It's not too often I praise the BBC, but I believe that credit is due where it is due and so I will take the unusual step of saying how impressed I was with the last two episodes (I missed those that preceded them) of 'The Lost World of Communism'. The last two editions featuring the artistic, well, Bohemian and dignified disobedience of Vaclav Havel and his mates in the former Czechoslovakia and latterly the family run business of the Ceaucescus in Romania.
Something Leg Iron has posted tonight about the over 40's being 'invited' to go for a health 'MOT' prodded at a point that I found most disturbing when watching the show last night.
I fail to understand why people attach themselves to Socialism, there will always be the situation in Socialism where the rights, views and ideals of person A trumps the rights, views and ideals of person B. I do not believe that anyone's rights (and I prefer the word Liberties) can be more important than anyone else's. When one person's needs are overriding someone else's then the only outcome will be resentment, and we're seeing the consequences of that ourselves.
Socialism is not Communism, it is embryonic Communism. As far as I'm concerned, being a Socialist is akin to only being racist against Chinese people. Only a little bit racist. But that undesirable aspect is still there.
The BBC show portrayed, without amplification and without sympathy, the soul crushing misery that a collective system like Communism produces. It wasn't the imprisonment for daring to criticise or lampoon the authorities, the restrictions on travel, having your house bulldozed in front of your eyes and being moved into a freshly built hovel with no windows, doors, heating or water, it wasn't the big things that filled me with despair for the people who had to exist in those conditions, for that is what it was, an existence rather than a life. It was the little things that made me feel so very, very angry; grandparents being forced to queue for 14 hours for half a pat of butter for their grandchild, having your ID confiscated by the police because you were male and had long hair, having to hold a Christening for your child in secret, lest the Securitate find out. To subject people to such inhuman indignity is unspeakable.
Leg-Iron's tirade against the 'health MOT' reminded me of the monthly intimate inspections visited upon women of childbearing age in Communist Romania, to check they had not had an abortion. In the world of State ownership, not even a women's uterus is her own.
A 'health MOT' and an intimate monthly inspection are not the same things, but they are of the same essence. The difference between the two is the same as the difference between a burger and a filet mignon, but the similarity is that they are both beef.
Socialists and Communists in the UK would maintain that what happened in Romania could never happen here, but I think they are naive. I don't hate them, I would never embark on some McCarthyist campaign, but to look at the list, China, North Korea, USSR, Cuba, Poland, Romania, East Germany, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Albania, Cambodia, good God, Cambodia, anyone who thinks that a British Socialist utopia would be different is living in a dream world.
The problem with a system where there is no accountability will always end up with one person sitting at the top imposing their own beliefs on everybody else. It is a sad fact of life that politics and especially high office, attract people who are convinced of their own infallibility, their mission from God or their quest to change the world into something in their own image. It will be done for our own good, if we disagree we are either mad or idiots, either way we are not worthy of listening to. Where this kind of person takes indefinite charge of a country, misery is the only outcome, it is human nature and a lack of recognition of human nature has always been Communism's biggest failing both in the governing and the governed.
Examine Brown's reaction to the attack on him in the Dan Hannan video, he sits there grinning away. He isn't grinning because if he doesn't he'll be scowling on the front page of every paper, he's grinning because he really, honestly thinks that most people share his thoughts during the speech. 'Jeez, listen to this guy, he's absolutely barking, he thinks I'm screwing it up! Boy is he going to look silly on the news tonight.' Brown thinks he's winning and that the moonbat will be held up as the nutter's nutter.
In the case of Communism, there must be conformity, there must be a working towards the common purpose, the easiest way to ensure conformity is to stifle and remove dissent.
When I look at what we have here in the UK, and perhaps more importantly, in the EU, I see shades of that Communism, of that obligation to conform, to do as I am told for my own good. I see a burger, but as I look down the table I see that fillet steak and realise it's made of the same stuff as the patty in front of me.