In Vancouver, Canada, particularly in the Downtown Eastside, socialism is the order of the day. Not just socialism but the fascistic manipulation by an elitist group of minders who exploit the most down and out in the nation. No, there are no gulags here. In the "Maoist Liberation Zone," as one elitist refers to the area, there is a velvet fascism of adult baby-sitting. Not truncheons, jack-boots, and guns; here in Vancouver, death by socialism comes wrapped in a velvet glove.
A favorite refrain of the Left these days is: "Give back to the community." It's often addressed to the poor themselves, those who in some instances work for the equivalent of $0.80 per hour in food stamps negotiable only at the Carnegie Centre in Vancouver, Canada. One might well hear such things from those executives who bring as much as $104.000.00 per year in salary. Uh, give what back? Why give anything back at all? And what community are we talking about? Yes, once we discard the Left sentimentalities we know we are dealing with a cynicism that makes no sense in any but the most ridiculous of phantasies; but there are those who don't seem to realize this game has rules that they don't grasp. Feel guilty about your $0.80 per hour in food stamps, feel grateful you get so much, and thank those who give it to you for your efforts. What a deal. You are one of the community. Give back to others less fortunate than you. Most of all, be grateful to the Gnostics who manage it all for you, those who give you the food stamps. You are undeserving, but they give to you anyway. Now give some back.
It must be nice to belong, to be part of a group, a community, something larger than oneself. It must be nice too to give something back to the group one belongs to, even if that group is "The Poor." The Poor themselves must be nice in themselves because they don't have any money, being so nice, in fact, that they don't even take enough from others to survive properly in the market economy. The Poor don't exploit anyone by making a profit at another's expense. Instead, they are reduced to begging charity from those who do. Like mendicant friars of the Middle Ages, the Poor are damned near saintly. Just make sure they tithe to the neo-Clergy. Poverty is ennobling, and one must leave the higher sufferings to the Philosopher Kings, to the administrators of tax-payer funded social centres, to take on the burdens of real pain that comes from having too much money. Thank them on your way out to the streets in the cold. You are blessed, children.
I've just reread Erich Fromm, Escape From Freedom*. He didn't foresee the troubles his social engineering schemes would lead to. He wrote some things that would lead one to believe he should have and could have had he been more honest and less a proto-hippie do-gooder. He writes of Man as afraid of freedom who turns to fascism in the hope of finding a community within which to find solace from the hardships of being alone and powerless in the face of the larger world. He writes of those who "go back to the community."
Freedom? Fromm writes of it as individuation, as becoming separate from the world and from others, of being a person in ones own self, isolated and atomic: Man Alone. Freedom is a terrible thing for the one who cannot live as a private person with his own self as both master and friend. The free man, alone and afraid of his freedom to choose and to think and to do can find himself so unsure of his own life that he flings his freedom away and embraces anything offering the protection of power, of authority, of the mature adulthood he himself cannot muster to make his life meaningful in himself. Fromm writes that this freedom abandoning man is likely to become a fascist, an authoritarian personality in search of structure from above that he can use to deny his own responsibilities and to dominate those below him in an unhealthy and oft times violent social programme. "Those above me are supreme and must be obeyed; and those below are weaker and less than I and must therefore obey me."
Fromm writes: "The first mechanism of escape from freedom I am going to deal with is the tendency to give up the independence of one's own individual self and to fuse one's self with somebody or something outside oneself in order to acquire the strength which the individual self is lacking." (Erich Fromm, Escape From Freedom. 1942; New York: Avon; rpt. 1966, p. 163.)
The astute reader will realise by now that Fromm is leading into a discussion of the fascist authoritarian personality as one sado/masochistic, i.e. as one who must dominate or be dominated or both. The reader will soon see the emergence of the Left fascist sadist in the form of the infantalising socialist, his "victim" The Poor."
We'll leave that for the next installment.