Monday 9 November 2009

Berlin's wall was capitalist legacy

20 years ago the Berlin wall came down today. yet everywhere in the UK media today I see revisionism at work. it is sad. this article in particular takes the biscuit; a real i am all right jack how dare you pull the ladder missive.

In the midst of a recession mad lefties are saying how the fall of communism has only slightly pre-dated the fall of capitalism. Utter drivel of the highest order. George Galloway said he was sad the day the wall came down.

In fact the fall of the wall is down two indisputable facts; the people of Eastern Europe were sick of the dictators and the failure of the 'communist' economic model to keep pace with the West in guns or butter terms, meant that the revolutions succeeded. Thatcher and Reagan were key to the latter part.

Let's not pretend this celebration is about anything other than the joy of watching freedom and liberty overcome the forces of autarky and repression. It should do the left well to reflect too on where their hearts lie on these matters.


Ollie Cromwell said...

Are you celebrating with pizza?

Nick Drew said...

“The real victor in 1989 was not democracy but capitalism, and Europe as a whole now faces the task of establishing a workable relationship between the two.”

Dark Continent, Mark Mazower

hurrah for the capitalists !

Electro-Kevin said...

Absolutely right. And typical that the BBC made no mention of Thatcher or Reagan during their news report.

What a bunch of fudge-packing cock-suckers.

Philipa said...

Hm, sometimes I think folk champion freedom and the rights of others but then when those others want to live here they're not so keen. So it becomes not so much a matter of ideolgoies but a matter of resources and 'we're all right jack'.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Agreed. Sometimes the obvious answers are the correct ones. Although Thatch & Reag were a bit gung-ho about it all for my liking.

Budgie said...

CU said: "It should do the left well to reflect too on where their hearts lie on these matters."

I prefer the term 'statists' rather than 'the left' because it is more accurate. In the 19th century socialists and other similar statists jumped on the liberal/left bandwagon, usurping the term 'left wing' originally derived from the French revolutionary assembly.

People throughout history would have no problems identifying Stalin, Pol Pot, Castro, Mao, Lenin, et al, as kings who gained power by overthrowing the previous 'king'. In N. Korea there is a family dynasty that perfectly illustrates this.

So self styled 'leftists' are no more than the rabble who support one 'leader' over another; and who aim to strengthen the rule of that leader by extending state powers. That is why they are so tribalist and so keen to vilify any who step out of line.

It has been further complicated in modern times by the fact that ideologies have replaced religion as the driving force. Mind, that again is similar to the past when religion was twisted to support the latest 'king'.

Michael Fowke said...

It's only a matter of time before they put up a new wall around the whole of the United States of Communist Europe.

Bill Quango MP said...

It just came as a terrible shock to the left that the brothers and sisters who threw off their overlord oppressors in 1917 decided to do it again.

80% off east Germans agreed that they were better off now. Thats pretty impressive.
I remember a pre wall down documentary when a couple were astounded that a Mcdonalds tray was provided to carry the food. "And no one takes it away and keeps it? Why not? They must be very law abiding here."

Demetrius said...

Our Prime Minister was there for the celebration. Surely this means it will soon be rebuilt?

Steven_L said...

Earlier this year I lived with a Slovakian couple, he was old enough to remember the USSR.

He did think there were some good things about it, he thought people were more friendly in those days basicially (but that probably applies equally in Britain) but overall he reckoned it was crap.

The example he gave me was that word would go around that there were oranges in the shops, then they would all stop whatever they were doing and queue up for maybe two hours to buy a small ration of oranges.

Anonymous said...

If we are all agreed that the USSR and its satellite states were such a bad thing, why have we all sleep walked into the EUSSR?

Please don't tell us that we need 80 years of repression before we can throw off the shackles of Brussels.

Anonymous said...

But didn't Maggie not want Germany reunified and told Gorbachev exactly that....

You're being a mite selective in your view of history wrt Thatcher, otherwise I agree.

James Higham said...

In the midst of a recession mad lefties are saying how the fall of communism has only slightly pre-dated the fall of capitalism. Utter drivel of the highest order.


Anonymous said...

