Posts tagged socialism

Fenced in Wild Pigs in the U.S.

The following story is tragic if it becomes true.  I’m watching things become dismantled as fences are being put up…read on.

There was a chemistry professor in a large college that had some exchange students in the class. One day while the class was in the lab, the professor noticed one young man, an exchange student, who kept rubbing his back and stretching as if his back hurt.

The professor asked the young man what was the matter. The student told him he had a bullet lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting communists in his native country who were trying to overthrow his country’s government and install a new communist regime.

In the midst of his story, he looked at the professor and asked a strange question.

He asked: “Do you know how to catch wild pigs?”

The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line.

The young man said that it was no joke. “You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come every day to eat the free corn.

“When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming. When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence. “They get used to that and start to eat again. You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in the last side. “The pigs, which are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat that free corn again. You then slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd. Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity.”

The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees happening in America.

The government keeps pushing us toward Communism/Socialism and keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of programs such as supplemental income, tax credit for unearned income, tax exemptions, tobacco subsidies, dairy subsidies, payments not to plant crops (CRP), welfare, medicine, drugs, etc., while we continually lose our freedoms, just a little at a time.

One should always remember two truths:

There is no such thing as a free lunch, and you can never hire someone to provide a service for you cheaper than you can do it yourself.

If you see that all of this wonderful government “help” is a problem confronting the future of democracy in America, you might want to send this on to your friends.

If you think the free ride is essential to your way of life, then you will probably ignore this warning.

But, God help us all when the gate slams shut!

Quote for today: “The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living are now outnumbered by those who vote for a living.” — Anonymous

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Thankful for George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”

George Orwell wrote in a preface to his book Animal Farm in the Ukrainian translation the following quote.  His Ukrainian readers, who were trapped after WWII in Displaced Persons camps in Germany under the British and American administration, needed to know his background and why he wrote about Marxist theories from animals’ point of view.  These Ukrainians resisted returning to the USSR, knowing they would be killed back in their supposed “Motherland.”  The Ukrainians and others termed as “kulaks” had gone through so much BEFORE the war. (Think Holodomor of 1932-33).

 

November is the time of year when people in Ukraine honor those who died in this famine called a “genocide” perpetrated by Soviet policies as of 75 years ago. Many understand that other nationalities suffered as well, not just Ukrainians.  Unfortunately, not everyone will agree with the extent of how many people actually died and whether it was genocide or not.  For now it is interesting to read what George Orwell knew and when he knew it. (think sixty years ago).

 

Even if I had the power, I would not wish to interfere in Soviet domestic affairs: I would not condemn Stalin and his associates merely for their barbaric and undemocratic methods.  It is quite possible that, even with the best intentions, they could not have acted otherwise under the conditions prevailing there.

 

But on the other hand it was of the utmost importance to me that people in western Europe should see the Soviet regime for what it really was.  Since 1930 I had seen little evidence that the USSR was progressing towards anything that one could truly call Socialism.  On the contrary, I was struck by clear signs of its transformation into a hierarchical society, in which the rulers have no more reason to give up their power than any other ruling class.  Moreover, the workers and intelligentsia in a country like England cannot understand that the USSR of today is altogether different from what it was in 1917.  It is partly that they do not want to understand (i.e. they want to believe that, somewhere, a really Socialist country does actually exist), and partly that, being accustomed to comparative freedom and moderation in public life, totalitarianism is completely incomprehensible to them.

 

Yet one must remember that England is not completely democratic.  It is also a capitalist country with great class privileges and (even now, after a war that has tended to equalize everybody) with great differences in wealth.  But nevertheless it is a country in which people have lived together for several hundred years without major conflict, in which the laws are relatively just and official news and statistics can almost invariably be believed, and last but not least, in which to hold and to voice minority views does not involve any mortal danger.  In such an atmosphere the man in the street has no real understanding of things like concentration camps, mass deportations, arrests without trial, press censorship, etc.  Everything he reads about a country like the USSR is automatically translated into English terms, and he quite innocently accepts the lies of totalitarian propaganda.  Up to 1939, and even later, the majority of English people were incapable of assessing the true nature of the Nazi regime in Germany, and now, with the Soviet regime, they are still to a large extent under the same sort of illusion.

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Kazakh Students Thoughts on Stalin (Part II)

The following is a continuation of yesterday’s blog about my Kazakhstani students responding to the question about Stalin and Vavilov whose life and reputation as a great scientist were destroyed by Soviet policies in the name of collectivization in Kazakhstan

A. Y. – Personally, I do not believe in the effectiveness of system existed in USSR.  On my point of view, it’s only the people’s will that made socialism exist so long.  Maybe because of that I do not have positive attitude towards Joseph Stalin.  According to Christopher Robbins book there were millions of people who died, lots of prisons organized. And all of these facts were hidden from citizens.  As I’ve heard, the extract from “Apples are from Kazakhstan” I’m more persuaded in my opinion.  Yes, it’s a widespread thought that if there wouldn’t be Stalin’s politics in 1939-1945 USSR will not win Great Patriotic War.  But I disagree with that.  How can be admired such person, who killed intelligentsia (destroyed traditions, culture) who deported different nations without their wanting, who sent own citizens to Front of the fighting people?

