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When the Opposition Marxist Leader (and would-be Prime Minister) Corbyn, along with his Shadow Chancellor, speaks in the Commons and at Party Conferences of the Labour Party’s desire to re-nationalise everything, they wish to complete the age-old call for control of both resource, of the means of production, and, to complete the theoretical circle, control the people who served as the engine which worked that resource, as well as the means of production. The Theory of Marxism reads great, but, as we saw in the brutal dictatorship which saw Stalin’s terror mean the death of millions, the forced deportation of many millions more, and the deadly rule of the State organs such as the KGB.
When I read of modern-day apologists for Socialism and Communism, I am reminded, once again, of the fatal flaw in this present generation: namely, they have no memories of the darker side of Socialism; they have not truly witnessed the sheer brutality meted out by those who were on the ‘winning’ side in what amounted to a Communist dictatorship.
At the age of seventy-nine, I can look back upon a lifetime spent in freedom; the freedoms which we take for granted; of the freedom to marry, to raise a family, to work, to relax and to participate, however small that participation may have been, in the continuation of Democracy.
But I digress: I remember a time, when, much younger, I was an Engineer Officer in the British Merchant Navy. I served on board a vessel which ran from England through the Med., and on to ports in Greece, Istanbul in Turkey: then through the Bosphorus into the Black Sea ports of Bulgaria and Roumania. I wrote about this on my own site, but would copy a few sentences from this post to give modern day readers some idea of what the Socialist Paradise actually ‘lived’ like. The city of Constanta was overwhelmingly bland, and well mirrored by the bleak ranks of the concrete hutches masquerading as the Communists’ ‘holiday apartments’ spread along the beaches of Mamaia, the ‘resort’ next to the city. The regime ruling Romania was a hard-line Communist dictatorship headed by Ceaucescu, a ruler so ‘loved’ by his people that he was summarily lynched when he was deposed during the revolution.
I would like to tell you about a small occurrence in Constanta, during my last trip there in 1963, to demonstrate what it was actually like living in a Socialist paradise! The whole port area was cordoned off, with barbed wire everywhere, uniformed gun-carrying guards everywhere, and access was strictly controlled. The harbour itself was protected by a harbour wall, upon which fishermen used to sit or stand for hours, hoping to increase their meagre rations by the free bounty of the sea. Access and egress was controlled by heavily-guarded gates, through which the fishermen had to pass when leaving the dockside. The rule was that every fisherman was allowed three fish free through, but any caught over that number had to be offered to the gate guards. If they didn’t want the excess, or they had already confiscated enough, the fishermen were allowed through with their extra fish, but; I stress, the fish had to be declared! We, as filthy capitalists, were allowed into the city, but only after being issued with special passes which were suspiciously scrutinised by the gate guards. As you can imagine, in a labour-intensive place like a Commie-controlled port, there were massive queues come knocking-off time! We headed out into town round about six in the evening, but there was still a substantial queue in the locals’ queue, which we were able to by-pass, being filthy-rich capitalists, you understand; so it was from an an almost empty gate lane that we saw the true face of Communism in action!
A fisherman had caught seven fish, and had shown the required three, and had declared a further two, but had slung the other two fish from twine down his back, under his coat. Because of the long queues, the slime and blood from the fish had started to leak, and had run down his back onto his trousers. He had in fact passed through the gate, and has started walking up the rise towards the main road, when the ‘spotter’, a guard who, presumably posted to watch for just this occasion, called out to his machine-gun toting buddies, three of whom raced out and surrounded the ‘criminal’. They pulled his coat off, took the fish and threw them on the ground; then knocked the fisherman down and commenced kicking him until he lay silent, broken and bloody on the pavement! This in full view of maybe five hundred men standing silently in the queues! As the string of workers was passed through the gates, they one by one passed the broken body by, as though he had been infected with some dread contagious disease, never stopping, never looking! In the end, after maybe fifteen had walked by, we went forward, lifted him onto our arms and carried him the hundred yards to a café. Here we paid the owner to phone for an ambulance, which arrived about twenty minutes later, and the silent but still breathing body of a man who had committed the heinous crime of trying to feed his family was slid into the rear of the vehicle, which slowly rolled away! We never were able to find out what happened, whether the man lived or died, the people who spoke English in the Port clammed up like stones when we attempted to find out his fate!