I came home early from work last night with severe gut malf--the kind where you need to visit the restroom a lot, experience chills, cold sweats, dizziness, and nausea. It hit me suddenly, like a load of bricks, and by midnight I knew there was no way I'd make it through a whole shift, so I talked to the boss.
With the bottom end stuff finished I hit the hay, and slept through chills and sweats--I know because they plagued my dreams--but now I somehow have managed to keep down my breakfast. Now I feel only half-embalmed, and there were two news stories I wanted to comment on, so here goes.
First, more about Zimbabwe. Turns out that Mugabe has done all the usual dictator things, including having several lavish homes. No surprises there.
Second, a call for 'Utopian Fools Anonymous' which should be "Useful Idiots Anonymous".
I wish I could understand the attraction of Communism. The latter article mentions how American leftists would react if an American leader did what communist dictators do--shut down the media--but I must conclude that the useful idiots think that they wouldn't be silenced or censored, because they think the right things and say the right things.
A pervasive meme in the Left is that socialisms and communisms fail because they're not implemented correctly, and if only we can enact it here, it'll work perfectly.
The only problem is, of course, that socialism and communism run counter to about 95% of nature. Nature is essentially capitalist. Recall, if you will, the old folk tale about the grasshopper and the ant? The ant busts his ass all year and the grasshopper fiddles--at the end of the story, the grasshopper is starving in the cold and the ant is snug and warm and well-fed.
But in a socialist worker's paradise, the ant--the worker!--has much of the product of his efforts taken from him by grasshopper stormtroopers and redistributed, so the ant must go to government stores to stand in line for several hours to get a few rolls of toilet paper.
And of course there are many more grasshoppers than ants.
Socialism and communism fail because the basic concepts don't work. They ignore human nature and assume that confiscating 90% of a man's wages will not have a negative impact on his output. Any system which eliminates the incentive of profit will fail, and before it fails it will never manage to deliver equality; some will get better treatment than others, and it's guaranteed to deliver the best treatment to the people who are in charge.
Today's useful idiots seem to think that they'll be pampered if Revolution ever comes to the US. I suppose many of the intellectual elite in Cambodia celebrated when Khmer Rouge clawed its way to power--finally, Communism comes to us!--and I have to wonder how many of them realized they'd been had when they were lined up and shot? And how many went down wondering why they were being liquidated, when they were the elite?
Ultimately there are always revolutionaries who end up with the short end of the stick. Trotsky was one; for all of his faithful assistance in 1917, after he disagreed with Lenin, Lenin had him assassinated.
Every murderous regime in recent history has gotten its start by claiming to be socialist or communist--Hitler, Lenin, Mao, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Minh, Castro, and plenty of others--and every one of them has been a slice of populism wrapped around a large brick of brutality, terror, and murder. There has never been a communist regime which failed to kill thousands or millions of its own citizens, in ways which turn the stomach of a civilized man, no matter how jaded.
I think that's enough said.