Archives for posts with tag: Marx

Tough times create tough men. Tough men create easy times.
Easy times create weak men. Weak men create tough times.

American proverb
Wealth lasts only for three generations: one to make it, one to keep it, one to squander it
Chinese proverb
If you raise your children, you get to spoil your grandchildren.
If you spoil your children, you get to raise your grandchildren.

Popular word of mouth

There’s no denying that, on average, each generation fares better than its predecessor.

Then why some people end up worse than their parents?
Is it a social thing?
Is it in their upbringing?
Is it the consequence of bad personal choices?

The easy way out would be to consider that legislation, material status, the culture one was born into and even the upbringing offered by the parents are nothing but circumstances. And, ultimately, it’s the individual who makes the call. And bears the consequences…
But the above mentioned individual doesn’t rise from and into a complete void… so I need to go deeper!

An equally true but somewhat more useful observation would be that we’re dealing here with something more important than mere wealth.

‘There’s no such thing! Nothing is more important than Wealth!’

Yeah, right… Individual people keep squandering the personal wealth accumulated by their forefathers, the humankind keeps going forward and you tell me personal wealth is the most important thing here…

But you do make a good point. Your insistence, obsessive even, about wealth being the crux of everything is very relevant.
Since I agree with you that wealth is important, indeed, then maybe it’s the ‘insistence’ which is causing the problem…

First of all, allow me to make a simple distinction.

There is wealth – structured opportunity, I’ll discuss this notion in another post, and there is personal wealth. Opportunity which belongs to somebody.
When an individual squanders the wealth inherited from their parents – or even that which they had managed to put together themselves, the wealth itself – the accrued opportunity – doesn’t disappear from the face of the earth. It just passes from one hand to another. Most of it, anyway. For the simple reason that most of today’s wealth is expressed in money. Which is fungible.

‘OK. So individual people squandering their inherited wealth do not represent such a big problem. The total wealth already present ‘on the face of the Earth’ remains (more or less) the same, no matter who owns it. And since new wealth is created everyday, the humankind, on aggregate, goes forward.’

That’s how things used to be. That’s how things had evolved for the last ten millennia or so. Ever since our forefathers had invented agriculture. Agriculture and money… Land and money cannot be destroyed. Buildings and almost everything else which carries value can. Be destroyed. Land and money also, actually, but it’s a lot harder to do it.

But there’s a catch here.

For wealth to do its trick – to function as an opportunity, people have to have access to it.
That’s why, for example, people do not keep their money under the mattress. When deposited in a bank, money will end up being used. The bank will lend them to somebody who needs it and that somebody will put that money to work, In no matter what shape or form. Kept under a mattress, money becomes mostly useless. At least for the time being…
And this is where ‘insistence’ – our obsessive insistence – that money is the only worthwhile goal for any respectable person becomes counterproductive.

‘Are you a communist?!?’

On the contrary, my dear Watson!

In fact, Marx had been just as infatuated with money as Milton Friedman was going to be a century later. With more or less similar results…
Friedman taught us that greed is good. Profit uber alles. That getting money trumps everything else. That getting money is not only good for the individual itself but also commendable. That everybody should make it their goal to become rich!
Marx, on the other hand – please remember that the ‘other’ hand is nothing but similar to its twin – advocated for all wealth to be stripped from its rightful owners.
See what I mean? Both Marx and Friedman had been thinking only about ownership. Who owns that wealth!

On average, we deal with the same situation.
According to Friedman – pushing his advice to the very limit, there’s no problem if someone owns all the money in the world. If it so happened, so be it.
According to Marx, nobody should own anything.
On average, the wealth corresponding to each living human in both situations would be the same.

We already know the consequences of Marx’s teachings. When all the wealth present in one country is managed by a very small number of people, the whole situation goes south. Fast. Very fast!
We also know what happens when the market is cornered. Becomes suffocated by a monopoly. The whole situation goes south. That’s why we cherish the freedom of the market!

Doesn’t make much sense?
To insist that the market must be free and simultaneously maintain that ‘greed is good’?

Yep! My point exactly…

The vaunted human capacity for reason may have more to do with winning arguments than with thinking straight.
Illustration by Gérard DuBois
Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds
New discoveries about the human mind show the limitations of reason.
By Elizabeth Kolbert February 19, 2017

For some reason, there still exists a considerable number of people not yet convinced that what had been experienced in the Soviet Union was “a true socialist/communist form of government”

The sad reality is that the Russian Revolution did establish a true socialist form of government!
As per Marx’s teachings.
The communists had been in charge of things, and the things failed to become better.
In fact, they had become worse.
Eventually, the Soviet Union – along with all other socialist attempts, had crumbled under their own weight.

