Uncommon Sense

October 26, 2017

Which One of These Is Not Like the Other?

Filed under: Culture,Economics,Politics — Steve Ruis @ 10:35 am
Tags: ,

The Chinese government is busy with the annual convening of the Communist Party. In their sessions, they reinforced that they were in charge, that they are the only political party allowed (birthday parties are okay still), and they feel perfectly comfortable controlling what ordinary citizens hear, see, and think. Chinese citizens exercise to “patriotic” music, even singing along. They read an ever-changing list of words that are not allowed to be used on their social media (and if they do use them, they should expect a knock on their door). The “party” exerts its control over the most minute aspects of their subject’s lives and their subjects are expected to venerate the party because … just because, or maybe “or else.”

We read about this and smirk. Those people aren’t free like us. We have all of the advantages of capitalism and freedom and they do not (smirk, smirk). Those people are like sheep, blindly following the elites as if they were shepherds. We are so superior, so exceptional! We’re No. 1, we’re No. 1!

Are we?

Try running for president as an atheist.

Try suing Goldman-Sachs for their multiple criminal behaviors.

Try to get your Congressman to carry a piece of legislation “for the people.”

Try running for office under the banner of a third party.

Try challenging the $8,000,000,000 annual federal subsidy of the U.S. oil industry, you know, the one making the massive profits.

Try finding out whether the U.S. “intelligence” agencies are still running every phone call you make through filters looking for key words they don’t like.

Try kneeling during the playing of the national anthem, even though there is no law against it.

Try driving (or shopping, or playing, or walking, or skipping) while Black.

Try getting your local city council to stop having Christian prayers said at every meeting.

Try getting your local oil refinery to clean up the incredible messes they have made.

Try suing your financial advisor for serving his own interests above yours.

Try eating without working.

Need I go on?

The difference between visible control by an elite class and invisible control by an elite class is, uh, subtlety? A matter of style? Do you get more points when the plebs buy into the system through which they are oppressed that they do the oppressing for you?

Just asking.


  1. I’m not going to argue that we are completely free here in the US, but I was born in a socialist country and had a chance to experience the “freedom” there firsthand, or secondhand from my family members, and compare it to the US. And the amount of freedom in the US versus what we had back then in that country is just incomparable.
    So, what was it like…
    You could not travel to another country without a very good reason like competing in Olympics.
    You couldn’t in many cases pick your job: after graduating from college, a lot of people were assigned to jobs somewhere in remote towns and villages.
    You could not run for office – in the “elections” that were held, there was one candidate already selected by the party – so, for that matter, you could not even chose your government officials.
    You couldn’t sue the government or an firm (also, basically, the government) to get it to stop doing something.
    You couldn’t protest the government or even express your disapproval.
    You couldn’t generally buy or rent an apartment: a room or an apartment would be assigned to you by the government.
    You couldn’t generally talk to foreigners, or listen to foreign radio broadcasts.
    And there was a lot of other “you couldn’ts” that I just don’t recall, but a lot of that stuff is something we here in the US simply take for granted.


    Comment by List of X — October 27, 2017 @ 12:03 am | Reply

    • I think I made this point with regard to China. You’ll note that I am not recommending China, I am saying that we have many similar controls on behavior, they are just not visible. You can’t have a major country without a controlling elite (at least not yet).

      I am not suggesting socialism, certainly not a version that is totalitarian, like in China or the USSR or 1930’s Germany. But something like what the Scandinavian countries have doesn’t look too bad. Slapping a label on a government and calling it socialist doesn’t make it socialist, Hitler proved that beyond any shadow of a doubt. The idea of socialism doesn’t make a government, just as democracy doesn’t (we have a republican democracy or a democratic republic). Our version of capitalist democracy certainly differs from Canada’s, England’s, etc. The problem with capitalism, almost no matter it is structured, it creates wealth concentration which equate to power concentration. And, apparently, anyone with power seems to know how things need to run. And the person(s) who benefits most is the person in power.

      On Fri, Oct 27, 2017 at 12:03 AM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:



      Comment by Steve Ruis — October 27, 2017 @ 11:35 am | Reply

      • Scandinavia is capitalist, just as the US. The main difference is that a larger portion of the economy is socialized in Scandinavia, but I’m pretty sure that a majority of their GDP comes from private business activity.
        But I think we need to distinguish between the economy type and the government type, as you could have either a capitalist or a socialist economy with a level of a government control ranging from a nearly libertarian (theoretically) to full totalitarian.


        Comment by List of X — October 27, 2017 @ 11:55 am | Reply

        • Canada is capitalist, too, but they had no banking crisis in 2008 or thereafter. They suffered because of the global economic slowdown, of course, but they had no direct effects like high unemployment in the U.S. Capitalism can play a small role in an economy but if it plays a large role, then the wealth accumulation effects result in a small elite forming which huge amounts of wealth which equals huge amounts of power and soon the government, whatever it is, is being run by the elite. The elite, and it’s prefered system, capitalism, must be controlled by the many, or the reverse will be true shortly later.

          An elite ran the USSR, an elite runs Russia now, and an elite runs China. And if you do not think they are rich, think again. They either have the money themselves, like the King of Thailand, or they control those who do.

          On Fri, Oct 27, 2017 at 11:55 AM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:



          Comment by Steve Ruis — October 27, 2017 @ 12:07 pm | Reply

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