Stalin would approve of the corona virus, as it is destroying the middle class. Mao and Pol Pot would also agree such destruction is wise. Power-mad people seemingly do not approve of anyone besides themselves holding power. They fail to see others have gifts, and that God made us as different as our fingerprints, with each person gifted with beauty all their own to express, which requires that individuals have the power to express. Dictators are actually denying themselves great beauty and talents, when they fear the latent power of the middle class.
The middle class is stifled by the corona virus, kept from working and forced to stay at home. When you are basically living hand-to-mouth, (as much of the middle class does), this enforced sloth is a swift road to bankruptcy. While some of the efforts politicians are making to print money and help small businessmen through these hard times are commendable, I think it is important that people understand the far left does not at all like small and independent businesses, and would be glad to see them fail.
People should read up on Stalin’s policy of “Dekulakization”. It was a nightmare for Russia, as millions starved or were sent off to “reeducation” in Gulags. To see any sense in the senselessness, or “the method in the madness”, requires a bit of history.
Russian history has some fascinating parallels with American history, in that they freed their slaves (serfs) in 1861, a year before Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, and the leader, Czar Alexander II, who dared enact their emancipation, wound up assassinated like Lincoln did, though he survived sixteen years longer than Lincoln.
After freedom was granted both nations faced problems involving what to do with the master-less and unemployed new-freemen, whether they were slaves or serfs. Both nations had vast lands to settle, with the United States building railways westward and Russia building railways through the enormity of Siberia to the east. Both nations had struggles with the indigenous populations they overran, and both nations had to come up with incentives to lure people out into the wilderness. In both cases the temptation of free land, and owning your own tiny farm-kingdom where you were the ruler, proved irresistible. In both nations the settlers were failures more often than they were successes, but in both cases those that succeeded enacted remarkable achievements, and both nations saw great expansion. Allowing simple men freedom achieved great things.
In both nations there was also a resistance to allowing individuals the freedom of owning their own land. Older, orthodox arrangements had been devised to deal with certain problems which always arise between neighbors, quarrels that have arisen since the dawn of time. No man is an island, and neighbors must be dealt with, and this leads to the creation of governments and courts which arrive at judgements, infringing to some degree upon the absolute freedom of the individual.
Though all men are created equal in the eyes of God, some are gifted with greater strength, and a stronger farmer can work harder than a weaker farmer, and therefore is likely to harvest a bigger crop, be better nourished, have taller and stronger children, and have more leisure time to think up better ways to work, until before you know it you have a rich farmer and a poor farmer, a landowner and a renter, a nobleman and a peon, and the spiritual dilemma caused by the clash between generosity and greed. As a general rule, societies which value generosity and kindness are more peaceful and happy than those based upon greed and hate.
In theory one could even be a slave, and, if their master was filled with kindness and generosity, they would feel fortunate rather than oppressed. However such a master would likely be as poor as his slave, if not poorer, for he would give everything he had. With the exception of the Christ, few masters are anywhere near that generous. Benevolent dictators are few and far between, though despots are constantly attempting to portray themselves in such a light. When you read how the American south sought to portray slavery before the Civil War, you would think they were a pack of Mother Teresas. Then one takes a single quick glance at the famous picture of the scarred back of “Whipped Peter” in 1863, and one shudders .
The simple fact is that we humans have weaknesses, and if we get too much power we are bound to screw up. For that reason it is generally wise not to allow others to have too much power over us, and also not to allow ourselves to have too much power over others. This is a simple and fundamental reality understood not only by America’s Founding Fathers, but by simple men, whether it be in small neighborhoods of big cities, or small rural communities. Rather than attempting to whip a disagreeing person into submission, sometimes it is better to shut up and listen to his opposing view. This is the concept of Freedom of Speech.
The American concept of a “Town Meeting” is not as unique as some Americans like to think. A very similar gathering was traditional among the Slavic serfs in Russia.
This Russian sort of Town Meeting was called a “Obshchina”, and at its best was a Slavic tradition of great beauty, for in essence it was an entire community behaving like a big and loving family. Socialists like it because all the farmland was “owned” by everyone, in a sense. It was as if a farm family sat down at the end of a long winter to decide how to divide the work, in order to make the farm most productive. What socialists don’t like is the fact the serfs decided on their own. The Czar, and his local duke or lord, had little say in a “Obshchina”, and actually hoped to avoid being called in (as sometimes occurred) to make lordly decisions involving hardhearted feuds and divorces. For the most part an Obshchina involved who would work which plots of earth to create the best harvest, and all the nobility-outsiders cared about was that the harvest was big enough to pay the taxes.