Those who want to find better alternatives to democratic capitalism – good luck with that – need to find another word but socialism to describe their goal.
Or wait a few generations before attempting to give it a new meaning. The current one had been wasted by the likes of Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Kim, Ceausescu…

People who have never experienced communism speak freely about it.
Some are frightened by it – as they should be, while others are looking forward to it.

People who have no real idea about what fascism/nazism was about speak freely about it.
Some are frightened by it – as they should be, while others are looking forward to it.

While there is a consensus about communism being a ‘far left position’, fascism is usually – but not unanimously, considered to be ‘far right’. Some even speak about a ‘third position‘, whatever that might mean.

The way I see it, what we have experienced as fascism is what Marx had in mind when he wrote the Communist Manifesto.
According to Marx, at some point in what he hailed as ‘the future’, the middle class was going to become poorer and poorer. All the wealth generated by the capitalist economy and governed by the increasingly imperialist/monopolist states was going to be herded into fewer and fewer hands.

As a consequence, once impoverished, people until then belonging to the middle class were supposed to realize they had been duped and let themselves be led – out of misery – by the communists. ‘The most advanced and resolute section of the working-class parties of every country …’

What Marx was prophesying had soon enough come to be. The post WWI German and Italian peoples had lost their hopes and allowed themselves to be led by those who pretended to put ‘the best interests of the people’ above everything else.

Same thing happens whenever a crises is deep enough to impoverish a significant number of people. Who loose their hopes and allow callous political operators to advance closer and closer to power.

What we have experienced as ‘communism’ was a Leninist short-cut.
In Marx’s view, communism was going to happen after economically advanced societies had reached a certain pinnacle.
Lenin – and Mao, had introduced ‘socialism’ and ‘popular democracy’ as intermediary stages between their underdeveloped societies and what Marx had in mind.

So no, there is no such thing as a ‘third position’. We have democracy – where left and right cooperate towards the common good, and authoritarianism.
While democracy is clear and transparent, authoritarianism hides its true nature under a chameleonic cloak. Painted, by the spin doctors who run the show, in whatever hue happens to be more attractive to the masses which are about to be fooled.

Afterthought. I googled ‘third position’ and found out that:

“In the last few years of the 20th Century, according to an article by Chip Berlet, a new form of fascism emerged in a period of resurgent neo-fascism. Called the Third Position, it seeks to overthrow existing governments and replace them with monocultural nation states built around the idea of supremacist racial nationalism and/or supremacist religious nationalism.”


The Bolshevik Revolution had nothing to do with cooperation. Nor with civilization.
It was nothing but the famished underdog eating the bloated plutocrat.
The ensuing indigestion lasted for almost a century and resulted in a huge number of people suffering from ideological food-poisoning. Too many of the poisoned ending up dead…

Yet here we are. Again!
Trying to sort out a re-heated dish.
Which had already been proved to be unpalatable!

No wonder ‘gaslighting’ had been determined to be ‘word of the year’…

As for Kropotkin… he was a true revolutionary!
He was gaslighting his audience before the term had even been coined…

‘Jungle’ – or ‘bush’, is where evolution takes place.
Some of us might see it as a venue for cut-throat competition but it’s nothing but the opposite of it.
The fact that some of us misperceive the jungle doesn’t change the evidence.
In nature, death doesn’t happen at the whim of someone.
A lion kills only when hungry. And chooses to hunt the already weak. Leaving the rest of the herd in a better situation.

The kind of cooperation designed by Marx and put in practice by Kropotkin – the communist ‘civilization’, is the epitome of stagnation. When humans are no longer free to fine-tune competition with cooperation – and are forced to cooperate as they are told to from above, things end up in chaos.

All revolutions – 1789, 1917, 1989, have proven – time and time again, that things cannot be sustainably maintained as the rulers consider to be appropriate. That no matter how skillful the ‘designers’ consider themselves to be, society is a too complex thing for a small gang of however powerful people to be able to ‘keep afloat’.
This being the point where Marx, along with all other ideologues, had gotten it completely wrong.

The Communists, therefore, are on the one hand, practically, the most advanced and resolute section of the working-class parties of every country, that section which pushes forward all others; on the other hand, theoretically, they have over the great mass of the proletariat the advantage of clearly understanding the line of march, the conditions, and the ultimate general results of the proletarian movement.

According to Marx, it’s enough for a bunch of people to pretend they have a ‘theoretically clearer understanding of the line of march’!
In fact, this is the sole argument made by Marx when explaining why the communists were entitled to lead the proletariat.
‘Because they knew better!’

Well, we know, now, what it means to be led by people who pretend to be above all others!
By people who pretend to be better than the rest…

Protagoras din Abdera a spus că ”omul este măsura tuturor lucrurilor”.

Platon a spus că sofiștii trebuie ‘aruncați la groapa de gunoi a istoriei’.

