I read an article in TIME magazine a few days ago that has been sitting and festering in my head.  The article is titled, Killing Fields, and it is about the slaughtering of African rhinos for the supposed healing power of their horns.  I know poaching is a huge industry and has been since the beginning of time, but there was one part in there that pissed me off more than anything and here it is:

"In a factory on the outskirts of Hanoi, the Thien Duc company churns out unusual wares:  machines used to hold and pulverize chunks of rhino horn by rubbing them against dishes with rough interiors.  The electronic grinders and ceramic bowls are sold at a downtown badminton shop.  The stores owner, Thanh (he wouldn't give his full name), sells a machine or two every week along with around 10 of the specialized dishes.  His customers, he says, are often communist bureaucrats who aren't sick but need something to revive them after long nights at state-funded banquets.  'It's a good gift to give government officials," he tells Time. 'It's really fashionable now.'  Sure enough, a car with official plates pulls up in front of the store."

Oh, man.  Oh, man.  Communist bureaucrats who aren't sick but need something to revive them after long nights at state-funded banquets.  Oh!  If I had a baseball bat and they were next to me, I'd smash their heads in.

So now I've got to do it- I've got to blog about Communism and my issue with it.  I have a lot of friends who rave about this ideal, friends who consider themselves radical thinkers.  Funny, though, that most of these people come from middle class homes, enjoying the money and privilege to walk into any store and buy just about anything they want.  (Don't get me started on the college kids walking around campus with their Ras Trent dreadlocks sporting their Che shirts attending college on their parents dime).  We have no idea what it is really like to suffer under government repression and control.  No idea.   Don't get me wrong, I am not a fan of Capitalism either.  Capitalism feeds the instant gratification of our inherently ego driven selves which is extremely self destructive (i.e. America) but it is a fact of life (thank you Freud) that we must accept in order to conquer.

An uprising by and for the people is of course necessary and all should be heard, all are and should be treated equally.  The problem is that it NEVER happens because once said group overthrows the government, a new leader comes into power, said leader's ego is overwhelmed by the glory of all his power and turns into another money grubbing, money hoarding, power ruined Capitalist individual who could care less about the under represented.  Then, what happens?  People suffer and the same shit starts all over again.  Communism is an ideal.  Ideals (like the American Dream) ruin people.  We can never live up to the ideal of Communism because we are inherently self absorbed.  We as a species spend our time trying to out do one another.  We cringe with envy when we see someone doing, having or feeling something that we want.  But the funny thing about this envy is that in a sense, it drives us.  It can be a motivation to improve ourselves.  It is why classrooms incorporate the idea of "inclusion" for those with learning disabilities, it is why I send my children to a Montessori school that combines three grade levels in one classroom.  We learn from one another's progress.  If we all had the same of everything, what would become of us as a species?  Would we ever advance?  Could we handle it?

I don't think people can handle Communism.  There is too much ego in the world.  But we can't handle Capitalism either- it is a system of government that allows the ego to go unchecked.  Unless we can get rid of our egos, we're not going to make any progress.  People are going to keep slaughtering rhinos and using the people's money for their state- funded parties and the rhino horn hangover cure.

It's such a shame that one of the biggest lessons I've learned in life is that we are all a bunch of ego maniacal idiots.  Does anyone ever consider how they will feel when they are 80 years old and dying- lying on their death bed looking back on their life?  Will they be proud?  Ashamed?  Filled with regret for wasting so much time?

It's a balance, friends, a thoughtful balance.  Check yourself before you wreck yourself.  And don't ever buy expensive rhino horn potions.