Socialism Or Barbarism – Well, You Can Have Both

Matt Treacy @ Brocaire Books argues that socialism and barbarism are more closely linked than many on the Left are willing to accept. 

In 1916 the Polish Marxist Rosa Luxemburg posited that the choice facing humanity was between “socialism and barbarism.”

Little did she realise that the two are far from being incompatible. Indeed as a Jew she would have been unlikely to have survived the division of her homeland between the National and Internationalist socialists of Germany and the soviet Union in 1939. Had she been on the Soviet side they’d have handed her to the Gestapo.

A few years ago I was in the smoking area of the Flowing Tide where I eavesdropped on a conversation between a Latvian woman and two Dublin chaps. Apparently they had been arguing over the merits of Stalin, of whom the two Dubs were effusive in his praise.

She was not convinced and her eventual response was to say to them that three of her grandparents had disappeared after the Stalin – Hitler alliance of 1939: One to the west to a German camp; two to the Gulag in the east. No-one ever saw them again. Just another of the unspeakable horrors we in this little backwater have been fortunate to avoid.

If barbarism is defined by anything, then cannibalism is well up there. The last major incidence of cannibalism in Europe occurred during the artificially induced famine in the Ukraine in 1933. It was brought about by Stalin’s thugs in the NKVD seizing the food that his incompetent regime was incapable of producing for the Russian cities.

Anyone who has read Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, or seen the Aguierresrobe/Hillcoat film version of his dystopian nightmare will be familiar with the concept of roaming gangs of cannibals harvesting captives for food. In the Ukraine in 1933 that was not a fantasy. Gangs hunted the countryside and abducted people to be eaten.

The Ukrainians describe what happened as the Holodomor, which roughly translates as “extermination by hunger.” The generally accepted death toll is just under 4,000,000. Four million.

Timothy Synder in Bloodlands quotes one Ukrainian historian on the horrors that entailed:
One day the children suddenly fell silent, we turned around to see what was happening, and they were eating the smallest child, little Petrus. They were tearing strips from him and eating them. And Petrus was doing the same, he was tearing strips from himself and eating them., he ate as much as he could. The other children put their lips to his wounds and drank his blood. We took the child away from the hungry mouths and we cried.(Synder, Bloodlands, p51.)

Socialism or barbarism.

Cannibalism was also common during the Chinese Communist “Cultural Revolution.” According to one escapee:

At some high schools pupils killed their principals in the school courtyard and then cooked and ate their bodies to celebrate a triumph over “counter-revolutionaries,” ….. Government run cafeterias are said to have displayed bodies dangling on meat hooks and to have served human flesh to employees.
Roger Waters thinks that it is okay to put on concerts for these people, but not for Jews.

The latest instances of cannibalism under socialism are from North Korea where there was another famine caused by incompetence and feudal greed on the part of the Song gang. Human flesh was sold on street stalls. State controlled street stalls, obviously. One would not want to undermine the revolution.

Socialism or barbarism.

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Anthony McIntyre

Former IRA prisoner, spent 18 years in Long Kesh. Free Speech advocate, writer, historian, humanist, and researcher.

7 comments to ''Socialism Or Barbarism – Well, You Can Have Both"

  1. It is the democratic republic we seek and nothing beyond.

  2. Sean, is your democratic republic similar to the late German Democratic Republic, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, or the Lao People's Democratic Republic? Or have you another example you wish to emulate?

  3. It is for the Irish people, freely and of themselves, to determine the Ireland and the Republic they wish to live in. National Constituent Assembly, elected by popular suffrage, is the appropriate forum for them to do so and for this to be thrashed out. I don't see the need to go further, other than to say that this process must effect a full restoration of the Republic and its constitutional integrity.

  4. Sean, I respect your good intentions. I just wonder how a democratic republic would be allowed to develop, given the less than democratic nature of those who have been and are its main promoters.

    It has worked out very badly in various societies throughout the world when its promoters were anti-democratic to the core. The gang became the essence of the 'democracy', not the people.

  5. Every Irish citizen should have access to the democratic process, with those who exercise power on their behalf being accountable to their constituents in a real and tangible sense. That for me is what an Irish Republic must offer. At this point, it's hard to imagine that Irish Unity will come to pass absent the consent of the people, freely expressed. I can see your point but not why it should overly concern us in 2017. The war is over.

  6. And has been for over 20 years...

  7. Sean, thanks for the reassurance about your vision. If the whole republican movement were of the same mind, that would be fine. My concern lies in what today's republicans would be like after a free and consensual election. Have they a truly democratic mindset, or are they committed to democracy merely as a means to gain power - after which they will dispense with democracy like the Bolsheviks and Nazis did?

    Do we see democratic basics shining through the parties that represent Irish Republicanism today? Or do we see in embryo the all-powerful Party? I'm an outsider to all of them, So it is a genuine question. It just seems from here that they might be reluctant to submit to the democratic process forever.


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