Thursday, May 24, 2007

The War on Democracy

Ben Stevenson has an alarming piece in today's Morning Star on the increasingly totalitarian steps taken by governments in Eastern Europe to restrict democracy and narrow the parameters of political debate. The KSM, the Czech Young Communist Movement has been banned on the grounds that it calls for public ownership of the means of production- the ban came just after the Czech Communist Party achieved 13% in elections. In Poland, the Communist Party operates under conditions of illegality: in Hungary, the Workers Party are denied media air-time and have been threatened with legal action, while in Slovakia a plan to ban the 'propogation ' of communism was only defeated thanks to a series of national and international protests.

Stevenson ends his excellent piece by quoting Pastor Niemoller, a victim of Nazi persecution in the 1930s.

"When the nazis came for the communists, I remained silent. I was not a communist. When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent. I was not a social democrat. When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out, I was not a trade unionist. When they came for me, there was no-one left to speak out."

Today's nazis are coming for both you and me, dear reader. But if we all stick together and show solidarity, we can beat them.

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