Exceptionality

As I read about China’s cultural revolution, I wonder, what’s the theory under which this can’t possibly happen here? Unless you assume that the Chinese (and also the Russians, the Ukrainians, the Cambodians, the Venezuelans, etc) are deeply inferior and just exceptionally stupid, why wouldn’t adopting the same ideology here lead to the same results?

This is something that I’ve found completely maddening since the day I first came to this continent. What makes you think you are so much smarter than us? It’s got to take a very condescending, superior person to think you can do something hundreds of millions of people tried before and somehow not arrive at the same horrible result.

And it is always the same result. What China experienced in the 1966 is exactly what the USSR had gone through in 1936 and what Venezuela did in 2016. Different races, ethnicities, climates, eras, centuries but you introduce socialism and the result is identical. Why not learn something from all this?

But no, the exceptional Americans are soldiering right on because they are so much smarter than everybody else.

20 thoughts on “Exceptionality”

  1. I think of operationalized Marxism (like Libertarianism and Political Islam and probably some stuff I’m missing) as new versions of Alchemy – ideas that are so seductive that the consistent failure of others doesn’t discourage new followers who are convinced that they will be able to crack the code…
    Trying to disprove the basics doesn’t work because belief is founded upon itself (it’s recursive so contrary evidence can be rationalized away).
    The only way out is finding something more seductive (and hopefully more productive) for people to follow instead.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The US doesn’t have the stomach for strong authoritarian leaders that other countries do. Russia in particular seems like that type of country and society that doesn’t seem to be able to function if they don’t have some authoritarian dear leader telling them what to do.

    Since its foundation, the US has been extremely anti-authoritarian. The whole Constitution is geared towards preventing authoritarians from gaining power, to the extend that we have a constitutional right to possess firearms. This is almost unique to the entire developed world, and it sends a strong signal that the state does not have a monopoly on deadly force. I don’t think you can get more anti-authoritarian than that.

    The US is also exceptionally blessed geographically. Unlike China or Russia, we never had to contend with external forces invading our homeland and pillaging and raping our population. The brutalities that the Japanese committed against the Chinese and other Asians countries is the stuff of nightmares that Americans can’t hardly even fathom. That has got to leave some serious scars that probably had something to do with Socialism taking root in China.

    So yeah, in many regards the US is definitely an exceptional country.

    Like

    1. You are writing this as we sit in lockdown, businesses are destroyed, children have been out of school for months, people aren’t allowed to bury their dead relatives, and we are lectured on how to have sex in a mask.

      We all hoped this would be an anti-authoritarian society but it’s the exact opposite. I never saw such brainless, mindless compliance back in the USSR. Back there, we thought for ourselves a lot more than Americans currently do.

      Like

      1. And even then the US still has some of the most lax and least enforced rules and regulations of the entire developed world.

        See what happens in China, Taiwan, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, etc. if you break the rules and compare with the enforcement here in the US. You should see a huge gap in strict enforcement.

        Like

        1. China has massive unmasked concerts and parties. They never locked up or planned to. If was all theater for our benefit.

          Australia has been pretty insane. Not surprising since it’s part of the English-speaking world. Canada and the UK are completely insane, too.

          Gosh, if you folks experienced real hardship like we did back where I’m from, you’d be worse than North Koreans in under 3 minutes.

          I used to believe these lies about freedom-loving Americans but now I know it’s all a pathetic myth. So disappointing.

          Like

  3. There’s a problem in definitions here. We bandy words about (“conservative” “liberal” “Left” “Right” “socialism” “capitalism”) without drilling down on what we mean by them. AOC, Bernie and Willliam Jennings Bryan, Teddy Roosevelt are all called “progressives.” But they are not the same. “Progressivism” in 1900 – the anti-bank and railroad monopolist movement of the Grange Hall and early Unions bears scant resemblance to what AOC and her squad are pushing today.

    The New Deal progressivism of Henry Wallace, the Trust busting of Thurman Arnold, have more to do with the anti-bank pro small business/farmer vision of Andrew Jackson and Thomas Jefferson than with the communist technocratic ideology of Marx and Lenin, Castro and Chavez.

    That earlier”progressivism” also had little to nothing to do with identity politics. In fact, I say the New Deal’s conscious cultivation of a common American “ethnos” that includes blacks, Hispanics and Asians in our common national ethnicity the negation of atomizing identity politics and divisive multiculturalism.

