T Nation

Happy Belated May Day

http://catallarchy.net/blog/archives/2005/05/01/may-day-2005-a-day-of-remembrance/

The modern celebration of May Day began as a working class holiday in the late 19th century. It was the culmination of a struggle of the common man for better working conditions and a demand for greater dignity. In the 20th century, various governments gave their official endorsement to the holiday with celebrations consisting of displays of military and political might. With trumpets blaring, tanks rolled through public squares and square-jawed soldiers marched in lockstep, saluting flags while the Premier reveled in the exhibition of power.

Such parades were largely a facade that hid a harsh underlying reality. While the regimes played up an image of strength and vigor to the outside world, the societies they ruled over were decaying on the inside. And the same power on display in the parades was used in carte blanche fashion to create terror, repression, brutality, and crimes against humanity. The unfortunate irony is that the common man bore the brunt of the hardship. The victims of these totalitarian states were privy to human nature at its darkest depths.

The story of their struggle has not yet been told in all its starkness.

Today, we at Catallarchy try to tell a small part of their story.


The Red Plague by guest blogger Professor R. J. Rummel ( http://catallarchy.net/blog/archives/2005/05/01/the-red-plague/ )

Growing Poverty: The Hidden History of Stalin?s Industrialization by guest blogger Professor Bryan Caplan ( http://catallarchy.net/blog/archives/2005/05/01/growing-poverty-the-hidden-history-of-stalins-industrialization/ )

An October Revolution Worth Honoring by guest blogger Nicholas Weininger ( http://catallarchy.net/blog/archives/2005/05/01/an-october-revolution-worth-honoring/ )

Kolyma: Land Of The White Death by Jonathan Wilde ( http://catallarchy.net/blog/archives/2005/05/01/kolyma-land-of-the-white-death/ )

China?s Lost Culture by Rainbough Phillips ( http://catallarchy.net/blog/archives/2005/05/01/chinas-lost-culture/ )

Three Economic Arguments Against Centrally-Planned Economies by Randall McElroy ( http://catallarchy.net/blog/archives/2005/05/01/three-economic-arguments-against-centrally-planned-economies/ )

Gulag Interrogation by Jonathan Wilde ( http://catallarchy.net/blog/archives/2005/05/01/gulag-interrogation/ )

Torture and Tyranny: The Real Che by Randall McElroy ( http://catallarchy.net/blog/archives/2005/05/01/torture-and-tyranny-the-real-che/ )

The Teacher Holocaust by Rainbough Phillips ( http://catallarchy.net/blog/archives/2005/05/01/the-teacher-holocaust/ )

Walter Duranty: Stalin?s Western Apologist by Jonathan Wilde ( http://catallarchy.net/blog/archives/2005/05/01/walter-duranty-stalins-western-apologist/ )

Away From Thebes by Scott Scheule ( http://catallarchy.net/blog/archives/2005/05/01/away-from-thebes/ )

Power + Dehumanization = Tragedy by Patri Friedman ( http://catallarchy.net/blog/archives/2005/05/01/power-dehumanization-tragedy/ )

Why Such Death? by Scott Scheule ( http://catallarchy.net/blog/archives/2005/05/01/why-such-death/ )

Communist Cannibalism by Jonathan Wilde ( http://catallarchy.net/blog/archives/2005/05/01/communist-cannibalism/ )

Salvador Allende - The Herald Of Pinochet by Brian Doss ( http://catallarchy.net/blog/archives/2005/05/01/salvador-allende-the-herald-of-pinochet/ )

Remembrance by Jonathan Wilde ( http://catallarchy.net/blog/archives/2005/05/01/remembrance/ )

Geeze, I thought it was about dancing around a phalic symbol.

People who have never lived in a society really should not talk about it. I had a university professor who spent a lifetime studying the soviet union, yet knew nothing about the country.

The lack of understanding, and level of spin those links display is comical, at best. But if you find it easier to live life by simplifying everything to the point of falsehood, be my guest.

I’ll get you started:
Those commie bastards were heartless, good thing capitalism won, otherwise those commies would have enslaved everyone~

Aleksandr wrote:
“People who have never lived in a society really should not talk about it. I had a university professor who spent a lifetime studying the soviet union, yet knew nothing about the country.”

I’ll bet you did. Did you turn away from him when he pointed out that Communism is an impractical and bloody in practice?

Oh, how many million innocents killed in the 20th century under Communism?