The problem with the Obshchina was that a farmer could put a lot of work into one plot of dirt, hauling seaweed from the shore to enrich the soil, and then the next year be given a different plot by the village elders, for reasons of their own. Sometimes the reasons made sense; you might have broken your leg and there was no way you could work that acreage, or your three burly sons might have been conscripted to fight for the Czar and you were shorthanded, but other times the village elders were corrupt and wanted a fat nephew to get the best land, heedless of the fact the best land was best because someone besides the nephew sweated to make it the best.
The village elders did not at all like a new and radical idea, which suggested land was not owned by everyone, but rather by a particular farmer. And, in the older areas to the west, the new ideas didn’t make much headway. The local lord told the elders the taxes the Czar needed, the elders appointed certain farmers as managers of certain plots, and everyone else was farm hands. But farm hands could dream, and, when the Steppes beckoned, and there was an opportunity to be the boss of your own little patch of dirt, the farmhands did a shocking thing. They left. Originally they could not legally do this, for to leave would be like being a runaway slave, however there was an interesting stipulation in Russian law: If a serf could avoid being recaptured for more than twelve months, he became a freeman. Therefore out at the fringes of Russia a far more freedom-oriented culture developed, in an environment of incredible danger, due to the raids of the Tatar, who exported ten of thousands of Slavs to the Ottoman Empire as slaves every year. (The word “slave” is derived from the word “Slav”). This prompted a push-back on the part of the Slavs, a push-back that evolved people known as the Cossack, who battled and eventually, after centuries, crushed the Tatar. When asked to submit to a higher authority, the reply of Cossacks was not always diplomatic.
Where America had “the wild west” Russia had “the wild east”. The primary difference was that America’s “wild west” didn’t truly last a century, while Russia ‘s “wild east” can be traced back a millennium, and was more developed and ingrained in their culture. When a Czar was utilizing his people he had to have an awareness of how different the serfs were in the civilized west from the wild and free east, from the orthodox traditions of the Obshchina to the basically democratic ways of the Cossack, (who the Czar never really attempted to subjugate, but instead “dealt with.”)
In any case, when the serfs were liberated in 1861, many left the civilized west. This was especially true if they were of low status and basically hired hands. They left the safety of the status quo to head east into Siberia, into hardship and very real danger, and some came to bad ends. But some didn’t. These new success-stories became a non-traditional sort of farmer, who owned his own farm and didn’t need to consult any elders at any Obshchina, and just did whatever the bleep he wanted on his own farm.
Many of these new farmers, freedmen who owned their own land, were remarkably successful. It is remarkable how hard a man can work if the alternative is starvation, and out on the edge of the wilderness that was what farmers faced. The Czar was pleased when they succeeded, for his coffers gained more taxes, not only from their farms, but because their ingenuity and industry expanded into them becoming artisans and having sawmills and grist mills and forges and even small industries on their farms. They became so prosperous they could indulge in home improvements, and their houses looked different from a typical serf’s. They were the serfs who succeeded, and the name for them was “Kulak”. The Russian leaders wanted more of them, and encouraged them, because they had invested in Russia, and desired a stable Russia.
For the same reason, communists loathed the Kulak. They were seen as a counterrevolutionary force, the dreaded “petite bourgeois”, who would resist the creation of the utopia communists imagined lay just ahead, because the Kulak preferred stability to revolution, peace to violence, and arbitration to brute force.
In essence communism looks down its nose at the very same small farmers and artisans that Jefferson stated were vital to a healthy democracy. I’ve never fully understood how communists can imagine wiping out the section of society that contributes most will improve society, but that is their belief.
As best I can tell, the Kulak were seen as weeds, and it was felt that, if the weeds were removed, the “garden” would produce better fruit. This involved a certain blindness, for by definition a weed is a unproductive plant, yet the Kulak were the productive members of society. In a manner of speaking, communists had the strange belief that, if you uprooted the productive plants and left only the weeds, you would get a better crop. Yet there is not the slightest bit of evidence that communism has ever made a society wealthier by purging the people who invest and have a stake in success, whether you call them “imperialists” or “petite bourgeois” or “backward traditionalists” or “greedy capitalists.” Instead the opposite has always been the case.
I have had close friends who were or are communists, and in my attempts to understand them I have come to see they have a somewhat juvenile concept of “greed”. They tend to see others as being greedy, and themselves as altruistic. In actual fact, the envy of the so-called “have-nots” can make them more greedy than the wealthy “haves”, but this fundamental reality could not penetrate the thick skulls of my communist friends. Even when advocating the death of neighbors, they did not see their rage as rage, but as “righteous indignation”. What they saw as “hate” in others was a virtue, “moral outrage”, in themselves. So adroit were they in the manipulation of these double standards I could lose my temper, and then they could adopt a condescending attitude, for the fact of the matter it was my veins that were bulging as I turned purple and foamed at the mouth like Kermit the Frog, as they batted their eyes and looked as exasperatingly civil as Miss Piggy.
