Tagged: Communism

Changing The World

Commie stuff. Yes, that was me!


Did you ever think you would help to change the world?

I did.

I was almost sixteen years old, and reading a lot of books. And I was also watching the news. Lots of things were happening.

*The Prague Spring.
*The Vietnam War.
*Civil Rights Protests at some American universtities.
*Protests at universities in Japan.
*Student protests in Poland.
*Demonstration against the Vietnam war in London.
*Baader-Meinhof terror bombings in Germany.
*Martin Luther King Jnr assassinated in America.
*Student riots and civil unrest in Paris.
*Student demonstrations in Yugoslavia.
*Robert Kennedy assassinated in America.
*State of emergency in Malaya following a Communist insurgency.
*Demonstrations against the military government of Brazil.
*Women’s Liberation protests in America and Britain.
*The ‘Troubles’ begin in Northern Ireland.
*Black Power salutes are seen at the Olympic Games.
*Israel attacks Lebanon.

Yes, a big list, and all in one year. And that is only a selection.

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Forty helpful tips for anti-communists: A re-blog

I found this on the wonderfully-named ‘Stalin’s Moustache.’

1. Constantly insist that Marxism is discredited, outdated, and totally dead and buried. Then proceed to build a lucrative career on beating that supposedly ‘dead’ horse for the rest of your working life.

2. Remember, any unnatural death that occurs under a ‘Communist’ regime is not only attributable to the leaders of the state, but also Marxism as an ideology. Ignore deaths that occur for the same reason in non-Communist states.

3. Communism or Marxism is whatever you want it to be. Feel free to label countries, movements, and regimes as ‘Communist’ regardless of things like actual goals, stated ideology, diplomatic relations, economic policy, or property relations.

4. If there was a conflict involving Communists, the conflict and all ensuing deaths can be laid at the feet of Communism. Be careful when applying this to WWII. Fascist movements who fought against the Soviets or Communist partisans are fine, but try not to openly praise Nazi Germany. Save that for private conversations if you must do so.

5. You decide what Marxism ‘really means,’ and who the rightful representatives of Communism were. Feign interest that Trotsky was somehow robbed of power by Stalin, despite the fact that you hate him as well.

6. Constantly talk about George Orwell. Quote from Animal Farm or 1984. Do not worry about the fact that Orwell never set foot in the Soviet Union and both of those books are novels.

7. Quote massive death tolls without regards to demographics or consistency. 3 million famine deaths? 7 million? 10 million? 100 million deaths total? You need not worry about anyone checking your work, which is good for you seeing that you probably haven’t done any.

8. Everyone ever arrested under a Communist regime was most likely innocent of any crime. Communists only arrested harmless poets and political prophets who had a beautiful message to share with the world.

9. Everything Stalin did or didn’t do had some sinister ulterior motive. Everything.

10. Keeping with the spirit of #9, remember that Stalin was an omnipotent being, perhaps an incarnation of the Hindu deity Vishnu, who had full awareness of everything going on in the Soviet Union and total control over every occurrence which took place between 1924 and 1953. Everything that occurred during that time was the will of Stalin. Stalin knew the exact details of every criminal case that took place during that era and out of his boundless cruelty, had tons of innocent people shot for no reason regardless of where they were or their position in life. Being omnipotent, he was not dependent on information passed up from tens of thousands of subordinates.

11. Constantly attack ‘Communist’ regimes for actions that occur in capitalist regimes up to this very day.

12. Claim that Marxism is utopian because of its description of a possible future society. Alternately claim that Marxism failed because it never gave a detailed description of how a Communist society would look. Do not pay attention to the massive contradiction here.

13. Start referring to Marxism as being some kind of religious faith, Messianic, or whatever other spiritualist bullshit you can come up with. When people point out that you can draw similarities between virtually any political ideology and other religions, ignore them.

14. Remember the one-two anti-Communist attack: Attack the post-Stalin system on economic grounds, and claim it just doesn’t work. Since an informed opponent will most likely point out that actual socialist economics did indeed work during the Stalin era, and in fact worked very well, attack that era on human rights grounds.

