Twisted Meanings

Words and phrases can mean whatever the user says they mean. This is especially true in politics. Thus a one-party dictatorship, or a forced coalition dominated by one party, can be described as ‘democratic’. Military invasions can be described as ‘peace making’ or ‘defending democracy’, as can building such structures as the Berlin or Israeli/Palestine walls.  Indeed all the above have been so described. What is more, by twisting meanings, every one of them can be argued to be correct.

Take the one-Party dictatorship for example. It can be argued that this system preserves an economic system, Socialism for example, which is by its very nature more democratic than, say, capitalism. Therefore it is a ‘democratic dictatorship’. Moreover, it can be argued that to fully exercise Socialist democracy the masses must join the ruling Party and become active in it in order to influence and collectively decide its policies. Thus the system is entirely ‘democratic’.

What this sort of convoluted argument ignores are such things as the rights of minorities, and the fact that if that one-Party becomes infiltrated and corrupted, then inner-Party democracy is crushed and there is no way of getting rid of the government other than popular revolution, peaceful or otherwise.

Many military invasions have been described as justifiable in order to ‘preserve peace’, ‘protect human rights’ or to ‘defend’ or ‘restore democracy’. This applies to invasions by the USA, Soviet Union, UK, and other countries. Thus the invasion of Iraq was to ‘restore democracy and defend human rights’ and similarly with the NATO military action in Afghanistan, while the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 was described as being ‘to defeat counter-revolution and defend Socialist democracy’. Since, as described above, ‘democracy’ can mean whatever the user wants it to mean, such justifications are meaningless. The same with ‘human rights’ and ‘peace’, these expressions can also mean whatever the user says they mean.

During the Cold War ‘human rights’ in the West meant things such as freedom of speech, freedom from torture, freedom to travel, etc., even if all these rights were not respected in all Western countries which gave lip-service to them. In the Soviet bloc, however, ‘human rights’ meant the right to full employment and security in old age. Same words, completely different priorities and meanings.

The word ‘peace’ has also come to mean almost anything, mimicking George Orwell’s futuristic novels where words had opposite meanings. Nuclear weapons states threaten the worst genocides in human history and claim it is in the interests of ‘preserving peace’. Military invasions of other countries, inevitably resulting in the killing of civilians and others, are often described as ‘peace-keeping operations’.

The Berlin Wall and the Israeli/Palestine barrier were/are similarly defended as being to ‘preserve peace’ or to ‘defend democracy’.

Even words like ‘Socialism’ can mean whatever you like. Apart from the many varieties on the Left of politics (Trotskyists, Maoists, Social Democrats, Stalinists, Leninists, Marxists, Titoists, Cooperative movement, etc.) there is the far-right fascist variety: National Socialism (Nazism).

I have been guilty myself of twisting words and phrases to mean what I want them to mean. As a member of the Communist Party in the past this was routine, and I actually managed to convince myself that a one-Party dictatorship was a superior form of Socialist democracy which would eliminate class divisions, train the masses to be self-disciplined and politically responsible and was therefore a good preparation for the ultimate democracy of the self-governing classless society of Communism.

I also at one time believed the invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968 prevented that country slipping into the Western capitalist camp, and therefore was essential to ‘defend democracy’, by which of course, I meant ‘Socialism’. The two expressions were synonymous as far as I was concerned – democracy meant Socialism and Socialism meant democracy. I even argued in print that ‘democracy for the opponents of Socialism’ could not be tolerated, and this was because I believed capitalism was fundamentally undemocratic. That Socialism could also be undemocratic I preferred to ignore or just hope this was a ‘temporary aberration’, like the so-called era of the ‘cult of personality’ and the resultant ‘violations of Socialist legality’. This was Communist jargon for the crimes of the Stalin era. Words again used to hide or distort/minimize the harsh facts.

In fact all the great flaws in such polemics were overlooked or ignored as ‘temporary problems’, such as the fact that Soviet-style Socialism was ridden with corruption because a new ruling-clique of careerists, opportunists and corrupted former Communists had entrenched themselves in positions of absolute power.

Then take such things as the Second World War. It can be argued that it was a great success because Nazism was defeated and countries like Britain were not invaded. Also that it was necessary because of what happened in the concentration camps to about six million Jews and other minorities. On the other hand it can be argued that it was a massive failure because most of the Nazi leadership survived to the end, most of the 60,000,000 or so casualties were civilians or non-Nazi conscript soldiers, Hitler himself escaped a war crimes tribunal and died by his own hand, Poland (the reason Britain went to war in the first place) was not free at the end of the conflict but was handed straight from Hitler to Stalin, the Allied war crimes never came to a tribunal, and it can also be argued that since 6,000,000 or so Jews and others died in the Final Solution the war failed them, and may even have sealed their fate (Hitler had said he’d kill the Jews if war broke out).

So words and phrases can be used to mean anything, and arguments based on the same facts can come to totally opposite conclusions.