However I could claim a sort of high ground, for I could confess my weakness where communists couldn’t. I could confess I turned purple, foamed at the mouth, bulged veins, and even was greedy, while communists pretended perfection. I could admit I was a human, while communists, with their blinding hypocrisy, are inhumane.
This brings me to the shadows of Stalin’s “Dekulakization” of the Soviet Union. Allow me to gloss over the horror, as some things can be understood to be poison without us needing to actually vomit.
Basically, to improve Russia by pulling the weeds, Stalin took all the property of (according to actual communist paperwork) of over a million “Kulak” in a single year. The Wikipedia statement is: “According to data from Soviet archives, which were published only in 1990, 1,803,392 people were sent to labor colonies and camps in 1930 and 1931. Books based on these sources have said that 1,317,022 reached the destinations. The fate of the remaining 486,370 cannot be verified. Deportations on a smaller scale continued after 1931. The reported number of kulaks and their relatives who died in labor colonies from 1932–1940 was 389,521. Former kulaks and their families made up the majority of victims of the Great Purge of the late 1930s, with 669,929 arrested and 376,202 executed.”
(I should note Solzhenitsyn stated these official numbers were on the low side, and should be up around six million.)
What troubled me a lot was the mention in the above statement that 486,370 of the Kulak who were arrested never arrived at the Gulags. It suggests a half million were summarily executed.
One wonders how Russians could allow such a slaughter of their neighbors to occur. This was not like Christians killing Jews, or like starving Commoners killing fat Royalty, but rather was more like people making minimum wage killing people who worked far harder to make a only little more. In fact you could be labeled a “Kulak” if you hired a single farmhand, or even if you produced enough extra grain to sell any.
As was described by one of the zealous young communists who arrested Kulak (whom later became a member of the “dissidents”), they felt they were doing a good deed and that “we were obtaining grain for the socialist fatherland.”
The farmers did object to being basically robbed to feed “the soviet fatherland”, from the onset, and, (should you imagine only Stalin overreacted), in 1918 Lenin reacted to the farmer’s refusal to work for free with this gentle response, “Hang (hang without fail, so the people see) no fewer than one hundred known kulaks, rich men, bloodsuckers. […] Do it in such a way that for hundreds of versts [kilometers] around the people will see, tremble, know, shout: they are strangling and will strangle to death the bloodsucker kulaks”.
The simple fact that Lenin could refer to the farmers who actually feed the rest of us as “bloodsuckers” should alert you to the fact communism is a rocker off its rails. Did Lenin get his hands dirty planting the food that feeds us? Did Stalin?
Stalin displayed a bizarre and perverse logic, in that he didn’t just kill the people he imagined opposed his seizures. He wasted time, money, and manpower incarcerating such people, torturing them, and extracting confessions. A single bullet would have been far more frugal. But apparently Stalin would take the time to read the confessions, which were sometimes on paper spattered with blood. As he read he would blurt out garbled exclamations, like, “The Proletariat!” I am assuming a lot, but I assume this insane behavior on the part of a murderous madman suggests he had a juvenile faith some good would come of his inhumanity, and that he felt he was “removing the weeds.” In his distorted psyche he dreamed his merciless efforts would make Russia better.
I don’t think so. I think the Russians are a beautiful people who have suffered a terrible Karma. Only a fool can look at what their nation has undergone and think communism has benefits.
And the same can be said for the current behavior of China. The corona virus came from them, but they are on record as taking the time to erase the record, and on record as having punished the doctors who innocently tried to tell the Truth and warn the world. Then, despite all this evidence, they have had the audacity to claim the virus originated in the United States.
To me it seems things are coming to a head. The abject failure of communism is driving them to make a last desperate effort. They are striving to replicate Stalin’s Russia worldwide, and have all the world murder the modern version of the Kulak. They do this although China has experienced, in its own past, the starvation you earn if you slaughter your farmers, and the ignorance you earn if you slaughter your teachers. But perhaps this explains China’s amazing ignorance. All their political decisions remind me of the stupid choices I myself made as an adolescent, the difference being my stupid decisions eventually taught me a lesson in the School of Hard Knocks, whereas China’s stupidity could cost millions and perhaps billions of lives, in the School of Hard Knocks called “World History”. Not that I expect China to listen, but I offer them a bit of good advise. Quit the lies, and quit the hypocrisy. Face the embarrassing Truth, for Truth is Beauty.