 

L. K. – I know a bit about Joseph Stalin and when you ask older people in KZ, they all have different points of view about him.  Some older generation people praise him and say good things about him.  At the same time, there are many people who think that he was a despot, especially those whose close relatives suffered from his regime.  For instance, if their husband or father was killed, sent away to the prison or camps because they were “enemies of nation” as Stalin said and they were not guilty.  So many people died because of it, families had been destroyed.  Their wives were sent to a special place to live, children couldn’t study at universities.  During Stalin’s regime, people were afraid of everything.  They were afraid to say something freely about the regime or their life otherwise they would be punished severely.

 

M.T. – I think that Joseph Stalin was a very bad leader, because he did everything just for Russia, not USSRMoscow and in its only interests.  Also, he tried to erase the culture of nations, therefore, everyone spoke only Russian, learned Russian history and literature.  He didn’t let people who didn’t think the way he did to live in their motherland.  He tortured some of them worse than fascists. It is hard to think of what it could have been if he wasn’t a ruler.  But for us personally, it could be that Uyghurs had their own country, separate from China or they still would be a part of ChinaKyrgyzstan and people who died in plane crash would have lived.

 

K. S. I think of course if in Soviet Union was no Stalin life of all people was different.  Some people said that Stalin is a great man, but most people of course disagree.  In Soviet Union was many prisons where famous people were, x-scientists and others.  Vavilov was in prison too and he died there.  I think its stupid to try to do nomad nature, culture and people into agricultural.  From history we see that people can do nothing against nature and human nature.  Stalin was powerful and even despotic man.

 

N. U. – J. Stalin was one of the famous persons in twentieth century.  He controlled all over big land and huge population all over 30 years.  In that time in , Stalin had a great impact to people, that they always felt afraid and also they felt patriotism of community.  But today we have so many arguments about him, that the most starting hate him.  And the many reasons was the year of 1925-35, but when there was Second World War, people from Kazakhstan say that he was great person.  So, whatever person some to government, he will always have the enemy and people who loves him.  So, it is political system and it is the main rule.  Not all people will love government.

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Nurlybek’s Grandma – “Famine’s Life and Death Decision”

 

I asked my grandma for some interesting story about her life experience so she told me her mum’s story which happened in 1931-32 to one woman.  My grandma was born by 1935 and it was Soviet Union time. By 1942-45 there was Second World War which she still remembers, but in that time she was only 7-10 years old. And as she said that was such an awful time, that the people can not see their good future and everyday hoping that war will finish that very day.

But before the Second World War happened in Kazakh nation was big tragedy and it was the famine. It happened in 1931-32 and during these years in Kazakh land was political repression of Kazakh people and the government of Soviet Union tried to quickly install the ideology and the rules of socialism, when all people are the same. So the government took everything from people especially food, dress, animals and etc. And at the end of this action the Kazakh people haven’t got anything to survive, so by 1931 in nation started famine. Especially when it was winter most of the people died hungry. So, people were so crazy that they even ate grass and mice…  

So, as she remembers in that winter near the village of where her mum lived was one very hungry village. There especially wasn’t any kind of food, drink and dress… And one woman with her small children, who was girl and boy decided to go to village where grandpa mum’s lived. But out side of village was so dangerous with wolves that everyone was so afraid, but the woman ran away. She had a long hard way and when the next village was closed she suddenly heard the howl of wolves. And in that moment she understands that there is no chance to survive with her children. So she decided to leave one of her children behind, which was a girl. So, she left her and continued the trip. At the end, she come to village and cried every day, but she also understood that her son is alive he would continue the decent of Kazakh nation.   

Overall I hope that not ever human society will see this tragedy like famine. And I also hope that our young Kazakh generation will remember that worst time and have respect for the people who died in that time. Because, the fifty percent of Kazakh popularity died during that time…

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“Time Will Not Turn Back Again” Maya’s narrative

My grand grandmother was born in 1906 year and died in 1992. This period covers different types of life that includes Stolypin reforms in 1920s, when people live as private farmers, collectivism, when people was forced to put all they had earned to village farm that was in common usage, and Soviet Union with its ideas of communism and socialism. Her most favorite memories concerned 1920-1930 years old, she told that it was the most interesting life.  She told many stories every time she came to visit us. One of her story said about why she had migrated to Kazakhstan from Russia and what aspects the life of early 20-30s was preferable to our modern life.

