Today marks the 15 year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The greatest symbol of oppression and truma of the socialist years stood from 1961 to 1989, dividing a city and cleaving the social, business and functions of Berlin in two.
On one side stood West Berlin – a liberal-democracy, free, capitalist and thriving.
On the other stood the East and a system which stood for mediocrity, for individual suppression to a “greater good” and an overbearing, totally dominant Government which invaded every part of people’s lives. A system which was miserable and depressing.
It’s no wonder that the Socialists built a wall to keep people from escaping.
Having travelled to Berlin, seen the reminants of the wall and the Checkpoint Charlie Museum, I saw that the fall of Communism and the destruction of socialism as a valid means of governance was more than an ideological or theoretical battle; it is about freedom of humanity and spirit. There is no viablility in the suppression of human will. People must be free – in thought, in trade, in expression, in association, in their daily goings on.
What was worse – Soviet Era Labour Camps or Soviet Era design?
In the words of John Adams:
“There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.”
Or alternatively from John Stuart Mill:
“The only part of the conduct of anyone for which he is amenable to society is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.”
That is where Socialism fails. Where people believe they are achieving a greater good and imposing their will upon others, no matter how worthy their cause, individual liberty is compromised. That is why the wall fell. That is why FatHam lost. That is why, despite the “Ostalgia” which has had a brief revival in East Germany and other former Socialist countries, it will fail.
The “good old days of Socialism” are an oxymoron and a load of rubbish. Listen to the youth, the sovereign individuals who embrace freedom and look forward to participating in something John Lennon called, “the brotherhood of man”.