You'd think the best response to an idiot like Jim Honeyford trying to scare us about communism would be the easy response. You know, just DON'T be an idiot yourself. And yet, Kendrick Washington of the ACLU seems compelled to see if he can be just as big an idiot as Honeyford by trying to conflate capitalism with slavery and taking a page from the Hugo Chavez book on "American imperialism."
Maybe while he's at it Kendrick Washington can advocate that our history books teach that George Washington was a war criminal.
The best way to keep children off of Communism is to cure poverty.
GOP knows that platitudes are much cheaper.
As a kid, I was naturally terrified of communism as my parents built a fallout shelter during the cuban missile crisis.
It was repurposed as a pantry and wine cellar.
No nation has ever been communist, now or in history.
Simply calling yourself communist, or others labeling you communist, does not mean you're following any of the actual tenets of communism.
North Korea and the Congo both call themselves "Democratic Republics" for fucks sake. Labels mean nothing.
he best Hurry
today's Kids are
way too Smart to be
frightened by Capitalists
looking for Scapegoats to blame
for this Mess that is America today.
we have 4 or 5% of the Planet's population
and TWENTY PERCENT OF COVID CASES
and DEATHS. but sure, let's blame KKKommies
and the Socialisms.
@4: Joseph Stalin, according to Wikipedia, had "communist ideologically committed to the Leninist interpretation of Marxism" - perhaps not "pure communism" enough for some, but certainly bloody enough.
Communism is the perfection of Capitalism.
Sokath, his eyes uncovered
Ohhhh, I get it now :) "Heritage Foundation" means the only money worth having, the only way to get on in America, is to inherit it.
And Communism has every intention of taking all that money away from you, and giving it to the poors who were stupid enough to get born into a family that wasn't obscenely wealthy.
Damn those poors unto the seventh generation!
(says Honeyford, presumably)
The more communists, the better.
I have communists in my family. They're good people. Better than those relatives who belong to the Police Force.
No communist ever pointed a loaded gun at me. Not since I left Viet Nam, anyway.
Workers Of The World Unite.
You Have Nothing To Lose But Your Chains.
The closest the Soviet Union ever came to communism was when the Bolsheviks handed out parcels of land to farmers after the revolution and essentially told them to work amongst themselves how to distribute the food around the nation.
While not a complete failure, they struggled to get a working system going.
When Stalin took charge he threw that out the window and appointed his buddies to decide for the farmers how their produce would be distributed. i.e., not communism.
A far better education would be to teach children about how capitalism has destroyed the world and will be the death of all of us in the end, but hey, why teach truth when you can take a theory and pretend it's real and scare the kids!!!
@9: So a cop relative pointed a loaded gun at you?
@10 - Thanks. We can be grateful that capitalism is able accommodate greed and corruption in order to create a functioning government and society with better success than communism.
I'm pretty sure fascism is what kids need to learn how to fight right now. Communism is not a clear and present danger.
@10: This is the no-true-scotsman fallacy. When somebody points out that the real-world application of a utopian idea has never produced the promised results, claim that it didn't count because they did it wrong. It's no different from Libertarians claiming that perfectly free and open markets are the solutions to all our problems, but they've never been tried.
Any treatment of 20th Century history that failed to mention the tens of millions of deaths under Stalin and Mao would be willfully ignoring mass murder and genocide, just as would any history that failed to mention the Holocaust. But the curriculum shouldn't be written by these John Birch Society assholes, because they'll insist on claiming that all the people who died under Stalin's reign are why we shouldn't have Food Stamps.
Schools shouldn't be in the business of deciding which horrific chapters of history to leave out because they reflect badly on somebody's pet ideology. Not just because it's dishonest but because it will backfire.
Jesus raindrop, you have been on a roll with some really dumb sounding comments in the past couple days.
First, we have no idea if capitalism is better than communism because, as I've already pointed out, communism has never truly been implemented.
Second, capitalism amplifies greed, it doesn't accommodate it (I assume by that you mean it controls greed). The United States is a great example of capitalism morphing into its natural outcome: A plutocracy at best or a kleptocracy at worst. Americans have been living in a plutocracy for quite some time now, most people just haven't realized it yet.