15. Two words – Human nature. What is human nature? For your purposes, human nature is a quick explanation why political ideas or systems you don’t like are wrong.

16. Bolshevik revolutions were carried out with violence and bloodshed. Bourgeois revolutions were all carried out by democratic referendums, and there was no violence whatsoever.

17. Use words like ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ constantly. Do not accept any challenge to define these terms.

18. Communists can be for or against whatever is popular in your particular area. If you are preaching to a right-wing crowd, Communists are for degeneration and homosexuality. If you are preaching to a more mainstream audience, Communists were homophobic. Essentially, Communists are for moral degeneration and puritanical prudery at the same time. Again, do not notice the contradiction.

19. Constantly flog Stalin over the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement, while totally ignoring massive support and collaboration with Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan on the part of America, Britain, and France, long before the war and even after in some ways. As usual, do not allow your opponent to examine the context of the non-aggression pact.

20. Praise the new-found ‘freedom’ of Eastern Europe. Ignore the massive depopulation via migration, plunging birthrates, huge alcohol and drug problems, political instability, civil wars, ethnic cleansing, sex trafficking and child prostitution, organized crime, high suicide rates, unemployment, disease, etc. Who cares about all that when you have freedom of speech?!

21. Constantly talk about the culture of fear in Communist nations, about that ‘knock on the door’ in the middle of the night. Ignore the ‘kick in your door in the middle of the night, stick a shotgun in your back, and haul your ass out of bed etc. because you are suspected of dealing,’ a normal occurrence in the American War on Drugs.

22. Attack Communists for suppression of religion. Attack Islamic fundamentalists for not being secular. What contradiction?!

23. Do not notice the irony that the US is currently fighting an incredibly expensive, losing war against an opponent which it funded, supported, and even handed its first victory in Afghanistan.

24. What should you say when confronted with all the continuing and often worsening problems in the world today, and asked for a solution? FREEDOM!! (Repeat as necessary until your opponent goes away)

25. Nothing from “Communists” can be trusted. Unless it somehow works in your favor, ala Khrushchev’s ‘Secret Speech’ from 1956, or anything Trotsky wrote.

26. Communist leaders were ‘paranoid’ for devoting so much time to security against counter-revolution. Ignore the mountains of evidence, including the restoration of capitalism in the East Bloc, that this threat was indeed real.

27. Communist regimes were never popular. If proof is presented in various cases to show otherwise, claim that the people were brainwashed. Make no effort to consider the budgetary and logistic constraints on such an undertaking.

28. Communist propaganda is crude and primitive. If someone mentions Red Dawn or worse, mentions the J. Edgar Hoover-endorsed comic book series known as The Godless Communists, run away.

29. Praise secularism in the name of ‘freedom’ and ‘pluralism’ until faced with a Communist. Then play the religion card.

30. Atrocities and other bad things that happen under non-Communist regimes are the fault of individual ‘bad people’. Anything bad that happens under a ‘Communist’ regime is the fault of the ideology and system. And Stalin.

31. Being an anti-Communist means not having to have any sort of ideological consistency whatsoever. Preach populist left-wing pseudo-socialism 90% of the time, and then compare the capitalist system to ‘Stalin’s Russia’ (if you never really studied the subject, just read 1984 and Animal Farm). Bitch about capitalism 99% of the time, but balk when someone suggests Communism as an alternative. Far right wing Fascist? Constantly bitch about cultural degeneracy under capitalism, while remaining fanatically opposed to Marxism for no discernable reason save for your affinity for historic nationalism.

32. If you’re an anarchist, keep pointing out the ‘failure’ of Marxism while ignoring the fact that your ideology has a 100% failure rate throughout its entire history. Blame those failures on Communists, or stronger military powers. Ignore the fact that the most wonderful society is worthless if it can’t defend itself from reaction.

