August 11, 2008

Lech Walesa on communism and communications technologies

Communism is a monopolistic system, economically and politically. The system suppresses individual initiative, and the 21st century is all about individualism and freedom. The development of technology supported these directions. When I was fighting communism, there was rapid development of satellite television and cell phones, and communism, to survive, would have to block all these information devices. To control the free flow of information, the Communists would have to increase the secret police by a factor of four. It would be a huge effort for police to control the channels you get on TV or the phone numbers you are allowed to dial. So technology helped end communism by bringing in information from the outside. It was possible to get news from independent sources; stations like the BBC (British Broadcasting System) and VOA (Voice of America) were beyond government control. During '50s and '60s, the Communist government put people accused of listening to these stations in prison. -- Lech Walesa (Interview with Wired, June 2002)
True or false? What about the situation in China?

4 comments:

Ilir said...

Hi George,

I would say "true". Yes, it is! The communism Lech Walesa is speaking is much worse than modern Chinese version of communism.

I have experienced it in first 26 years of my life in Albania; around 1990, few years after communist dictator of Albania died (replaced by his moderate friend) things relaxed and people could listen to other radio stations (VOA, BBC, Radio Vatican etc) and this helped bring down the communism by propagating information to masses.

Ilir

Martin said...

False, imo. Communism, as such, is not about "suppressing individual initiative" or "controlling a free flow of information". Yes, when we examine USSR in the 50's, 60's and later years we DO see these two trends, BUT, they were there because USSR communism had to fight ideologically with western capitalism. As far as it concerns the "freedom of speech and flow of information" it would not be required if the whole world would embrace communism.
In a hypothetically "ideal" communism you could have individuals expressing them self's as they wish (as long as they don't try to sell it)
Imagine, how much would science benefit from such a political system, when inventions would not be determent by the consumer-fetishism needs...

the jonmoontrip said...

...or if the whole world united and rid ourselves of the totalitarian communist. Only boring - bleak "self adulating" people ever laud communism. As Lech said - it is "dream stifling!" The previous commentator would have you believe his bleak world of utter human retardation is somehow a utopia! It is the nail in the human coffin! Chinese Maoism is one of the most hideous forms of this pathetic, livelihood stealing philosophy. Lech felt the affect of Soviet communism in his "solidarity" - i.e. the enslavement of the hard working polish middle class- and he is saying that communications helped "out man" the communist secret police. Yet -it is 2011- and the Mao has learned from his mistakes concerning communications. He is on the move in "the year of the tiger!"

the jonmoontrip said...

...or if the whole world united and rid ourselves of the totalitarian communist. Only boring - bleak "self adulating" people ever laud communism. As Lech said - it is "dream stifling!" The previous commentator would have you believe his bleak world of utter human retardation is somehow a utopia! It is the nail in the human coffin! Chinese Maoism is one of the most hideous forms of this pathetic, livelihood stealing philosophy. Lech felt the affect of Soviet communism in his "solidarity" - i.e. the enslavement of the hard working Polish middle class- and he is saying that communications helped "out man" the communist secret police. Yet -it is 2011- and the Mao has learned from his mistakes concerning communications. He is on the move in "the year of the tiger!"