Friday, October 2, 2009

Brave New World.

Tell me this doesn't remind you of Huxley.
Tell me you don't see a hint of 1984.
Tell me dystopia is a myth.

Go ahead. Tell me.

P.S. Yes, that would indeed be China's National Day parade. And yes, I know the differences between totalitarianism and communism.

I also know the one similarity. That, my friend, would be the deal breaker.


Tangled up in blue... said...

Maybe we're just getting ahead of ourselves here, Indian republic day parades have men in the exact same uniforms marching in step the same way..

But the way communism has turned out in the real world is very sad, as an idea, it sounds so noble and egalitarian..

its just another way to kill the spirit of the people..

Sherry Wasandi said...

It's not the picture. It's the "clicks-right-in-place" association. It being China, is what caused the association.

Ideas, by themselves, are an abstraction. It takes pragmatism to make things happen. I think communism, for every instance it may apply to, has been short-sighted. To put it nicely.

Tangled up in blue... said...

Hmm..Lenin used to call it a "Monument of the Human Mind"..I can just about imagine the history of it must have appealed to young people, who believed it had the promise to change the world, or their world atleast, and how disillusioned it must have made them later when they finally realised their world was going to pieces becoz of it..

Sherry Wasandi said...

That, I completely agree with.

Men of action want things to change. And they want to be the ones bringing that change about.

Essentially, this means that any idea that does not ascribe to the prevalent ones, will appear attractive. To a lot of people, at least.

Philosophies skip generations. Anything except the immediate suffices. I think that's a good thing.

Anonymous said...

it is, mon ami.

Rene Lacoste said...

Marx and his motivations were justified. Communism responds to a real problem. They have one half of the problem right-identification. Is communism the most efficient of ideologies? No. Does it then "deserve" to survive? Probably not. Do we need the most efficient ideology? I don't think so.

Communism isn't dead. Precisely because the questions it raised are still relevant today. Think about your internal system of discipline at some point in time. Think about how possibly, while evolving, mankind could've thought of a "natural" system of governance. Think long and hard. Communist ideologies aren't artificial and imposed. You'll start seeing how basic discipline and restraint are to the achiever in us. And from thereon, when you extend it to a family/community...I guess you'll start seeing how basic communism is.

Pragmatically, has it gone wrong? I can't say. Is China wrong? Are we the right people to ask that question? None of us has been to or lived in China. Those people get a better deal out of their government. Beyond that, they don't care. As don't our people. Isn't their way of life better in some senses?

(I'm sorry if it sounded like a rant or purely reactionary)

Sherry Wasandi said...

1. Communism responds to one real problem. Many ideologies can do better than one. Without blind-siding some basic tenets that communism very conveniently overlooks.

2. We don't need the most efficient ideology? Explain. That comment is beyond me.

3. "Natural" system of governance = survival of the fittest. Equal opportunity, reward as per merit. That's the opposite of communism. Instead of basic, I find the idea to be plain illogical.

4. It's not even about it having gone wrong. The Chinese economy is doing well, what about the society? People have no idea what freedom of speech and expression is. And what it is supposed to mean, or the value of it. They just don't understand the concept.

I speak with first-hand experience. I've been to China. It disturbed me. A lot. The work-culture, the social order, everything.
Get-work, do-work, eat, sleep, stay quiet, don't think.

No religion, no opinion, no free media, restricted access to information. It's not even about molded public psyche, it is NO public psyche at all. It scared me.

Rene Lacoste said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rene Lacoste said...

Chuck it. Half of it was reactionary crap.

Sherry Wasandi said...

Let me get this straight. You're talking about a "fair" life? Goodness, gracious me! Since when has life been known for being fair? Who decides what's fair?

Do you see "fair" all around you? Does "fair" happen to you all the time? Doesn't every single person in this world have to deal with adverse odds in at least one aspect of their life? Do we look for a formula to impose an exactly equal amount of misfortune or luck to be bestowed upon all beings? We don't. Random chance governs some factors. Effort governs the rest.

Yes, the situation is bad. Living under atrocious work-stress for minimum wage. But is it "unfair"? Really? Homogeneity is not natural. That's not how nature works.

On the other hand, take the example of a man who works for well more than his due, but his neighbor lays claim to just as much of a wage as he does. Why would I want to work harder in the first place, when I get no returns? Why would I want another man to feed off my merit. For all that I worked for.