She was born in Russia, but they moved to Kazakhstan in the 1920s because Russian government conducting Stolypin reforms issued Decree saying that Russian peasants are given lands for free in Kazakhstan for farming. Among those who so desired were my grand grandmother and her family, because there was land shortage in territory where they live and in Kazakhstan they would receive their own area of land to work on. The family of my grand grandmother consists besides her of 12 brothers and her mother and father. The living in big families was partly stipulated by the necessity of that life. They have to produce all that they need by themselves including food, clothes, and instruments for farming.

She said that people then lived longer and were much healthier than today. She lived 86 years and I can bravely say that she was long-lived person taking into account our statistics that said that the average life expectancy in our country is about 65 years old. Firstly, that was because their life required harsh discipline and much physical work. Farmers got up at 4 o’clock in order to fulfill necessary work. In spring all her 12 brothers and her father went to field to plough the soil, sow the seed of wheat and flax until the twilight. She and her mother got up at 4 o’clock too. They prepared leavened dough; while it was getting ready they feed their cattle which include caws, horses, goats, and also hens, cocks, gooses, ducks. After coping with their livestock they began to bake bread, pies from wheat that they grew by themselves. Secondly, since they cooked all by themselves and from wheat they grew up without pesticides, they eat healthy products. The bread and pies were incredibly tasty, rich with natural elements and without any harmful flavoring, food coloring and stabilizers that today’s pies and bread are full of. They prepared only soups and borsches, boiled not fried meat that also was nutritious and wholesome. As a result people were very healthy, lived longer than modern people. For example, women gave birth to their new-born just right in the fields and after childbirth mothers laid their babies under the trees next to each other and return to mow. There were no hospitals and medical centers, and people do not feel necessity for them.

Since their life was full of work, they celebrate all holidays, in those times holidays were religious and every Sunday they also took a rest from field work. They celebrated holidays by the whole village, people were cheerful, people like to sing songs, they do not have TV, radio, and they were happy without it. However, she also said that only one modern development that she wish had been in her early life is the light, because in the long evening in winter they sat under candles before spinning-wheel and spin woolen or linen yarn.

In conclusion, although life of my grand grandmother was full of hard everyday work, she said that she would not have changed her life had she received such opportunity, because it was life in clean economic environment with healthy products and open and cheerful people, not spoiled by TV and others modern developments. I think she was very hard-working woman sustaining job of any intensity and the model of real woman I want to follow.

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Two-headed Serpent from Kazakh Folktales

Contrary to what some extreme left-wing liberals from western universities promulgate, Marxism and communism destroyed Kazakh families (as well as other families in the former Soviet Union).  The following Kazakh folktale is recited from Mukhamet Shayakhmetov’s mother in his book “The Silent Steppe.”

 

p. 260 ‘Remember the old folk-tale about the two-headed serpent that conquered a kingdom and forced the people to provide it with a goat and young girl every month by way of a tax?  It threatened to kill off everyone if they didn’t say yes, so the people agreed to pay.  The families would take it in turns to deliver the victims to the serpent; it would gobble them up straightaway and then sleep peacefully for the rest of the month.  But as soon as it woke up, it would demand more food.  There was another bit in the story about how the parents used to suffer the night before they had to give their daughter up to be sacrificed.”

 

The next quote shows the destruction of the family structure according to Kazakh traditions during the era of communism.  (I make no apologies about being anti-communism, anti-socialism and anti-Marxism)  I am very thankful to Mukhamet Shayakhmetov’s writings to point out what he experienced under the two-headed serpent.

 

p. 170 Apart from consistently not having enough to eat, what drove my uncle to despair was the way Communism had undermined the foundations of family life.  He did not have any children of his own, but he had adopted his brother’s young daughter and his elder sister’s son.  It was a common practice among Kazakhs to adopt a relative’s child, even though the biological parents might still be alive, in order to reduce the strain on a family which already had a lot of mouths to feed: the parents for their part took an oath that they were giving their children up voluntarily, and would never demand them back or consider them as their own.  This was strictly observed even after the adopted parents’ deaths – although the biological parents might take their children back, the children retained their adopted parents’ surname and continued to be regarded as their offspring.  It was not just that people were afraid of breaking an oath they had made before God: their principles also forbade them from doing so.

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Eradicate the West’s Ignorance of Kazakhs’ Suffering

 Here’s a “questionable topic” for those “elite intellectuals” educated from western universities who have no idea what the Kazakh people suffered in the early 1930s when the communists forced the nomadic people into collectivization.  Starvation resulted, killing off at least one million people in a two-three year period.  This tragedy happened to Mukhamet Shayakhmetov’s family and many other Kazakhs like him.