The basic problem with Marx's analysis is that it posits societies move through stages in accordance with natural law - like an insect that proceeds from larva to pupa to imago. This was a perfectly natural, but misguided, application of the Modernist impulse to social development.
Terms like "capitalism" and "communism" have the same problem. People say "oh, that's not really communism" or whatever, as if communism has some independent existence or eternal essence that we might discover and measure if we look hard enough - the same way we discovered the Strong Nuclear Force. But that's all a lot of reified b.s.
What matters in socio-economics is who has the power. And what they do with it.
@17: Jeeeesus yourself. @14 was kind of a joke but truthful in the respect that capitalism utilizes the human condition far better than communism. That's why communism remains politically elusive.
Sure, capitalism amplifies greed, so what the F*** is wrong with that?
I suggest you differentiate the ideal from the practical.
A truly communist state is one in which all property is communally owned/shared by the proletariat, there are no social classes, no money, and no state government because they're unneeded. Was any of that true of the Soviet Union ever? Does that describe China right now?
It IS a utopian idea. Utopia means an imaginary fantasy of a perfect place. Imaginary. Fantasy. As in: doesn't exist. Never has.
Calling the Soviet Union or China or Venezuela or Cuba as "communist countries" is a lie and is why so many people have no idea what communism or socialism is.
The Bolsheviks WANTED communism. Ho Chi Mihn WANTED communism. They never got it though. Communism was sort of nearly tried in the USSR, but within months, it was usurped by the strongmen and poof, it was gone, as is what always happens when people aspire to real, true freedom.
I don't know if I'd call the Soviet Union a State Capitalist nation, or an administrative planned economy, or an oligarchy, or just a totalitarian party dictatorship, but it definitely wasn't communist.
While I agree atrocities need to be taught in history, don't lie and call them by ideologies that they were not.
"Sure, capitalism amplifies greed, so what the F*** is wrong with that?"
The wealthiest nation in the history of the world, that lets its citizens go bankrupt because of medical bills, and billionaires live blocks away from homeless encampments.
Surely Rich means desegregating schools. The Stranger really needs to hire a copy editor so those types of mistakes are caught.
I largely admire Senator Wellman but I think it's bonkers for her to have given this comical bill a hearing, especially in a largely remote session which inherently limits the number of bills that can be heard.
@21: Your problem is that you think we can have a political system devoid of greed and corruption. That's impossible.
And to implement it would probably require strict authoritarianism. You might be relived of medical bills and homeless encampments but that's not worth the price of liberty.
@20 so it sure sounds like communism is an unreachable utopia in your description because inevitably people act in their own self interest over that of the communal whole thus it will never be possible to reach this nirvana of "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs." While it is true the US is the wealthiest nation with a wide disparity in income I can't name another nation where that is not the case regardless of their political system. The only thing that changes as @18 noted is who has the power and how they wield it. For my part it still seems to me that capitalism provides much more opportunity for mobility between classes than other systems so even with its flaws its worth keeping as we try to make it better.
"When Stalin took charge he threw that [idealized/as-yet-un-Realized Communism] out the window and appointed his buddies to decide for the farmers how their produce would be distributed.
Zactly what hair
Furor was shootin' for
thnk Gawd he was too Inept
to get there but it's the Smartypants
lunatic Fascist that's gonna f'kin' OWN US
@20 you still haven't explained why Marxist-Leninism stands alone among ideologies in its stubborn immunity to critique based on real-world attempts to implement it. The fact that none of the systems that go by that name have managed to achieve a "real" version of it is itself a valid basis for critique.
Your inability to think of a single "true" example of Communism is, perhaps unintentionally, a perfect summation of how the No-True-Scotsman fallacy works.
I don't agree with Senator Honeyford that students need to be scared away from the eeevil bogeyman of soshalisms, but I also don't think they should be lied to.
senator Right wants them to believe we seek Venezuela or Koooba or Chi-na-style Communism but I say lookit Scandinavia or Canada or THE REST OF The Industrialized FREE World for how we might IMPROVE the Lot of our Citizenry.
and Yeah, it's gonna leave the Billionaire Class a little Bruised* but they'll Still live like Kings amongst us
but he Knows that shit already.
*pitchforks or taxman?
and no, all you Tempory Embarrassed
Billionaires don't gotta Pay Extra. when
your Ship comes In then we'll talk about it
Gather around, children, Auntie's got another one fer ya.
