Monday, March 4, 2013

The Individualism of Communism


Seeing a documentary about Mao Zedong's China I was reminded of the anomaly of communism: Why are these ideologies of the collective given names of individuals? That should be enough to dismiss them.

Marxism, Leninism, Marxism-Leninism, Stalinism, Maoism... The communist ideologies persist in carrying names of individuals in spite of their expressed principles of the rule of the masses.

They also tend to consist of idolatry. One person is given complete charge and swiftly demands to be worshiped like a deity. Beyond any reason, as if that person was the creator of the universe and then some.

I noticed it way back in the 1960's, when I was a kid and these movements were high fashion. Their supporters spoke of revolting against the men in power and substituting their rule with one of the people. But why, then, were they obsessed with these individuals? It didn't make sense to me, and still doesn't. So, I had my doubts.

Not that idolatry is a monopoly of the communists. It pops up just about everywhere, as far as political power is concerned. I guess we simply haven't grown out of monarchy yet.

Democracy may have been invented already by the ancient Greeks, some 2,500 years ago. But it was forgotten for a number of those years. Since its recent renaissance, it's still in its infancy. We easily slip back into the habits of monarchy. Communists do, too, for sure. More than most.

4 comments:

  1. I think it sounds plausible that communists would fall into those old habits more easily than others, despite the apparent hypocrisy. Such ideas of equality that communism convey generally appeal more to the emotional mind than the cold analytical one. I mean, we don't hear many political songs being made about the fabulous wonders of capitalism, the free market and cutting taxes. Obviously musicians tend to be more emotionally oriented. Also, right-wing opinions would make terribly boring song lyrics. Point is, I think it's safe to say that idolatry also appeals to emotion. So it makes sense.

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  2. Democracy emerged in Athens at the head of violence when Ephialtes disbanded the Council of the Aeropagus. Even then, it was the aristocrat Pericles that guided Athens first democracy but again, he was pseudo-monarch. Athenian democracy is no different than the mass democratic movements of Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot. Democracy always engineers a tyrant. Socrates and Plato in the Republic point to the Kyklos, that democracy always turns into a tyranny.

    Athenian democracy only did well under the guiding hand of Pericles. Once he was gone, it foundered and Athens suffered under two turns of the kyklos, i.e. tyrannies.

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    Replies
    1. Indeed,democracy is not yet solid. Without active protection it tends to dissolve. Maybe it's an alpha male thing.

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  3. No stefan maybe it's class struggle. Individualism of Communism? Dear Dear. Individualism is the ideology of Capitalism you twit!

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