— JP (@milblogging) February 2, 2014
Of course, the ranks of the Evil Empire and the Rebel Alliance have shifted a bit in recent years, as this clip from the 2000-era BBC series Coupling highlights:
Oh, and speaking of Cold Wars then and now, Aaron Clarey writes today:
Karl Marx was bats*** insane. He was psychotic. And to believe or subscribe to any ideas the man had (be it political, economic, familial or anything) is foolish.
History has proven this. Only a madman’s illusions de grandeur could result in killing more people during peace time than Nazi’s did purposely during war. You can compare similar people’s implementing Marxism vs. freedom (the Koreas, East vs. West Germany, Cuba vs. Caymans, etc.). And you can look to see what happens when countries abandon socialism in pursuit of capitalism (China, Vietnam, the Baltics). But the real issue isn’t what a “moron” or “psychopath” Marx was. It isn’t even the devastation and poverty his cancerous and flawed “theories” has wreaked upon the world.
It’s the scary fact as to just how receptive humans are to such a stupid, and ultimately, dangerous and evil ideology.
As Clarey notes, “Marx was a hypocrite. To avoid creditors he would use aliases, skipping out on rent and often times not paying butchers, tailors, and other ‘workers’ he so claimed were ‘exploited’ by those evil capitalists.” His most devoted followers could be equally hypocritical:
And while we often describe a musician approvingly as having “made a song his own,” Seeger did so literally, cannily sticking his copyright on all this “people’s music”—thereby dying worth an estimated $4.2 million.
Some of that cash was swiped from a man named Solomon Linda.
Pete Seeger (or “Paul Campbell” as he sneakily styled himself on the sheet music) always wanted you to think one of his biggest crowd-pleasers, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” (you know, “wimoweh!” and all that) was a traditional Zulu work chant that he’d thoughtfully rescued from obscurity.
Except, as Mark Steyn’s detective work revealed, that song was written by the aforementioned Mr. Linda of Johannesburg, South Africa in 1939. There was nothing “traditional” or particularly “Zulu” about it. As for the “work” part, Seeger’s Great White Devil sleight of hand ensured that Linda got a grand total of 87 cents for his labors, while Seeger chanted all the way to the bank.
Now, we can say it was foolish for Linda to sell the rights so cheaply to Seeger’s record company, and a contract is a contract. And anyhow, someone with Seeger’s exquisitely tuned sense of social justice—he once claimed, “I want to turn the clock back to when people lived in small villages and took care of each other”—surely took care of Mr. Linda by mailing a five-figure check to the poor fellow c/o his small village the moment his authorship was brought to Seeger’s attention.
While Pete Seeger always wanted a hammer (insert Lileksian rejoinder here), as Kathy Shaidle concludes in her obit on the ancient true believer of that God That Failed, who finally assumed room temperature, “just hand me a shovel so I can toss some dirt on the grave of that wicked old fool.”
Or simply a magic marker:
Even in his home town Pete Seeger fails to escape the ultimate moral judgment of history pic.twitter.com/LPLlf89v9H
— TakingHayekSeriously (@FriedrichHayek) February 3, 2014
Kingsley Amis famously quipped that the updated version of Robert Conquest’s hstory of Stalin’s terror should have been re-titled, “I Told You So, You F***ing Fools.” but Seeger was perhaps the most stubborn fool of all.
Update: No, there is another, to borrow another Star Wars catchphrase.