In a rather neck-snapping series of pronouncements, Marxism has moved to center stage in China.

On the 200th anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx, Chinese President Xi Jinping has launched a high-profile campaign lauding the importance of the German philosopher.

Communist Party newspapers hailed Das Kapital, Marx’s critique of capitalism, as “holy scripture.” State television aired a prime-time documentary and a talk show to celebrate the “greatest thinker of modern times.”

DaTech3.jpgIn a country that has used capitalism in theory to create an economic juggernaut, China was thought in recent years to have become socialist in name only, with little thought given to Marx.

The Wall Street Journal argued that the pro-Marx campaign may be an attempt “to persuade Chinese to keep faith with a Communist government that he [President Xi] says has employed Marx’s ideas to make China prosperous and powerful.”

Marx “lived honestly and simply, and valued affection and comradeship,” Xi said recently in a speech at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People. He ordered party members to master Marxist theory as a “way of life” and “spiritual pursuit.”

“The posthumous cult of Marx these days serves to legitimize the present leadership and whatever it claims Marxism to be,” Daniel Leese, a China historian at Germany’s University of Freiburg, told The Journal. “And only Xi Jinping is said to be capable of synthesizing classical doctrine with present realities.”

At the party congress in October Xi declared a “new era” in Chinese socialism, a move seen as his bid to reshape the development model laid down 40 years ago by reformist leader Deng Xiaoping.

Chinese officials have long grappled with the contradictions of their state capitalism and professed Marxism. In the early 1990s, party officials and academics debated alternative political models and contemplated renaming the Communist Party to better reflect its tilt toward state-led capitalism.

The party didn’t change its name but has welcomed capitalists to join its ranks, experimented with political reforms to professionalize the civil service and allowed an expansion of civil society.

But President Xi seems determined to bring the party and the country back to its Communist roots. The campaign started in late April when Xi led his party’s governing Politburo in a study session focused on The Communist Manifesto, the 1848 political pamphlet written by Marx and his collaborator Friedrich Engels.

A propaganda blitz ensued. State media played up Marx’s purported contributions to China’s present-day prosperity. While the West descended into “a new era of uncertainty and instability,” China’s experience “eloquently proved that Marxism…has opened a pathway to the truth,” the party’s flagship newspaper, People’s Daily, said in a front-page commentary.

Peking University hosted a “World Congress on Marxism,” gathering more than 120 scholars from some 30 countries to discuss “Marxism and the Human Community of Shared Destiny”—a reference to Xi’s signature diplomatic slogan.

To reach younger Chinese, propaganda officials produced videos and comics that focused on Marx’s personality and appearance.

The party’s flagship theoretical journal, Seeking Truth, produced a short video titled “10 Little-Known Facts About Marx.” The video highlighted Marx’s Jewish background and his zodiac sign, Taurus, and explained that his iconic beard was fashionable for his time.

It’s unclear whether this fascination will have a lasting impact on China, but President Xi’s interest in reviving Marx seems more than a passing fancy.

Cannot vouch for the modernity of the map. I’ll put a new one up if this one is outdated.

by baldilocks

Sitting in for Fausta.

I’ve been putting off commentary on this.

White South African farmers will be removed from their land after a landslide vote in parliament.

The country’s constitution is now likely to be amended to allow for the confiscation of white-owned land without compensation, following a motion brought by radical Marxist opposition leader Julius Malema.

It passed by 241 votes for to 83 against after a vote on Tuesday, and the policy was a key factor in new president Cyril Ramaphosa’s platform after he took over from Jacob Zuma in February.

Mr Malema said the time for ‘reconciliation is over’. ‘Now is the time for justice,’ News24 reported.

As a teenager, I read James Michener’s The Covenant. It’s Michener’s usual fare, a historical novel, this one based on South Africa and the history which led to the country’s existence. Just a few minutes ago, I downloaded an audiobook version from the LA Public Library.

