Communist Dinosaurs

I watch a French two-and-a-half-hour weekly television show that’s pretty good in most respects. It mixes no- hold-barred interviews of politicians with talks with movie directors, authors and artists, including singers.  There is a presidential election beginning in France too. It relies on an an incomplete primary system. To make a long story short, anyone with a grievance or an idea who can get 500 signatures of I don’t know whom can run. That makes for a lively and exotic first round of  balloting. In the second round, things get serious. In any case, this time, there is an explicitly “communist” candidate (Trotskyst branch). She runs for an organization that calls itself “Workers’ Struggle” (Lutte ouvriere).

It’s not clear what her party considers as “workers” but from the candidate’s choice of examples of struggle in her interview last night, there is a strong preference for conventional blue-collar and pink-collar workers. Of course, manufacturing jobs are vanishing from France as they have been doing here. People employed in manufacturing are becoming accordingly scarcer. Bad strategic bet that, defining yourself as a workers’ party when you also define workers that way, (going away, going away, gone!).

The “communist” candidate discourse is loud as it is transparent. Let me summarize:

A   “Workers” are “exploited” by the “corporations.” That is shameful and unbearingly unfair.

B  “Workers” are laid off by “corporations.” That is shameful and unbearingly unfair too.

This vision of the world raises several questions:

Don’t workers stop being “exploited” when they are laid off? Isn’t that the solution?

What does “exploited” mean anyway? (The term used to have a specific if fallacious meaning in Karl Marx’s time. None of his alleged followers have any idea what it is.) When I was a college professor I think I was exploited because my employer did not even have the decency to provide me with a car. It even charged me for parking! Bastards, exploiters!

The communist candidate blames the “big corporations” but not the small ones for “exploiting” the workers. She does not seem to know that in France as here,  workers can’t wait to trade up their “exploitation” by small employers for the more generous “exploitation” of big ones.

Who owns the corporation the candidate is denouncing? She seemed to think it was their CEOs. I wish it were true. It would solve a lot of problems. It’s rarely true at all. She would be surprised to learn that the legal owners and those who get the “dividends,” if any, are people like me, and insurance companies, and retirement funds, and even labor unions.

No one in France is much worried about the “communist.” Just about everyone including herself would be surprised if she garnered even 2% of the votes in the fist round of the French presidential election. Me, I am glad I heard her. It’s good to visit with dinosaurs once in a while to remember why they vanished!

Back to the USA: I am glad to report that during the second Florida Republican presidential debate, I did not hear Ron Paul make a single patently false, invented statement. Maybe, I got to him.

Brave Syrians continue to die day- by-day trying to get what we take for granted: The right to be governed by those they chose. And yes, that may include Islamists. What do you think? That bloody fascist tyranny is better (for us) ?  Syrians also die because of the Obama policy of “engaging” the likes of Assad. He, Assad, is using tanks on the soft bodies of unarmed civilians to make sure he does not miss. Ron Paul followers assure me that the slaughter of Syrians is none of our business. Apparently they think it’s OK for someone else to  conduct mass slaughter as long as it’s done neatly within the boundaries of a nation-state. That’s the same nation-state libertarians say they want to abolish.

Do you recognize the same kind of inconsistency I just showed you above, in France?

About Jacques Delacroix

I am a sociologist, a short-story writer, and a blogger (Facts Matter and Notes On Liberty) in Santa Cruz, California.
This entry was posted in Socio-Political Essays. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Communist Dinosaurs

  1. Terry Amburgey says:

    The right to choose your government includes choosing arse-hats. If a majority of palestinians in gaza want to represented by hamas and they win an election, so be it. If the muslim brotherhood gets the plurality of votes in egypt that’s their choice. Heck people in the US can even vote for republicans.

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      Terry: I could not agree more and, well-chosen example! Hamas is the legitimate representative government of the Gaza Palestinians. And that’s why Israel has the moral high ground when it kills Hamas personnel militants even with significant civilian casualties. The case is the same as that of Germany where the horrible suffering of the Germans, they largely brought on themselves by electing Hitler firstand later, through their continued passivity to his many crimes.

      If you don’t know why Israel would like to kill Hamas, I direct you to the Hamas Charter link on this blog. I recommend you go directly to the last three pages.

  2. thecrackshotcrackpot says:

    Terry: BURN!

    Jacques: what do you propose we do about Syria?

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      Crackpot: What to do about Syria? If our secret services are not already doing it, I hope we could offer guns and ammunition to any Syrians who asks, and money, and any communication device they ask for. Then, our government should give Assad three days to park his tanks. After this, I think we should blow them up from the sky whenever it’s easy and presents low risk. At the same time, I would let Assad know that we can assure him and his family of a relatively comfortable asylum (I am thinking Caribbean) and that he has two weeks to accept the offer. I would make sure all Syrians know of the offer to demoralize his troops and to give his enemies hope.

      This is an easy one. The Syrian regime is a conventional Fascist regime with secret police and torture chambers and all and it has killed hundreds of Americans, all indirectly. Rubbing it off would be an unmitigated blessing. The case where the fascists are ours is more difficult but I would still do about the same because there is shame even in passive complicity

  3. thecrackshotcrackpot says:

    This is an easy one.

    ‘Nuff said.

  4. ladyliberty says:

    we shouldn’t do anything about them being killed…. its not our country! I cant believe people who seem relatively intelligent really believe we should be sending OUR people to die in another country for another countries problems…this never works.. Ron Paul supporters are correct in this line of thinking, the constitution provides a perfect outline for our foreign policies and we should be following it. also we cant AFFORD to be the worlds saviors right now.u say u don’t like communism but i think u want the government to “wipe every ones butts clean”

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      Ladyliberty: There is no plan anywhere to fight Communists right now so, I am confused by your reply. The other things you said begin with what amounts to a suggestion that those who don’t have your viewpoint aren’t really intelligent. Is this really a way to start a discussion?

  5. Bruce says:

    If not for our nation’s past interventions, Lady Liberty would have the luxury of speaking her mind. It never works? She’s confusing intelligence with common sense. The latter tells us that regrettably, it’s often the only thing that works. The most revealing thing she said was that we can’t afford to be the world’s saviors. Sounds like a financial decision, a money thing. Maybe if we were not so strapped for cash right now a Syrian life would be worth enough to get involved. I just love people with principle, you always know where they stand.

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      Bruce: Same reaction here. Many of the principled libertarians who express themselves here and in the media as well as on other blogs seem to be devoid of a conscience and I wouldn’t want them as friend or neighbors. That’s it, Leftists have succeeded in giving ordinary human compassion a bad name!

  6. Pingback: Communist Dinosaurs « Notes On Liberty

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