The latest guest-essay by our Israeli correspondent MC takes a look at the bubble known as “Socialism”.
A New Chapter
Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds is a history of popular folly by the Scottish journalist Charles Mackay, first published in 1841. It featured write-ups on such follies as Tulipomania and the South Sea Bubble. But I think a chapter needs to be added, a chapter for the new secular religion of Socialism, and its suicidal sponsorship of Islam.
Socialism is the new boy on the block, a utopian crypto-religion, which believes that if we all care and we all share, then hey presto! and abracadabra, a utopia comes along and scoops us all up into a warm and cuddly nirvana called kumbayah.
A great deal of jargon is involved, however, and the small print at the bottom of the terms and conditions page is incomprehensible outside of the ivory towers of Cultural Marxist academia.
The problem being that socialists are so sure of their belief system that they consider that we must all be forced to care, and we must all be forced to share whether we like it or not.
My brother and his wife, both state employees for most of their working lives, are graduates of London University. When first married they got state subsidised housing and other goodies by virtue of her job as a social worker. Plus free rail travel by virtue of his employment with the (at the time nationalised) British Rail.
Most socialists do not realize the deeply religious components of their humanism. For many years my sister-in-law tried to proselytize me into her religion, remorselessly belittling my profession (Officer in the Royal Navy), all the while criticising me for being ‘judgmental’ and ‘intolerant’. She could not see, and still does not see, the inherent hypocrisy in her stance.
But fashion is fashion, and the most outrageous things are done in the name of fashion. Socialism is fashionable, conservatism is not. To be ‘fashionable’ one must put on a uniform; big hat, little hat, no hats, long skirts, miniskirts, long hair, crew-cuts, man-bag, bum bag (fanny pack). But if one is not careful, the uniform one puts on is a black and silver uniform with jackboots.
There are ‘dictators of fashion’ and there are ‘followers of fashion’. The followers do not think, they ‘do’ what the dictators tell them to do.
In the German city of Celle, on the 8th April 1945 (the Germans surrendered in May of that year) and with the Allied armies just down the road, there was a massacre of concentration camp inmates. There was a train of cattle trucks in the goods yard with its usual socialist cargo of ‘unwanted’ humanity. Next to it was a train full of munitions. Unfortunately, the goods yard was attacked by Allied planes. The bombers scored a direct hit on the munitions train, which immediately blew up.
In the resulting chaos, many of the Untermenschen fled the damaged and burning cattle trucks to try for safety (from the air raid and its aftermath). Their SS guards opened fire on them. Several hundred made it to the open fields, so a hunting party was organised in which civilians took part. Orders were to shoot these starved and often wounded ‘hares’ on sight:
As the squadron veered away and the dust and smoke gradually cleared, people who lived in the area were approached by emaciated, bloody figures dressed in striped prison garb. Some of them permitted the strangers to help themselves to food, drink and civilian clothes; there were also reports that residents fed the prisoners or administered first aid. Others, apparently the great majority, chased them away.
What happened then has entered oral history as a “hare hunt” — indeed, for a good 40 years the memory of the massacre was preserved solely by word of mouth. This much is known: citizens of Celle, some in uniform, others in civilian clothes, became a regular hunting party tracking the strangers in gray-blue clothes, who, according to one eyewitness, “were dashing across the fields like hares.” Indiscriminately, they shot at the fugitives wherever they found them, in orchards and on the streets. For two days, residents searched the woods, gardens and basements for prisoners, shot them and beat them to death. An estimated 200 to 300 died.
The civilians of Celle had a choice: to be good National Socialists and kill the escaping ‘hares’, or to have mercy on fellow humans caught up in the tangled webs of tyranny. Those who chose to become killers were under no compulsion, they chose to show their virility by shooting unarmed starving — maybe wounded — fellow humans.
Socialism, whether it be Communist, Nazi, Islamic or Moderate, damages the psyche, the philosophy of “the end justifies the means” distorts the “milk of human kindness” and if I may misquote the Bard, in the case of Celle, “the quality of mercy was not strained”.
On the Gates of Vienna website recently, I made the comment “there is no such thing as moderate socialism, if one can advocate theft (redistribution of wealth) one can also condone murder”. I attracted some critics, maybe rightly so, some because of my heritage and place of residence. One in particularly compared me to Ayn Rand (an escapee from violent socialism); I am flattered. The commenter’s argument in defence of redistribution of wealth cited a wealthy Swedish businessman who did not mind paying 50% tax, and after all who would mind paying for Defence or Education? This of course is not redistribution of wealth, this is paying for a service; redistribution of wealth happens when money is forcibly taken (stolen) from one person to give to another person deemed (by the thief) to be in ‘need’.
There are some underlying assumptions here, firstly, my Tanack (Bible OT) says “Thou shalt not steal” so how can I support the forcible redistribution without compromising my beliefs? In the socialist multiculti game, however, my beliefs do not matter because they are ‘Judeo-Christian’ and therefore part of the problem. Secondly, there are some exceedingly rich socialists around and they, of course, ‘give’ very generously and publicly whilst also expecting (and maybe forcing), the widow to expend her few mites at their behest.
We, in the capitalist West, still have some choices, like the citizens of Celle. We can either clothe and feed the escapees, or we can hunt them down, beat them up, and shoot them. The religion of Socialism dictates that we hunt them down as enemies of the state. Judeo-Christianity dictates that we feed and clothe them. But most of us just do nothing.
Socialism is utter insanity, and those who escaped at Celle were victims of that particular national insanity; Hitler and Stalin were not insane, but the rose-tinted religion that drove them was the epitome of insanity. The religious desire for utopia is very strong, but the moment that any religion starts a process of forcible conversion in order to achieve its utopia, then that religion is off the rails.
Judeo-Christianity, like most religions, does not support forcible conversion, although deviants have been known to erroneously support it. Islam, on the contrary, supports forcible conversion although deviants have been known to denounce it. The religion of Socialism assumes the absolute right to forcibly convert all mankind to its religious tenets.
The idea of forcible conversion here should include the idea of conversion by deceit, a part of which is conversion by ‘fashion’. The idea of the King parading down the street clothed in garments so fine that only the most discerning can see them is most apt here. There are three facets to the story, the tailors who sold the idea, the King and his courtiers who were gullible (or self-interested), and the little child who could see through to the bottom of the problem.
It is the second group who are of most interest. These are the useful idiots of the first group, and in a democracy, they are supposed to be the King, but when fashion or self-interest dictates blindness to the bare facts of life then it becomes crude.
Our own exotic dancer-king has stripped down to the G-string, and we, the audience, are raptly wondering if this is the end of the show, or if she/he is going to go all the way. It’s a “crying game” moment.
We have a choice: we can stop the show, or we can indulge our prurience and take the consequences; but we know that life will never be the same again.
Somebody else’s utopia is never quite what you think it is. It may look great. It may sound great. But, like real estate, the realtor’s description leaves out the Homer who lives next door.
Socialism is a bubble, with known dire consequences when it pops, but it is a very pretty bubble which appeals to a certain childishness whilst it lasts. Charles Mackay would have been fascinated.