Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Are We About to Become Children of Revolution?

A recent post of mine over on the Blog at Mises.org:









Are We About to Become Children of Revolution?

Jim Fedako



"In all the general assemblies Marin always demands that the older boys like him shall have more work than the younger ones. There is always a big discussion on this; sometimes it is settled one way, sometimes another. "I can work all day from sun-up to dark," boasts Marin, "and it won't hurt me now. But when I was little, I sprained my wrist from working too hard and it will always be a bad wrist. And our younger ones now are working beyond their strength; I see them with heads and backs aching in the hot sun. Then they come back and drink lots of cold Volga water and get sick with malaria. There should be two standards of work, for the older ones and the younger ones."

But the younger boys always argue against Marin, for they will not admit that he can do any more work than they can."


In Children of Revolution (1925), journalist Anna Louise Strong used her experience observing the John Reed Children's Colony, located on the Volga, to describe the dawning of the Soviet utopia. This quick and easy read details the wonders of socialism through Strong's radical and warped view of Stalin's USSR.

Strong uses the voice of Morosof, the musical shoemaker, to enlighten the reader: "'But I do not see the use of property; I think it is better not to own it. The October Revolution taught us to organize the commune. Even peasants begin now to do this; how much more can homeless children, who have no homes or property to begin with?'"

Freed from the ills of property, the children of John Reed quickly flourished -- or so goes the tale told by Strong.

To read Strong's words, it appears that capitalism is the evil that rots the world. But, wait.

"And now a great piece of luck came to the colony. Two days' journey away the Quakers from America were giving out food to children's homes. And the Quakers had heard of this group of boys which was starting to build a big farm colony of children, and promised to give them food. So Yeremeef went on the boat for a day's journey north, and then took the train for a day's journey west, till he came to the town where the Quakers gave out supplies of food. He brought back with him a whole car-load. Very wonderful food that they had not seen for years. Sugar and cocoa, and lard! There were also a hundred blankets, for starting a big colony. And soap--the first they had seen for many years! For ever since the Hungry Year they had been too poor to buy soap, and had scrubbed their dishes with sand, or ashes from the fire."

At every turn, American dollars and goods saved the colony.

Read the Children of Revolution and wonder: As we slip toward full-blown socialism, where will we turn for food and the equivalent of "good American shoes?" Who will act as our benefactor during the soon-to-come "Hunger Year."

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