Second Manchester United Treble?- With This Lot!?

Will We See This in May?

Can History Repeat Itself?

In 1998-99 Season Manchester United won the famous and dramatic Treble.  The Premier League Trophy, The FA Cup, and The UEFA Champions League.  Oh what a month it was, almost two months actually.  The whole season was dramatic, but the run in was epic.  Our League form was a bit dodgy, we finished with 4 wins and 4 draws in the last 8 matches and the final league table looked close indeed as United won the League by just one point over Arsenal.  It was the domestic and European cup runs that made this an epic season.  A draw and replay in the FA Cup semi final against Arsenal.  And in the replay, that last minute red card, Peter Schmeichel saving the penalty, and that run by Ryan Giggs in extra time.  What a run it was.  I can still see it.  I never get bored of watching it.  Then I see him waving his shirt running towards the bench like a mad man.  We were all mad then.   Then the Final against Newcastle.  Only minutes in and Keane gets hurt.  Fergie puts in Teddy, and he scores one of the goals, and assists on the other if I remember correctly.

Then there was the small matter of winning the ever elusive Champions League.  That epic semi final  against Juventus.  We were not great in the first leg at home and took a 1-1 scoreline to Turin.  Went down 2-0 rather quickly.  Keane got cautioned which meant he would miss the Final if we went through.  And then he made himself into a legend and led the fightback to make it 3-2 and off United went to Barcelona to face Bayern Munich.  The Final itself was rather poor as far as football is concerned.  But oh what an ending.  Every United fan knows what happened.  The next thing we knew United were parading the big eared trophy while the Germans were crying.  Epic.

And we fast forward to 2011.  Till recently according to the media and some of the very optimistic United fans we were chasing Arsenal’s unbeaten season.  Then Wolves happened, and Chelsea and Liverpool, and now this silliness finally has ended.  Hell there were some talking about the unbeaten run in November.  As if it was just a matter of getting though a few easy games to finish the season.  And now we’re approaching April and United are still in three competitions.  So of course there is talk of the treble.  We have two months of football left.  8 league games.  5 CL games, and 2 FA Cup Games to play.  15 vital matches in the space of  8 weeks, with all of those weeks but one seeing us play weekend and midweek matches.  And some run around screaming the treble is still on!

Well it is of course.  Anything is possible.  But looking at our possible fixture list its rather improbable.  I would say highly unlikely!!!  I would be very happy with just one trophy, ecstatic with two, and pretty much delirious and completely mad if we did in fact win all three.  Our destiny is of course in our hands and while we still have Fergie leading United I would not count anything out.  However right now, and until we actually win anything I am an avowed skeptic.  Perhaps I have misplaced my red tinted glasses somewhere but i just don’t see it.  I would love to be so very wrong but a number of factors make me think that I unfortunately will be right.  Of course it does not take a sage to predict that we wont win a treble seeing as it happened only once in English football history.  So I am not putting myself out there.  But as each game approaches, when taken one at a time, the hope returns, yes we can get a result today.  And of course each game takes us one step closer.  We are the closest to a record 12th FA Cup.  Only two games to play in that.  And a semi final win would be that much sweater as it would mean that we could go on singing our noisy neighbour’s favourite song till at least the end of February.  That would make me very happy.

Then there is the League.  8 games left.  Away trip to West Ham, Newcastle, Arsenal and Blackburn.  Home against, Fulham, Everton, Chelsea, Blackpool.  Not easy, but it could be worse.  At home I fancy us against anyone.  And away we have actually won a couple of games this year so despite our very poor away form all is not lost.  West Ham, Newcastle and Rovers are all winnable matches.  And depending on the table a draw at Arsenal might be enough.  So the league itself, despite our very indifferent form the whole season, is quite achievable.  And winning that coveted 19th and knocking teams of perches would be special indeed.

Finally we come to the last part of the treble.  The Champions League.  Fergie wants one badly.  He wants to be up there with the other top European managers and win it 3 times.  He wants 5 European trophies altogether.  We don’t have an easy draw, but hell, it could have been worse.  Chelsea wont be easy, but without Luiz and Atkinson we will have an easier time.  And we did show we can play them well, if only for 45 minutes.  If we do go through then either Shalke of Inter await.  Shalke are a decent side, but no one is giving them a chance against the Milan team.  After the Benitez fiasco Inter have found their form and are chasing their local rivals for the Serie A title as well as fighting for the CL.  They wont be easy.  They are last year’s winners after all.  But they are not invincible.  And as with any cup game, anything can happen.  So we do have a shot to go to Wembley for possibly the 4th time in one season.  And then there is just the small matter of beating either (in all likelihood) Real Madrid or Barcelona.  Start paining the bus.  But seriously, as I mentioned, its a cup game, anything can happen.

Looking at each of the 3 competitions separately we do have a decent chance to win each of them.  Unfortunately they can not be separated.  The games will all be with 2 or 3 days rest, there will be considerable travel.  It will be an exhausting run in.  There will be no time to celebrate a victory because preparation will have to start for the next game.  It will be mental.  We can win the treble, but by mid April we can just as easily be pretty much out off all three competitions.  We could do an Arsenal.  And what worries me more than anything is United itself.

Yep, we can be our very worst enemies.  First and foremost there is the squad.  Well, it simply is not good enough.  We are leading the league by default.  And those who protest this should remember how it all looked at the end of October.  Not that it will diminish the joy of any trophy, but hardly anyone picked United for greatness this season.  Even many of the more level headed United faithful.  While Fergie was talking about value in the market we all we screaming for players as Ozil, Khedira, van der Vaart and others went elsewhere for basically peanuts.  Most agreed that we needed midfield help.  On top of the weakness of the squad we have not been spared injuries.  Several very important players have been out for sometime.  Valencia, Rooney, Ferdinand, Park, Fletcher, Nani.  And now our area of strength and depth is tested as many of our defensemen are hurt.  Against Bolton we had 5 defenders fit.  Only one, Evra, was a real first choice.

United throughout the season have been criticized for their lackluster play.  Our shocking away form, our poor displays at home, lack of creativity.  A defence that was one of the best in the world now looked ordinary.  On top of that individual players went from great to average, or from good to poor.  And last but not least there were times when our team selection and tactics could be questioned.  Sure there was the odd Blackburn game, or  Arsenal in the FA Cup when everyone went from scratching their heads to mea culpas for questioning the genius of Fergie.  But mostly it was blah.  Now we may still win trophies, hell, we may win more than one this season, but this team will not be remembered as a great team.  As far as trophy winning United teams go, this one will be quite low on the list.

