Revolutionary thinking, from my family to Karl Marx
My family, the Puritans, who were living in America in 1776, were revolutionaries. Nowadays the term "patriot" is used, but back then being a patriot meant supporting the King, which we didn't. We were revolutionaries. And as Benjamin Franklin said, "if we didn't hang together, we would hang separately". We organized an army. We fought with guerrilla tactics.
The rejection of Imperial power has always been the story of revolutionaries. Oppressive government causes groups of people to not only reject the authority, but to fight against it. In the case of the American Revolution, at least here in the U.S., we applaud it. In the case of the revolution against the Czars of Russia, not so much.
The revolution in Russia was the brainchild of Karl Marx, who wrote "The Communist Manifesto". Yes, Joseph Stalin put it into practical practice, but he was following the words of Marx. The main idea, in case you'd rather not be seen walking around with a copy of "The Communist Manifesto", is that the wealth was concentrated in the hands of very few people, and something needed to be done about it.
The establishment of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was supposed to bring about the utopian world of "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs". But as an experiment in equality, it was a terrible failure. Communism turned very suddenly into the worst type of dictatorship. If you know your history of Communism, including Cuba and Red China, you know that.
I grew up in a world that rejected the concept of Communism. Fidel Castro was a dangerous madman. Mao Tse Tung was mentioned in a Beatle's song, with the recommendation that you shouldn't go carrying pictures of him. Wars were fought by the United States in Korea and Vietnam in order to prevent the spread of Communism. And in 1989, I watched on TV as the ultimate symbol of that victory was torn down, the Berlin Wall.
My family rejected the Divine Right of Kings in 1776. They rejected National Socialism (Nazism) in World War II. They reject Kings, and they reject Dictators. We bow to no one, except maybe God, and that is a choice that we can make for ourselves.
As a kid, I wanted to learn about this stuff, so I read some books. But the feelings still run so deep that even intellectual curiosity is seen as perversive. If you're curious about how all of this went down, go take a look at your local library. The United States does not censor books. This, among many other freedoms, is what my family fought for, and won.
Posted by Brad Hall