On the death of Vaclav Havel & Kim Jong-Il
Two presidents died this week — Vaclav Havel and Kim Jong-Il. The former a man who struck down communism, the latter one who sought to keep it alive. Havel took on the maw of Soviet Russia and lived to tell the tale. Kim just kept throwing his own people into the maw of his own self-aggrandized position in the world as the “great-something or other.”
Czechoslovakia had suffered under the Nazis and then the Communists for 50 years, its people hobbled and harassed by their own government, until finally the “Occupy Prague” (and every other city in that benighted land,) simply told the communists to get out. In the Velvet Revolution — a peaceful gathering of some 80% of the nation in the streets until the Communist Party realized they had no choice but to abandon the pretense of power — Havel led the Czechs and Slovaks back into the modern world. Kim and his successor keeps their people in the mists of olden times.
Within a few years the Czechs and Slovaks sought a “divorce” (which is the word they themselves used to describe the only peaceful division of a nation in the history of the world,) and on January 1st, 1993 the two halves of Czechoslovakia went their ways into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. And then the great outpouring of capitalism brought new found wealth and banks and businesses and real news (and not the stilted “everything is wonderful” nonsense of the controlled press.)
Havel was probably the world’s first and only playwright & writer and philosopher to ever attain the presidency of a nation — and he launched the Czechs into a prosperity they hadn’t seen since the 1920s. And now Prague and the rest of the nation is a sort of boom town; and Slovakia not far behind. Half the globe away, Kim kept his people in the dark. Literally. Satellite photos of the earth at night shows a big dark splotch in Asia that keeps some 17 million people hobbled in utter destitution.
Kim is now dead — though as is typical of all dictatorships, he had the nation’s wealth, such as it is, in his hands, while the people are starving and live in a national-prison. Supposedly, if reports are true, one of Kim’s sons is now the new “great-something or other” and North Korea, a fake nation created by the dreams of Communists in China and Russia to create some nirvana on earth, which never works, but the dream lives on. Indeed, many in our own “occupy” movement are still deluded into thinking that communism is the be all and end all of society — when instead it is the place that people escape from (no one swims to Cuba, but away from it, no one sneaks into the lingering socialism of Mexico, but away from it.) The steady flow of people away from communist and socialist regimes should tell the world that these systems don’t work — but no, our illustrious home-grown communists still insist it will work — with they as the leaders of course.
And so while Havel goes down in history as a great man, a great thinker, a humble man who let his people go and do as they wish, while the Kims stand athwart the tide of history as men who seem to think they are the only font of wisdom and thought that their nation needs, and woe betide those who disagree. The prison camps of the North Koreans are the stuff of legends. Who knows how many are suffering for trying to earn a buck (or the NK equivalent,) and think for themselves. I’m sure our own Occupy Movement — if it is even around anymore, for having forsaken the news for a month or more, I’m not sure — but surely they are much diminished — would glorify Kim far more than they would appreciate Havel.
And so 10 million Czechs and 5 million Slovaks joined the world and have gotten richer then they ever were, while the 17 million Koreans north of the DMZ suffer like cattle on the way to slaughter and live in a poverty like few other people on earth. Even poor indigenous people or Africans are vastly freer and richer than any in North Korea. Meanwhile, the Czechs and Slovaks live in peace with their neighbors, even the Russians, and make money and move about their lives in a new found sense of purpose, the Koreans of the North barely survive, hungry and limited in everything they do.
One hopes the kid who takes over North Korea will see this reality and give up the ghost of Marx and Lenin, Mao and Chou En-Lai. Remember that guy? He’s the one who killed so many so that the Communist Party of China could keep control — and from all indications they’re losing it, for the people there in China are setting up their own “occupy” movement — to rid themselves of the cold wet blanket of communism. The news is filled daily, if one seeks it out, of the 1,000s of demonstrations against the regime in Beijing.
Why our Occupy Movement and any politician here who supports it would want such a system is a mystery to me — other than the old hoary phrase: “It’s good to be the king.” Sure, sure, let the government run everything — from the oil to the banks to the health care and more, and we shall suffer soon like the Czechs and Slovaks did, and the Koreans do. Alas, our own president and the Democratic Party, chock full of Socialist thoughts, don’t seem to grasp — and our Republicans seem to like the Theocratic version, which merely uses a different old book from a continent far away.
About the only thing that could come good from the death of the elder Kim (and his father before him — it is always true that communist leaders seeks to pass their power down to their sons, like kings of old in hereditary monarchies, despite all protestations to the contrary that the best and brightest would be sought out,) is that this new and younger Kim will come to his senses, give up his power, and hand his “nation” over to the South so that Pyongyang can have the gleaming skyscrapers and fantabulous wealth and internet access that Seoul has. But no, so far, the worry is that he will seek to keep up the armed standoff that is called the “Korean Peace” which is merely a war in abeyance.
Many such dictators seek to raid their neighbors for their wealth, so that they can maintain their power a bit longer. One can only hope that it will come to a peaceful resolution. Yes, it will cost billions of dollars for the South to absorb the North, but it will be well worth it. For they will automatically spend less on arms and weapons and more on the things of a real life. Perhaps a war will still break out there along the DMZ, where we keep some 34,000 troops — but one can hope for peace.
And that’s the lessons of free markets and freedoms of press and conscience versus the controlled markets and limitations on thoughts and actions. And our politicians, and those miscreants living in the hovels of the Occupy Movement and the politicians who support them, will come to grasp: the chaos of capitalism brings peace and wealth and the end of poverty, while the control and order of communism brings violence and poverty of a type not seen since Louis XVI lost his head.
Yes, two presidents die a day or so apart, one a hero, the other the goat. And our media spend more time glorifying the latter idiot, and his ideas, but proclaim it will work better here, of course, without so much saying so, but merely hinting and avoiding the painful truth: the ideals of America are worldwide and the world has grown richer than ever before in history — while the ideals of Marx bring nothing but pain, mayhem and a poverty that is beyond imagining. I would like to think, in this Christmastide, and when a new year dawns, that the people in this nation who push Marx’s mush will come to their senses and embrace Havel, and give up on the Kims of the world. But to listen to Obama say once that he wishes he was like the president of China is disconcerting, while to listen to Gingrich and pals of the theocracy they seek to impose like ancient popes are just as dangerous.
Perhaps a third party will come along, or perhaps we Americans will abandon the two parties which have gone so far to the fringes, supposedly Left and Right, and pretending to be opposites, but which thus become the same control freaks, that we will return to a booming economy instead of awaiting the next shoe to drop — for the Left and Right extremes are like millipedes, with far too many boots to do their stomping. Maybe, just maybe, we will have to tolerate one more term of this nonsense of “government knows best,” and then we shall wake up and get rid of these two parties we have which are leading our nation to ruin.
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