Was that HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS?

“The lack of understanding, and level of spin those links display is comical, at best. But if you find it easier to live life by simplifying everything to the point of falsehood, be my guest.”

What a wonderful comment from someone who preaches Communism in 2005. See the twentieth century.

“I’ll get you started:
Those commie bastards were heartless, good thing capitalism won, otherwise those commies would have enslaved everyone”

Now you are getting there!!!

Oh, you might want to believe your own sarcasm. I’ll bet your sarcasm would be more enlightened than your beliefs.

For you, the opposite of your stated beliefs are closer to the truth.

Good Luck!!!

JeffR

[quote]Aleksandr wrote:
People who have never lived in a society really should not talk about it. I had a university professor who spent a lifetime studying the soviet union, yet knew nothing about the country.

The lack of understanding, and level of spin those links display is comical, at best. But if you find it easier to live life by simplifying everything to the point of falsehood, be my guest.

I’ll get you started:
Those commie bastards were heartless, good thing capitalism won, otherwise those commies would have enslaved everyone~[/quote]

Well Aleks,

I picked one at random for you to masterfully dissect for its spin and misunderstanding of the Chinese communist culture, circa the Cultural Revolution:

http://catallarchy.net/blog/archives/2005/05/01/the-teacher-holocaust/

These stories are excerpts from the Chinese Holocaust museum ( http://www.chinese-memorial.org/ ), the author of which has attempted to document the Cultural Revolution with first hand accounts of the atrocities that occurred. The excerpts were slightly edited to improve readability. To read the entire original article by Youqin Wang of the University of Chicago, click here: http://humanities.uchicago.edu/faculty/ywang/history/1966teacher.htm .




The Scale and Degree of Violence Against Teachers

In the afternoon of August 5, 1966, some tenth-grade students at the Girls Middle School attached to Beijing Teachers University started ?beating the black gang,? a group comprised of three vice-principals and two deans (there was no principal). Many students came to join in. The students splashed ink on the clothes of these five, forced them to wear ?high hats,? hung boards with their names crossed out by red X?s on their necks, forced them to kneel on the ground, hit them with nail-spiked clubs, scalded them with boiling water, and so on. After three hours of torture, the first vice-principal, Bian Zhongyun, lost consciousness and was put into a garbage cart. Two hours later she was sent to the hospital across the street. There, she was later found to have been dead for some time. Another vice-principal, Hu Zhitao, suffered bone fractures. The others were also severely injured. Bian Zhongyun, fifty years old, who had been working for this middle school for seventeen years, was the first educator to be beaten to death by students in Beijing during the Cultural Revolution.

Large-scale violence had, however, begun earlier at the Middle School attached to Beijing University. Liu Meide was a vice-principal and a chemistry teacher at this middle school. On July 31, on the day the ?working group? that was in charge of the school in June and July received the order to withdraw from school but had not yet left, a group of students launched a violent action against her. They hacked Liu?s hair, put dirt into her mouth, and beat her. Liu was forced to crawl on the playground and repeatedly say: ?I am Liu Meide. I am a poisonous snake.? One day in August, she was ordered by the students to climb on a table and kneel there. A student placed one foot on her back, posing as per Mao Zedong?s description of how to struggle against landlords: ?force them down on the ground and then place one foot on them.? After a journalist of the Beijing Daily took a photograph, the student kicked Liu from the table to the ground. Liu was pregnant at that time. Her baby died from prenatal injuries soon after the birth. Many teachers at this school were tortured during the same period.

At the Middle School attached to Qinghua University, the birthplace of the Red Guards, Wan Bangru, the principal, and his vice-principal, Han Jia?ao, were forced to put a piece of black cloth on the front of their shirts, on which were written in white characters: ?first head of the black gang?? and ?second head of the black gang,? respectively. Beginning from early August, they were beaten black-and-blue many times. Their hair was cut raggedly. Wan?s kidneys were seriously damaged. One day the students of class 6401 (the eighth grade) forced Han Jia?ao to kneel on the floor of their classroom and took turns beating him, one after another, with a club, whip, or leather belt for more than an hour, and then burned Han?s hair. Some teachers were forced to beat each other and were told, ?f you don?t beat each other, we will beat you both.?

