Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Whiter Shade of Pale


Summit County, Colorado
Gary Lindstrom gary@garylindstrom.com


Whiter Shade Of Pale

I love to teach. Mostly because of the students. In Contemporary World History last night the discussion ranged from Clothing Optional Resorts to the Governments of Russia, China, North Korea, Viet Nam and Cuba.

Of course the most interesting discussion was about clothing optional resorts but the government one was more on point.

I was explaining the difference between governments and economic systems. Today in Russian, China, North Korea, Viet Nam and Korea the citizens would tell you that they have a communist form of government while their economic systems are over the top capitalism. My students could not get their arms around all of that.

My students wanted to believe that if they were communist countries that they could not practice capitalism. I tried to explain that there was never a pure communist government anywhere. There were certain shades of Marx, Trotsky, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Ho Chi Ming and others but they were more authoritarian or dictatorial. They put on the mantel of communism to give the appearance of that to the world.

When the Iron Curtain fell they all looked around to see what was working and they quickly adopted capitalism. China is the most radical example where today they literally own 40% of the net worth of the United States. Praise be to Wal Mart and others.

There is no village left to run. We all now have the greater task of running the world. We are now seeing a whiter shade of pale.

Which was a song by Procol Harum and was included in the famous burial scene where Chris catapults his biker buddy's body into the air and over the lake using the same catapult that Chris had used to catapult Maggie's piano in the best TV series ever Northern Exposure. (Wow. I hope my high school English teacher never sees that sentence.) g

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