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Friday, February 17, 2006

What they still fear the most

Here's a terrific piece by Seumas Milne on what the Empire really fears the most- and it's not Islamic terror.
The problem with European communism was not that it was unsuccessful, but that it was too successful. Undermining communist/leftist regimes has been the number one priority in Washington since the late 1940s- it's why the mujahadin was funded in the 1980s- and why the US sided with radical Islamists in the Balkans in the 1990s. It's also why sanctions are imposed on both Cuba and Belarus. Belarus is a particular irritant for the US- it's the only former Soviet Republic which has actually risen in the UN Human Development Index since 1991. It's done so by following a completely different path to the one prescribed by the US/The IMF and the World Bank. The success of Belarus is living proof that there is an alternative to the current neo-liberal orthodoxy. Which is why, for The Empire and its emissaries, 'regime change' in Minsk is now such an urgent priority.,,1710891,00.html


Chris said...

"Too successful" on what criteria?

Steve said...

So the West should abolish civil liberties,political parties, and imprison its dissidents.Is that what you are saying.?

Neil Clark said...

Try telling the inmates at Guantanoma Bay about the West's 'civil liberties' and its non-imprisonment of 'dissidents'. Or Slobodan Milosevic. Or Tariq Aziz- held for nearly three years now without charge.
As for political parties- we're certainly spoilt for choice in Britain-with a pro-war, pro-globalisation government and a pro-war globalisation opposition.
Don't be under misapprehension- if voting did look as if it was going to change anything- they'd abolish it.

Neil Clark said...

As for Chris' point I think Seumas Milne outlines quite clearly what the successes were. The education system was one of the best- if not the best- in the world, ditto public transport. Health care was excellent too.
But, as Saint Exupery once said- that which is most important is invisible to the human eye. The greatest achievement of communism was the sense of solidarity it engendered-and this I believe, above all else, is why so many people in Eastern Europe mourn its passing.
My wife was brought up under communism and compares life in Hungary now, with that of twenty, thirty years ago. What is missing, she says, is the spirit of togetherness.
Global capitalism may do many things- but building solidarity between human beings is not one of them.

Pol said...

The greatest achievement of communism was the sense of solidarity it engendered

"Solidarity" surely an unfortunate choice of word?

Tim Worstall said...

Of course you only need solidarity when you’re being oppressed. Freedom means you don’t need it.

The very existence of soldarity can be taken as a sign of oppression.

Anonymous said...

"The greatest achievement of communism was the sense of solidarity it engendered

Actually, for a moment, I did think that Neil was making an ironic comment about how oppression brought people together.

But then I remembered it was Neil.


Peter Nolan said...

Successes of Soviet communism? Ask the Afghan muj about its social benefits and military effectiveness.

Peter Nolan said...

Yeah, I remember East Germany. The consumer goods looked like what you'd get nowadays in cheap toy shops. All those singalongs - Der Partei is Immer Recht and Vorwarts von Socialismus mit Erich Honecker.

When it wasn't boring it was genocidal - Ukrainian famine, Doctors' Plot, deportation of the Chechens, stand idly by during the Warsaw Uprising.

Then when it fell, they all became neo-Nazis instead.

Which southern European region does this remind you of?

Neil Clark said...

'The very existence of soldarity can be taken as a sign of oppression'.

Do you think people were oppressed in the Britain of 1948 Tim? Or in the 1950s? Or in Hungary and Yugoslavia in the 1970s and 80s?

Steve said...

So what do you propose the UK do Neil?
Bann all parties except RESPECT,close down the press, as it was not free anyway? Lock ALL dissidents up just not some,preferably without trial.
Is that your idea of the perfect state?

Steve said...

Nazi Germany also had a sense of Solidarity as did World War 2 Japan. and if Americans show solidarity you would be the first one to be upset.

Steve said...

You are faulting a whole system because of Guantanomo Bay and the other cases.
Yet you are allowed to publish what you like in the UK or elsewhere,(ok maybe not China or maybe Iran).
Then you complain about people faulting Communism because of the actions of some!
So if voting does not change anything,then what do you propose violent otherthrow of the government! to be governd by a
Leftist Elite,where the workers are happy, and show solidarity, while supporting fascists dictators overseas as they opress their own minorities such as Slobodan and Hussain.
OK my ranting is over.

Andrew Taggart said...

Words simply fail me. My God, can anybody seriously argue this shite? Putting aside the general ahistorical insanity of the arguement, one rather loses all sense of credibility when one argues that (a) the US "sided" with any muslims in the Balkans (the house has burned down but the fire brigade is here Kosovo intervention hardly counts after Gorazde, etc.), (b) a meaningful proportion of muslims in the balkan conflicts were islamists, let alone radical ones and (c) even if one were to disregard the above, that a Serbian Nationalist death cult had anything to do with socialism and/or communism and thus the non-support of the US for the non-existant islamist bosniak and Kosovar hordes was part of a MacCarthyite plot.

As for Belarus, to paraphrase Jello Biafra..." a lifelong columnist job in Minsk, where you'll write what you're told, where the solidarity has so much soul...."