And there is a reason for the very average displays and lack of the usual United attacking flair.  We’re shite.  Yep, this team is quite poor.  But its not all bad in terms of talent, on paper we’re not as bad.  However the form of some players has been shocking.  Our defence has overall been ok.  We have looked dodgy at times but its not the defence’s fault.  A couple of seasons back Edwin broke the record for minutes without conceding a goal.  It went something like 1300 minutes without conceding.  And during that time he made about 20 saves.  Less than two per game.  This season, despite a couple of dodgy moments he has been one of our best players in several games.  `And I still maintain that its not the fault of our defence.  Yes there is the form of Johnny Evans, who has been simply shocking all season.  Age has finally caught up with Gary to the point that he retired.  And Evra has been quite poor by his very high standards for a year now.  In my opinion Fergie burned him out last season and he still has not recovered.  He looks so disinterested at times.  But the rest have been good.  Vidic has been a rock, he and Rio, when fit, are still the best CBs in the world.  Smalling has been a revelation.  The twins have shown great improvement.  O’Shea as reliable as ever, anywhere he is played.  Brown hardly played, so one can’t fault him for anything really.

So our defence has been good overall.  Our forward line on the other hand is a strange one.  Hernandez is looking like one of the buys of the season.  Berbatov finally started to look like the player we hoped he would be.  He leads the league in scoring.  Of course there were some shocking surprises.  Micheal Owen got injured…  Wayne Rooney.  What a season eh?  He started extremely poorly, and it went downhill from there.  Got hurt, wanted to leave, got kicked by Scholes, signed a huge contract, finally came back, and was shit.  And kept being shit for sometime.  And Fergie kept picking him.  I suppose  its understandable considering how important he was last season and now that United have invested so much money into him it would not be good business not to play him.  But at times I wondered what the hell is he doing on the pitch.  Especially when one considers that at times it came at the expense of either Berbatov or Hernandez who have played well for most of the season.  But Rooney improved, he even had a few great games.  However I still have not seen the Rooney of last season.  Overall though our forward line has been pretty good.

What has not been good is our midfield.  Particularly our central midfield.  Our wingers are ok.  When healthy the duo of Nani and Valencia can give any defence fits.  They both create a lot of goal as their assist stats show.  We do have a worry with our depth there however.  Giggs is a legend and has been great this season, especially in the first half of the season.  But we can not rely on a 37 year old to save our asses.  Park is Park, not spectacular, but a useful squad player who has been missed badly these past few months.  After that we have no one.  Well we have bodies, but I doubt anyone is counting on either Bebe or Obertan to create a couple of goals in the CL final.  The sooner we get rid of them the better.  I am being harsh on Bebe here as the jury should still be out on him considering, but I wont shed tears if we let him go.  Obertan is just shit.

You know who else is shit?  Gibson.  Yes he has a hard shot.  What?  I finished saying positive things about him.  Though he did have a couple of decent games this season, the rest were either very forgettable of shocking.  I have a lot of patience for players who come from the academy and through the reserves ( I defended Fletcher in 2005 and 06), but I have given up on him.  Not good enough.  Cleverly hardly wore a United shirt but is already better than Gibson.  And Gibson is just a small part of the problem that is our central midfield.  The former fan favourite for abuse, Darren Fletcher, blossomed into a vital member of our squad to the point that many claimed that if only he played in Rome..  However Rome is almost two years past, and while he was very good last season, the same can not be said for this  term.  He has not been shit, but great has has not been either.  He went from our midfield dynamo, the man that brought memories of Keane into mind to being bland and average.  Still, it could be worse.  His name could have been Michael Carrick.

Now I was a great admirer of Carrick and appreciated the little, hard to notice, things he did.  On top of that he was one of the best passers in the league.  When Scholes could not play or was poor no problem, Carrick could control the game.  Now, not so much.  Not in any way as a matter of fact.  His positioning has been poor, tackling bad, he losses possession constantly and the only way he knows how to pass these days is backwards or sideways.  There are times when he reminds me of Kleberson.  Anderson has shown only glimpses of the talent he has.  Then he got hurt again.  So now, on top of relying on a 37 year old to beat fullbacks, we have been forced to rely on a 35 year old to run the midfield for us.  And sadly the great Paul Scholes has reached the time when he is no longer capable of running the game all by himself.  Oh he can still do it from time to time, and even when he is not great he still is better than the shite alongside of him, but its time.  We simply can not rely on Scholes’ genius on a regular basis.

And there is the rub.  Our heart, our centre of the team, our brains, creativity, protection, is not good enough.  That is why we did not record a shot on goal against the Wolves for the last 70 minutes of the game.  That is also why we give up so many cheap goals and why our defence is under so much pressure.  When Scholes returned from his eye thingy in 2006 and we got Carrick all of a sudden we dominated teams again.  Our keeper could have come to the game with a book and our attackers simply flooded the opponents goal.  And it was all due to the two men in the middle of the pitch.  Right now though they are either not playing well enough or simply are not good enough.  And that is what is supposed to win us the treble.

Yes, our hopes and dreams of glory rely on a midfield that is not even in the top 4 in quality in the league.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Paul Scholes, he is a legend, and to me, the best midfielder in the past decade and a half.  I love Fletcher too, had faith in him when not many did, and I still do.  I did fall out of love with Carrick.  And I think that Gibson is not good enough.  And I am struggling to decide about Anderson.  Will he be the next great midfielder for United, or did we buy a Kleberson?  But is this midfield good enough to beat Chelsea twice, or even three times?  Or Inter, or Barca?  We may have to rely on our wide players for creativity and on our defence and keeper to save us.  And that is what worries me this season.  Aside from the silly and premature talk of the treble.  There are big holes in this team.  All we really need is for two players to step up, or buy next summer.  But what important players they are.  Because unless we go back 30 years and start hoofing the ball, everything goes through them.

In the end I am pretty confident that we will win something this season.  Just how much and what remains to be seen.  But it will be a strange season.  Full of worry and controversy on and off the pitch.  And after we celebrate we will be left with more worry.  Worry about the future.  Because as much as Fergie can be a miracle man and one can never count out a team managed by him we do need reinforcements.  And how can we get them when there is absolutely no value in the market even though we have 160 million just sitting there, waiting to be spent.  We know its there, Mr. Gill told us it is so, our owners have assured us.  They would never lie, would they?

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Published in: on March 26, 2011 at 9:37 am  Leave a Comment  
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Diving In Football (Soccer)- Get Over It!!!