Since I have the luxury of time to refresh my reading on this country, I’ll save any in-depth commentary on this specific situation for another post. But I don’t have to do a refresher course on human nature.

I’ve seen the non-South African opinion sides forming among my friend and, yes, with some notable exceptions, those opinions are formed along the color line. Both white and black South Africans have legitimate grievances. Here’s the thing, once all grievances are addressed, even unto death, where does it end? Spoiler: it doesn’t end.

Regarding a potential tribal war here in the US, I said this six years ago.

The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob reserves vengeance to Himself, and instructs Jewish and Christian believers to forego it. But even if one does not believe in Him, it’s easy to see the chaos which is nearly always brought about by the unending cycle of human vengeance. You murder/enslave/oppress mine, then I take vengeance and murder/enslave/oppress yours. Then you take vengeance and murder/enslave/oppress more of mine. Then I …

Funny how every single proponent of vengeance manages to forget this over and over.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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By John Ruberry

If you know a millennial who craves communism, then I suggest that you sit that person down to watch the documentary Karl Marx City by Petra Epperlein and her husband, Michael Tucker, which was released last year. Epperlein was born in 1966 in Karl-Marx-Stadt, East Germany, which is now, as it was before, the city of Chemnitz.

And as it is was when she was a child, the most noticeable feature of her hometown is the giant bust of Karl Marx, which looks over the dwindling population of Chemnitz. Its bulk makes it too expensive to remove from its perch on the former Karl-Marx-Street.

The Marx monument is the ideal metaphor for the former East Germany. Just as Big Brother is always watching in George Orwell’s 1984, the Ministry for State Security, colloquially known as the Stasi, was watching too. Cameras were seemingly in every public space, as were Stasi agents and informants. In a nation of 17 million people, there were an astounding 90,000 Stasi agents aided by 200,000 informants. In contrast, the FBI employs a paltry 35,000.

What was the Stasi looking for? Everything. Just grab whatever information that can be found and use it for a case later. Because not only was everyone a suspect in this worker’s paradise, everyone was probably guilty. And if they weren’t guilty they likely would be soon.

Early in Karl Marx City Eppelein tells us that her father, 57, committed suicide in 1999 after washing his company car and burning his personal papers. Afterwards her family discovers cryptic typed letters anonymously mailed to her father that accused him of being a Stasi informant.

Photograph courtesy of Wikipedia

Shot in black and white, perfect grim communist hues, Epperlein, looking similar to Liv Ullmann’s mute character in Ingmar Bergman’s Persona, in a bit of twisted humor wanders the decrepit and mostly empty streets of the former Karl Marx namesake town holding a massive boom microphone and wearing vintage headphones while we listen to her voiceovers–in contrast to the clandestine recording done by the Stasi.

Epperlein visits the Stasi archives in Chemnitz and Berlin where we see file after file on multiple floors. She’s looking for her father’s file, but we learn that the German Democratic Republic didn’t organize its files in the manner that Google stores information on mainframes where we can instantly retrieve volumes of information on just about anything. Instead there’s something here, there’s something there.

We see a grainy Stasi film of a couple walking on sidewalk. The man picks up an object. Then he puts it down. Why did he do that? Another man picks it up. The object turns out to be a knife. He keeps it. Why?

Epperlein tracks down a childhood friend who was a true-believer in communism. Now she worships trees. Her father, a retired Stasi agent, recounts his regular break-ins at apartments. What was his most common discovery? Handwritten schedules of West German TV shows and small bags containing a tooth brush and other personal hygiene items, just in case the occupants are arrested–or forced to escape to the West.

Many political prisoners were indeed locked up for subversion. Many ended up in the West, but rather than this being an innocent Cold War liberation, we learn they were sold by the workers’ paradise for ransom to the West for much needed hard currency.

The suicide of Epperlein’s father was hardly an anomaly, taking one’s own life in the GDR was common after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Recently Chemnitz had the lowest birthrate of any city in the world.