33. Neo-Nazi? Communism is Jewish!! Debate over.

34. Neo-Hippy? Tibet!

35. Constantly condemn the genocide that allegedly occurred under Mao, while ignoring the US’ relations with China established by Nixon, and the massive role capitalist China has played in the modern US economy. When you want to talk positively about China, it’s a capitalist country. If you need to criticize it, it’s still ‘Communist’.

36. Claim Marxism is not empirical. Neither are neo-liberalism, ‘democracy’, or ‘freedom’, but don’t worry about that.

37. Always insist that despite the location, country, historical era, past experience, and all other factors, Communists must want to recreate a modern-day copy of Stalin’s Russia, and all that entails according to you. Do not notice the inherent idiocy in this concept, such as your particular country being already industrialized, and not having a historical problem of severe backwardness.

38. Learn to use the magic word ‘totalitarian’. This word allows you to link two ideological opposites, Communism and Fascism.

39. Ignore the fact that socialist states experienced more economic problems parallel to the number of market reforms they made.

40. When challenged about numbers or historical context, resort to labels like ‘ruthless tyrant,’ ‘cruel murderer,’ and such. Remember, people like Stalin were mass-murderers because of all the people they killed, and we know they killed all those people because they were mass-murderers. It totally tracks!

originally by J. Slavinski, ht cp.

A Tendency To Militancy

I didn’t vote today. I never expected to read those words written (typed) by me. I was always a great advocate of the need to vote, and felt that the many years of struggle and suffering of others to guarantee me that vote deserved my effort. I simply cannot see the point of voting for a European Parliament in which I have no faith or belief. To me, it is like being given the choice of voting for three different fascist parties, and feeling that I should at least use that vote, even if I despised their policies. Not only is it completely pointless, it is never going to happen.

When I was a younger man, I expressed militant ideas. I espoused the causes of revolutions in far-off lands, and agreed with the justifications of armed struggle, and achieving a goal by any means necessary. I was class-conscious, to the point of hatred, and regarded many sections of society as my sworn enemies. Somewhere in my now older head, all of this still swirls around. I have T-shirts emblazoned with the logos of Brigate Rosse, slogans from the Spanish Civil War, and silhouettes of Lenin.  I don’t just lean to the Left, I lurch wholeheartedly towards it. My heart longs for a return to the days of the Soviet Union, devoid of utilities billionaires, and Tito’s Yugoslavia, offering a practical approach to European Communism.

My head knows that this is all gone, never to return. The Red Brigades became gangsters and kidnappers, Yugoslavia destroyed itself in sectarian blood-lust, and they pulled down most of the statues of Lenin to make room for Starbucks. The world has moved to the Right. In almost every European country, the choice for the people is between one version of a right-wing party, or another. Business rules; ideals don’t pay dividends. The few countries in other lands which still boast anything remotely resembling a left-wing government are paralysed by the need to trade with capitalists, to sell their oil, their cheaply manufactured goods, or the fast-diminishing natural resources of their land. Globalisation has finally arrived, and along with it, the politics of nationalism, racism, and self-interest.

So what of the ‘enemies’? If there is ‘another side’, a modern-day natural enemy to the capitalist vine that is slowly choking the planet, then that is surely Islamic Fundamentalism. But this is no cause to defend. Its own politics are even further to the right, significantly more terrible than those pale imitations in the West. It comes with a medieval callousness, and a completely ruthless agenda. If it was not for the religious zealotry, the flippant disregard for women as individuals, and total intolerance of all things non-Muslim, I might find myself admiring such fanaticism. We should look on in terror, as here is a war we can never win. They are the future, because they don’t care about the future. They want to restore the past, and they are prepared to die, to see that happen.

When I look back at my apparently militant youth, I see now that it was many things. Fashion, protest, rebellion by argument, even something as basic as choosing a side. It was never really militancy. We may well have called it that, but we only have to look to modern day Islam to see what it really means. Total commitment, sacrifice, abstention, loyalty, and devotion. I might have had some of this, but never in large enough measure. Compared to these people, I was a child playing with ideas as toys.

