Saturday, May 2, 2015

Communism and the Will to Destroy

Hatred of capitalism, and in particular hatred of America never seems to go out of fashion.

In some quarters, that is.

People who pretend to be serious intellectuals still run on about American hegemony, about commodification and about consumerism. Truth be told, they attract a legion of naïve and overeducated American graduate students.

Intellectuals like Alain Badiou and Slavoj Zizek wax nostalgic for Communism. They call for a return to Marx. They still express their love of Mao and his Cultural Revolution. Some like Judith Butler join movements calling for the severe punishment of the state of Israel.

The Berlin Wall fell over twenty-five years ago and the neo-Communist left is still railing about what’s wrong with capitalism. The Chinese government replaced Maoism with capitalism over three decades ago and succeeded in bring prosperity to hundreds of millions of people. And, yet supposedly serious thinkers continue to pine away for the Great Helmsman.

One might say that they are living their intellectual perversity, but still, isn’t it disgracefully irresponsible to continue to promote communism today?

Call them sore losers, but surely they testify to the truth of the statement that some people never learn. They cling (bitterly) to their religion and pay no heed to the human cost. Undoubtedly, they consider the destruction visited on people by communism a test of their faith. 

Or else they feel that competing cultures should be judged in terms of body count. They do not believe in cultures that protect and provide for people. They believe that the more powerful regimes kill the most people.

As for the price of communism, Reason.com (via Maggie’s Farm) has some statistics. Yes, I understand that statistics are not as sexy as big ideas—especially ideas that no one understands-- but still, the lives that were destroyed by communism do deserve some acknowledgment.

Reason.com lays out the facts:

According to a disturbingly pleasant graphic from Information is Beautifulentitled simply 20th Century Death, communism was the leading ideological cause of death between 1900 and 2000. The 94 million that perished in China, the Soviet Union, North Korea, Afghanistan, and Eastern Europe easily (and tragically) trump the 28 million that died under fascist regimes during the same period.

During the century measured, more people died as a result of communism than from homicide (58 million) and genocide (30 million) put together. The combined death tolls of WWI (37 million) and WWII (66 million) exceed communism’s total by only 9 million.

It gets worse when you look at the lower right of the chart—The Natural World—which includes animals (7 million), natural disasters (24 million), and famine (101 million). Curiously, all of the world’s worst famines during the 20th century were in communist countries: China (twice!), the Soviet Union, and North Korea. 

Whine all you like about the perils of consumerism, but you should also entertain a few thoughts for communism’s greatest achievement: starvationism.

While you are bemoaning Western commodification—which the French see in terms of merchandise-- you should recognize that communist regimes did not provide very many, if any commodities or merchandise.

To be fair, serious continental thinkers do not believe in facts. They believe in their own ideas... the facts be damned.

One might say that the destruction produced by communism needs to be balanced against its great achievements. The problem is, communism never had any great achievements. It never even had any achievements.

It’s destruction and deconstruction all the way down.

8 comments:

JK Brown said...

How many millions must be massacred before academia decides they must move on to a new flavor of Marxism?

I've never been able to get the professors to answer that question. They are quick to point out the failed varieties and rush to insert a new "and improved" variety in its place, but they won't say how many deaths before they feel compelled to move to the next "new and improved".

Ares Olympus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ares Olympus said...

Wow, no mention of the latest Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders?

Always remember "Socialism" = "Communism" because the USSR was the Union of Soviet Socialists Republic. See? Also remember, all Socialists are sociopaths, because they both start with soci-.

Or maybe we have a chance to learn something new while if we stop projecting what other people know that just ain't so?

Back to Sanders, what's up?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernie_Sanders .... Sanders is a self-described democratic socialist and has praised Scandinavian-style social democracy.
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_socialism
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Democratic socialism is a political ideology advocating a democratic political system alongside a socialist economic system. This may refer to extending principles of democracy in the economy (such as through cooperatives or workplace democracy), or may simply refer to trends of socialism that emphasize democratic principles as inalienable from their political project.
...
Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont is a self-described democratic socialist, and is the only self-described socialist to ever be elected to the United States Senate.
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Well, that's trouble, the only one? And of course President Obama himself joked at the Correspondents Dinner about Sanders running for president as an "Obama third term."
http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2015/04/26/402293168/7-obama-jokes-that-stood-out-from-the-white-house-correspondents-dinner
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8. A Third Obama Term (Sorta): Talking about how much he liked Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who could run for the Democratic nomination for president: "Apparently people really want to see a pot-smoking socialist in the White House. We could get a third Obama term after all."
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So that's a tricky endorsement to parse, but I'll agree President Sanders will be just as isolated and impotent as President Obama.

Hmmm... looking at the 2012 Presidential election map by state, perhaps secession isn't such a bad idea? Sanders and Obama are from the Northeast, and could win a clean map if we split Indiana down the middle.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2012

And if we look at federal spending by state, I'm betting the mid-north-eastern US probably could do much better if stop transferring all that wealth to the southern states. Let’s see:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_taxation_and_spending_by_state#Tables_of_federal_taxation_and_spending_by_state

Wow, Minnesota's #2 in the chump-state category, giving $90 billion to the federal government, and getting $50 billion back. New York is pretty chumpy itself paying out $232 billion and getting back $143.

I think those tea-partiers have some good ideas we should consider.

Minnesota at least has a large Scandinavian population, and might just like to be a part of a
Scandinavian-style social democracy.

Let's do it! But before we break the union, let's get rid of some of these Nukes in the Dakota before the Injuns take over and do who knows what! I hope Winona LaDuke will agree to be our ambassador to the new Dakota nation. I wonder if the Dakota people consider themselves communists or socialists?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dakota_people
And as a bonus the Southwest can merge with Mexico and illegal immigration solved!

n.n said...

Marxism and derivatives are opiates of the masses. More than moral philosophy, they are designed to suppress the will of the people through redistributive change. They are ideologies that reconcile individual dignity and intrinsic value to grant progressive monopoly power to a minority by design, not chance.

That said, the sacrificial rites adopted by the American left, while not unique, the propaganda and religious undertones are... well, progressive.

priss rules said...

Communism sucks but I wouldn't worry about it.

And Zizek is a clown. He doesn't mean anything he says. He's a fantasy communist who actually says harsh things about communism.

Today, it's all about oligarchic capitalism.

It's Hollywood that is feeding us trash, Las Vegas that is hooking us to gambling, Wall Street that is robbing us blind, and the super-rich that is pushing 'gay marriage' and destroying pizzerias that won't cater to 'gay weddings'.

Capitalism works better than communism, but it can also corrupt us with hedonism, gluttony, and narcissism.

Lena Dunham and Miley Cyrus are products of capitalism. And girls are growing up with that kind of trash as role models.

Sam L. said...

Yes, the rich, the wealthy, and the well-off have the time and money to complain, complain, complain. Piss and moan. assault the less well-off. Send their kids to Leftist-run schools to become tools of the left to complain, complain, complain, and mob those who don't.

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