    The Federal Student Loan program has to go. Its purpose is chaining young people to an unalienable life long debt treadmill. It serves bankers and administrators interested in expanding university endowments, no one else. If students cannot borrow massive amounts, tuition will decrease.

    We also need to destroy the health care cartel that exists to serve only investors in the insurance, pharma and hospital sectors. I think Medicare for all might be a healthy solution, it would free people to seek work anywhere without considering healthcare as a benefit, it would free small business of a massive cost and if correctly done throw the burden where it belongs: upon the likes of Bezos and the Walton family who until now have been externalizing these costs (like so many other costs – every billionaire is a master at externalizing liabilities, costs and obligations) upon the public, and profiting massively from it. There are other ways of redressing the issue: one thing is certain though: the cartels must be smashed, and the billionaires must pay fair wages. Tout court, point final.

    Call that progressivism, or socialism.. Anything you like. I’ll hew to more ancient discourse, espouse more atavistic ideology: “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and, “The worker is worthy of his wages.” “Look, the wages you withheld from the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of Hosts.” He hears the cry of his poor. He will attend them in their need. Woe unto ye rich, for the Kingdom presses sore upon you.

    Like

  4. Respectfully, your question doesn’t make sense because communism isn’t an ideology. It’s a scam. So-called ‘communists’ self designate themselves as being so when really they are authoritarian capitalists. They infiltrate governments via subversion so as to capture them and install themselves.

    In Russia, when the scam was first run by Lenin and his Bolshevik buddies, there was no one to alert the poor Russians on what they were really going to do. So, the fake communists got in, killed or imprisoned anyone clever enough to figure out what was going on, and enslaved the population.

    In China, when Mao and his goons whipped up support against the Kuomintang, there was no one to alert those poor Chinese on what was about to be implemented. So, the fake communists got in, killed or imprisoned anyone clever enough to figure out what was going on, and enslaved the population.

    In Venezuela, when Chavez was sweet talking the population into believing that unicorns were real and that everyone could be rich at the same time, an unprecedented oil boom happened which by sheer fluke funded his madness so that anyone warning that Venezuela would end up being like Cuba wasn’t believed, and enslaved the population. When Chavez died and the oil price fell, his successor Maduro began throwing anyone clever enough to figure out what is going on or any political opponents in jail, while others ‘disappear’.

    Since the USA has accepted immigrants from practically every nation in the world, and has a reasonably well educated population, too many people are alert to the scam. That’s why so many people who are attracted to the scam are quite young, since young people are still naive, with an example being the followers of Bernie Sanders, who never get the numbers to do anything beyond throw votes at the Democrats in exchange for Bernie getting another free house or something. Also look at what happened in the 2020 presidential election after Bernie Sanders quoted Fidel Castro – the Cuban community got very upset and practically launched a counter campaign against Biden.

    Even in China the whole purpose of the so-called ‘Great Firewall’ that censors the heck out of the internet is to stop local Chinese people from learning how bad the scam being run on them is, so that a critical mass of Chinese people don’t ever become wise enough to the scam to actually overthrow the scammers.

    Right now, the scammers/fake communists are trying to run the scam by implementing a surveillance state so as to curtail anyone clever enough to figure out what is going on while censoring the population and influencing the education system, but I don’t think that it will work. The scam isn’t very complicated, is easy to figure out, where too many have figured it out besides.

    Like

    1. BLM is also a scam and everybody has bought into it to the point where nobody would criticize it publicly at all. And it’s not because there’s a secret police ready to drag them to the dungeons.

      That the planet will stop existing in 10 years is a scam. Yet it’s been widely accepted as dogma and the US just elected a president who believes in it.

      Saying that it’s a scam solves nothing. Millions of people believe in it. The BLM got billions of dollars in donations. They got the future vice-president of the US fellating them on TV like a 3-dollar whore.

      We all run around pretending that every dude who decides he’s a woman us entitled to be called “she.” It’s clearly a scam but there are countries that will arrest you for doubting the dude’s womanhood.

      And so on and on.

      Like

      1. “BLM is also a scam and everybody has bought into it to the point where nobody would criticize it publicly at all. And it’s not because there’s a secret police ready to drag them to the dungeons.”

        Buying into a scam is different to simply wanting to avoid harassment or being ‘cancelled’, while people routinely either protest against BLM or make public comments about what tripe it is.

