Publisher’s Note: It is now less than a week to Libertopia in San Diego, Kalifornia. I will be speaking on FRI and SAT and I will be on a panel on SUN. It would be wonderful if some of my readers showed up. You can register here: http://libertopia.org/ -BB
“The clock of communism has stopped striking. But its concrete building has not yet come crashing down. For that reason, instead of freeing ourselves, we must try to save ourselves from being crushed by its rubble.”
– Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Occupy Wall Street is about conformity and compliance. The males (not men) and women that people the protests are consistently collectivists and apologists for state violence with heads expensively filled by overpriced universities with the most economically illiterate and toxic nonsense a state-dominated college education system could produce. Just as fashion is not about individual tastes but mass appeal, the protests are about the Free Stuff Army much as the antiwar protests dwindled to near zero with the end of the draft, the same applies here. As soon as these scholars-in-hock get loan forgiveness for their easily earned degrees, the cries for social justice will diminish except for the professional protestors and the true believers of collectivism whose life mission is to enslave humanity in an even more effective slave state than we have built so far in America. Where did these protestors come from?
The New left was at an intellectual crossroads in the 1960s. The fork in the road would either embrace totalitarian collectivism or anarchistic individualism and they chose the former in droves. In a world dominated by bipolar military industrial complexes in both the US and the other USSR at the time, communism was still seen by the chattering intellectual classes in the West as the only just and righteous organizing principle for societies except for the lone voices like Koestler and Conquest. Up until 1989, the leading introductory textbook on economics penned and edited by Paul Samuelson was still trumpeting the superior efficacy of Communist delivery of goods and services over the free market.
“By the thirteenth edition (1989), Samuelson and Nordhaus declared, “the Soviet economy is proof that, contrary to what many skeptics had earlier believed; a socialist command economy can function and even thrive” (13:837). Samuelson and Nordhaus were not alone in their optimistic views about Soviet central planning; other popular textbooks were also generous in their descriptions of economic life under communism prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union.”
Today, the third generation of this totalitarian temptation has taken the form of fashionable collectivists shambling about their camp-hives on Wall Street and the satellite protests scattered across the nation. Adam Kokesh has provided a brilliant snapshot video record of the sheer inanity and clouded thinking of the moron-a-thon known as Occupy Wall Street but strip it of all the florid protestations and mewling about “fair share” and “distribution” and it comes down to one single operative principle: a monopoly on the threat and use of force must be employed to bring order and justice to human conclaves.
I find it very creepy and disturbing to watch several of the videos where the protesters are gathered in training sessions repeating behavior constraints on how to protest and deal with the police. Not adults briefing up other folks on rules of conduct, but the noxious Jesse Jackson-style nursery rhyme cadence of repeat after me. You can even look at this video of a Young Communist League contingent in Chicago to discover where the Occupy protestors got their cute little “United “riff they employ. I suspect that one reason communism/socialism is seeing a new resurgence may be the junction of willful ignorance through electronic addiction (tethering to information devices) and the wonderful attraction of collectivism by relieving the advocate of all personal responsibility to provide for neighbors through voluntary effort. Under the umbrella of collectivism, these are nothing more than more codified versions of violent tax and resource farming.
The protestors show a very conflicted relationship with the police. They seem frightened and cowed by them yet the police and the protestors share the same common goal: increased concentration and use of violence to guide human behavior to fit the mold of the new homo Sovieticus the protesters desire.
Igor Kon told us the psychological consequences of this mentality:
“One of his most important insights is that the “negative selection”, including various types of visibly oppressive treatment of those whose thinking doesn’t fit the “party line” leads to development of “acquired helplessness syndrome”
This phenomenon explains the traits characteristic of many ex-Soviet citizens: shyness, passivity, excessive trust – and need – of government, belief that one cannot really control his fate without a “guiding hand”.
According to Kon, “The lack of individual responsibility is a product of decades of living under limited freedom. People get used to oppression. This has always happened with totalitarian regimes. I remember, I was greatly surprised to meet people with a similar mentality in East Germany, a country that has always been very different from Russia. This happened during the unification of the East and West Germany. I saw fright in the eyes of the East Germans, the same reaction as I see here in Russia – people do not know what to do. There is a psychological term for this – the acquired helplessness syndrome. The syndrome is usually manifested in social pessimism and lack of self-confidence. The acquired helplessness syndrome is the main feature of Soviet mentality and unfortunately it is prevalent among senior citizens.”
Wilhelm Reich went on to posit the psychology of fascism in a similar vein.
The police have been surprisingly restrained in their use of violence toward the protestors even though protest in the US today is closer to a permission slip to speak loudly than the raucous imbroglios of the past. Even the Tea Party went so far as to seek permission to put tea in the Mirror Pool proximate to the memorial to one of the most savage presidents in US history, Lincoln. A man who kidnapped and jailed tens of thousands of antiwar protestors. Some have even posited that these protests are carefully orchestrated media events to distract the dwindling consumers of the dinosaur media from the real problems in America. The useful idiot ranks are swelled by the critical thinking-handicapped wards of the university system who graduate and find themselves in a world more real than the Ivory Tower gulags that fill their heads with fever-dreams of gun-run utopias (as long as the guns are not in private hands, oh my).
One would be hard pressed to find a collectivist protestor who is not carrying rhetorical water for the advocacy of maximum government. In this version of America, Wall Street is indeed a wholly owned regulatory subsidiary of the Federal government that can’t make a trade for a dollar without Federal oversight and permission. The one percent isn’t the rich; they are the government nomenklatura that runs the feed lot called America. These protestors for the most part are merely more vocal cows seeking greater subsidy at the feeding trough. They consider private property the real enemy which means they are gunning for anyone who desires freedom and liberty. Get ready.
The police and the protestors have one thing in common: they both have a pathological hatred of individual volition, free markets and free moral agency. The former represent the very concrete realization of the utopian ideal the latter wish for.
I hope they get it good and hard.
“The theory of Communism may be summed up in one sentence: Abolish all private property.”