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CSotD: Can’t say they didn’t warn us

I don’t remember if I was in second or third grade, but just about the time this 1957 Buz Sawyer (KFS) strip ran, we had an assembly where a husband-and-wife team explained communism to us and why we didn’t want it to creep into our society. I suspect they were from the John Birch Society, but I was too young to pay attention to specifics.

But they laid out a Jack Webb dystopia of having to carry ID cards and children spying on their parents and suchlike, and warned that, if we didn’t fight the Soviet Union, the communists would take over our country.

Well, we didn’t go to war against the Soviet Union and here we are, except that it didn’t happen the way they said, and, what is more important is that it hasn’t quite happened yet.

But when and if it does, it won’t look like the Soviet Union.

It will look like our own society, where we used to chant “Four legs good, two legs bad,” or, at least, it seems like that was the slogan, but now I realize perhaps I’m remembering it wrong.

In any case, here’s a

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Jack Ohman – WPWG)

 

(Steve Kelley – Creators)

Ohman and Kelley come from different ends of the political spectrum, but they agree that Republicans expect corporations to be supportive of the rightful government.

The difference is that Ohman mocks this expectation, while Kelley mocks any private industry that dares to challenge the political structure.

This is not the Soviet Union, and there is no Politburo to directly punish corporations that step outside their assigned boundaries, though the Georgia House did vote to rescind a tax break on airline fuel when Delta publicly denounced the new anti-voting laws. (The legislative session ended before the Senate could take up the measure.)

As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported:

“They like our public policy when we’re doing things that benefit them,” said House Speaker David Ralston, adding: “You don’t feed a dog that bites your hand. You got to keep that in mind sometimes.”

Which is to say that policy is not set by what benefits consumers or what benefits the overall economy but by loyalty to the Central Committee. We just don’t call it that.

Granted, Major League Baseball’s decision to move the All-Star Game was a blow to Atlanta’s short-term profits, and conservative commentators have been quick to point out the pain it will cause merchants in the vicinity of the stadium, a caring attitude that reminds me of an old Soviet joke:

Brezhnev decided to go make a speech at one of the collective farms outside of Moscow. After his speech praising their productivity, he asked for questions, and a hand shot up:

“What has happened to our tractor?”
“Who are you?”
“Ivan Arturovich. We were promised a tractor, but it has not come. Where is our tractor?”
“There has been some mistake. I will look into this as soon as I get back to Moscow!”

A year later, he speaks again at the same farm, and, again, when he asks for questions, a hand goes up.

“Ah, Ivan Arturovich! What is it this time?”
“What has happened to our tractor? We still have not received it!”
“Really? That’s terrible! I will look into it at once!”

Another year passes, and Brezhnev returns to the farm for his annual speech. At the end, he asks for questions, and a hand shoots up:

“What has happened to Ivan Arturovich?”

 

We don’t do things that directly here, but Jimmy Kimmel did call out Trump and his GOP loyalists for having cited disloyal companies, all the while preaching against the “cancel culture” they claim their opponents impose on the nation.

This is not Communism, though it is ironic to hear the same people who demand political loyalty from businesses denouncing those who want to feed people and provide them with health care as “socialists” …

 

… and, as Lee Judge (KFS) notes, utilizing the “Four legs good, two legs better” approach when it fits their needs.

Communism is not socialism. It is a specific system based on governmental ownership and direction of companies.

But if you can’t get away with nationalizing corporations here, you still can bring them to heel with a combination of incentives and punishments — a distinction without a difference — as long as you continue bleating about free enterprise.

 

Dave Whamond invites Mitch McConnell to extend and revise his remarks, and shows the likely results.

 

But Clay Jones makes the more salient point, which is that it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you keep the proles believing in the Party Line, even if they should be able to see that it isn’t true.

One of the hallmarks of communist countries is that the oligarchs who are skimming off the money for themselves pretend to be part of the working class they exploit.

Meanwhile, if you believe our own proletariat will awaken, shake their heads and begin to see, for instance, the lie behind claims that MLB, in moving the game to Denver, has chosen a state with more restrictive voting laws than Georgia, you are ignoring the persuasive influence of talk radio and the rise of Newsmax and OAN.

 

RJ Matson (Cagle) depicts the last of the moderate Republicans tottering off to the elephants’ graveyard, if there is such a place, or there ever were moderate Republicans.

I think there were, but perhaps I am misremembering it.