        “That the planet will stop existing in 10 years is a scam. Yet it’s been widely accepted as dogma and the US just elected a president who believes in it.”

        I don’t think that it’s been accepted as dogma. More like accepted as part of the scam that is running in a presidential election.

        “Saying that it’s a scam solves nothing.”

        No, it solves everything. I know people who have been offered hundreds of thousands of dollars to please stop talking about the scam, and others who have endured attempts on their lives because they were so effective at talking about it.

        “We all run around pretending that every dude who decides he’s a woman us entitled to be called “she.” It’s clearly a scam but there are countries that will arrest you for doubting the dude’s womanhood.”

        I really don’t think so. Some people fall over themselves calling transexual people ‘she’ etc but a great many don’t. Many just stay quiet to avoid being harassed or ‘cancelled’, same as BLM.

        In my opinion, some people will try these scams over and over so long as it is worthwhile for them (including so long as someone pays them to do so) which will cause a lot of division, violence, and probably civil war, but in the end, it is very unlikely that communism or socialism will be implemented in the USA. Balkanisation or a new confederacy is far more likely imo.

        Like

  5. Reply to: Exceptionality

    Yet almost all developed countries provide free, or nearly free, university education to any student who can qualify. No student in Germany, England, or Poland, for example, needs to spend decades paying off student loans. Not so here. Is providing free tuition for higher education a case of dangerous socialism?

    Like

    1. “Can qualify” is the important part of your sentence. My university canceled SATs completely. We accept pretty much everybody. If we introduced admission standards – any admission standards – 99% of student at my university won’t get s college education.

      German education is great but it’s for a well-prepared minority. They won’t take the German equivalent of kids from Chicago’s South Side. There is no German equivalent to those kids.

      As a result of catering to a completely different type of students, German education is very different in nature. There are lectures, and you either show up or don’t, and then rigorous final exams that you either pass or don’t. This system won’t work with our students who need to be babied every step of the way with disability services and psychological counseling, and hand-holding, and daily in-person contact or they flunk out.

      This isn’t a legitimate comparison.

      Like

      1. // They won’t take the German equivalent of kids from Chicago’s South Side. There is no German equivalent to those kids.

        Do you mean there are no such Germans or that they do exist but don’t attend universities?

        I am unsure what is meant by “babied every step of the way” but Israeli universities don’t cost much in contrast to private colleges in Israel which cost a ton (2-3 times more than universities and are much less prestigious).

        For 1st degree all courses, except laboratories, were lectures. Usually there were several quizzes before the final exam, so the latter was not 100% of the final course grade.

        Like

        1. The German universities take anyone who can meet the grade regardless of their ability to pay. The American universities take anyone who can pay regardless of ability to meet the grade.

          Like

          1. Exactly. These are radically different approaches for very different societies.

            I start my first lecture for my freshman class by explaining the difference between a text message and an email. I spend weeks explaining the process of attaching a file to an email. I explain things like “when you get in touch with a stranger for the first time, you need to introduce yourself and explain the nature of your inquiry.” I explain that “hey i want…” is not an appropriate way to make the first contact with a professor. I explain what Africa is (not a country) and show it on a map.

            Just think about the million support services we need to make sure these students know where to go and how to do things. I have students who can’t distinguish between a novel and a textbook while holding both in their hands. I have to explain the difference.

            Let’s have free college but then these students are all excluded. This exclusion will be very racialized. It’s just a fact. Are we ready to do that?

            Like

            1. // These are radically different approaches for very different societies. … Let’s have free college but then these students are all excluded. This exclusion will be very racialized. It’s just a fact. Are we ready to do that?

              Why can’t there be two kinds of colleges in USA? One – like in a German system, and another – like in America now. Why must it be ‘either or’ / ‘one kind for all’ situation?

              Like

              1. So… educate the fortunate kids for free yet charge the disadvantaged kids money? Who’s the brave politician who will make such an argument, especially given the racial aspect of the divide?

                Like

        2. My university doesn’t cost much either. The most anybody pays is $4,000 per semester and it’s usually less than that. But we can’t survive without these payments. There isn’t a choice between 4,000 and free. The choice is between $4,000 and not existing.

          Like

  6. “I have students who can’t distinguish between a novel and a textbook ”

    Who cares about that? Do they commit micro-aggressions or assume people’s gender? That’s what really matters!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.