Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Remember 9th of November

Boris Johnson writes in the Daily Telegraph how we should all remember the 9th of November - the day the Berlin Wall was breached for good.

He says:

It is precisely now, when the public mood is so bitter towards bankers, so hostile to profit, so seemingly brassed off with the very idea of wealth creation that we should remember how ghastly, grim and unworkable was the alternative – state-controlled socialism.

He said it was a moral disaster, a cultural and artistic wasteland and ... "It was a complete and utter environmental catastrophe, as anyone who travelled behind the Iron Curtain will remember. I don't just mean Chernobyl; I mean the cynical way in which socialist planning obliged human beings to endure the proximity of some of the filthiest factories in the world, the roiling clouds of smoke that seeded the warts and the cancers on the skin and in the lungs and the eyes of an innocent public."

"after an exhaustive test it was our system that triumphed, not just because of the material advantages of capitalism, but because a liberal free-market democracy has proved the best way of allowing individuals and families to realise their hopes, and to make something of their lives as independent and rounded moral agents. That is the freedom those crowds recognised and wanted in Berlin. It is the freedom of the human spirit, and it is worth infinitely more than some fancy BMW."

and then finally

"Remember, remember the 9th of November, and remember all the idiots – some now running this country – who supported communism in their youth. Peter Mandelson, Alistair Darling – how will you be celebrating the Fall of the Wall?"

Or indeed Keith Locke...

You may also read Richard Ebeling's piece on the Berlin Wall (Hat tip: Not PC Twitter):

"On this 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, we should remember all that it represented as a symbol of tyranny under which the individual was marked with the label: property of the state. He not only was controlled in everything he did and publically said, but his every movement was watched, commanded or restricted.

Freedom in all its forms – to speak, write, associate, and worship as we want; to pursue any occupation, profession, or private enterprise that inclination and opportunity suggests to us; and to visit, live, and work were our dreams and desires lead us to look for a better life – are precious things."

Remember, nobody was killed trying to move from the west to the east.

UPDATE: Mikhail Gorbachev reveals in the Daily Telegraph how he was advised he could have crushed the rebellion against the dictatorships in the Warsaw Pact countries, but refused because he believed in open democracy and feared World War 3 could have started from it.

He "quipped that he had "a good night's sleep" after the Wall was opened.

"I am very proud of the decision we made," he said. "The Wall did not simply fall – it was destroyed just as the Soviet Union was destroyed.""

The great shame must be that for all he did, so much has been rolled back in Russia, by a new generation of thuggish kleptocrats.


Anonymous said...

Well said - a great post.

FYI here are some moving images of pollution in China :

libertyscott said...

Ruth, that was all quite truly shocking. Industrialisation without property rights, without an independent judiciary, without free speech, with rampant corruption and cronyism as state owned and private businesses (authorised by the state) have no oversight, and the public little recourse.