War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength

My god, Orwell was prophetic.

Here’s the latest capitalist Orwellian doublethink, this time via Saskboy.

“Get your vote out Ontario. Mixed Member Proportional is on the ballot today, so even if you don’t like any of the parties (which would bewilder me, since Green is an option ;-) you can still vote in the referendum for MMP. Who doesn’t want a more representative democracy? (Amusing answer: Fascists, Authoritarians, Dictators, Communists, Jason Cherniak, James WDIKGrit, Saskatchewan NDP, most Americans, and political hacks.) “

I understand that not everybody is going to be a communist or a Marxist.  Heck, I even appreciate that probably a significant portion of this blog’s readership don’t actively identify as either communist or Marxist.  But c’mon, let’s at least have an ounce of honesty here!

This is my response to Saskboy via his blog.

“Communists don’t want more democracy? Wow, that’s news to me! I was under the impression that we advocated radically expanding democracy both within the current spheres of politics, but also into economic spheres (i.e. to ensure democratic control of the economy as opposed to elite control).

Silly me, all this time I’ve actually been opposing democracy when I’ve been meaning to expand it.

I also thought that I voted FOR MMP less than 1 hour ago in the Ontario election, but I guess since you say that we’re opposed to it, then I must be wrong.

Oops, wrong again. The Communist Party’s candidates say they support MMP and encouraged others to vote for it.  see here

Also, if you’re interested, you can also see here, here and here (votecommunist.ca) for more proof that the Communist Party not only supports MMP, but actually supports a MORE vigorously proportional version of proportional representation.

But kudos to Saskboy for not letting those pesky and inconvenient “facts” get in the way of his red-baiting.

I guess that supporting MMP actually means opposing MMP.

I guess that supporting a radical expansion of democratic rights means opposing democracy.

And, I guess that War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength.

10 Responses to “War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength”


  1. 1 Saskboy 10 October, 2007 at 4:58 pm

    Paul, I know the intentions of the Communists (and nearly any left wing organization) is to increase democracy. Communism in action during the 20th Century didn’t come as advertised on the box.

    Besides, I was half joking in my answer back there. Naturally fringe parties like Communists and fascists would want a system where smaller parties are given representation (provided they have voters who want them).

    Look “Communists, Jason Cherniak, James WDIKGrit, Saskatchewan NDP, most Americans,”
    Most of those groups/people would argue for representative democracy, no matter their political stripe. The problem is that in practice, they’ve all collectively demonstrated a love for FPTP over MMP (or absolute rule of the majority over the minorities).

  2. 2 paulitics 10 October, 2007 at 5:09 pm

    Saskboy – you write that “Communism in action during the 20th Century didn’t come as advertised on the box.”

    When did we have communism in action during the 20th Century?

    Is it your contention that the USSR was actually communist as opposed to state capitalist?

  3. 3 Terry 10 October, 2007 at 6:52 pm

    Nice post, I’m in complete agreement.
    Perhaps ‘Saskboy’ could enlighten us and point out this ill-packaged form of 20th Century communism? Or, should we just roll on the floor with laughter right now and preempt the ‘soviet’ response?

  4. 4 Saskboy 10 October, 2007 at 7:01 pm

    “Is it your contention that the USSR was actually communist as opposed to state capitalist?”
    It was my contention, but as I replied on my blog, it’s due to perhaps me being misinformed about the Soviet government. If you asked 100 people on the street what kind of government the USSR had, 90 would probably say Communist, one might say “state capitalist” and nine would say “USSR?” Popular belief doesn’t make it true, but it explains why I’d think that there have been governments in power in the world which do more than just self identify as “communist” to claim the title.

  5. 5 randori 11 October, 2007 at 2:20 am

    and then there are always 0.5 people that would say “degenerated workers state” ;-)but I guess thats not the point if you have to argue for/against more democracy…

  6. 6 Terry 11 October, 2007 at 12:36 pm

    This imaginary poll would depend on who you asked. If you polled nations that actually had first hand experience of the Soviet Union then you may come across different results. I have Hungarian relatives, some of whom lived under Soviet occupation, most of whom are Socialist to the core, whilst also stringently anti-Soviet. Nine out of ten Hungarians would probably respond ‘state capitalist’ if asked about the Soviet Union and ‘non-existent’ if asked about the (myth of) 20th century Communism. Did Marx not once comment on the narrow interpretations of his work by saying something like “If that’s Communism, then I’m not a Communist”? Perhaps you can clarify this, Paul?

    Anyway, it would be one interesting poll!

  7. 7 Larry Gambone 11 October, 2007 at 2:17 pm

    I think it is also worth noting that political groups and ideologies evolve. 1980’s Eurocommunism had little if anything in common with 1930’s Stalinism other than the name “Communist Party”. I recently found an internal bulletin of the CPC published just after the collapse of the USSR where they criticized the old regime for a lack of worker self-management! To talk of self-management in the 1930’s would have gotten you expelled as an “anarcho-fascist” (and shot in the USSR of the time.)

  8. 8 paulitics 11 October, 2007 at 4:59 pm

    Terry – Ironically enough, I answered that question not too long ago on the rambling socialist’s blog here:

    http://www.ramblingsocialist.ca/2007/09/reflection.html

    But here’s the jist of it:

    Marx’s quote is actually “I am not a Marxist” and the context is important for understanding the quote. Near the end of Marx’s life, he had — despite his most earnest efforts to the contrary — become rather popular among various young Marxists (he actively tried to be unfriendly at times because he feared becoming a cult of personality that people worshipped). The problem that he (and later Engels) had with these young ‘Marxists’ (the first people to coin the phrase) was that the they hadn’t really read what Marx wrote very carefully and thus — understandably — ended up distorting Marx’s writings especially vis-a-vis his understanding of economic determinism.

    In Engel’s later years (after Marx’s death), he went on to write, in an 1890 letter to his friend Joseph Bloch that:

    “Marx and I are ourselves partly to blame for the fact that younger writings sometimes lay more stress on the economic side than is due to it. We had to emphasize this main principle in opposition to our adversaries, who denied it, and we had not always the time, the place or the opportunity to allow the other elements involved in the interaction to come into their rights…. Unfortunately, however, it happens only too often that people think they have fully understood a theory and can apply it without more ado from the moment they have mastered its main principles, and those even not always correctly. And I cannot exempt many of the more recent ‘Marxists’ from this reproach, for the most wonderful rubbish has been produced from this quarter too.”

    So, to give you the context of the quote you used, Marx wasn’t just talking about any ‘Marxists’, he was actually talking about the young punks (for lack of a better word) of his day who were using his name, and, in fact, who basically coined the very word ‘Marxism’, but who hadn’t actually read him very carefully. So he was railing against the uninformed brand of Marxism which everyone was now beginning to think actually corresponded to Marx’s Marxism because of these young so-called ‘Marxists’.

  9. 9 Terry 14 October, 2007 at 4:39 pm

    Thanks Paul, that’s definitely cleared up this issue for me. I think I’m a ‘punk’ Marxist at times, so best clean up my act, or stop bending to that wind.

    Keep up the good work!


  1. 1 “It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words” « Paulitics: Paul’s Socialist Investigations Trackback on 7 December, 2007 at 1:27 pm

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