Badtux the Snarky Penguin

In a time of chimpanzees, I was a penguin.

Religious fundamentalists are motivated by the sneaking suspicion that someone, somewhere, is having fun -- and that this must be stopped.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Bolsheviks vs. Busheviks

When I was a child, my daddy told me that the difference between the godless Commies and ourselves was that we were the good guys. The Commies ran gulags. We did not. The Commies tortured people. We did not. The Commies required an internal passport and government permission to move around their country. We did not.

That, unfortunately was the America of my childhood, not the America of today. I've been pointing out the similarities between the Bolsheviks and Busheviks myself for close to six years now, ever since it became obvious:

  1. Bolsheviks used ideology as an excuse for looting the wealth of nations for the benefit of a Party elite. Busheviks use ideology as an excuse for looting the wealth of nations for the benefit of a Party elite.
  2. Bolsheviks had an ideological handbook written by Karl Marx that they held up with religious reverence anytime anyone questioned their actions. Busheviks have an ideological handbook written by Adam Smith that they hold up with religious reverence anytime anyone questions their actions.
  3. Bolsheviks imposed a system of internal passports wherein you needed the permission of the State to travel around the country. Busheviks imposed a "no fly list" and state ID requirement wherein you needed the permission of the State to travel around the country.
  4. Bolsheviks believed in invading countries and overthrowing the legal government of that country if said government espoused an ideology in conflict with theirs. Busheviks believe in invading countries and overthrowing the legal government of that country if said government espouses an ideology in conflict with theirs.
  5. Bolsheviks wrecked the economies of their countries with rampant militarism and the looting of their economies by the Party elite. Busheviks are wrecking the economy of the United States with rampant militarism and the looting of the U.S. economy by the Party elite.
  6. Bolsheviks believed that any policeman should have the right to stop you on the streets at any time for any reason and ask for your papers. The Bushevik's Justice Department argued and the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that any policeman has the right to stop you on the streets at any time for any reason and ask for your state-issued ID.
  7. Bolsheviks believed in gulags and show trials. Busheviks believe in gulags and show trials (c.f. Gitmo).
About the only difference appears to be a) the ideology espoused (Marx vs. Adam Smith), and the PR-savviness (brutality against foreigners and darkies is okay in Bushevik America, brutality against white Christian Americans is bad PR and to be avoided).

When did we become our enemy, I wonder? This land full of shuddering cowards, cynical looting politicians, and lack of opportunity is not the America that I grew up in, which (if you were not black) was the land of the free, home of the brave, and the land of opportunity. As a member of the last generation of poor Americans able to get an education on Uncle Sam's dime before Reagan basically dismantled the Pell Grant/BEOG system, I was grateful for the opportunity to prove myself, and pay more in taxes every year now than I received in Pell Grants over my entire college career (something that cannot be said for my schoolmates who did not go on to college, most of whom pay no taxes at all). If those taxes were going to pay for some other poor kid's education, I wouldn't mind at all. Alas, they're not. They're going to pay for Mk77 firebombs (napalm).

But perhaps that is inevitable, in a country where the majority of people apparently don't give a shit....

- Badtux the Patriotic Non-Bushevik American Penguin

Posted by: BadTux / 6/24/2005 09:07:00 AM  


It's worth noting that some of the most prominent Busheviks ARE former Bolsheviks, most notably the neocon ideologues like David Horowitz.

They like to claim that it's proof of the bankruptcy of the "left," as though left-liberalism was the same as Bolshevism. But it says more about how similar the general mindsets are of Stalinists and current-day Republicans, even if they follow different professed ideologies.
# posted by drumwolf : 24/6/05 10:55 AM  

I'd like to point out that they are not followers of Adam Smith.

Adam Smith said a bunch of stuff, but he said the two things which could bankrupt an economy were buying "trinkets & baubles" and corporate collusion. Nowadays the government funds corporate collusion.

Another thing Smith said was that businesspeople couldn't possibly manage to have dinner together without consumers getting shafted.

But perhaps my favorite quote, stricken from all Patriotic American editions (p. 267 of the Glasgow edition) says that no law proposed by the dealers should be given serious attention, and should be eyed with suspicion. He says such laws "come[] from an order of men, whose interest is never exactly the same with that of the public, who have generally an interest to deceive and even oppress the public, and who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed it."

I'm not saying he was the Saint of Leftiness, but he was no neo-con, either.

The other classic that lefties have, for with which to armor themsylves foreth the fight, is Montesquieu's Spirit of Laws. In some parts, he could be mistaken for a commie.
# posted by josh narins : 25/6/05 9:03 PM  

Excellent post. On the same minor point, I'm in agreement w/ Josh Narins.

This is crony capitalism, an oligarchical looting of public resources. Nothing that Adam Smith would have signed off on.

I'm also in agreement w/ drumwolf. The neocons have become the monsters they once sought to destroy.
# posted by Thom H : 28/6/05 4:18 PM  

Note that "Communism" as implemented by Stalin, Mao, etc. would not be recognized by Marx either, even if they did espouse Marxist sloganry. Similarly, today's neo-cons spout Adam Smith's stuff... but as pointed out, follow his stuff about as well as the Communists followed Marx.
# posted by BadTux : 30/6/05 5:30 PM  

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