Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thursday Afternoon Cigar

A good book and a good cigar: Solzhenitsyn's In The First Circle and an El Rey Del Mundo.

Page 339: Part of an argument between two political prisoners. One, Nerzhin is a devout communist despite his predicament, and the other is Rubin.

We join the conversation with Rubin speaking first:

"Listen, whose marvelous lines were those I heard a little while ago, about the two Alyoshas?"
"Things were different then, before I'd learned to discriminate, before my ideals were clearly defined. In those was still possible..."
"And now you see your ideal clearly in the shape of the Gulag?"
"No! In the shape of the ethical ideals of socialism! Capitalism has none, just greed for profit!"
"Listen!" By now Nerzhin was wedging his shoulders into the fork of the tree, preparing himself for a long discussion. "Could you kindly explain these socialist ideals you talk about? They're nowhere to be seen at present. All right, maybe somebody's botched the experiment, but when and where can we expect to see them; what do they amount to? Eh? Socialism, of whatever variety, is a sort of caricature of the Gospel message. Socialism promises only equality and a full belly, and that only by means of coercion."
"Isn't that enough? has any society in history ever had as much?"
"You'll find equality and full bellies in any good pigsty! What a tremendous favor they've bestowed on us! Equality and plenty! Give us a moral society!"
"We will! Just don't make difficulties! Don't get in the way!"

The freedom-loving Soviet prisoners had one thing that we don't have today: prison walls to keep their ideological opponents from running away from the debate.

Just go to Daily Kos if you want to read more about equality and full bellies.

Or to the Democrat's website.

Or the Communist Party of the USA.

They all say the same thing.

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