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SAFE TO SAY?

It may have gone almost completely unnoticed, but in the former Soviet State of Georgia,
there was a statue torn down. It was the statue of Joseph Stalin. That’s what happens to Socialist leaders. Long after they have been in the ground, when the people finally feel comfortable enough to speak out, and when they believe that someone targeting bankers or factory owners are cold in the ground, they will look to those memorials of people who turned society upside down, and they will tear them down. They will look at people who made it a terrifying place to live, and they will melt the statues. They will put up a new statue in Georgia. It will be a memorial to the millions of victims of Joseph Stalin.

Many years ago I knew someone whose father was, and still is recognized as a great pianist. He had to leave the Soviet Union, in part because he was Jewish. Right before glasnost and perestroika there was evidently a rather large departure of Jews from the Soviet Union. We can say it was because their creative abilities were not able to flourish. We can say that it was because they were being exploited. I think it is safe to say, that they were not happy there.

What is it about movements to socialize and make everything ‘fair’ for everyone, that ends up making it very oppressive for a few, for the achievers, and not any better, but , historically, rather the worse for the masses? I’m not sure that I understand it, but somewhere the engines of commerce and enterprise, heaving under the strain of more and more people capitulating to the catatonic faceless role, and less and less people who will provide the solutions,
The machinery finally comes to a loud angry groaning halt. Government comes in and dismantles the machinery, looking at it, trying to understand it, unable to, and finally decides that the parts will at least be useful to cudgel someone.

Forgive me, for referring to anyone as, ‘the masses’, because in a free-thinking, capitalistic society with burgeoning enterprises, there really is no such thing as ‘the masses’. The ‘masses’ are groups we have received into this country, but they have been allowed to become individuals, and most go on to be, in some way, great individuals.

There will be future statues of future leaders torn down, in future places, places we do not currently associate with socialism, but I think that there will also be people, whose early American documents I continue to read, and they, I think, will be forever revered.

copyright John Schumake June 27, 2010


 




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