Saturday, April 1, 2017

Commemorating the Bolshevik Revolution

Why is Daniel Hannan the only one out there commemorating the centenary of the Bolshevik Revolution? Surely there are more than a few brain dead graduate students longing for a return to Marx.

For the sake of perspective, Hannan introduces the body count of the various Communist Revolutions:

The revolution, in other words, began as it was to continue: with looting. It wasn’t long, though, before the looting turned to bloodshed – bloodshed on an unimaginable, oceanic scale.

Nothing had prepared humanity for so much slaughter. Perhaps ten million indigenous Americans were killed by European pathogens after Columbus. A similar number of people died in the Atlantic slave trade. The Nazis killed 17 million. The Communists killed 100 million – some shot after show trials, some tortured to death, some starved to enforce collectivisation.

To the mind of your average graduate student the body count, the cost in blood, the cost in human life is a sign that Communism was on the side of the Devil, the side of the most awesome power to do ill.

Hannan asks whether they are all gullible or just stupid: 

Is it that young people are gullible? Do they insist on seeing the defining ethic of Communism as fairness rather than force? Do they cling to the idea that there is some idealised form of Marxism, one without secret police or shortages, just waiting to be tried?

Or is it the opposite? Is it precisely the pitilessness, the purity, the inhumanity, that attracts them? In every age and nation, some people – often young men – are drawn to ideologies that promise a completely new way of life, ideologies that make no concession to human frailties, nor to past practice. In this regard, at any rate, the appeal of Communism is not so different from the appeal of Daesh.

For people who believe only in the power of destruction, Communism and all the other nihilist sects will ultimately win out over the good guys, over the simpletons who try to live a good life, to do right by themselves and their families, who want to add value to their communities and to humanity.

To the mind of the useless graduate student, this makes them losers. Because, don’t you know it, these great minds have discovered the ultimate truth: in the end we are all dead.

1 comment:

Ares Olympus said...

October 1917 and October 2017 - are new hidden revolutions afoot? And who will lead these revolutions, Left or Right? And Trump and Bannon as self-declared populists perhaps are plotting right now? Maybe Sanders would have destroyed from the left, but for now its the right that is in manufactured chaos before the storm we can't avoid.

It does get complicated that Sander's "Democratic socialism" idealism is so easily grouped with the murderous USSR communism that banned private property as if there is no middle ground. Really I have no idea why FDR's efforts didn't end up will tens of millions dead. And Sander's socialistic populism maybe be the only other game in town if we abandon the imagined "Meritocracy" ideology of Hillary, propped up by cheap debt from the Federal reserve, that does the same thing as Republicans, helping the wealthy get more wealthy, just slightly more slowly.

I saw Peggy Noonan had an interesting article yesterday, basically seeing Socialism in our future, unless Trump (or another to follow) can really be the Moderate Populist Trump promised to be.
Near the end of the campaign I wrote a column called “Imagine a Sane Donald Trump,” lamenting that I believed he was crazy, and too bad. Too bad because his broad policy assertions, or impulses, suggested he understood that 2008 and the years just after (the crash and the weak recovery) had changed everything in America, and that the country was going to choose, in coming decades, one of two paths—a moderate populism or socialism—and that the former was vastly to be preferred, for reasons of the nation’s health.

A gifted politician could make his party the leader toward that path, which includes being supportive and encouraging of business but willing to harness government to alleviate the distress of the abandoned working class and the anxious middle class; strong on defense but neither aggressive nor dreamy in world affairs; realistic and nonradical on social issues while unmistakably committed to protecting the freedoms of the greatest cohering force in America, its churches; and aware that our nation’s immigration reality was a scandal created by both parties, and must be redressed.
It amazes me that in his dealings with the health-care bill Mr. Trump revealed that he has no deep knowledge of who his base is, who his people are. I’ve never seen that in politics. But Mr. Trump’s supporters didn’t like the bill. If they had wanted a Republican president who deals only with the right, to produce a rightist bill, they would have chosen Ted Cruz. Instead they chose someone outside conservatism who backed big-ticket spending on infrastructure and opposed cutting entitlements, which suggested he’d be working with Democrats, too.
Crisis reveals the character, the essential nature of a White House. Seventy days in, that is my worry.

Noonan is not hopeful that Trump can be anything other than he is, a puppet for whatever voice whispers into his ear or twitter feed.

I'm curious how Trump will handle an economic crisis or even the impending 20 trillion dollar debt ceiling brinkmanship. It seems clear that he'll be weaker than most - he'll listen to moneyed interests tell him how to protect their wealth, about the same as W and O did in 2008/09. New fake money will be created, even other other fake money (or net worths) are destroyed.

It's easy to see Trump's revolution will be different.