Laura Doesn’t Think Much of Communism February 24, 2014Posted by Sobek in News.
I wanted to throw in my two cents about this.
Obviously, the standard conservative response when a young brain-dead re-discovers the glories of the proletariat movement is a sarcastic “sure, maybe this time it will work.” Let me make a few other points.
Come and See the Violence Inherent in the System!
Young Brain-Dead: Sure, every single communist regime has ended up (or started out by) butchering millions of people, but that’s only because they did it wrong!
Sobek: Actually, Marx made it pretty clear that violence is an integral part of the plan. “In depicting the most general phases of the development of the proletariat, we traced the more or less veiled civil war, raging within existing society, up to the point where the war breaks out into open revolution, and where the violent overthrow of the bourgeoisie lays the foundation for the sway of the proletariat.” Marx (Verso: London, 1998), p. 49.
“The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a communistic relovution.” p. 77
Marx didn’t just say hey, maybe we should all share our stuff. No, he had a theory of history, that ours is a history of class struggle that moves inevitably toward the increased concentration of wealth in the hands of a smaller and smaller group, which provokes a violent revolution by the oppressed masses.
Let’s Talk About the Weather
Young Brain-Dead: The only reason so many people died is because they had crummy luck with the weather!
Sobek: That doesn’t explain all the dead bodies in places where the weather’s nice, so this one applies more for the Soviets and ChiComs than for the Cubans or Venezuelans or Vietnamese or the East Germans or the rest of ’em.
There’s a great book called “Silent Steppe: The Memoir of a Kazakh Nomad Under Stalin,” by Mukhamet Shayakhmetov. He was about nine when the Soviets decided to bring progress to the Asian steppes and tell them how they and their ancestors were doing it all wrong for the past 500 years. By quirk of history, the same year the Soviets came in and stole the cattle from the nomads and forced them into agriculture (although neither the Soviets nor the nomads knew how to grow crops), there was a massive drought. So what would have been a bad harvest due to inexperience turned into no harvest due to inexperience combined with no rain. Traditional Kazakh society utterly collapsed, and millions of people starved to death. Therefore, argues the Young Brain-Dead, it’s not communism’s fault, it was just bad weather!
Well, no. Because the 1920s were not the first time there was a drought in the Asian steppe. The nomads had experienced and managed drought for hundreds of years. They had developed strategies to deal with drought. People could still suffer and even die in a bad year, but never before had 1.5 million Kazakhs starved to death in a year.