Monday, February 06, 2006

Welcome back, Nelson Ascher

I am very happy to announce that Nelson Ascher is back and blogging at his old address, Europundits.

If you're unfamiliar with Ascher, it's probably because he's been away from blogging for quite some time. After several years of fairly regular blogging, his entries became almost nonexistent for the first part of 2005, and then totally dried up. Apparently, work and family sorrow intervened: specifically, the death of his elderly father.

He was one of my favorite bloggers back when I was a rabid consumer of blogs and not yet a producer. When I first set up my own blog I put Ascher on my blogroll immediately. I kept him there all this time mainly out of respect, long after I assumed he'd stopped blogging forever. I've been thinking I really should get around to deleting that link, and then--lo and behold!--I happened to idly click on it today, apropos of nothing, and discovered to my surprise and delight that he was writing again.

You may ask: who's Nelson Ascher? He's Brazilian, for starters. Despite the name of his blog "Europundits", he now resides (as best I can determine) in Sao Paulo primarily, although he was living in Europe when he began his blog some years ago.

Ascher is not only a blogger. He is also a poet, in fact one of Brazil's best-known and highly regarded; also an essayist, journalist, and translator. His style of writing in his English-language blog is forthright, fluid, bold, and conversational, all at once.

Ascher is the child of Holocaust survivors who fled Hungary after the war and emigrated to Brazil in the early fifties, with a brief stop in Israel along the way. He is a Brazilian native, but that parental history informs much of what he writes and is part of his unique perspective. Ascher is wide-ranging, as you might expect: he muses on politics, poetry, and whatever happens to suit his fancy and catch his interest.

Of special interest to me is the fact that Ascher is another post 9/11 "changer." A liberal all of his life until that event, he has described his change thusly:

Look, I'm an atheist and I don't believe in the supernatural.

But let's say I'm walking along a deserted street around midnight and I see a vampire, with extra-long canines, sucking blood from a girl's neck. There's a mirror somewhere close by where I can see the girl but not the vampire. Then the girl reaches for a crucifix and, thouching the vampire with it, burns his skin and makes him run away. I know I'm not under the effect of booz or drugs. Later, as I get in touch with her, she confirms the story. People living where the event took place saw it from their windows and they also confirm it. Let's say I reach logically the conclusion there actually was a real vampire right there.

Now, I won't be able to say that my worldview remains the same as before and that what happened was just a meaningless exception to it....

Before 911 I was a social-democrat, a liberal. I thought the worst things in human history were either over of confined to small isolated groups operating in the world remotest places. There would be no nuclear war, world war, genocides in the developed world, mainstream anti-Semitism in Europe, large scale religious wars and so on anymore .

We lived in a new age of reason and human rights. Most of mankind had reached rational maturity.

On 911, however, I had to repeat with TS Eliot: "After such knowledge, what forgiveness?" or "Humankind cannot bear much reality."

I spent a month or so coming to terms with the fact that I had to change my whole worldview, that it wasn't just a matter of some derranged terrorists and of an isolated incident.

My view of Europe and the Muslims, democracy and dictatorship, the Arab-Israeli conflict, human rights and the Euro-American left, the UN and the EU, of the late 20th century and the post-Cold War world, Clinton and Bush and Chirac and Blair and Schröder and Putin, of religion and secularism, of many intellectuals, writers, philosophers and movie-makers, even of human nature had to change.

There was almost nothing in my mind that didn't have to be seriously reconsidered. This was the meaning of "everything has changed" for me: there actually are mosters, vampires, werewolves, death-cults and, besides, people I considered perfectly reasonable and rational were their objective allies and rooted for their victory.


That gives you a bit of the special flavor of Ascher's style of thinking and writing. I've missed his voice in the blogosphere, and I offer a hearty welcome on its return.

[ADDENDUM: I wrote the following in the comments section, in response to those who felt that Ascher's post-9/11 change was motivated by fear. I thought it was important enough to reproduce it here in the main thread:

I am quite puzzled at those who assume Ascher's "change" experience was motivated by fear. That's not my impression at all.

There is not a word of fear in his essay, at least as I see it. There is merely shock at the existence of people whose motives and actions are far worse than he had expected, and a resultant abandonment of his previous idea that we are all rational, reasonable, and kindly-disposed actors here. And an amazement that many of his seemingly rational and kindly friends were rooting for the victory of those who would be out to destroy us and the virtues and accomplishments of the Enlightenment.

This is what caused him to change his view of the world: the knowledge that the world was different than what he had thought it to be.

I also think it's interesting that some of you are so eager to leap on the bandwagon of fear as an explanation. This seems to be, as I wrote here, a newly popular way to slam those who have undergone the change. But it totally ignores what's going on here.

Perhaps what's going on with people such as myself and Nelson Ascher is just too threatening, and it is easier to chalk it all up to some sort of fearful reactivity rather than a cognitive reorganization, based on facts.


I would like to add that you may not agree with that cognitive reorganization, and you may even dispute the facts, but don't distort and belittle the motivation and the process by which the change occurred. If you've read my "change" series, you should know better than that.]

63 Comments:

At 2:34 PM, February 06, 2006, Blogger troutsky said...

Be wary of change that is triggered by fear.Be suspicious of all impressions that are fear based.The hardest thing to do is to examine our fear. These wise words are not mine, they come from a man named Thich Nat Hahn who has learned quite a bit from personal experience with fear and violence.

 
At 2:45 PM, February 06, 2006, Blogger nowhere girl said...

It was also Thich Nat Hahn who taught us that we should be able to sit down with our fear and say, Hello, fear, how are you today?

It is exactly that knowledge with our inner fears and angers that enables people to change. Better that than to be driven by the wind.

 
At 2:46 PM, February 06, 2006, Blogger Motor 1560 said...

Be especially wary of Marxists posing as "concerned fellow citizens" discussing fear as motivators of change. Fear is only one of a range of human emotions involved in the process of personal growth and change.

Troutsky is a "fellow citizen" only by accident of birth.

 
At 3:06 PM, February 06, 2006, Anonymous erasmus said...

Motor 1560

I suggest you consider removing that "only" before those fellow citizens, Marxist or Paleo-Conservative, you do not like. Whether by birth or naturalization, they are your and my fellow citizens. Disagree with their views, expose their folly or stupidity, but as long as you accept national boundaries, it's not up to you to brand them with the "only." I loath Pat Robertson and David Duke, but they are, for better (not much) or worse (mostly) my fellow citizens. No "only" attached. We have to live with that.

 
At 3:46 PM, February 06, 2006, Blogger LetMeSpellItOutForYou said...

Neo: "I happened to idly click on [the link] today, apropos of nothing, and discovered to my surprise and delight that he was writing again." Sounds like you need an RSS/Atom aggregator, or an email forwarding service like RssFwd. The idea of going to a site not knowing whether there's any new information there makes me shudder...

 
At 4:13 PM, February 06, 2006, Blogger neo-neocon said...

I am quite puzzled at those who assume Ascher's "change" experience was motivated by fear. That's not my impression at all.

There is not a word of fear in his essay, at least as I see it. There is merely shock at the existence of people whose motives and actions are far worse than he had expected, and a resultant abandonment of his previous idea that we are all rational, reasonable, and kindly-disposed actors here. And an amazement that many of his seemingly rational and kindly friends were rooting for the victory of those who would be out to destroy us and the virtues and accomplishments of the Enlightenment.

This is what caused him to change his view of the world: the knowledge that the world was different than what he had thought it to be.

I also think it's interesting that some of you are so eager to leap on the bandwagon of fear as an explanation. This seems to be, as I wrote here, a newly popular way to slam those who have undergone the change. But it totally ignores what's going on here. Perhaps what' s going on with people such as myself and Nelson Ascher is just too threatening, and it is easier to chalk it all up to some sort of fearful reactivity rather than a cognitive reorganization, based on facts.

 
At 5:14 PM, February 06, 2006, Blogger Holmes said...

Even if it were due to fear, would that be irrational? If I don't believe in the use of force, but then someone puts a gun in my face, my fear thus causing me to reconsider the use of force, is that an inappropriate response?

 
At 5:21 PM, February 06, 2006, Blogger Motor 1560 said...

Neo: The "fear" meme is simply the latest one circulating as a means of discrediting, "...those who have undergone the change."

It achieves a number of goals. It belittles and trivializes the process and makes the changeling's seem like fearful ninnies. It also serves to indicate that once they are reassured that the WOT and Islamofacisism are just Potempkin Villages, they will return. The number of people who have become changlings on national defense issues is starting to make the Dems and their left nervous.

 
At 5:28 PM, February 06, 2006, Blogger Motor 1560 said...

Erasmus: I will, upon reflection, stand by the use of "only" in my comment. In my view Marxism is incompatible with the flip side of rights; responsibilities.

Note, however, I am not advocating the stripping of citizenship, denial of the rights of citizenship or the mandatory wearing of red hammer and sickles patches on their outer clothing.

What I have done is simply to note that I heard a duck quacking and said, "There's a duck in here."

 
At 5:56 PM, February 06, 2006, Blogger neo-neocon said...

Motor 1560: I think you are correct. Note my observation in my comment, above, that perhaps "changers" are too threatening.

When I first tried to talk to other liberals about how my point of view had changed, I was actually surprised at the amount of anger I encountered from many, even by my mere mention of a changed point of view, before I'd even discussed how that change had come about. Just the mention that I had come, after great reflection and much reading, to agree with certain tenets of the Bush doctrine was a trigger for real rage in many people I spoke to.

