Berlin Wall Hype - Why ?

112 posts / 0 new
Last post
Rikardo
Berlin Wall Hype - Why ?

Its wall to wall, radio, TV, newspapers.  Even our local paper, Le Soleil, sent someone to give us four full pages. I don't remember this media orgy around May 8, 1965, 20 years after the end of WWII. Does the West have such as need to savour its Triumph ?  After eight years in Afghanistan, and the global economic crisis, and Irak, and so little action on global warming. Probably.  And to remind us that any alternative to capitalism will fail.

Tommorow (Nov 11) it will be the Sacrifices that kept us free.  Not the Germans, even the Nazis, or the North Koreans and certainly not the Afghan Taliban ever threatened Canada. The Ottawa war-mongers have sacrificed over 100 thousand innocent Canadian lives in our many wars. By population that would be over one million Americans!

Fidel

Rikardo wrote:
 And to remind us that any alternative to capitalism will fail.

The Moscow intelligensia told US lefty Michael Parenti and other in the 1980's that they hated Soviet communism. Parenti said every time he mentioned 'America', their eyes would light up. They told Parenti that there was no poverty in America. When he and his colleagues quoted them statistics about African-American poverty and ill health, they told him, of course, and that blacks are lazy and immoral. And when Parenti and his colleagues showed them photos of white people living in poverty in Appalachia 30 years after Bobby Kennedy reported on the poverty there,  they had a fallback explanation for that as well. Parenti said the intelligentsia had nothing good to say about Soviet state socialism then and were actually desiring to scrap it by the mid to late 1970's, and thus began the slow but deliberate starvation of investment in Soviet infrastructure and public research and development, which like the US then and now is done mainly by or for military and for defence purposes.

In 2005, US Sovietologist and propaganda hawk Richard Pipes of Harvard University produced a report on attitudes in Russia. One of the startling statistics in the study said that 74% of Russians surveyed said they preferred life under Soviet communism than state capitalism since perestroika. And recent surveys reveal that 54% of East Germans prefer life the way it was before the fall of the Berlin Wall.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Berlin Wall Hype - Why?

It's an approved anniversary. I suppose it's probably useful, as well, to remind the citizenry about socialism's failures at a time when capitalism is in a terrible crisis. "We don't want people looking at alternatives, do we?" said the bourgeois to his minion.

But there's one other thing worth mentioning. God forbid people should look at the current Apartheid wall between Israel and the occupied/controlled Palestinian territories. They might get some ideas ... like maybe it should come down.

Question: I wonder if an American President will go to the Israeli Wall and blather, "Tear down this wall, Mr. Netanyahu."

Answer: Not a f&*#ing chance. And it's probably educational to ask "Why Not?"

mmphosis
al-Qa'bong

Yeah, that's what the Mongols said.

Michelle

I think probably the reason for the hype is because a lot of Germans are celebrating.  Including a lot of German-Canadians who escaped East Germany.

I remember watching the wall falling with my mother.  We were transfixed to the television.  It was incredible.  My Oma and Opa took a trip back home a year or two later and connected with relatives they hadn't seen in 40 years - couldn't visit them before that, and they couldn't visit us, of course.  It was amazing to discover an entire family I never knew before.

Doesn't mean that socialism would be a bad thing, of course.  Germany has amazing social programs, and they could be even better as far as I'm concerned.  But the Stalinist repression that characterized the regime in East Germany certainly isn't my idea of progressive socialism.

Fidel

American and former anti-communist [url=http://killinghope.org/bblum6/aer74.html]William Blum[/url] once aspired to be a foreign service officer for the government. Like Philip Agee and a number of other consciencious objectors to the cold war, he became disillusioned with the dirty wars, assassination plots of foreign government officials in Latin America and former USSR,  and terrorist acts perpetrated by the NATO gang. He had this to say about Germany's reluctance to participate in colder war aggression:

 

Quote:

In January 2007 I wrote in this report about how the US was pushing Germany in this direction; that circumstances at that time indicated that Washington might be losing patience with the pace of Germany's submission to the empire's needs. Germany declined to send troops to Iraq and sent only non-combat forces to Afghanistan, not quite good enough for the Pentagon warriors and their NATO allies. Germany's leading news magazine, Der Spiegel, reported the following:
 At a meeting in Washington, Bush administration officials, speaking in the context of Afghanistan, berated Karsten Voigt, German government representative for German-American relations: "You concentrate on rebuilding and peacekeeping, but the unpleasant things you leave to us." ... "The Germans have to learn to kill."
 A German officer at NATO headquarters was told by a British officer: "Every weekend we send home two metal coffins, while you Germans distribute crayons and woollen blankets." Bruce George, the head of the British Defence Committee, said "some drink tea and beer and others risk their lives."
 A NATO colleague from Canada remarked that it was about time that "the Germans left their sleeping quarters and learned how to kill the Taliban."
 And in Quebec, a Canadian official told a German official: "We have the dead, you drink beer."