A female staff member, Gu Hanfen, not only had half of her head shaved, but was also blinded in one eye as a result of being beaten. In late August, the violent beatings expanded to younger teachers, and even to some students. At midnight of August 26, 1966, having been beaten and insulted for the whole evening at a struggle meeting, a twenty-six-year-old chemistry teacher named Liu Shuhua committed suicide by jumping from the top of the school?s chimney.

On August 17, 1966, at Beijing 101st Middle School, students tortured more than ten teachers. They forced teachers to crawl on a path paved with coal cinders until knees and palms bled. They whipped their instructors with copper-buckled belts. Some female teachers suffered having half of their heads shaved, in a hairstyle called ?yin-yang head.? The painting teacher, Chen Baokun, was beaten badly and then drowned in a fountain.

On August 19, 1966, the students of Beijing Fourth, Sixth, and Eighth middle schools held a ?struggle meeting? in the Zhongshan Concert Pavilion at Zhongshan Park, which is next to Tiananmen Square. On a stage in front of an audience of thousands they whipped and kicked more than twenty ?members of the black gang? from the three schools and the city?s Education Bureau.

Sun Guoliang, the head of the Beijing Municipal Education Bureau, suffered three fractured ribs. Wen Hanjiang, the vice-principal of the Eighth Middle School, lost consciousness as he bled on stage. According to an interviewee, all were so severely beaten that they ?no longer looked human.?

On the evening of August 19, 1966, at the Middle School attached to Beijing Foreign Languages College the Red Guard students beat Zhang Furen, a Chinese teacher, and Zhang Fuzhen, an administrative staff, to death. In mid-August 1966, the students of Beijing Sixth Middle School (which is one kilometer from Tiananmen Gate and across the street from Zhongnanhai, where the party center is located) made the former music classroom into a jail, with a watchtower and a spotlight on the roof. They wrote ?Long Live the Red Terror? on the wall and later dipped brushes into the blood of victims to repaint the characters of the slogan. This jail existed for three months until November 19, 1966. Nine teachers were jailed there during the entire time span. Some teachers, students, and ?class enemies? from outside the school were also imprisoned there for various periods. A deputy dean of the school who had been imprisoned there for three months died less than a month after being released. Three men-a custodian, Xu Peitian; a student, Wang Guanghua; and a man who owned houses for rent near the school, He Hancheng -were beaten to death in the jail.

On August 25, 1966, the students of the Second Middle School attached to Beijing Teachers University beat three people to death on their campus: Jin Zhengyu, a literature teacher; Jiang Peiliang, the party secretary, the highest-ranking cadre at this school; and Fan Ximan, a student?s mother. The principal, Gao Yun, was ordered to stand under the hot sun, while boiling water was poured on him and thumbtacks were stuck in his forehead. Gao came close to dying several times that summer. On that same day, Liang Guangqi, the head of Beijing Fifteenth Girls Middle School, was beaten to death when she was jailed on campus.

At the Middle School attached to Beijing Teachers College, Yu Ruifen, a female biology teacher, was knocked to the ground and beaten in her office. In broad daylight, she was dragged by her legs through the front door and down the steps, her head bumping against the cement; a barrel of boiling water was poured on her. Although she died after approximately two hours of torture, this did not satisfy the students; all other teachers on the ?ox-ghost and snake-demon team? were forced to stand around Yu?s corpse and take turns beating her.

In general, the brutality of students in colleges and in elementary schools was not as severe as in middle schools, but it was nevertheless serious. At Beijing University, hundreds of people on the ?labor reform team of ox-ghosts and snake-demons? were forced to clean the campus with irregularly shaved heads, while wearing boards with their name and title (such as ?member of the black gang? or ?reactionary academic authority") around their necks and receiving gratuitous insults from many students who came to ?learn revolutionary experiences from Beijing University.?

For example, Zhu Guanqian, professor of aesthetics, had his head shaved and then was forced every day to pick up garbage with other ?enemies? in front of the convenience store near the student dormitories. On August 4, when Professor Wu Xinghua of the English Department was cleaning the lawn, some students forced him to drink polluted water from a ditch containing waste from a chemical factory near the university. Immediately, he became very sick. He died that night, at age forty-four. On August 24, students from the Department of Biology used a copper-buckled leather belt to whip one of their lecturers, Hu Shouwen, at his home. His bloody shirt stuck to his skin, requiring his wife to use warm water to soften the shirt for removal. Hu?s neighbor Cheng Xiance, the party secretary for the Department of Chinese Language and Literature, was also beaten that day. On September 2, Cheng Xiance committed suicide by drinking two bottles of insecticide after suffering a long period of torture, which included being beaten and having an X-shape shaved on his head. On October 9, Shen Naizhang, professor of psychology, committed suicide after suffering various humiliations.