Prior to that experience, I had no idea that such a change would be considered to be a threat. Over time, I have become more and more aware of this reaction in many people, and the resultant need to deflect--and, as you say, belittle and trivialize--the process by which such change has happened.

I also think it's interesting that in the thread I linked in my comment, "Neocons and fear," there were some commenters who thought this "you changed because of fear" accusation was simply a straw man I set up to accuse them. But right here is a good example of the genre.

In fact--speaking of straw men--on further study, I note that the commenter on the previous thread who suggested I might be setting up a straw man in the "Neocons and fear" thread was none other than: troutsky. See this.

In fact, in case troutsky is inclined to try to delete the relevant comment, I will duplicate it here:

At 10:25 AM, January 11, 2006, troutsky said...

You don't suppose that neo-con is setting up what they call a "straw man" do you? Attributing a paraphrased, super -simplified position to her opponents and then attacking it? Comments"tend to be on the order of"?


And yet on the present thread, it's troutsky making the "fear" accusation, toward Ascher! Here; it's the very first comment:

At 2:34 PM, February 06, 2006, troutsky said...

Be wary of change that is triggered by fear.Be suspicious of all impressions that are fear based.The hardest thing to do is to examine our fear. These wise words are not mine, they come from a man named Thich Nat Hahn who has learned quite a bit from personal experience with fear and violence.


I fear the man doth protest too much...

 
At 7:31 PM, February 06, 2006, Blogger al fin said...

Be wary of cracking fossils who are incapable of change, even in the presence of the most profound upheaval. Being able to recognize that your world view must necessarily change is the surest sign of a functioning brain. Being incapable of doing the same is a dead giveaway to the absence of such.

 
At 7:46 PM, February 06, 2006, Anonymous erasmus said...

Motor 1560

OK, and I take it you'd apply that to Marxist and fascist ducks alike.
Problem arises when you get to the hybrids, like Social Democrats.
As long as you don't take away their quacking rights.
The Danish cartoon madness is a good reminder of how fragile the free marketplace of ideas is.

 
At 7:54 PM, February 06, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

It isn't a newly popular way to slam people, although that is part of it. There's quite a lot of evidence pointing to the fact that they are projecting their fears upon others. Since they cannot admit their fear of terrorism or death, it makes sense to them that other people are the ones afraid, not themselves.

Most people, like troutsky, can't deal with human nature and how fear is an integral part of the human dynamic. There are attempts, but failure meets them. Because it isn't dynamics they should be wary of, it should be anything that motivates a person's actions that relies upon the fear of an unknown, whether that is Bush or the Patriot Act. If they don't clean house first, nothing else gets done.

There's an underlying psychological undercurrent to the behavior of people. You just have to find the depth.

Since it's the Republicans backing the Revolution now a days in the 21st century, you can bet your mutual funds that the status quo freaks are going to fight tooth and nail for their privileges.

A lot of people fear disruption in this world, cause they just want to go back to sleep, man. They thought we could just hit Afghanistan and then just go back to the sleep of the righteous, having blown up the hornet's nest and having it sting others.

When they realized that Bush wasn't going to sleep, that he was further going on a crusade into the Middle East, Holy Land of the Liberals needing victims and the downtrodden, they got really disgruntled at this Revolution going on in their own backyards. Can't have peons be overthrowing the dictators the realpolitek Liberals have backed since time immemorial. That might upset the status quo, you know. And that is a very bad thing to the Liberals and isolationists.

Far worse than any Americans dieing.

 
At 8:01 PM, February 06, 2006, Blogger Motor 1560 said...

Neo: Many years ago while preparing a graduate independent studies research paper I needed to come up with a definition of political violence and that, of course, meant coming up with a definition of violence. It needed to be generalized, in a biological or medical sense. In addition, it needed to be cross cultural and stated in a way that could be measured, in some way, even if the initial definition was nominal; in a statistical sense; and it could not be normative.

I read and read and did not come up with a wholly satisfying reference. While discussing this problem with my adviser, I had one of those moments.

The definition came to be:

Violence: A rapid and unexpected disruption of expectations.

For various reasons, 911 did not; as a discrete event; personally disrupt my expectations. I had been expecting an attack within the US for some time. The means, however, fell into a general category of low probability events for which no specific defense was in place but which had been proposed in the universe of probabilities.

But, for many I know, it was a catastrophic disruption of their expectations. It did real violence to them and they reacted in various ways. I have facetiously described these reactions, elsewhere, as mental, glandular and ideological. An example of nominal data ordering.

I'm sure that you are much better versed in the literature of relating to individuals dealing with violence than I, since you deal in phenomena at the individual level and I work at a different scale. I somehow suspect that those who criticize from "fearfulness" may indeed protest too much and may, unintentionally, be revealing more than they care to.

 
At 8:06 PM, February 06, 2006, Blogger Jack Trainor said...

Be wary of change that is triggered by fear.

I see this again and again in debates with those who oppose the Iraq War--this quick shift into dismissing those who support the war on psychological grounds.

The psychological discussion has its place. Indeed much of the appeal in neo's blog is on that plane, but that discussion goes both ways, and the anti-war folks seem to have no awareness whatsoever that their opposition might be based more on their emotions than rationality.

 
At 9:28 PM, February 06, 2006, Anonymous ElMondoHummus said...

*Sigh*

In response to those who charge "fear" when hearing a conservative's philosophy: As I said in Neo's Fear thread, there's a difference between "fear" and "healthy concern". Charging "fear" carries a connotation of irrationality that isn't fair to someone like NNC here who's thought the issue through and come to a conclusion based on a whole spectrum of reasons.

"Fear" is an oversimplification. It's true that some are motivated by that, and that some are irrationally afraid and not thinking clearly. But some does not equal the whole, and upon reading Neo's work here, it's clear (at least to me) that it does not apply to her. It's very much a strawman argument when applied to conservatives in general or NeoNeocon here in particular.

Look, I realize that conservatives have their own strawmen arguments regarding liberals on a variety of topics. On the threat from radical islamicists, we often portray them as being overly sympathetic to the anti westerners, as being practically in bed with the terrorists. There are many who aren't ready to throw the baby of western civilization out with the bathwater of the current conflict; they state real concern over US power and our image in the world. I don't agree with them, but it's unfair for me to associate them with some like, say, the more venemous Kos posters, or George Galloway, or those who are just anti-US. Not all of the antiwar side is terrorist-philic; I'm continually reminded that Cardinal Renato R. Martino has made statements against the Iraq war, and being Catholic, that gives me pause; I don't agree with the position, but it’s irrational to think he’d construct an ill-reasoned opinion. And it would definitely be a mistake to associate Cardinal Martino with, say, Atrios or Kos, or some of the really venomous US haters overseas. That would be building a straw argument against him, and that would simply be unfair.

Yet (to mightily swing back on topic) charging NeoNeocon, Nelson Ascher, and many conservatives with "fear" is to build yet another, different strawman argument against Neo, Mr. Ascher, me, and most conservatives. On top of that, it also is an attempt to associate us with the most ignorant, reactionary, and prejudiced portions of our society. That's a deliberate evasion of any consideration of the more thoughtful parts of our opinions. I have a healthy concern about the rise of Islamic militism, but I'm not about to subscribe to the fear I've seen elsewhere where some say "let's get it over with and nuke 'em", or "you can't IED an ICBM". That's as nihilistic as the radical Islamicists themselves, and it's unfair to associate Neo or the rest of us with that level of opinion simply because we share a “yes” vote on the Iraq war.

So in summary: Fear? Some may say that. But doing so is not thinking the issue or our opinions through. We can easily and just as irrationally say that perhaps the "other side" is in fear too: Fear of the bogeyman they construct as Bush, fear of the Republican, fear of the imperialist west. Some do think that, true, but it doesn't apply to each and every person holding worldviews opposing ours. And it would be equally irrational to plant "Bush Derangement Syndrome" on just anyone who speaks counter to, say, the War on Terror, no matter how many or few people would actually fit that description (yes, people have to admit that some do suffer from it). So perhaps it would elevate the discussion to agree on not randomly planning BDS on anyone stating any negative opinion on the Iraq war or the west’s actions on radical Islamic terrorism, as long as people don’t plant the "fear" charge on anyone even mildly agreeing to this country’s actions regarding the same. How about that?

 
At 12:02 AM, February 07, 2006, Blogger Motor 1560 said...

"Illusion is the first of all pleasures"
Voltaire


On travel for a while. Play nice.

Erasmus: All ducks have the right to quack. Just as I have the right to enjoy the occasional Canard al' Orange made with a tangy sauce.

 
At 2:05 AM, February 07, 2006, Blogger troutsky said...

I just said "be wary of change that is triggered by fear".I didnt claim to know all or any of your motivations for change and it is not even close to the strawman neo sets up.Thich Nat Hahn also talks about the "solid Mind".If you have examined your internal reasons and find fear was not an integral factor, I can accept that.I would actually prefer to debate Ascher or neo on the notion that a profound shock of disappointment "that the world was different", or that there could be "people whose motives and actions are far worse than he had expected", is reasonable.Just which period in history would have led such people to believe the world was a peaceful, nonviolent place or that people were not capable of unspeakable brutality?The Middle Ages? WWI orII? Centuries of slavery?

My point, of course, is not to defend liberals.A liberal who is that naive or uninformed is the same unformed, pliable,intellect as the conservative that is that uninformed.Change is fine.It's the analysis leading to the change I would question.Do you think history books of the future will start a new chapter on 9/11,will they see it as profound a moment as 6/28/1914,the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary? Just wondering.