Germans have to learn to kill? What the? What kind of assholes do we have running the show in the new and improved NATO gang? Is this typical of what those on the other side of the wall were afraid of throughout the cold war era? Who in their right minds wouldn't turn inward and raise the curtain?

[url=http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14415]Germany's Humanitarian Interventions in 1939 And 1999[/url]

Quote:
Writing in his memoirs years after the event, Schroeder justified his participating in the first unprovoked military assault against a European nation that had not threatened any other country since Hitler's blitzkrieg campaigns of 1939-1941 by describing his motivations at the time, 1999:
"Now, on the cusp of the 21st century, the real challenge seemed to me not just to douse the most recent fire in the Balkans, but to bring peace to the region....The goal was exclusively humanitarian."
Sixty years before the war upon which he reflected a predecessor of Schroeder as chancellor of Germany said:
"I ordered the German Air Force to conduct humanitarian warfare....In this campaign I gave an order to spare human beings."

The latter is from Adolf Hitler's speech in Danzig/Gdansk on September 19, 1939.

Frmrsldr

The tearing down of the Berlin Wall was a turning point in history that failed to turn.

What should have happened is the Cold War and tensions between West (largely the U.S.A.) and East (largely Russia) should have ended.

What we have now is a new Cold War, where instead of the "threat of the spread of global communism", we have the "threat of the spread of global Islamist terrorism". Once again, Russia is "the bad guy". The U.S.A. (the Pentagon with its tool NATO) is attempting to isolate Russia by inducting former Soviet (Russian) 'Republics' like Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Georgia, Ukraine, Armenia, Azerebaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekhistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan into NATO or at least to buy cooperation with the U.S.A. at the expense and disquiet of Russia.

Consequently, as for the fall of the Berlin Wall, I consider it most unimportant and uninteresting, other than it's 'nice' that Germany was allowed to do something that, in this case, was natural - reunify.

Bubbles

My partner is from Berlin. At the time the wall came down I lived and worked in the Black Forest. It was amazing to see how quick the East German factories got gutted, and with that a lot of people lost their income. It was not just the Berlin wall that had come down but the whole iron curtain broke down. One encountered people from the whole of eastern Europe, who were trying to make a buck.

It was a good thing to see the Russians leave East Germany. It was too bad that the west Germans did not get the idea to get the Americans to leave also. I keep hoping that the Europeans will get rid of the Americans sooner rather then later.

al-Qa'bong

The hype is meant to distract us from the corporate/banking kleptocracy that's running the West, by reminding us that we have the greatest political and economic system in the history of mankind.  It's also meant to show us that Margaret Thatcher was right; there is no alternative.

 

Furthermore, it gives neoliberal apparatchiks like Stevie-Boy the opportunity to be heard on CBC radio thanking God for giving us our holy democracy.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

It's impossible to exaggerate the importance, from the point of view of preserving the system, of the (Thatcherite) ideology of "There is no alternative (to capitalism)". Impossible.

Snert Snert's picture

It'll be the 50 year anniversary of the creation of the wall in 2 years.  Why not propose a big celebration for that and see who comes?

Fidel

Snert wrote:

It'll be the 50 year anniversary of the creation of the wall in 2 years.  Why not propose a big celebration for that and see who comes?

The wall was up 28 years. By comparison, the Korean peninsula has been divided for more than half a century, and the North is still threatened with incineration by an aggressive nuclear-armed superpower parked on its border. Cold war's over, but NATO gangsters are still threatening other countries and with expansion and military occupations into Eastern Europe and former Soviet republics. Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher assured the Soviets that this would not happen in a post-cold war world.

Sineed

Surely you're not suggesting, Fidel, that the people of north Korea are better off than the people of south Korea.

Cold War anecdote: one of my classmates in school back in the '80s was months away from earning a master's degree in pharmacy in Poland when she and her husband had to flee.  Her husband was in Solidarity, and word through the grapevine was he was going to be arrested.  So they left and eventually made it to Canada.  She had many heart-warming stories of life behind the iron curtain, like mandatory May Day parades.  She tried to sit one out due to suffering from the flu, and her landlord begged her to go because he would be punished if any of his tenants didn't participate.

Surely the lesson of the 20th C is that you need a balance between capitalism and socialism - that way, neither the state, nor the private sector, has too much power.  You give too much power to one or the other, and there are abuses.

As for the people in Russia and East Germany who wish they could have communism back - ever heard the expression, "Better the devil you know..."?

al-Qa'bong

Snert wrote:

It'll be the 50 year anniversary of the creation of the wall in 2 years.  Why not propose a big celebration for that and see who comes?

 

Before you moisten your trousers further in your excitement over living in the Free World®...

 

 

Quote:
On the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Western leaders are full of self-congratulation. But their paeans to universal freedom ring hollow, when they bear large responsibility for another wall constricting human freedom: the apartheid wall dividing the Palestinian West Bank.

