Goelag 3: hedendaagse politiek 1

Een verontrustende gedachte die bij mij opkwam, in de Goelag-tentoonstelling, was: dat het best wel eng is, dat er tegenwoordig nog communisten zijn die ongegeneerd het Stalinisme aanhangen, wetende wat die Georgische gek allemaal heeft uitgehaald. En dan te bedenken dat #Rutte c.s. daadwerkelijk hebben gedreigd samen te regeren met #GroenLinks, de Crypto#Communistische partij. (Een partij waar velen tegen dachten te stemmen door op de #VVD of #CDA te stemmen – hee, die fout begaan ze in de toekomst ook niet meer!).
Elders in het http://www.verzetsmuseum.org ging het natuurlijk over #WO2 in Nederland en Nederlands-Indië. In 1 van de afgedrukte brieven van overlevenden, beschreef een oorlogsfotograaf dat hij pas in de jaren 1960 is gaan begrijpen dat veel Indiërs de Nederlandse aanwezigheid net zo ervoeren, als dat de Nederlanders in Indië de bezetting door de Japanners / Duitsers ervaren hebben.
Er werd ook beschreven hoe de #Molukkers de kant van de Nederlandse bezetter hebben gekozen, en dus na WO2 als landverraders werden beschouwd door de Indonesiërs. Toen werden ze nogmaals door de Nederlanders in de steek gelaten, want ze hadden gehoopt hun eigen land te mogen stichten, wat dus niet gebeurde, maar eenmaal in NL werden ze ook niet voor vol aangezien. Wat dus verklaart waarom ze een trein hebben gekaapt bij De Punt. (Nou ja, het is amper een verklaring, hooguit een beetje als je het etatisme accepteert)

Homo homini lupus est 2: Gulag 1

I just got back from the Resistance Museum in Amsterdam (http://www.verzetsmuseum.org), they have a very good exposition, today there was also a special feature on The Gulag.
This inspired me to write a bit more on “Homo Homini Lupus Est”, Hobbes’s phrase meaning that “man is a wolf to his fellow man”. Especially so, when given power over said fellow man. There were some video segments of a documentary about the Gulag.
One of those segments, they portrayed a Russian classroom when the subject of the Gulag was brought up. One of the pupils was asked: “Was the terror and murder of millions worth the economic benefits the Gulag-system, yielded?” And the boy actually weighed the pros and cons!
Let me first say that the economic benefits were not all so great: Stalin wanted a railway through Siberia: after several tens of thousands had perished there, Stalin died, the project was halted and never resumed. But the project would never yield a return on investment. It’s just that everyone was too scared of Stalin to stop his preposterously grandioze plan.
I would answer the question as follows: “Who is supposed to benefit from the economic development? The glorious leader? Or the population.? (By whose grace the self-deluding despot’s job exists at all?)”


I just realized: those assassins, that manned the towers along the iron curtain, what was wrong with them?
What drove them to it, to kill their fellow human beings?

  1. Sadism?
  2. The urge to blindly follow orders? (Milgram/Nuremberg)
  3. Bloodlust?
  4. Fear of reprisals?
  5. Bribery (salary)?

Re 1: The desire to keep their fellow humans from escaping the open-air prison
Re 2: part of the “2 Stans” / the Nuremberg defense (I was just following orders)
Re3: the wish to kill people, since government is an institution of #aggression, it isnit surprising that it would attract people with a propensity for this
Re 4: this would become an infinitely long list of people willing to shoot each other
Re 5: Even so, it would involve sadism, because surely some border-assassins would some day find out that live was hell for the people, and they had a very good reason for wanting to escape, and border-murderer was quite a lowly job in the hierarchy of government, quite far removed from the snobby party-apparatus (elite) which got the serious amounts of money/privilege, and kept their hands clean. Besides, I thought all socialists were supposed to make the same salary, diferentiation in reward for different jobs (meritocracy) was a capitalist thing, Marx preferred “to each according to his need.”

2 Stans

The “Two Stans” offer definite proof that humans are not suited to living in political arrangements. They are two notorious psychological experiments:

  • Stanley Milgram’s “Obedience to authority” (the one where subjects were to fake-electrocute other people)
  • Philip Zimbardo’s Stanford #Prison experiment.

Milgram’s electrocution experiment:
Tested how far people were willing to go, applying electric shocks (potentially lethal pain), to innocent people, when instructed to do so, by an authority-figure (Milgram himself, in a lab coat), over some flimsy excuse.
It found that disconcertingly many people were willing to administer extreme amounts of pain/danger, so people are not suitable for following orders, due to a tendency to actually do so, without consideration for the results on their fellow human beings.

Zimbardo’s Stanford University prison experiment:
Tested how people behaved when equipped with power over other flesh and blood beings. The results where quite disconcerting. It’s as if a switch got flipped: the students rabdomly assigned the role of prison guard, showed a proclivity for quite sadistic behavior toward their fellow students, randomly assigned the role of prisoner.
So, people shouldn’t be made to have power over others, because Lord Acton was right: absolute power corrupts absolutely.