On August 24, 1966, the Red Guards of the Middle School attached to Qinghua University transported truckloads of Red Guards from twelve middle schools to Qinghua campus, where they beat the administrators and professors. After several persons at the Department of Electronic Engineering were beaten, their blood stained the ground. Someone marked a circle around the blood and wrote ?dog blood? That day Red Guards ordered those on the ?ox-ghost and snake-demon team,? under the lashes of whip, kicks, and punches, to pull down a white marble monument which was built in 1905 to commemorate the founding of the school. That night, all school-level cadres at both the university and the attached middle school were detained in the Science Building, and there in a small room, a beating was inflicted upon each of them. No one escaped without serious injury.

In elementary schools, the oldest students were thirteen years old. At Beijing Lishihutong Elementary School, a teacher surnamed Ye was forced to swallow nails and balls of excrement. The students of Beijing Yuquan Elementary School shaved half of the heads of four female teachers. At Beijing Sanlihe Third Elementary School, after students shaved half of her head, the music teacher, Ms. Zhang Jiamin, and her husband, the painting teacher, Mr. Zhang Jiaji, were forced to slap each other?s face in front of many of their students. Zhao Qianguang, the dean of Beijing Zhongguo-Guba Friendship Elementary School, committed suicide by jumping from a chimney after being insulted and beaten. Zhao Xiangheng, the principal of Beijing Shijiahutong Elementary School, committed suicide by jumping from a high building. On August 27, Guo Wenyu, the principal of Beijing Kuanjie Elementary School, died after being beaten and pushed face down into dirty water. Lu Zhenxian, the dean of Guo Wenyu?s school, was beaten to death on the same day. Meng Zhaojiang, Guo Wenyu??s husband, was tortured at the same time and died two days later.

Even kindergarten teachers could not escape the violence. Some teachers of Beijing Zhongshan Gongyuan Kindergarten and several kindergartens in Beijing?s Dongcheng District were denounced and beaten in the Zhongshan Concert Pavilion; there, students from middle schools beat them and shaved their heads.

Attacks against teachers also occurred in the provinces. In Shanghai, on the evening of August 4, students of Huadong Teachers University arrested more than 150 professors and administrators at their homes, put ?high hats? on their heads, hung boards with words such as ?member of the black gang? and ?reactionary academic authority? around their necks, paraded them through the campus, and then forced all of them to kneel on the ?Communist Youth Square? for a ?struggle meeting.? Afterwards, the ?Shanghai Writing Group,? which played a leading role in Shanghai during the Cultural Revolution, encouraged students in other colleges to take similar actions. At the Middle School attached to Huadong Teachers University, eighteen teachers were forced to crawl several laps around the sports ground. The female teachers among them were given ?yin-yang heads.? Students of Fuxing Middle School struck some teachers on the head with hammers, and one teacher?s skull was broken. Jin Zhixiong, a librarian of the school, committed suicide. Xue Zheng, the principal of Shanghai Third Girls Middle School, was forced to eat excrement while cleaning toilets, and some students used thumbtacks to fix a ?big-character poster? on her back. Lin Xiuquan, a teacher of Tongji Middle School, was beaten to death on campus.

In Tianjin, students of Nancang Middle School put garbage baskets on the heads of teachers, drew black X?s on their shirts, and shaved the female dean?s head. A custodian named Yao Fude at Tianjin Hongqiao District Jinzhongqiao Elementary School committed suicide by jumping into a river near the school after he was badly beaten. In Changsha, the capital of Hunan province, after returning from the first meeting of Red Guards with Mao Zedong in Tiananmen Square on August 18, 1966, the Red Guards of Changsha First Middle School started beating teachers and students from ?bad families.? The person beaten most seriously was a female vice-principal, who was openly religious. In addition, she had half of her head shaved.



Please visit Youqin Wang?s Chinese Holocaust Museum website for a through account of the Cultural Revolution ( http://www.chinese-memorial.org/ ).

[quote]JeffR wrote:
Aleksandr wrote:
“People who have never lived in a society really should not talk about it. I had a university professor who spent a lifetime studying the soviet union, yet knew nothing about the country.”

