Politics The left's historical amnesia about communism

Angela

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See:
https://quillette.com/2019/03/31/historical-amnesia-and-kunderas-resistance/

They indeed have not taken the wisdom of Milan Kundera to heart.

It's very troubling indeed, but so was the blindness of the left in the twenties and thirties as to the nature of Communism, which was repeated with Castro's Cuba, Nicaragua and any other place where it was tried and failed.

I just read recently about how a huge percentage of Kazakhs were killed during the Stalin era.

I absolutely don't buy that people like Lillian Hellman and all the other apologists didn't know, because the evidence was out there, as their former friends alleged when they turned their backs on Communism.

Some of these people, including some in the radical left in America, who have even been elected to Congress, would just love to have some of us sent to "re-settlement" camps to have our thinking "adjusted". Others are willfully blind because they can't admit they gave their lives to flawed philosophies.

https://quillette.com/2019/03/31/historical-amnesia-and-kunderas-resistance/
 
My political/ideological leanings are rather toward the left side of the spectrum, or more specifically a sort of social-liberal center-left, but I'm also often disappointed by the refusal of leftists to simply accept past mistakes, evaluate them for what their concrete fruits were and, even if not giving up on their values and beliefs, accept that the past leftist regimes were "experiments" of an ever developing ideological spectrum that has undergone many different and successive waves of thinking... but some of those "experiments" failed terribly and led to the most unwanted outcomes, so that we should take lessons from history and change our ideas and practices accordingly. In my opinion clinging to the past ends up being very detrimental to the future of the left, because people won't put up forever with such outdated excuses for unquestionably wrong policies and evil regimes, and they want something new and better. Besides, I have often noticed that their apologist position often smells more of simple hubris and inflated ego, of the kind that thinks that admitting an error and changing one's mind is a sign of weakness, than of some "stubborn" ideological coherence. It's like they just don't want to see that the ideas and projects they cherish in practice didn't work or were even disastrous (many of those aims were pretty utopical and even naive anyway, and didn't account for the failures and greed of humans when they achieve a lot of power), and they refuse to get the fact that to remain as leftists they do not need to cling to what people thought decades ago, the left must move forward and get rid of past mistakes as any other intellectual construction.
 
I am more of a centrist. I don't want to take the profit motivation out of the economy and I don't want to encourage a welfare state that disincentivitizes people from working. There are too many people young people collecting disability payments that have nothing wrong with them. I have no idea who certifies them as disabled but whoever the doctors are that certify them need to be thrown to jail and their ill-gotten gains confiscated. But I do believe that our health system is highly inefficient in that we spend too much for what we get. I would also like our business come tax replaced by a tax based on revenue rather that profit (basically a sales tax). We pay way too much for education and borrow way. too much to obtain that education.

Oh BTW, I am talking about the good ole USA.
 
I'm in the middle of reading an excellent book called "Bloodlands: Between Hitler and Stalin" by Timothy Snyder. It touches tangentially on what I posted above.

I highly recommend it. You may think you know everything about that period, but he surprises.
 
We have to distinguish two aspects of the left/socialism/communism. One is economy and production which was a disaster. The other being the social contract, the equality under the law, inclusiveness in rights and duties, democracy with its protection of human rights and minorities, emancipation of women and people of colour, which were success.
There is also a case of social help programs like pension, free health, disabilities, free education, etc Which are also mostly leftists ideas and being accepted more with societies getting better off.
Let's remember that all of the social achievements were won and sustained on a strong back of creativity and entrepreneurship of free market capitalist economy.
Funny thought though, in 17-19 centuries feudal society looked at entrepreneur capitalists as radicals and liberals destroying their nicely organized conservative feudal world.
 
The social contract, equality under the law, democracy etc. have nothing to do with Communism. They stem from the Enlightenment and were enshrined in "The Rights of Man" of the French Revolution and the founding documents of the U.S., like the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution long before Communism was ever conceived.
 
Communism goes back 2000 years at least.
Theres been many groups such as the knights templer to name but 1 who used this system.
I also read somewhere that jesus was taking 100% of his followers wealth and would provide them with food and sword.
Monks and bishops of this time were all commune.
Its ancient and forms the basis of religion.
 
Communa in Greek Κοινον, modern Κοινοτις-Κοινοτητα,
Is a word very misunderstood, and with many variations of meaning,

Ancient Greek states, although had nobility, or governors, they were in a 'comuna' status,
their currency was usually Κοινον meaning both bank, and common.

So when we speak about communism, or lefts,
we must make clear, the era, the system, and the methods,

As for Lefts, I admire many of them,
I dispite many of them,
But when Left is cooperating with G Sorros, the big shark,
I think we do not speak about left today without exclude some organised corporations dressed as leftists.
Although still some have the mind of the left.