 
At 5:44 AM, February 07, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it odd, if not utterly bizarre, that both Ms. Neocon and Mr. Archer, both post 9/11 coverts to a conservative cause, can not for a moment fathom the radicalisation of conservative Islam from western colonialism and cold war meddling, dwarfing the numbers lost in N.Y.

 
At 5:55 AM, February 07, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And as for change, what actually has changed in U.S. foreign policy? Not much, only more blind adherents to a long established, manipulative, coniving, and destructive force you pretend to call freedom.

Freedumb is more like it.

 
At 7:44 AM, February 07, 2006, Blogger Barry Meislin said...

Thanks very much for publicizing Nelson Ascher's return to blogging.

 
At 10:00 AM, February 07, 2006, Anonymous armchair pessimist said...

Motivated by fear. Well, yeah, so f-ing what?
This is kind of like saying: Oooh, gross, he just ate a dead chicken.
Sounds awful until you process that what it means is trivially true.
PS: To more practical matters, here's an on-line petition to voice your support for that Danish newspaper.
http://www.PetitionOnline.com/danmark/

 
At 11:54 AM, February 07, 2006, Anonymous SB said...

Fear is a perfectly sane reaction to 9/11 and the current continental cartoon kerfuffle. Come on: Blood, fire, death, mobs of nasty, bearded Others foaming at the mouth and screaming for our expeditious exsanguination, horrible old one-eyed clerics with hooks instead of hands who go to bed every night praying that one day we'll all be dead and they'll rule the world...Hello?

The trick is not to panic. That's not a problem for most of us yet. The other trick is not to intellectualize everything to such a degree that you are no longer sure who or what you're supposed to be afraid of. Not sure how we're doing on that score. True, the situation is complex. But it seems to be getting simpler every day.

Like the guy said in The Untouchables: "Don't wait for it to happen. Don't even want it to happen. Just watch what does
happen..."

 
At 12:34 PM, February 07, 2006, Blogger W.B. Reeves said...

Before 911 I was a social-democrat, a liberal. I thought the worst things in human history were either over of confined to small isolated groups operating in the world remotest places. There would be no nuclear war, world war, genocides in the developed world, mainstream anti-Semitism in Europe, large scale religious wars and so on anymore .

We lived in a new age of reason and human rights. Most of mankind had reached rational maturity.


It's hardly surprizing that anyone so foolish as to have believe the above prior to 9/11 would have suffered profound intellectual trauma after that event. Where was this fellow when the horrors of ethnic cleansing were unfolding in the Balkans? Or do the countries of the former Yugoslavia not qualify as part of the developed world?

If Ascher is really representative of the pre 9/11 mindset held by those who have turned their ideological coats in its aftermath, it raises a substantial question. Given the fantastical worldview they previously accepted, how reliable can their current judgement be?

 
At 3:11 PM, February 07, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ascher's judgement is immaculately fine. He is able to adapt to changes of sufficient magnitude to knock him down.

It's the poor sods who hold onto their mouldy beliefs long past their due date that have me shaking my head. Poor fools who fear a free future. They will never come up for air.

 
At 3:28 PM, February 07, 2006, Anonymous TalkinKamel said...

Judging by some of the comments here, the change in outlook many of us have had since 9/11 is quite threatening---dare I say scary?---to some. They need a nice cup of Thich nat Hahn's tea, and some popular Buddhism to get themselves back in their usual frame of mind.

No, I don't think changers such as Neo, and Ascher, were motivated by sheer terror. However, considering the real dangers the world faces at the moment, fear is an entirely rational response to them.

When one is in danger, it's an excellent idea to reassess what is going on, and what you can do to get out of danger. It is not rational if, for instance, one is being pursued by hungry crocodiles to say, "To flee from these crocodiles would be cowardly! I'm not going to do it!" It would also be quite silly to embrace your fear, sit down in the lotus position and loudly chant "OM!" in order to make your unpleasant feelings vanish, as the crocodiles approach. . .

Oh, yes---you can also go up to the crocodiles and apologize to them for all the cruelties mankind has inflicted on them, hoping they will leave you alone. Lots of luck. You can say, "Gosh darn it! I refuse to give up my life-long belief that crocodiles are as cute and friendly as bunny rabbits! Just because they've eaten up my friends and family, I'm not going to give up my beliefs!" Lots of luck with that one, too.

(And Neo? Thanks for your articles on changing since 9/11. They are inspiring.)

 
At 3:41 PM, February 07, 2006, Blogger W.B. Reeves said...

Ascher's judgement is immaculately fine. He is able to adapt to changes of sufficient magnitude to knock him down.

Before or after 9/11? Obviously, if his current position is correct, his pre 9/11 judgement was something less than immaculate. If his assessment of the world had been realistic in the first place he wouldn't have needed to pick himself up off the ground after 9/11.

That he changed his views says nothing about the quality of his current judgement. Particularly considering that the analogy he draws is one "proving" the existence of vampires.

Or are we to celebrate the judgement of Ramsey Clark simply because he went from Government bureaucrat to radical critic of the Government?

 
At 5:26 PM, February 07, 2006, Blogger Hanna Karolyn said...

I'm very much with W.B. Reeves on this one; what sort of education/worldview/knowledge base leaves one believing that, "...the worst things in human history were either over of confined to small isolated groups operating in the world remotest places. There would be no nuclear war, world war, genocides in the developed world, mainstream anti-Semitism in Europe, large scale religious wars and so on anymore. We lived in a new age of reason and human rights. Most of mankind had reached rational maturity.”?

This is a stunning admission of ignorance, of a complete lack of study of the world’s history, and of many of the findings of psychology and sociology over the past 150 years, and does somewhat call into question the perspectives of his current thinking.

 
At 5:37 PM, February 07, 2006, Blogger Rose Nunez said...

W.B. Reeves writes: "That he changed his views says nothing about the quality of his current judgement."

That seems fair. I wouldn't say, as some here seem to be implying, that changing one's mind is a sign of any one personal quality or another; people change their minds for all sorts of reasons.

But I disagree with the statement that precedes it: "Obviously, if his current position is correct, his pre 9/11 judgement was something less than immaculate."

Good judgment's not the same thing as omniscience. A person can possess fine judgment--the ability make assessments of the world as it empirically appears to him or her up through a given moment--and still lack crucial information and experience. (One of the few gifts of age!)

Or, to continue with the crocodile theme, just because you've never encountered a crocodile outside of folk tales doesn't mean you're an idiot; it just means you'll be surprised as hell when you run into one downtown. And then, if you've got any kind of judgment, that crocodile will change in your worldview from a distant mythical figure to a much more urgent and physically manifest problem.

 
At 7:30 PM, February 07, 2006, Anonymous TalkinKamel said...

Sadly, the education base, and the state of mind that would lead one to believe the world is, basically, a good place, and evil is only done in certain places by small groups of people is all too prevalent in the West today.

History is so poorly taught in our schools that it's extremely hard to get those who've gone through the education system to accept even simple truths, such as Islam really was spread by the sword, and bad things really can happen in societies that aren't run by Christian/heterosexual/white men.
Look how difficult it is for people to accept the fact that the communists killed hundreds of millions. This fact still hasn't trickled down into the culture at large, which constinues to see Marxists as, at worst, misguided idealists, who just wanted to help the poor. Even those who have seen, with their own eyes, the Vietnamese refugees of little Saigon, or talked to Christians who suffered under Communism turn away, avert their eyes. . .

Liberals, and those who like to think of themselves of idealists, progressives, etc., also have a blind spot when it comes to the human propensity for evil. For the progressive frame of mind, evil, if it does exist, is the fault of large, impersonal social systems, not individual choice. Evil can be eliminated, by fixing society.

So, yes, I can see how a kindly, progressive-minded guy like Ascher could have made himself believe that, things are basically okay. What actually surprises me is that, once he had his ephiphany, he stuck to it and changed his world view completely! The more usual response is to cling harder than ever to one's former, comforting state of mind, maybe beefing it up a bit with a little new age philosophy, and admonitions that we have nothing to fear but fear itself.

 
At 11:33 PM, February 07, 2006, Blogger W.B. Reeves said...

Good judgment's not the same thing as omniscience. A person can possess fine judgment--the ability make assessments of the world as it empirically appears to him or her up through a given moment--and still lack crucial information and experience. (One of the few gifts of age!)

Rose,

One needn't have been omniscient to understand that we weren't living "...in a new age of reason and human rights.", most of mankind having "... reached rational maturity."

Neither do I think that mass death and destruction by terrorism on US soil held the status of exotic folk tale pre 9/11. Timothy McVeigh had already given us a lesson on the subject. An atrocity, you may recall, initially laid at the door of "Middle Eastern terrorists."

So I'm afraid I can't quite follow who or what this "distant, mythical figure" is that you refer to. I was horrified by 9/11 but not surprised. No more than I was surprised that an Eric Rudolph would set off a bomb at an Olympics celebration in my home town, intent on killing and maiming as many as possible.

I don't think it's unfair to expect a judgement to have more than a tangential relation to reality. I think the standard of judgement you're proposing more suitable for a child than an adult.

 
At 12:10 AM, February 08, 2006, Blogger Rose Nunez said...

W.B.,

I haven't read Ascher's conversion tale (I haven't read Ascher at all, actually), and I'm not inclined to defend his former views, or him for having held them. He may indeed have been a fuzzy-headed ninny with profoundly lousy judgment.