No Left left

It has been worrying me for some time now, and I feel that it is appropriate to ask the question. Is there any Left-Wing remaining in British politics? We used to have the ‘Loony Left’, the Labour Left, The Workers’ Revolutionary Party, Militant Tendency, The Socialist Workers’ Party, and The Communist Party, with all its various factions. There was the Young Communist League, The Morning Star Group, the Trotsky supporters, and the old-style Marxist-Leninist diehards. Some of these still exist. You can find websites on the Internet, see members selling newspapers and pamphlets, and notice their banners on TV news, waved by marchers, demonstrating against something or another. The Morning Star newspaper is still for sale, and has a modern website. There is even a Stalin Society. I was keen to join, but they didn’t reply to my e mailed request.  It seems that it is too much trouble to be a revolutionary these days. Round up all the members and supporters of these various parties, and you would be pushed to fill the terraces of a second division football club with them. They have no impact, no influence, few policies, and no apparent agenda. Their leaders are anonymous, and constantly changing, and most of them have been eaten up by internal arguments, that have diluted them into oblivion. The days when the Establishment feared the wrath of the organised Proletariat, and their strong Trades Unions, are long gone.

There was a time, not so long ago, and certainly within my recent memory, when the Left had a fierce commitment, and a hunger for real change. They had radical ideas and beliefs, and swore to change the status quo, if and when in power. The rhetoric is now about wind farms, nuclear power stations, global warming, third world sweat shops, and the rights of farmers in countries most Britons couldn’t find on a map. What about the re-nationalisation of railways, utilities, banks, and industry? Never mentioned. Getting out of Europe, and abandoning NATO, has become a policy of the extreme Right, after it was discarded by the Left, and found lying around, waiting to be picked up, and re-packaged for general consumption.  Wealth taxes on the rich and powerful, the abolition of the House of Lords and the Royal Family, getting American bases off our soil. Where are those policies? Gone; though sometimes partially embraced by powerless splinter groups, and more worryingly, the burgeoning Right.

In Britain, we are seeing a return of Right-Wing politics at a rate unseen since in Italy and Germany in the 1930’s, and driven by much the same fears and reasoning too. Fear of job losses, fear of foreign investment and ownership, and fear of things non-British. Add to this fear of different religions, against a background of ‘Crusader’ involvement in Muslim countries, and the firework has been well and truly lit. An economic slump has opened the back gate to the worst kind of sneaky rightists. UKIP, Old-School Toff Tories, Right-leaning Liberal Democrats, and even most of the (new) Labour Party, are all embracing the politics of the Right. Some are more outgoing and extreme, such as the League of St George, Column 88, and The English Defence League. Others, formerly considered extreme beyond the pale, like National Front supporters, are now merging into parties like UKIP, and The Conservative Party, and melting happily into the background.

The media has all but abandoned any support for the Left, in any form. Despite laughable accusations of Left-wing bias, the BBC continues to tread carefully, fearful of its licence money, and dreading being handed over to commercialisation. All other television provided for mainstream viewing is either cosily neutral, or blatantly conservative, albeit with a small C. The newspapers are virtually all speaking for the Right, and the worst ones are fuelling the fires of xenophobia, as well as religious hatred, and spewing out propaganda against the disadvantaged and poorly educated in our society. The possible exception, The Guardian, speaks for the well-heeled middle-class intelligentsia, salving their consciences during their morning commute. The Morning Star has such a small circulation, it would be pushed to compete with a regional newspaper in a small town. Even that supposed voice of the Left, seems more concerned with the internal struggles of Communist factions, and is preaching to the more-or-less converted anyway.

