Sunday, September 04, 2011

It's Even Worse Than I Thought

First, let me apologize.  I didn't stop an echo here.  It is hard to do with family, I'll grant you.  And she's in her 90's, so ....  I'm not about screwing up family time, really.  You have to pick your battles when it comes to family.

But sitting at dinner tonight, talking to The Progressive (family member), who finished reading "Last Man Out" which was written by a man who lives in the same retirement community she does.

She said it was impressive what Castro had accomplished, raising the literacy rate from very low to almost 100%, and the universal health care, yada, yada ....

"The only thing that went wrong was the sugar cane didn't do as well as they expected, so they didn't have the money they needed."

I am telling you, my tongue has tooth perforations in it, and it was all I could do to keep blood from shooting out of my eyes.  My wife was looking at me to watch my reaction.

Later she [my wife] told me that in an earlier conversation The Progressive had told her that "the rich people all 'left' because they couldn't have it the way they wanted it. They all went to Florida."

Oh, yes, they were just irritated and just voluntarily packed their bags and left.  Right.

'The way they wanted it'.  You know, little things like property rights. "Hey, give us your property and submit or we'll kill you." Yeah, they left with their lives -- when they could.

"I didn't read the parts about Castro and the military and all that. That stuff doesn't interest me."

It would never occurr to her that perhaps the sugar cane production didn't meet expectations because, unlike in a Capitalist system, there was no personal incentive to do the work to make it produce what privateers, who had incentive, used to make it produce before you stole their land, or murdered them and took it, or just kicked them out of the country, happy to escape with their lives -- and took it.


The woman is a full-blown Socialist.


Cylar said...

"The only thing that went wrong was the sugar cane didn't do as well as they expected, so they didn't have the money they needed."

Right...kind of like how the Soviet Union had bad wheat harvests for 50 years straight because of "bad weather."

Funny how the Cuba-worshippers never take notice of how 1/5 of the island's population fled the little socialist paradise over the years, or how it exported food back in the 1950s but now must buy what it needs to feed its people. Or its human rights record, or its collusion with the Soviets during the 60s and 70s, or its invasion of Grenada...or its recent palling-around with Hugo Chavez, who is openly hostile to the United States.

Progressives. Seldom right, but never in doubt.

Severian said...


that stuff was "the Embargo," of course. It's not that people want to leave communist countries because they're hellish police states; it's that the United States (or "the West," or "global finance capital") hates and fears the proletariat so much they pull out all the stops to make sure the socialist utopia is never achieved. After all -- all together now -- "real socialism has never been tried."

I think the real reason Cuba appeals to these people is that Americans of all political stripes simply can't take Latin America seriously. I mean, you'd expect them to be at least a little conflicted -- here's one of their heroes (Castro) who defied another one of their heroes (Kennedy), and it's right off our coast, so it's not like conditions there are some big secret. But they care even less than they do about socialist horrors elsewhere.

It's a running theme in US history -- Latin America is there to be kicked around, vacationed in, dictated to, and occasionally invaded, but so long as the coffee and the cocaine keep flowing, lots of us think of everything from the Rio Grande to the Ross Ice Shelf as one big Speedy Gonzalez cartoon. Even the left, so quick to label any dictator less socialist than Mao as "right wing," just can't seem to muster up much rage for ol' Pinochet, to say nothing of the various weirdos and sleazy caudillos who ran lots of other places most of the time.

Which is bad news for us, because Hugo Chavez, for one, is a very nasty man and we'd do well to keep an eye on him. But we won't, because we're stupid. But that's a gripe for another day...

So anyway, where was I? Oh, yeah: Cuba. It's got nice weather, and if you've starred in a movie in the last 30 years they'll put you up in the best hotel in Havana, and so they'll always have their willing dupes. And since many Americans actually brag, God help us, about getting their news from places like the Daily Show... ugh. You do the math.

philmon said...

. But we won't, because we're stupid. But that's a gripe for another day...

Feeling a little down today, are we, Severian? ;-)

philmon said...

It just hit me the real reason I didn't pipe up (I did mutter something about command economies always producing poor people) and Stop an Echo.

There were exactly three people in the room. Her. My wife. And myself.

The wife ain't gonna buy it, I'm sure not gonna buy it, and nothing I could say would convince The Progressive that her (not hers, really, but the one she was parroting) assessment was wrong.

The main reason I piped up in other situations with this same person is that there were other people around to whom the echo could spread unchallenged, and it's that, really, that I'm in the business of preventing.