E-letter: Loonies and sense
Generally speaking, we aren’t supposed to share our “wild oats” stories. However, if that is followed as a hard-and-fast rule, there is a chance that somebody that could have benefited by the stories, facts or lessons will not. So here we go….
[caption id="attachment_6049" align="alignleft" width="180"] Kerry Knudsen[/caption]
The late ՚60s were not a “groovy” time of peace and love, as sometimes portrayed. They were more divisive even than today, with the whole left-wing milieu dissolving into dust with the killing of four students at Kent State by the U.S. National Guard during a protest in 1970. The young people of the day, before Kent State, were moving as a crowd, being faux individual, going to Woodstock and other entertainment festivals and generally living in a world of our own imagining.
I say “our,” since I drank the liberal Kool Aid (although this was well in advance of the Jim Jones fiasco in Guyana). I could not accept, I thought, the unfairness of economic classes, the oppressiveness of the government and the foolishness of the old.
I heard of a “movement” that was happening in California — a commune called the Bear Tribe — and I stuck a pot, some rice and some dried chicken soup in a pack and set off hitchhiking across the land. There is a book somewhere in that trip, but that’s for another day. Basically, I had to see what was going on.
I arrived at the “city” headquarters of the Bear Tribe in due course. As I recall, the address was 1412 P Street in Sacramento. I was accepted off the street and put my mind to being a good communal member.
As an aside, back in those days the American Indian Movement had occupied Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay, and the Bear Tribe and the people I was working with were the supply line for that occupation, so when I occasionally speak of the current Occupy movements, I actually have a basis for my thoughts. And, while I was never allowed on the boat to the island, based solely on my race, I was in attendance at the dock and loading details.
So I was a good commune-ist. My assignments were always doing field work in the “garden,” and, not being a total idiot, it was very quickly clear that in this pure communal protocol, some were certainly more equal than others, as noted earlier by George Orwell in Animal Farm. Being wasichu (white), I was the least equal.
Not only did I get the worst jobs, which is actually sort of understandable because of being new and unskilled, there were lots of guys that did absolutely nothing, yet got their “fair” share. And what really bugged me, since we started this out talking about wild oats, was that the girls in the “tribe” never seemed attracted to the field hands, choosing instead to be ever-so-attentive to the males that did nothing.
The leader of the Bear Tribe was Sun Bear, an Ojibway that had found his way west. (Or elsewhere he was a Chippewa or even a Chippewa/Metis — never mind that the Ojibway and Chippewa never got along.) In the Bear Tribe, as with any communal system, there has to be an order or else there is chaos, so there are rules, there are givers of rules and there are enforcers. All things being equal, of course, except that it is very clear very soon that the female-deprived field hands are the recipients of rules and punishments disproportionate to any sense of “equal.”
My view of myself at that time is not that I was stupid, but really ignorant and misinformed. My eyes got opened in Sacramento, and I stuck my pot (cooking pot) back in my pack and made my way back, found work building yard fences and started working my way through school.
Sacramento was not my first road adventure, and it was not my last, but it may have been the most seminal, since in the ensuing 45-or-so years I have paid particular attention to socialism and the useful idiots it finds among our young, our inexperienced and our stupid.
Books have been written on socialism, so I won’t try to replicate them, but it is interesting that it has never worked. No, not even in my ancestral Denmark, where the last time I visited the TAX on a new car was 120 percent the purchase price. That is, if you bought a new Volvo (what else?) for $80,000, you would then pay another $96,000 tax for a grand total of $174,000, just for the privilege of paying $2.35 per liter, Cdn. equivalent of Skjern prices last month. Our price last week down at the corner was $.89.
Anytime you meet a speculative socialist, ask what his or her view of utopia is. That is, is he or she one of the mules down in the mine, digging dirt and sweating all day, or is he or she one of the supervisors up on top. That particular question can only get one of two possible responses. The truth or a lie. If the person lies, then he or she is a true socialist.
In socialism, it is necessary to take from the rich, unless the rich can be of use. You will note that all socialist experiments generate more than their share of billionaires.
It is also human nature to try to keep what you work for. This causes some people to resist handing over their work to the lazy, and for this they usually must be killed as a lesson. Your honest socialist friends will have to admit this is true, under the “in order to make an omelet you need to break a few eggs” school of capital punishment.
Ultimately, you will find that there really is no such thing as socialism/communism. As each school matures, it morphs into a normal, good-old military dictatorship. Hitler was a socialist, Mao was a socialist, Pol Pot was a socialist, Castro was a socialist and Chavez was a socialist. And people that disagreed with their philosophies ended up dead.
I read Guerilla Warfare by Che Guevara not so long ago. Guevara was Castro’s executioner before he went off to find people to kill in Bolivia. These folks, like Sun Bear, are odd, in the sense that they always find useful idiots to follow them around, being principled and killing people. Not that Sun Bear killed anybody. I don’t know that. However, that is the rhetoric we heard at the Bear Tribe, and it was stifled by the FBI when one of their agents was killed at Wounded Knee, So. Dak., by the American Indian Movement in 1973.
In Guerilla Warfare, Guevara repeats many times, “if the conditions for revolution do not exist, they can be created.”