 

Mr. Netanyahu, Tear Down This Wall

Fidel

Sineed wrote:

Surely you're not suggesting, Fidel, that the people of north Korea are better off than the people of south Korea.

How could they be better off? How could Cuba be better off after losing all of its trading partners with dissolution of the USSR and having to endure genocidal trade sanctions? The same vicious trade sanctions were waged against VietNam and Cambodia.

By comparison, how would the US economy fare with losing just its largest trade partner, Canada?

Sineed wrote:
Cold war anecdote: one of my classmates in school back in the '80s was months away from earning a master's degree in pharmacy in Poland when she and her husband had to flee.  Her husband was in Solidarity, and word through the grapevine was he was going to be arrested.  So they left and eventually made it to Canada.  She had many heart-warming stories of life behind the iron curtain, like mandatory May Day parades.  She tried to sit one out due to suffering from the flu, and her landlord begged her to go because he would be punished if any of his tenants didn't participate.

Where is Lech Walesa and the solidarity movement today? Margaret Thatcher bought coal from Poland at a total savings of a piddling amount of money in order to put English coal miners out of work. Gdansk shipyards and British coal mines, Sheffield steelworks etc all mothballed today as a result of the war against unionized labour in Britain.

And the USSR produced more educated people with advanced degrees than the west in a short period of time. There was socialized medicine as well. These things are gone today in those countries except for socialized medicine in Czech Republic and few others.

Sineed wrote:
Surely the lesson of the 20th C is that you need a balance between capitalism and socialism - that way, neither the state, nor the private sector, has too much power.  You give too much power to one or the other, and there are abuses.

Gorbachev said he believed that what they would be getting was a form of Swedish style market socialism. Maggie and Ronnie cheered on Yeltsin and Kravchuk from the sidelines and dared them to be dictators in the way that General Pinochet braved it out making Chile into a genesis fable for the new liberal capitalism.

Sineed wrote:
As for the people in Russia and East Germany who wish they could have communism back - ever heard the expression, "Better the devil you know..."?

Opinion polls in recent years reveal they preferred Soviet style state socialism to this, what they have now.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

The answer is for ALL the lefts of Europe, West and East, to create a new model, one that at least retains the minimal social protections of state socialism, but discards its excessive and unnecessary militarism and state security apparatus(and before you mention Gladio, it needs to be said that neither of the above really did anything to slow Gladio down and that part of Gladio's objective was probably to provoke a paranoid response).

Now, we CAN have "socialism with a human face"(which Czechoslovakia could have been allowed to have in 1968 at NO risk to Soviet security)everywhere.  That's the goal.  Learn from the past, avoid repeating the mistakes.

Large componenents of the 1989 rebel movements(particularly in the DDR)were fighting for humane and genuinely radical socialism, not a capitalist restoration.  The restoration occurred because the Western financiers would allow nothing else.  No party was allowed to call for anything else(even the "former communist parties" ran on pro-austerity and pro-privatization platforms).   Perhaps now, the space for something else can be created.

The point of bringing down the wall was NOT to give Angela Merkel her big break in showbiz.

Sineed

Fidel wrote:
Opinion polls in recent years reveal they preferred Soviet style state socialism to this, what they have now.

Can't say I blame them.  My main thing is, we shouldn't defend what is indefensible.  N. Korea, for instance, is a horrifying totalitarian state of its own accord.  

As many of your posts show, Fidel, it's entirely possible to criticize capitalism and American imperialism without downplaying human rights abuses in the past because they happened to take place in socialist countries.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture
N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

I haven't read all the contributions carefully. My apologies if I missed a relevant remark. However, it may be of interest for some babblers to know that the ORIGIN of the Berlin Wall wasn't such a bad thing. What it evolved into was, of course, a different matter.

The wall originated as a response to the western (capitalist) attempts to undermine the subsidy that Germans in the DDR were getting. Lots of western spies, and scumbags, were speculating on the subsidized goods available in the Soviet Zone of Germany. So the wall was a way to combat this speculation. What a pity the East Germans weren't more creative in their subsequent policy. Fracken' idiots.

However, let's be clear about something else. The DDR never attacked anyone. OTOH, within 10 years of the restoration of capitalism in East Germany ... the Luftwaffe was bombing European targets in Belgrade. Freedom equals the right to bomb your neighbours. ooh rah. Who knew?

Fidel

Sineed wrote:

Fidel wrote:
Opinion polls in recent years reveal they preferred Soviet style state socialism to this, what they have now.

Can't say I blame them.  My main thing is, we shouldn't defend what is indefensible.  N. Korea, for instance, is a horrifying totalitarian state of its own accord.  

As many of your posts show, Fidel, it's entirely possible to criticize capitalism and American imperialism without downplaying human rights abuses in the past because they happened to take place in socialist countries.