I’ll bet you did. Did you turn away from him when he pointed out that Communism is an impractical and bloody in practice?

Oh, how many million innocents killed in the 20th century under Communism?
Was that HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS?[/quote]

Re-check those numbers. Give me a primary source and we’ll talk about it. (Hint: If your source is Kruschev, I’m going to laugh at you).

If those numbers include people that were killed in the USSR during WWII, I’m going to laugh at you.

Tell me what communism is, and we may get somewhere. While there are plenty of legitimate criticisms that can be made (this is true of any system), you can’t make them if you don’t know what communism is. I’d be willing to be you don’t.

You have no knowledge about my beliefs, all I am saying is that those “articles” are laughable. The only way anyone could read them, and NOT think them ridiculous is if they have no understanding of those cultures, historical context of the confilcts, or the principles of communism.

So I challenge you to tell me what communism is, and give me some (trustworthy) sources for the numbers coming up with. Go ahead and impress me.

Isn’t may day really Beltane? Beltane is alot older than the 19th Century.

http://www.circlesanctuary.org/pholidays/Beltane.html

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
Aleksandr wrote:
People who have never lived in a society really should not talk about it. I had a university professor who spent a lifetime studying the soviet union, yet knew nothing about the country.

The lack of understanding, and level of spin those links display is comical, at best. But if you find it easier to live life by simplifying everything to the point of falsehood, be my guest.

I’ll get you started:
Those commie bastards were heartless, good thing capitalism won, otherwise those commies would have enslaved everyone~

Well Aleks,

I picked one at random for you to masterfully dissect for its spin and misunderstanding of the Chinese communist culture, circa the Cultural Revolution:

http://catallarchy.net/blog/archives/2005/05/01/the-teacher-holocaust/

[/quote]

You want me to tell you the impact of chinese culture… on the cultural revolution? I am not following at all, what are you asking me to do?

Spin? how about presenting this as how communism operates, rather than the fall-out of a bloody civil war, combined with the illogical dogma of the chinese “communists” (the russians ridiculed china for it’s extremism).

And is china communist? Again, define communism for me, and then see if china has ever fit the description. But let’s pretend for a second it was (which is obviously incorrect), how do these autrocities relate to the economic system? It seems to me like a cultural/political problem, not an economic one.

Further, I’ve heard rumours that in capitalist countries, there are autrocities on occasion. In the US, during the 50s, innocent blacks were often convicted of murder, and forced into what is essentially slave labour. I guess that means that capitalism is evil (by your own logic).

[quote]JeffR wrote:
Aleksandr wrote:
“People who have never lived in a society really should not talk about it. I had a university professor who spent a lifetime studying the soviet union, yet knew nothing about the country.”

I’ll bet you did. Did you turn away from him when he pointed out that Communism is an impractical and bloody in practice?

Oh, how many million innocents killed in the 20th century under Communism?

Was that HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS?

“The lack of understanding, and level of spin those links display is comical, at best. But if you find it easier to live life by simplifying everything to the point of falsehood, be my guest.”

What a wonderful comment from someone who preaches Communism in 2005. See the twentieth century.

“I’ll get you started:
Those commie bastards were heartless, good thing capitalism won, otherwise those commies would have enslaved everyone”

Now you are getting there!!!

Oh, you might want to believe your own sarcasm. I’ll bet your sarcasm would be more enlightened than your beliefs.

For you, the opposite of your stated beliefs are closer to the truth.

Good Luck!!!

JeffR

[/quote]

MAY DAY IS AN AMERICAN HOLIDAY! Started in 1886 by men who wanted an eight hour workday. Call me a Commie bastard, but I am a working man, and May Day is just another Labour Day.

And Jeff, everytime you talk about politics, I understand why this country is headed to hell under the Radical condervative, and if folks like me and other leftists, (from the crappy bought off Democrats to the socialists all the way on the edge) dont talk like we do, you people would have a facist country in a heartbeat. You always sound like your education in politics begins and ends with Rush Limbaugh, and thats not something to proud of. Keep your Nazi-esque red baiting to yourself, and give us our holiday.

[quote]Aleksandr wrote:
BostonBarrister wrote:
Aleksandr wrote:
People who have never lived in a society really should not talk about it. I had a university professor who spent a lifetime studying the soviet union, yet knew nothing about the country.

The lack of understanding, and level of spin those links display is comical, at best. But if you find it easier to live life by simplifying everything to the point of falsehood, be my guest.