Diving is cheating.

Yes it is.  No one, even the divers themselves can pretend otherwise.  Oh sure they can say they jumped out of the way in order to avoid a tackle because if they did not they might get hurt.  And they probably might have a point, if they did in fact lost balance.  Half the time they do not.  They are “helping” the referee see that there was indeed intent and a foul, or an attempt at a foul.  So lets not kid ourselves here.  Divers are cheats.  There is nothing really honourable about falling down when one was not touched.  My intention here is not to defend the act, in some cases, art, of diving on a football pitch.  It is cheating.  It is that simple.

However, it is not the worst thing that happened to football.  Nor is it a new phenomenon.  And it is not only perpetrated by those dishonest southern foreigners as the English love to claim.  Diving is as old as fouling.  Everyone does it.  And again, is is not a crime against humanity or sport.  Yet, many act like it is.  Every time someone gets caught in a blatant dive there is a big controversy about it, there are calls for video reviews and suspensions.  Hell, some countries have that system in place and use it to retroactively punish the divers, sometimes, if blatant enough, with a multiple game suspension.  My problem is that all this controversy and faux outrage is bullshit and as dishonest as diving itself.  Actually more so.

Lets look at diving itself.  Now its been happening for decades, no matter how people even older than I am try to claim otherwise through selective memory.  So all this outrage is false and dishonest.  Especially when its directed at foreign players (I am talking about England mostly, being fan of English football).  There is this myth that for the most part English players don’t dive.  Its bullshit of course as there are as many English players diving as there are foreigners.  But English fans want to believe that their countrymen are better and more honest.  The English emphasize honesty and hard work, so of course none of their heroes would dive.  If they do then its a one off of course.  That is another myth.  English players are as good at diving as the rest of the world is.

The Honest English Footballer

If a foreigner dove to win a penalty in a Champions League Final then the English press would talk about if for years.  Yet when an English player did it, he was a hero for starting a great comeback.  But hypocrisy aside lets look at what the big deal about diving is.  As I keep saying its cheating.  In several cases its even trying to get a player booked, and possibly sent off, to gain an unfair advantage.  However, many times there was a real attempt to foul and only the dive avoided contact.  So in many cases it really is what the cheaters claim, trying to protect oneself from possible injury.  Diving is simulation.  Simulation is bad.  But falling down is actually better than real simulation, like when after a tackle, a player pretends to be injured.  And wastes everyone’s time!!!  30 seconds later we see him back on the pitch running at full speed fully recovered from his career ending injury.  Its pathetic.  That I hate more than the actually falling over.

And when we get all hot and bothered about diving we don’t mind other forms of cheating.  Yet another hypocrisy from football fans.  No one ever complains about two players from opposing teams raising their hands for a corner/goal kick, when they both know who touched the ball last.  That is also deceiving the referee.  OK, a player might not be booked as a consequence, but one of them is cheating.  Every corner kick or a throw in has a “controversy.”  Players actually argue over these decisions trying to influence the officials and the decision does have consequences, no matter how much we pretend that it does not.  Players simulate, cheat, when they claim innocence after fouling someone.  Players actually ask for other players to be booked.  That last one is against the rules, and should be punished by a yellow card, yet the referees, being cowards, do not caution players for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Yet most of the above mentioned offenses rarely cause controversy or even registers on the fans’ radar.  Its the divers who are ruining the game.  Diving is punishable by a yellow card.  But most football fans, and pundits, actually want divers sent off, or retroactively suspended for a game or more.  That would put diving alongside violent conduct, like leg breaking tackles.  And why?  Because its not manly.  Yes, divers are pussies who refuse to stay on their feet, and possibly, in some cases, get their legs broken, and we want to punish them like we do players who sometimes intentionally injure their fellow professionals.  Its not manly.

That is the only explanation.  Its not because its dishonest.  We tolerate all kind of dishonesty from players, even dirty tackling.  Its not that its unprofessional, several times per game many players waste time deliberately, they berate referees, they simulate injury, they claim innocence.  We tolerate unprofessional behaviour that slows down the game and we don’t mind when our players have a go at the ref.  That is fine.  As long as a players does not fall down, we pretty much will tolerate anything.

Then we come to the refs and diving itself.  Was there really intent?  Well it all depends if its my player or the opposition player.  If its my player, then he fell down avoiding a dirty tackle and simply lost balance.  If its a player on the opposing team he fell down because he is a pussy and a cheat who tried to gain an unfair advantage and deceive the referee.  There are not many clear cut incidents when we can all agree about a dive.  Yet many people want video review and suspensions of players accused of diving.  The reviewers must assume intent, otherwise it was not a dive.  And of the several of the most notorious cases debated over years, about half were clear cut.  So the system would be based on assumptions, and possibly reputations.  What about minimal contact?  Possibly not enough to make someone fall down if that someone really tried to stay in their feet.  Is that diving?  Was it not a foul in the first case?  And if there was contact, then it was a foul, no matter how minimal the contact was, sometimes it does not take much to make someone running at full speed fall over.  In that case it was not a dive.  Yet we still moan about it and call it a dive.

And here is where the refs come in.  Over the years I watched Ronaldo (Cristiano, not the fat one) dive many a time.  However, most times he was properly fouled, or simple lost balance avoiding a foul.  And as the years went by the refs became more and more reluctant to call a foul when they saw Ronaldo on the ground.  And they never called a foul, even when he was indeed fouled, unless he did in fact fall.  A player does not have to fall down in order to be fouled.  But the referees are very reluctant to use their whistle if a players stays on his feet.  So players go down easily.  And the refs call even less fouls because they see players fall down after what they view as minimal contact.  And in circles we go.  Its the chicken or the egg argument.  Do players fall over easily because the referees refuse to blow the whistle unless they do go down, or do refs not whistle for fouls because they think players dive.

The referees are a big problem in this.  They refuse to take charge and do their jobs.  Just as they refuse to call fouls in the penalty box.  Or book players for waving an imaginary card, or book players early in the game.  Or book players for blatantly fouling players who have reputations of diving.  They refuse to make decisions and apply the laws of the game consistently.  The idiots on television do not help, they talk about common sense, about trying to keep 11 players on the pitch, about intent, as if that mattered.  If the referees explained that they will not tolerate holding in the penalty box players would stop, they certainly would stop if a couple of penalties were called.  But then the refs would be slated by the same idiots on television for influencing the game or trying to be in the limelight.  As if applying the laws of the game was trying to influence it.  Its idiotic.

