Exactly fifty years ago, in the pre-dawn hours of March 2, 1962 a coup d’etat was committed in my native country, by a general whose name I shall remember for the rest of my life,. I was asleep in my bed when the action occurred and most of the country did not know about it until we woke up to the announcement on state radio which had been taken over as part of the action.
I also learned shortly thereafter that a friend and a former classmate was the only person killed in the coup by soldiers who went to arrest his father who was a former and first president of the country right after independence. My friend had the courage and bravado of defending his father with a traditional sword when he was shot dead.
We learned that the perpetrators had formed a governing body calling themselves ‘Revolutionary Council’ and began their rule which changed the course of history and forever changed my life and plunged the country into a nightmare of socialist poverty and destructive misrule stemming from ineptitude, corruption and bankruptcy of ideas.
The excuse given by the perpetrators was that the multiparty parliamentary system was leading us into a multiethnic conflict and the action was committed to prevent the breakup of the union of states which made up the country.
The government ruled by edict and decree rather than legislation since the parliament was dissolved together with the constitution and every now and then announcements of new regulations and laws were made on radio and through the newspapers .
A one party system was proclaimed legalizing only the existence of the Socialist Program Party as legitimate and local party branches were formed with a cadre of faithful. Corruption and abuse of power became rampant and the party and its officers and officials looted the country blind, simultaneously leaving an economy in tatters and degrading the educational, industrial and agriculture infrastructure causing a bankruptcy of materials and breaking the spirit of its people.
The government grew very large since the party now owned the country and the party used the national coffers as its own piggy bank and was so successful in fighting capitalism–since this is the basic concept of Marxist-socialism–that there was no working capital left. Instead of forming a classless society they were successful in creating a class of the governing and of the governed.
All of the freedoms which were taken for granted in western democracies disappeared, where imprisonments were common for anything that the government deems subversive and since there was no longer protection by law, the enforcer on the scene dictated what constituted an infringement.
Fast forward fifty years and here I am in the USA and becoming involved in a major political party as a volunteer; not so much because I am politically inclined by nature but because I saw the body of socialism slowly casting its long shadow on the American scene. I am seeing the deliberate sidestepping of laws and ignoring of constitutional safeguards by the groups in power irrespective of party labels. The disgusting manner in which the recent health care law was passed, serves as an example of bribery as well as intimidation.
Even the party out of power routinely uses undemocratic and corrupt practices. I was astonished when recently party bosses dictated to the county parties that only their endorsed candidate can be accommodated at official party events prior to the primary election, and ordered the county parties to leave the other candidates out in the cold; a form of banishment. The only noticeable difference between them and the Socialist Program Party was that they(here) escaped imprisonment.
About six weeks ago I was at a meet and greet for a statewide candidate. He was well received but someone in the crowd commented loudly that he wished there was only one party and one candidate. I don’t know why he really wished it but it may have stemmed from his disappointment with the two major parties or even the fact that he considers that both parties are equally corrupt or because the parties are in bed with each other that there wasn’t any difference that he could discern or because he felt so discouraged by the national decline and the bad economic times.
But whatever his reasons were, it struck a nerve with me and I had to get up and say that I had lived under a one party system where only one candidate was up for election when that was allowed to even occur, and that he should be ashamed to wish for a one party system upon the USA.
One thing that he was obviously not aware of when he said what he said was that at least in America, we can take turns at being corrupt and we don’t have to look at the same faces and the same party emblems and labels that those faces always seem to wear on their lapels. We’ve all heard the saying that ‘absolute power corrupts absolutely’ ; therefore why can’t we share in the fruits corruption and take turns being so?
In our western democracies, socialists also get their turn at the pot; they raise taxes and grow the government and get to share in the largess. Francois Hollande is the socialist candidate for the upcoming presidential election and he is leading in the polls right now. In his pre -election exuberance he has advocated a tax increase from 41% to 45% for incomes above €150000 and up to 75% for those earning €1 million and above. This is in spite of the knowledge that he won’t be raising much revenue, if at all.
Do you remember candidate Obama’s answer to Charlie Gibson of ABC in that 2008 Democratic debate. Charlie pointed out the same fact to Obama and the latter answered that he wanted to raise taxes for fairness and nowadays he is waging class warfare; so by deduction he behaves like a socialist and acts like one–may be it is time to call himself one, just to be honest for this once.