Monday, January 17, 2011

Communism Now

    Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day because apparently his father didn't do anything we should celebrate.  Anyway, all of the Federal and a lot of State offices are closed today, which is cool, and we should all take a moment to honor Dr. King for the change that he effected, and I was planning of talking about him today but sometimes you have to fly by the seat of your pants and be willing to change course mid-stream and so today I want to talk about Communism.
     Twice today, in my first two hours of being at work, I have hear Communism referred to in a totally incorrect manner, and so I thought that maybe it was time to sort of set the record straight when it comes to our Red friends.  I say our Red friends because Communists aren't our enemies anymore.  You can go on all you want about China, but they aren't really communists anymore anyway, they have become more of a capitalist oligarchy shrouded in a veil of communism than anything, but I digress.  My main point here is that now-a-days Communists aren't really anything to be feared, they are usually a minority party that wins some seats in a European parliamentary election but never actually get anything done.
     So anyway, the first instance was when I was walking by someone's cubicle and overheard them saying that someone charging them a fee for billing them was like communism.  All I could think when I heard that was "No it's not, that is the exact opposite of communism."  Charging someone for the privilege of being billed is not communism, Company, it is as close as one can come to capitalism.  In a communist system, there would be no charge for seeing the doctor so there would be no bill.  In capitalism, they are probably working out a way in which to charge you for the air that you are breathing withing the doctor's office, they just haven't figured out a way to quantify it yet without violating your civil liberties.  But that's coming next, watch out.
      Now I know what this person, who shall remain nameless, was getting at.  He or she was trying to say that charging you for getting a bill is evil, criminal, morally wrong.  Stupid, unjust, bad business practice.  Etc, etc.  And I couldn't agree more whole-heartedly.  There is no reason why you should have to pay a rather substantial fee for having a single piece of paper sent to you that says how much your bill is just because you didn't pay your copay when walking through the door.  That is just fucking stupid.  Five years ago someone who suggested that would have been committed to the looney bin.  That being said, it is not communist.  That is all that I am saying.
    Second instance is a guy on the phone, who calls me up.  I am not going to bore you with the details, but basically I tell him he can't do what he wants to do (build a house) because he is registered in a different state, and you can only work in the state in which you are registered.  So he tells me that sounds "very Communistic" which is hilarious on so many levels.  First of, Communistic isn't a word as far as I am aware, but then again it could be - I am not the ultimate source on what is or is not a word.  At least he used a general rule of grammar to come up with it.  So he's got that going for him, which is nice.  But no, I was not being communist or "communistic" or anything else really.  Yeah, from where he was sitting I was probably being all the things above - evil, etc. - but if I was being communist I would have told him to leave that to the house building members of the cooperative, and that if he was one of the house-building members then he was probably in possession of all the credentials he needed.  Now if he were to argue that I was being "communistic" because I wasn't allowing him to do what he wanted, then maybe I would be okay with that.  In the commune you might not be able to be what you wanted to be.  So he might have me there, but I am not so sure he was bright enough to think that argument through.
     Bottom line here, folks, is that we need to know what we are talking about before we open our mouths and put our feet in our own mouths, which I admit I have done many, many times in this forum.  But it was just so bizarre to hear that term dredged up twice in one morning, and used basically incorrectly each time, that I couldn't pass it up.  I hope you are having a wonderful Dr. MLK Jr Day, and I hope that offering those tidings is not too "communistic."

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