The referees are human of course and will make mistakes.  And there should be a system in place for the refs to explain their decisions and for overturning their mistakes.  But we do not have that in football.  A referee can not talk to the media, even if all the fans want an explanation.  A yellow card can not be rescinded, unless it was mistaken identity.  And the refs are cowards.  They will shy away from a decision.  Many a time we see a player fall down in a penalty box, and the offending player claim innocence while the player who fell down calls for a foul.  The ref only smiles and waves for the player to get up and runs away.  That is bullshit.  If both players are claiming something different, one of two things happened.  A foul and a penalty should be called with a possible caution for the offender, or the diver should be cautioned for diving.  Yet half the time nothing happens.  And half the time the ref did not do his job.

And when this happens more and more do we really wonder why players do fall down?  If you are almost never going to get a foul called when you try to stay on your feet, why would you?  If you were getting hacked throughout the whole match why would you not try to avoid it and fall down in any case to make sure the offender got punished?  Because its unsportsmanlike and not manly?  Well fuck that.  What is so sportsmanlike and manly about deliberately hacking down a fellow professional just because you could not get the ball off him?  That is cheating.  As bad, worse in my opinion, as  diving itself.

And it comes down to this.  We tolerate certain forms of cheating but scream bloody hell about others.  Diving is cheating and when a ref sees it he should punish a player with a yellow card.  And if anyone wants video reviews, then the same should happen.  A retroactive yellow card.  Just because the ref did not see the dive during the game it should not mean that the player should be punished extra for it.  We do not punish violent incidents that the refs miss that way.  The offenders get the standard punishment.  Not double or triple the suspension.  That would not make any sense.  Everyone needs to come down about diving and use common sense.  Its just another, among many, form of cheating that players do during the game.  Why do we make one thing special and ignore another.  Football has many problems, diving should not be on top of the list of things that are wrong with football.  So yes, do get over it.

Published in: on February 19, 2011 at 7:00 am  Comments (3)  
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I want the “N-word” back!!!-PC and censorship in a free society

No I don’t want to run around saying it.  I want to be able to read it.  And I want it back in Mark Twain’s great classic Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Its one of America’s great books and I find it pathetic that its either banned from many schools, and now changed.  The controversial word of course is nigger.  And in the new edition of the book its been replaced by the word slave.  And I think its sad and pathetic.

For the record I am just some white boy.  However I was not born here and that perhaps is the reason why I am not burdened with the weight of centuries of racism and exploitation that Black Americans faced in the United stated throughout the centuries.  I laugh at racist jokes, I laugh when a joke (if funny) includes the word nigger, mostly spoken by a Black comedian.  I don’t look around uncomfortable and red faced wondering if anyone will think I’m a racist if I laugh.  I don’t mind talking about race, and race relations.  I also abhor racism of any kind.  However, I detest the idea that in a free society certain topics are taboo, and that kids who are 17 or 18 years old can not discuss those topics or, god forbid, read a great book which has the word nigger in it.  I hope I am not shocking anyone but kids that age have pretty much all drunk booze, done pot, had sex, and swore like sailors.  And I am pretty sure that most at one time or another have heard, read, or said “nigger.”  Yes, they did.  And they are not as stupid as some think they are.

No indeed, young people are smarter and more mature than we give them credit for.  Perhaps its their parents who need to be sanitized.  The kids can handle a conversation about race.  They wont be scarred for life when they see how black people in America were treated and spoken to in XIXth century America.  And seriously, is “slave” better?  The word slave does not apply to Jim.  He run away, he is a runaway slave.  On his way to freedom.  But free or not for a long time whites in America called blacks nothing but nigger, slavery had nothing to do with it in most cases.  At best they were referred  to as “boy” or “uncle” if older.  So how the hell is using the word slave better?  Because the NAACP want the word banned?

While I am not crazy about banning anything I do get why they do want it gone from our society.  The overuse of such a deplorable term is a terrible by product of America’s history.  And its sad that today its mostly descendants of the people who were so oppressed by the word itself, among countless other humiliations, use it as if it meant nothing or was a cool thing to say.  But it has nothing to do with a book written in 1885.  The book is a reflection of XIXth century America.  No one went around and called black people slave.  No, they called them nigger, or boy, or uncle.  No one called them sir either.  Denying that means denying our dark past.  Its nothing but revisionism and running away from something that makes us uncomfortable.  And I am sorry, but the history of Black Americans is too important to revise or ignore.  We must face it, own up to it and only then will we be able to learn from it and live with it.

And the kids we pretend to want to protect will understand that better than we do.  Last night Comedy Central run the South Park movie (unedited [gasp]).  Its was about the going to see their favourite Canadian characters in a film which was mainly fart jokes and foul language.  The parents were so appalled when the kids started cursing they arrested the film’s heroes, and they were going to be executed, plus America went to war with Canada over that in typical over the top South Park fashion.  I love South Park, its crude, its over the top, but its quite thoughtful and exposes many of America’s idiocies, like censorship, overprotective parents, political correctness gone wild and many many others.  And this latest of the very long saga over  Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is not that different.

Why do you not want your kids to learn about how black people were treated in America?  The book shows that brilliantly, and deals with America’s racism.  “Its uncomfortable” is not a good enough reason.  The word nigger is a disgusting term that should not be uttered in today’s society.  By choice of course, not because someone wants to ban it.  However it is an important part of American English language and American history.  We can’t just ignore it and hope it goes away.  The only way we can properly deal with it and eliminate it is to teach how disgusting it really is.  And Mark Twain’s book is a great teaching tool.  One would think that America’s parents and educators would be jumping for joy at the opportunity to use such a great example to teach about racism, slavery, and American history.  But no, America’s parents and educators will now treat this like the birds and the bees.  Yet another euphemism to avoid dealing with what they see as an uncomfortable subject.  Because god forbid we would have to explain something properly to kids.  Then we run around and wonder why they do the things they do.  Well its because you do not respect them, you think them stupid and unable to handle anything that may be even remotely uncomfortable for you.  Sex is a natural act, its the only way we survive as a species, but when a kid, 8 or 12, asks where do babies come from we fucking invent storks or talk of birds and bees.  What the hell is that about?  Are your children retarded?  If kids learned the importance and consequences of sex properly perhaps they would see it in a different light.  But no, their repressed parents don’t think they can handle it.  And now its slavery and treatment of black people in America.

