Communism: Learning from the Past and Present

As I have put forth in my previous posts, a socialist government is the best political system to be realized today in the interests of the 99%. But if we are going to move towards having the power taken back from the rich and given to its rightful owners, the workers, we must avoid making the mistakes made by Communist countries today and in the past.

One of the most dangerous actions taken by the radical leftist governments of the past is that they tried to realize unrealistic goals too soon. E.g., China had its “Great Leap Forward,” the Soviets under Stalin always put forth these “5 Year Plans” that hurt the Russian people at the hands of Stalin’s vain attempts at greatness, and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia killed over a million of their countrymen partially due to economic reforms. And these often just occurred to catch up with capitalist countries in the areas of industry, science, military, and infrastructurevtoo fast. Foolish.

The are two reasons why this is true, namely:

  1. Revolutionaries have no idea how to run a country. This often leads to unspeakable hardships and suffering for the reasons mentioned above in the pursuit of grand ideals.
  2. The three countries outlined above, i.e., Stalin’s Soviet Union, Mao’s China, and the Khmer Rouge’s Cambodia, were ruled under brutal dictators, or very small groups of leaders, who ran authoritarian governments. They involved purges, gulags, and mass murders of so-called “enemies of the people.” And these things are still taking place in North Korea under the rule of the Kim family and their latest criminal, thug leader, Kim Jong Un.

But in terms of the socialist experiment in Cuba, we could learn a lot of positive things from them. The U.S. capitalist media would have you believe that the Castros are no different than Stalin or Un, but what they don’t report are the great strides towards equality taking place in the small island country. E.g., they have redistributed land to the peasants through land reform. Once the Cuban peasants were slaves to rich plantation owners, but as a result of the revolution, the land owned by the corporations and plantation owners has now been divided amongst the people who work the land. And that is just one example of the successful reforms. They have also gotten away from just being a sugar-dominated economy and even become a powerhouse in the research and development of new medicines that are often purchased, yes, by the U.S. government.

Yet this has succeeded by not having some grand goal of building a developing country into a society where they are immediately just as technologically advanced as  the U.S. These are examples of how ideas and policies could be learned from a socialist society to be translated instilled in a more equal America.

So in conclusion, the brutality of Stalin’s Soviet Union, Mao’s China, and Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge is due to harsh authoritarian governments, not an attempted realization of a fully socialist society. These dictatorships had vain rulers trying to advance mostly Third-World countries into global players too fast. Yet we can look to somewhere like Cuba for positive ideas to enact here in the U.S. in pursuit of a more egalitarian society.

A Couple of Not-So-Funny (But Still Funny) Articles on April 1

Two articles from the Atlantic today do a little tickling of the funny bone and only somewhat unintentionally.  The first is about the “paradox of second amendment hardliners” and is summed up in the sub header from the piece:

Conservatives say armed citizens are an essential guard against government tyranny. They also support massive military spending. How is that supposed to work?

I’m not an expert but pretty sure that one isn’t going to work like that.

This is a humorous paradox for gun rights advocates.  I suppose the answer to the gun control debate is to disarm the military so everyone is safer domestically.  When that happens, I’m sure there will be plenty of compromise and warmth between the two sides when it comes to banning military style weapons for civilian sale.

But then again, we do have North Korea to worry about.  Which brings us to the second article of the day.  It appears the fearsome prowess of their military was on display, literally, as their maps show they are going to shoot missiles at American cities.  Just one problem.  Their projections on the map imply the planet they live on is flat.  Someone might want to inform Mr. Kim of his planners’ mistake (assuming, of course, he didn’t draw the lines himself or have his good friend Dennis Rodman do it).  Heads will roll!

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty’s Hypocrisy

South_Korea_North_Korea-0d7eeAround noon today local time, North Korea conducted a third nuclear test. The underground explosion registered on the seismic scale  showing that it was the most powerful explosion of the three so far. Now on April 10th, 2003, North Korea backed out of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty’s (NPT) agreement to resume its nuclear program which it signed on to in 1985. The North Koreans sees these weapons as essential to their own national security and an opportunity to flex it’s military muscle internationally.

Now, does it not seem that the NPT is one of the most hypocritical international treatise on the books? Why should the superpowers who first developed nuclear weapons get to say, “That’s it. Whoever hasn’t developed a nuclear device yet cannot develop one.” Shouldn’t the aim of treatise of this sort be to eliminate nuclear weapons worldwide, not just limit them to certain leading actors in the international community? No one wants certain rogue countries like Iran and North Korea to have them but I also don’t want the U.S., Russia, and China to have them also. It seems that the NPT is missing the point of what should be done by the U.N. and the IAEA in general, i.e., pressure nations worldwide to abandon or dissolve all nuclear programs.

Read Here.

North Korean Nuclear Test and Sanctions

1583425681357439171The Post reports that North Korea announced on state t.v. that the government will begin new nuclear tests in reaction to new U.N. sanctions sponsored by the United States. And in return, the U.S. and China plan for even tougher sanctions if the tests are undertaken.

This report has reinforced my view that much of the time sanctions imposed upon “rogue” nations, i.e., any country that does not bow to the alter of the U.S. and the U.N., does not usually work. Now I do recognize that sanctions against Iraq stopped their WMD production, but it did not give to a peoples’ revolution to overthrow the dictator. And look at Cuba, North Korea, and Iran. Sanctions there have had no affect on the leaders’ ambitions but have only harmed the peoples of those nations.

Please comment if you have any relevant opinions or if you disagree with me. This idea is new to me and I may be wrong.

Revolutions and Media Control

imagesIn most revolutions many new regimes intimidate, if not completely takeover, the nation’s media outlets. They fear outside influence by foreign governments and Thermidorian periods which may result in counter-revolutions.

Now, counter to many accusations, I am a true democrat. The possibility of a government controlled press absolutely frightens and sickens me as a citizen of these United States. Yet, I can understand the position of revolutionary government in monitoring and censoring the media. A good example would be that of Cuba following Castro’s overthrow of Batista. With the overthrow of a government with a backer as large and as powerful as the United States looming so large just 90 miles north, flooding your airways with propaganda and launching military attacks in efforts to overthrow the new government, seems to me a justifiable position from which to launch a media takeover.

But what happens is that media control in these new regimes lasts far too long. In my opinion, and it may be called an unqualified one, should last two decades, at the longest, as determined by necessity. After that time period the people should be able to express their views, and especially their criticisms, regarding their new government.  But we have seen how long this media control can outlive its usefulness in societies around the world and throughout history, such as in China, Russia, Cuba, and North Korea.

So as related to this expression of the writer’s opinion, is a good article in The Guardian regarding Google’s attempt to bring uncensored internet and mobile phones to the people of North Korea.