One of the experts interviewed for the film scorns the Oscar-winning film, The Lives of Others. While Oskar Schindler of Schindler’s List was real, there was no Stasi hero fighting back against oppression.

Near the end we learn the truth about Epperlein’s father.

Karl Marx City is available on Netflix and on Amazon.

John Ruberry, whose wife was born in the Soviet Union, regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

by baldilocks

Back in May, I said this.

When we think of lies, we tend to think of them as linear one-dimensional, straight-out falsehoods: 2+2=57, for example—a thing so outrageously false as to be laughable.

And this.

 The Devil is building his multi-dimensional kingdom of lies—in counterpoint to the Kingdom of God.

And in imitation of it.

Usually, the word ‘dialectic’ causes my eyes to glaze over, but that didn’t happen while I was reading this intro for a site I plan to explore further.

In 1847 the London Communist League (Karl Marx and Frederick Engels) used Hegel’s theory of the dialectic to back up their economic theory of communism. Now, in the 21st century, Hegelian-Marxist thinking affects our entire social and political structure. The Hegelian dialectic is the framework for guiding our thoughts and actions into conflicts that lead us to a predetermined solution. If we do not understand how the Hegelian dialectic shapes our perceptions of the world, then we do not know how we are helping to implement the visionWhen we remain locked into dialectical thinking, we cannot see out of the box.

Hegel

Hegel’s dialectic is the tool which manipulates us into a frenzied circular pattern of thought and action. Every time we fight for or defend against an ideology we are playing a necessary role in Marx and Engels’ grand design to advance humanity into a dictatorship of the proletariat. The synthetic Hegelian solution to all these conflicts can’t be introduced unless we all take a side that will advance the agenda. The Marxist’s global agenda is moving along at breakneck speed. The only way to completely stop the privacy invasions, expanding domestic police powers, land grabs, insane wars against inanimate objects (and transient verbs), covert actions, and outright assaults on individual liberty, is to step outside the dialectic. This releases us from the limitations of controlled and guided thought.

The emphasis belongs to the author and rightly so. I have called this “binary thinking” – the idea that only two opposing choices are available when solving a problem; or the idea that a person must always choose one of two and only two sides in any dispute; or the idea that no “thinking” person could conceive of more than two choices. And so on.

If I didn’t have such an aversion to most of the Great Philosophers, I might have identified dialectical thinking earlier. Blessedly, I have an innate aversion to dialectical thinking even if I didn’t know what to call it before now.

But I’ve sensed for a long time that we are being herded into a totalitarian space. Outrages of the day –especially those involving race or gender issues — are distraction from this herding and, ironically, prodding toward it.

The Hegelian Dialectic is part of the Devil’s kingdom of lies. And it is a very small part of it, but the pattern is a simple one. And, once you recognize the pattern, you’ll see it everywhere.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

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By John Ruberry

Later today a committee will reveal the 68 teams that will participate NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament, which is commonly known as the Big Dance or March Madness. All of the games will be televised–and during halftime, public-service ads about the participating teams will air–they will be milquetoast pieces–focusing how each school contributes to the community and if applicable, how many Nobel prizes the colleges have collected.

What will be left out of those PSAs is that there are many hard-core leftists on the faculty of every college participating in March Madness.

For instance…

Duke is in the tournament almost every year. miriam cooke (she does not capitalize her first or last name) is a professor of Arabic in the African & Asian Languages & Literature Department. She blames the first Gulf War and the establishment of Israel for the 9/11 attacks. cooke was one of the Group of 88 who signed a hateful letter that appeared in Duke’s student newspaper condemning the since-exonerated Duke lacrosse players who were accused of raping a black stripper.