Ugh, so uncomfortable.  Maybe if I say something the NAACP will come after me.  The strange bit of this mess is that America’s black leaders are going along with this shit, hell some are actually leading the cause.  Why?  How?  Because Jim is not painted as an all around good guy?  Not good enough role model for you?  Well there is hardly anyone in the book that could be described as a saint.  Jim is not alone in his imperfection.  Well guess what, black people are not perfect.  Most are not great role models, just like anyone else.  They are flawed like Jim was flawed.  So what.  He was more human that way.  The world is not filled with perfect heroes.  You want another sanitized hero?  Perhaps next we could make Jim into a superman fighting the injustice of slavery while saving damsels in distress and princesses in tall towers.  Shit, another difficult conversation.  Or do we now think that only people of great moral character deserved freedom, love, respect, and escape from slavery?

Pathetic.  We are a supposedly free country.  Yet we choose to censor ourselves.  I bet if the government tried to censor something the same people would be up in arms.  The main problem here is that when we substitute the word nigger with slave then it becomes just a descriptive term.  Jim is an escaped slave.  Now for over 270 times the reader will be reminded that Jim was a slave.  Not a person being insulted even by people who like him, because they just don’t know any better.  That is how badly blacks were spoken to and described.  A slave is basically an “employment” status.  In XIXth century America a black person could be a slave or a free man, but to most white people he was always a nigger.  That is how bad it was.  But no, its uncomfortable, so we wont show that, lest the kids ask questions like why, can’t have that.  Better just say, slavery bad, we’re sorry, all is well now, lets move on to Teddy Roosevelt.

And “injun?”  Really?  Seriously?  No one in the XIX century said injun?  I hate to break this to everyone but the book was written in the 1880’s and is about the 1800’s and that is how people spoke, or will we have to have that conversation in which the nice red skinned people gave us nice white people land to settle?  Trust me, no kids are going to start running around screaming “injuns!” if they see the word.  Its another uncomfortable thought we all wish we did not have to deal with and we hope it would just go away.  but that pesky Twain had to ruin it for everyone.  Now we have to decide to think and talk of things that make us uncomfortable, or god forbid admit that we are racist or that we were at least.  Can’t have that.

Published in: on January 30, 2011 at 2:27 pm  Comments (4)  
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The Spy Who Saved The World- The Tragedy of Colonel Kuklinski

In a chapel at Arlington Cemetery a memorial took place few years ago.  It was attended by government officials, many current and former CIA agents, a military honour guard, along with a military band.  That in itself was not unusual.  Arlington has seen many such memorials, what was unusual was the ashes of a man honoured in such way.   They were draped not in an American flag, but a Polish white and red banner with a crowned white eagle in its centre.  The officer’s cap on top of the flag was that of a Colonel of the Polish Army.  But they were there because he was a true American hero.  And that fact can not be disputed.  He received the highest CIA award, one of only 8 recipients, the first foreigner.  Many say that he helped save us from WWIII, the information he passed on helped the US win the Cold War, in fact, he saved the world from nuclear annihilation.

His name was Ryszard (Richard) Kuklinski.  He was a Colonel in the Polish People’s Army.  He was the head of the Office of Strategic Planning in the Polish General Staff.  He was a great Polish patriot.  And he was a CIA spy.  Zbigniew Brzezinski, the former national Security Adviser to President Carter called him “the first Polish officer in NATO.”  To many Poles, me included, he is a national hero.  Tomany others, sadly, he is a traitor.  It is a paradox and the Colonel’s tragedy that he is an undisputed hero to all Americans while many of his own countrymen see him as a traitor.

The Real Spy Who Came In From The Cold

The Letter That Started It All

Its a story that could well have come from a fictional spy thriller.  In 1972 the American Embassy in Bonn received a strange letter written in bad English.  Its author claimed he was an officer in an Army of a Communist “Kantry” (sic! country), and he was seeking a meeting with an officer (Lt. Col. or Col.) of the US Army (not the CIA).  The letter gave dates and times of meetings in a couple of different Western cities.  Colonel Kuklinski was actually on a official spy mission.  He was not a spy himself, but he proposed and sailing trip through Western ports during which he and his companions (most of whom were other officers) would gather information on those facilities.  He signed the letter “PV,” he later explained it stood for Polish Viking.

He was met by a CIA agent, who did not identify himself as such.  During the meeting he explained that he wanted to provide the US Army with information about Warsaw Pact plans and capabilities.  At no time during the meeting did he ask for money or any other reward.  Further meetings were planned, a system of drops was developed, and Ryszard Kuklinski became an American agent.  Soon, the CIA was deluged with detailed information about the Polish and Warsaw Pact armed forces.  According to one veteran CIA analyst, Kuklinski did not fill in the picture, he gave American THE picture.  In all he passed on over 40,000 documents in his 9 years as a spy.  In November of 1981 he and his family, wife and two sons, were smuggled out of Poland after the Polish counterintelligence received information of a spy working in high in the Polish General Staff.  He personally was not suspected.

For 9 years Kuklinski was a tragically lonely man.  No one, not even his wife, knew he was passing on information to the Americans.  I did not say working for the Americans on purpose.  Because he never really did.  He never signed an agreement, unlike most spies.  He did not take any money for his work.  His motivation was not to help America, but to help Poland with America’s assistance.  He was not approached.  It was Kuklinski himself who came to the Americans.  He asked for nothing but equipment (some was specifically invented for him, like the precursor to the Blackberry, a mobile text sending device).  When he was smuggled out of Poland he had to leave almost everything behind.  Yet he took with him a drawing of a ship titled Tempest, he gave the drawing to his handler as a sign of gratitude and friendship.  That was Colonel Ryszard Kuklinski.

A Spy is Born

Ryszard Kuklinski was born in 1930 in Warsaw.  He came from a patriotic working class family of socialist traditions.  When Ryszard was ten his father, a member of the Polish resistance in German occupied Poland, was arrested by the Gestapo.  He later died in a concentration camp.  Ryszard barely a teenager joined the Warsaw Uprising.  After the Nazis were thrown out he went back to school and joined the army.  He quickly rose through the ranks and became a trusted officer in the Polish General Staff.  The opinions of Kuklinski by his colleagues, superiors and Soviet general was very positive.  He was part of the Polish UN Mission to Vietnam during the war there.  He was one of the main planners of the Polish part in the 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia.  In December of 1970 he, along with the rest of the country, witnessed the Pomorze crackdown during which 40 workers were killed and several hundred wounded by the Polish Army.  The last two events, he said, motivated him to do what he did.  In the words of his best friend, upon learning of the Army’s actions in the December 70 crackdown, he burst into his apartment, lit a cigarette, and said ‘I can’t believe those motherfuckers did that!”  he was visibly upset and disappointed in the role of the Army which he loved.  He lost the last hopes that the Polish Army was not just a tool of the Soviets.  The work he did in the General Staff further convinced him that the Soviets intended to use Poland as nothing but a tool in the possible WWIII during which the country he loved would be annihilated.  He was a direct witness of the signing over of Polish military command to the Soviets in case of a war with the West.  The Polish generals would become simple messengers.

