November 15, 2011
But That's What They Call Themselves
Michele Bachman might be a demented cretin - hell, unarguably is a demented cretin - but people might want to acquire some capacity for nuance and detail in the use of political terminology rather than go about suggesting an inequitous, state-capitalist dictatorship can be sensibly described as "communist".
National parks are communist. Rich Shanghai developers using their contacts in government and the iron fist of the PSB to kick people out of their homes to make way for one of their lucre-spouting projects are not. If a corrupt nexus between businessmen and officialdom backed up with state violence is communism, then so was the Gilded Age.
November 07, 2011
...I complain about the American style that nothing succeeds like success. That’s a very primitive way of looking at history, as between winners and losers. Sure, there are crackpot rickety states, but who’s interested in them? What they are really interested in is the successful cultures, the big civilisations, the mighty powers and so on. That gives a very false view of the panorama of the past. The past is full of everything. Great powers, obscure powers – which may have other achievements to their name. There are powers which last for centuries, but I found a republic which lasted for one day.Norman Davies at Five Books.
Goodness me. Which day?
March 15, 1939. The republic of Subcarpathian Ruthenia. It was the day that Hitler marched into Prague. The Germans swallowed Bohemia and Moravia, formed a protectorate and Slovakia became a client statelet of the Reich. And the third part of Czechoslovakia, this Subcarpathian Ruthenia, was left with nobody to tell it what to do. So it declared its independence at around 10 o’clock in the morning. And by the evening the Hungarian army arrived and swallowed it up.