‘Does the past exist concretely, in space? Is there somewhere or other a place, a world of solid objects, where the past is still happening?’ 
‘No.’
‘Then where does the past exist, if at all?’
‘In records. It is written down.’
‘In records. And—-?’
‘In the mind. In human memories.’
‘In memory. Very well, then. We, the Party, control all records, and we control all memories. Then we control the past, do we not?’
‘But how can you stop people remembering things?’ cried Winston again momentarily forgetting the dial. ‘It is involuntary. It is outside oneself. How can you control memory? You have not controlled mine!’
O’Brien’s manner grew stern again. He laid his hand on the dial.   

                                                                                                                — 1984

Community Comments

#1 Mike
April/8/2021
@ 11:35 am

” the pain it will cause merchants in the vicinity of the stadium,”
-followed by a joke.

My son, daughter inlaw and 10 mo old grandson live w/in walking distance of the stadium. I was just there and made the trek. They are also the only whites on their cul du sac but that’s not my point.

The Civil Rights movement matured in my hometown of Atlanta. MLK’s buried there, Hank Aaron is our saint and our motto has been “the city too busy to hate” since I was a kid. (I was also a batboy for the Braves)

But the above quote is written by someone who has no knowledge of ATL, thinks a $200million event like MLB All Star game generates revenue for local biz and is clueless that the GA VOTING BILL is more voter friendly than Joe’s home state of Delaware among other states. fyi: there are no drop off boxes in Delaware.

But writing “merchants in the vicinity of the stadium” isn’t a mistake. It’s propaganda you write to tell a lie. Shameful. -ML

#2 Mike Peterson
April/8/2021
@ 12:08 pm

“They are also the only whites on their cul du sac but that’s not my point.”

Ah, but it is the point of your most recent cartoon. Don’t pour India ink on my leg and tell me it’s raining, pal.

https://www.gocomics.com/mike-lester/2021/04/07

Many local businesses in major cities throughout the country lost nearly an entire NFL season, which I promise you cost them more money than the All-Star Game.

Even the white people, but that’s not my point.

#3 Bob Harris
April/8/2021
@ 1:11 pm

@ML You want to talk drop boxes? Republicans in my state tried (via the courts) to drastically reduce the number of drop boxes before the 2020 election. Among those they claimed were insecure was the one down the street from me, attached to the wall next to the front door as you enter the police station. Thankfully that attempt failed, but now they attempting to put it place for future elections — one drop box per county.

The instructions on my 2020 absentee ballot told me it would be counted if I mailed it as long as it was postmarked by Election Day (and received by 3 days after). The Republicans sued, and won, to have such votes counted separately. And those votes were then DISCARDED, again at the hands of the party that claimed to want to “count every legal vote.”

#4 Mike
April/8/2021
@ 2:40 pm

The cartoon is US CENSUS figures verified by my WAPO editors or it wouldn’t have been published so nobody’s pouring ink on anybody. And what your NFL comment has to do w/ this I have no idea. If I’m supposed not to know a season of NFL games generates more $$$ than one All Star game -pretty sure I’m clear on that math.

Fact is that MLB gave the predominantly White city of Denver a $200million windfall because they wrongly interpreted a Ga. law. (also supported by the WAPO fact checkers) and it will benefit Denver’s entire economy not just -as you wrote re ATL: “merchants in the vicinity of the stadium”.

#5 Mike Peterson
April/8/2021
@ 3:22 pm

$100 million, not $200 million. Look at your cartoon. Your WAPO editors would never have allowed that to run if it hadn’t been certified by Price Waterhouse CPAs and put on a slip sealed in a mayonnaise jar on Ed McMahon’s back porch.

And if you follow the links on the blog, you’ll find that I fully covered the gap between the initial reports of what the Georgia Legislature wanted to make law in order to suppress votes versus what they finally did make into law in order to suppress votes.

But at least we agree that the loss of revenues was inconsequential, given what cities are losing because of the curtailment of other sports events.

#6 RJ Matson
April/8/2021
@ 6:59 pm

I drew that elephant graveyard cartoon almost 10 years ago, in 2012! How did you come across it? – RJ Matson

#7 Mike Peterson
April/9/2021
@ 1:49 am

Twitter or Facebook — No date on it and it sure seems relevant, though I guess now the word is “prescient.” (Lost track of your stuff when Roll Call apparently stopped updating at the end of the year.)

UPDATE: Found it. Search for “Matson” didn’t work, search for “Capitol Ink” did. Bookmark it, folks:
https://www.rollcall.com/section/capitol-ink/

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