North Korea is protrayed by our newz media and politicians as a terrible place to live because it exists outside the liberal capitalist financial regime. We are led to believe that because North Korea finally has one or two nuclear weapons, that NK is a threat to world peace. Meanwhile, the US military has threatened NK with nuclear annihilation dozens of times since war in the 1950's in which more than 3 million Koreans died. Every building over one story in NK was razed to the ground by US bombers. And dozens of times since then, the US has blocked humanitarian aid to NK as well as Cuba and Vietnam and illegally according to the UN. Can anyone wonder why the iron curtain was raised in the FSU and maintained by North Korea?

Vietnam and Cambodians tried to recover from the genocidal bombings but have since been forced to take the capital road at the expense of socialism. Once a country's infrastructure is wrecked and depopulated from bombing, the scars remain for many years afterward. This was true of Russia and surrounding countries after WW II. And it was true of North Korea, a mainly mountainous Northern part of the country and about the size of the state of Mississippi. NK is vulnerable to inclement weather patterns, Typhoons sometimes flood the main farmlands situated by the sea. A CitiGroup financial report to Washington of several years ago revealed that NK is about as advanced with economic reforms as what China was by 1983 or so. And financial reforms are about where China was in the 1990's. The US and western alliance is moer fearful of a united Korea than a divided and militarily occupied Korea. Cold war rhetoric about NKorea and Cuba will continue for many years to come, we can be sure.

And at the same time we are not apologizing for the FSU, I think that we also have to recognize that while many of the human rights abuses and crushing of dissenting points of view in the iron curtain countries were a reality, far worse was happening here in the western world. Some of the war criminals we welcomed from Nazi Germany were given passage to countries like Brazil, Chile, Argentina etc. And a few years after their arrival, the first rightwing death squad governments emerged in South and Central America.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Victor Grossman has his say  .... 

 

Quote:
Why does no one recall that it was Eastern Germany, the GDR, which pushed for reunification during the postwar years while Chancellor Adenauer brusquely rejected all proposals, even general elections? Only then, and after West Germany set up its own state, formed an army, joined NATO, and insisted on regaining huge hunks of what was now Poland, were such attempts finally abandoned.

Why is it never mentioned that the GDR, though certainly undergoing an economic crisis, was in less of a crisis than all of Germany today, and that until its very end it had no unemployment, no homelessness, free medical care, child care, education, and a sufficiently stable standard of living?

Why is it forgotten that many of its travel restrictions had been considerably eased in the two previous years, so that not only pensioners, who were always able to visit West Germany, but 1-2 million GDR citizens had been able to visit West Germany in 1987-1989? Young people wanted desperately to travel, it is true; but their chances of being able to were already improving.

 

boomerbsg

Frmrsldr wrote:

 

Once again, Russia is "the bad guy". The U.S.A. (the Pentagon with its tool NATO) is attempting to isolate Russia by inducting former Soviet (Russian) 'Republics' like Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Georgia, Ukraine, Armenia, Azerebaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekhistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan into NATO or at least to buy cooperation with the U.S.A. at the expense and disquiet of Russia.

 

Why Republics in quotes? I know many Balts who would object to being referred to as a "Republic" rather than the sovereign nations that they are. With the long and antagonistic relationship the Baltic states have had with Russia I don't blame them for joining the EU and NATO

Frmrsldr

boomerbsg wrote:

Why Republics in quotes? I know many Balts who would object to being referred to as a "Republic" rather than the sovereign nations that they are. With the long and antagonistic relationship the Baltic states have had with Russia I don't blame them for joining the EU and NATO

I was referring to when Russia was the U.S.S.R. (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). "Republics" in that context meant provinces, not independent nation states.

Yes, the non Russian peoples of former regions of the U.S.S.R. cherish their independence and are fearful of (possibly) losing it to Russia. The U.S.A., the Pentagon and NATO play on this fear to the U.S.A.'s advantage.

Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians are fearful of Russian and have joined NATO. Georgia is fearful of Russia and look at how the Pentagon insiduously stirred up trouble between Georgia and Russia over Abkhazia and South Ossetia and is trying to get Georgia to join NATO.

Ukraine has always been fiercely independent/fearful of Russia. Look at how the Pentagon has played on this and is trying to get Ukraine to join NATO.

Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekhistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgystan and Kazakhstan, ethnically Asians and members of the Islamic faith, have traditionally been independent minded and fearful of Russia. These are oil rich countries, look at how the U.S.A. is trying to get Armenia and Azerbaijan to either join or cooperate with NATO and how the U.S.A. is trying to integrate the other countries through bilateral treaties and agreements to integrate into the U.S. dominated "global"(?) economy, etc.

