market economics) does, however ensure political and economic freedom and its excesses are capable of being reformed.

LongAgo

Long ago
I used to know
A lady who thought that Communism was best.
So, we sat drinking fine wine
(Enjoying the trappings of the west),
And I would smile while
She argued that the Berlin wall
Must not fall
As it protected,
The system she respected.

She was neither bad nor mad
But I, as a mere lad
Could see
The people of the east were not free.
A precocious teenager I was
Who argued because
I believed,
And also I perceived
That it was fun
To have adults on the run.

Now the wall has come down
And secret policemen drown
Their sorrows in champagne,
And use their brain
For financial gain.

My old friend
Saw Communism’s end.
I wonder does she remember a precocious teen
Who did preen,
Yet maintained a dream
That tyranny would end
And believed,
That for all its faults
The West
Was best?

The Great Wall of China

Those who control
And patrol
Are accepted
(not rejected),
For they prevent disorder
By protecting the cyber border.

Who needs Mill
When you can shop
As you will.
And the chop does fall
On those who look beyond the Chinese wall.

On BBC Radio 4’s “The World Tonight”, which was broadcast on Thursday 3 August, an interviewer asked a number of Chinese people what they thought of their country’s heavily restricted internet. (In China Twitter, Facebook and Google are banned and government approved channels are utilised by those wishing to go online). A few chinese do bypass blocking by using Virtual Private Networks (VPNS) and other similar services, however the majority of the Chinese population search for information and interact online using the approved (government) channels.
None of those interviewed criticised censorship. Indeed one interviewee went so far as to say that he approved of it, as the government needs to prevent disorder.
The interviews took place in a public park, which cause me to wonder whether all those being interviewed would have been quite so supportive of the Chinese Wall had the questioning taken place in private.
While I have visited China, I did not go online while there so have no experience of the great cyber wall surrounding that country.

Dialogue

A school playground

A hut

Rain drumming

“Are they coming?”

Debating

“Escaping?”

“From what?”

“From the crowd which stifles”

“But you want to be part of the herd, to play and run with the pack”

“Do I?”

“You long to be lost in the waves, to become part of the great tide”.

“But the tide is impersonal with neither heart nor soul. It sweeps all before it battering the weak and the vulnerable”.

“Oh, but to be part of the whole, to feel the power of the mass, the banners waving, torches blazing”.

“Thank you kindly but I would rather sit, alone in my hut”.