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Showing posts with label Communism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Communism. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

So Much For Government Force

It really sucks that the Cliven Bundy kerfuffle has now all become about race. What it should be about is a deadbeat receiving a government handout who thinks, as a communist would ironically, that land belongs to everyone. I thought conservatives were all about property rights...

But what really perplexes me about all of this is how the government, which I have been told many, many times will come with guns and force citizens to pay taxes if they haven not, has given up for the time being. Obviously, they don't want another Waco and with all the attention on Bundy, as well as the militia guys frothing at the mouth to fire their guns, any sort of forceful action would still look bad even given how much of an asshole Bundy has shown himself to be.

I guess the government really isn't in the "force" business after all and apparently is a lot weaker than we think.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

What Would He Say?

The Christian Science Monitor had a cover story a couple of weeks back titled, "What Would Mao Say?" that was most illuminating. The first three paragraphs say it all.

Yang Youwei owns a slaughterhouse, holds a big chunk of shares in a nearby coal mine, sits on the coal mine board, and runs the company that sells the mine's production. He drives a black Rolls-Royce. He walks like a capitalist; he talks like a capitalist. He is easily the richest man in this small village 300 miles south of Beijing. And he is also Yangjiaxiang's top communist, secretary of the local party. 

Welcome to the paradoxical world of today's Chinese Communist Party.

Modern day China is an excellent illustration of why there is virtually no chance of the world ever seeing a truly totalitarian government ever again. Sure, we still have our stragglers like North Korea and Iran as well as failed states in Africa and the Middle East but these are obvious outliers. If want to be in the global marketplace, you have to adapt and that means embracing capitalism, unfettered trade, and free markets. If not, you are going to be on the outside and much less prosperous. This is why I chuckle and shake my head when I hear the Right blow bowel after bowel about the looming threat of communism. It failed. And even a country like China, with all its military might and government control, can't stop it.

Mao would be outraged and likely confounded, as the article notes, to see how terribly wrong he was in his vision for China. What would he say?

He would be speechless.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Despite Reality, They Can't Let Go

I had lunch with an old friend and colleague last week who teaches 7th grade Social Studies at the junior high that my daughter will be attending next year. As we were talking shop, she told me that she was at the point in the year when she begins her unit on the Communist Revolution in China. Like many teachers around the state, she uses the film To Live in support of this unit to illustrate what happened in China during that time.

The film tells the story the Chinese Civil War, The Great Leap Forward, and The Cultural Revolution as seen through the eyes of one family. It's a gut wrenching piece that several students always have difficulty with due to its stark and very accurate portrayal of the horrors of communism. If you haven't seen the film, I highly recommend it. I've used it many times myself in class.

In fact, the film is so critical of Communism, that it has been banned in China. My colleague's entire unit takes this same critical approach as well. Twelve and thirteen year old kids in her class (and around the state as it is a Minnesota standard) see with their own eyes exactly what happens under totalitarian regimes.

As she told me of some of the reactions (some students have to cover their eyes or leave the room during some parts of the film), I began to think about the complaints from the right (in particular right wing blog pundits like Kevin Baker), that communism is soft pedaled in schools. Or that the teachers themselves are communists and indoctrinating our children into becoming little maoists. Given the fact that my colleague and many like her have taught this same unit for the last 15 years or more, I simply don't get from where this paranoia arises. It's just not true.

It would be one thing if Kevin and his followers were outliers but they aren't. Pastor Ed at my gym thinks the same thing. Former Navy Secretary and now Romney national security adviser John Lehman said recently,"We are seeing the Soviets pushing into the Arctic with no response from us." 

The Soviets? Really?

It seems that no amount of truth or facts can persuade them. They needs to have themselves a commie threat otherwise they simply can't identify themselves or their place in the world. Such a deep level of willful ignorance frustrates me on so many levels that it's pathetic.

What exists inside of these people that they simply can't let go despite reality?