Fidel

They weren't fearful of Russia during the "civil war" when 25 international armies and mercenaries laid siege to Russia from all  directions in an attempt to put an anti-Semitic tsar back on the throne.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Fidel, for the love of Godlessness, please don't defend North Korea.  There's never been anything positive about what happened there.  That state was never about anything but defending the party for the sake of defending the party.  And it's worse now, since Lil' Kim decided that he had to throw in with the military hardliners on the weapons thing. 

Yes, there's a lot of horrible things in the west and in "anticommunism"(which is why I've never identified as an "anticommunist" for one thing).  Everyone on the left who criticizes the Stalinist heritage agrees with that.   Why do you act like we all sweep that under the rug?

1989 happened because the people in Eastern Europe found their lives intolerable.  They knew that it was possible to have social justice without a police state(and, indeed, to have more of it).  They were forced to settle for right-wing governments by the Western outsiders.  The answer is to work with them(and the rest of the world)to create social equality without repression.  This has always been possible.  It's even more possible now.  That's what we should be doing, not wasting our time on defending any part of Stalinism(a political system under which almost all babblers would have been rounded up and shot, btw).

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Fidel, for the love of Godlessness, please don't defend North Korea.  There's never been anything positive about what happened there.  That state was never about anything but defending the party for the sake of defending the party.  And it's worse now, since Lil' Kim decided that he had to throw in with the military hardliners on the weapons thing. 

Yes, there's a lot of horrible things in the west and in "anticommunism"(which is why I've never identified as an "anticommunist" for one thing).  Everyone on the left who criticizes the Stalinist heritage agrees with that.   Why do you act like we all sweep that under the rug?

1989 happened because the people in Eastern Europe found their lives intolerable.  They knew that it was possible to have social justice without a police state(and, indeed, to have more of it).  They were forced to settle for right-wing governments by the Western outsiders.  The answer is to work with them(and the rest of the world)to create social equality without repression.  This has always been possible.  It's even more possible now.  That's what we should be doing, not wasting our time on defending any part of Stalinism(a political system under which almost all babblers would have been rounded up and shot, btw).

Fidel

Ken Burch wrote:

Fidel, for the love of Godlessness, please don't defend North Korea.  There's never been anything positive about what happened there.  That state was never about anything but defending the party for the sake of defending the party.  And it's worse now, since Lil' Kim decided that he had to throw in with the military hardliners on the weapons thing. 

Yes, there's a lot of horrible things in the west and in "anticommunism"(which is why I've never identified as an "anticommunist" for one thing).  Everyone on the left who criticizes the Stalinist heritage agrees with that.   Why do you act like we all sweep that under the rug?

Ken, all we've ever heard throughout the cold war era how evil the evil empire was. We heard and read very little in mainstream corporate news media about the terrible atrocities committed in our own hemisphere as well as the frontline states and every thirdworld shithole under tutelage of the west between there and here. Very little.  We know now that a lot of the cold war news was propaganda and spin for the sake of political expediency. And the propaganda on the part of our newz agencies and politicians was both constant and pervasive.

Would you agree with that in general?

Ken Burch wrote:
1989 happened because the people in Eastern Europe found their lives intolerable.  They knew that it was possible to have social justice without a police state(and, indeed, to have more of it).  They were forced to settle for right-wing governments by the Western outsiders.

Russians wanted Soviet state socialism democratizing. I read that years ago in an article written by a former Soviet economist who was critiquing a book on the dissolution of the USSR written by American academic David Kotz and Canadian Fred Weir. Weir lived in Moscow for ten years leading up to 1989. And now opinion polls in Russia are supporting this general idea. Mind us, state capitalism in Russia or anywhere else in the world where tried never appealed to very many who've lived it. My father and his relatives lived through the 20's and dirty 30's and never talked about those years of their lives in very positve ways. There was no good economic model to follow for any world leaders then, including Stalin. who was actually busy preparing his country for western aggression against the revolution part two. Keynes and many other westerners travelled through Stalin's Russia and were impressed enough to write about what they saw happening in Russia in the late 20's and 30's. Meanwhile, laissez-faire state capitalism was flat on its behind throughout the western world, and especially in the US and Canada. 

What happened in Russia was a top-down revolution. The Moscow intelligensia and nomenklatura hated Soviet socialism. This is what they told your countrymen Dr Michael Parenti and his colleagues in academia in 1980. It was they who had nothing good to say about state socialism. And it was their eyes that lit up with dollar signs at thoughts of state capitalism and what would become the greatest theft of the commons since enclosure era England. It really was what Marx described as primitive accumulation. And they were ruthless motherfuckers about it - them, their European financier friends and US oil magnates now suing the oligarchs for leading them astray. Sure they were led astray, like babes in the woods. Do we feel sorry for them? Not one iota.

Same with the Chinese after Mao. And yet we were told that Tiananmen protesters were protesting in favour of capitalism. That was a lie, too. And we are still lied to constantly. Every day. I recognize the cold war machine set in motion again in recent news stories in the middle of our corporate-owned newspapers and magazines, radio etc. They're doing it again.