I had planned to write a blog entry today about our dear Kazakh students not knowing how to cite sources properly using in-text citations according to APA style. Seems so trivial after reading The Silent Steppe: The Story of a Kazakh Nomad under Stalin, I thought better of it.  Insidious elements continue to lurk about wanting to keep these truths covered up about Kazakhstan’s past.

 This should not mean revenge to all people from the West about their “ignorance” which reigns supreme about what socialism and communism did to destroy millions of lives throughout the former Soviet Union.  While we, as westerners, don’t read about the Soviet atrocities instigated by Lenin and Stalin’s dogma written in our history textbooks about Kazakhstan’s suffering, students at our university do not understand why it is important to give credit to an author and what he wrote. 

I give HUGE credit to Shayakhmetov for bravely writing these words about his past and having it translated into English.  Shayakhmetov valued education and I think he would want all young Kazakh students to learn as much as possible [in English] and not waste their educational opportunities to help the rest of the world know what REALLY happened on this great land.

p. 26 “These were people who sincerely believed all the slogans about the Soviet authorities ‘empowering the poor, freeing them all from bondage’ and ‘granting them the same rights and privileges as everyone else.’  Most of the activists were illiterate.  If a very small percentage of them could read and write, it was because some time in the past they had been taught by the poorly educated aul mullah.  Some of these young men had learnt to recognize the letters of the alphabet and read words by the syllable at the short-lived schools which were set up to eradicate illiteracy.

 

p. 45 Father’s anxiety to get me used to work on the soil did not mean that he was unconcerned about my schooling.  He deeply regretted being illiterate himself, and wanted me to go on studying until I was properly educated; he used to say, “If I have it my way, you’ll be an old man by the time you’ve finished.” Being educated, as far as he was concerned, meant learning to read and write letters, composing petitions and requests to official bodies and dealing with other business matters.”

 

p. 48 “in late 1930, and early 1931, the campaign to eradicate individual farms and collectivise agriculture becme more vicious.  Lenin (who died in 1924) had said that ‘Every minute of every hour, millions of individual peasant farms are engendering exploiter elements and must be destroyed.” And the Government was taking him at his word.

 

p. 49 Those [Russian] officials put in charge of running the country [Kazakhstan], were mainly strangers to it and neither knew nor particularly wanted to find out about the customs and mind-set of the nomadic population.  Some of them who originated from Russia, had no understanding of the differences between stock-breeding in nomadic Kazakhstan and the agricultural districts of their own homeland.

 

p. 72 The founder of our clan, Nauei, the progenitor of 25 male descendants in the course of one century (1820-1920).  If each of them had emulated him, one would have expected the total increase in the number of males over the next 100 years to be 625.  Instead, by 1990, it was seven.  Such was the tragic fate of our entire nation in the twentieth century.

 

p. 103 “People’s perception of living standards varies strangely, depending on their own circumstances at the time.  Only a year ago, Uncle Zhantursyn had been looked upon as an impoverished peasant with only one horse to his name; now his neighbors, who were all collective farmers, reckoned he was ‘wealthy.’  What it was really about, however, was the extreme poverty of the collective farmers.

 

p. 119 “It seems to me that, compared to later on, the farmers in those early years of collectivization had a more responsible approach to their work; they still had the natural instincts of honest workers and landowners, and had not yet learnt ways of shirking their duties.

 

p. 132 “The Kazakh deportees also used to get together in the evenings after work, but they did not play music.  They spent most of the time talking to each other, retelling epic tales and legends about warriors and good and evil rulers, and lyrical epic poems about people in love.  The men used to recite them from memory.  Whenever the conversation turned to everyday topics, the women would improvise songs and sing sorrowfully about the deportees’ misfortunes, nostalgically recalling their idyllic past life.  Touching upon the reasons that brought them to Ridder, they would mostly blame the aul activists who were responsible for carrying out Soviet policies.

What I still remember of these evenings when Kazakhs got together are the various fairy-tales and epic poems that were recited, not people singing at the top of their voices, laughing raucously or dancing wildly like the Russians.  In those days Kazakh people did not feel like having fun: life under Socialism was just too grim.

 

p. 140 “ On 1 September [1932], the children of Pozdnopalovka (near Ridder) and the children of the Russian special migrants started school.  Teaching was, of course, conducted in Russian.  None of the Kazakh children went to school; just as before, it was something I could only dream about.  Anyway, I had no time to attend lessons, as every day – from morning until nightfall – Mother and I were out looking for food.  I used to watch other children of my age enviously as they made their way to school, and sometimes when I spotted them playing noisily during break, I could not stop tears welling into my eyes.  I longed to study with them – but it was not to be.

 

 

 

 

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