Communism dislikes religion, calling it “the opiate of the masses”, but, (despite the blundering efforts of inept priests who muddy the waters), religion is based upon a love and benevolence that puts communism to shame. Where communism has led to lies and the deaths of hundreds of millions, religion is theoretically based on Truth. This is not to say religion has not led to horrors such as the Spanish Inquisition, but such horrors were a failure to “practice what you preach”, and were founded on greed and not generosity.
In the end it all boils down to the struggle between greed and generosity. This battle is not a matter of “blaming the other guy” as much as it is an inner battle with weakness we all own, whether we admit it or not. In the words of a Great Carpenter, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own?”
Communism is an immature and childish response to the problems brought about by selfishness and greed, in many ways like a whining child stamping his foot and crying, “It’s not fair! He started it!” People need to see it as it is: Laughable, as long as it remains a childish idea and does not manifest as actual action. As actual action it is hypocrisy, attempting to end greed with greed, selfishness with selfishness, and hate with hate. It can only make slight sense in horrible situations where terrible greed exists in the first place, as an attempt to fight fire with fire, but such enflaming behavior makes no sense whatsoever when there is no fire to begin with.
Communism often seeks to disturb the peace, attacking Kulak who are simply and quietly living good lives. Often this involves seeing evil in others who are not evil, and denying evil in the self where it is. For example, a small child will not understand the necessity of weeding a garden and prefer sloth; communism would portray the successful production of crops as “greed” and the childish sloth as “revolutionary ardor.” The ignorant would rather attack the gardener who is making them weed than to actually weed, and only later do they figure out the result of not-weeding is starvation.
In conclusion communism sees the worst in others, and brings about the worst. It attempts to use the lowest impulses to create high ideals, and only generates fear and loathing.
The corona virus is proof capitalists are not greedy, for they set profit aside to save the lives of their fellow man. However there is great danger involved, for America’s small businessmen are to some degree like the Kulak, and are in danger of being led like sheep to slaughter, should a person like Stalin seek to take the reins. And the behavior of certain governors does give one pause, as some seem to be gravitating toward power-mad tendencies. The desire to avoid spreading germs does not justify some of the ridiculous controls they have attempted to enact by edict, ignoring all democratic processes, behaving more like tyrants than like elected representatives.
One example was the attempt in New York City to ban going out for a walk, as if fresh air and sunshine could spread germs (when it actually kills the corona virus), and to enforce this ban by setting up a hotline and encouraging citizens to tattle on fellow citizens seen going out for a walk, and to take pictures with their cellphones. Rather than creating informants, the pictures that came in on the hotline were very rude, as if it were the Cossack who were responding. Basically the public was giving the politicians the middle finger.
The danger should be obvious: The public will comply to requests they sacrifice only when such requests are sane. Beyond a certain point one should not go, for it invites rebellion, and rebellion then invites repression. In the United States things could get very ugly very swiftly, for Americans have something the Kulak lacked. They have guns.
Communists actually like the idea of society becoming very ugly very swiftly. China would be pleased to see the United States dissolve into civil war. Some low logic feels pleased, when others become as low as they themselves are. For this reason the United States should strive to avoid such a fate.
What is the alternative? It is to clearly grasp the superiority of spiritual behavior, which involves being honest. Spirituality involves admitting we all have slothful tendencies, lustful tendencies, hateful tendencies, greedy tendencies, and so forth. We need to be held accountable, and able to sheepishly confess when called out. This is the reason our Founding Fathers devised our government the way they structured it, where no one person held too much power, and Freedom of Speech was allowed, and lively debate encouraged. Our personal views can be spoken, but we must listen to the forceful rebuttals spoken in reply. The aim is not so much to “win” and crush an opponent, as it is to Understand. The aim of legislative arbitration is not so much to impose one’s will on another, as it is to Harmonize. Two notes can be very different, but when they harmonize there is Beauty.
It is when the tremendous superiority of spirituality is clearly seen that communism is exposed as the childish tantrum it actually is. It withers and shrinks in the bright light of Truth, like the vast darkness of a cavern quailing back from a single candle.
Yet how are we to achieve such mental clarity and certainty, considering we confess to being slothful, lustful, hateful, greedy and so forth? How can we harmonize when others seek discord? How can we be so stable when others are so bound and determined to destabilize? How can we be granted such a great gift of Enlightenment, when we are so mortal and frail?
Basically we need to do what George Washington did during the darkest days the United States ever knew, when our nation was on the verge of perishing at Valley Forge. It is something communists are forbidden from doing.