I'm just taking issue with your specific statement that "if his current position is correct, his pre 9/11 judgement was something less than immaculate." To my eye, it reads, "Even if you're correct now, the fact that you were wrong before makes you kind of a dope forever."

If you didn't mean it that way, I'm sorry to have misinterpreted you.

Also, as far as "mythical figures" and terrorism are concerned, I think 9/11 exposed the U.S.'s vulnerability to anti-Western rage in a way that made footage of AK-47-toting gunmen in faraway places shouting "Death to America!" seem like dim dreams. Even domestic terrorists like Timothy McVeigh don't come close, lacking as they do a multinational support apparatus and millions of vocal supporters.

For me (and I suppose here I should say I hardly had a flowers-and-sunshine view of the world), 9/11 made clear that anti-Western Islamists were not just planning, but competently executing large-scale acts of war against the U.S.

Perhaps Ascher was surprised at the inhumanity of man (and perhaps you're right to scorn his former naivete), but, like you, I wasn't at all surprised by the hatred and bloodlust of our attackers. I was, however, surprised--and very, very worried--that they landed such a solid blow.

 
At 12:12 AM, February 08, 2006, Blogger W.B. Reeves said...

Look how difficult it is for people to accept the fact that the communists killed hundreds of millions. This fact still hasn't trickled down into the culture at large, which constinues to see Marxists as, at worst, misguided idealists, who just wanted to help the poor.

Are you serious? I know of far more people who deny the Holocaust than I do people who claim the Gulag never existed.

 
At 12:27 AM, February 08, 2006, Blogger W.B. Reeves said...

I was, however, surprised--and very, very worried--that they landed such a solid blow.

Here we can agree. My immediate reaction was to wonder how the government could have failed in so essential an obligation as protecting the populance, given the means the terrorists used, ie commercial jetliners.

If you didn't mean it that way, I'm sorry to have misinterpreted you.

As a matter of fact I didn't mean it that way but I can see how you might construe that I did. Thanks for providing me with the opportunity of clarifying.

I'll grant you one profoundly disturbing distinction between Tim McVeigh and the 9/11 hijackers. The latter were willing to die with their victims. To me, this is the truest measure of the threat.

 
At 12:47 AM, February 08, 2006, Anonymous TalkinKamel said...

Are experiences are exactly the opposite; I don't know any holocaust deniers, but I know many people who, though they'll admit the gulags existed, can't bring themselves to condemn Communism with the same enthusiasm they do facism.

 
At 1:31 AM, February 08, 2006, Blogger W.B. Reeves said...

I know many people who, though they'll admit the gulags existed, can't bring themselves to condemn Communism with the same enthusiasm they do facism.

I've known a few Gulag apologists in my time but I wouldn't, by any stretch of the imagination, describe them as representative of the culture at large.

 
At 3:37 AM, February 08, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one one would deny evil (people) exist. Reading the comments here though one gets the impression America has been spared, "evil" is always the other, the communist, the fascist, the Islamic fundamentalist. That we've lyed in bed, helped recruit, promote and sustain many of them, or been responsible for some of the situations that might have spurned some of these "evil doer's" to act against us in the first place, doesn't even enter the "intellectual" equation.

Nor does the fact that international diplomacy has always, and continues to see more powerful nations manipulate or steer events to their advantage. Nope, America wouldn't do that.

While most of you here appear to gain pleasure and self worth from critisizing how a drowning man swims, ..I'll be looking for the guy who threw him in the pool.

 
At 10:09 AM, February 08, 2006, Anonymous TalkinKamel said...

Anonymous:

Reading Neo's entries, and the posters here, I don't think they take the attitude that America is always perfect. I think that's your left-wing, high schoolish snarkiness taking over.

America is less than perfect, and has probably, oh, shock and horror, worked in its own best interest in the past, and not in building up a perfect, socialist utopia! So have other nations, such as Russia, that the West seems to find above criticism. (How about the people's paradise of Cuba?)

What's your solution? Should we all just give up, and commit mass suicide, to atone for our sins? Would that usher in Utopia? Would that make the world a better place?

I find it sad that people such as yourself just can't wait to push evil America into the "swimming pool," and watch it drown.

Unfortunately, you've really got nothing to take its place.

w.b. reeve

Well, I do live on the west coast, and, unfortunately, I have met a lot of people like anonymous above. Things may be different where you are.

Take a look at the media, though; the NY Times, the L.A. Times, the books they recommend to their readers, the old socialists they lionize when they die (or whitewash), the movies they admire, such as "Syriana" and "Good Night and Good Luck"; look at the way the killings in both Cambodia and Vietnam, after the communists came to power, have been pushed into the background. (Yes, people will admit they happened, but you rarely see books, films, etc. forthrightly portraying the communists as the bad guys in the way that, say, the Nazis are.)

 
At 12:54 PM, February 08, 2006, Anonymous SB said...

The media? Feh. Do you think they'll ever make "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" into a mini-series starring Ashton Kutcher and the Olson Twins?

 
At 7:21 PM, February 08, 2006, Blogger W.B. Reeves said...

Take a look at the media, though; the NY Times, the L.A. Times, the books they recommend to their readers, the old socialists they lionize when they die (or whitewash), the movies they admire, such as "Syriana" and "Good Night and Good Luck"; look at the way the killings in both Cambodia and Vietnam, after the communists came to power, have been pushed into the background. (Yes, people will admit they happened, but you rarely see books, films, etc. forthrightly portraying the communists as the bad guys in the way that, say, the Nazis are.)

Excuse me but I thought we were discussing Nazism vs Communism. How do "old Socialists" figure into your argument? Some of the earliest and most militant anti-Communists were Socialists. For that matter, the uber anti-Communist Sidney Hook considered himself a "true Marxist" throughout his career.

I see that I must be a good bit older than you, since there was no shortage of popular portrayals of Communists as the "bad guys" when I was growing up. Of course that was during the Cold War era of bomb shelters and duck and cover. Communism was considered an imminent threat with the prospect of nuclear anihilation lurking in the back of the public mind.

Likewise, during the "little cold War" under Reagan you could find plenty of popular depictions of Commies as the bad guys. (Red Dawn, Missing In Action, Rambo, etc,) Again, Communism was seen as an imminent threat.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc, combined with China's embrace of market economics, Communism ceased to pose a direct challenge. Sans tanks and missiles, most folks don't see Communism as much of a danger.

So why do Nazis remain popular as villians? Well to for one thing you have the ADL whose business it is to insure that the public remains vigilent to any outburst of Nazi sentiments. Speaking from the experience of my own community, from the mid 80's to the mid 90's we experienced a spate of Nazi organizing among local youth. This produced a string of assaults, harassment, vandalism and even murder. I've already mentioned the OK City bombing.

Aside from all this there is the fact that, in showbiz parlance, Nazi's make sexier villains than Communists. Nazis wear black uniforms and leather boots. Communists wear drab grey tunics and sensible shoes. Nazism was all about the charismatic leadership of a single "inspired" individual. Communism, with its plethora of leaders and competing schools is, at bottom, a dry economic theory. Plus, Nazism's mystical and occultist linkages allow it to be used in the most outlandish contexts.(Raiders of the Lost Ark, etc.) Finally, any reference to Nazism carries with it the reality of America's military victory over it.

If I was trying to create a storyline that would sell books or tickets, I'd probably pick the Nazi material over the Commie material myself.

I'm a bit puzzled by your reference to "Goodnight and Goodluck". I've seen it. Are you under the impression that it lionizes Communists?

I'm equally puzzled by your reference to anonymous. While I suppose you might infer that he is on the Left by the disdain expressed for established authority, I don't see anything to suggest he's a Gulag apologist.

 
At 8:33 PM, February 08, 2006, Anonymous TalkinKamel said...

Anonymous' post has the same, jeering, "I hate America/it's always America's fault" that I've encountered in a lot of Marxist/socialist apologists; they'll admit that, of course, Stalin was evil, or that Pol Pot went too far, but---and there's always the big BUT there---it was America's fault! They didn't support this popular leader, or they shoved that popular leader into the arms of the communists, or they've made the world hate them because of their imperialism. . . same old drill.

(I've never, by the way, met what you could call a "pure" socialist; all the ones I met who called themselves socialist, or progressive, sooner or later began falling in more and more with the communist/liberal line.)

I think the difference between us is one of perspective. I am surrounded by a lot of people like anonymous, and many more earnest, good-hearted, progressive minded liberals who really can't quite admit to themselves communism was quite as bad as it was. (Even when they admit something, like the gulags, is bad, they'll throw in, "But America's been bad too!" "The Cambodians were radicalized by American bombing!")

And, except when I was very, very young, I don't remember seeing that many negative portrayals of Communists. By the time I was really paying attention, it was mostly stories about heroic souls who resisted naming names, and took the fifth---Lillian Hellman, and all that.

(On a lighter note---hey, never underestimate Hollywood magic to prettify villains! If they really, really wanted to, they could have portrayed darkly romantic, sinister, gothically appealing communists---though the mind does croggle at such a thought.)

 
At 9:38 PM, February 08, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"TalkinKamel said...

Anonymous:

Reading Neo's entries, and the posters here, I don't think they take the attitude that America is always perfect. I think that's your left-wing, high schoolish snarkiness taking over."

Where did you get "perfect" from? I clearly stated the U.S. was always conniving, brutal, and self serving, acting as powerful nations have always acted, over millenium. You might view that opinion as sophmorish, but I would say ..you are an idiot.

