So We’re Still Worried About That?

Ce plus change, plus c’est la meme chose.

Does anyone have a calender? What year is it? 2012? Are you sure? Somebody might want to tell Allen West that. Judging by his comments I think Representative West (R-FL) is stuck in some sort of time shift that has him thinking it is some 60 years earlier. As is to be expected he is drawing a lot of comparisons to Joe McCarthy. This is not a particularly clever insight, but it is an accurate and sad one nonetheless.

What strikes me is how little things have really changed. Yes, the media and even a few of his colleagues are calling him out for his outlandish and anachronistic tactics. They rightfully scold him for his smear campaign and mock him for his paranoia. None of them asks him the question, however: “yeah, and so what?”

Is communism still a dirty word in this country? I thought we were past that. I’m not just talking past it because we “won” the Cold War, but past it because I thought we had an educated enough populace to realize that the Soviets and the Chinese were pretty piss poor examples of communism. I thought that people had enough political awareness, at least compared to the fifties and sixties, to not just accept off-hand that communism or socialism are inherently bad.

For the record, I consider myself a small “s” socialist and as a political scientist I am a Marxist. I believe the root of all social interaction, that all societies ills, can bet traced back to economics. That does not mean I am a communist, but even if it did, how is that necessarily evil? Maybe communism, actual communism, not the window dressing communism of the Soviet Union or China, is a flawed ideology. Perhaps, before you accept that though you should reflect critically, if only for a minute. Maybe, if you did that, manipulative politicians like Allan West would not be able to lead you by the nose.


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