 

Ken Burch wrote:
 The answer is to work with them(and the rest of the world)to create social equality without repression.  This has always been possible.  It's even more possible now.  That's what we should be doing, not wasting our time on defending any part of Stalinism(a political system under which almost all babblers would have been rounded up and shot, btw).

We don't have to defend Stalinism anymore than the right feels they have to defend McKinleyism, Teddy Rooseveltism, Truman or Eisenhowerism, doctor and the madman-ism, Carterism, Clintonism, or the latest war criminals, crazy George Bushs I&II and now Obama being manipulated by the warfiteers and military-industrial lobby doing their bidding. In fact, they are publicizing the torture and renditions occurring since WW II and declaring it official policy for all to observe and get used to it happening.

Ken, what will we do if the perfect revolution happens? Will the right leave us alone to build socialism in one country? Or will they plot and scheme against us?  Will they encircle us militarily and hire neo-Nazis to spy on us and orchestrate false flag terrorism against us? Will they tell lies about us? Will they tell everyone that they have to be afraid of us? Will they threaten us with nuclear annihilation dozens of times, like they've threatened North Korea illegally so since the 1950's and continue to do?

ReeferMadness

On Monday, CBC's The Current had a segment on the berlin wall.  Anna Maria Tremonte interviews a woman from the GDR. She said that reunification was a real blow to the people of East Germany.  Overnight, their education was useless, their way of life changed and their values were suddenly irrelevant.  She claimed that the people of the GDR wanted changes to socialism, not reunification.

Listen here. (part 3)

Fidel

[url=http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,634122,00.html]57% of East Germans prefer life the way it was under Soviet communism[/url] der Spiegel

The new liberal capitalism duller and greyer than Soviet communism?

Fidel

ReeferMadness wrote:

On Monday, CBC's The Current had a segment on the berlin wall.  Anna Maria Tremonte interviews a woman from the GDR. She said that reunification was a real blow to the people of East Germany.  Overnight, their education was useless, their way of life changed and their values were suddenly irrelevant.  She claimed that the people of the GDR wanted changes to socialism, not reunification.

Listen here. (part 3)

That's a very interesting interview. I think I would feel like scooting back to Alexanderplatz station after that experience, too.

Sineed

Fidel wrote:

 Keynes and many other westerners travelled through Stalin's Russia and were impressed enough to write about what they saw happening in Russia in the late 20's and 30's. 

Did Keynes happen to make it into Ukraine in the 30s?

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
This is someone who feels personally affected when Stasi terror and repression are mentioned. He is an academic who knows "that one cannot sanction the killings at the Berlin Wall." However, when it comes to the border guards' orders to shoot would-be escapees, he says: "If there is a big sign there, you shouldn't go there. It was completely negligent."

 

Obedient citizens don't get shot.

Skinny Dipper

That 57 percent may prefer life under the old East Germany.  That does give them the right to imprison the other 43 percent by denying others the right to leave for the west.

I would be ticked off if the Canadian government told me that I could not leave Canada to go to another country.

al-Qa'bong

Snert wrote:

Obedient citizens don't get shot.

 

That's something that Julian Gryshko, Nick Nargan and Peter Markunas could tell you.

 

Oh wait...

HeywoodFloyd

Snert wrote:

Quote:
This is someone who feels personally affected when Stasi terror and repression are mentioned. He is an academic who knows "that one cannot sanction the killings at the Berlin Wall." However, when it comes to the border guards' orders to shoot would-be escapees, he says: "If there is a big sign there, you shouldn't go there. It was completely negligent."

 

Obedient citizens don't get shot.

 

Who were you quoting Snert?

Snert Snert's picture

One of the nostaligic East Germans from the link in post #29.

HeywoodFloyd

Snert wrote:

One of the nostaligic East Germans from the link in post #29.

Ah. Thank you.

Sineed

al-Qa'bong wrote:

Snert wrote:

Obedient citizens don't get shot.

 

That's something that Julian Gryshko, Nick Nargan and Peter Markunas could tell you.

 

Oh wait...

Strengthens the point I made upthread, that the best system is a balance between public and private interests.  Too much power concentrated in anybody's hands leads to abuse of that power.

al-Qa'bong

Actually it says the opposite.  A public police force was used as a mercenary army by wealthy private interests in Estevan.

Ghislaine

Snert wrote:

Quote:
This is someone who feels personally affected when Stasi terror and repression are mentioned. He is an academic who knows "that one cannot sanction the killings at the Berlin Wall." However, when it comes to the border guards' orders to shoot would-be escapees, he says: "If there is a big sign there, you shouldn't go there. It was completely negligent."

 

Obedient citizens don't get shot.

Exactly. Perhaps this academic should go and share his wisdom with the Palestinians? All of those who think that the citizen removal of the walls is over-hyped should really consider the situation occuring in Palestine/Israel today. Why all the hype? The wall had to be built and it wasn't all bad! People should just follow the damn signs and stay inside the wall and everything will be fine and dandy and peaceful. Why the hell do they want to leave anyways?