The Trades Unions are still here, but they are no longer a force to be reckoned with. Years of amalgamation have turned them into unrepresentative monoliths, that have lost sight of their members as individuals, and seem to have forgotten the essence of the trades and skills that they are supposed to defend and protect. Hamstrung by changes in the law, they have played along, having their industrial teeth pulled one by one. Their political affiliations have diminished, and the Labour Party, that they were most associated with, is trying to sever ties with them, fearful of continued association with an organised workforce; embarrassed to stand alongside them and fight for the rights of ordinary people. Their leaders have become powerful and wealthy in their roles, detached and distant from a membership they treat like sheep. The only real alternative to another Conservative government, which would surely move even further to the Right in politics, is, whether I like it or not, the Labour Party. Now far removed from its roots, and unrecognisable to the activists who moulded it during the 1970’s, it is no longer a party of the Left. Its leader is an ineffectual bureaucrat, and its cabinet have no real policies. They have even revealed that many of the policies of the present coalition would be unchanged under a Labour administration, and that some of the cruellest changes, in health provision, and welfare reform, would also be upheld. In that case, the Labour Party is no longer a worthwhile, or even desirable alternative.

It seems likely that the very definition Left, relating to political affiliations, will soon cease to be used, and not long after, cease to exist. Left-Wing, Leftist, and any similar descriptions, will be consigned to the history books, to be viewed with mild interest as a thing of the past, sometimes with a wry grin of amusement. I like to think of my own politics as those of the extreme Left. Old-school, hard-line Communism, like something that once existed, but no longer does, or ever will again. The only place for this now, is inside my head, as I conclude that there is no Left left.

Anti-Communist Bloggers

Look up ‘Communism’ in WordPress, and you will find some really crazy blogs. With notable exceptions, they are all vehemently anti-Communist. Many are written by anti-Castro Cubans, and more by extreme Right groups, or Christian fundamentalists. What really grabs you, are the insane ideas and suggestions, all presented as facts.

Someone calling himself ‘holidayperspective’, from Denmark, believes that Communists are better treated than Nazis,  despite the fact that they might have been responsible for more deaths in History. He uses evidence of hat badges to support this. See for yourself here; http://hollidayperspective.wordpress.com/2013/08/07/national-socialism-vs-communism/

This next genius uses the fact that the star symbol is used in many non-Communist countries as proof that they are all actually Communists. He includes all the EU, and America in this. Have a look ; http://peoplethinkthat.wordpress.com/2013/08/07/communism/

Check out this Texan lady, who asserts that Obama is a Marxist, and Muslime (sic) usurper SOB. What goes on inside her head, I wonder?  http://newtgingrichforpresident2012.wordpress.com/2013/08/07/dhs-extinguishes-197-million-peoples-4th-amendment-rights-in-constitution-free-zones/

Another American, this time seriously discussing his ‘proof’ that Hitler was not Right-Wing, and was in fact, a Communist! I presume that he does not like his own Right-Wing views to be associated with Nazis. Tough. See what you think; http://whatdidyousay.org/2013/08/06/achtung-hitler-and-history-lies-weve-been-told/  Here is another post from the same man, claiming that Muslims and Communists have already taken over America. He actually lives there, so he must see his world from a really different perspective to those of us outside the U.S. http://whatdidyousay.org/2013/08/05/the-u-s-has-already-been-taken-over-by-muslims-communists/

Here’s another old favourite, the contention that Jews and Bolsheviks are one and the same, so Zionism and Communism are serving the same purpose. Does he really think that the modern state of Israel, or the Orthodox Jews who extol Zionist beliefs, have anything in common with International Communism?  http://uprootedpalestinians.wordpress.com/2013/08/05/bolshevism-and-zionism-are-ideologically-indistinguishable/

I could go on with this all night, but enough is enough. The great thing about Blogging, is that we are all free to write about anything, and to publish our opinions on any subject we choose. Irrespective of whether or not I agree with anyone, I like the fact that they can churn out this stuff to their heart’s content, and would support their right to do so, within reason. What does worry me though, is the constant representation of ideas as fact; with spurious, intangible ‘evidence’ presented to support this. I hope that the bloggers mentioned increase their readership a little, courtesy of these links. Do keep writing, all of you; just a bit less hysteria and paranoia presented as truth. Please.

And to all Americans who genuinely believe that you live in a country that is remotely Communist, or ruled by Muslim fundamentalists. You really need to get out more.