Protagoras era sofist – ‘filozof’ plătit de ‘clienții’ săi pentru a-i învăța să gândească, fiecare dintre sofiști avea linia sa proprie de gândire iar ‘clienții’ îl alegeau pe cel care le plăcea fiecăruia dintre ei.
‘Sfârșitul’ lui Protagoras l-a anticipat pe cel al lui Socrate. Condamnat pentru ‘libertate prea mare în gândire’ a fost exilat și apoi aruncat peste bord de pe corabia care-l ducea către locul în care fusese silit să plece.

Tot Platon a spus că ‘cetatea, adică ‘polisul’, trebuie guvernat de niște oameni special educați în acest scop’.
N-ar fi mare deosebire față de ce făcea Protagoras… Care îi învăța pe oameni să gândească… Din păcate asemănarea este doar de suprafață. Fiecare sofist își adapta ‘programa’ la fiecare dintre elevi. Fiecare dintre elevi era învățat să gândească după ‘chipul și asemănarea sa’. Să măsoare lucrurile din punctul său de vedere. Punând cap la cap, în mod democratic, toate aceste puncte de vedere, Atenienii din Antichitate au reușit să construiască o întreagă civilizație.
‘Regii Preoți’ promovați de Platon erau educați toți după același șablon. Cel indicat de Platon!

Aristotel, cel mai cel dintre studenții lui Platon, a educat un astfel de Rege-Preot.
Pe Alexandru cel Mare.
Care, profitând de condițiile social-istorice produse de guvernarea ineptă a lui Darius al III-lea al Persiei, a cucerit tot ce se afla între Meditarana de Est si Indus. O mare realizare pentru istoricii europeni dar o mare nenorocire pentru populațiile respective. Pentru soldații morți din ambele tabere și pentru toți cei strămutați sau uciși în timpul luptelor. Militari sau locuitori ai orașelor asediate.
O mare nenorocire și pentru Alexandru însuși. Căruia succesul i se urcase la cap și care nu mai accepta sfaturi de la nimeni. Care și-a ucis tovarășii cu care începuse campania și care a murit din cauza băuturii.

Marx, un alt mare gânditor al omenirii, a decretat că „treaba filozofilor este să schimbe lumea”. Că degeaba vii cu explicații dacă nu-ți pui convingerile în practică.
Așa că a scris „Manifestul partidului comunist”. Un foarte bun ‘ghid practic despre cum să organizezi o dictatură’.
În condițiile pe care le sesizase Marx în Anglia. Țara care îi acordase ‘azil’. Țara care, în virtutea dreptului la opinie, l-a lăsat să-și pritocească ideile și apoi să le pună pe hârtie.

Am să fac o pauză și am să vă invit să citiți un text scris mult mai profesionist decât sunt eu în stare.

„Remake – 1 Mai: semnificația unei lupte. Drepturile pentru care trebuie să lupți și pe care să nu le consideri niciodată câștigate definitiv
Dacă citiţi literatura mare a secolului XIX, mai ales literatura engleză, rusă şi franceză, observaţi o chestiune care şochează azi: păturile cele mai sărace, adică peste 90% a populaţiei, muncesc cel mai mult şi trăiesc cel mai sărac. Muncesc cot la cot: tată, mamă, copil de 8 ani pe glie sau în fabrică câte 16 ore pe zi. Nu exagerez.
Şi rezultatul: sărăcie lucie. Ideea de drepturi sociale, politice şi economice nu exista.
Când muncitorii englezi au început primele lor proteste nu au cerut acces la educaţie şi sănătate, la odihnă şi viaţă decentă. Ar fi fost linşaţi. Ştiţi ce au cerut? Au cerut ca ai lor copii minori să meargă la şcoală? Parlamentarii britanici ar fi fost şocaţi. Nu. Ei au cerut mai puţine ore de muncă pentru copiii lor fragili, deoarece aceștia mureau pe capete în fabrici şi uzine. Cerinţele lor au fost foarte greu auzite după ce s-a scurs multă sudoare şi mult sânge.

Textul, scris pe 1 Mai 2020 de Vasile Ernu, este mult mai lung. Am furat doar această porțiune pentru că mi se pare suficientă. Că descrie suficient de bine situația din Anglia respectivei epoci.

Ei bine, ‘ghidul’ lui Marx nu a fost, încă?!?, ‘utilizat’ în Anglia. Nici prin vreo altă țară dintre cele ‘avansate’ din punct de vedere economic ȘI SOCIAL. Aici au fost inventate tot felul de remedii pentru ‘disfuncționalitățile’ sesizate de „marea literatură a secolului XIX” astfel încât tensiunile sociale au fost ținute sub control.
Dar omenirea nu a scăpat totuși de experimentul comunist…

Precum Alexandru cel Mare înaintea lui, Lenin – cel mai bun elev al lui Marx, chiar dacă cei doi nu s-au întâlnit niciodată, a profitat de consecințele create de un război idiot și de guvernarea cretină a unui întreg șirag de țari și a instaurat Uniunea Sovietică. Uniunea Republicilor Sovietice Socialiste. Comunismul.

