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The Slacker Manifesto

Communism's appeal is all about Mommy.

by
Bonnie Ramthun

Bio

January 9, 2014 - 11:30 am
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Rolling Stone recently published an essay titled “Five Economic Reforms Millenials Should Be Fighting For” by twenty-something author Jesse A. Myerson. It won’t take long to read, though you might develop a headache while doing so.

Essentially, young Jesse wants communism, and he wants it now. There are several wonderful takedowns of this youngster’s astounding ignorance about communism and the misery, degradation, and death that result in the countries that have attempted to force it on their people, but I’d like to address the why.

Why does communism sound so lovely and appealing to teenagers and young adults? You can argue that our school systems and our universities are seething with Marxists, and you’d be right. But if all those teachers were agitating for forced labor camps and mass executions, you wouldn’t see young people getting excited and marching around holding signs.

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Communism ends up with forced labor camps, starvation, and mass murder, but it starts out sounding like Mom’s house. Young Jesse wants a guaranteed income, housing, and food. This is what adults provide for children. Jesse’s entire “Five Economic Reforms” are a cry to keep living at home, to have his needs taken care of by parental figures, to remain forever a child.

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Top Rated Comments   
Bonnie's description of the communist/socialist mentality is precisely accurate, even if she didn't cite the Gulag Archipelago. I know this because I lived in an eastern European country for nearly eight years and witnessed the aftermath of their communist lifestyle and the lingering effects upon relationships, daily life of persons and national life. A major reason that some former Soviet bloc countries cannot improve the lives of their citizens is that there are so few who know how escape the socialist mentality despite the best of intentions and fervency of hope. Without a work ethic, businesses and economies don't survive, let alone grow. There is no better way to describe the socialist mind-set than as a determination to cling to mommy with a sense of entitlement. I say that without condemnation and with compassion for people who cannot imagine any other way because they were acculturated to it. I don't have the same feelings for young people in the U.S. whose opportunities, even now, are unprecedented in the history of the world. For the infantile minds that whine about social injustice, inequality and unfairness in the United States, just try living in places where real oppression, torture and inequality have been the norm. Rolling Sto
ne is basically sophomoric. Thank you Bonnie for this excellent post and your reading suggestions for children and young adults, to get them thinking.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
A baby has many needs and no abilities. We're all born Marxists, then we either outgrow it or we don't.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Being responsible for your self, not to speak of others, is hard. So it shouldn't be a surprise that so many perpetual adolescents choose to blame other people for their failures. Particularly when the head cheerleader for irresponsibility is the president of the United States.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (49)
All Comments   (49)
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A beautifully made point.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
If it ever worked just once I could understand, But it has never worked. Oh, that's why history is verboten. It will work just fine when men change but after all these years the "new soviet man" still does not exist.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Articles like the one in Rolling Stone give me hope for the United States. It is a warm sprout of compassion in the toxic wasteland of hatred and greed. Jesse Myerson not only has the intellect to understand what needs to be done, but has the courage to say so as well.

This article could be the tipping point in the fight to free the poor from corporate greed. During the Bush regime, even voicing support for compassion got you a one-way ticket to the ovens and showers of Gitmo, but now truth gets printed in a corporate magazine.

The hysteria on this and other right-wing sites to crush this one glimmer of truth is a sight to behold. Is it as if the seemingly invincible corporate plutocracy is quaking in its boots that workers might read one short article that explains their interests. Could one op-ed really pierce through the Fox News/Rush Limbaugh noise machine and inspire the workers to seize the wealth from the greedy 1% that was always truly theirs?
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Another nice piece of sarcasm. But if you want to satirize a Leftist, wouldn't it be better to print it at HuffPo? Or are you afraid they'll take you seriously?

The "showers and ovens" line is genius.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Don't be so sure. There were a number of supposed Communists in high school and college who knew about the camps and purges. They were fine with that since they all thought they would be the ones saying who lived and who died, who ate and who starved. That's the way of it: supporters of Communism always fancy they will be wearing the boots and not the face.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Bonnie's description of the communist/socialist mentality is precisely accurate, even if she didn't cite the Gulag Archipelago. I know this because I lived in an eastern European country for nearly eight years and witnessed the aftermath of their communist lifestyle and the lingering effects upon relationships, daily life of persons and national life. A major reason that some former Soviet bloc countries cannot improve the lives of their citizens is that there are so few who know how escape the socialist mentality despite the best of intentions and fervency of hope. Without a work ethic, businesses and economies don't survive, let alone grow. There is no better way to describe the socialist mind-set than as a determination to cling to mommy with a sense of entitlement. I say that without condemnation and with compassion for people who cannot imagine any other way because they were acculturated to it. I don't have the same feelings for young people in the U.S. whose opportunities, even now, are unprecedented in the history of the world. For the infantile minds that whine about social injustice, inequality and unfairness in the United States, just try living in places where real oppression, torture and inequality have been the norm. Rolling Sto
ne is basically sophomoric. Thank you Bonnie for this excellent post and your reading suggestions for children and young adults, to get them thinking.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
When he was in high school, my nephew came home from school one day and announced that he was a Communist. When I raised an eyebrow and said, "Really?" he stood firm and said that they were studying communism in school and he believed that total equality for everyone was the right way to live.

