Saturday, August 29, 2009

Poor Glenn Beck

I was surfing cable land last night and saw Glenn Beck giving an amusing chalk talk. As usual, he was demonstrating another of his half-baked tirades against the administration with illiterate metaphors that illustrate his lack of education. He had adopted the term 'Czars' for people chosen by President Obama to be in charge of several offices in Washington D.C. while, in almost the same breath, calling their programs 'socialist'. OMG!

A little history: The Russian czars were autocrats who ruled over one of the cruelest systems, 'serfdom', that was ever instituted on the face of the earth. The vast majority of the Russian peasantry was finally bound in full serfdom and fully half of the total population of the country by the middle of the 19th century.

The Wikipedia says: 'Serfs were given estates in the Sobornoye Ulozhenie (Соборное уложение, "Code of Law") of 1649; and flight was made a criminal offense in 1658. Russian landowners eventually gained almost unlimited ownership over Russian serfs. The landowner could transfer the serf without the land to another landowner while keeping the serf's personal property and family, however the landowner had no right to kill the serf. About 4/5 of Russian peasants were serfs according to the censuses of 1678 and 1719; free (black) peasants remained only in the North and North-East of the country. As a whole, serfdom came to Russia much later than in other European countries. Slavery remained a major institution in Russia until 1723, when Peter the Great converted the household slaves into house serfs. Russian agricultural slaves were formally converted into serfs earlier in 1679.'

The serfs were supposedly emancipated in 1867 but in reality they were only stripped of what little land they owned by the rich landowners and they became tenant farmers who starved in hard years. Many moved to the cities where they were not much better off, then being exploited by the industrialist rather than the great landowners. In fact, it was the locomotive workers' strike in St. Petersburg that kicked off the Russian Revolution.

After a short time of reform under his father, Czar Alexander III instituted a new regime of cruel repression under a man named Pobedonostsev. Under his rule all the working class of people suffered and it was this history that inspired the socialists, Marxists, to begin spreading their egalitarian theories to a receptive populace. It eventually led to the Russian Revolution of 1905. And that's why Glenn Beck looks like a dork when he writes 'Czar' on the black board and calls them socialists.

He doesn't know what he is talking about.

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