You're not going to believe this story. On the weekend I was out eating at a Scottish restaurant. You've possibly eaten there yourself at some stage; they call themselves McDonald's.
They have this thing called a McValue Meal where you get a burger and a drink and even some French fries. So I get one of these McValue Meals and I start eating when I see across the restaurant an old married couple with a McValue Meal, but only one.
The husband unwraps the burger and breaks it in half and puts half in front of his wife and half in front of himself. Then he divides the chips down to the last and puts half of them in front of his wife and half in front of himself. Then he puts the drink in the middle of them and he starts eating.
I noticed after a while the wife wasn't eating, only occasionally taking a sip on the straw of the drink in the middle.
So I walk over to this elderly couple and I say, "Excuse me, I don't want to be nosey, but I noticed you only bought one meal between the two of you. I'm not a rich man myself, but would you permit me to buy you a second meal?"
The old man gave me a smile and said "Oh no thank you, we're not poor. You see, today is our 50th wedding anniversary and for the last 50 years we have shared everything and I mean everything! Even all our meals."
"And you're okay with all this too?" I asked the wife.
She gave me a friendly smile and nodded in agreement. In disbelief I asked her, "Well then, why aren't you eating? What are you waiting for?"
The old woman pointed to her husband's mouth and mumbled "Our teeth."
Now there's a story you can get your teeth into. I said you wouldn't believe it.
They say "sharing is caring", but there is a limit. Shutting borders and not sharing common items is not about being selfish but saving lives.
I've noticed praising Marxism is back in vogue here in Australia.
I'm musing it's linked to the discovery last month that Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors stated she and her fellow-organisers are "trained Marxists".
I've noticed praising Marxism is back in vogue here in Australia. I'm musing it's linked to the discovery last month that Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors stated she and her fellow-organisers are "trained Marxists".
Does it matter? Well, According to Michael Newman in his book Socialism: A Very Short Introduction (2005), by the 1920s communism and social democracy had become the two dominant political tendencies within the international socialist movement, and the International Encyclopedia of Political Science (2011) states socialism became the most influential secular movement of the 20th century.
Marxism, communism and socialism are like steam, water and ice; adapting to climate but always remaining the same substance.
I do not deny that many who promote the above "isms" are trying to pave the road to the future with the best of intentions. The idea of a world where everything is owned in common so there is no more poverty is very appealing to young and idealistic minds.
But unlike water, these movements are anything but refreshing.
Author and journalist Donna Steichen, in her book Ungodly Rage (1991), pointed out that Marxists see history as the inevitable clash of social forces and are not alarmed by this prospect.
They consider destruction a necessary stage in the dialectical "class struggle".
They are willing to destroy the present in the interests of a supposed future. The 20th century is a veritable mausoleum to how wrong the above "isms" are.
Does not socialism work on the poor person's envy of the rich?
Is not communism a simple case of saying people are too stupid to know what to do with their own things, so "we" will own everything and we will share it out fairly so that everybody has enough and the same?
The idea of the community owning all goods ends up in injuring those whom it would seem meant to benefit as it directly contradicts the human right of all to own property.
If we want to alleviate "the condition of the masses" the inviolability of private property is a must. To accept anything less is simply theft.
- Twitter: @frbrendanelee