Precum imperiul lui Alexandru, și cel al lui Lenin s-a prăbușit destul de repede.
Nu destul de repede pentru cei care au suferit consecințele guvernării sovietice.
Nu destul de repede pentru cei care au suferit consecințele încercărilor dictatorilor sovietici de a-și extinde influența.
‘Destul de repede’ doar la scara istoriei!

Revenind la spusele lui Marx: ‘Ce rost mai are să gândești dacă nu-ți pui concluziile în practică?’ mă întreb când vom scăpa de blestemul Cassandrei?
Știind foarte bine ce se va întampla, când vom înțelege că nici de data asta nu ne vom arăta a fi mai deștepți decât precedenții noștrii?
Că ‘garbage in, garbage out’ e valabil și la scara istoriei?

Ce mi-a venit?
Tocmai am terminat de citit

Acum vreo lună, umbla pe net o listă lungă de citate – compilată tot de un ‘intelectual’, care demonstrau ce părere ‘bună’ au avut, de-a lungul istoriei, un șir lung de intelectuali ruși despre propriul popor.

”Nație ce cutreieră prin Europa și caută ce să mai distrugă, să facă praf, pur si simplu, totul. Din batjocură”

Atribuit – de către „scriitorul român, Orlando Baraș”, lui Dostoievski. E un pomelnic întreg, am să mă opresc aici.
Este cât se poate de posibil ca în vasta literatură scrisă de Dostoievski să existe și această înșiruire de cuvinte. Nu mă bag, nu am citit nimic de respectivul. Tot ce știu este că fără context, un citat nu înseamnă prea multe. Și mai știu ce răspunde Google atunci când îl intrebi

Înainte de toate, să fim ruşi. A deveni rus înseamnă să încetezi să mai dispreţuieşti poporul tău. Îndată ce europeanul va vedea că am început să iubim poporul şi naţiunea noastră, va începe şi el să ne stimeze; atunci nu ne va mai întoarce spatele cu dispreţ şi vom fi ascultaţi. Vom face, cu toţii, o altă figură. Deveniţi noi înşine, vom avea o figură umană şi nu o fizionomie de paiată.

Cu alte cuvinte, părerea lui Dostoievski despre poporul în sânul căruia s-a născut este cel puțin nuanțată.
Negativă, conform citatului atribuit lui de către Orlando Baraș și bună – pe alocuri frizând auto-adulația, conform listei compilate de colaboratorii români ai site-ului

Și atunci?
De ce s-ar lansa „elita lui Putin” într-o campanie de dezinformare a poporului rus? De îndoctrinare? Doar pentru că au fost plătiți pentru a face acest lucru? Adică mituiți?
Nu înțeleg acești ‘intelectuali’ că își taie singuri viitorul de sub picioare? Că îl vând ieftin pe un prezent oricum nesigur?
De ce s-ar lansa un „scriitor român” într-o campanie de denigrare a poporului rus? A poporului, nu a dictatorului… bine, pe dictator nu-l mai poți ‘denigra’… cel mult în mintea apărătorilor lui…
Revenind la cei care vorbesc de rău întreg poporul rus, ce urmăresc aceștia?
Intensificarea ajutorului dat Ucrainei? Pentru asta sunt suficiente câteva fotografii cu ‘realizările’ armatei lui Putin. Da, armata lui Putin este constituită din soldați ruși. Doar că armata lui Putin nu este Rusia.

E chiar atât de greu de înțeles, mai ales pentru niște intelectuali, că războiul ăsta se va termina la un moment dat?
Și că, indiferent de cât de nasoală va fi înfrângerea – pentru Putin, sau de cât de lung va fi războiul, după aceea va trebui să coabităm – noi, supraviețuitorii din ambele tabere, unii cu ceilalți?
E atât de greu de înțeles, mai ales pentru niște intelectuali, că războiul ăsta se va termina mai repede dacă vom reuși să desprindem poporul rus de sub influența lui Putin? Și că acest lucru nu se va întâmpla atâta vreme cât noi le vom spune că îi disprețuim? Pe toți? Dându-i lui Putin oportunitatea să se prezinte în postura de singur apărător al Mamei Rusiei în fața hoardelor de barbari?

