i do love a commie. the approach is to prevent people from buying and selling staple goods in tiny quantities on the street, which they are doing because the gov can't get them into the shops.
“These right-wing contraband groups are still at work, with their anti-national and parasitic spirit, riding on the backs of the people and sucking their blood,” Maduro said Tuesday, assuring TV viewers that the government “had neutralized the perverse effects of the economic war”.
we had a hundred years of this dreck. why is maduro pursuing this? to help ordinary people.
anyway, the 'thinking' is a problem, but what i will never forgive the communists for is the rhetorical bilge. to this very day, the worst rhetoric in the world is produced by the communist party of china and north korean state media. back in the day they poured it out from capitals and party offices all over the world in heaping helpings, 24 hours a day, at their captive populations and at the world. it's a grim attempt to manipulate people, incessant, a dead sea of drivel, infinite in expanse. and yet the only thing it shows - and it shows this with crystal clarity - is the moral and intellectual level of the people who utter it. it makes their mindlessness and slavishness and murderousness evident to anyone who is listening anywhere at any time. no one believes or supports whatever might be clothed in the gibberish: i have no idea what that would even be like. all anyone ever did was capitulate or try to resist. people seem to be nostalgic for this idealistic moment. i'm afraid i can't understand who you are, or why, or how.
or, let me speculate. it seems impossible that anyone could want to produce language like that emitted by communism through the 20th century, or want to hear it, and if no one did, how could it happen at all? i think perhaps what it promised was an erasure of subjectivity, a cure for loneliness. if we all talk the same way at the same time, we will join together into a single subject, stomping with our giant feet into the future. this unity of all and erasure of each is actually the rapture for many political tendencies, left and right. but it's not enough to yearn to be one thing altogether. i think you'd better think about what sort of thing that is. in this case, it's a collective subject who talks like someone suffering simultaneously from paranoid schizophrenia, extreme stupidity, and murderous rage. it hardly matters though because then i won't be alone.
one of the central places we experience one another as subjects, and hence a place at which we experience both our own distinctness from one another and the various real dimensions of unity, is in linguistic communication. so i think the idea might be that if we all say the same words in unison, we would really have become one person. both the desire and its practical outcome should be critically examined, and what it amounts to on the ground is a simulation of unity achieved by the merest coercion. that draws people away from, not toward, one another.
i think totalitarian collectivists, left and right, thought that they were in a war against subjectivity. they experienced the idea that there was a private sphere of interiority as a threat, and they often denied that there coukld be any such thing. this in turn might suggest that there is no good distinction between sincere belief and external enactment, a position explored in many flavors of philosophy and psychology in the same period. (turning test; behaviorism; pragmatism (belief means 'willingness to act'); wittgenstein; various flavors of economic or materialist determinism; some forms of social constructionism that focus onn language as the site of the reality.) but then there is no real distinction between a bunch of passionate people all chanting a slogan they find compelling at a demonstration, and a huge mass of persons, forced to attend, chanting the the officially prescribed slogan under the eye of machine-gun emplacements. communism transitioned without apparent self-consciousness from one to the other. it is not necessary to believe in an integral or private self in order to reject this whole line of thinking. indeed, i hardly know where to begin to refute it, or why to bother, really; it is a sequence of howlers and unexamined metaphysical assumptions.
we might try a genealogy. on the level of intellectual history, we might say that both left and right collectivism - like the left and right themselves - emerge out of and reject romanticism in various ways. so, a clear early version of leftist collectivism is rousseau; on the right we might try herder. (we might focus on the emerging sites of general will or collective consciousness as essential to the left/right distinction: class and nation (the class is not in rousseau, quite).) but romanticism emerged in part out of a rejection of the enlightenment project, which did have elements of collectivism: for example it focused on rules of inquiry that we could all defer to. and a main thrust of romanticism as it emerged was the most extreme individualism ever articulated, an attempt to carve out an authentic sphere of subjectivity. here we might mention emerson, fuseli, poe, carlyle, kierkegaard, caspar david friedrich, baudelaire.
in addition, philosophy even of the enlightenment had been busily enclosing consciousness. we only know our own ideas: descartes, hume, and schopenhauer were agreed on that, anyway, and man did it get bad in german idealism. but also german idealism was always searching for a way out. the basic problematic in kant is how to get a world out of representations in consciousness, though i think he just made the problem more intense. hegel did find it in forms of collective consciousness, marx in a return to an actual external material world knowable by science: an enlightenment epistemology with a romantic and post-romantic politics. for the romantics were also characteristically apocalyptic and also yearning for justice. here we might go second great awakening, evangelical abolitionism, utopianism a la owen or fourier. hegel's philosophy anticipated the end of history; emerson kept hinting at it; nietzsche seemed to think that we were about to be transfigured.
what 20th-century totalitarian collectivism of both left and right brought forward was an extremely complex response to this material. you couldn't have real collective identity in a worldthat for each person consisted in that person's representations. so it took the form of disenclosing consciousness, or opening it to the social, the nation or class or race or whatever it may be (i wish it had consistently also placed the social i the wider world). but it was responding not to our primordial enclosedness; we are not enclosed; but to the philosophical dead end of hyper-intense individual consciousness found at the height of romanticism. both the self-enclosed idealism and the erasure of individuality entirely were fantasies, though: we've never not been distinct and non-distinct from one another and the rest of the world. the representational theory of mind was false, and the solutions assayed were quite the over-reaction.
this would all be but an interesting series of ideas or mistakes or whatnot were it not for the millions of corpses.
you and i are exactly as isolated from people and exactly as joined together with them as ever: both can be problems. no amount of coercion can ameliorate this, but i understand that everyone will keep trying. for god's sake get better writers next time round, though.
they tried to make people write novels in that key, or poetry, or symphonies. they tried to base university curricula on its shining exemplars. in the words of elvis costello: maybe they should be hung by their tongues.