"America is less than perfect, and has probably, oh, shock and horror, worked in its own best interest in the past, and not in building up a perfect, socialist utopia!"

That the U.S. has worked in it's own
best interests is nothing new. That any American is willing to "sow the seeds we planted", that is to take responsibility for our actions, is extremely doubtful, having read the opinions here.

"What's your solution? Should we all just give up, and commit mass suicide, to atone for our sins? "

No, just practice what we preach. And foremost, stay out of other peoples business. ...And God forbid, be friendly. How 'bout that for a
brave new a foreign policy? Be freindly. Make friends. Gee Wizz, the man is crazy!

"I find it sad that people such as yourself just can't wait to push evil America into the "swimming pool," and watch it drown."

I find it sad, and have for some time, that American's (I only presume you are) are blind to the traps we set for ourselves.

As I have no power whatsoever over American foreign policy, or any desire to trash the country in which I was born, and people I love, I'll chalk your attempt to demonise my opinion up to your "right wing, high school snarkiness". Nothing new at Neo-neocom.com.

 
At 10:02 PM, February 08, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

TalkinKamel said...

"Anonymous' post has the same, jeering, "I hate America/it's always America's fault" that I've encountered in a lot of Marxist/socialist apologists; they'll admit that, of course, Stalin was evil, or that Pol Pot went too far, but---and there's always the big BUT there---it was America's fault!"

Is Kamel Breath suggesting the U.S. did not help invade Russia in 1921, or give any support to Nazi Germany?
Is he suggesting that the danger of communism in Germany, and Germany as a bullwark against communism began only after W.W.II? That prior there was no anti-communist danger or element to Anglo-American foreign policy? Chalk it up on your idiotic
"hate Ameriva score board" but it's history, if you'd bother to read it.

"They didn't support this popular leader, or they shoved that popular leader into the arms of the communists, or they've made the world hate them because of their imperialism."

Lay back on your couch and eat your potato chips.

"same old drill".

Maybe because it's true?

 
At 2:51 AM, February 09, 2006, Blogger W.B. Reeves said...

If you continue to equate Communism/Socialism/Liberalism it will be increasingly difficult to determine what you're talking about. These are not interchangeble terms.

The Communist movement of the 20th century came into being when the Russian Bolsheviks split from the Socialist International. The rupture was highly unfriendly and accompanied by bloodshed on both sides. The Socialists in Germany were considered so reliably anti-communist that they were given the job of forming the Weimar Republic. The bitterness ran so deep between the two parties that they were unable to combine in the face of the Nazi threat. We're all familar with the consequences.

After WWII prominent members of the Socialist International included German Chancellor Willi Brandt and Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, not to mention various Labor P.M.s in the UK. So you see, the Socialist = Communist formula simply wont fly.

As for Liberalism, I assume you're using the word in some postmodern sense. Just what, in your opinion, are the similarities between Liberalism and Communism?

 
At 5:21 AM, February 09, 2006, Blogger Bezuhov said...

Reeves, I have the sneaking suspicion that you're straining at these particular gnats to distract yourself from the very real dragaon lurking over your shoulder.

You're still fighting the last war. You guys won, OK? You control the media, the huge federal bureaucracy, our schools (which matter more now that we all work). The institutions that really run this country. Anyone gets out of line, the lawyers are there to shut 'em down.

We tried to elect a guy who might offset this power somewhat, and you undermine him at every turn. Whatever. I'm not even entirely upset that this happened, I could certainly imagine worse people running the country. What gets me is the complete obtuseness to the fact that you are.

The liberal-left has so much power, not only can they crush dissenting voices, they can spend an entire lifetime oblivious to their very existence. Would admitting to this power force you to confront your own age, is that it?

It's like that commercial where the guy talks about "sticking it to the man", then the guys tells him he is the man. Reeves, you're the man, we need you to start acting like one if we're to win the next war like you won the last one.

 
At 11:01 AM, February 09, 2006, Anonymous TalkinKamel said...

Anonymous:

Are you suggesting that untold numbers didn't die in the Russian Gulags? Are you saying that Chairman Mao did not kill hundreds of million of Chinese (without any help from the US, or anybody else)? Are you saying that Cuba really is a wonderful place to live, and that all those boat people trying to flee in inner tubes are being forced to do it by American propoganda? And what about the Vietnamese? We pulled ut of Vietnam, not wanting to prolong the war---and more of them died during the "peace" than the war itself. And what about Cambodia? Are you saying that didn't happen? Or that the people who died in that holocaust were somehow expendable, because it was all to build up the glorious new communist Kampuchea?

Are you pleased with Jimmy Carter's decision not to prop up the Shah---thereby opening the door to Islamofacism in the Middle East, and the current nuclear crisis we face? We can't even comfort ourselves by saying the Iranian people are better off under the mullahs, since they are, plainly, far more miserable and oppressed under Pahlavi. Yes, America made mistakes with some of its realpolitik---but so what?

Sorry, but America isn't responsible for all that goes wrong in the world---especially the world of the 20th-21st Centuries, which is choc-full of noxious, totalitarian ideologies and would-be King Ubus, trying to grab up whatever they can get. Not every bad situation on planet Earth can be ascribed to some reaction against Amerikkkan imperialism; to do so is to ascribe ridiculously "magical" powers to the big, bad, old USA, and to reduce all non-American human beings into hapless puppets, utterly incapable of making their own decisions and possessing no ability of their own to choose between good and evil.

Actually, your post just goest to prove my point; the big BUT.

For the Left,
It's always, ALWAYS America's fault, and even when it isn't---it really IS! Because it did something, at some point, to turn all those innocent (but kinda dumb) third worlders into choosing bad leaders!

(Oh, yes, I know about the American invasion of Russia. Horrible. The Yanks butchered the Russian population, enslaved the survivors, and set up a big statue of liberty next to the Kremlin---huh? That didn't happen? The Yanks actually pulled out? Sorry, but if you're trying to peddle this as the reason for Communist totalitarianism, it won't wash.)

w.b. reeve

To be blunt, I don't think there's really much of a distinction between socialist and Marxist, no matter how finely you try to draw the line; in the end, they basically want the same thing; government control of the means of production, and a very top-heavy state that eventually---it's just the nature of top-heavy states---becomes more and more instrusive in people's lives. The socialists aren't as brutal as the Marxists---but they also seem unable to keep their progressive movements from being taken over by Marxists, and those just seeking the main chance, and malcontents who just want to bring society down.

 
At 11:20 AM, February 09, 2006, Anonymous TalkinKamel said...

bezuhov:

Yes, the Left controls the important seats of power at the moment, but even that isn't quite enough for them! (Love your comment, by the way, about lawyers being there to sue us, if we step out of line.)

Unfortunately, they really are stuck in still fighting the last war.

anonymous:

. . . And, Anonymous? Your suggestions about how America can make itself loved are, to be frank, ridiculous. Mind our own business---isolationism isn't possible in the world as it is today; Practice what we preach---a nice ideal, but, considering Americans are only human, it's not always gonna happen---and how does this translate into concrete action, anyway? How does "Practice what we preach" apply to, say, the Danish Cartoon controversy?

And my favorite---"And God forbid, be friendly!" THAT'S IT! THAT'S ALL THOSE POOR, KINDA DUMB THIRD WORLDERS WANT FROM US! A LITTLE FRIENDLIESS! HEAVEN KNOWS, THE POOR THINGS CAN'T FIND IT IN THEIR OWN COUNTRIES!

So, let's just whoop out a good old American, "HEY, HOWDY, HEY!" and tell the Prime Minister of Iran---who'se threatening to nuke Israel, and seems to think he's the 12th Imam come again, "HEY, OLD SON! WE'RE YOUR FRIEND! HERE'S A WHOLE HEAP OF AMERICAN TAX-DOLLARS TO HELP YOUR GOVERMENT, PAL, AND WE'LL EVEN NUKE THOSE BAD OL' JEWS FOR YA!"

And after that, we can further display our friendship for the oppressed of the earth by hunting down and killing the Danish cartoonists who were so unfriendly as to upset all those poor Moslems. Then we can help Castro imprison dissidents and homosexuals, and---and---and----

There's simply no end of ways we can show other governments we're their FRIEND! Of course, that would conflict with your admonition that we mind our own business. On the other hand, If we do, the other nations might not think we're their friend. A dilemma. You see, friendship between nations is really not the same thing as friendship between individuals. . .

In short, as I said, your recommendations are ridiculous.

 
At 12:37 PM, February 09, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To TalkinKamel:

Boy, you really bought America's bullshit hook-line-and-sinker, didn't ya?

No one can deny the atrocities in Russia, or condone them. Yet for some reason you deny the threats they were under while they were trying to raise their country up by their boot straps, namely, western, including U.S., attacks.

The Russian Civil War for example, 1921-26, saw a western alliance join the White Russians in an attempt to reinstall their oh so benevolent monarchy. The US took part in that attack, setting the tone of communist Russia. It was always a war footing. That's Russian history.

Add to that what the Russian's (rightfully) saw as a western backed, anti-communist Hitler thrown upon them, you can maybe start to realise the urgency and enormous task to defend themselves against, if you like it or not, US. Or are you another one of those talks about Germany but doesn't know anything about it?

Same for the Chinese, we attacked them too, through our surrogate Chiang, the Chinese Civil War. No, if America was under attack and it's very survival threatened our government would go about it's business as usual. Perhaps you've noticed this threat mechanism at work in America. Just 9/11, a bad attack but in terms of all out war a speck, changed everything. Now start to imagine all out war and our very survival.

