Communism Has Clearly Always Failed And Will Clearly Always Fail, Unless You Haven’t Done Your Homework

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May Day

May 18, 2017

Allan Stevo

Every May Day, I see an interesting trend – in some far-flung place that has never known communism, I find people marching in the streets and gathering in public places to recite the whole litany of what is wrong with the world from a Social Justice Warrior’s perspective.

You see it in Paris. You see it in London. You even see it in Toronto, and in some of the other richest cities in North America – like San Francisco or New York.

While America has a socialist holiday of its own – Labor Day – that feels too American for some. “Too American” is a bad thing, since everything American is de facto evil for the Social Justice Warrior. It is May 1, May Day, that is the true day of international oppression celebrated by Social Justice Warriors.

Wealthy Westerners choosing that day to protest the immense oppression that they perceive as daily life in a non-communist society, must appear at least a little surprising to many in the still relatively impoverished post-communist countries who know that oppression so well.

That’s the day, after all – May 1 – that some of the most oppressive regimes over the past century united to celebrate international communism and sometimes even forced their people into the streets to decorate and celebrate.

That’s the day that communist regimes that killed some 150 million people over the last century celebrate the justness of their aims and the appropriateness of those deaths – calling it International Workers’ Day, or some similarly noble sounding name to stress that everything can be deemed moral if it is the ends that justify the means.

That’s the day that Social Justice Warriors choose to stand up to celebrate their self-perceived possession of higher moral authority and to give speeches about their ideas. Because some believe that the ends justify the means, these ideas get lots of free passes. The speeches get to not be based in historically accurate readings or in economically accurate concepts. These are speeches that can only be given far away from places where populations still remember communist regimes.

Communism has been the source of the greatest human oppression over the past century, yet some gather on May Day to call for communism in the West, pretending that communism is the solution to oppression.

You couldn’t choose a more ridiculous day to claim that you oppose oppression while revealing how entirely oblivious you are to the history of oppression. Either that, or it’s really the perfect day to call for more of that oppression. Of course, not everyone who celebrates May Day is uneducated about the topic and opposed to the oppression. Some understand exactly what they are calling for.

And sure there is some good that has occasionally accompanied communism in some places, but it is no coincidence that heavy handed oppression is always the traveling companion of this governmental system. Always. Without fail. And no matter how many tweaks we make to the system I’m not willing to join you down that road.

In line with being oblivious to the oppression of communism, the Coalition of the Oppressed gather their crews together to deliver speeches of great emotion and limited thoughtfulness on May Day in the West, to shout out slogans in exuberant call-and-repeat fashion. The sloganeering lends itself to the belief that they haven’t done that much homework on the topic. It can feel good to get lost in the emotion of a chanting mob. I get that. It’s just not fair to claim that being lost in emotion is a rigorous intellectual study of the topic, for sloganeering is the closest to studying the topic that some get. This is often the case for the most certain Social Justice Warriors.

Sloganeering isn’t intellectually rigorous, and accordingly it’s accurate to call some people chanting slogans ignorant. There’s a level of hard work combined with intellectual rigor to earn the ability to be anything other than ignorant on a topic.

Anywhere I look, in any area of life, it’s hard to find a rigorous intellectual who will both share and challenge truthfully. That is the curse of he who decides to bear that cross – if you dedicate yourself to that process deeply enough and thoroughly enough you eventually realize how few people take ideas seriously enough to merit a conversion with you or any other intellectually rigorous person. It’s a near certainty that the tough thinkers aren’t out and about in wealthy Western cities chanting slogans on May Day.

With some joy I watched the Coalition of the Oppressed gather on May Day last year in New York’s Washington Square Park. The joy I felt had little to do with the absurdity of people celebrating the unprecedentedly oppressive system of communism as a solution for oppression. The sense of joy, instead, had to do with what happened away from the protest – a simple statement made by a passerby. As I left their circle of protest, a gay man, a passerby, spoke up to a friend. He maybe didn’t realize that the Coalition of the Oppressed considered him one of their own. His tonality showed he was clearly unsympathetic to the fact that as an oppressed person the annoying protestors were actually shouting back and forth at each other for him and for all oppressed people.

“What are they even protesting about?” said the one gay man to another in a tone of dismissal, derision, and genuine confusion. That simple statement by a man the SJWs claimed as their own brought me so much joy. Their place there that day made as little sense to him as to me. His dismissive tonality still fills me with joy.