The University of Kentucky is a favorite to win the tournament. Ihsan Bagby is a professor in the UK’s College of Arts and Sciences. He once wrote, “Ultimately we [Muslims] can never be full citizens of this country [the U.S.] because there is no way we can be fully committed to the institutions and ideologies of this country.”

Temple University is a tournament bubble team. While their Big Dance status is in doubt as of this writing–what is absolutely clear is that the Philadelphia university forces its students to take its two-year Intellectual Heritage course series that is heavy on Marxism but light on the damage caused by this failed philosophy. The professors who teach those classes certainly aren’t Ronald Reagan conservatives.

John "Lee" Ruberry
John “Lee” Ruberry

The teams not among the field of 68 can be invited to three other post-season tournaments. One of those is the NIT, my alma mater, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is expected to be an NIT team. The U of I counts a convicted murderer and former Symbionese Liberation Army terrorist, James Kilgore, as one of its instructors.

You’ll find a lot of hot air and any many air balls in higher education. That is the real madness.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Many years ago I remember watching a mini-series that is largely forgotten on Peter the Great with Maximilian Schell in the title role.

There was a key scene in the third episode that always stuck with me. Peter was looking for funds to build a fleet and expand his army and decided he would tax the Church. His political ally (played by Omar Sharif) is concerned about such a move and with the head of the Opposition and with the blessing of the Patriarch of the church leads him to a vault full of treasure put aside by his grandfather for “Russia’s rainy day”. The scene starts at 3:05

The Tsar’s reaction was telling:

I will use this…AND Tax the Church!

The sudden unexpected fortune was great, but taxing the hated church really rang his bells.

And that’s is what this Obamacare contraception mandate is really all about.

It doesn’t matter how much this move might hurt democrats in Red States, it doesn’t matter how bad the optics are going after elderly Nuns or how it undercuts places like Notre Dame that had him speak at commencement or that with the number of exemptions this administration to places like McDonalds and Unions giving one more for the religious faithful would be a drop in the bucket.  It will hurt the hated Church so that’s as the Anchoress put it comparing it to Al Gore on global warming,  what makes it worthwhile

I’ve long-believed that Gore’s rantings were given credence by all the “smart” people, and finally honored with Oscars and Nobel Peace Prizes, simply as consolation prizes for his losing Florida by so few votes in 2000. It was all meant to be — like the Nobel given to Jimmy Carter (and, I suspect, the one given to Barack Obama) — “a kick in the leg” to George W. Bush. A bit of self-satisfying spite against the hated other.

Rather like the entire HHS Mandate, in fact, a spiteful bit of law meant to discomfit religious institutions and personal religious conscience but never necessary to its purpose. If the government really wanted everyone to have access to free sterilization, free contraception, free abortifacients, it could have written that into law any number of ways, without going after human consciences. Which, again, the president swore to protect.

But an even greater prize than just injuring the church is taxing it.  That’s a secular left wet dream.  That the mandate allows the state to tax the church without the political risks of formally removing the Church’s Tax exemption is what really rings the bells for leftist pols who have to give lip service to religious freedom.  They’ll fight for this more than anything else because belief in a moral authority above the state is the most dangerous concept to their plans.

Of course Faithful Catholics have a choice, they can take the easy path, sign away their faith in the church and replace it with faith in Obamacare and be spared the tax .  The media and democrats around the country will be urging them to do so and if it happens they will smile and use it as a club for new laws to pry Christians just a little farther away from God.

But if they persist on clinging to their faith, putting it above The One™ then the Jiza must be paid for that impertinence and I think it’s that tax payment the left is dreaming of.

Closing thought:  Some will no doubt use this post to claim I believe the president to be a Muslim.  While he has many sympathies with Islam & the Muslim brotherhood , I can’t go along with the idea that he is an actual Muslim.  Nobody is going to convince me Barack Obama worships anyone or anything above himself.

Update:  Cleaned up that closing sentence read OK but sounded awful when I said it aloud.