Guevara means that by finding useful idiots, indoctrinating them into the unfairness of people that work, women that seek security or laws that focus on violators, or by promising them free health care, free education, free debt repayment, free jobs, and any other kinds of rights without responsibilities, you can create Occupy, Black Lives Matter or any number of other “rights” causes.
I watch socialism, and I observe that animal rights does not mean rights for animals, although many well-meaning and emotional types believe so and identify with it. It really means hating farmers for their production methods. It means hating pet owners if they don’t follow prescribed protocols. It means hating children with cancer when treatment requires testing. It means hating fathers when fathers take sons and daughters fishing or hunting. It means hating women that have the means to buy expensive coats. In fact, animal radicalism is almost unique in that one form or another of it comprises the hatred of all humanity.
We are moving this year into another tragic-comic episode of federal elections. One group will be promising us all prosperity on somebody else’s nickel. Or dare I say Loonie? I would like to report that there are not enough loonies to go around, but there are. Far too many loonies making promises they can’t keep and plans to use the industry of others. There are far too many loonies willing to accept a job in the shade and first access to the women for keeping a tight grip on protocols. And there are far too many useful idiots that believe you can wish away the darkness and prosper on a dream.
Myself? I built a damned lot of fences, worked in an abattoir, shuffled welfare papers as a professional bureaucrat and sold cars to learn the difference between what is mine and what is not, and I intend to do my best to keep the loonies I own and fend off the loonies I don’t.
As with all false choices presented by the socialists, there is no perfect remedy on the horizon for all society’s ills. There is, however, a perfect tragedy for the foolish. It’s called socialism.
Can’t happen here? You better think twice. For one thing, socialism never is satisfied. It never quits until it has devoured the host. The only way to stop it, once it reaches critical mass, is force, as is becoming evident in the U.S.
Much better to campaign, act and vote Adult. Work for a living and pay for what we need. That includes care for those that cannot care for themselves, but it also includes a cure for the shade-tree wenchers — a swift kick and a choice.
Sun Bear would disagree.
On another note, it has come to our attention that another fly-by-night, bogus bunch of charlatans and thieves is offering the Wood Industry list for sale. They do not have our list, and we never sell it. Your names and personal information are safe with us. I would suggest you report any such offers to the Attorney General for Consumer protection for your province.
Kerry , you seem to confuse Communism and Socialism , calling them the same thing. this couldnt be further from the truth. ok you were duped by the lure of a commune that was actually a cult, but thats on you, it wasnt a failed socialist experiment, it was a cult that used misguided youth to harvest the crop. think about it, it was more a free enterprise operation with a great sales team than anything else.
the other thing i take exception to is calling Denmark a failed socialist idea. what you failed to mention when you tell people that fuel is 2.35 a litre (hasnt gone up in 10 years) is that they may pay 4 times the price for gas but they also make 4 times our salary. as in Canada no one needs to die because they cant afford medical care. they can get educated without being in debt for the rest of their life. or do you perfer the American way ? where a corporation is taking most of your health dollars for the shareholders, where a 3$ medication is sold for 200$ ? this is better????
it is communism that was the failed experiment, the so called socialist Countries like Denmark , Canada, Sweden and the UK have thrived and we are the envy of the world. I would rather have an extra 50$ taken in tax than pay for a 2 1/2 day stay in a US hospital for 135,000$ ( actual bill i received), than see my neighbor lose everything he owns to pay his childs operation or medical treatment.
the grass is not always greener.... May i suggest working to make our system better, voting out wasteful politicians, being part of the solution rather than just moaning about the problems. and if you think there is any country on earth that is better or has a better system then maybe you should move there. Personally I would rather be here where Canadians care about each other, even with its shortcomings we are one of the greatest country in the world.
Hi, Wilson, and thanks for joining the discussion.
With respect, I don't think others believe I seem to confuse communism and socialism. It is the socialists that demand confusion of language, and they are good at it. However, Hitler was a National Socialist when he was making promises to labour in the '30s, and the USSR was a Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The Nazis became labeled as right-wing and the soviets as communists, but they were all essentially the same thing -- a totalitarian welfare state.
The idea of totalitarianism is interesting. As I have written before, 16th Century writer Niccolo Machiavelli noted there are only two types of governance, those being the republic and the principality. A republic is governance by the people; a principality is governed by a principal, be it a king, an emperor, a chairman or a thug.
For nearly 50 years people have been trying to confuse my reporting of the nature of socialism, which, as noted, always ends up being a military dictatorship. I noted Denmark as an example of evolving socialism, but should have added that Denmark does not have and will not develop the necessary military, economic or political power to become a threat to world order. It can remain a kind of eternal Tivoli Garden where the women bathe topless and everybody shares. Canada and the U.S. are not so invulnerable by weakness and naivete. If a socialist strong man takes over justice in a major western power, and they are trying, we will see trouble.
Danes, by the way, do not make four times our salary. I wish. I'd move. I love Denmark, but Denmark's average per-capita income is $38,000 U.S., and Canada's is $45,570.
We are in agreement that Canada is among the best countries on earth in which to live. However, envy is one of the vilest of human vices, and people that don't want to work or are not capable of making what they think they are worth are always scheming to take the fruits of others' labours. One of the more sophisticated systems is socialism/communism/dictatorship/guru.
Standing by ....