He now had the motive, what he needed was means.  He was a passionate, and a very knowledgeable sailor.  He build his first kayak.  He then owned a small sailboat.  But when he saw that the Polish Militia (police) had raised an old sunken small yacht, he exchanged that sailboat for it.  For three years he restored it to pristine condition.  That yacht later gave him the means.  As mentioned he proposed the sailing trip during which he contacted the Americans.  It became an annual trip till the Soviets requested that it stop a few years later, for fear that it might become an opportunity for the Western powers to recruit the sailors as agents.

Kuklinski hands documents to Soviet Marshall Kulikov

I wont try to tell the story of his life and work as a spy, that has been done extensively and far better than I could ever hope to attempt.  I will provide several links later where you can read about him if you wish.  The importance of his contribution is undisputed.  40,000 vital documents full of information about the Warsaw Pact, its plans, capabilities, and perhaps most importantly, the mood and intentions of the Warsaw Pact high command.  He regularly met with the highest ranking Polish, Soviet, and other Warsaw Pact commanders.  He gauged their mood and intentions as well as future plans.  All this he passed on to the Americans.  But that is not the main point of my story, despite its somewhat misleading title, I do not want to talk about his importance to the Cold War, and its conclusion, but about his legacy in Poland itself.

Konrad Wallenrod

(link above)

Though unlike Mickiewicz’s “Wallenrod” Kuklinski did not commit suicide, his story is not any less tragic.  For years he was in exile.  He was sentenced to death, in absentia, by the Polish Communists in 1984 for the high crimes of treason and desertion.  His rights as a citizen of Poland were revoked and his property ceased by the state.  Two years later the communists launched a propaganda campaign to discredit Colonel Kuklinski.  And the Polish Goebbels, Jerzy Urban (spokesman for the Commie govt in the 80’s), I am sorry to say, succeeded somewhat.  In the late 90’s, after he was finally exonerated, a poll was conducted in Poland.  34 % saw him as a traitor, 29 % as a hero, with the rest undecided.  And that is a very sad state of affairs.  What is sadder still is that quite a few of the members of the Polish anti-Communist movement Solidarity also see him as a traitor or at least have reservations about him.  Is it any wonder then that it took President Clinton, former National Security Adviser Brzezinski and the prospect of joining NATO to finally do right by Kuklinski in 1997?  For 8 years after communism fell he was still persona non grata in Poland.  The only thing done was to change his sentence in 1990 from death to 25 years in prison.  Lech Walesa, the leader of Solidarity, when he was president, refused to pardon him and still does not see him as a heroic figure.  His poor ass excuse was that no one can work for a foreign government and be considered a hero because that would set a precedent for future cases or even past convictions of spies.  However the exoneration and return of full citizenship and military rank clearly spoke of “conditions of higher necessity.” These “conditions” were Poland’s de facto lack of sovereignty.

And even that sent Kuklinski’s critics into a frenzy.  The said critics came not only from the Red camp of former Communist officers and officials, but also from some Solidarity circles, aforementioned Walesa included, as well as the influential Adam Michnik, a leftist intellectual (now the editor of Poland’s biggest daily paper Gazeta Wyborcza (Election Newspaper)), who was imprisoned for his anti-communist activities several times, though his opposition to Kuklinski seemed mostly to be politically motivated in relation to modern Polish politics.  Others simply just could not stomach anyone working for a foreign government at anytime under any circumstances.

So there we have it.  An officer does more to bring down the Commies than almost any individual, and opinion in Poland is divided.  Of course it is.  Poland would not be Poland if we did not argue amongst ourselves all the time over everything.  Unlike Poles who only lived in Poland I don’t have a problem with Kuklinski working for the CIA as much as some would.  I am a Pole and an American.  I love both countries almost equally.  I have lived here (the US) most of my life, close to 30 years.  So its natural that I love this country, plus I am not one who lives in the past.  But as a Pole I love Poland.  I am also a historian by education and love.  I appreciate Polish history more than most.  And as much as I do not live in the past and have accepted my new homeland as my own and love it as any properly patriotic American would, I can not forget my own roots.  Especially considering the times I have lived in and my parents and grandparents have lived in.  I do not take Polish independence for granted as perhaps many young people do these days.  But its great that they do, it means Poland is free and not under immediate threat.     

However, many a Pole can not stomach someone working for a foreign nation, even America, against Poland, even a Poland that was a vassal of the evil Soviet Empire.  These people have some reason in their beliefs, even if I disagree with them.  Colonel Kuklinski put his faith in America, he saw them as an ally.  After Yalta and many other incidents, Poles have a right to be weary of “Allies” of any kind.  Many of course dismiss Colonel Kuklinski’s motivations and great patriotism and see him as only a foreign agent.  And forget that many a great national hero served in foreign army.  The best example being the First World War during which Poles served under the order of Russia, Germany and Austro-Hungary, many a time fighting against one another.  But while they were serving their foreign masters many did so with the hope that this would help Poland regain its independence.  And it did.  So I have to disagree with them and assume that they see the world in a very simplistic way.  Their attitude also helps legitimize those who served their Soviet masters like good trained dogs.  I also assume that many feel the need to justify the PRL (Polish People’s Republic, commie Poland) because of the need to justify themselves and what they did during those times.