Update 2: If you didn’t think the left really has it in for the Catholic Church then you will after you read this nonsense:

More than WASPS, Methodists, Jews, Quakers or Baptists, Catholics often try to impose their beliefs on you, me, public discourse and institutions. Especially if “you” are female.

Lots of reactions to this idiocy from Fr. Z:, Yid with Lid , Michael Potemra  Deacon GregMichael Sean Winters  The Anchoress to Captain Ed (yes I still call him that).  All seem to convey a level of surprise at this piece.

Let me say categorically nothing in this piece remotely surprises me.  I suggest this is what the prevailing media culture actually believes about the church and everybody better get used to that fact.

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Olimometer 2.52

It’s Wednesday. 2014 has been here a full year and the good news is I’ve noticed a solid increase in baseline (that is non instalanche) traffic.

The bad news however is that in terms of da weekly paycheck the same has not been true. While this week’s traffic has been fine the last 7 days of DaTipJar have been awful.

Last week we didn’t make payroll, this week we’re only at 13% and despite a good amount of traffic things didn’t move a single bit.

All the traffic in the world won’t make up for bills not paid. If you think this site is worth your time, please consider kicking in to Datipjar, $5 $10, $25 any amount will shrink our $298 defect this week.

It will be very appreciated.

Remember if we can get those 58 1/4 subscribers @ at $20 a month the bills will be paid every week. Help make sure this blog can fight without fear all year long.




 

 

 

 

 

I was scanning Robert Stacy McCain Live at 5 list when a story jumped out at me.

San Diego Mayor Filner In Mediation With City Amid Recall Efforts

Well not so much the story as the sentence below the headline.

San Diego Mayor Filner In Mediation With City Amid Recall Efforts

Filner supporters hold rally yesterday

Supporters? Filner has supporters?

Here is the story:

His supporters, which include some labor unions and Latinos, claim Filner is being denied due process, and the recall effort is orchestrated by those who oppose his political agenda.

Morning Joe has video

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

the key quote:

I understand what’s going on in San Diego. i mean, Bob Filner is a democrat. he’s mayor of San Diego. that doesn’t happen. it hasn’t happened in a long time. i’m sure the democrats out there are distraught at the thought that the mayor may have to go away

And that’s what it all comes down to.

National party figures who have no say on if Filner stays or goes can denounce him all they want. The media can tease him and make him the butt of jokes, but as long as they have no power to remove him it doesn’t matter.

As long as Filner is on the right side of the issues and to some degree useful to the left in San Diego the hard-core foot soldiers of the left in San Diego the Unions, the Latino’s and the activists are going to back him because to them the ends always justify the means.

That might seem odd to you and me but if you start from the idea they are all Marxists it makes perfect sense.

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Olimometer 2.52

Tuesday is here and which means two days of the week are gone. In those two days $37 of my $305 weekly goal has been made.

If you can get me closer to the big number I’d really appreciated it, you can do it by hitting DaTipJar below.

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Today Trevor Loudon appeared on WCRN AM 830’s conservatively speaking as part of his US Tour.

We had a full load on our plate so I couldn’t have him on, but I had tie to speak to him after the show.

Check out his site for more info on his tour. His book is available here.

Dash:   But Dad always said our powers were nothing to be ashamed of, our powers made us special.

Helen:   Everyone’s special, Dash.

Dash:   [muttering] Which is another way of saying no one is.

The Incredibles 2004

It’s a fair cop but society is to blame

Monty Python’s Flying Circus 1972

The talk of the net continues to be the Obama campaign’s adaptation of the famous Elizabeth Warren “Good for you” speech.

Here is the a bit of Obama version

While it’s fun to make sure the president gets credit for the drug kingpins as well as the factories, Michael Graham notes that I’m being slack in the sharing or credit:

My only objection is that the focus of their comments was too narrow. The president says, “if you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help.”

