'That Communism might work in Russia today'

By Vin Suprynowicz
web posted December 1998

Having stumbled onto one of my old columns (the Internet is life eternal, isn't it?) asserting that the current gang in Russia has never really renounced state collectivism, whereupon I urged that we stop beating around the bush and arm the Chechens and anyone else who wants to fight for liberty over there, a student I shall identify only as L.H. wrote in recently under the sprightly subject header: "can i get some more info."

I don't wish to discourage inquiries -- I spend a lot of time answering them -- but I'll admit I did find that of L.H. -- copied verbatim here -- a tad discouraging:

"Dear Mr. Suprynowicz i was reading you artical on Russian expansion is the risk, armed populace the cure, and i noticed and area that stated 'now, our wire services dispatch dire warnings that, based on ... return to economic security'

"it basicly said that the slavs were trying to get the communist back in power, i was wondering if you had any more info on this topic stating that communism might work in russia today, i would be gratly appreciative because i need it for a class."

Does anyone else fear there are a few other things Mr. H. needs -- both "basicly" and "gratly" -- before he attempts to write his own "artical"?

One might hope the writer will have a chance to brush up on his spelling next year in the third grade. Why do I fear he is, instead, about to be set loose on the world as a duly certified "college graduate" ... whether or not I agree to write his paper for him?

In fact, we let these poor puppies -- and the government educrats who have looted our tax dollars to change their diapers and hand them along, encouraging them to "write whatever you feel; don't worry about any musty old rules of grammar and punctuation" -- off too easily by merely focusing on a few "typos."

Instead, note the rambling, undifferentiated quality of the thought. Does he actually propose to cobble together an essay "stating that communism might work in russia today"? It certainly appears so. What depth of historical and economic research must underlie this daring thesis!

And does he then expect the author of a syndicated column called "The Libertarian" to help him demonstrate such a thesis?

Well, why not? Isn't that what grown-ups are for -- to reach over and help us finish our model airplanes, if we kick our feet loudly enough and whine "It's too hard!"?

And don't we all deserve gold stars on our projects, no matter how sloppily they turn out, or how much of the actual work was done by dad or mom ... lest we suffer damage to our self-esteem?

After some contemplation, I responded:

Hi, L. --

I'm a Libertarian. I don't believe Communism "might work" in Russia today, or anywhere, ever.

Of course, we could debate the meaning of "work." As a system for organizing the theft of the labor and property of a large number of people, it has been demonstrated that communism can "work" in supporting a dominant class of armed leeches for as long as it takes to drive the disarmed and hopeless peasants into total debilitation ... providing the oppressors have the stomach for it.

Fair warning: you don't want to get into this field of endeavor if you're squeamish about causing some slight distress and discomfort to women and children in order to get their relatives to "comply" with your edicts.

In Russia, this system "worked" for about three years, from 1917 to 1920. After 1920, since large numbers of folks were quite literally starving (having eaten all their shoes), Lenin abandoned true Marxist "communism" (a fantasy under which factory workers were free to "vote" themselves large raises along with extra days off, irrespective of the quantity or quality of any product delivered) replacing it with a kind of "mixed" command-and-control fascism which, due to Russia's enormous natural resources and the unbelievable bovine stupidity and endurance of large numbers of the Slavic peasant classes (I can say that, being directly descended) continued to "work," more or less, for another 60 years.

Since the Russian people have not yet filled the streets to knee-depth with the blood of their "former" oppressors, I suppose it's possible they could let the thugs try it again. But I wouldn't care to be the one who tries to re-fit the yoke on that particular set of oxen. Would you?

For "more info," I heartily suggest you read Atlas Shrugged, a novel by a woman who escaped Mr. Lenin's workers' paradise as a girl. It explains how communism "works," pretty well.

Best Wishes with your most interesting project, which I assume you are undertaking at a university in the northeastern United States ... since I doubt it would be accepted today in any of the more right-wing educational establishments, such as Patrice Lamumba University in St. Petersburg.

Vin Suprynowicz is the assistant editorial page editor of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Readers may contact him via e-mail at vin@lvrj.com. This column is syndicated in the United States and Canada via Mountain Media Syndications.

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