Nothing like an old-fashion blog entry. I do have a couple of story ideas but what I'm reading cries out for thought and discussion. I should have those stories ready for June but for now, let me meander down a path that has not been trod for some time.
It must have been hard for a fellow like Ralph Miliband during the dying days of the Cold War and the fall of the Soviet Union. He passed away in 1994 but was working on "Socialism for a sceptical age" during those monumental years. I am currently reading this book and while I am finding it a little dry I can't help but feel for Miliband. Then again, I find myself feeling for anyone who believed in Socialism since the days of the Bolsheviks. Miliband is just the latest in a very long list of writers and thinkers.
Miliband discusses the evils of capitalism as well (of course) in this book but more as a contrast to socialism and communism. He does not go out of his way to praise the Soviet leaders of the Cold War era, mind you. Probably because it would be hard to defend the likes of Mao, Stalin, the KGB, Khrushchev, and other leaders that cut bloody swathes through their countries. Hindsight is wonderful? Of course but absolute power corrupts absolutely and these leaders, while perhaps noble and innocent at first, were drawn to the trappings of power and that was it.
It's the thinkers I feel for. They believed in socialism and were more than certain that this theory would lead humanity to a golden future. Fine enough in theory. Try putting it into practice. History records that this theory was put into effect with disastrous results. This probably has more to do with the leaders and not the theory. Try to imagine what Europe or North America would look like with socialism and not capitalism leading the way? Well, there's China....
But the likes of Murdock and the Walton family would be horribly reduced under a socialist economy. Of course, I could be mistaken. I haven't finished reading this book. It's okay. I won't post a full review in a future entry. Anyway, that's my miserable scribbling done.