I'd rather scare RepubliKKKans to death by consistently voting Democrat and encouraging my friends and loved ones to do the same. By doing so, here's how it goes:
After the U.S. finally got an actual President and Vice President once again, and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris voters slew the Big Ugly Orange Turd stinking up the Oval Outhouse, the Big, Bad RepubliKKKan neofascists ate each other up and killed off every last one of their inbred masses. And suddenly, after 245 years of racism and misogyny, the people of the United States were free at last.
Don't you just love happy endings?
@25 kristofarian: So-------about your amazing book......?
@26: nailed it
well we'll hafta see
if it's Amazing but if
ya go back there...
also -- overheard today:
'violence is the
enemy of Justice'
We all know that Honeyford is just teaching about the evils of Communism so that he can tee up an attack on fluoridated water. Or some other John Birch nonsense.
@29 You're nailed to the wall? I guess the jet-propelled Acme glue gun malfunctioned again, huh? Somebody call Rainy a doctor!
@30 kristofarian: "violence is the enemy of justice."
Ain't THAT the gospel truth?
@33 -- ya but whattabout @30a?
I did not suggest that communism SHOULD be implemented; indeed, I noted myself that it is an imaginary fantasy. An unreachable utopia. It probably always will be because humans' favorite past-time is fucking each other over.
But I still believe the communist ideal is a great one (FAR better than capitalism) and one that we should strive for, even if we never reach it. Ever since Marx and Engles penned the Communist Manifesto, rich assholes have been terrified that the workers actually will rise up and cut their heads off, so they bullhorn the "evils of communism" by pointing at failed dictatorships like the USSR and say "Only capitalism can save you from Stalin and his communists!" Which is a total lie and which besmirches the communist ideal of equality and sharing.
So we get stuff like Joe McCarthy's "list of communists" and the red scare and the hollywood blacklist, driving people out of work and ostracizing them because they believe in what? Equality and sharing. Rich people hate equality and sharing and they've spent tons of cash and resources getting everyone else to hate it too. Pisses me off.
Communism is a good and noble ideal and is leagues ahead benevolence-wise, of the avarice, fighting, and distrust of Capitalism.
BTW: There probably hasn't ever been a nation that follows the tenets of capitalism to the letter either, to disabuse @26's comment that I'm holding Marxism-Leninism alone as a "no true Scotsman" ideology. AND I do admit that communism has functioned in smaller parts of society, just never on anything as large as a nation. Especially in nations where it is abundantly clear the workers are still being oppressed. The rich assholes who point to those nations and say "communists!" are trying to convince the masses that "communism" means "slavery" and capitalism is the ideal utopia where Joe Average has just as equal an opportunity to be a billionaire too with just a little faith in god, personal responsibility, and some elbow grease. All lies.
how FREE are we if
we cannot afford
(and these days) RENT?
exactly how 'Free' does that make one?
free to sleep on our streets
and free to Die on them too
but is that what America's gotta Be?
@33: Then you take issue with @26. Please elaborate.
Or, you just saw the raindrop and pounced.
We'll assume it's the latter.
Marx, rather famously, never described a system of government to erect in the wake of his revolution (which he didn't so much "predict" as sort of logically derive from first principles). Marx's preferred form of society has never been attempted simply because he never proposed one.
As for Soviet Communism, though... the problem with Marxist-Leninist communism (i.e. single-party state communism) is not so much that it hasn't been tried, but that it has never quite figured out what to do with members of its society who do not want to be communists.
small wonder our good Senator
wishes to distract us from
his Republican Partay
from today’s nyt:
It’s Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Party Now
She embarrasses some Republicans, but she’s no outlier.
By Michelle Goldberg
By now, you’ve surely heard her theory that California wildfires might have been caused by a space laser controlled by Jewish bankers. That wasn’t Greene’s first foray into anti-Semitism; in 2018 she shared a notorious white nationalist video in which a Holocaust denier claimed that “Zionist supremacists have schemed to promote immigration and miscegenation.”
Recently, Greene met with a far-right British commentator, Katie Hopkins, who has described migrants as “cockroaches” and said she doesn’t care if they die. Greene told her, “I would love to trade you for some of our white people here that have no appreciation for our country.”
