Revisiting Revolutions, a Comparison

Image of mouse being broght to the guillotine - illustration fore the article "Revisiting Revolutions"
After a fitful fever (1) of debates and round-tables, often packed with common sense and sometimes with uncommon nonsense, the dust of antique time (2) may gradually settle on the memory of the 1917 Russian Revolution.

In 2117, assuming but not given that schools may still teach history, a question in a standardized test may read, “Which of the following countries is associated with the 1917 Revolution? (mark one) – Bangladesh, Denmark, Russia, Vanuatu, Uganda.”

But this year the controversy was still agitated with great vehemence, and some disputants seemed to be walking upon ashes under which the fire is not yet extinguished – especially those addicted to the radicalization of inequality. Anti-egalitarians, corrupted by ill-gotten wealth, and fearful of even a remote threat to their privileges, employed all the force of ingrained malevolence and sarcastic contempt to berate the event and its memory. Continue reading

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Is Communism Really Dead? – an Answer

Note to my 25 Readers. This article was published by thesakeris website (http://thesaker.is/is-communism-really-dead-an-answer/).The ‘answer’ refers to a previous article on the same question. For the aficionados who look at the “Your Daily Shakespeare” site as a  source of Shakespearean lines, the article contains only one reference, at the very end. … But the “Shakespeare Quotes Page” – http://wp.me/P2e0kb-23k – is kept up to date based on your keyword searches.
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“Is Communism Really dead?” – an Answer

Chinese Communist Children salutingAfter reading the Saker’s article, I had to walk back and forth for some time, partly to digest its content, and partly to determine why I found it so persuasive. My conclusion, however humble, is that the article is accurate because it tells us very clearly all we need to know on the subject, while leaving the reader to draw his/her conclusion. And I maintain that accurate inconclusiveness is vastly preferable to ideological certainty, especially when certainty is based on prejudice or, worse, speculation.

Of course the Saker brings to the subject his knowledge of the Russian language, which enabled him to see and measure better than others the fears, the motivations, the hopes or the disillusions of those who moved from the East to the West.

I contend that in these matters, the personal, experience-based perspective outweighs in interest, value and insight any theoretical, economic or academic treatment of the same issue. Especially considering the wildly conflicting assertions we hear today, in the US and Europe, about political systems, sociology and general philosophy of life. Assertions influenced and arising from the evolution, the convulsion, and almost the inversion of traditional meanings of what was once the socialist “Left” (theoretically friendly to socialism and communism) and what was once the conservative “Right.” Continue reading

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Democracy, Tortured Meaning of the Wrong Word

Raised hands in name of democracyPoliticians, much like advertisers, are ever ready to surprise the unawareness of the thoughtless. They must use language, the quintessential political tool, with a tone of deep-felt conviction and an air of solemn sincerity. And no politician, in his electoral language and speeches, could omit a panegyric of democracy and a declaration of his total commitment to it.

Some readers may have since long concluded that “democracy” is an oxymoron. In its practical use, the term refers to the metamorphosis of the general interest, replaced by interests particular and proprietary. But the metamorphosis is craftily disguised, to prevent or discourage the gradual and laborious investigation of reason.

Some visitors reach the YDS site searching for Shakespearean quotes. You may wish to link to the quotes-page. It is updated regularly, based on keyword searches by readers.

Continue reading

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After Charlottesville – The Unknown and Already Forgotten Story

In the previous and most recent blog, (http://wp.me/p2e0kb-27U) I said there were still some unclear issues about the events in Charlottesville, particularly regarding the death of the 32-year old Heather Heyer.

What I further found and here report is telling, especially considering that on September 13, 2017, the US Congress sent a “resolution” to Trump, who signed it, “SJ Resolution 49,” which says, Continue reading

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The Two Americas at Charlottesville

Demonstrators and counter-demonstrators at CharlottesvilleI wasn’t in Charlottesville during the upheavals in this summer of discontent, (1)  but I know some who were. They sent videos, photos and witness’ accounts – thanks to which, I followed those threads of reasoning on which truth is frequently suspended. That is, I formed an idea of what happened, and, perhaps more important, of what the event means, symbolizes, suggests and foretells.

