Diane Watson’s remarksthe other day sent me into a surreal Winston Smith like moment like “Am I the only one with a memory?” “Think what you want about Fidel Castro” was such an utterly bizzare thing to say I actually googled Castro, brutality to make sure I wasn’t imagining the whole brutal dictator thing. Nah. From the Miami Herald:
“According to Amnesty International, no other country of Cuba’s size has held so many political prisoners for so long under such inhumane circumstances of atrocity and terror…Since taking power in 1959 Castro has arrested opponents on trumped up charges, railroaded them through phony trials, and sentenced them to outrageously long prison terms that sometimes are extended without recourse. Cuban prisoners have been shot, stabbed, denied medical attention, and held in isolation for years at a time. Beatings by guards and police were routine. Some of Castro’s once close allies and collaborators have been executed by firing squads, in one case only 24 hours after the victim’s mother had been assured by Fidel himself that her son would be pardoned” (from “Castro’s Cruelty Must Be Thwarted” by Dick Capen, Miami Herald 9/21/86)
But hey “think what you want about Fidel Castro” Cubans have health care! Who cares about decades-long imprisonment and arbitrary executions. That’s nothing compared to evil insurance companies who don’t want to “insure” people who are already sick.
What I can’t get my head around is this: How is it possible that in a Constitutionally limited Republic we have openly communist elected officials? I mean, it’s like if you had a football team and one guy shows up with golf clubs. It just isn’t possible for a communist to take an oath to uphold the Constitution and mean it. Vladimir Lenin had nothing in common with Thomas Jefferson. His philosophy of government “The scientific concept of dictatorship means nothing else but this:power without limit, resting directly upon force, restrained by no laws, absolutely unrestricted by rules” is the exact antithesis of what our founders intended.
Liberal friends of mine act like I’m some kind of paranoaic to oppose Obamacare (alongside more than half the country) “Obama’s not going to break into your house and kill your grandma”. Several things strike me about this statement. For one thing, it’s not like it’s entirely unheard of for government agents to break into people’s homes and kill them as a result of expanding government power. This has happened many times as part of the war on drugs, sometimes by accident because the cops were given the wrong address and a few times- unfortunately – because they were bad cops who wanted to seize the person’s property and the drug laws provided a convenient cover. (As discussed by James Bovard in “Lost Rights”.)
Secondly, they always seem to phrase it the same way. “Obama’s not going to break into your house” as if it’s the breaking in that’s the important part of the equation. Of course he wouldn’t. Even the most brutal regimes generally didn’t “break into people’s houses”, they’d knock. “Breaking in” is for those who don’t have authority. Thirdly (and obviously) when it comes to healthcare no “killing” is even neccessary. Just “Sorry, that procedure has not been approved.” and you have death by bureaucracy. Leaving aside the question of Obamacare in particular though – of course nobody expects their government to kill them, but it would be naive to think it couldn’t happen.
I’ve been reading R. J. Rummel’s book “Death by Government” and have come to the conclusion that communist slaughter doesn’t get nearly enough publicity. Can you name the two biggest mass murderers of the 20th Century? Maybe so, especially now that I hinted, but I got it wrong. I thought it was Hitler & Stalin but it’s actually Stalin and Mao -and, growing up, I don’t even remember learning that Mao was ever especially brutal. Everyone knows the Nazi’s killed 6 million Jews but are they familiar with the knowledge that the Soviets killed 61,911,000 people – most of whom are their own citizens? (and that’s just the conservative, mid range average) Rummel Summarizes that root cause of all the killing “Marxism + Power” if Americans really understood this, really let it sink in, I don’t think “from each according to his ability to each, according to his need” would be mistaken for part of the Constitution.
Rummel thoroughly studied 218 regimes to look for patterns and concluded ” In each case, as the arbitrary power of a regime increases massively, that is, as we move from democratic through authoritarian to totalitarian regimes, the amount of killing jumps by huge multiples. ” “Power kills and absolute power kills absolutely”.
Quite a case for limited government.