THE DIFFERENCE Among STATE AND NATIONS, WITH PRIVATE CORPORATIONS and Banks
IS THAT STILL HAVE ΚΟΙΝΟΝ (Common),
WHILE PRIVATE CORPORATIONS HAVE 'My' not 'Ours'

So the Left is a voice that is needed, to balance the 'EΓΩ' (ego) of privatters citizens of the world. (OR OWNERS OF THE WORLD?)
But from that, till to serve G Sorros plans or others, The Distance is far,
(When Left becomes a step to anarcho-capitalism

WE MUST REALIZE THAT A HUMAN HAS 3 way of thinking.

1) The Mind
2) The Heart
3) The pocket (wallet)


So by that you must judge who is pure Left, and who is a Free-Thinking, and who is Capitalist, and who is the Servant of others
Not by Organisations or parties,
Neither by Great Speaches,


MOST OF OUR TODAY POLITICIANS ARE JUST SERVANTS (near slaves sometimes?) OF OTHER HUMANS
NOT OF IDEAS, NEITHER TO THE PEOPLE.

so when speak about Communism
I think we must define the eras

the early Paris Communa
the October's revolt in Moscow
The Stalin's era
The Mao's era
The Che-Castro's era
The Barcelona Anarchist
 
Communism goes back 2000 years at least.
Theres been many groups such as the knights templer to name but 1 who used this system.
I also read somewhere that jesus was taking 100% of his followers wealth and would provide them with food and sword.
Monks and bishops of this time were all commune.
Its ancient and forms the basis of religion.

it might work for some time in a community of followers who are convinced and who know every one else in the community
and even then, most communities fall apart in the long rung

communism is something different
it is imposed upon a whole nation
it's a false promise that simply can't work
 
it might work for some time in a community of followers who are convinced and who know every one else in the community
and even then, most communities fall apart in the long rung

communism is something different
it is imposed upon a whole nation
it's a false promise that simply can't work

Exactly, Bicicleur.

A form of communism ( in the sense that all property was owned in common and each took according to his need) was voluntarily tried in the early Christian days and soon abandoned.

Propertied people donated their entire estates, many continued to work hard, but hordes of the property less and those disinclined to hard labor suddenly experienced a religious conversion and also joined. :) Subsequently, a good proportion of the members of the Christian commune ceased working, as well as not having originally invested any capital, yet all got equal food and other benefits.

There was a revolt, and the experiments were abandoned.

It's all detailed in the Acts of the Apostles in any Bible. It makes for amusing reading. Human nature will out. Period.

Modern captitalism is an economic and political system where the "state" owns all the means of production, i.e. it abolished private property. It has never worked ANYWHERE. It is incompatible with democracy and human rights. The very phrase "dictatorship of the proletariat" should tell any thinking person that. Venezuela is just the latest example.

Really, people are remarkably obdurate. If they're attached to a certain ideology, facts are just inconvenient nuisances.

Ed. One exception. I've seen it work in convents. Therefore it may work in monasteries. However, you can hardly go by that. The nuns whom I knew intimately when educated by them weren't "normal" human beings. They truly lived a life of sacrifice, abstinence, discipline and obedience. It's not for humdrum humans. Most of them were ennobled by it, some soured. My early adolescent dreams of joining the order dissipated like early morning fog when I saw how they actually lived. Well, that and the combination of hormones and attention from boys. :)
 
The social contract, equality under the law, democracy etc. have nothing to do with Communism. They stem from the Enlightenment and were enshrined in "The Rights of Man" of the French Revolution and the founding documents of the U.S., like the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution long before Communism was ever conceived.
Sure, communism wasn't invented yet. My point was that all above mentioned were "terrible leftist ideas" at some point.
 
Communism goes back 2000 years at least.
Theres been many groups such as the knights templer to name but 1 who used this system.
I also read somewhere that jesus was taking 100% of his followers wealth and would provide them with food and sword.
Monks and bishops of this time were all commune.
Its ancient and forms the basis of religion.
Don't forget about the true first communes, which were the small hunter gatherers tribes. Millions of years of evolution in simple communal environment made a genetic imprint in us. That's why there's so much attraction in it for us and constant going back and trying it again in various forms.
 
Im in way over my head in a political thread :)

But the idea that everything is borrowed for your lifetime i do find appealing.
I see this quest to accumulate wealth and land for a single persons life is just plain dumb.
We have allmost destroyed the whole world from this pursuit.
The seas are toxic the land is destroyed for palm oil and such, leaving no chance for animals.
We have got fracking and god knows what else goin on. were does it end ?

The way i see it is hunter gatherer tibes like those in the amazon rain forest are living how humans should be living and seem to be very very happy and proud of them selves there tribe and there home.

We had/have the best planet in the universe right here. If our leaders are trying to destroy it there right on track.
 