"And what about the Vietnamese? .. more of them died during the "peace" than the war itself."

You'll have top prove that. At any rate, perhaps our obliteration of the country and letting it rot under international sanctions might have had something to do with their misery, to a thinking person anyway.

"And what about Cambodia?"

We bombed the hell out of them too, overthrew their King and sucked them into our international chess game (war). Interesting how America insisted Pol Pot have a seat at UN negotiations. In America any bull-shit flies.

"Are you pleased with Jimmy Carter's decision not to prop up the Shah"

I was under the impression the Iranian people decided their leader, their first mistake in western eyes.

"thereby opening the door to Islamofacism in the Middle East"

Islamofacism as you call was already brewing in the 1950's, in an American pot(I can see you kringe), organised and supported by us out of Saudi Arabai to counter Nasser's Pan-Arab call to socialism. We saw this it again with the Taliban and creation of Al Quaeda in the '80's.

.."and the current nuclear crisis we face? We can't even comfort ourselves by saying the Iranian people are better off under the mullahs, since they are, plainly, far more miserable and oppressed under Pahlavi."

Even if that were true, I suppose the Iranian's will one day have enough, organise and chnage their governemnt again.

"Yes, America made mistakes with some of its realpolitik---but so what?"

How many times have I heard that crap? Mistakes my ass. I'm talking about a pattern of brutal international behaviour.

"Sorry, but America isn't responsible for all that goes wrong in the world"

Almost. The problem is we, the most powerful and rich country, are involved in every corner of the world. Why the hell do you think we have 100's of military bases all over the world?

"Not every bad situation on planet Earth can be ascribed to some reaction against Amerikkkan imperialism;"

The point isn't that the U.S. creates bad situations, yet it will take advantage of them for our own gain, mostly by using bad people, with little or no regard for their people.

"..and to reduce all non-American human beings into hapless puppets, utterly incapable of making their own decisions and possessing no ability of their own to choose between good and evil."

Human beings are not hapless puppets
and quite occassionally do make their own decisions, like kick our brutal self centered asses out of their countries, and the dictators we shove down their throats.

 
At 3:20 PM, February 09, 2006, Anonymous TalkinKamel said...

Anonymous:

Man, you really have bought the whole Communist/Marxist line, hook-line and sinker, haven't you?

You're an ideologue, so it's no use arguing with you---though you do prove my point about the big BUT in your posts; America is always evil. Nothing goes wrong, but that America didn't have a hand in---it's always America's fault, which, as I stated before, is incredibly condescending to other nations, since it does suggest they have no wills of their own, and no ability to differentiate between good and evil, and are so weak willed they have no choice but to accept the dictator we evil Americans force upon them. (Apparently, they're only acting on their own free will when they act against us, not as neutrals, or allies.)

Your hatred for this country is so great, I wonder you continue to live here. If we really are that bad, doesn't your conscience ever bother you, that you're part of the great Amerikkkan war machine? Or are you somehow hoping that we'll all see the light, become Marxist---and maybe make you commissar of something of other?

Vietnam had been brutalized by a number of conquerers: the Chinese, the Japanese, the French. It's problems existed long before the Americans came on the scene (by the way, what was the cause of evil in the world before America was founded?)

And, if you read anything about Pol Pot, the old "The US drove them to it" excuse doesn't wash. For one thing, a lot of them were able to sit out the bombing in Paris. For another---their hostility was directed against their own people, the people they purportedly wanted to liberate, and create a perfect, Utopian society for.

Such madness as executing people for "crimes" such as wearing glasses (a sign of education)or speaking French (a mark of the oppressor) marching city folk: young and old, rich and poor, sick or sound into the countryside to be worked and/or starved to death, indicate a deeply evil, mad, sick society---one that can't blame its problems on some other country. (Abusers, by the way, always try to blame the person they abuse as being the cause of their problems.)

As for Iran---did it every occur to you that America might have been kinder to the Iranian people themselves if they'd encouraged them to keep the Shah in power? Or to choose somebody other than the despotic, murderous Khomeini?

As it turned out, America, the Iranian people and all the rest of the world (who are now at risk from Mad Mullahs with nukes) would have been better off if Jimmuh Carter had possessed a few brains, and played realpolitik, instead of trying to be a Leftwing saint.

And the same thing I've said about Cambodia can be said of China, Russia and all the other Communist countries. The extent of their madness, cruelty and killings can't be blamed simply on a reaction to American imperialism, but are indicative of a tyrannical and disordered society. No one forced Chairman Mao to murder millions of his own countrymen; he did that all on his own. And America was quite right to be wary of Communist societies, and to resist them, even if it mad mistakes along the way.

(I notice, by the way, you have no words of blame for Russia, and its meddling in world affairs, or Germany, and its' involvement in World Wars I and II---or is that all America's fault, too?)

Really, you are so filled with hate, I wonder you continue to live here. . .

 
At 3:42 PM, February 09, 2006, Anonymous TalkinKamel said...

Wikipedia---which can't be considered a conservative, rethuglican site, estimates the number at nearly a million (I have seen other numbers; we'll probably never know how many died in re-edcuation camps, but it looks a lot higher than the war time casualties). Go to Wikipedia, and check out the links at the bottom, especially Vietnam's Holocaust. Or go to Clusty.com, and type in "Vietnamese Casualties" or "Vietnamese Boat People" (more than a million of the latter fled, after the communists came to power. Many of them sought refuge in the United States---strange behavior for people who were allegedly brutalized by evil Americans; if that were the case, why didn't they just embrace their heroic Communist rescuers?)

(Also, adding to the post-war casualties, you must remember that many boat people drowned at sea, or were killed by pirates. And again, I suppose wicked Amerikkka was responsible for that.)

The whole technique of re-education camps, by the way, appears to be one the Vietnamese Communists learned, not from the US, but from the Red Chinese. (Although again, I suppose, the excuse is going to be that evil Amerikkka forced the ChiComs into using re-education camps.)

Also, I do have to wonder, why countries such as Japan, and Germany, which suffered far harsher treatment at American hands than the Cambodians ever did, were able to re-create societies afterwards that are reasonably sane, healthy and properous---whereas the Khmer Rouge descended into depravity? Could it be that something was wrong with the Khmer Rouge themselves? (Not the US?)

Actually, the best thing you could do is find another country to live in. You hate this one and you're doing neither yourself, nor anybody else, any good by continuing to live here.

 
At 3:51 PM, February 09, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I read Nelson Ascher's sectional outtakes, and what it brought to mind after reading Neo's latest, was what if you could instill the viciousness and grudges of a female prisoner into men? Not just a couple of men, but an entire culture of them?

Would you not get the Middle East in all its viciousness, cycle of violence, grudge holding, and stupidity? And is not fear, cruelty, violence, and control the means by which to control prisoners gone crazy?

 
At 4:29 PM, February 09, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Where did you get "perfect" from? I clearly stated the U.S. was always conniving, brutal, and self serving, acting as powerful nations have always acted, over millenium. You might view that opinion as sophmorish, but I would say ..you are an idiot.

I think Anon here, needs to get on his knees and pray to God or his Socialist Utopia (his choice) that America is not like the other powerful nations over the millenium. I wish America did have those traits, cause then we would purge the traitors from our midst with an efficiency Stalin and Hitler would envy.

Fortunately, for the straight jacket thinkers among us, America is not acting as other powerful nations have acted.

Perhaps they want America to be like those nations, so that they could be on top and the rest of us could be peons, but still they are lucky America exists to shelter people like Anon from the ravages of time and history.

The Nazis have always been against the Communists, and vice a versa, except for that little non-aggression pact they signed. Shia, Sunni, Secular Baath-Nazi Saddam, and theocratic Al-Qaeda. Just cause they are xenophobic master race philosophers, doesn't mean that Japan and Germany wouldn't ally. Nor Communists ally with Nazis. Nor sunni with shia or Al-Qaeda with Saddam. They want you to forget this, they want you to forget that once they thought Saddam was okay cause he was secular and would not work with the religious terroist. Perhaps it is they, who are the nasty real politicians that oppress people in their apathy, and not the America that has stood the test of time.

It is just that the new Nazis, the Palis-Arab Nazis, are being backed by the Socialists and Communists. You see, communism is old school, it's a falling star. The Western intellects know this. Nazism, Jew hating, anti-semitism, fanaticism, those are on the rise however.

THe communists and socialists, again are trying to ally with the Nazis in Palestine and Arabia. And they don't care who gets burned, suicide bombed, or killed in the process.

The communists and the socialists say they are different people, ostensibly because socialists think they are democratic and the communists tyrannical, while the communists dislike democracy's lack of strength and leadership in creating Utopia. To most people on the ground up, communists and socialists are like the Japanese and the Hitlerlites. They look different, and speak different languages, but they are basically the same kind of fanatical murderers in WWII.

It doesn't matter who or what they say or think they are. If they are in alliance, then they must be crushed.

I am reminded of the people who betrayed their countries, in order to cut a deal with the enemy, for various reasons. I also remember what their ultimate fates were.

 
At 11:57 PM, February 09, 2006, Blogger W.B. Reeves said...

To be blunt, I don't think there's really much of a distinction between socialist and Marxist, no matter how finely you try to draw the line; in the end, they basically want the same thing; government control of the means of production, and a very top-heavy state that eventually---it's just the nature of top-heavy states---becomes more and more instrusive in people's lives.