He’s right, of course. But why leave out our fellow unsuccessful Americans? Don’t they count, too?

and that’s when he hits a point of snark that means more than he knows:

“There was a great teacher somewhere in your life,” Barack Obama said about successful entrepreneurs. But the 30-something stoner working part-time at the car wash and living in dad’s basement had a teacher, too. Lots of them. Taxpayers spent around $100,000 on his public education. Where’s the love?

Where’s the speech giving teachers credit for the many barely-literate Americans who graduate high school with minimum-wage skills, or who choose to live on the dole rather than work at all?

I suspect Bill Gates didn’t go to high school alone, but none of his classmates created Microsoft. I’m sure John Schnatter’s didn’t have private tutors, why aren’t his classmates running the 3rd largest Pizza Chain in the country? Jonas Salk wasn’t the only doctor in the 20th century. Why wasn’t there a line at the patent door to register polio vaccines?

Where are Joe & Mika classmates TV shows? Why aren’t the other girls in Katy Perry’s home room touring? Didn’t the same high school coach at Fort Osage Senior High School coach hundreds of other players besides Albert Pujols where are their multi million dollar contracts?

Why isn’t the same society that the President thinks is responsible for all these people’s success coming through for the rest of us? If you aren’t making your own Microsoft, touring sold out stadiums in Europe or even making it as a blogger and radio talk show host is it really your fault?

Let’s go further; if the pan handler, the drug dealer and the second-story man had the same teachers, had the same fire and police protection and public utilities an infrastructure everyone else does is it YOUR fault the are where they are?

This is where the Obama’s & the Warren’s of the world reveal themselves for what they actually are. You don’t deserve credit for what you’ve done and you don’t deserve blame for what you haven’t. All the credit, all the blame and all the results belong to the collective and it up to the enlightened leaders at the top to make sure you all get what’s rightfully yours.

I’m sorry folks you can wrap it up, you can call it “fairness” or “progressive-ism” or any other adjective you want, but it’s what it always has been, the same old Marxism that they couldn’t sell in the 20th century re-packaged in the hopes of conning a whole new generation that doesn’t know their history.

Update: A thought, last night I saw the Big Bang Episode The Zarnecki Incursion. Is it just me or do Obama & Warren sound like Sheldon shouting “We did it” just after Penny kicks the bully in the nuts?

There are certain stories you read that just make your jaw drop:

Polish officials requested that Walesa accept the Medal of Freedom on behalf of Jan Karski, a member of the Polish Underground during World War II who was being honored posthumously this week. The request makes sense. Walesa and Karski shared a burning desire to rid Poland of tyrannical subjugation. But President Obama said no.

Administration officials told the Journal that Walesa is too “political.” A man who was arrested by Soviet officials for dissenting against the government for being “political” is being shunned by the United States of America for the same reason 30 years later.

Run that through your head for a second, Lech Walesa, the head of Solidarity, the man who removed the first brick from the wall of the Iron curtain, former Polish President and Fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner is “too political” for the Obama Administration to stand in an accept a Medal of Freedom for a Polish freedom fighter! Really?

Meanwhile lets remind our readers who the Obama administration thinks is worthy

Oh and you know how everyone gets their knickers in an uproar if anyone calls Obama a socialist? Well while the press has focused on Bob Dylan getting the medal of freedom another recipient of the award for some reason didn’t draw much attention:

President Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Tuesday to Dolores Huerta, an 82-year-old labor activist and co-founder of the United Farm Workers union.

Huerta is also an honorary chair of the Democratic Socialists of America.

DSA describes itself as “the largest socialist organization in the United States, and the principal U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International.”

Yup, keep moving, nothing to see here.

Honorary chair of the Democratic Socialists of America? They get the Medal of Freedom, Actual freedom fighter who risked life and limb to free his country and by extension many others from the embrace of Communism and Socialism. Not welcome.

The question is rapidly becoming not “Why do you think these people are Marxists” but “What makes you think they are not?”