Given the turn taken by subsequent events a clarification is on order. Lest any of my twenty-five readers suspect that I am suddenly seething with lust for right-wing ideologies, I am not. But that slice of road scholarship in me – “road” not a spelling error – revolts against the re-writing of history, especially when the motives are devious, obvious and diabolical, as we will see later. And my heart for anger burns (2). Continue reading

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Remembering the Liberty

An image of USS Liberty after the attack on Jun 8, 1967It is a property of the past to sink into oblivion, and of unpleasant truths to fade into evanescence. To this past belongs the attack on the USS Liberty.

The annals of US history record that, on Jun 8, 1967, the Israelis mistakenly attacked by air, and torpedoed by sea, an unarmed US intelligence ship, killing 34 sailors and wounding 171 others. 2017 marked the 50th anniversary of that attack.

Following are some details of the ship, of the episode and of its aftermath. For, similar to occasions that perhaps we all have felt, a detail that uncalled returns to mind, rekindles fuller memories of a larger connected event, not otherwise spontaneously recalled. And I think that the attack on the Liberty should not be forgotten. Continue reading

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Was Marx a Marxist?

A cartoon of Karl Marx for the blog titled Was Marx a Marxist?Many confound what they think with what they know. With Marx, personal notions of Marxism often justify arbitrary conclusions, reflecting the perceiver’s prejudice, fancy or indoctrination. Any related discussion turns then into a vicious circle of arguments searching for proofs, and proofs that are but someone’s opinions.

Furthermore, various currently-popular and alternative media sources, when referring to Marxism, utter remarkable nonsense and slander, “the which, in every language they pronounce, stuffing the ears of men with false reports.” (1)

All this may be of disturbing obviousness, though it should be stated, given some equally disturbing notions, circulating at large within both the current and counter-current cultural streams. Continue reading

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Don’t Cry For Me Venezuela

Uncle Sam waiting for Chavez' death to gobble up VenezuelaAccording to the great Dr. Johnson, “Men can be estimated by those who know them not, only as they are represented by those who know them.” An unavoidable universal contingency – for, indeed, we don’t know most of the people we judge. And the same, but for a few much-travelled individuals, applies to nations.

We also know that “on the tongue of Rumor, continual slanders rise, stuffing the ears of men with false reports.”

That rumor and falsehood are trademarked products of the oligarchical news-mill needs no elaborate demonstration. Truth, by atrophy of misuse, has lost the sense of its own meaning. Continue reading

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The Magnificent (G)Seven

Snowwhite and 7 socks representing the (G7) countries or The Magnificent (g)Seven - topic of the blogOf course few would really call them magnificent. And I wonder how many have concluded that these high-profile meetings among potentates are but occasions for taxpayer-paid and unspeakably luxurious vacations.

Lodgings suitable to gods host opulent guests, while epicurean cooks sharpen with cloyless sauce their appetite, and prepare pantagruelian dinners to solve the problem of poverty. Or rather, multitudes overwhelmed by abject poverty, may observe what is lavished in ostentation, luxury or frolic – for the poor multitudes’ benefit. Continue reading

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Saudi America

a hand where each finger represents a branch of ISIS, illustration for the blog titled Saudi America. Article dealing with the first overseas trip by TrumpAs a European commentator noted recently, it is symbolic that the president of the most advanced democracy in the world makes his first foreign trip to the most feudal among Arab monarchies.

On the other hand, US citizens at large see happening what they vaguely expected, and probably wanted when they voted for Trump. Namely, that the curtain of elitist euphemisms and contrived metaphors masking the lying and the rudeness of previous administrations, would be dropped in favor of greater coarseness of expression and less palpable disguise.

This is apparent even in the body language and voice of (at least some) members of the Cabinet. I think particularly of the Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. With his cowboy name, he may not have an Eastwood smile and a Robert Redford hair, but when he begins to speak, it is as if he said, “I am sir Oracle, and when I ope my lips, let no dog bark.” Continue reading

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