Im in way over my head in a political thread :)

But the idea that everything is borrowed for your lifetime i do find appealing.
I see this quest to accumulate wealth and land for a single persons life is just plain dumb.
We have allmost destroyed the whole world from this pursuit.
The seas are toxic the land is destroyed for palm oil and such, leaving no chance for animals.
We have got fracking and god knows what else goin on. were does it end ?
Hey, it's not that bad,....yet. :) I think it is as bad as it gets. Well, give it 20-30 more years for developing countries to catch up. From that point on things will improve. Energy will be clean we'll clean up environment of what we damaged, and technology will save us at the end. Dirty environment is only temporary evenement on our way to clean energy and sustainable production. Once we have ubiquitous and cheap robots, they will painstakingly recycle every piece of garbage we ever produced. They have patience and time for it. :)

The way i see it is hunter gatherer tibes like those in the amazon rain forest are living how humans should be living and seem to be very very happy and proud of them selves there tribe and there home.
I'm proud of my civilization too, and I love my developed world. Hopefully we'll find room for all walks of life to have own space and leave in peace. That's the only way, otherwise we'll keep killing each other till the end of the world. Tolerance and understanding.
 
ok

I am not a leftist, rather a midlle right.
I believe in midlle class,
I believe in analogy of taxes and harasing property, earns, etc

So after that.
WHERE IN .... WOULD YOU PLACE FIGURES like Fourrier, Owen, Capitalism? Communism?

Notice that after the abandon of the medieval city-principal-castle
where the word common has a meaning
we have the 2 models

1 The luxury city and life, palaces banks etc Baroque RCC etc
2 The industrial pre-Capitalistic city outside London Glaskow etc (after Watt era, steam power push of Industry)

they both promote Leftism,
In first due to difference of Life among palaces and people Like in Paris revolt
in Second due to pushed to the limit oh a human to work, revolts against industries, 1rst of May Chicago, etc

as we see, the ballance of properties, and common properties broke the above era, the era of first Banking and first Industrial season.
so the today meaning of Left or Right starts from the era when people start to abbandon their old medieval villages or castles to go to more Urban areas.

Luxury city and banking system created 'maitres' and 'officer servants'
Industrial city created 'Boss' 'dogs' and working class getto
Division of the city people since nothing common among same place dwellers. and not to worthy noble, and sc...s.


Especially the old 'laissez-faire'.
found its max at the first pre-industrial cities.
THE WORST CITIES EVER in Europe, simmilar with those we see ouside Caracas, Rio, Cape town.
the meaning of a human life was nothing, in this cities,
everything black from the not well burned carbon, sticking on the walls.
no fresh food, no hygiene, nothing.

And that diversity of living limits is so big, that is stuck in mind of people (Les miserables of Hugo we see quite such characters)
Creating either opportunism either parties, clubs, sectas, etc
From that start the fire of 'revolution Francais'

The philoshophers are divided that era,
D Hume, J Lock A Smith Proudon, Considirant, Fourrier, Owens, and much later Marx, Engels, Kropotkin, Bakunin
We can put limits on the above philoshophers on how anarcho-Capitalists they were till how
but after philoshophers starts the glory of the leaders.

and that is the always bad result,
vote due to hate, hunting ghosts, burn to fire the old etc, praise the savour president, etc

As an engineer the most explicting I 've seen when Iron Curtain collapse,
was a village somewhere in Balkans,
the old 2 floors houses, build in squares, around a central gathering 'piazza'/square, with a market possibly a church somewhere, a school, and a townhall, a doctor, a police office etc
were transformed to Collectiva (cumul) vehicle parking, and warehouses.
and a 8 floor huge straight for 80 m long block was build, so people live in equality !!!!,
most ugly thing, just imagive a small village, where the houses are warehouses and parking, and the people live in a block justneaby and outside village.


Anyway,
my Question is
where would you place philoshophers like Owens, Fourrier, Keynes?
anarcho-Capitalism? Capitalism, middle/center, Left, Far left,

surely away from M Friedman (anarcho-Capitalism)
and surely away from Bronstein or Stalin, Mao (typical Communists) etc.


THE MAIN PROBLEM OF TODAY
IS NOT LEFTS OR RIGHTS,
BUT OPPORTUNISM OF POLITICIANS TO PROFIT.

WHICH CAN TRANSFORM THEM EVEN TO PETS OF A CORPORATION OR A 'WORLD CITIZEN' BUSSINESMAN

just take a good look at Lehman bro collapse,
the headquarters and the suroundings officers took money as restitutio/recompence,
the rest worker did not.
2 measurements of life and carrier worth.