Marx l-a învâțat pe Lenin că primul pas care trebuie făcut de către cineva care construiește un imperiu este să controleze ideologic mulțimea. Prin intermediul unor ‘activiști’ bine educați la ‘școala de partid’.
Plato spunea practic același lucru. Că treburile cetății trebuie încredințate unui grup de oameni educați într-un mod coerent. Adică ideologizați.
Putin continuă această ‘tradiție intelectuală’. A dresat, în timp, un grup de oameni să producă un anumit gen de propagandă și să ducă la îndeplinire hotărârile adoptate de el. Inclusiv pe cele mai criminale dintre ele. Simultan, a îndepărtat de ‘microfon’, prin orice mijloace, pe toți cei care i-au contestat vreodată autoritatea.
Ne confruntăm astăzi cu cele mai proaspete consecințe ale funcționării acestui mecanism. Ororile suportate de poporul Ucrainean.

Și noi ce facem?
Înțelegem mecanismul pus la cale de Putin? Mecanism care nu e deloc nou…
Invățăm unde să punem ‘nisipul’? Cum să ‘dezactivăm’ această bombă socială?

Înțelegem odată că fără ‘exagerările’ capitaliștilor timpurii, Marx n-ar fi avut despre ce să scrie?
Că fără tensiunile sociale rezultate din guvernarea țaristă, Lenin nu ar fi putut să instaureze comunismul în Rusia?
Că, indiferent de cât de corupți ar fi fost funcționarii post-sovietici, ‘capitalul de lucru’ care circula prin Rusia lui Eltsin tot de origine ‘externă’ a fost? Și că fără corupția aia enormă, Putin nu s-ar fi putut cățăra la putere? Că tratată altfel, Rusia post-sovietică ar fi evoluat în altă direcție? Pe o traiectorie asemănătoare celei urmate de Germania de după WWII…
Așa, lăsată în ‘boii ei’, după ce Uniunea Sovietică a pierdut – de una singură, Războiul Rece, succesoarea a căzut pe panta pe care alunecase și Germania de după WWI. Populația nu a înțeles, de una singura, de ce a fost pierdut războiul, elitele nu au vrut nici ele să-și recunoască ‘meritele’, au fost identificați ‘vinovații externi’ și totul a fost reluat. De la început.

Și războiul acesta, cel început de Putin împotriva Ucrainei, se va sfârși la un moment dat.
Nu știu când dar știu că, în cele din urmă, Putin va fi învins. Cum, necum, Putin va pierde acest război.

Încă nu știu cine va câștiga pacea de după acest război.
Dacă vom reuși, cumva, cei care îi vom fi supraviețuit lui Putin – adică învingătorii din ambele tabere, să ne așezăm la aceiași masă. Dacă vom reuși să ne croim un viitor împreună. Singurul posibil, pe termen lung.

Altfel, acea pace va fi doar un armistițiu. ‘Decât’ încă un armistițiu. O pauză, mai lungă sau mai scurtă, între două războaie succesive.

Protagoras spunea că oamenii dau măsura lucrurilor.
Că până nu înțeleg, ei, cu adevărat, despre ce e vorba…

For sometime now, I was having a very hard time trying to understand what’s going on.

Seemingly intelligent people keep sending messages demonstrating the exact contrary.
On ‘social media’!

Communism is good and life saving masks and vaccines are bad…
Communism is good because some of the capitalists have been bad and life saving measures are bad because they are forcefully imposed!

Communism – which has failed each and every time when and where it had been attempted, is better than capitalism. Because some of today’s capitalists refuse to pay their taxes. The fact that people living in the ex-communist countries still struggle with the consequences of the systemic errors inherent to the communist ‘order’ isn’t relevant anymore. The selfishness of the tax-dodgers ‘trumps’ everything else. Pun intended!

Life saving measures are bad for the single reason that they are forcefully imposed by a majority which wants to live upon a minority which considers liberty to be more valuable than life. I’m not going to argue that you cannot enjoy liberty while being dead. That would be idiotic. I’m only going to ask

Liberty from WHAT?!?

From WHOM?!?

Who’s the oppressor? What do they force us to do? Live?!?

Or wear a mask, get jabbed and pay taxes?
As in ‘do something back for the community which supports you’?
Contribute to the community where you had been born, raised and which makes your current life possible…

The eureka moment had come when

I realized that ‘it takes two to tango’.

Marx wouldn’t have had any traction without the ‘exaggerations’ of the early ‘robber barons’.
Lenin wouldn’t have been able to steer the Russian Revolution so far left without the ‘benefit’ of the former, Tsarist, rulers having behaved in an absolutely idiotic manner.
Hitler, and Mussolini, wouldn’t have been able to steer their countries so far right without the errors committed by the previous ‘administrations’.
The current American political scene would have been completely different had the political actors behaved in a more reasonable manner. Both sides of the political spectrum…

We’re currently at war. Undeclared and mostly not understood.
Let me use a WWII example to make things clearer.