I told him that I respected his decision, but that his parents would have to make a few changes around the house if he truly wanted to live there as a communist. First, we would take the door off his bedroom. Communist countries have no privacy rights, therefore he does not deserve to have the privacy of a bedroom door. Second, his parents would take his weekly allowance and divide it among his three brothers. He would still have to do his chores, but he would not be paid accordingly. After all, communism is all about the betterment of the collective, not the individual. Next we would tell his brothers that they were now welcome to use any of his possessions at their discretion, whenever and wherever they wanted, for as long as they wanted. Communism does not respect private property, therefore he would have to relinquish ownership of his guitars, music equipment, computers, stereo, sports equipment, etc. After all, they would be put to use for the good of the collective.

He said, "Well, then I can use their stuff too, right?"

"Well, no, since THEY did not come home and announce that they are communists. You did. If you can convince them that communism is a superior system, then they may choose to join you, but unless they do, YOU are the only one who will be affected." He stormed out of the room.

When he came back about a half hour later, he announced that he had decided that maybe he was a bit hasty in adopting communism, and he had decided to rethink his position. His mother and I laughed for about an hour after that.

This boy is now an officer in Special Forces in the U.S. Army - and he is NOT a communist.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
"I’ve never suffered under communism, but I know too, because I have read The Long Walk, and I’ve read 1984 and Animal Farm and Brave New World and We the Living and The Giver."

If those are the only things you've read about Communism, you've limited yourself to NOVELS, with the exception of The Long Walk. (I've read the book, which is published as non-fiction, but I understand there are semi-plausible allegations that the book was not true.)

While novels can be wonderful thing for getting to the essence of something, you owe it to yourself to read non-fiction accounts too. In my opinion, the best things to read are Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago and Robert Conquest's The Great Terror.

I have no doubt that 1984, Animal Farm and We The Living in particular were informed by the authors real-life experiences with communism, they are still novels, which are, by definition, FICTION. They will inevitably be dismissed by some people on that basis alone.

Books that are indisputably non-fiction cannot be dismissed so easily. Read The Gulag Archipelago and then challenge someone to dispute it. I've never even seen anyone attempt it. Even the Soviet authorities didn't try to argue with the truth of what Solzhenitsyn said: they resorted to doing all they could to limit access to the book and to slander the author with allegations that he was actually Jewish (he was not but declaring him Jewish seemed to them to be a technique to undermine his credibility); finally, they simply kicked him out of the country where they felt he could do less harm.

Somehow, as I read Gulag, I knew that every word in it was true. It is very very rare that I get that feeling but somehow I was certain that it was an accurate description of the Soviet Gulag told by the 200 eyewitnesses Solzhenitsyn interviewed in constructing the book and held together by his own 8 years in the Gulag. While reading the book is a serious undertaking - three volumes and nearly 2000 pages - it is without question the most important book I've ever read for shaping my political consciousness and ridding me of the poison of Marxism.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
First of all you need to read Gulag Archipelago. But truly, they don't want Communism they want Fascism. They want a big strong Daddy to tell the mean businesses to be nice. And for people they disagree with to be quite and do what they want them to do.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
M. Scott Peck defined evil as (paraphrasing...) wanting all the benefits with none of the responsibilities. Seems an appropriate definition of the RS article.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
They will always say that something they refer to as "true" communism (whatever that is) has never really been tried. The problem, for many, with seeing the "down side" of communism is that, apparently, few see it affecting them. It will only happen, and rightly so, to the other. The fascists, reactionaries, counter revolutionaries etc. Does no one in our education system teach how, under these regimes, Stalin-like leaders, decide on a daily basis, the definition of those doubleplus ungood things that can get you sent to the gulag or disappeared in more final ways? Apparently not. Can't happen here. We'll do communism properly!
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
You're exactly right: the Leftists always say that past attempts at Marxism weren't "REAL" Marxism and, if only they are allowed to try it here, they'll do it right. To which I say: "Show me just one VILLAGE anywhere in the world that works on true Marxist principles and where people are free to leave if they want to and I'll buy in to this ideology."

The truth is that Marxism doesn't work and CAN'T WORK. If it did work, you'd see plenty of examples. The only way they can cobble together something that looks vaguely like Marxism is by force: they FORCE you to sell your labour or products at a price they set and give you some sort of marginal subsistence in return; if you refuse to co-operate or even just attempt to leave, you will be denied food and allowed to starve or you will be murdered or sent to a "re-education" camp to be worked to death.

49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yeah, the whole "Communism was great until Stalin messed it up!" argument. And from erstwhile intelligent people . . . ignorance unleashed!
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
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