Mark wadsworth thinks "Thatch & Reag were a bit gung-ho about it all for my liking"; not for mine. There was no point in pussy footing about with the Russkies as events proved. Mind you there were plenty who did want to pussy foot about. CND, Greenham Common protesters, the Germans who did not want US missiles on their soil. We needed the likes of Maggie and Reagan to compensate for the rest. And FWIW, we were right to be cautious about German reunification given the previous 100 years of history. Still why worry about the Germans or anyone else when we have shown post 1989 that we are perfectly capable of stabbing ourselves in the back.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, this blog post rather ignores that the literature on the subject would argue that it was pressure from inside the Communist bloc that pulled the system down from the inside, indeed that at the same time Reaganite (and basket case) defence spending may actually have extended the Cold War rather than brought it to an end.

In other words, it could have been a victory for democracy rather than capitalism IF Reagan and Thatcher hadn't let their ideological blinkers prevent them from coming to a quicker accommodation with the Eastern Bloc.

It's shocking, and slightly sad that people are so ignorant of the literature on the subject they they STILL think Reagan and Thatcher won the cold war. Ho-hum.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 10.59: when I was little my Dad (whose years of war time service over Germany coupled with his Cold War service almost exceed my age) took me to the Earls Court motor show. It was the first time I'd heard car brochures pseudo-reverentially referrred to as "literature"; the last time I heard the term used in the same quasi-religious way was when I did my most recent post graduate degree. I accordingly take the term with a pinch of salt and tend to prefer the evidence of my own eyes.

Anonymous said...

"...The demonstrations reached a pitch on 9 October, the 40th anniversary of the founding of the GDR, when tanks, the army and police, with ferocious police dogs, swamped the streets. The atmosphere was very, very intimidating.

The soldiers deployed took aim and waited. The people, 70,000 of them, marched on undaunted, but we feared for their lives. The escalation culminated in orders given to the forces of law and order by Erich Honecker's cabinet to shoot, orders which were withdrawn within hours of being given. That was the moment when the regime began to crumble.

A bloodbath was very narrowly averted. I'm sure that we came within a hair's breadth of it. Who knows if the soldiers would have shot the protestors had the order stayed in place. They surely had family members out on the streets. But we'll never know, thankfully.

The following week, 120,000 demonstrators turned out, more determined than ever. Within a month the Berlin wall had fallen..."

Or go and watch this:

Don't talk b.llshit!

Budgie said...

Anon 11:29am - it is you who are talking half digested revisionist rubbish. Quoting the BBC, with its own statist anti-Thatcher bias, is not going to win any converts.

I met dozens of people in the 1970s who traveled in or lived in the Socialist bloc. I did my miniscule bit by trying to awaken people in the UK about the hideous nature of the regimes in the USSR and eastern Europe. Few were interested - "we're all socialists now" was the mantra. The BBC persistently failed to recognise the fundamental difference between the USSR and the West.

It was only when Reagan and Thatcher took office that the mood within the West changed. What had before been brushed under the carpet by the BBC and Labour was brought out into the fresh air. Both militarily and diplomatically the West began to be seen as a beacon of hope for the Socialist bloc people. They took heart from this to overcome their cynicism about their own regimes. Without Reagan and Thatcher that would have been impossible.

Moremony services said...

hi ,Much change is incremental, but this was a night of people-powered change: two countries rejoined in a matter of hours. I cannot imagine what it must have felt like for the East Germans who walked into West Berlin: to the light, the colours, the noise. Eastern Europe was so poor, so dank, so very devoid of joy and suddenly "let freedom ring" would have had such new meaning for them.



CityUnslicker said...

I disagree with anon that the blog post ignores the role of the Eastern European people. They are mentioned as the key players.

What I sought to add was that the cold war proved capitalism and freedom was superior to political and economic communism.

That many say Ronnie and Maggie had nothing to do with it just shows the leftwing bias in the Ivory Towers.

Cityunslicker has an MA in International Relations by the way and is familiar with much of the history of the perod in some depth. Who writes it tends to colour the conclusions reached.

CityUnslicker said...

oh, referred to myself in 3rd person! sorry.

VM42 said...

Budgie & CU
Thank you for your comments.

Ronnie and Maggie may have had some role in global sense for the fall of the Communism, but their role was not provoked by the love of the people of the Eastern Countries. They did not care (so much) about the people. I suspect that neither UK nor USA would have intervened if the demonstrators were smashed by force again as it happened many times in various places in the Eastern Block in the past. Just the way they did not in 1989 in China.


Toronto real estate agent said...

Yeah, you are right. But isn't it great to watch happy, free people? I have been thinking about the Berlin Wall my whole Monday here in Toronto. Congrats, Germany!