There is no driving competition.

And let me know if losing a few limbs and dying of a seizure by ODing on drugs, trumps efficiency. Anything in moderation doesn't tip the balance. It still remains a generalization.

Here is where I break off and repeat that though I am greatly opposed to it in all respects, I don't care much for contradicting the economical implications of communism. Uptil this line, everything in this comment has been about the economy, purely in response to your comment.

Here is where I get to business:-
What you cite in the last few paragraphs is shirking responsibility. Would you rather have your life in your control, or sell out your existence for controlled circumstances and assurance of the bare-minimum. That's what it comes down to, eventually. Live like a lab-rat or risk dying on a wild-hunt?

Call me a brute, but I'm all for dog-eat-dog. I prefer to fight tooth-and-nail than to... well, than to being a circus lion. Even if it means guaranteed free fish-and-lamb meals. I'm not jumping through any flaming hoops.

If I don't agree with a certain government policy, I demand the right to know about it. In detail. I demand the right to gather a crowd and protest. I demand the right to have access to information. I demand the right to have my salary in direct proportion to the hours I put in and the work I do.

And I couldn't possibly chuck it.
The comment has been archived as one of the few that will be read over again, and pondered upon repeatedly.

Rene Lacoste said...

I'm raising a rare white flag here so that I can take a break and come back and respond to your post. We're going off on a tangent which is a cardinal crime in my book. (No, I'm not admitting defeat :P). I hope you will ponder upon it again and again. Those ideas weren't well articulated. They'll get more and more clear as you keep revisiting

Some things I couldn't resist responding to-you and I would give up our lives rather than give up that right to gather a crowd and protest. Most people, sadly, won't. People won't risk dying on a wild-hunt. They'd prefer bed-tea.

As for fair, tell me that when you say that there is nothing as fair, it comes from your heart and not your head. The problem here is that to understand society, you have to think like they do. Personally of course, the idea's absolute rubbish. But you're thinking of a collective people.

Anyway I'll follow this up with a lot more.

Sherry Wasandi said...


I didn't say there's no such thing as fair. But random chance happens to everyone. It doesn't decide the course of out lives if we don't let it. It just gives us a background of what we are to work towards, or against. And that, comes from both the head and the heart alike. Perfectly synchronized.

I don't understand society. As insensitive as it sounds, I will admit that I don't care enough to try. Which is why I'm not in politics.

Ideas are what interest me. Hence.
And I'll look forward to the follow-ups.

Rene Lacoste said...

An emoticon! Isn't that like an offence to your verbosity? :P

Societies are interesting you know. Especially because they tend to act on some principles, the depths of which, if explored, are or breathtaking beauty. Generalising is an inaccurate business, but a very very interesting one. Think about those three phrases from 1984. A friend and I once spent a whole night discussing those ideas. All of them were bang on accurate. The beauty lay in why they were so accurate.

Read The Idea of Justice. There's an idea he presents-comparative justice versus absolute justice. You'll realise somewhere that "All men are born equal" and the "right to equality" are not only unattainable, but to an extent, even undesirable(Another night long discussion)

Sherry Wasandi said...

I realized that under some very rare circumstances, an emoticon is indeed a genuine form of expression. Mostly though,it really is an offense to verbosity.

Delve deep into the depths of the social threadwork, and I assure you, beauty is what you find if you're either really lucky, or also adhere to the view through rose-tinted glasses. And even if that's true, the beauty is still only in part.

I have a feeling you won't agree. That's probably because beauty means different things to different people.

And this reminds me of how going too far left brings you to the right. It's true, really. Ingsoc=English Socialism. Yet, it would constitute the far right in terms of authoritarianism.

The three phrases are grossly inaccurate if you view them from an existentialist stand. Take the thinking subject as your frame of reference, not a homogenized tin-can society. Another night long discussion on that will get you to a whole different place.

It's all about how you think.

Sherry Wasandi said...

I'll read The Idea of Justice. And I believe that justice, like logic, is absolute and cannot be relative.

But for the latter part, I think you just contradicted yourself in the most eloquent of ways. Up till this point, I was the one pitching against equality.

Rene Lacoste said...

I'll pass. I've been dishing out crappy arguments throughout this discussion...I suggest you remove it from your page altogether. The book's good though. Pretty good.