News & opinion on Greater China and the even Greater Beyond: by Biff Cappuccino.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Quoted from (War Through Children's Eyes) by Jan Tomasz Gross.

...Numerous militia units, all over the "liberated" territory, included common criminals in their ranks (Docs. no. 15, 100).

It is not surprising that the Soviets should utilize criminals to subdue the conquered territory and the potentially hostile population since they used criminals in camps throughout Russia as auxiliaries and treated them better and trusted them more than politically suspect people. Common criminals were viewed in the USSR as "class allies" whose cooperation in the effort to stamp out the social' no opasnyj (socially harmful) element, that is class enemies, was most welcome.

The red Army broke open jails along its way -- who else could have been kept there but class enemies of the Polish "masters"? -- a logical deduction since during the first days of the war scores of Ukrainian nationalists and communist sympathizers had been arrested in Poland. Red Army commanders, on their westward march, had no time to ask for character references from everyone ready to assist them in organizing the new order. Front line soldiers and officers of the red Army knew that the old order in the conquered territory had to be inverted, that those on the top and on the bottom of the social scale would trade positions. Naturally, prisoners of the Polish government were more trustworthy than those who had not been in jail; a coachman was a better candidate for town office then a civil servant or politician; a doorman was better fit to run a large enterprise than an engineer; a porter made a perfect railroad station master; and the poorest peasants were promoted over everyone else to village committees....

Biff: Interesting, this logical reductio ad absurdum of populist socialism. That, in the end, if populist socialists gain authoritarian power, society is turned upside down and criminals lord it over the law-abiding, as here in this instance in Poland in 1941, and in China during the Cultural Revolution, when the students were granted lordship over their teachers, occasionally beating them to death, and in Pol Pot's Cambodia where the illiterate were empowered to righteously exterminate the literate. Idealism, beautiful booster of the cocksure, liberates the barbarian within to slay the noble savage without.

But we can also look to more benign examples of the same sort of thing. I wasn't thinking of anything as extreme as the Killing Fields when first plowing those several paragraphs. They simply reminded me of that excellent sendup of Bill Clinton, the film Primary Colors. There's a scene when the narrator is brought to a public event and informed by his comrade-in-arms and campaign-trail f-chick that most of the worthies in attendance are in fact derelicts flushed out of a local soup kitchen. The point is, if one is corralling populist votes, the votes of the underprivileged, i.e. the financially incompetent, one will naturally end up foraging through society's demimonde. One sees this in political party support for illegal immigrants, for example.

Don't get me wrong, I'm an immigrant. And when younger, had half a mind to sample illegal immigration.
Besides, populist socialism can work to the benefit of society when the given political party represents the injured interests of immigrant labor, transient labor, and so forth. But populist socialism also mutated into a horror show of absurdity in a previous era, one not so distant, and more importantly did so with a monotony that implies a logical inevitability running the show regardless of the posing ringmaster bawling shibboleths and taking credit.

Much of what human beings do, after all, runs under the radar of consciousness with consequences beyond our immediate awareness. Whether our personal lives, or political ones, we often believe we're controlling or even creating a show when in fact the show is an equation without fair reciprocity, action prompting unequal reaction, ourselves catalysts spurring an unwanted avalanche.

To be less cryptic, an example of such tipping points: cynical lip service paid to catastrophic global warming on the theory that though it's bogus it will improve the environment. Instead, it results in Third World forest being felled to grow corn for ethanol, local farmland turned into ethanol plantations with fallow land reactivated for crops, new land opened up too but not tilled in order to earn carbon credits. The subsequent rise in food prices causes privation and riots in the Third World, while pristine desert land is defaced by thousands of acres of solar panels, and wind farms kill thousands of birds per annum. To paraphrase Mark Twain, a lie gets half way round the world before the truth finishes screwing its pants on.

Again, my point isn't to paint populist socialists as evildoers. There are no evildoers. Just mortals. Ignoramuses. Dumb and dumberer. The deaf leading the blind.

Just my curiosity being peaked by pious individuals committing ideologically driven profanities. Just another drive-by shooting in man-made paradise.

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