Daniel J. FlynnHuman Events
The Berlin Wall fell twenty-two falls ago. Did the news only now reach the Mediterranean?
Those who cannot identify the present are condemned to repeat the past. Rampant stupidity has that effect on a maxim. George Santayana presumed too much when he mocked people who merely forgot yesterday. We canâ€™t even get today straight.
This year is socialismâ€™s worst since the Berlin Wall fell. Just donâ€™t say it aloud. We arenâ€™t supposed to notice that the same mindset that crippled Budapest, Berlin, and Belgrade beats down Damascus and Athens.
It is Eastern Europe along the Mediterranean. It is 1989 again in 2011. But who recognizes the pastâ€™s welcome encroachment upon the present? Who sees Prague and Krakow finally bringing the news to Tunis and Tripoli?
The government we just helped overthrow in North Africa called itself the Socialist Peopleâ€™s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. We called it a lot of names, but never that.
The â€œBrother Leader and Guide of the Revolutionâ€ was once a darling of American leftists. The Nation, for instance, proclaimed that â€œall Libyans are now equal under the lawâ€ and â€œno form of racism exists in Libyaâ€ upon Qaddafiâ€™s coup. In imitation of Maoâ€™s â€œLittle Red Bookâ€ Qaddafi wrote a little â€œGreen Book,â€ which taught that â€œland is the private property of none,â€ â€œwealth exceeding the satisfaction of oneâ€™s needsâ€ must be confiscated, and â€œthe final step is for the new socialist society to reach a stage in which profit and money disappear.â€
To say Libyans revolted against Qaddafiâ€™s oppression is another way of saying they revolted against socialism. The world economy is in rough shape. Nowhere is it as rough as it is under state-managed economies. The unrest in the Mediterranean Basin has focused on domineering governments that have micromanaged their economies into the ground.
Greeks freeload on free dentistry, child care, eye exams, and university educations. Do you grasp why Greece finds it necessary to freeload on the rest of Europe? Despite a debt-to-GDP-ratio that makes Obamaâ€™s America look prudent, Prime Minister George Papandreouâ€™s â€œausterityâ€ measures have increased state spending by seven percent this year. Is it any wonder that the sick man of Europe is led by the leader of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement and the president of the Socialist International?
The latter organization considered the ruling parties of Egypt and Tunisia members in good standing until earlier this year.
The group called the inability to placate demands for democracy â€œthe dramatic failure of the Egyptian government.â€ But the Socialist International deciding to oust Hosni Mubarakâ€™s party only after the events of Tahir Square had begun seems a rather â€œdramatic failure,â€ too.
Two weeks earlier, the group had cited â€œextraordinary circumstancesâ€ in their decision to expel Tunisiaâ€™s ruling party. The decades of oppression didnâ€™t faze the Socialist International. The whole world watching did.
The Syrian thugs exterminating fellow citizens for mere protest are members of the Arab Socialist Baâ€™ath Party. Their motto is â€œunity, liberty, socialism.â€ There hasnâ€™t been much â€œunityâ€ or â€œlibertyâ€ in Syria. They are overdosing on the mottoâ€™s third component. The control freaks who micromanage wage rates, prices, health care, and banking unsurprisingly seek to control YouTube videos and Facebook postings, too.
Socialism is as much a failure in 2011 as it was in 1989. But its public relations is more successful now than then.
In Egypt, Libya, Greece, Syria, and Tunisia, not one in twenty protesters would say that what they have protested against is socialism. Ditto for America. Occupy Wall Street laments unemployment, debt, and decline. But they donâ€™t identify socialized losses for financiers and automakers, or subsidies for the health insurance industry, as a cause for any of this.
Socialists, in America and abroad, protest against socialism and they donâ€™t even know it. In fact, many protestors demand socialism as they protest its effects. Such cognitive dissonance would not be so rampant if we had correctly labeled the failed regimes upon the Mediterranean.
There is an historic movement sweeping the Mediterranean. But posterity, like the present, is unlikely to note that its targets have been exclusively collectivist regimes.
None dare call it socialism. http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=46906