Choosing a side

It is interesting to consider what makes a person ‘choose sides’. Outside influences, parental input, peer pressure, all can be relevant. Then there is propaganda, appealing to the young and impressionable; as well as literature, historical precedent, and even the area where you are born and raised. Religion can be a factor, as well as race. In countries where such things still exist, tribal divisions can determine your choice, and in fiercely nationalist nations, loyalty to your country may be the path you take.

I have never really put my finger on what made me choose the side of The Left. It was certainly not anything to do with my parents. My father was a former soldier, a believer in Empire, and inherently racist. He voted Conservative,  joined the Freemasons, and reviled all non-whites, as inferior to him. By contrast, my mother was a liberal person in ideas, and a member of the Labour Party for most of her life. I did not follow in any family footsteps, when I embraced the politics of the Extreme Left during my teens. It was certainly not peer pressure either. My school friends had no interest in politics, of any colour or persuasion, and considered it boring, and something that ‘other people’ did. We were never really subjected to any propaganda either, at least not from Communists, or other Leftist groups. Religion and race were not relevant in my decision, as neither were ever an issue when I was young.

So, how did a working-class teenager from South London decide that he would choose to support, often actively, what was very much ‘The Other Side’, in Cold-War Britain? When I think about it long enough, the answers do appear; they do not always seem strong enough to justify my later commitment, but they must have been, because it certainly existed.

During the late 1960’s, it seemed to many of us that the World was changing. All over the planet, revolutionary groups were emerging, resisting the governments backed by the Western Allies, of France, Britain, and America. Africa was in turmoil, with what seemed to be a new war every week. Former colonies, like Cyprus, Kenya, Angola, and many others, were rebelling against their European masters, and forming their own governments. Once they had done so, they would then normally fight internal wars, each side backed by one or other of the superpower factions. In the cities of America, black youngsters were fighting for their rights, and others were beginning to protest about the growing involvement in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. In Europe, demonstrators fought the police in Paris, West Germany, and even in London. They protested about almost everything and anything, making their voice heard, and telling the authorities that things had to change.

I actually believed that things were going to change. I wanted to be part of that change, and as far as I could see, it was only the Left that was going to do anything about it. I filled my head with reading, about the Russian Revolution, The Paris Commune, The Redshirts in Italy, and any other Communist groups that I could find out about. I joined the Young Communist League, and later transferred to the main party, but found that I had little in common with my intellectual ‘comrades’. They mainly followed the Trotskyist philosophy, and were notably anti-Soviet. I saw Russia as the bastion of world Communism, and the only hope of ever ending the Capitalist stranglehold on the West. I did not concern myself about the DDR, The Berlin Wall, the occupation of the Baltic States, or any Eastern Bloc countries. I accepted that the situation was far from ideal, but then there was Cuba, Yugoslavia, and other places where life under a Communist regime was far preferable to the alternative.

When you choose a side, you have to overlook those things that others point out as faults. Was life in China so much better under an emperor, and warlords? If so, then for who? Certainly not for most of the population, who lived life as little better than slaves. Russia under the Tzars was only a good place for the upper classes and the rich. Others just toiled relentlessly, exploited by landowners, the Church, and the Aristocracy. Once the Communists took control, education was provided, work and accommodation was guaranteed, and health care, and acceptable living standards introduced. These may have seemed basic from a Western point of view in the 1960’s, but only 40 years earlier, they were unknown in most countries that were now run by Communists. Of course there would be dissidents, and restriction of  perceived ‘freedoms’. This was the price paid for a better life for all, instead of the few.

That was how I saw it then, and to some extent, still do. I was also captivated by the iconography of Communism. The heroic statues, the monolithic Art Deco architecture, the banners, badges, and flags. We did not have that here, at least not at the same level. There were no inspiring posters, or buildings adorned with 100 foot banners and red stars, lit at night. Of course my ‘side’ had its problems. Stalin was being discredited, China was isolationist, and the Berlin Wall was a visible sign of repression. Somehow, that all became attractive to me; the more it was criticised, the better I liked it. Being called a ‘Leftie’ in Britain, was a derogatory term, and being a ‘Commie’ was tantamount to treason. I lapped it up. If they wanted to think me a rebel, then that is what I would be. America, Germany, Britain, and many other nations, were all set against Communism, and prepared to fight it, if need be. That was all I needed to know, to make my choice permanent; if they were against it, then I would be for it.