I’ll get you started:
Those commie bastards were heartless, good thing capitalism won, otherwise those commies would have enslaved everyone~

Well Aleks,

I picked one at random for you to masterfully dissect for its spin and misunderstanding of the Chinese communist culture, circa the Cultural Revolution:

http://catallarchy.net/blog/archives/2005/05/01/the-teacher-holocaust/

You want me to tell you the impact of chinese culture… on the cultural revolution? I am not following at all, what are you asking me to do?

Spin? how about presenting this as how communism operates, rather than the fall-out of a bloody civil war, combined with the illogical dogma of the chinese “communists” (the russians ridiculed china for it’s extremism).

And is china communist? Again, define communism for me, and then see if china has ever fit the description. But let’s pretend for a second it was (which is obviously incorrect), how do these autrocities relate to the economic system? It seems to me like a cultural/political problem, not an economic one.

Further, I’ve heard rumours that in capitalist countries, there are autrocities on occasion. In the US, during the 50s, innocent blacks were often convicted of murder, and forced into what is essentially slave labour. I guess that means that capitalism is evil (by your own logic).[/quote]

Are you really trying to compare the evils of the Cultural Revolution to civil rights problems in the U.S. in the 50s? In extent, intensity or effect, the comparison is most inapt. On the one hand, you have a regional problem affecting a few people who got what were arguably unfair jury trials and were convicted of crimes for which they were punished consistent with the standards of the time for convicted criminals – definitely problematic. On the other, you have mass execution and torture based on class, and for the sole stated reason of class.

“Communism” itself isn’t inherently evil – it’s just that the form of government requires too much power to be concentrated in government, and that power is inevitably abused. It’s born in coercion by force of arms, and given the historical examples it doesn’t seem to progress any further.

Why don’t you begin by finding a Communist country – and I’m not really interested in how close or far from doctrinal purity it is, given I don’t think there are any pure governments for any particular system – that didn’t engage in large-scale abuse of its citizens?

[quote]Janoski wrote:
Call me a Commie bastard, but I am a working man, and May Day is the same as Labour Day.

[/quote]

Commie Bastard.

haha. Guess i asked for that.

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
Aleksandr wrote:
BostonBarrister wrote:

Are you really trying to compare the evils of the Cultural Revolution to civil rights problems in the U.S. in the 50s? In extent, intensity or effect, the comparison is most inapt. On the one hand, you have a regional problem affecting a few people who got what were arguably unfair jury trials and were convicted of crimes for which they were punished consistent with the standards of the time for convicted criminals – definitely problematic. On the other, you have mass execution and torture based on class, and for the sole stated reason of class.
[/quote]

ALthough you are clearly downplaying the systematic abuse of the 50s, take into consideration what preceded it. You could easily make a case that the worst abuse humanity has ever seen occured in the united states, for several hundred years, under a capitalist system. Regardless, it doesn’t change the fact that the cultural revolution was cultural in nature (as evidenced in the name) and not economic.

Again, it is an economic system, not a political one. To say it requires anything dealing with allocation of power, or any other form of government is incorrect. I can find plenty of examples of capitalist countries where there is too much power concentrated in government, and results in abuse. In fact, I can’t name anything BUT capitalist countries where this is true.

[quote]
Why don’t you begin by finding a Communist country – and I’m not really interested in how close or far from doctrinal purity it is, given I don’t think there are any pure governments for any particular system – that didn’t engage in large-scale abuse of its citizens?[/quote]

I’ve tried, I haven’t heard of a single communist country. As for “purity”, you need to let go of the nonsense taught to you in high school. The spectrum of socialism to capitalism, with all countries existing betweenthe two extremes is wrong. The two are mutually exclusive, and I have never heard of anyone coming up with a way to reconcile them into a plausible hybrid.

However, you can find many examples of primitive communism, and there is no association between this system and abuse of citizens.

But seriously, if you can’t define communism, or at least give me some key features to demonstrate any level of understanding, why do you insist on talking about it? You can’t make valid arguments if you don’t understand the topic.

Alexander,

Here is a link that will make my point.

Before you try to impeach any of the sources, please note the number and diversity of them.

Then track them down yourself.

Finally, read the discussion attached.

If you still doubt the HORROR THAT IS COMMUNISM, then you are beyond help.

users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat1.htm .