Well, I think I understand where you are coming from now. Your judgement is based not on the particulars of these ideologies, or whether they in fact agree with one another but on whether or not they agree with your own ideology. I say this because most if not all, of the Socialist parties I mentioned advocate mixed economies rather than the Marxist "ownership of the means of production."

For myself, I think one's judgement should proceed from facts rather than ideological belief.

 
At 3:16 AM, February 10, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To TalkingKamel + Ymarsakar:

You haven't understood what I've been saying on these posts. America doesn't have to create bad situations, they exist already on their own, in every country, without any of our doing. What I do have a problem with is America taking advantage of these situations , steering them to serve primarily our own economic-strategic interests, with little regard for the people we pretend to help, or the people we choose to work with, often causing bad situations to spiral completely out of control. Oh, and war.

As for Russia, who knows what might have happened if we hadn't attacked them in 1921-26, before they had done anything wrong? A different dynamic perhaps? Or are you both proposing that attacking a country does not in anyway radicalise them? 911 should answer that question, look at what happened to us. Now multiply it by 1,000 and you have Russia.

One thing is certain, it will be difficult to locate an American that is willing to accept the responsibility for OUR actions. In radicalising Russia, for betraying Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh 1945), for attacking and radicalising China, for helping bring Saddam's Baath Party to power and sustaining him, for assasinating Dr. Mossagdeh and radicalising Iran with the Shah (quite brutal himself by the way). For financing Hitler (not only American's), for creating Al Quaeda, for supporting Islamic fundamentalism in the 1950's to contain Egypt, for the dictators and wars that have torn Africa apart.

It will be difficult to find a spot where America has not projected it's interests. Unless of course like TalkingKamel you pull the flag over your eyes and walk through life blind as a bat.

Ymarkasar is half right when he says America is not acting as its brutal, imperial predecessors once did. Humanity's expectations have risen considerably since, and there are rules to the game. Yet imperial requirements remain. The mountain of dead bodies created under these "noble" 20th Century rules, dwarfing everything preceeding it, is testimony to that. Yes Ymarkasar, I can see your point. ..Please comb some hair over it.

On another point he's completely correct on the Nazi's always being anti-communist (except for the strategic, and brief Stalin pact). I think I mentioned this in my last post that Hitler, being one of the greatest 20th century anti-communists, just might have had some friends in the west. That Germany, just maybe, was a bulwark against communism not just after W.W.II, but before it too? Another Saddam Hussein or Pinochet, a rank dictator on a western leash? Valid points one could discuss, among thinking people that is.

"Your hatred for this country is so great"

I don't hate America, I hate it's foreign policy.

"I wonder you continue to live here."

Who said I did. You're right, I would have a problem paying taxes to "the war machine" (the smartest thing you've said so far)

"And, if you read anything about Pol Pot, the old "The US drove them to it" excuse doesn't wash."

By waging war in south east Asia America did create the conditions in Vietnam where any mad man could take power. Namely the total destruction of the political (coup), economic and social fabric of the country (massive carpet bombing). Again somehow you are unwilling to accept our responsibility for creating those conditions. I never said "we pushed them too it", although one might understand the rejection of western values that came along with our rain of death.

"As for Iran---did it every occur to you that America might have been kinder to the Iranian people themselves if they'd encouraged them to keep the Shah in power?"

I have no doubt America would have been kinder had they swallowed the brutal, western oriented dictator we shoved down their throats. Obviously Iranian's tired of our choice and took to the streets. I have no doubt they will again when they feel the need.

"(I notice, by the way, you have no words of blame for Russia, and its meddling in world affairs)"

Please elaborate. Arms exports to its satellites are quite well documented. I suggest you look them up. The Cold War Soviet threat was, in my opinion, completely overblown.

"or Germany, and its' involvement in World Wars I and II---or is that all America's fault, too?)"

Like I said, many American's, and European's, saw Hitler as a bulwurk against communism, and so supported him, militarily and politically. That's a part of history you obviously refuse to digest. If you did you might begin to understand Russia. Oh, and China too. The Nazi's trained Chiang's police, also our ally.

Typically Ymakasar's comparison of Stalinist Russia and Nazi Germany to our current boogey men, Arab Fundamentalists, leaves out the "threat-radicalisation dynamic". One thing is certain, you can be sure the U.S. (and to a lesser Europeans) will sit back and play each against the other, to our own strategic advantage, and in the meantime make a bloody mess of it.

Just turn on your T.V.

 
At 8:15 AM, February 10, 2006, Blogger Bezuhov said...

Anon,

I strongly encourage you to talk to someone forced to live under Communism. We didn't attack "Russia", we attacked the Bolsheviks who had brutally strangled what might have been a Russian democratic republic in its crib. Etc, etc, with each of your examples.

Many of us are descendents of people who fled tyranny to come to these shores in hope of building something better together, and we consider it our duty to help those left behind. If you insist on remaining oblivious to what this country stands for, that is your choice, but please consider that others do not share that choice.

 
At 2:39 PM, February 10, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

To Anon, Reeves, and his detractors.

The point of difference between Reeves and his detractors is simply the belief that a philosophy can cloak itself in all the sweet smelling words of peace and harmony, yet be fundamentally the same compared to another ideology.

In terms of morality and in terms of ethics. If you see no difference in those who enable and sympathize with communism, from the actual communists, then there is a fine line demarkated between socialism and communism.

For others, concerned more with actual consequences and moral fall out, the idea that two ideologies using different techniques, can arrive at the same philosophical principle and with the same moral consequences, then there truly is no actual difference between those two ideologies.

To a journalist, to a MSM expert, slogans and words differentiate one ideology from another. But what people like that have to understand, is that other people don't judge philosophies based upon words, but on their actions and consequences.

Words are not facts. If Reeves says he values facts, I tend to understand that when he means facts, he means words and labels and names. Others tend to see ideological fact as ideological consequence, as the ethical and moral consequence of an action, not simply how that action is portrayed, worded, and massaged.

For a writer, semantics is not a word, it is a weapon.

Those who don't differentiate between socialism and communism focuses on the facts as much as Reeves, might percieve himself to be focusing on the facts. The facts are just different. It is a fact that communists see themself as a central government owned experiment, and it is a fact that socialists see themselves as democracy plus socialism, but that never did change the other fact, which was the basic philosophical principles held dear by those ideologies.

A person focused on the facts and not his ideology, should have understood just how many varifold facts there really are, and how other people who disagree, are not limited to the facts Reeves spells out for them. Just because they place importance on things Reeves don't find credible, does not make them wrong and he right.

What I do have a problem with is America taking advantage of these situations , steering them to serve primarily our own economic-strategic interests, with little regard for the people we pretend to help, or the people we choose to work with, often causing bad situations to spiral completely out of control. Oh, and war.

I've seen these arguments before, just cause I don't lay them out, doesn't mean I don't understand where someone might be coming from.

If the complaint is that America is doing too much evil, and not enough good in the world, then the requisite solution seems to be that America should do more good than evil. But to do that America has to interfere more deeply, more intrusively, and with an Imperial model to do so.

This, on a historic scale, would be comparable to Rome. To a certain point, Emperor Hadrian realized that the Roman Empire could not expand beyond its current borders, and therefore setup the Hadrian Wall and other fortifications to demarkate the borders between civilization and the barbarian lands.

A person, like anon, believes that the US is involved in too much of the world affairs, and that it is doing so to the detriment of other people. There are two alternatives he could advocate that would be logically consistent with that position.

1. Become isolationist, and do nothing good or evil ever more, let the world handle its own affairs.

2. Right the wrongs that have been set in motion.

The inconsistency with 2, if enacted, is simply that everyone realizes already that if America was involved in everyone's business, we would be making them into protectorates, that should be paying us taxes for our treasure and blood expended in their interests.

Most Americans do not want to become like the Roman Empire, bringing civilization to the barbarians, and forcing them to pay taxes to support Roman opulence and armies.

But yet that is the only alternative to someone dissatisfied with American foreign policy, other than the isolationist strategy.

THe isolationist strategies problem is that it is unrealistic and naive, and wouldn't work.

The "American do-gooder" strategy in the world would produce a world, that if it already isn't as Anon paints it, will become so. America will force nations to pay us tribute and taxes, in return for protection. If we have our arms so deep in other people's businesses.

Things as they are, are not as Anon portrays them.

For example, the Russian revolution occured during WWI, this "radicalization" as he terms it did not happen because America attacked Russia. If Anon wants to blame the Europeans for what they did in world history, then he needs to stop associating America with the "Western nations". Far as I'm concerned, we are the West, period. Everyone else is European, Asian, etc.

A nation's actions and consequences belong to that nation alone, there is no such thing as "collective guilt".

It just confuses the subject.

As for betraying Vietnam, that would be like saying stopping the funding to HAMAS is a betrayal of the Palestines and HAMAS. It really isn't, because just because Ho Chi was "democratic" didn't mean jack really, since he was a ruthless fracker and he didn't care who he had to kill that got in his way.

Ho Chi had to offer the US value for value, and he didn't do that. The Soviets picked him up cause he sold them his deal, and made good on it.

There's no "betrayal" involved, because realpolitek does not concern itself with honor or keeping promises. Real politek is based upon the survival of the human race and of the nation itself, not on flimsy things such as the "word of men" or some such.

