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Monday, 27 February 2012

Hiding the Past ...

Sometimes one can only wonder at the mentality of politicians, or perhaps their ability to refuse to acknowledge the often disastrous past. Watching the former German "Socialist" (Read as Communist) Party attempt to destroy the other parties candidate for the Presidency here is certainly an interesting exercise. Joachim Gauck, a former Lutheran Priest and scourge of the former rulers of East Germany, is the candidate of choice of all Parties except "Die Linke," the new name for the former communists.

Watching them witter on about how Gauck is a "turncoat" who "benefitted from the system and now undermines all the good ..." or cry about the fact that he revealed all the Stasi files and their abuses of human rights could be amusing. You certainly couldn't make up some of the stuff they accuse him of. I rather liked his reply, which ran along the lines of "if the former DDR was such a wonderfully democratic state, and everyone was so equal and so happy there; why did they need the Stasi? Why did they need to kill everyone who wanted to try a different regime? Why did they lock people up for even talking about wanting a different regime? If everyone was so equal; why did the Party have secret resorts and luxury travel arrangements no one else had access to?"

If you think he got any answers to that, think again. One of the saddest things I've seen on this was a young woman earnestly trying to convince the interviewer that "In a proper Communist State, there is no inequality, no hardship and no one goes without work." When challenged about the DDR situation, her response was to dismiss it as "teething troubles while they struggled against the Capitalist onslaught" and her response to the Stasi - "A necessary safeguard for the greater good ..." She then went on to say that the collapse of Capitalism was "inevitable" and that the only alternative was full Communism... The interviewer gave up after trying to get her to take several reality checks!

As we used to say in South Africa: Ja. Well, no. Fine, fine..." I don't think there's any cure for this sort of mental disease. It isn't stupidity, it isn't that they are unable to get the facts, they are just completely and utterly unable to face reality and to recognise their system is utterly and totally unworkable without its being imposed and enforced in breach of everything they claim to be trying to protect..

2 comments:

  1. The concepts of Marxist philosophy are particularly appealing to the young; they tend to have little unless they are from a wealthy family simply because they have not yet had the opportunity to earn much.

    Now, capitalism is not a pleasant philosophy as it is built upon greed, however, greed is what many humans are best at. Let us assume then, for the purposes of argument that 10% are a bit greedy and that 2% are very greedy, half of them being the "1%", that is to say those for whom the pursuit of wealth is the only goal they have. Let us further assume that 10% of the population are gullible and that 2% are so gullible as to be dangerous to themselves and 1% mentally incapable of what we would consider rational thought. I think the figures, while not supportable by hard evidence give a spread of personality traits that is believable.

    Now, again for the purposes of academic discussion only, begin the age of true Communism NOW. All of the world's wealth is now equally distributed between the six billion inhabitants of the planet. In the time it took to type that last sentence, the greediest 1% have already bankrupted the weakest 1% morally and financially. In the time it took to tell you about the 1%, the 2% have caught on. By midnight the 'top' 10% have oppressed the 'bottom' 10%. How long did idealised communism last? Of course we could make these actions criminal, we could police them and punish. This would require a mechanism for State security, my German is very limited but I think it runs something like "Ministerium für Staatssicherheit".

    Can we just run that again... STAatsSIcherheit.

    Or perhaps if we wished to keep a low profile a Secret State Police, perhaps Geheime Staatspolizei.

    Again, please;... GEheime STAatsPOlizei.

    Need I go on?

    Somehow, I rather like living in Britain. The richest square mile in Europe has its own police force, one of the finest in the world despite its size, simply referred to as the "City Police". People complain decade after decade that the Metropolitan police force is corrupt; a barrel that size would be odd indeed if it had no rotten apples, remember my 1% game? But somehow, in Britain the population seems not to worry so much about what the State is doing, that is why we have relatively stable government.

    Democracy and Capitalism are political theories that invite criticism, but for those who are not in a 1% or 2% minority, it allows the energy wasted on campaigns and demonstrations (which are allowed and tollerated) to be put to work and or education to move oneself one percentage point further up the ladder, away from sin and temptation towards peace, security and harmony.

    I look back on my life now and am thankful that my younger student days did not push me towards fighting but guided me towards using my life to help others, when my time comes, I will pass on content and with no shame should St Peter actually be standing at those gates.


    Epilogue:
    St Peter: "Who stands without my Gates" Me; "It is I"
    St Peter; "Not another bloody school-teacher..."

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  2. As ever Josephus, you have it in a nutshell. The worrying thing here is that the current membership of Die Linke - who have around 67 seats in the Bundestag - are all old enough to have been resident and active in the former DDR ... Some are even known to have been active for the STAats SIcherheits Polizei, but now refuse to acknowledge that there were abuses or that there were outright injustices under their "ideal" state. Wonderful thing democracy, that in a "Capitalist" society they are free to sit in Parliament while in their "Socialist State" they were the only permitted Party.

    As you say, the "ideal" of Marxism is attractive to the young but the majority soon catch on to the model you have outlined and realise that it is and always was, unworkable. It is the 2% who cannot grasp that fact who worry me ...

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