Oh, I like this definition of Communism.

www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1847/11/prin-com.htm .

I just wanted to say that I read Marx when I was in junior high school. Even though my mind wasn’t fully formed, I rejected it for the nonsense that it is.

Further reading, has only reinforced this belief.

I hope you are no farther along than Junior High School. If not, please give your brain a chance.

Thanks,

JeffR

P.S. Now that I have surprised you, please apologize. I’d like the favor returned.

Janoski wrote:

“MAY DAY IS AN AMERICAN HOLIDAY! Started in 1886 by men who wanted an eight hour workday. Call me a Commie bastard, but I am a working man, and May Day is just another Labour Day.”

Yes. Great.

“And Jeff, everytime you talk about politics, I understand why this country is headed to hell under the Radical condervative, and if folks like me and other leftists, (from the crappy bought off Democrats to the socialists all the way on the edge) dont talk like we do, you people would have a facist country in a heartbeat. You always sound like your education in politics begins and ends with Rush Limbaugh, and thats not something to proud of. Keep your Nazi-esque red baiting to yourself, and give us our holiday.”

That was a very revealing paragraph.

Do you refer to Iowa as “fly over America?”

Did you contribute to John Kerry’s campaign?

Have a very pleasant four years!!!

JeffR

I don’t care about the semantics. Did the USSR and its satellites, China, Cambodia, Viet Nam and Cuba claim to be Communist governments or not? If you want to play semantics, I could come back and say you couldn’t possibly say that because there aren’t any truly capitalist countries.

You have countries that endured armed insurrections, in the name of “the people,” that enforced some level socialist/communist economic policies and used brute force to keep them in place – and keep the citizens from fleeing en masse from such a wretched system. Communism – or whatever you prefer to call it – cannot exist on a large scale without totalitarianist power. Those are the ones I’m calling “communist” for short hand. Feel free to go write a paper on all the very important reasons why this does not conform to the technical definition of communism – and keep ignoring the main point, which is the willful evil that has been done by those regimes. Brutality, intimidation and murder were part of their official policies.

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
Why don’t you begin by finding a Communist country – and I’m not really interested in how close or far from doctrinal purity it is, given I don’t think there are any pure governments for any particular system – that didn’t engage in large-scale abuse of its citizens?

Aleksandr wrote:
I’ve tried, I haven’t heard of a single communist country. As for “purity”, you need to let go of the nonsense taught to you in high school. The spectrum of socialism to capitalism, with all countries existing betweenthe two extremes is wrong. The two are mutually exclusive, and I have never heard of anyone coming up with a way to reconcile them into a plausible hybrid.

However, you can find many examples of primitive communism, and there is no association between this system and abuse of citizens.

But seriously, if you can’t define communism, or at least give me some key features to demonstrate any level of understanding, why do you insist on talking about it? You can’t make valid arguments if you don’t understand the topic.[/quote]

I could care less about your trite dismissals. I could care even less about whether the countries above, which claimed to be Communist countries, conform to your definition. Neither will whitewash the history of governments that were worse than the Nazis – in total, definitely, and in some cases even individually.

[quote]ballyhoo wrote:
Isn’t may day really Beltane? Beltane is alot older than the 19th Century.

http://www.circlesanctuary.org/pholidays/Beltane.html[/quote]

Yes, it’s also spelled Beltaine.

And yes, it is dancing around a phallic symbol, mindeffer.

Damn people keep usurping and warping my pagan holidays. Make up your own shit, assholes!! :slight_smile:

[quote]lothario1132 wrote:
ballyhoo wrote:
Isn’t may day really Beltane? Beltane is alot older than the 19th Century.

http://www.circlesanctuary.org/pholidays/Beltane.html

Yes, it’s also spelled Beltaine.

And yes, it is dancing around a phallic symbol, mindeffer.

Damn people keep usurping and warping my pagan holidays. Make up your own shit, assholes!! :slight_smile:

[/quote]

Long live Festivus… =-)

[quote]JeffR wrote:
Alexander,

Here is a link that will make my point.

Before you try to impeach any of the sources, please note the number and diversity of them.

Then track them down yourself.

Finally, read the discussion attached.

If you still doubt the HORROR THAT IS COMMUNISM, then you are beyond help.

users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat1.htm .

Oh, I like this definition of Communism.

www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1847/11/prin-com.htm .