Colonel Kuklinski's Army id photo

The most vocal group in need of validation and justification consists of course of former officers and officials in the PRL.  They are Kuklinski’s biggest critics.  And they attacked him from all angles.  His motivation was questioned.  He was accused of doing this for money.  There were insinuations that he was in fact recruited by CIA while in Vietnam.  The CIA was said to have threatened to expose some unspecified transgressions.  He apparently was a sleeper agent for years and only activated in 1972.  Then they tried to belittle the value of information he gave the CIA.  Of course that contradicted many of their own statements as well as of those made by the Soviets themselves.  Then came the best one.  The pity angle.  Jaruzelski, the former “general” and dictator of Poland in the 80’s stated that if Kuklinski is a hero and not a traitor what does that make him and the thousands of officers and soldiers who served during the PRL.  Well I know what that makes him and those like him.  A servant dog of a foreign state that made Poland into a vassal of the USSR.  He is also a criminal who ordered the deaths and imprisonment of countless thousands of Poland’s best and brightest citizens.  Nothing less but.  And there were many like him, eager careerist servants of a foreign power who oppressed their own people.  However there were also many others who served because of honest beliefs and patriotism.  Those we have to separate from the servant dogs, even high ranking officers could be honest and patriotic and not have blood on their hands.  According to them an oath, no matter to whom it was given, is sacred.  These are the same people who ironically called Hitler’s soldiers fanatics because they were faithful to that evil bastard.  If Jaruzelski and his henchmen are right then so was the Wehrmacht, so were Hitler’s generals.  But history has proven that being a servant of evil, a mindless drone, or an eager dog like Jaruzelski is wrong.  That “I was following orders” bullshit does not fly anymore.  I understand that they do it.  They did it well too, because they have a considerable part of the Polish population believing their propaganda.  And good propaganda it was, begun in 1986 and is continued to this day.  But it does not make them any less wrong, nor any less of servants to a foreign master and true traitors of Poland and its people.  The saddest part is that Jaruzelski and his clique have convinced most of Poles (up to 60%) that the Martial law they imposed and the oppression that followed was actually for their own good.

Dec. 13, 1981, we got this instead of morning cartoons, and tanks on the streets.

Yes, the majority of Poles are convinced that the imposing of martial law, the killing of protesters, arrests of thousands, and general oppression was a lesser of two evils.  Because their “saviours” have convinced them that they saved Poland from a Soviet, or a Warsaw Pact invasion that would lead to great bloodshed.  Well, I call bullshit.  The Soviets, evidence in declassified documents supports this, were not going to invade.  Not after Colonel Kuklinski told the CIA they planned to.  In 1980!  Over year before the matrial law was actually imposed.  The Commie bastards, while talking and making deals with the Solidarity, were making plans to squash them.  And the Soviets wanted to help.  However once President Carter saw what Kuklinski gave the CIA, with the urging from Brzezinski, he threatened the USSR that if they do invade there will be unforeseeable consequences.  The Red Army quickly changed its mind and came to the conclusion that Poland was not worth the trouble of a possible nuclear war if things went too far.  Besides, they had a better idea.  They told the Poles to attend to their mess themselves.  Jaruzelski for his part practically begged the Soviets for help.  Even after they told him to do it with only Polish forces he asked for assistance in case things did not go as well as planned.  He was told no again, the Poles were ordered to do it themselves.  He wanted to resign, to his credit, but after being told to man up and do their bidding, being the coward that he is, he obliged and one cold Sunday morning I saw his face instead of cartoons.

So do excuse me if I do not believe that the man who presided over the politically motivated, anti-Semitic “cleansing” of the Army, who eagerly ordered troops into Czechoslovakia, and who ordered the Polish troops to shoot protesting Polish workers in 1970, and who allegedly was also a confidential agent of the Polish SB (our version of the KGB), is a saviour of Poland.  And that only he prevented a great tragedy in 1981.  No one supports his bullshit claim.  The problem with Poles in this case is twofold.  They respect anyone in uniform too much.  Poles really do revere their soldiers.  They will make all kinds of excuses for them as long as they wear a Polish uniform.  And they are too forgiving.  Our very own Caucescu was allowed to be the first President of a free Poland and then allowed to retire with a full pension.  We actually are supposed to be thankful to him for the peaceful transition to democracy.  When they finally got around to trying the bastard he cited ill health, his trial is still ongoing.  Meanwhile last month he was invited, along with all the other former presidents of post communist Poland, by the current president for an advisory conference before the visit to Poland of Russian president Medvedev.  The excuse given was that he has great expertise concerning all things Russian.  Well of  course he should, a dog knows its master like no other, and he served his masters faithfully for many decades.  It still does not excuse president Komorowski.  Jaruzelski should be a pariah, not an elder statesman invited to presidential conferences.  Its pathetic and wrong!

But this kind of opposition to Kuklinski being proclaimed a national hero is understandable really, and expected.  He left them, he betrayed them and their masters.  What is not expected is that Walesa and some from the Solidarity oppose him and even call Kuklinski a traitor.  But here too we can see their intentions.  Walesa and the Solidarity see themselves as the only rightful, aside from maybe the Pope John Paul II, saviours of Poland.  And if Kuklinski is given the credit he deserves they fear that history will judge them differently.  Basic jealousy.  Understandable, even if wrong.  There is enough room for credit to all.  The fall of Communism in Poland and the end of the Cold War had many heroes and adding one very important one to the pantheon wont diminish the contributions and sacrifices of others.  Others still are bitter that neither Kuklinski nor the USA, while possessing the knowledge of the impending Martial Law warned them about it.  He was after all not in danger anymore.  What was the motivation?  Well I can’t speak for the Reagan administration.  But Kuklinski claimed that if the Solidarity was warned the plans might have been changed and it could have led to more bloodshed.  The Solidarity was under constant surveillance and was infiltrated by SB agents even at its highest echelons.  Any attempt of organized resistance would have been met with force.  The Poles who so revere their soldiers conveniently forget how willingly the army participated in the 1970 crackdown and during the Martial law itself.  Any proper resistance was impossible.  Perhaps some Solidarity members could have avoided arrest, but at what price?  Unfortunately, they do not ask themselves that question.

So there you have it.  Revered and reviled, accused of everything possible.  Such was the life and tragedy of Colonel Kuklinski.  And the tragedy extended to his family.  For years they lived in hiding, under assumed names.  They were forced to move frequently, they were not able to participate in Polish-American life openly.  They lived in fear.  Such was his reward for helping to stop a nuclear holocaust.  In 1994, within the space of 6 months he lost both of his sons.  One disappeared with a friend of the Florida Keys while diving, their boat was found several days later, their bodies never recovered.  The other was killed when hit by a car.  The driver fled, leaving no fingerprints in the car!!!!  There are unsubstantiated claims that this was revenge by the commies for what he did.  There is no evidence of that however.  But while I am not a believer in conspiracy theories, its very hard for me to believe there were just mere accidents, plus it would not be the first time the commies took revenge on someone.