She described the results of the 2018 midterms as “an Islamic invasion of our government.” Greene endorsed calls for the execution of prominent Democrats and agreed with Facebook posts claiming that the Parkland and Sandy Hook school shootings were hoaxes. She harassed one of the Parkland massacre’s young survivors.
so, where, precisely IS our Nation’s
Biggest Threat senator honeybucket?
@34 kristofarian: @30a?
@38: You don't even know whose battle you're fahtin' fer, huh, Rainy?
Free Dumbs aren't anything to be "Proud" of, especially if your idea of reliable news is Fox TeeVee.
@40 kristofarian: We need a vaccine
For Marjorie Taylor Greene.
Fuck communism. Let's have a bill for teaching young people about the craziness of stupid Republikkkans-- especially those from the welfare trash side of the state who grift more than they contribute
speaking of Distractions:
one comment on the
article (@40, above):
This is an important column. While we all become obsessed with the lunacy and outrageousness of Greene, the more, so-called moderate Republicans are allowed to feign their utter disgust while they continue to ravage this country with unfair policies.
In Today's NYT, Mitch McConnell expresses his contempt for Greene's "Looney lies," but who has wreaked more damage to this country in the last ten or so year-- the self-described "Grim Reaper" or the off-the-wall Greene? I
'm sure Lindsay Graham and Marco Rubio will soon chime in on Greene's shortcomings, but will fall short of any significant reprimand.
The right wing craziness as displayed by Greene, Qanon, Proud Boys, Oath Takers, Alex Jones and don't forget Donald Trump is worth our contempt and should be called out every day.
But don't forget the Republican politicians with expensive suits and good manners- they are the ones doing the real damage.
--michael Sullivan; Massachusetts
the Commies are Comin'
the COMMIES ARE COMIN'!!!!!
Can you Not HEAR Me?
auntie, go back to my
comment at 10:53
on the 31st
@41: My point is simply that we should teach kids about important events where many millions of people died as a direct result of their governments' policies, such as the Great Leap Forward or Stalin's Five Year Plans. Because those things are true, and really happened. And they were directly related to the ideology that produced those policies -- in this case, catastrophically misguided ideas about collectivization of agriculture.
The purpose of teaching these true things is not to scare students into running into the arms of Capitalism, because it is represents the only possible moral alternative. The millions of deaths Capitalism has on its ledgers should ALSO be taught in schools. The purpose is to help students better understand history.
Leaving out facts like that will cede the ground to the Senator Honeyfords of the world, who will be only too happy to suggest that the reason schools don't teach kids about Stalin and Mao is because they don't wish to cast Socialism in a negative light.
And also, what's that thing they say about those who don't learn from the mistakes of the past? Let's ask Mao, who repeated the worst of Stalin's mistakes because he was such a committed idealist.
@47 -- "... what's that thing they say about those who don't learn from the mistakes of the past?"
let us Vow
to NEVER elect
So my problem with your (or moreover Honeyford's) agenda is that it's obviously meant to depict that it was the failure of the system, and not the folks running the system, that lead to it's failure.
I was thinking about this in (admittedly wildly over-simplified) terms of the vaccine(s) development. It's relative success has been held up as a success of the capitalistic model under which it was developed. But I'd have MUCH rather had all of the various scientists and engineers responsible for it's development working in collaboration with one another, sharing ideas, insights and breakthroughs, rather than dealing with closely kept secrets and proprietary ideas dictated by a competitive market ideology.
@49 - But not like the The Wuhan Institute of Virology.
They the ones that developed it's release so as to take down Trump and usher in the new regime of pedophilic cannibals? They get such a bad rap.
Only two failed states are fully Marxist communist these days, North Korea and Cuba, and I don't see either of them having much influence over American society or government.
@52 And one unfailed state, China.
Politically, China is unambiguously a Marxist-Leninist single-party state. The Chinese Communist Party, internally, is strictly structured according to Marxist-Leninist principles. The party in turn wholly and directly controls not only the government, but every significant economic entity as well. Every bank in China, for instance, is run by hand-picked party officials-- you have to go five or six tiers down their org charts to find a non-party-member.
The only reason anyone avoids referring to China as communist is the mistaken assumption that a Soviet command economy is the only policy choice available to a fully communist government. It isn't and it never was. The idea that single-party Marxist-Leninist rule precludes economic growth is no more than superstition.
