Saturday, May 07, 2005

Remembering May Day

 One recurring theme here is that, no matter how well intentioned, government programs designed to steer actions one way or another are not only almost certainly predestined for failure, but dangerous as well. That is, markets constitute a powerful and benevolent force for the general welfare of mankind, and force, the opposite

With the subject of peak oil production comes a number of Green utopians attempting to force their solutions on society. For instance, the anonymous author of the UNplanning Journal has called for mass migrations in which the state forcibly relocates the "excess urban population" (who might that be?) to the fields and rural areas. That this was accomplished by such a scourge of mankind as Pol Pot should tell you all you need to know about its author; that he can make these kinds of claims with a straight face and yet claim to have the public's best interests at heart reveals either duplicity, or a romantic naiveté.

"But wait!" some of the Greens might say. "We're only doing this for their own good. After all, they're surplus, and certain to die if they stay where they are.

Upon such thoughts were the worst tyrannies of the 20th century founded. Utopian idealism, not greed or the need to impress chicks, was the cornerstone of Marxism and all it brutally imposed upon the people it afflicted. The derisive epithet "watermelon" (green on the outside, red on the inside) bears close semblance to the plans daily hatched for ending American dependence on fossil fuels. All of them stem from an itch to centralized power, but all of them fail to recognize that is precisely the problem. Too many a peak oil aficionado observes with tremors the grisly scene in North Korea while conveniently failing to note that North Korea also has the kind of power structure so many of them want to set up: i.e., aficionado on top.

It is with this thought in mind that I commend to you a wonderful series Catallarchy has compiled, a spectacular series of posts by guest writers as a remembrance of communism's malign presence. Whether attempting to count the slain, deconstructing Che Guevara's romantic image against his actual brutality, enumerating the methods of torture used in the Soviet gulags, or providing a history of cannibalism under Mao, Stalin, and in modern-day North Korea (cannibalism in 1930's Ukraine was "so widespread that the government printed posters that said: 'Eating your children is an act of barbarism.'”), these essays should give pause to anyone with an itch to start sentences beginning with the words, "We should...". To those still finding the words "yes, but" stuck in their gullets, I remand them to Scott Schule's words from "Away From Thebes" [note: since rescinded]:
The first day of my sophomore year history class the professor announced that we’d be reading The Communist Manifesto, and then he offered: “Stalin is not what Marx intended at all! That murderous tyrant has nothing to do with Communism!” Marx is innocent! And I, young and liberal and curious about Communist ideology, neither vomited nor screamed

But the answer was clearly shrill and tear-choked: “So what? Marx’ intentions are of no comfort —- none at all -— to the victims of how many pogroms? How many gulags? How many disappearances and silences and starvations and complete sufferings? Damn his intentions, and damn yours! Look at the results, and then gouge out your eyes at what you’ve seen!”
Update 2015-01-19: Links updated, where I can find them, on the new Catallarchy archive; the blog collective seems to have scattered.