(An unprincipled communist beats a principled one)
I looked on the calendar today and found that today is “Earth Day.” Along with Christmas and Easter, Earth Day is a worldwide day of awareness.
In 1970 I was in college. Still a rebel at 19 years old, I joined with classmates to march through the streets of Oakland carrying a black coffin signifying the death of Mother Earth from the coming ice age. The impending next ice age was indeed terrifying, since cooler periods have an undeniable link with most pandemics and famines in recorded history. Most of us in college at the time had read “The Plague” by Albert Camus. It wasn’t just cool weather but the reactions to it that threatened the world. Witch hunts, demonization of religions, races, and cultures enabled ruthless wars.
Since the 1970s the crisis has changed from cooling to warming and then to “change.” If that looks like a diverse set of problems, it is because it is. What is not diverse is the common remedy, government control. It is probably a coincidence but April 22 is also Vladimir Lenin’s birthday.
Lenin stands as one of the first ruthless totalitarians of modern times whose rise was seen as benevolent. The Czarist elites had lived it up at the expense of the working class long enough. The early 20th century had technology that allowed “the masses” to be more easily manipulated than when 95% of the people lived on farms spread all over the country. (Movie buffs, see “The Battleship Potemkin”)
What Lenin started cost 100 million Soviet lives. A typical government worshiper’s response is that the ends justify the means. That is what Hitler declared and later, Chairman Mao and Stalin after Lenin.
I wrote last week that Patrisse Cullors ( Marxist co-founder of Black Lives Matter) had been making some extravagant home purchases. When confronted with that, she explained she did it for her family. I say, “Good for her!”
In the Wall Street Journal yesterday was a story about the Communist Chinese Government encouraging a reversal of Chinese policy that discouraged family units and married women. The reds are seeing the light. Think back to 1979. Even though there were farmers door to door, Chinese productivity languished. An insightful community leader decided to allow farmers to keep some of the crops. The fact that it was theirs to keep was enough to inspire better farming practices. Thus began the rise of China as a major supplier of goods with exponentially increased living standards.
In the Jamestown Colony of 1609, 400 of the 500 settlers had starved in spite of virgin soil and plentiful wild foods. The remaining 100 were on a ship returning to England when they came across a new group of arriving settlers. This gave them hope and they turned around. The new group of settlers had a different idea. Each family was allowed their own plot of land and could trade with neighbors. Before that, everything was communally owned. Private property saved Jamestown and was held up as a model for future Americans.
Ms. Cullors’ dedication to her family should be seen as a sign that her Marxist training has limitations. The trillions of dollars the feds are spending today represent a philosophy of a central government who thinks it can overcome human nature. It is not sustainable and the further we go down that road the harder we will fall.