Sunday, November 08, 2009

To be free, or not to be free

Tomorrow (November 9) marks the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, a symbolic event that punctuated the roughly two year-long collapse of the Soviet Union and its Communist satellites from 1989 to 1991. The wall itself held East Berliners captive for 28 years, but if we include the entire post-war Soviet occupation along with the Nazi regime (National Socialists) then eastern Germany was under one form of socialist dictatorship or another for 56 years. Fortunately for Germans, the world in 1989 recognized tyranny for what it was, even when wrapped in the good intentions of egalitarianism, and pressure was brought to bear on the inhuman regimes in Eastern Europe and Russia.

My, how times have changed. Today we are on the brink of a major loss of liberty right here in the nation that used to be the champion of freedom around the world. Americans are only one Senate vote away from becoming sheep to a government health shepherd that's ready to tell us what we can't eat, what we can't do, and how we should live our lives.

Not ironically, our President Dear Leader B. Hussein Obama has declined an invitation from those liberated Germans to attend the ceremony commemorating the fall of the Berlin Wall.

7 comments:

Jim Driscoll said...

The Nazi's weren't Socialist, as you claim, despite their official name. They were corporatatists - fascism is just a particular branch of corporatism. Corporatists believe in government for the good of the corporation, thinking that a strong state will grow where corporations have power.

Sound familiar? (Hint: It's not the Democrats that are explicitly pushing a pro-corporatist agenda.)

The corporatist philosophy is explicitly free-market, believing that any check on corporate power will make everyone poorer. They started as a reaction to Communism, and where virulently anti-communist, and anti-socialist...

You can learn more from history than just one lesson.

Jody Wilson said...

A common characteristic of socialists is that they try to obfuscate what they are by changing terminology. Communist East Germany, for instance, was called the German Democratic Republic, even though it was neither democratic nor a republic. Many socialists today prefer to call themselves liberals, progressives, or democratic socialists in a futile attempt to separate themselves from the dismal historical record of socialism. It’s amusing then that in one of the few cases where a nation admitted to being socialist, socialists find themselves trying to prove that it wasn’t.

The move to re-write the history of National Socialism in Germany as non-socialist is another attempt to clean up the image of socialism. Nazi Germany featured social welfare, government control (if not outright ownership) of industry, and government-mandated projects like the People’s Car. Sure, the Nazis still allowed private property and profit in many cases, but so do plenty of milder socialist movements today.

In my mind, the most important difference between Nazi Germany on the one hand, and Marxism/Communism/modern socialism on the other hand, is that the former was racist and was specifically intended to serve the interests of one nation at the expense of outsiders, while the latter are theoretically anti-national and driven by a universal appeal to the working class at the expense of the capitalist class. In the end, they both espouse the hive mentality and elevate either a race or a class above the individual.

Cathy said...

Jody.

Wow.

Keith Wilson said...

I am reading your blog the day after Veterans Day - a day to honor tens of thousands who fought and even died for our freedom. Our "leader" chose to do an apology tour around the world because our soldiers fought to keep those other countries free.

Also our "leader" sent back a bust of Churchill to England, a gift to our country - a direct snub of our allies.
Then he refused to go to Germany to celebrate the collapse of the Berlin wall and freedom to East Germany.
"We are not a Christian nation" he told our country, a country which has In God We Trust on coins and above the Senate building.

The Average Jay said...

Nice Blog and I great responce to Mr. Driscoll too.

linc campbell said...

Yes, Corporatism is Socialism; or rather, a form of socialism that is for the benefit of the corporations rather than the people.

But to declare all socialism is the same is willful ignorance.

I may be wrong, but wasn't Obama at the sight of a mass murder on a military base rather than at a 20yr celebration of the fall of The Wall? I am astounded so many folks chose to politicize the issue, but then politics makes idiots of otherwise rational folks.

Jody Wilson said...

Linc,

Obama knew by October 16 that he wouldn't go to the Berlin Wall. The shootings happened on November 5, three weeks after Obama's decision.

... politics makes idiots of otherwise rational folks.

I couldn't have said it better myself.

... to declare all socialism is the same is willful ignorance.

There's a common motivation to all forms of socialism, and some common elements are put into practice as well, but every instance also has it's own unique flavor that is shaped by time and place.

Corporatism is ... a form of socialism that is for the benefit of the corporations rather than the people.

I beg to differ. Every collectivist "-ism" out there is in theory to the benefit of the people, but in practice is ultimately a disaster.