I just wanted to say that I read Marx when I was in junior high school. Even though my mind wasn’t fully formed, I rejected it for the nonsense that it is.

Further reading, has only reinforced this belief.

I hope you are no farther along than Junior High School. If not, please give your brain a chance.

Thanks,

JeffR

P.S. Now that I have surprised you, please apologize. I’d like the favor returned.[/quote]

Repeating what someone else posted on the internet does not count as quoting a primary source. Giving a link to a “marxists” website does not equal giving me a definition. All you proved is that you are not capable of providing a definition, or even key points, on your own.

As for the definition on that site, although they are right in a way, their definition is too narrow, and constricting. What they define as communism is more of an end-result of it. But, honestly, I urge you to avoid “communist” parties, and their webpages. My father and I have conversed with various leaders of these parties, and they really, really don’t know what they are talking about. It’s kind of sad. However, if you insist on learning on the internet , instead of the library, the following site should be much better than most. http://www.worldsocialism.org

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:

Actually, I would love to see you try to make the case that the worst abuse humanity has ever seen has occured in the United States.
[/quote]

It’s often called the black holocaust. I’m sure some people here have heard tell of it.

But interestingly, china and russia were enemies. How could that be? You can espouse whatever you want, it doesn’t make it true. I can sit here and spend all day telling you I am actually a pirate, but if I don’t meet any of the criteria that define what a pirate is, am I still one, because I claimed to be? That is, if I claim to be a pirate, and I am lying, does that modify the definition of “pirate”? The reason russia and china were enemies likely stems from their opposite views on which class should run the country, and how to run the economy. Yet they both claimed to use the same economic system. Fortunately, both were lying.

[quote]
I don’t care about the semantics. Did the USSR and its satellites, China, Cambodia, Viet Nam and Cuba claim to be Communist governments or not?[/quote]

Some did, others did not. Cuba, for instance, did not. After having being antagonized by the US and UK for a while, Castro had to turn to the USSR for help. Similarly, north Vietnam had to turn to the USSR to balance out the American assistance the south was receiving. To the vietnamese, it was a civil war, and economics had very little to do with it.

In fact, not even the USSR claimed to be communist. The system they employed was called “war-time communism” by Lenin, and was supposed to be temporary, to keep the country together during the crisis. Unfortunately, the war never ended.

You can say whatever you want, but you’d be lying. You don’t want to discuss semantics? You are telliong me you aren’t interested in what communism IS, but it is bad because people say so.

No, you have power-hungry people who figure the easiest way to win power is by enlisting the USSR or China as an ally. In order to do this, they say “yeah, we believe whatever they believe”. The reason their governments fail is because they don’t know what they are doing. This is because they are usually not politicians, or economists, or anyone else that would have any idea how to run a country.

I disagree entirely. I agree with Marx’s assertion that it cannot exist on a small scale. Any country claiming to be communist has already violated one of the defining characteristics of communism.

The “evil” is not always willful. Stalin’s USSR would never have existed if Lenin realized the country would be in war perpetually. He made a mistake, hardly “willful evil”. And Stalin can be debated. On the one hand, I hear russians (eg Kruschev) and americans saying he was a monster. On the other hand, non-russian soviets say he was a great man and a great leader.

[quote]
I could care less about your trite dismissals. I could care even less about whether the countries above, which claimed to be Communist countries, conform to your definition. Neither will whitewash the history of governments that were worse than the Nazis – in total, definitely, and in some cases even individually.[/quote]

Stop being so dramatic, no one is trying to whitewash anything. My dismissals weren’t intended to be offensive, my intention was to show you that it would be more productive for you to read a little history, and maybe economic theory, rather than discuss things which you obviously are not familiar with. Put away your ego for a second, and consider this point closely: what contribution are you making by responding with dramatic rhetoric? It’s obvious that your understanding of communism comes from US propaganda (which is typical, I’ve met very few people for whom this wasn’t true). Maybe you should consider other points of view before talking so much.

It is really fascinating from a social psychology point of view. It’s referred to as the mirror image effect; the “willful evil” you accuse the USSR of displaying is very similar to how the USSR preceived the US. Soviet propaganda was surprisingly similar to US propaganda. Both sides saw each other as being evil, and themselves as moral, even though they did terribly immoral things.

You should watch “The Fog of War”, it is terribly interesting, and is a rare insight into what JFK and LBJ were thinking when they did the things they did, and what McNamara found out years later from talking to his “enemies”.