< link rel="DCTERMS.isreplacedby" href="http://www.sotr.us" >
Republic. I like the sound of the word. It means people can live free, talk free, go or come, buy or sell, be drunk or sober, however they choose. Some words can give you a feeling that makes your heart warm. Republic is one of those words. - John Wayne

Wednesday, April 06, 2005
 
Pope John Paul II and Ronald Reagan
by Bonjo
This is a great piece by Terence Jeffrey on Pope John Paul II's role in dealing a blow to communism, and talks about the similarities between JP2 and Ronald Reagan.

UPDATE: prisoner6 has correctly pointed out that communism has not been defeated, as I had previously stated here, corrected text in italics. My intention was to highlight JP2's efforts in supporting those who resisted communism in Poland, which had a profound effect on the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union.

I do not believe that the Soviet Union collapsed solely because of internal difficulties, though those are in large part responsible. Communism, gratefully, has inherent flaws which will never allow it to succeed. But the eventual demise of the USSR was due overwhelmingly to external forces, such as the United States, Great Britain, and yes, even Christianity.

Does this mean I agree with everything the Pope has ever said? Obviously not, as evidenced by my exodus from the Roman Catholic Church some 12 years ago. However, he was a person who did a tremendous amount of good in the world, including standing up to communism. For this I wish to recognize JP2's efforts.

I now return to my capitalist endeavors.
8 Comment(s):
Communism is not defeated! What form of government does China, North Korea, and Cuba (at our doorstep) have? I'll agree with you that Russian communism is inherently different than Chinese communism, but they both represent state-controlled economies.

One interesting thing about the Pope is for being so much against communism, toward his final few years, he also stood out against unchecked capitalism, the kind that some Republicans long for. 

Posted by theprisoner6
First of all, Communism was not   defeated. China, North Korea/Vietnam, and Cuba (right on our doorstep) are all communist countries, though differing on degrees.

Second, the people of the USSR freed themselves of their own choice. Reagan, nor the Pope destroyed the USSR; technically, the USSR did it to itself, with minimal affects from the outside. But the whole reason that communism had any followers was because of its poverty, and that has now grown to a great extent in Russia and other former USSR satellites. If we don't watch Putin and his Chechneyan war closer, we'll be looking at a fascist government in Russia.

Third, though the Pope was a proud opponent of communism, in his later years, he became an outspoken opponent of unrestrained captalism as well. Though hating communism and what it did to the people, he did not embrace laissez-faire economics. 

Posted by theprisoner6
Ahem. Never let it be said that we at the SOTR do not encourage debate. That said, I must fundamentally disagree with The Prisoner (of what I have no idea) has stated as fact.

The peopld of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics freed themselves as a direct result of the pressure exerted upon their government and economies by people such as Ronaldus Magnus, Pope John Paul II, and Maggie Thatcher. This cannot be disputed. You cannot say that under the leadership of Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, or Michael Dukakis that the USSR would have imploded.

None of these leaders would have told Gorbachev to pound sand at Rekyavik. They were interested in getting along with the Soviets. Reagan was interested in defeating them. Just because there was no actual shooting war in the end does not make Communism any less defeated.

Communism and Socialism have failed every single time, and in every single instance it has been attempted. You cannot hold up Cuba or North Korea as a success story. Even a basic glance at the economies and people of those two countries would prove their brand of communism is an abject failure.

China, seeing the writing on the wall, has attempted to introduce market based principles into its economy on a limited scale. The only problem is capitalism has a nasty habit of taking over once it gets its nose under the tent. The Chinese will eventually learn that people have an almost insatiable thirst for freedom once exposed to even the tiniest bit thereof.

You are correct in stating that Pope John Paul II was a proud opponent of communism. I am not familiar enough with his writings and teachings to dispute his statement on "unrestrained capitalism". I can, however, state for the record that he was always an unwavering proponent of freedom.

As far as I know, freedom only thrives under one system.

Here endeth the lesson. 

Posted by Cordeiro
As far as I know, freedom only thrives under one system. 

Freedom thrives under capitalism or democracy? Or republic? Which system? There are many that have varying degrees of freedom, though none, including anarchy (leads to mob rule), is completely free.

The people in the USSR rose up because some old Communist hardliners tried to forcibly invade the Kremlin. Which, you have my agreement here, was affected by Western policies.

I don't think Cuba and North Korea are failed states at all, but I would agree that they don't compare to the US. China is coming close, but is still small potatoes right now.

I doubt the capitalism will change China into a democracy. That's laughable at best. It will have to back over some economic stangle holds, but it still internally controlls all of its currency and that won't change at all until 2007.