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Victor Grossman interviewed here by Sonali Kolhatkar. After the wall came down it was not unification says Grossman; rather many people who lived in the old DDR called it annexation or colonization.

Quote:
"Not everybody is happy about what happened after the Wall went down. In fact, it's often referred to in East Germany not as German reunification but as West German annexation or even colonization, because the economy in East Germany took a nosedive after the two joined, the East and the West joined -- a terrible nosedive, which is still happening." -- Victor Grossman

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Grossman: " ... hundreds of thousands of people were thrown out of work ... including half of the people in academia. All media people fired. ... a conscious policy of ruining the economy ... including modern factories were closed because they were competition to West German firms. ... All the books published in the old GDR ... including arts books ... thrown in the trash. ... There is now a terrific lack of security ... (from an economic point of view) ... and so many people have been re-thinking .... dissatisfied with the present system ... "

Wait. There's more.

Grossman: "... one thing that is interesting ... the wall DID keep out the Nazis. Before the wall went down, you NEVER saw a demonstration of marching Nazis really like old storm troopers from the Hitler days ... like the old Now you see it in 10, 20, towns and cities around Germany every weekend .. They passed me right near my home.... Men and women in these black clothing, shouting just like under Hitler. It was a very frightening experience  ... There are lots of anti-fascists as well ... usually the majority ... These Nazis were kept out (in the old GDR) ... as were the big companies and banks .. that financed Hitler... There are certain similarities to the past that is alarming and worrying to some people."

Fidel

Sineed wrote:

Fidel wrote:

 Keynes and many other westerners travelled through Stalin's Russia and were impressed enough to write about what they saw happening in Russia in the late 20's and 30's. 

Did Keynes happen to make it into Ukraine in the 30s?

Probably not. And I don't know if he read Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath either. It was a time when tens of thousands of Americans and Canadians were thrown off the land their families had lived on for generations and taken possession of by the banks. There were hungry people in two countries with lush and arable farmland from one side of the continent to the other. Families travelling with all their worldly possessions on loaded onto trucks and cars were stopped at the California state line and told to turn back because there were no jobs.

And where they were able to, the US government under FDR instituted emergency measures. Government run farm collectives sprouted up all over the US to feed and house the destitute and provide work in the bad old days of the depression which raged on until the outbreak of world war. Boulder City and Rag Town were another form of state run collectives to provide the economic security for thousands that the private sector was unable to in those days. Governments around the western world were experimenting with a new way.

[url=[/url]">http://history1900s.about.com/od/photographs/tp/greatdepressionpictures....

They were lucky to arrive at government operated farm collectives. Private farms tended to pay them subsistence wages, and living conditions were appalling. Some profited by the depression at the expense of the unemployed and down and out. Some even starved to death in the land of plenty. And Canada had its own labour camps in Northern B.C. under the reign of R.B. Bennett. Canadians wrote to him with stories of hardship and illness. Sometimes the Prime Minister would send them $20 dollars in the mail. And sometimes he just sent the RCMP out west to put down striking workers and protests.[/drift]

Sineed

Fidel wrote:

Probably not. And I don't know if he read Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath either. It was a time when tens of thousands of Americans and Canadians were thrown off the land their families had lived on for generations and taken possession of by the banks. There were hungry people in two countries with lush and arable farmland from one side of the continent to the other. Families travelling with all their worldly possessions on loaded onto trucks and cars were stopped at the California state line and told to turn back because there were no jobs.

Surely you're not comparing the depression with the genocide Stalin perpetrated on the Ukrainians?  Seven to 10 million, depending where you look; Stalin was careful to erase records after he erased people such that we have no way of knowing how many he actually killed.

My point was and continues to be, it doesn't do the left any good to diminish or be apologists for monstrous acts of the past because the people perpetrating them have a passing acquaintance with a philosophy you agree with.  As your posts continue to show, there's plenty to criticize about the west without resorting to making excuses for actions of the Stasi, etc.

Fidel

Sineed wrote:

Fidel wrote:

Probably not. And I don't know if he read Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath either. It was a time when tens of thousands of Americans and Canadians were thrown off the land their families had lived on for generations and taken possession of by the banks. There were hungry people in two countries with lush and arable farmland from one side of the continent to the other. Families travelling with all their worldly possessions on loaded onto trucks and cars were stopped at the California state line and told to turn back because there were no jobs.

Surely you're not comparing the depression with the genocide Stalin perpetrated on the Ukrainians?  Seven to 10 million, depending where you look; Stalin was careful to erase records after he erased people such that we have no way of knowing how many he actually killed.