Perhaps I exaggerated in the title.  No one man could stop WWIII, but he did more than most.  After he saw that the Soviet plans basically assumed that Poland, as a vital communication line, would be nuked back to the stone age in an event of a war with the West, he did everything possible to prevent that.  It must be remembered that this was the time of the Vietnam war.  The US Army was in crisis in the early 70’s.  Its eyes not properly focused on Europe and the Soviet threat.  The US needed to match the Soviets on the ground.  And they did, from the late 70’s onward the US begun an arms race that the Soviets could not hope to match.  It finally broke them.  The Soviets deny that those plans were for an offensive war.  However all of their equipment and doctrine suggests nothing else.  And one Soviet general smugly claimed that the French Western Atlantic coast was not very far from them.

In the end Colonel Kuklinski won.  He got his honour and rank back.  He was able to go back to Poland for a tour of sorts.  He was honoured by several Polish cities which gave him honourary citizenship.  His ashes, were returned to Poland and he was buried in the Powazki Cemetery (our Arlington) with full military honours.  But while he is a hero of the Cold War and a hero in America, his status still is debated in the country he did all this for.  But we should take heart in the fact that when asked if he would do it again, he said he would, and this time he would work even harder.  In order to save his country he had to betray it and the uniform he loved.  That is not an easy choice to make for anyone.  Especially a person of integrity and honour that the Colonel was. For that I thank you Colonel Kuklinski.  And to me at least you are a true national hero of Poland.

The links I promised for those who want more:

CIA Article on the Vilification of Col. Kuklinski

A very good book on his life in English

Somewhat Different View of Kuklinski

CIA Released Documents

An effort much better than mine

Why Marx Was A Clueless Idiot- Communism and Developed Nations

The Red Prophet

The development of Modern Industry, therefore, cuts from under its feet the very foundation on which the bourgeoisie produces and appropriates products. What the bourgeoisie, therefore, produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable.

—(The Communist Manifesto)

Well, not really.  The Commie god Karl Marx predicted revolution.  And revolution came.  But it was not the proletariat that rose up as he foresaw, but backward, feudal, agrarian societies.  It was all backwards.  The Commie prophets and gods kept saying how the Western developed nations will follow suit.   But the West never did rise up.  And no Red dialectic could answer why.  They argued, they waited and some are still waiting.  But the answer is very simple.  Their god and creator Karl Marx was a clueless idiot who had no idea how a human being and society works.

Revolutions are usually lead by small bands, they come in broken societies.  Even when the majority of the society is disaffected the people still do not revolt.  The most popular “revolution” was the American Revolution.  It was supported, more or less, by about a third of the colonists.  Another third could not care less, and the last third wanted to live under the crown.  The rest of the revolts came from tiny minorities in states that failed, where the police and army could not keep the status quo.  The majority of the population neither supported not participated in the revolutions.  The support was gotten after victory through terror, reforms, or by simply gaining power.  There never was a revolution of the proletariat.  And most likely there never will be.  The reason for that is quite simple.  Social mobility.

Social mobility is a part of a developed industrial society.  Even if a tiny portion of the proletariat achieves success, that success is real and is a dream of all of the working class.  And when one dreams of becoming part of the rich ruling class one will never attempt to overthrow the class he wants to join.

 

No. Its not, and never will be.

 

And that in a nutshell is why Marx’ dream never came true.  Another thing Marx failed to consider is that most of the developed states are democracies (those that were not in his time later became ones).  In a democracy the people have a voice, no matter how weak.  They vote and through that vote take part in the process of governance so they do not revolt against the very representatives they put into office.  All one needs to do (in theory at least) is wait till the next election and vote those who have failed the people out of office.  Democracy provides for a regular, peaceful “revolt.”  The need to rise up is diminished greatly when one has hope of changing the rulers regularly.  Its a vent that allows the disaffected to feel like they did something.  Even when ones candidate loses there is hope as in a few years time there will be an another election.  Every few years a different part of the society feels like it won.  When one party stays in power long its due to the majority of the people being content with them.  So there is no need for revolt.

In most of the states that communism came to there was no vent, and there was hardly any social mobility.  Not so in industrialized states.  In time the lives of the proletariat improved enough for them to not want to revolt as each small improvement meant that the anger dissipated.  Working conditions were improved, hours were better, pay was raised, unions provided protection, laws were implemented to protect the workers.  Each a small step, but enough to forestall any revolt.  Of course many of those changes were won with blood of the workers, but in time the ruling class realized it can only oppress so much.  Now in many industrialized states the workers have a say in how the companies are run.  Instead of being against the ruling owner class they work with them for the common good.  And in such a society there is no way that a revolution could come.

When the Red revolt came at the back end of the Great War in Russia there was a small window of opportunity for a wider revolution of the proletariat.  But the Western nation were able to stem the revolt by giving some rights to the workers, and the situation stabilized by force or peacefully.  Even during the Great Depression there was little chance of a widespread revolt.  Everyone suffered.  Even many of the rich.  After the Second World War there was no chance that the workers would rise up.  The West was rebuilding after WWII and there was prosperity and great social mobility.  Plus thanks to the Cold War communism became the enemy.  Even when workers in Europe protested this and that, they still did not want a Soviet type of communism in their countries.  And that was the only communism they knew, and it was not pretty.

In the end Marx’ creation failed on all fronts, simply because it, like its god, failed to understand human nature and society.  The idea itself is a noble one.  In theory it eliminates poverty, provides care for all, and creates equality.  Sounds great.  But.  Yes, the big BUT.  People don’t want to be equal.  They want more than basic needs.  They want to be better, and to live better than others.  Its simple human nature, greed and ego are a great part of it.  In theory any American who is not rich should be for higher taxes for the rich.  But most do not want to tax the rich.  Not because they love them so.  But simply because they still believe in the American dream.  And just as they wont rise up and try to destroy the class they want to join, they also do not want to tax the class they hope to become a part of.

Today in America we can argue about the rich creating jobs and how taxing them higher may or may not affect those potential jobs.  But mainly no one want to tax the rich because they believe that one day they too will become rich themselves, and then they wont want to pay those high taxes.  Its a hope, one that is equal to straw clutching, but one that is real.  Millions play lotto every week even though their chances of winning are minuscule.  Yet they play.  Social mobility is not different.  That tiny chance of “moving up in the world” exists and the hope is strong.  And there is contentment with ones place in a society even when one stopped dreaming of making it.  Modern, developed, industrial societies provide for stable, peaceful lives with many distractions and there is no time nor is there a need felt to change ones station.  If that need arises there is opportunity for change, even if that change is lateral and not upward, its still a change.

So no Comrade Marx, and all you deluded Reds who are still around.  The revolution is not inevitable, in fact its as likely as the coming of the god you don’t believe in.

Published in: on October 11, 2010 at 3:45 pm  Comments (39)  
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