Thursday, September 09, 2010

Fidel Castro: Cuban Model No Longer Works...

Nice try. Suddenly, Castro is the advocate for capitalism, and crusader against communism, nuclear weapons and anti-Semitism?

A deathbed conversion, perhaps, of the sort that used to be common in the Middle Ages? It was not unusual in days of yore for the absolute monarchs to pay lip service to the cause of the Church during their lives, while they exercised absolute power and committed the worst of sins, and to save the absolution of baptism for their very last days --- finally confessing all of their sins with their very last breath -- if only to hedge their bets against the torments of Hell they all feared would come to them for all the shit they had done in Life. While alive, they would praise the majesty of God, only to whore, steal, kill, torture and make war, knowing that in the end, the compliant bishop or cardinal in their pockets would anoint them with water and oil (many professed Christian beliefs all their lives, but reserved the sacrament of baptism for their deathbeds...nice trick!) and send them into the afterlife washed clean of sin. It was how "things were done" back in in the day.

The Church often required the protection and patronage of the Monarch, so it was quite happy to play this hypocritical game of looking the other way while King So-and-So became the biggest bastard on the planet in return for this last-second redemption. Eventually, the Enlightenment arrived and even the worst of Popes couldn't continue to shrug away the obvious -- the "system" as it were, was full double-standards , contradictions and incestuous undertones that became too onerous to hide, or explain away, and so the practice ceased.

But, enough about Castro's immortal soul and motivations, and back to the idea that Socialism doesn't work.

The Russians abandoned socialism simply because they could no longer hide the fact that seventy years of practice never delivered as promised, and that the reign of tyranny required to prop the system up was almost as bad, and often far worse, than the worst excesses of the Czars. Yes, the Soviets had nuclear weapons, but they also stood in queue several hours a day to buy toilet paper...assuming any was available. In the end, those who lived under the Soviet system and within it's satellite vassal states, had had enough of the double-standards, terror, scarcity and contradictions and demanded reform -- when they weren't just "voting with their feet" and hopping over the Berlin Wall. Once those reforms began, and the typical Soviet/Eastern Bloc citizen began to see for the first time just how badly he had been screwed by comparison with his Western counterpart, the reform express train rocketed out of control, and the Soviet Union collapsed under the weight of it's own contradictions.

And the former Communists all asked for forgiveness.

Looking North, the Chinese Communists had seen the effects of Gorbachev's perestroika and glasnost had had on the Soviet Empire, and decided that the same thing would not happen to them, and so while they embraced capitalism with both hands (abandoning all pretence of Socialism/Communism), they implemented a more restrictive and controlled variety -- they have tried mightily to manage the rate of increase in material wealth (while stealing as much as of it as they can). They've hoped to delay the inevitable call the for freedom and human rights that always accompanies any appreciable increase in living standards with a sort of outright bribery (Hey! You're rich, so what do you care for "rights"?); but they, too, will soon learn that's a pipe dream. The Chinese are "rich" --compared to their own standards of the past -- but will soon be richer. Those Chinese leaders who think they can control what they've unleashed are in for a rude awakening: in another generation, when the Chinese actually are rich (by Western standards) they're going to want to have those personal fortunes secured, and the first danger they'll want them protected against is their own Government.

I'm stocking up on Orville Reddenbacher for when that day finally arrives. It's going to be one hell of a fireworks show.

Europeans are finally waking up to the fact that their brand of "democratic socialism" has also been a failure (except in Greece, where they seem incapable of understanding this), and in some quarters, governments are taking steps to begin -- if not fully dismantling their ridiculous social schemes -- at least making the atmosphere more amenable to market capitalism than it was before(see: Germany). When the World Economy begins to truly recover in a few years, don't be surprised if it is the Europeans who will lead the way.

Vietnam, where so many American lives were wasted in a War that began the process of disintegration in America's moral fabric (and I'm not talking religious morals, which are bullshit), has abandoned the very communism they fought for seven decades to implement, discovering for themselves that it doesn't work. They too have embraced capitalism, even to the point where some now openly begin to ask why they didn't just surrender to the United States in the first place instead of fighting and suffering for so long.

And now Fidel Castro adds his voice to the world-wide chorus;

"Socialism Sucks!".

Of course, he only does so in the very twilight of his life, after he's enjoyed all the perks and perversions that come with being an absolute dictator. Much like a latter-day Constantine the Great, he seeks to shuffle off this mortal coil with a clean soul, and so this admission that his state and system are failures are his brand of last-second baptism. And so forgiven his sins (he thinks), he will pass into history much like Constantine: remembered not as the warlord, thief and rapist -- but as the Saint. Good luck with that one.

The lessons are everywhere, but are Barack Obama and the American Left paying any attention? I rather doubt they are; they're blinded by the idea that America is an evil place, full of greedy people, who have trodden on the rights and aspirations of millions for it's own selfish ends, and do not see the country that has striven mightily to repent of it's own sins and to bring it's enlightened system to billions more. The Russians, the Chinese, Europeans, Vietnamese, and now the Cubans have realized how wrong they were and are making efforts to adapt to this reality. Will Barack Obama ever be able to do the same? Or, like the Absolute Monarchs of old, does he believe that he can perform the greatest evils imaginable in life (although I don't expect Obama to actually rape anyone; he'll only do so figuratively with taxes, regulations and redistribution), only to have his personal bishops (the Media, academia) grant him absolution in the waning moments of life? When Obama is within seconds of the Dirt Nap, will he, too, suddenly raise from the deathbed to proclaim "I was wrong!"?

I wouldn't count on it.

No comments: