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  •  My take on Communism (none)
    I'll trot out what I wrote 3 years ago on the eve of the invasion of Iraq:

    "Whether an indirect approach, not necessarily a containment policy, would work effectively against fundamentalist Islam in the Middle East is impossible to know, as while both religion and ideology have the ability to inspire populations, religion tends to outlast ideology - particularly an ideology like communism/socialism which in order to reach its final, utopian state requires some fundamental changes in the behavior of all people which are highly unlikely to ever occur. For that reason, Karl Marx' "Communist Manifesto" made some interesting reading, but I'd probably have graded it a "D" and sent it back to him if he'd told me he was really serious about it."

    I'll go out on a limb here and assume no more and no less that Armando, who is often straight-spoken and pragmatic in his own way, doesn't give a crap about flavors of "Communism" (Chinese, Cambodian, Soviet, Cuban, etc. variants) or takes a lot of stock in the old domino theory (I guess we saw how that one turned out; ditto prediction for Wolfowitz & Co.'s "reverse domino" theory of cascading democracies in the Middle East).

    See, the problem with Communism and Anti-Communism is both sides were as fucked up because they both believed in something that didn't make sense and in practice showed time and again that it didn't make sense.  "Communism" was simply a crappy wrapper used to run a totalitarian and ineffecient system, which is what it's really about.  I'm pretty much against that.

    It's a damn shame people on both sides took the malarkey so seriously.  Then again, common horse-sense doesn't exist in everyone's gray matter; and belief can sometimes trump that little and oft-ignored tinny voice of reason.

    Now, if human nature were inexplicably modified such that one's concern for others and the whole was greater that one's concern for one's own self, and this applied to all members of society, well then socialism or communism or whatever variant one wishes to name and describe would actually be quite nice.  

    My take on Communism and its so-called application on numerous countries is the same as my take on Bush's push to "transform Iraq and the Middle East" - rather than thinking he can wave his magic wand and transform Iraq into a democracy that's Western-emulating, he might as well just say:  "Starting next week, all Iraqis will be transformed into 3-foot-tall Norwegians.  And the desert portions of Iraq will be transformed into lush and verdant rainforests."

    •  There never were any real Communists (4.00)
      Just Totalitarians who mouthed the words.

      The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

      by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 06:11:55 PM PST

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      •  I tend to get wordy; you're always succinct (none)
      •  communism castro chavez... (none)
        If you said that you were  'virulently anti communist', and believe that 'there were never any real communists', what were you virulently against?  
        Chavez is redirecting oil proofits in his country towards helping his people even if you don't like him. There has already been a U.S. backed coup against him, that failed because Venisualans would not accept it. Let's not create another Castro.
        Don't waste your time complimenting Bush I, He did enough terrible stuff to bring him right down into the gutter. Do you remember the Christmas Eve Pardons?...
      •  Trotsky came close, didn't he? (none)
        Of course, we know what happened to him and people like him for keeping the faith.

        In any case, I think you erred somewhat by conflating being anti-communist and being anti-Soviet Union. As you pointed out, the USSR was never really communist, just totalitarianism with a pseudo-communist facade. There was never a "proletariat of the people" there. Nor in any other so-called "communist" regime. Communism is just a hugely impractical ideology that can likely never be put into practice, and like right-wing chauvanistic jingoism, has just been used to justify and enable totalitarianism by another name.

        To be truly anti-communist, you have to be against the political and economic theory, not just its various faux implementations (not that you can't be against both, of course), in the same way that being anti-conservative is not the same thing as being anti-Bush (not that you can't be against both as well).

        Anyway, you're right, today's media "elite" either can't or won't get it--or worse, they get it very well, but just don't care, and seek to either profit from it, or at least not pay the price for doing their jobs properly. Integrity went out the door with Nixon and Reagan, and we've been stuck with this bunch of greedy sychophants ever since. Just as all the Ervins, Dirksens and Fullbrights are all gone, so are all the Cronkites, Murrows and Sevareids. Instead we have guys like Lieberman and Frist, Matthews and  Brooks. God help us.

        "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

        by kovie on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 11:26:28 PM PST

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    •  Sad (none)
      It makes empiricists weep. The 20th and 21st centuries will be known as the Age of Belief since most views, theories, etc rely solely on belief with little to no evidence.

      I wonder if OP read the Communist Manifesto? Can the OP read?

      A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

      by Tux on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 03:34:12 AM PST

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