Anna Politkovskaya refused to get
gradually suffocated by Vladimir Putin.
She paid the price for that in October
2006 when she was gunned down
by an assassin hired by the Kremlin.
I categorically refuse to agree to socialist ideas if the word socialism should be understood in association with the hogwash dessiminated by the likes of Mao Zedong and Joseph Stalin. But among other types of socialism, I think what I call "creeping socialism" is its most perilous mutant. The reason I feel that way is twofold.
Firstly, since creeping socialism is not a product of methodical thinking, it does not have logically verifiable substance. It's nothing more than an elusive climate prevailing in a nation. You can't rebut this type of socialism on theoretical grounds even if you find something fishy in the vague compassion shown in public discourse toward the weak and the poor.
Take the Americans as a case in point. Obviously their empathy toward minority groups mostly stems from the guilty conscience they harbor on behalf of their ancestors who may have owned slaves, traded them or taken part in the colonization of underdeveloped nations. It's not Obama that started all this. It dates back to the early-1960s when John F. Kennedy used the words affirmative action for the first time. In the last 40-plus years since JFK, the American people rid themselves of all mental barriers to having a black or female president.
Yet there is a sticking point in the undercurrent of this climate. The last question they would dare to ask themselves is: "Are we really prepared for having a gay president in the near future?" I don't think how to address the spouse of the president would be the only problem. And what if a president has no living family, like myself? But again, you can't logically prove this tide to be wrong.
Although the moral code John F. Kennedy advocated may not have aroused suspicion among his contemporaries, there is no denying that he was going to make up for his father's immoral acts in Wall Street in the 1920s, at least subliminally. And he was simply wrong when he said, "Ask not what your country can do for you," because in doing so, the President was, in effect, urging the children and grandchildren of the victims of the likes of Joseph Kennedy, Sr. to ask what they could do to further sacrifice themselves for the American elite.
The bottomline of this hypocrisy is a constant relativization of values. Now it seems the entire value system is endangered in today's America. All along the American people have been conditioned to make believe it's a necessary evil to relativize values on the pretext that mounting conflicts between ethnic groups and genders would otherwise eat into the unity of the country.
Due to their intellectual laziness, another fallout from this trend, it never crosses their minds that they can possibly pursue the same end in a different way because god bestowed upon everyone a wisdom to exercise the right amount of tolerance while adhering to one's own values. In short, they are preserving national unity at the cost of their values. Ironically enough, the relativization of values has also resulted in a unique form of totalitarianism. Someone has exquisitely termed this climate "Digital Maoism." This makes one think that the negative tradeoff between national unity and values of each individual has taken a serious toll on America's strength.
Let me add something here in relation to the value issues. You may think I am mixing up a moral value with an economic value. But to me they are one and the same thing. Otherwise, every time you use the word, you would have to predefine which value you are talking about.
In the following installments of this series, I will spell out exactly how man's sense of values plays its role of the major driving force for economic activities and how specifically creeping socialism undermines the value system of a nation.
Secondly, once this
type of socialism takes root in your society, you will find it next to impossible to reverse the tide because of the sneaky and irrefutable nature of creeping socialism we have already seen. In theory, you can still surmount it if you have a large enough number of individuals equipped with extraordinary resilience in your society. But in reality, that is seldom the case with any developed country. Moreover, what little resilience you may have will quickly diminish if you live in a society where pseudo-socialism constantly sneaks in.
History has shown us time and again that a socialist revolution is doomed to failure because it is almost always hijacked by a bandit subsequently or its leader transforms himself into a tyrant. Yet, there is no denying that a socialist regime established in a disruptive way leaves the descendants of the revolutionaries with invaluable assets.
Some of contemporary Russians, for instance, seem to have inherited, in one way or the other, high aspirations with which their parents, grandparents and distant ancestors stood up against injustice and oppression, sometimes risking their lives.
I hypothesize that this makes a huge difference to their resilience.
We know very little about Anna Politkovskaya (photo on the top of this page) who was gunned down in October 2006 by an assassin presumably hired by Vladimir Putin. A Wikipedia entry says she was born in New York in 1958 to Soviet Ukrainian parents both of whom served as diplomats to the United Nations at that time. But I think the Russian journalist, who refused to back down in the face of the repeated threat from the terrorists in the Kremlin, had inherited the legacy of revolutionary tradition.
On the contrary, most, if not all, immigrants to Western nations were people who chose to flee their home countries rather than stay there to fight to bring about justice and freedom in their homelands. Small wonder that their descendants tend to take refuge in cynicism when their adoptive countries become more and more like the totalitarian states their parents and grandparents left behind.
These are why I think this type of socialism is the most perilous one. There are no effective weapons with which to fight the erosion of values and the loss of resilience resulting from creeping socialism.
TO BE CONTINUED TO PART 2