I have complex thoughts on the death of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro this weekend. Once upon a time there was a man who was so outraged by the Batista dictatorship that he rallied his people to revolution.
People flocked to him because people in desperation yearn for change, because change brings hope of a better future.
Unfortunately in what's a common pattern, such regimes bring a little change, before becoming stuck.
Suddenly all the talk of power for the people, is seen to really become power for one man and a limited family of cronies.
Karl Marx's writing, the original Communist, are about trying to create a fairer society. One where there is less of a rift between the rich, and the poor workers who create that wealth. They're not books written by a power-crazed individual. He lived in a squalor that was responsible for the premature death of four of his seven children. Fundamentally his writing yearns to address that terrible injustice.
Unfortunately, his writing is idea fuel for revolution against unjust regimes and those which create real suffering in the general population. But we've seen such 'Communism' mis-sold throughout the world. No country which has called itself Communist has really addressed injustice or delivered on the ideals of a democratically elected and accountable government.
The litmus tests for such revolutions are if one man or his family stays in power too long, or if one family controls too much. No amount of 'on behalf of the people' can smokescreen this.
If a revolution promises to lift you out of squalor, but you find you still have to queue down the street for bread, something is wrong.
Especially if those in power, talking about 'for the people' live in excessive luxury.
Right now, a revolution of sorts has happened in America with the election of Trump. A lot of talk from people who voted for him about how he will bring change, from not being part of the status quo. They've placed a lot of hope in him, hope that he will bring change.
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