Saturday, May 19, 2012

Communism — A Bad Idea that Won't Go Away

There are a lot of science-fiction/horror stories about possession, from the Body Snatchers to various episodes of Star Trek.  They usually involve some kind of spirit or disembodied life-form that takes an individual over, uses him, then moves out to take over a more powerful person, and so on, till he ends up ruling all of mankind.  And there's the variation where the spirit being doesn't have to leave one individual, as in the Puppet Masters or the Borg, but just keeps taking over more and more people till it is everybody.  These stories are very often unsubtle metaphors about real human memes that take over whole groups of people.  Proselytizing religions work that way, sort of like viruses.  Mohammed started one, and he brought in some other people, and intrinsic in Islam is that an individual Muslim is required to bring other people in, and so it spreads.  It's still spreading, here and there.  I use it as the first example because it's one of the most overt religions that operate that way, but others do, too — most forms of Christianity, Buddhism, etc.

But this extends to non-religious belief systems, too, good ones and bad ones.  The scientific method was created and perfected in Europe, but now is part of the fabric of culture in most of the world.  And one of the bad ones is communism.  It took centuries to develop into its current form, but for a while there, it was the basic ideology of maybe a third of the world, what with China, the USSR, and their satellites. Due to its essential disconnect with reality and some other factors, it died out in the Soviet Union a few years back, but before it died, it sent out spores.  Like the body-possessing evil spirit of the stories, it wore one host out and looked around for another, stronger one to exploit.  But it had gotten more sophisticated by then, and knew it could spread more effectively by stealth — i. e., by changing its name and appearance. Sometimes it can dress itself up pretty cute, as in the illustration.  Oh, where did it go?  It came here, of course, and uses a lot of names. "Political correctness" is one, and "anti-racism" is another.  And it also calls itself "social justice" and "fairness" and "99%."  To recognize it in all its forms, it helps if you learn about its original, classical form, Marxism. John Keller has gone right to the source, The Communist Manifesto, and finds it strangely familiar.  His essay is HERE.

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