Much of the equipment used by Hitler’s army to attack the USSR had been built outside Germany. Following German designs and according to technological processes developed in Germany but using foreign workers laboring in foreign manufacturing facilities and processing raw materials sourced from outside the Third Reich. France’s Renault, Citroen, Peugeot, Berliet and the Czech Skoda are but a few examples.
Yet despite the fact that the nazis had forced almost the entire Europe to work for them, the Allies have eventually prevailed.
Simply because the Allies had pulled together! And that they had been helped by the Resistance. Which Resistance had been encouraged and helped by the Allies themselves.

The current aggressor, SarsCov-2, uses the very same tactics. It invades an organism, takes over and forces its victim to work for it. To build fresh virus armies. Which armies are then sent out to conquer more organisms.
More Human People, that is.

And what do we do? The potential victims? The ‘logical’ allies?

Do we stick together? Do we have each-other’s backs, like all truthful allies?
Do we make good use of whatever weapons each of us can use? Masks, vaccines, social distancing…?

Like the allies had done during WWII?

You see, WWII, like all other wars, have not been won, or lost, by soldiers alone.
War is a country wide effort. To win, a country must mobilize all its energies.
The “Home Front” is not an empty phrase. Not at all!

Do you see that happening in the current war?

Or too many of us have let the health-workers to fight OUR war of survival on their own?
On our behalf…

ICU nurse sleeping in a box while all the beds and the chairs in the hospital (St. Pantelimon Emergency Hospital, Bucharest, Romania) were occupied.

Until recently – historically speaking, people had two ideologies to choose from.

Conservative and liberal.

The conservatives used to posit ‘law’ as a ‘cage’ which didn’t allow any transgression while the liberals understood ‘law’ as an agreed upon environment which allowed people an individual but orderly pursuit of happiness.

The advent of Marx’s communism changed everything. His promotion of ‘class warfare’ as a legitimate political instrument had effectively muddled that which had previously been considered a clear choice.

After communism proved itself to be an abject failure, the naifs have forgotten about Marx.
Flying under the ideological radar, ‘class warfare’ has metastasized.

Nowadays, Regular Joe is confronted with three ideologies. And to make things worse, their names – attributed and/or assumed, are misleading.

We have a line of thought which uses (natural) ‘law’ as a line of defense against any kind of change. And as a means of bringing back the ‘better yesterday’.

Another line of thought which sees (man made) ‘law’ as an instrument to implement – forcefully, if needed, whatever the ‘implementer’ wants to achieve. One of the most often professed goals being ‘equality’. Close on its heels comes ‘diversity’.

And the ‘classical’ liberals who are squeezed between the previous two.

The state/government – whose job is to keep ‘the playing field’ level and functional, is paralyzed by the first two factions fighting to control it.
The ‘conservatives’ want to use the state/government as a ‘preserving agent’ for what they consider to be their (natural) ‘rights’.
The ‘progressives’ want to use the state/government as an instrument of (forceful, if needed) change towards what they consider to be ‘the common good’.

Meanwhile, the classical liberals – berated by both of the above, have a hard time explaining to a shrinking audience that the state/government is an extremely dangerous instrument if allowed to fall into the hands of ‘single-minded’ operators. That as soon as the freedom of the markets (the economic and, way more importantly, the ideatic ones) is curtailed, everything starts to go south. Fast!

Democracy and the free market have brought us so far.
The freedom of thought/expression and the freedom to act as an honest entrepreneur have been instrumental in us reaching the present state. With the goods and the bads in it.

Each instance in which the state/government had fallen prisoner in the hands of ‘men of state’ with ‘focused vision’, history started to run backwards.
No matter whether that ‘limited vision’ had been focused in the past or on “a certain” future.

Each time this subject comes about I remember about Francis Fukuyama’s The End of History.
About how concentrated he was on the future he considered to be forthcoming.
About how his ‘hard focus’ had prevented him from noticing the sunken part of the iceberg.


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Some of you will agree and some will say I’ve lost it.

First things first.

Socialism does take away liberties.
One by one. Under various pretexts.
I’ve learned this on my own skin.

Spending the first 30 years of your life under a communist regime teaches you a thing or two…

On the other hand, the meme above does have a certain ‘appeal’.
A significant number of people had their pensions slashed, watched their savings disappear and their jobs being exported. Health care and education have become exorbitant. Racism, xenophobia and hate have again risen their ugly heads and more and more people die at the wrong end of a gun. Of a gun ‘manhandled’ by ’emotionally distressed’ persons…

What’s going on here?
Why so many people’s lives are so badly ruined?

Fugazi can be used to describe a situation as “fucked up” or to describe an item as fake.

You see, “capitalism” stealing anything is a lie.
A blatant lie!

Capitalism cannot steal anything!

