Voices from Russia

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Lei Feng… A Real Man with a Real History… A Man Well-Worth Emulating

00 Lei Feng. China. 29.03.15

_______________________________

Waiguo Laoshi wrote this on Facebook:

Many Chinese think that Lei Feng (a soldier who was loyal, protected others, and was a symbol of the People’s Republic of China) wasn’t “real”’… real, or not real… be like Lei Feng and be proud of values that are good! Help your fellow countrymen… always remain strong.

I did some checking. I’ve concluded that there was a real PLA soldier named Lei Feng, who actually did care so much about his country and countrymen that he did many altruistic things. However, did he do everything that agitprop attributed to him? Probably not… but that doesn’t negate the fact that Lei Feng left the world a little better than when he was born… it doesn’t take away from the fact that he touched many lives. No, Lei Feng was no superman… but he was an ordinary man who did what he could with the means at hand to uplift the common weal. This is more than what many do, frankly speaking.

You may emulate the selfless patriotism of Lei Feng, or you may emulate the narcissism of Ted Cruz (who, for all his bluster, was a pusillanimous coward who refused to serve his country in the forces). You may follow in the footsteps of Lei Feng and serve the common good, or you may follow Willy Romney and fulfil your own selfish greedy interests. You may follow Lei Feng in self-effacing service, or you may follow Rod Dreher in venal adulation of the Almighty Dollar.

The choice is yours. Lei Feng was real… he did try to make things better in some small way. We can do likewise… but shall we?

BMD

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

24 January 2012. Bombs or Babies? Why the Rightwing Anti-Abortionists Will NEVER Embrace a True Pro-Life Programme

Dmitri Petrov. The Prayer of an Expectant Mother. 2005

The Prayer of an Expectant Mother

Dmitri Petrov

2005

______________________________

Yesterday, thousands of rightwingers waved placards in Washington in a surreal piece of political theatre. Yes, I’ve participated in a Pro-Life March… they’re exhilarating affairs, full of the herd-intoxication of a Nürnberg Parteitag. After it’s all over… it accomplishes NOTHING of substance, save for much money being thrown down a thousand rat-holes. We have a choice… we can spend our limited funds on political agitation (it doesn’t come cheaply, kids), or, we can spend our money to help unwed mothers choose not to abort. The former is a chimera… it relies on coercion, on the police power of the state. Interestingly enough, the rightwingers claim to be against big government, but when there’s something that they don’t like, they advocate that the state use its coercive power as the means of first instance… go figure! That is, they’re anti-abortion, but only in the most limited and acrid sense of the term. Their only concern is to punish those involved in this tragic conundrum… they don’t give a bloody hang for creating conditions whereby women would CHOOSE not to abort. One of the most perceptive people on this issue was George Carlin… yes, George Carlin. Yes… I know that he was an atheist… unlike many, I take my truth wherever I find it, and whomever says it. It doesn’t matter. True is true, and that’s that. His observations on anti-abortionists, although acrid, are spot-on and chilling:

Boy, these conservatives are really something, aren’t they? They’re all in favour of the unborn. They’ll do anything for the unborn, but once you’re born, you’re on your own. Pro-life conservatives obsess on the foetus from conception to nine months. After that, they don’t want to know about you. They don’t want to hear from you. No nothing. No neonatal care, no day care, no Head Start, no school lunch, no food stamps, no welfare, no nothing. If you’re pre-born, you’re fine; if you’re pre-school, you’re fucked.

Let’s not be coy. A pro-life programme is EXPENSIVE. It costs money. Do we have it? Certainly, we do! However, it’s being misspent, and too much is in the hands of the most affluent Five Percent (the Affluent Effluent). We’d need to change both national and personal priorities. Firstly, America would have to end all its pointless and hellishly expensive foreign wars… yes, Virginia, we have no money to help mothers and kids ’cause we’re blowin’ up mothers and kids in Afghanistan, Iraq, and wherever else the CFR has a mind to intervene in next week. Talk about arse-backwards standards… this is it, in spades. We should withdraw to a defence line in the North Atlantic based on the GIUK Gap and the English Channel, and a line in the Pacific running from the Aleutians to Guam to Australia. This isn’t isolationist in the least. It’d keep all enemies from our shores. It’d also be far less expensive than the present pointless land wars in Eurasia (do remember what Omar Bradley said about those). Secondly, we’d have to change our taxation system. The super-rich, such as Mitt Romney, pay less in proportion than many of us do. That’s insane. A pro-life system would require money for medical care, support for mothers, good pre-schools, and family allowances. These aren’t cheap… but if you want a healthy society in future, that’s what you must do.

What must we do? As Vladimir Legoida, the head of the MP Information Department, said, “The Church doesn’t propose that we resort to repression… rather, it defends a woman’s maximum freedom of choice. A choice can be only be truly free if one has a full awareness of all the consequences, risks, and threats. … However, the main proposals put forward by the Church aim to create a society where the number of abortions would be minimal, although the ideal would be no abortions at all. Our main emphasis isn’t on the banning of abortion”. If anti-abortion isn’t our goal, then, what, pray tell, is it? Last year, His Holiness made a detailed pro-life programme for the Church and Russian state to consider. It’s too long to run here. If you wish to read it (and you should), click here. Read it… good! It’s clear that Church, state, society, and individuals have to work together. We’re not “self-reliant”… we’re not “independent”, we’re not “rugged individualists”… that’s pure moonshine peddled by the self-interested. We don’t live in small villages and towns any more… that means that some form of bureaucracy is necessary. In any case, our Church does NOT teach “individualism”; it does NOT see salvation as a “personal” thing. Symphonia isn’t merely Church and state cooperating… it’s individuals in society working together, it’s families interacting with the state, and it’s all of us working together for a common and beneficial end (Orthodoxy is NOT an apologia for Think and Grow Rich or “the invisible hand of the market“)

Beware all those who attack state social welfare schemes… what they want, usually, is a predatory corporate system that maximises profits at the expense of people’s health and wellbeing (government bureaucracy can be hellish, but it’s never as inefficient and expensive as “private” plans)… the USA spends twice as much as the EU does on health care, and it doesn’t cover everybody. Corporate buccaneers steal one out of every two healthcare dollars. That’s why they forbid people care… so that they can live high off the hog and piss on you! We have a choice… we can follow His Holiness and embrace Social Justice, Social Equity, and Social Cooperation, or, we can follow Paffhausen and shake protest signs, speak at far-right think-tanks, go to every neocon soirée inside the Beltway, and kiss up to the First Profit of the Mormons.

It’s up to us…

BMD

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.