A good politician can make black seem white and white seem black. If caught out, the classic fall-back line is that they were perhaps being ‘economical with the truth’.

In politics of both Left and Right words and phrases are often used in a highly biased way. It can perhaps be summed up by the optimist/pessimist description of a glass containing liquid. The optimist would say it was ‘half full’ while the pessimist would say it was ‘half empty’. Both would be correct, from their own biased perspective, but both would be being ‘economical with the truth’.

To get the full picture in all these cases we need more information than we are being given. To judge whether the pessimist or optimist is correct, we need to know whether the glass is about to be topped up or about to be emptied by a drinker. In the case of the one-Party State, the ‘democracy’ is severely curtailed to allow no opposition to the economic system, and even that limited democracy will only be effective if there is an active, mass membership of the ruling Party, no corruption, and genuine inner-Party democracy. With the barriers put up in Berlin and Israel/Palestine, the main objectives have been omitted – i.e. to stop the economic drain by people leaving permanently or getting jobs in West Berlin and in the Middle Eastern example, not just to make terrorism more difficult, but to grab and secure more territory. In the case of wars, invasions and nuclear arsenals the purpose is to create wars or threats of war in order to impose one’s own conditions for ‘peace’, so in other words, violent bullying tactics.

The conclusion is that politicians of all descriptions very rarely give you all the facts, but instead present a very biased picture leaving out important facts which are detrimental to their case. Hence when they use words like ‘democracy’ and ‘peace’, for example, these words raise a lot more questions that they answer. The old Soviet phrase ‘violations of Socialist legality in the era of the cult of personality’ carefully disguises and avoids the full truth: ‘In the Stalin era very serious crimes such as show trials and executions and imprisonment of totally innocent people took place’.

Words, and phrases, when used by politicians can cloak a host of things they prefer you did not know.

Dialectical Materialism and Dialectual Spiritualism

Victor Zammit, an afterlife researcher seeking empirical evidence and who is also an ex-lawyer, gave an address to humanists on Dialectical Spiritualism which has also been published.

He compares it to Karl Marx’s Dialectical Materialism, and says: that Marx ‘made the erroneous prediction that capitalism would collapse. But he failed to take into account two of mankind’s most fundamental features: The need for incentives” and that man is basically a “spiritual” being. The collapse of Russian communism came about, we are told, because there were no incentives for workers. Productivity was extremely low and the State promoted anti-spiritual, anti-Afterlife dogmas.’

While Victor is correct about the discouragement of any religious or afterlife philosophy in the former Soviet Union, and that Karl Marx was also an atheist, I can’t agree about the reason for the lack of incentives. And as to whether capitalism will collapse, it does seem very shaky at the moment. What is more to the point is what replaces it when it does eventually collapse – anarchy, fascism or some form of Socialism?

First, the spiritual aspect. This is largely correct, both Marx and the Soviet Union discouraged any belief in what they regarded as the ‘supernatural’. However Soviet scientists did discover Kirlian photography and used it to capture pictures of the aura in plants, animals and humans. Following Soviet culture, they did not use terms such as ‘aura’ or ‘astral body’ but coined the term ‘bioplasma’ instead. They dared not go so far as to state categorically that this ‘bioplasma body’ could survive death, but that was the clear implication as published in the book ‘Psychic Discoveries Behind The Iron Curtain’ and in magazine articles. The ‘bioplasma’ clearly could survive damage to the physical organism, and indeed seemed to be the primary source of the physical, for disorders, etc. showed up in the bioplasma before manifesting in the physical.

As to lack of incentives, this is a common feature of Soviet-style Socialism and American-style capitalism. There is no incentives for workers in either system. What large-scale Western capitalism has instead is the big stick of unemployment. This didn’t exist in the Soviet Union and the other Socialist countries, as jobs were created for all, even if they involved very little work.

Early small-scale capitalism, such as one–person businesses and small family enterprises, had huge incentives to work productively and reap the profits. However once public limited companies with faceless shareholders gambling on stock exchanges became the norm, all positive incentives for workers to be productive ceased. The carrot was gone, so the big stick of unemployment was wielded.

Some capitalist enterprises have bonus schemes, with extra payments for good or more productive work. There is no reason why such schemes cannot be also introduced in Soviet-style nationalized industries. However these tend to be inefficient, except in some industries such as the railways which require an integrated national network and uniform pricing.

An alternative Socialist system was that operating in former Yugoslavia based largely on worker cooperatives. These had a huge incentive for workers to be efficient and productive, since the profits were shared among the workers in the enterprise. Also, because there was competition with other cooperatives and public enterprises in a Socialist market place, this was an additional spur to be productive and efficient.

However it is wrong to blame Karl Marx for the lack of incentives in the far from perfect Soviet-style Socialism (note: not Russian communism). Alongside his Dialectical Materialism was the Marxist doctrine of Historical Materialism. This taught that there was an inevitable progression of society from primitive communism, thru tribalism, feudalism, capitalism to Socialism and finally Communism Proper. The Soviet Union and other Socialist countries never got remotely near the Communist stage, which is why they called themselves ‘Socialist countries’ and not ‘Communist countries’, a phrase only used in the West to describe them because of their ultimate aspirations.

