Ending The Dreams of Stalin

To wake up from a dream about Russian dictator, Joseph Stalin will be a bad dream. Imagine you now fall into an inception stage and in another span, you find yourself chuckling with Adolf Hitler, it gets more bizarre.  Both Hitler and Stalin take a dishonored prize for the most brutal dictators of all time with the Holocaust (killed over 6 million Jews) and Great Purge (almost 700,000 Russians). Stalin effective force in World War Two later banished Hitler populist rally after a Germany’s economic free-fall and mounting War debts.

Lenin, Stalin boss and proponent of Marxism, had a view of the Communist society with a popular slogan – from each according to his ability, to each according to his need. Lenin roundly believed peasants or poor farmers were being exploited by a growing nucleus of capitalists fuelled the speedy engines of Industrial Revolution. Farming was moved in a larger scale with peasant farmers turning to industry wagemen and land becoming a prized commodity of few men. Lenin also balked at colonialism – the lure of Western powers to annex unmarked territories of Africa in the search for resources to fuel its industries. It was Russia state of crumbling living conditions after World War 1 that made a hero out of Lenin, who called for class harmony instead of class struggle. Inequality was brewing in the society and a rising belief that few rich people using banks and government protection could coordinate their interests into syndicates, cartels and monopoly. The incidence of haves and have-nots was the glaring excuse why Lenin believed capitalism needed to be stopped.

Lenin’s Communism in its infancy was planned to be marked by dictatorship. Communism, a belief that only the State through its workforce could organize economic resource took hold in 1918. After the likes of Stalin took a firm grip of the state, it was riddled with needless dictatorship, brutal murders and effective suppression. It has proved to be an unwanted type of government that chokes creative spirit of man and hurls power at the feet of a few men. The success of West Germany over the Eastern part, South Korea over North Korea proved that if resources are left in the hands of individuals, it can more efficiently utilized for the societal good.

The trouble with capitalism is forever going to be the narrative of the Lenin in his treatises on the Russian capitalist economy. It has to do more with equity and more recently ethics. That man is selfish by default and will seize to maximize his wealth in an unguarded space. If such quest for a larger pie is not communally guided, it is like a herd of people driven by a drunk driver. Of such rationale is the fact that presently only 10.9m people are classified as rich (owning over $1m) in this world and just 1210 billionaires are recognized by Forbes’ Magazine. At the bottom of the spectrum are billions of people mired in poverty swamp inching for a pinch of wealth. India, with more poor people compared those of Africa, has 55 billionaires and the daughter of a multi-billion Indian dynasty spent $78m on a week-long wedding. Such is the widening gulf a capitalist society will breed where a few hardworking, smart, ingenuous or corrupt can amass more wealth than needed and lavish without a concern for a fellow human.

 

 

It comes to a belief of mine that markets can never regulate itself and that left too few men, the society will be worse off as animal spirits of greed can’t easily be tamed. We will always need the right amount of government regulation that boxes unethical capitalists who use levers of free natural resources, cheap finance, tax breaks and government favours to acquire huge wealth.

I am never against propelling the free spirit of enterprise but such capital accumulation needs to be propelled with social justice for the have-nots. A policy from the convergence of state and private interests that the poor of this world should be provided support not only in begging bowls and vouchers but a leveled opportunity in terms of expertise and structure to reach the corridors of success. The new aim of capitalistic society with a privileged few should be to reach out to the many that are left behind either through sustainable jobs or boost infrastructure (especially education and microfinance) that empowers their mind. It is by then many in anger who are locked in dream of Stalin communist economy where we all look like North Korean Soldiers on parade of Kim Sung II, would wake up to the brass rings at their reach. It’s the evangelism that wealth is not of fenced circle but a free pass for everyone we should preach and enable either in the favelas of Kibera, Orangi, Dharavi or Ajegunle.

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Nature’s Cycle of Innovation

Standing by the graveside of a loved one is not a moment of comedy. It is a sombre event with long faces laden with flood of tears. As we humans watch the lone figure boxed in a cage or wrapped in a cloth, the disappearance of such mortal for ages, the loss of the fleshy feel that flog our souls to tears. The hustle of life have made us to forget how lonely it was in the womb and how finally this body will be a cuisine of termites into a narrow dugout. Most cries are the graveside might not be pity for the lost ones but we are glossing the reality in the face that one day in the bottomed pit, our bodies shall be lowered. As much as we love life comes to mind technology, natural cycle and innovation. Humans are always obsessed with an idea that never sees the next disruption coming. It is a cruel fear of the dark that makes us faithful adherents to the status quo. As we tears drip either for a worn out being who deserves rest or a dazzling person lost at the noon of life , it’s a tear against change that defines the cycle of nature.

When the race for electricity began, Thomas Edison was ahead with the direct current. The best scientists like Nikola Tesla worked with him to build the magnificent current that disrupts the steam engines days. When Nikola Tesla was ranting about our DC power was limited and the need to move to Alternating current, Edison said such scale of power was needed for electrocution. Experiments were carried out to fight the use of alternating current by using it to kill criminals. Now the same AC powers all we own. Tesla after the triumph of alternating current had great dreams to build the first global wireless systems by constructing the Wardenclyffe Tower. The huge experiment never came to reality as the bankers withdrew the loan on the advice of JP Morgan for its lack of possibility. Now the dreams of Tesla for a unified wireless platform are fulfilled in us. Albert Einstein was a man whose work of genius on relativity was doubted even Nikola Tesla said relativity equations were “magnificent mathematical garb which fascinates, dazzles and makes people blind to the underlying errors. The theory is like a beggar clothed in purple that ignorant people take for a king”. Most times we never the next horizon coming because we are to beholden to we have.

According to Boston Post “Well-informed people know it is impossible to transmit the voice over wires. Even if it were, it would be of no practical value.” Western Union, a leader in postal systems believed the “The (telephone) device is inherently of no value to us”. When the chairman of IBM, the leader in mainframe computers which was asked about the future of computers, he said “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” IBM was protecting its large boxes of mainframe computers while Bill Gates was dream of personal computer. He was seen as creating an hobbyist equipment not meant for sophisticated data. Slaves built the White House and US Capitol. American Justice Taney said of slaves that ” They had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations, and so far unfit that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect”. This statement was a landmark one that treated slaves like commodities or merchandize to be bought and sold with no regard for rights. In 1812, Britain burnt Washington including the White House and US Congress but such history don’t matter as they have turned out to be the greatest ally. Same for Germany that was stubborn in the 1940s but no take a sober look in the comity of nations.

Imagine we had Justice Taney still living, we might be beholden to that slavery discourse about the right of the black man to the American dream and the world would have denied an Obama the presidency or Edison would think DC was the only way we could transmit electric power. Mr Watson who founded IBM who still have kept us in belief that five computers will dot the world. People come and go, ideas leave and take. Such is the role of death in a society, to replace the old with the new by tossing the society into a new balance. The new without the limiting dogma picks sight and blindness of the past; inject new visions to be quashed by the unborn. It is the cycle of life that sustains the life of the planet we fight when death appears to the human face for transition to higher realm. That’s why when death comes, money becomes feeble, fame goes rust and intellect becomes lame likewise for innovations the world was once obsessed with. Nothing stops the decaying mass that lays in our hands – either of the body of a lost one or an invention that has passed the tick of time.

After humbling IBM and believing the next sea of change was upon Microsoft, Bill Gates was asked what he feared most “I fear someone in a garage who is doing something completely new”. We don’t need to fear the end that will come but new things that reshuffles our own world of existing order. It makes us strive harder to leave to leave a legacy that marks a starting point for the exciting future.