Thursday, October 15, 2015

Unfree countries.

Here is a list[1] of unfree countries according to various organizations:
Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Brunei, Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Congo, Democratic Republic of the, Congo, Republic of the, Cuba, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Gaza Strip, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Korea, North, Laos, Libya, Mauritania, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Ossetia, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tibet, Transnistria, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, West Bank, Western Sahara, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.
Did you notice anything odd about this list?

Neither did I.

[1] "List of freedom indices."


Ominous Cowherd said...

I notice not all are mohammaden countries - some are communist. Some I don't really recognize. Are there any on that list which are neither mohammaden nor communist?

Col. B. Bunny said...

I think so. Burma, Cameroon, Gabon?, Gambia?, Swaziland (were it free of S.A.), Thailand, Tibet (were it free of the PRC), Zimbabwe. Nothing I want to fall on my sword over.

Zimbabwe may spout some Marxist nonsense but some of the videos I've seen indicate that you can explain a lot there by talking about home-grown malevolence and stupidity.

Some of Africa's Marxism, esp. in sub-Sahara Africa, seems skin deep to me, an artifact of opportunistic Soviet subversion.

I know intelligent and learned people who are much enamored of the idea that the collapse of the USSR was a deception and that Russian communism Lives On. I believe that Russia is not communist though I have no doubt that some of its attitudes persist. Maybe there's not much difference between the siloviki and the apparatchiki in terms of authoritarian government but I can't see the security organs blabbing about world revolution. The oligarchs are sui generis in post-Soviet Russia, from what I can see. So, authoritarian isn't necessarily commie.

Communists infest the West, alas. But that's a different story.

Ominous Cowherd said...

I think I could agree with you that Russia isn't communist.  Many of the people in power in Russia also held power in the Soviet Union.  I would say that the Soviet Union was communist until communism became inconvenient to the ruling oligarchs.  When they could no longer maintain power over the whole Soviet Union, the oligarchs dumped the communist party, and the parts of the Soviet empire they couldn't hold anyway.

I'd say that communism is a convenient ``opium for the masses'' to justify totalitarian rule.  Under this theory, no country is likely to remain communist beyond the time that it stops being useful to the ruling oligarchs.  I think we are seeing that in the PRC: communism there is constantly being re-shaped to ensure the Party's continued hold on power. 

So, outside of Africa, we have Burma and Thailand not under communist/former communist rule (Tibet is not free of the PRC).  It looks as if we might explain that list as follows: mohammadenism, communism/former communism, south east Asian cultural authoritarianism and African cultural issues.  Maybe unfree is tied to culture.  English and European culture seems to produce freedom, while mohammaden, communist, East Asian and African cultures seem to often (but perhaps not always) produce something else.

Col. B. Bunny said...

The taste for liberty is acquired. Growing up in the '50s and '60s, I seem to remember that we celebrated it a lot. During and after Nam, it became nuanced as the left took over the Democrat Party. Now I'm not so sure that we or the Europeans have much passion for it. Interfere with a younger person's "liberty" to get a tattoo, take drugs, swear, watch garbage in the movies or on TV, or have unlimited sex and there will be all kinds of outrage but as regards the liberty that matters I see no understanding or passion.

Americans are indifferent to the Supreme Court's betrayal of the Constitution and couldn't care less that we made a huge mistake in passing an amendment allowing for the levying of income taxes.

Europeans suffered horribly in the last century from totalitarian powers but then accepted the E.U. which is not answerable to any voters. The E.U. parliament is for show with no power to alter policy. Wouldn't people who suffered so have a basic grasp of why things spiraled out of control? The Official Theory is that "nationalism" was the cause of Europe's misery. A not accidental choice. Now it's used to cow Europeans who care about their survival as a people and a nation, to delegitimize their obvious interest in homogeneous societies and to give a false legitimacy to the authoritarian E.U. that is doing the Lord's work by keeping nationalists down and out.

I think the West's temporary scientific, technological, banking, military, and industrial advantages enable us to slide from the stupidity of the Enlightenment into our present state of confusion and drift. I say stupidity because with the advance of rationalism there also was enabled the worst kind of disconnected intellectual posturing and nonsense that plagues us now. Feminism is an example of Western man's inability to deal with ideas in a sensible fashion. Some women are wetting their pants on purpose in solidarity with someone somewhere. I kid you not.

Too, that fascination with abstract, utopian nonsense was manifested in the catastrophe of socialism. In the late 19th century a deadly tumor took root in the West and we have had to deal with this disease, and it's bastard child cultural Marxism, ever since. I don't know if any civilization in all of human history managed to spawn in its vital organs a force that was embraced and augmented by large numbers of its most educated minds. This metasticizing tumor has mounted a frontal assault on liberty and truth itself.

If the West seems to have lost an appreciation for liberty one can understand how that odd result could come about in the light of what I have said.

Agreed as to elites shedding communism as it suited them. In 1917, a lot of fools thought that it would usher in a new era of rational economics and politics guided by dreamers and smart people. That abated in time, though not fast enough, but the damage was done and revolution enabled utter swine to gain a foothold from which only a very long process of reintroduction to economic and human reality was able to dislodge them. The coming economic and political implosion is going to do the same thing to the less virulent forms of statism now ruling the West though more and more one can see how virulent that have become.