Capitalism is not synomous with freedom anyhow. You can make a buck in North Korea and Russia pretty easily. But if the government unfairly shuts you down, who's going to listen if the state controls all media outlets and court decisions? 

Posted by theprisoner6
I don't think Cuba and North Korea are failed states at all.

Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

Even the most dyed in the wool communist must admit that North Korea and Cuba are failed states. It is a fact, and facts are stubborn things, that these two nations - North Korea more so that Cuba - are on the brink of economic collapse and have been for most of recent history.

North Korea is led by a man who most flatteringly can be termed mentally unstable. His population, minus those who serve in the military are starving. North Korea exports nothing of value (save nuclear technology to terrorist states) and imports almost everything it uses. Take a look at the CIA's summary on the country here . If you don't like that source, other sources such as the UN will confirm it for you. To call this country anything more than an abject failure suggests an inability to understand the way the world works.

Cuba is another story with the same outcome. Just look at the numbers. Castro runs his country with an iron fist. Hell, they're still driving Chevys from the 1950's down there and calling it the latest innovation in transportation. If Cuba is such a huge success, why is it that nearly two of every thousand people in Cuba migrate someplace else? If the same rate were applied to the US, roughly 395,000 would leave this country every year looking for something better.

Capitalism is synonomus with freedom. Under no other system can a person live free, talk free, go or come, buy or sell, be drunk or sober. If Communism were such a great system, or promoted freedom in any way, shape, manner or form, people would be dying to get into places like Cuba and North Korea. I hate to burst your bubble, but people are dying to get out of those places to go just about anywhere else.

That, dear Prisoner, is the definition of a failed system. 

Posted by Cordeiro
I appreciate you elaborating on your previous comment. You didn't really answer anything until your last paragraph:

"Capitalism is synonomus with freedom. Under no other system can a person live free, talk free, go or come, buy or sell, be drunk or sober. If Communism were such a great system, or promoted freedom in any way, shape, manner or form, people would be dying to get into places like Cuba and North Korea. I hate to burst your bubble, but people are dying to get out of those places to go just about anywhere else. "

I don't support communism, nor am I itching to gain another country's citzenship. Why does this have to be black or white/right or left?

I just said that capitalism is only economic freedom. One can look at America in the early 1900s for the "company towns", child labor, and monopolies of unrestrained captitalism, which limits other freedoms, not  expand them. Freedom is not just about making a buck, but being free socially and personally. An open society is definitely not synomous with capitalism though to be successful in a democracy they must go hand-in-hand.

It's interesting how far you went to argue Cuba and North Korea are failed states, but never mentioned China again. There are many more clear examples of failed states in Africa, namely the Sudan. I don't think communism has anything to do with most of them (though theocratic fascism in Darfur does).

Do you think there are only "successful states" and "failed states", nothing in-between? Even the DHS has more nuance with their 5-color terrorist alerts !

You seem intelligent enough, why are you quoting knee-jerk right-wing argument scripts? 

Posted by theprisoner6
Knee-jerk, Right-wing Argument Scripts ?

Please, sir. My time is far too limited to parrot anyone else's script but my own.

And, for the record, we're not looking at 1900's America with its company towns and arcane child labor laws. If we wanted to look for something similar to that, we could go to China, where such practices are frequent and ongoing.

By the way, I only focused on the failures of North Korea and Cuba because you held them up to be successful and places where you can easily earn a buck.

As for why I draw a stark line between success and failure, its because that is the way the world works. You either win, or you lose. As in life, there are far more failures than there are successes. Communism has failed, but people think that if you just tweak it a little more it will produce a utopian society. You'll spend a very long time trying to find this utopian society if you search in North Korea, China, or Cuba. 

Posted by Cordeiro
"Communism has failed, but people think that if you just tweak it a little more it will produce a utopian society. You'll spend a very long time trying to find this utopian society if you search in North Korea, China, or Cuba.  "

Since you were so courteous to my previous comments, I am glad we can end on some kind of agreement. There is no government utopia, whether it be communism, oligarchy, capitalism, democracy or anarchy. Searching for one and claiming to have found one is an illusion. And I definitely don't think we'll find a utopian society in NK, China or Cuba, even after capitalism takes hold.

Where we might disagree is I don't think we have one in USA either. Though it is definitely better than most. 

Posted by Anonymous
Post a Comment

<< Home


Powered by Blogger eXTReMe Tracker

Mormon Temple
Dusty Harry Reid Dusty Harry Reid Drunk Ted Kennedy Sons of the Republic