Socialism can rob you of your rights because it actually says it will do it.
Given the slightest chance, those who promote socialism will use the doctrine to ‘discipline’ their followers into a herd.

Capitalism doesn’t promote stealing!
Stealing is not condoned by any capitalist ideology while concentrating all decision making in the hands of the ruling coterie is the cornerstone of socialism.

‘If capitalism doesn’t condone stealing then why an increasing number of people end up penniless while so much money gets concentrated in such a small number of hands?!?’

Why are we living in such fugazi times?

Replace “capitalism” with ‘some (fake) capitalists’ and the text above will make so much more sense!

You see, what we have here is the perfect illustration of fugazi.
We are in a fucked up situation!
And instead of trying to solve it, some of us attempt to ‘fake it’!
And consequently make it worse…

Socialism won’t bring any respite!

Solving the current untenable situation starts with acknowledging its causes!
Its real causes…

Blaming the socialists for the errors committed because too much greed had been ‘expressed’ at ‘very high levels’ doesn’t solve anything.
Promising that socialism will making things right is just as malignant as blaming the socialists for the mistakes made by the greedy who have brought us where we currently are.

Only when we’ll stop faking it we’ll be able to look for solutions.
For workable solutions…

Oh, I almost forgot!
Don’t allow the ‘con-artists’ to convince you that social democracy is equivalent to socialism.
This is a thesis put forward by the same people who maintain that “republic” is good while “democracy” is bad.
And don’t allow the ‘other’ ‘con-artists’ to convince you that all wealthy people are bad and that (forced) “equality” will solve everything.


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Division of work was the first milestone we had passed in our quest to reach humanhood.

If not convinced, compare the effectiveness – in any situation, of a team composed of identically educated and similarly skilled people versus one comprising individuals with various skills and diverse exposure to the world – a.k.a. education.
In other words, compare a bunch of ‘robots’ to a gang of people who complement each-other.

Historically, societies – when and where enough resources had been present, have become increasingly complex. While those composing them have become more and more specialized. And more and more dependent on the rest of the society. On the smooth functioning of said society.
In Adam Smith’s words: the baker, the butcher and the brewer depend on each-other to feed their respective families.

In fact, all of us depend on the smooth functioning of the market. Those of us who had experienced communism had learned this on our own skin.
Same thing is valid for all totalitarian societies. Any attempt to run complex systems from above – in a centralized manner, will – sooner rather than later, end up in failure.
For no other reason than the fact that nobody – individually or in a small team, is above error. No matter how smart or well intended, all of us make mistakes. If the system allows for those present to point out errors – and to demand those errors to be fixed, things may continue.

But, by definition, a totalitarian – a.k.a. centrally planned, system has no feed-back loop. The planners have ‘no’ information about the consequences of their decision making. Well, my experience suggests a combination. Those at ‘the bottom’ gradually loose their appetite for sending information topside – because those at the top had the habit of ‘killing’ the bearers of bad news, while those at the ‘top’ gradually loose any interest in what goes on at the bottom.

Working democracies are organized around the principle of ‘separation of powers’. Another form of ‘division of work’. Each ‘power’ does what it’s supposed to do and, together, balance the whole system.

Nothing ‘fancy’.
For as long as those involved pay due respect to the principle instead of lip service to the form…

Nassim Taleb had coined an interesting concept.
Intellectual yet Idiot.
Any individual conceited enough to believe he’s always right and arrogant enough to try to impose his worldview on those around him.

Or, in Karl Marx’s terms, an individual who has convinced himself that the world needs to be changed according to his own precepts.

Are you implying that Marx was the first ‘intellectual yet idiot’?’

No, only the second…
Remember Plato’s ‘king priests’?
What’s the difference between those who, according to Plato’s advice, were to be groomed to govern and those who had been conditioned by various totalitarian parties and sent out to ‘spread the word’?
What’s the difference between Plato, Marx and, say, Alfred Beumler and Alfred Rosenberg?

Plato had been inspired by what Pericles – a dictator, had managed to achieve and his most prominent ‘product’ had been Aristotle. Who, in his turn, had educated Alexander the Great. Supposedly one of the greatest generals and statesmen in human history. According to European historiography, anyway…
If you ask to those of his contemporaries who had happened to be in Alexander’s path to glory… you might get a different opinion!
And what’s so glorious in being the immediate cause of death for so many people across three continents only to die of alcoholic poisoning?

Marx had come up with a brilliant explanation for what went wrong in early capitalism and with an abysmal solution for the problems he had identified.
The worst thing being that he didn’t stop at proposing aberrant solutions.
He was actually instrumental in several attempts to put them in practice.

Alfred Beumler and Alfred Rosenberg. Is there any need for me to comment on them? On their absolute arrogance?
How else to call their willingness to declare that some people are to go on living while others should be disposed off?