The guy he was walking through the park with was equally annoyed by their presence and dismissive of the extensive list of concerns often produced by the Coalition of the Oppressed. Had any Social Justice Warrior simply been given the chance, the two gay men would have surely been informed that they shouldn’t worry, that they too were oppressed, but they just didn’t get it yet. Communism was coming for them, to free them from oppression. Yes, they didn’t get it and I would surmise they didn’t want to get it either.

The two gay men in Washington Square Park that day – May Day 2016 – reminded me of the impoverished, landed farmers of Marx’s day and after. Some historians call them “peasants,” others called them “kulaks.” By either name, they were hated by Marx and many of his supporters. Because as Marx saw it, these economically downtrodden farmers were oppressed by the system. Forget hard work. Forget raising a family with a work ethic. Forget scrimping and saving for the future. All they had to do was to put their faith in the unkempt ne’er-do-well that was Karl Marx. Marx, that doughy, city-dwelling man who could not even keep a single stable job, let alone manage a farm, was frustrated that they wouldn’t put their faith in him.

From Marx’s view, the peasants didn’t realize if they would do that and simply turn over their land and property to their neighbors, neighbors who were the same sorts of unkempt ne’er-do-wells as Marx, the communal good of all would near magically turn society into paradise.

The peasants of the 1860s knew a scam when they saw one, as did those two gay guys in 2016.

Yes. My country was not lost. There isn’t a grand coalition of the oppressed. Any attempt to convince a mass of Americans that they are oppressed, broken people who must unite as oppressed, broken people is a failure waiting to happen – a coalition that will fracture with ease. This is the failed identity politics that has become an American trend among some. It requires one to call oneself oppressed, a victim, a loser by some standard and to want to join hands with others who have acknowledged themselves losers. No self-respecting person will last long among such a group.

Eventually, in that motley crew, you realize that there are some real losers with you who are happy being losers, and that the elevation of loser to ruler is certain to spell trouble. There are lots of reasons to love your neighbor. Their status as loser is a pretty bad reason to choose as primary.

Elevating the state to a god at such moments, making the president into the high priest, seeing the dictates of the state as religious tenets adds to the ridiculousness. May Day was once an important pagan day that eventually became an important Christian day for some, and is now a statist day for the most ardent statists. May Day is a day to go through the processions and speeches and celebrations of the god we call the state. Something about that equation doesn’t sit well with some people. I have no surprise that the most sensible among us, as well as the ones most capable of intellectual rigor and intellectual honesty are the ones most likely to dismiss the silliness of Marxism, communism, or socialism.

The socialist takeover of America remains a failure – even if it has so successfully taken over some of the halls of power. The American people have little interest in it. Their common sense is different than the common sense of elites who insist that the world would be a paradise if all oppressed people accepted their oppressed status and gave in to the grand Coalition of the Oppressed, subverting their individual wills to the great collective, that those lives might be more “rationally” organized by the elites.

At times I’ve felt sad watching these May Day gatherings, because there can be such a sense of solidarity, solidarity around such intellectually and economically bogus ideas. That is until I walk away from a gathering like that and realize, that there’s little need to feel sad. That solidarity is held by a tiny minority of people, while that minority and the silly ideas they rally around have such little sway in the US.

Many more people are like those two gay men disinterested in being saved by communism or the peasants disinterested in Marx’s help at organizing their lives “better.”

Even in places like New York City the bond of the Coalition of the Oppressed dissolves with ease when put to the test. In New York, 45% of registered voters stayed home for the 2016 presidential elections, when faced with the choice of choosing a president from the ranks of the oppressed or choosing a president from the ranks of the oppressor.

Americans, true to the spirit of 1776 remain a bunch of people who mostly want to be left alone to live their lives in peace. Sure that “live-and-let-live” spirit of America makes it fertile ground for a pro-communist demonstration. It also makes the prospect of communism ever taking hold in America nothing but a pipe dream.

Let the communists rage in parks and squares on May Day or any other day. Day-in-and-day out Americans, by virtue of living their daily lives, participate in and work toward the improvement of a live-and-let-live system that has offered us so much freedom against the backdrop of a relatively unfree world. That’s the reality behind May Day in America and the nearly non-existent possibility of a communist future for this land.

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Allan Stevo writes on Slovak culture at www.52inSk.com. He is from Chicago and spends most of his time traveling Europe and writing. You can find more of his writing at www.AllanStevo.com. If you enjoyed this post, please use the buttons below to like it on Facebook or to share it with your friends by email. You can sign up for emails on Slovak culture from 52 Weeks in Slovakia by clicking here.

Photo credit: lauramethvin.com

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