Russia, for betraying Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh 1945), for attacking and radicalising China, for helping bring Saddam's Baath Party to power and sustaining him, for assasinating Dr. Mossagdeh and radicalising Iran with the Shah (quite brutal himself by the way). For financing Hitler (not only American's), for creating Al Quaeda, for supporting Islamic fundamentalism in the 1950's to contain Egypt, for the dictators and wars that have torn Africa apart.

If that was the only information on history someone had access to, they might wonder why a nation so powerful could expend such money and treasure for palsley gains. Because it really is palsley and pathetic gains. For the price of the Gulf War I and II, we could have landed about 50 nuclear missiles in Iraq from nuclear ICBM submarines in the Gulf of Persia. Heck, perhaps more if we could buy them from the cheap as in Russia. I don't know what a nuclear ICBM costs, but there ain't like a shortage of them in our arsenals. Nor is there a problem in making more. And many less Americans would have died in the process.

What America can create, she can also destroy. That principle is universal. If you have the power to make someone into being, then you also have the power to break them. Anon might argue that the US is having problems with Al Qaeda, which given his beliefs came from our creative hands, is then proof that this principle is false. I say look again.

The United States, in facing Al-Qaeda is not using its full power.

As for Hitler, FDR was never a fan of Hitler, though he was a fan of Stalin. So the argument that the United States was backing Hitler and that somehow he was the leased dog of the Amis rings false there. Isolationism made Hitler out to be a one True God, and isolationism is one of the strategies demanded by Anon's beliefs. There are not a lot of choices if you believe in the list of American actions as Anon does. To make America responsible for Hitler, Anon has to use the clever device of attributing pro-Nazi sentiment to the quote unquote West. But the reality is that the communists were the first ones to back Hitler, since the socialists were the ones who brought Hitler to power, not the Democratic Republic of the United States. Given Hitler's pact to divide Poland between Stalin and Hitler as a "buffer zone", the communist propaganda were raging for Hitler at 150% speed. The propaganda mills got their marching orders from moscow, and off they went, praising Hitler as the one true God. If communism had a god that is.

Ymarkasar is half right when he says America is not acting as its brutal, imperial predecessors once did.

The simple logic is, that if I believed as Anon did, I would expect America to mirror the brutal imperial predecessors. Cause no Imperial nation is going to lose 2,100 of our best and brightest, and not get one cent in taxes back from the conquered province called Iraq. If Rome did their Empire that incompetently, they would have gone away in the 2nd Punic Wars.

Human expectations have only risen because it was backed by American power and security. If American power and security were turned to Imperialism, then what would prevent America from nuking our detractors into silence as the Arabs have intimidated the NYTimes not to print their hated cartoons? Intimidation, fear, rage, human nature, those things have not changed at all. This is not the End of History.

Yes Ymarkasar, I can see your point. ..Please comb some hair over it.

That's part of my conclusion. To shorten arguments, and to streamline comprehension, I take the stated views and ideas of my opponent and integrate them into a sans-persona. Using this persona, I then emulate a logical system of philosophy and beliefs, and start to look at things as my opponent looks at them. But instead of arriving at the stated conclusions my opponent, Anon, has, I apply the logic fully and consistently to their beliefs and come to an independent conclusion.

Which is why it is illogical to believe that America is both doing the things Anon said she is doing, and "not acting like" brutal imperialists in the past, and that dictators is on our leash like Saddam and Pinochet yet it takes forever to get rid of them and those dictators keep doing things we don't like.

People on a leash does exactly what we want them to do, or they die, horribly and painfully, preferablly in front of witnesses. If that is Saddam, with his business suit faced self on court TV, then the logic is quite twisted.

To take Anon's beliefs at face value, meaning to believe that they are fundamentally true sans-proof or meta-think, is the first step. But then you have to ask yourself, if those things Anon has listed about America is true, then what else WOULD be true? Much as what else would be true if a Dam had broken and the Levies cracked and shattered? What WOULD be true using logic, reason, and common sense? With historical background and finite human wisdom, what WOULD be true if America is the way Anon has painted her out to be, if her foreign actions are EXACTLY the way he said they are?

I'll tell you, since I've already ran it through in my sans-persona, carefully partitioned through logic, from my primary persona.

Cuba would be a big crater and a lesson that America cannot tolerate one small island nation to threaten the survival of the human race, through their incitement to nuclear holocaust.

Saddam would have his insides eviscerated on world wide TV by American SF operators after he started the war with Iran to consolidate his own personal power as dictator in chief, puppets getting pretensions of glory must be made an example of.

Iran would have had 365 to the second power, people executed by American death squads, in retaliation for their holding our hostages for 365 days. Assuming Iran lasted 365 days with American hostages. Exactly. With the heads, and with the counts mathematically hand counted and recounted like a vote. This makes a proper example, in proportion to the insult on American prestige.

If Iran was acting up the way they were now and saying they deserve nuclear energy, we would have placed about 10 nuclear devices into the capital, Tehran, and then detonated them. 1 hour later, the President would have phoned the Iranian President, and asked "did they still want nuclear energy or did they have enough?"

You see, people just haven't thought things through enough. It doesn't matter what their beliefs are, they are transparent to me.

A nation that acted the way Anon described, might be constrained by the threat of foreign powers. But America after 1991 was constrained by NOTHING. We had no challengers to our supreme might. Where are the corpses? Where are the radioactive burnt out cities? Do people seriously expect a nation like the US with our tentacles in everywhere, to sacrifice AMERICAN lives cause a nuclear missile cost too much?

It's just the bald faced true, I have no trouble facing it. The people that have trouble, is those that can think America has a consistent evil foreign policy and then point out the utterly weak ass cracker jack foreign policies like "betrayal of Vietnam" ala Ho Chi. There has got to be better arguments people can come up with than that.

 
At 6:41 AM, February 11, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Bezuhov,

What democratic alternatives are you referring to?

My family is Russian, and many of them too, like you, refuse to consider not only the mass poverty, slavery and wars of the Romanovs and the other colonialists they worked with, but that someday the people might have gotten fed up and organised to break those chains.

It was a hard struggle, mistakes were made (now I sound like an American :-), and by breaking chains they might have just created other one's, but one thing is certain. The west never did anything to help, only made it worse, by attacking them and radicalising them, forcing the pace of industrialsation (as in other cases at the expense of the farmers.)

"We didn't attack "Russia", we attacked the Bolsheviks"

By then the Bolsheviks were the government of Russia, and if you read your history, were most concillatory with he west toward the end, and directly after W.W.I. Until we attacked them that is.

There's no doubt the Russian monarchy would have eventually had to adopt some some modicum of democratic principles and standards, not to mention feed it's people, but they lagged too far behind the rest of the world in reforms, and paid the price. Revolution.

"Many of us are descendents of people who fled tyranny to come to these shores in hope of building something better together"

My family too.

"and we consider it our duty to help those left behind. If you insist on remaining oblivious to what this country stands for, that is your choice, but please consider that others do not share that choice."

I see little logic or purpose in praising the country that, with others, tried to quash a legitamite revolution, and by doing so radicalised it to such an extent that, threatened with extiction, a tyranny evolved to defend themselves.

After witnessing our own radicalisation after 911, one would think others would appreciate this dynamic in other countries under attack and threatened. Unfortunately too many have the flag drawn over their eyes and are deafended by our propoganda.

It's not about who's right and who's wrong, or who's "better". Its about understanding how the world works and making it a better place. Beating people into submission is not the way.

 
At 9:25 AM, February 11, 2006, Blogger Bezuhov said...

I think you're forgetting the Menshaviks. As Lenin intended.

 
At 9:31 AM, February 11, 2006, Blogger Bezuhov said...

Oops, actually I was referring to Kerensky's provisional (democratic) government.

 
At 4:54 PM, February 11, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

After witnessing our own radicalisation after 911, one would think others would appreciate this dynamic in other countries under attack and threatened. Unfortunately too many have the flag drawn over their eyes and are deafended by our propoganda.

Look up projection on Wikipedia. Too many people on the Left and who are against Bush, are projecting.

It's annoying.

 
At 5:38 AM, February 12, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Ymarsakar

My point has nothing to do with the Left, Bush or "projection", it has to do with human nature, and in your case, putting the shoe on the other foot.

 
At 5:48 AM, February 12, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Bezuhov,

Not much time again, allow me to paste a brief summation of Kerensky's tenure here.

"A lawyer by trade, Alexander Kerensky was elected to the Duma in 1912 at a time when the rule of Czar Nicholas II was on shaky ground. Kerensky was a member of the moderate Labor party until the February Revolution in 1917, when he became a leader in the Socialist Revolutionary party. Together with the Bolsheviks, led by Leon Trotsky and Vladimir Lenin, Kerensky helped form a provisional government to replace the overthrown government of the czar. Kerensky became the most powerful member of the provisional government and forced the Bolsheviks underground, arresting Trotsky and several others (Lenin escaped to Finland). The Socialist Revolutionaries, unlike the Bolsheviks, intended to keep Russia fighting in World War I, a decision that became increasingly unpopular with the Russian people. When social reforms were slow to take place under Kerensky (especially land reform), he lost popular support to the Bolsheviks. He fled to Paris when the Bolsheviks seized power in the October Revolution (1917), and eventually emigrated to the United States, where he lectured and wrote until his death in 1970."

He lost popular support to the Bolshevicks? Damn those Bolsheviks for not wanting to fight in W.W.I, the most senseless of wars. And how dare they want to redistribute land to the starving population.

Any comment?

 
At 8:26 AM, April 01, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It took me years to gather the informatino I found here in just a few minutes.

Good job! and thanks.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home


Powered by Blogger