You guys, I'm pretty sure @52 is just a gimmick for-laughs account. I wouldn't worry about trolling there. He/she only posts once or twice a month and its usually sarcasm. I think the "I don't see either of them (NK or Cuba) having much influence over America" was the satirical punchline
@53 - China is a communist state like the US is a democracy. There are billionaires in China and not billionaires. So it is not equal and therefore I don't think qualifies as a successful communist state (nevertheless, successful in many other metrics). Sure, they play some lip service to it because that is the ideology the system is constructed on. In the US there is lip service to democracy and one of the two parties actively making it harder for those who look different than them to vote (and the other party tut tutting as it happens).
@56 Well they're both secretly controlled by the lizardmen, so sure, I guess we can just ignore the ideologies the systems are constructed on.
@55 We're all trolls here buddy, your scaly self most emphatically included.
I mean come on guy, "real communism?" A colony of prokaryotes could recognize that as bait, if you gave it an internet connection.
Many years ago, the FBI prepared a 309-page training monograph for its Special Agents entitled "Reasons Why People Accept and Reject Communism". State Sen. Jim Honeyford would profit immensely from reading that training monograph in order to learn what actually attracted people to communism and why they also rejected it.
Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot should all be remembered for everything they did including their Communist political philosophies that inspired them to do what they did in the way they did it. Same thing for the National Socialists and Hitler.
I do my best writing from under my bridge
@41 - The only system that is less likely than Communism to be successfully implemented is one that requires Americans to fucking think. We apparently just don't wanna do it.
Assuming multiple people have said this in this long thread but probably the best way to fight communism is for capitalists to stop beating the living shit of of everyone all the time.
The cops who pointed a loaded gun at me, were the ones I played basketball with in high school.
The cops I'm actually related to, only beat me up with their billy-clubs, and left me bleeding on the street next to their squad car.
♪ There's something happening here
♪ What it is ain't exactly clear
♪ There's a cop with a gun over there
♪ Telling me I got to beware
And this, of course, is the point where somebody should point out that nothing anybody on the Left is proposing today- including those who still identify as "large-C Communists"- has any possible chance of replicating Stalinism or Maoism or any system remotely similar to those- so there is no reason to revive any form of the "Red Scare". And it is also the point to say, once again, that we have never needed what the Right in this country REALLY wants- a political and economic set-up where nothing but right-wing rule and "market economics" will ever be possible, and where those who want them to be possible are given special deference over all the rest of us and special licence to use whatever means they see fit to force the rest of us to live at their mercy.
47: OK, we should teach that Stalinism and Maoism were horrible- as essentially everyone on the Left today agrees other than the deluded minority the rest of the Left call "Tankies"(i.e., the tiny few who still defend Stalin sending the troops in to East Berlin in '53 to crush a workers' anti-austerity protest or the maybe one or two people on the whole West Coast who insist Brezhnev was right to send the most of the combined Warsaw Pact forces into Prague in '68 to crush the Prague Spring and make sure free speech didn't exist anywhere in the Bloc) that those models should never be used again- but we should also make it clear that those perversions of communist and socialist ideas are extinct, and that the Left of today bears no responsibility for what some of the Left did decades ago.
Make The Gulag Archipelago by Solzhenitsyn required reading.
@46 kristofarian: I am a little confused here. I can't find your comment from January 31, 2021 at 10:53 (am or pm?). Was it from another comment thread?
re @30 kristofarian: Agreed: the RepubliKKKan party of QAnon is now owned by Marjorie Taylor Greene. As far as violence goes--I am certainly not condoning it. Rather, in my comment @28 I stated that RepubliKKKans themselves are the ones bringing on the violence.
In tribute to the late great actor, Christopher Plummer who recently died at age 91, Griz watched The Sound of Music, in which Plummer, opposite Julie Andrews, as singing nun Frauline Maria, played Austrian Captain Georg von Trapp, father of seven children. The family is forced to flee the Nazis in pre WWII Salzburg upon the rise of the Third Reich.
Despite the film's unsettling escalation of Nazism and its similarities to Trumpism / QAnon / Proud Boys batshit craziness, The Sound of Music has and always will be among my favorite musicals. Heaven bless music--may it never die.
About your book, kris....?
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