Many years later, and I was no longer a party member. The new ‘Euro Commies’ were not to my taste. I had the chance to travel, and visited the Soviet Union, East Germany, and eventually, China.

It didn’t change my mind. I had picked my side, and I am still on it.

The only good Commie

There are many versions of the phrase: ‘The Only Good Commie, is a Dead Commie’. They mostly derive from America, and can be seen on T-shirts, bumper stickers, badges, and other places. To me, this begs the question, can there be good and bad ‘Commies’? Well of course there can, and history has shown us that this is true. In the same way that there can be good and bad Christians, or good and bad in any walk of life. Some people take a concept, or a faith, even a political belief, and corrupt it to their own ends. Some have used the principles of Communism to do good for the majority, even though this has made them unpopular with many others. Others have simply hidden behind the ideals, as they carved out personal empires, irrespective of the cost to their country.

There are others claiming to be communists, and perceived to be so, when they obviously are not. A good example of this would be the regime in North Korea, since the cessation of hostilities there, in the early 1950’s. This regime has a lot more in common with the dictatorships of the extreme right in the 1930’s, and the cult of personality that accompanied them. The leaders follow a dynastic principle, based on the right of one family to rule, echoing the ancient claims of royalty, in countries all over the world. It has little or no foundation, and is maintained by fear, lack of education, and intense propaganda.

An example of the opposite to this might be the leadership in Cuba, since the fall of Batista. True, there is no opposition to speak of, and it is not a democracy, in any accepted sense. The leaders live well, and better than most of the population, as is evident. However, they come from a background of communal struggle, and have kept the respect and admiration of most of the people, particularly the working classes. Those criminal elements, or wealthy landowners who resisted them, have mostly departed to America, to carry on their campaign of vilification from elsewhere. For many Cubans, the revolution gave them education, employment, and freedoms that they had never know. This may have been at the expense of many things that other counties consider to be essential, and it is true that the economic development of Cuba depended greatly on outside help, from sympathetic governments elsewhere. It is easy to forget that this is equally true of almost any country existing today, as there are few that can ever expect to ‘go it alone’. Cubans could easily have sought help from anti-communist countries to overthrow Castro, but they chose not to. This has not been driven by fear, or isolation, as with North Korea, but from the realisation that life is better for the majority, under the current system there.

Look past the red flags, and the iconography of Communism, and you will soon see that it is mostly driven by intellectuals, and well-educated individuals, who manifest their social conscience by the application of egalitarian politics. To make this work, they empower the working classes, and attempt to educate the traditionally conservative rural population. They unashamedly adopt the position that they will do right for most, at the expense of some, but that they must be allowed to do so unencumbered by the diversions of unnecessary elections, haggling landowners, and destructive opponents. These leaders are the opposite of those in other systems, where they use accumulation of personal wealth, the creed of acquisition, fear of change, and Nationalism, to promote their Capitalist philosophies.

Much is made of the so-called ‘secretive’ methods employed by Communists; closed borders, non-transferable currencies, and control of the media. Is it really so different elsewhere? Do we really believe that the so-called open policies of the British Secret Service, do not simply hide a huge system underneath? Because they have a website, and a photo of the head of operations, does this mean that we are free to act and feel in any way we wish? It would be naive to fall for this, in the same way that it would be childish to believe that our media is not subject to control, at every level. Propaganda works in two directions, so we are essentially no better informed than others in any country. We just think that we are.

To discount Communism as an idea, quoting the excesses of Stalin, Pol Pot, and Mao Tse-tung, is no different to dismissing Christianity over the Crusades, right-wing fundamentalists, or Vatican political involvements. In the right place, and managed by the right people, it may well hold the key to the future of man, as a social being.