My point was and continues to be, it doesn't do the left any good to diminish or be apologists for monstrous acts of the past because the people perpetrating them have a passing acquaintance with a philosophy you agree with.  As your posts continue to show, there's plenty to criticize about the west without resorting to making excuses for actions of the Stasi, etc.

I think there is apologism in this thread discussion, which seems to have drifted from talk of East Germany and the wall to a specific period in Ukrainian history. The wall didn't exist in the 1930's to be clear.

Sineed, if you want to call me an apologist for Stalin, that's fine. It's not true but that's besides the point. But I refuse to call you an apologist for western world fascism. Because you have not attempted to apologize for any of the atrocities and deliberate mass murders perpetrated by democratic western world governments both before and after the Ukraine famine and continuing today as in the here and now. No I will not. I don't think you would tolerate that.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Fidel wrote:

Ken, what will we do if the perfect revolution happens? Will the right leave us alone to build socialism in one country? Or will they plot and scheme against us?  Will they encircle us militarily and hire neo-Nazis to spy on us and orchestrate false flag terrorism against us? Will they tell lies about us? Will they tell everyone that they have to be afraid of us? Will they threaten us with nuclear annihilation dozens of times, like they've threatened North Korea illegally so since the 1950's and continue to do?

We'll join together, in solidarity and with passion to defend it, with our lives if necessary.  Why would that be harder than defending what happened in the USSR between the rise of Stalin(or perhaps between the defeat of the sailors and soldiers of Krondstadt)and 1991?

Why do you assume it's harder to defend a good revolution than a bad one?

Fidel

Ken Burch wrote:
We'll join together, in solidarity and with passion to defend it, with our lives if necessary.  Why would that be harder than defending what happened in the USSR between the rise of Stalin(or perhaps between the defeat of the sailors and soldiers of Krondstadt)and 1991?

I don't desire another first world war to create the conditions ripe for revolution. I don't desire a second international military effort to reverse the results of a popular revolution to get rid of an anti-Semitic tsar and oppressive setup that it would have to reach that point. 50 to 83 million dead and missing at the end of WW II. Russia took the brunt of depopulation in WW I and "civil" war, and again during western aggression against the revolution part II. No thank you.

Quote:
Why do you assume it's harder to defend a good revolution than a bad one?

Oh just all of the evidence and historical record emerging bit by bit since end of the cold war? I don't know, Ken? What, pray tell, leads you to believe that history would not repeat itself? I think, Ken, that the elite around the world are fully capable of starting another world war so as to maintain their way of life and purge the world of an idea. They've been trying to murder an idea and profit by it ever since the end of the last war to end all wars.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

There have been soem recent media reports in Britain indicating that Margaret Thatcher opposed the Berlin Wall coming down.

Quote:

Rank hypocrisy is a special quality of the ruling class. No one
> will forget, for example, the promises of freedom and democracy
> that were peddled as aims of the Iraq war.

> But the cake is taken by the revelation that Cold War warrior and
> former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher didn't want the
> Berlin Wall to fall. Thatcher was one of the world's most vocal
> public critics of the Soviet Union, saying again and again that the
> Soviet bloc was a threat to the survival of freedom and a "human
> failure" (there is no denying that it was).

> Yet British paper The Times has reported how official Kremlin
> records smuggled out of Moscow show that just two months before the
> fall of the Berlin Wall she met with then Soviet leader Mikhail
> Gorbachev and articulated how:

> "We are very concerned about the processes taking place in Eastern
> Germany... The reunification of Germany is not in the interests of
> Britain and Western Europe. It might look different from public
> pronouncements, in official communiqué at NATO meetings, but it is
> not worth paying one's attention to it. We do not want a united
> Germany [our emphasis] ... In the same way, a destabilisation of
> Eastern Europe and breakdown of the Warsaw Pact are also not in our
> interests... I can say that the President of the United States is
> of the same position. He...asked me directly to tell you that the
> United States would not do anything that might put at risk the
> security of the Soviet Union or perceived by the Soviet society as
> danger. I am fulfilling his request."

 

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Peter Lavalle hosts a discussion on the topic at Russia Today. The link it to a YouTube video of the discussion.

Sineed

Fidel wrote:

I think there is apologism in this thread discussion, which seems to have drifted from talk of East Germany and the wall to a specific period in Ukrainian history. The wall didn't exist in the 1930's to be clear.

Sineed, if you want to call me an apologist for Stalin, that's fine. It's not true but that's besides the point. But I refuse to call you an apologist for western world fascism. Because you have not attempted to apologize for any of the atrocities and deliberate mass murders perpetrated by democratic western world governments both before and after the Ukraine famine and continuing today as in the here and now. No I will not. I don't think you would tolerate that.

I had to go back atya about when you said Keynes found positive things in Stalinist USSR.  I totally don't think you're an apologists for Stalin, but if you say there were good things about the USSR under Stalin, people are going to find it hard to take.  And before you know it, we'll be neck-deep in Godwins.

Pages

Topic locked