Friday, October 19, 2007

Some people never learn...

Unfortunately the scanner could not cope with the full-size image: socialists like their flyers to be as large and visible as possible, so the original was printed on A3 paper. Melancholicus’ scanner can only deal with A4 documents, so a goodly portion of the image has had to be cut away. The blurb at the top announces a “4oth anniversary public meeting”. The box at the bottom provides the time and venue of said meeting, which took place in the same building of the university where Melancholicus works.

This eulogy of a man who was a deranged and bloodstained ideologue was organised by the Socialist Party, whose very frightening website can be viewed here (caveat lector). Until the recent general election, this communist organisation actually had representation in the Dáil, in the person of Joe Higgins (a former seminarist, incidentally, which background he shares with Melancholicus — but there the resemblance between us ends). In this year’s election, however, Higgins failed to retain his seat, and his party is once more consigned to the political wilderness. Te Deum laudamus...

The meeting advertised took place yesterday while Melancholicus was meditating on St. Luke, so he is unable to report on how well attended this left-wing gathering was, or on what was said. But that it took place at all should be a sobering reminder to all who value liberty and independence that the forces of oppression, violence and revolution are still at work in the world. The red enemy has not gone away; he is merely waiting for a more opportune time to reveal himself in his true colours. While some of us might be tempted to laugh at the buffoonery that is socialism, and to mock the tiny handful of true believers that still consider the deranged rantings of Marx and Lenin to be the answer to every social and economic ill that has plagued the world since the dawn of civilization, we would do better to treat these people and their agenda seriously, not deride them as the relics of a utopian political experiment that has failed miserably in every society in which it has been tried. That socialism has failed consistently since it was first hatched in the brains of madmen is evident; that some people will continue to cling to an ideology which has been proven false time and time again seems to be a sad reality; but we must never forget that, however weak socialism may become in the wax and wane of political life, it continues to desire power and control over every aspect of human existence from conception to death (and even beyond: socialism is aggressively atheistic, and wishes to deny even the possibility of an afterlife to those in its unmerciful grip). Melancholicus wishes to warn his readers: Socialism is inherently totalitarian. It is in and of itself a tyrannical and inhuman ideology. Should anyone desire proof of this assertion, they have only to review the track record of socialism in the twentieth century. No other political system (with the possible exception of the ideologues of the Third Reich) has come so close to such an absolute denial of human rights and the dehumanization of entire societies, as we see in socialism. The repeated efforts to put the philosophies of Karl Marx and Vladimir Ilyich Lenin into practice have resulted only in poverty, oppression, misery and death — death on a mass scale, unparalleled in the number of its victims by any other system of oppression in world history.

The socialists have an answer to this charge, of course. They have to have an answer to so grave a charge, or there would be no justification in continuing. They blame the excesses of communist government on this man, who is a convenient scapegoat for the red left — they can dismiss as one man’s baleful influence what in reality is typical of the system as a whole. Joseph Stalin was not an aberration of socialism; he was not socialism gone astray, as it were. Rather, he was socialism brought to its logical plenitude. To deny this is to be ignorant of history, or else cold-bloodedly mendacious.

Anyway, back to Guevara. The Socialist Party has organised a public meeting. Melancholicus even saw flyers affixed to lamp-posts in Dublin city centre, advertising similar gatherings devoted to examining how the ‘legacy’ of Guevara is still ‘relevant today’. The word ‘revolution’ always appears openly and unapologetically on these advertisements. We can see that the socialists are quite unrepentant, and have not changed their tune one iota since the days of Stalin, Mao and Guevara. Guevara is held up, not as an aberration to be avoided, but as an example to be imitated. Of course the socialists will ‘spin’ their hero, so as to make him attractive to the soft leftists of today, people such as George Hook and Jim Fitzpatrick. Only those details of his biography which render him sympathetic to contemporary sensibilities will be aired; his championing of the rights of the poor, his opposition to the Battista regime, and of course the happy manner of his martyr’s death — which last ensures that the cult of Che will continue long into the future, for every movement needs its martyrs. There will be no mention of his murders, or the time he spent as commander of the La Cabana fortress, imprisoning and shooting men and women without even a pretence of the procedure of law. There will be no mention of the violence and terror visited by this romantic revolutionary on hundreds of ordinary innocent Cubans.

Now let us examine the scene in another way. Suppose flyers should be posted up in the streets and in the hallowed halls of academia announcing a public meeting to assess, in a positive and sympathetic light, the political legacy of, say, Reinhard Heydrich or Adolf Eichmann. What would happen? Would the good people of Dublin simply pass by, going about their personal business as though these flyers advertised nothing less innocuous than a pop concert? Would the staff and students of the university wherein Melancholicus earns his crust permit such flyers to be exhibited publicly on university property?

Of course not. There would be an outcry. The Gardaí would remove the flyers immediately and arrest those who posted them. There would be a spate of horrified correspondence on the letters page of The Irish Times. The incident would be aired and condemned on the RTÉ news. It would appear, with equal condemnation, on Prime Time and on Questions & Answers. The Taoiseach, and even the President, would feel it necessary to make a public statement condemning the flyers and the meeting they advertised. The meeting, for its part, would not be permitted to take place. The whole affair would probably attract the attention of British, and perhaps even continental, news sources. And why?

Because Heydrich and Eichmann were active representatives of a regime which wrought brutal murder and mass slaughter on a scale never before seen, all in the name of a warped racial ideology. The organisation to which they belonged is, since 1945 if not before, considered synonymous with evil.

But Guevara was an active representative of a similarly brutal and murderous regime — which kills not in the name of racial superiority, but of class struggle. Why is murder in the name of class struggle morally acceptable, while murder in the name of race struggle is not?

Surely it is a reprehensible thing to commit murder, irrespective of racial or political ideology. But why does the public exhibition of flyers extolling Guevara as a hero not excite in our people the same revulsion they would surely feel on seeing similar flyers lauding Heydrich or Eichmann?

Why in our society are the death-mongers of the left given a free pass?

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