Marx’s ethic for Socialist society was ‘to each according to their work’. Therefore this means Marx did indeed stipulate that incentives were absolutely necessary in the Socialist stage of society.

Only when there was an abundance of goods and services, the State had withered away along with all artificial regulators like the police, the courts, the army and money itself, would the era of Communism be ushered in with the ethic ‘from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs.’

As a former Communist, I have now come to realize that the utopia of Communism can never be achieved on Earth without Spiritual development. Any political system can be manipulated and distorted, as Soviet-style Socialism was, to provide perks and privileges for a new ruling class of bureaucrats and politicians. Marx’s ‘Dictatorship of the Proletariat’ became a dictatorship of the new ruling class, made all the easier by the one-Party state and the one-Party led coalitions in the Socialist countries. All power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Marx’s idea was that the masses would join the ruling Party and by sheer numbers defeat the efforts of opportunists and careerists to swamp it and gain control. This never happened, it was all too easy for the ruling parties/coalitions to be taken over by opportunists and careerists with no interests or loyalties to Socialism.

The Stalinist era of show trials and sheer terror to crush all opposition to official policies may have made the Soviet Union into an industrialized super-power, but at enormous cost. It also made the masses fearful of exercising their power within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and other allied parties in the other Socialist countries. Opposing official policies in the era of the cult of the personality (Stalin era) could result in imprisonment, incarceration in mental hospitals or execution.

Things improved after Stalin’s death, but the ruling cliques were by then firmly entrenched and general apathy set in about removing them by joining the ruling parties/coalitions and using the collective power of the masses to inforce Socialist Democracy.

I have therefore come to the conclusion that it is necessary always to have opposition parties within a Socialist state who can be voted in to introduce their own form of Socialism. In this way corrupt goverments can be voted out, and also inefficient systems like Soviet-style Socialism and British nationalization abandoned  in favor of more enterprising systems like the Yugoslav Market Socialism based largely on worker and consumer cooperatives.

As to Communism, this is unlikely to be possible on Earth until humans are much more spiritually developed. This, again, involves the carrot and stick as incentives. Once people around the world learn that the afterlife is real, and that the law of cause and effect (karma) is inevitable, then Communism becomes a real possibility.

The twin misconceptions of organized religion and atheistic science have taken away the incentives for humans as a whole to spirtually progress. Organized religion preaches false doctrines of salvation and forgiveness for misdemeanors if you believe in a certain religion and perform certain practices such as blood sacrifices, killing infidels, Holy Communion/Mass (symbolic of the supposed human sacrifice of Christ), the Last Rites, Confession before a priest or becoming baptized and ‘born again’. All totally useless as the law of karma still applies, we cannot avoid the consequences of our actions.

Atheistic science, on the other hand, preaches that there is no afterlife or karma, and therefore we can do whatever we like and there will be no consequences after we depart this Earthly life, just oblivion. What a foolhardy but comforting thought to those who are selfish, cruel or murderous, and who trample all over human rights for power, money and privilege.

I am convinced Communist society does exist on the Third Level of the Spiritual planes and levels above it. What else can you call it when there is no State, police, army, money, etc., and when there is an abundance of everything you require as it can be created by just thought power? Well you could call it all sorts of names – Heaven, paradise, utopia…. or Communism.

To achieve such a level of perfection on Earth would require enormous Spiritual development of humankind as a whole, a great deal of maturity and a collective will to make Communism work, and karma is the incentive for such Spiritual development, which nevertheless I believe could take centuries before humans progress to a sufficent level to implement such a utopian society.

It has been tried in small communities such as the early Israeli kibbutzim, but these now have also become corrupted and turned into something quite different from the small communist-style communes they originally were to more like capitalist enterprises.

So Victor Zammit is right in his premise that Dialectical Spiritualism is the only way forward to a more progressive society. Without this Spiritual element, and the carrot and stick incentive of karma, humankind can never progress much beyond the current capitalist system of exploitation and the imperfect Socialism of the 20th Century.

In my view Yugoslavia came closest to a form of Socialism which worked, but even they were far from Communism, and the rapid collapse of that former country into warring states with terrible atrocities and genocide just proved how corrupt even that system was, with politicians in power who had no allegiance to Socialism or human rights, but were just in the former ruling League of  Communists for personal power and privilege. Yet as soon as opposition parties were allowed, the country broke up into warring states, all of which rejected any form of Socialism.

Humankind has a lot of lessons to learn from the mistakes of the past, and only through Dialectical Spiritualism and the realization that karma rules and we all face the eventual consequences of our actions can society on Earth progress towards the utopia of Marx’s Communism proper. In the meantime, those of us who aspire to such things as a perfect society have to wait till we transit to the Third Level of Spirit or above.