PS
to make myshelf clear and not to be misunderstood,
my favorite is keynes,
But according Chicago's Friedman school he is a leftist and a Communist
According the Commusnists he is a Capitalist
So a believer of Keynes what is it? a Capitalist? A communist? a Left? a Right?
YET I AGREE THAT STALINISM IS EQUAL TO NAZISM,
AND SOVIET COMMUNISM RULED AS A DICTATORSHIP,
BUT LOOK ALSO AT neo'Laissez-faire',
THEY MOVE CAPITALS AND FOUND OFFSHORES
THEY GIVE MONEY, JOBS AND TECHNOLOGY TO COMMUNISTIC CHINA!!!!!!
 
See:
https://quillette.com/2019/03/31/historical-amnesia-and-kunderas-resistance/

They indeed have not taken the wisdom of Milan Kundera to heart.

It's very troubling indeed, but so was the blindness of the left in the twenties and thirties as to the nature of Communism, which was repeated with Castro's Cuba, Nicaragua and any other place where it was tried and failed.

I just read recently about how a huge percentage of Kazakhs were killed during the Stalin era.

I absolutely don't buy that people like Lillian Hellman and all the other apologists didn't know, because the evidence was out there, as their former friends alleged when they turned their backs on Communism.

Some of these people, including some in the radical left in America, who have even been elected to Congress, would just love to have some of us sent to "re-settlement" camps to have our thinking "adjusted". Others are willfully blind because they can't admit they gave their lives to flawed philosophies.

https://quillette.com/2019/03/31/historical-amnesia-and-kunderas-resistance/

I would not say that certain parts of the left didn’t have a blind for Castro etc. Like for some on the (moderate) right may be this was the case for the fare right: Hindenburg made Hitler possible for example.

But this is all history.....

I belong to the moderate left or social democracy. My grandfather was a laborer, a working man, we emancipated thanks to the moderate left.

He always told me: ‘remember every bird sings his own songs’. That’s a basic liberal, democratic attitude, nothing to do with extremism, on the contrary!


Sent from my iPad using Eupedia Forum
 
I would not say that certain parts of the left didn’t have a blind for Castro etc. Like for some on the (moderate) right may be this was the case for the fare right: Hindenburg made Hitler possible for example.

But this is all history.....

I belong to the moderate left or social democracy. My grandfather was a laborer, a working man, we emancipated thanks to the moderate left.

He always told me: ‘remember every bird sings his own songs’. That’s a basic liberal, democratic attitude, nothing to do with extremism, on the contrary!


Sent from my iPad using Eupedia Forum

yes, it is all history

but the memory is not the same
communism made many more victims than nazism of fascism worldwide
 
yes, it is all history

but the memory is not the same
communism made many more victims than nazism of fascism worldwide
You are on a casp of childish bidding war. "No, no, my red button is bigger!"
 
^^That was unnecessary. The same point could have been made without being so condescending.
 
I would not say that certain parts of the left didn’t have a blind for Castro etc. Like for some on the (moderate) right may be this was the case for the fare right: Hindenburg made Hitler possible for example.

But this is all history.....

I belong to the moderate left or social democracy. My grandfather was a laborer, a working man, we emancipated thanks to the moderate left.

He always told me: ‘remember every bird sings his own songs’. That’s a basic liberal, democratic attitude, nothing to do with extremism, on the contrary!


Sent from my iPad using Eupedia Forum

In the case of fascism and communism, both appealed to the masses who felt that parliamentary democracy had failed them. Both promised prosperity. Fascism didn't disturb the class system as much, although there were the butchers who rose to the heights of society, and communism promised total equality not only of opportunity but of results; fascism encouraged nationalism while communism idealized an international comintern; the Nazi version of fascism glorified "racism" and race hatred, and communism boasted that there were no more distinctions.

The reality?
Fascism delivered more prosperity than communism. There was no equality under communism either: there was indeed an upper class, based on position within the party. Under fascism, the old class structure remained more or less intact, but the lower classes also became more prosperous. Communism remained nationalistic no matter what was proclaimed. Was Russia anything other than nationalistic? Was China? They were out for themselves. Ask Eastern Europeans. Yes, they put East German Communists at the helm in East Germany, but that didn't stop them from stripping the area bare and sending it all to Russia. No, communism didn't create special camps for Jews or gypsies, but they were still discriminated against, and increasingly as time went on, leading to a mass exodus. Plus, what would someone call the actions against Kazakhs, the Ukrainian peasant farmers and on and on. They weren't a holocaust?

How many were killed under each system? Probably more under Communism, if for no other reason than that it spread further. I don't think it has to do with whether one system or another is inherently more "evil".

People blind themselves according to their own ideology, usually, when looking at history.

Someone said, I can't remember who: Communism, great idea, wrong species. :) Fascism is by no means a good idea in my opinion, either.

Right now in the U.S. we're seeing a fascism of the left emerging that is much more numerous and dangerous imo, because it is espoused by the more educated and elite. Sometimes I just want to shake them, and take them to Cuba, and Venezuela, and ask: This is what you want????
 

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