This being the moment I’ll be pointing the finger to what Plato, Marx and Beumler/Rosenberg have in common.
All of them share the willingness to divide people into ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’. The arrogance to put forward criteria which are to be followed by the rest of us.
The arrogance to consider the world should follow their teachings.

Division of work had done it’s job.
Invented by nobody in particular, used by most of us – and many of our ancestors, it had brought us to where we are now. When so many of us have time to think.
Technology – maybe the most evident consequence of ‘division of work’, is proficient enough to feed us all. If we use it right.
Or to kill us all. If we use it wrong.

What will it be?
Are we going to remember what, time and time again, our forefathers have figured out? That ‘together’ we can ‘move mountains’? That diversity is the key to survival? To finding new paths into the future?
Or are we going to fall pray – not for the first but, certainly, for the last time, to those who teach us to despise our neighbor? To stay separate? To consider some people – mainly ‘us’, as being above the rest?

Until thirty one years ago, the Eastern half of Europe was self isolated behind the Iron Curtain. Which had suddenly disappeared in a matter of months.

Nowadays, when SARS-CoV-2 has forced each of us to shelter in place and our nations to self isolate behind the borders, we have not only the opportunity but also the obligation to re-evaluate our take on many of the things we took for granted.

The most important one being our Weltanshauung. The way we see the world.
The fact that we have convinced ourselves – simply because our lives have been good enough, that we’ve been doing things the right way.

Marx’s communists had been convinced that dialectic materialism – supposedly backed up by science and a generous political doctrine, was the way in which humankind was going to built its future.
Not the best way, the only way!
For which reason, no transgression from the official line was allowed.
Solutions were to be found only where the official doctrine mandated that answers might have existed.

Communism had fallen. Mostly from within.
Which has prompted those on the other side of the fence to consider that their vision had been better. Which was obviously true.
Slowly, people on both sides of the previous fence have started to convince themselves that their vision was the only correct one. The only alternative had proven itself to be a failure, didn’t it?
Which seems also true. I know of no better alternative. For us. I know of no alternative which would be more helpful for us. Only the fact that I’m not aware of an alternative doesn’t mean much. The alternative might as well exist. Or not….

And here’s the problem.
Marxism had failed for no other reason than those who followed it behaved as if they were convinced that Marxism was perfect. They were implementing the Marxist doctrine by the letter. Not that its spirit was any good… long discussion. My point being that arrogance was built in the Marxist spirit. Marx had actually given carte blanche to his adepts to impose communism, by force, to the rest of the world.

Unfortunately, the last 30 years had convinced me that many individuals belonging to the dominant culture, to any dominant culture, have a hard time keeping their cool.
Too many of them reach the conclusion that ‘theirs’ is the best way. That all the rest are wrong.
Which conviction has a malignant consequence. It makes them deaf. They no longer consider any other option but theirs.
They no longer hear anything but their inner voice.

For all it may be worth, here’s what I learned about liberty during the last 30 years.

Liberty as breadth.
Liberty is the breadth of the opportunity field where we might search solutions for our problems. But no matter how large that breadth might become, we’re never ‘out of the woods’.
Liberty is but an opportunity, never a guarantee.
We are the ones still responsible for the solutions we pick. For the simple reason that we’re going to bear the brunt of the consequences.

It is easier to search for solutions in a freer environment. Hence better solutions might become available sooner. But it’s still our job to look for them. To experiment. To widen our scope.

Liberty as a form of social interaction.
We can relate to freedom in at least two manners.
As an individual goal – ‘I want to be free’/’I want freedom for my people’, or as a ‘manner of doing business’.
We are free, together, because we respect, and trust, each-other. We are free, together, because generations and generations of us have build a social arrangement based on mutual respect. A social arrangement which includes certain mechanisms which attempt to bring things back on track whenever disturbances appear.
Some of which mechanisms have been put into formal law, while others have remained in the ‘public domain’.

When we put these two visions together, the ‘binocular’ image starts to develop ‘depths’.

A social group may enjoy freedom – a wider opportunity field, only as long as its individual members – all of them, enjoy their individual freedoms. For only as long as all individual members are free to roam the entire opportunity field discovered/maintained by the community.
And as soon as some individual members start to corner portions of the opportunity field for themselves… the whole social mechanism will grind to a halt.

Sooner rather than later.
The more intense the desire of the individual members to increase their ‘own’ individual liberty, the narrower the aggregated opportunity field becomes.
Each of the individuals guarding their plot means each of them staring at their feet. Individuals become more interested in guarding their fences rather than in raising their eyes to the horizon.

People obsessively defending their past will never be ready for the future.
Meanwhile individuals charging ahead with no consideration for the rest of the team will soon find themselves stranded on thin ice. With no one around to help.

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