“Victims of Communism” monument
These days, Communism is trés passé. Only a handful of countries still operate that way, and the biggest, and therefore supposedly the baddest of these is China, which does over two trillion dollars of trade yearly with non-communist countries, including Canada. The computer I’m using to write this was made in China. Does that make me a victim of Communism? Half the stock Canadian Tire has in its stores also comes from China. Should we be boycotting Canadian Tire? No? Then why do we need a monument to the victims of Communism?
The obvious answer is, we don’t. Especially not in that location and cost. If we’re going to memorialize victims, it would be much more relevant to build a monument to the much more current Victims of Capitalism. Capitalism is alive and well, and it is cutting down victims by the millions, every single year.
As bad as Communism was in practice, Karl Marx’s original concept was only a reaction to the unjust and pitiless capitalists who were making life miserable for the millions of poor workers who made them rich. Something had to be done. If Capitalism had not been causing so much suffering, Communism would never have been invented.
Various ideas come to mind when I consider a monument to Victims of Capitalism.
It could show a homeless family living in their car, chiseled out of fine white Carrera marble, the same as Michelangelo used. They lost their savings and home in the Crash of 2008, due to the dishonest dealings of big banks and investment firms. The presidents of those companies could be shown frolicking in a pool of $100 bills, doing cannonballs into it, swimming around, and splashing each other with fistfuls of the bonus money they still received from taxpayer bailouts even after they destroyed their companies and many peoples’ lives. Or perhaps, they could be depicted riding in a grand, gold-plated ornate carriage like the Queen uses. But instead of being pulled by horses, this one would be pulled by harnessed-up minimum wage workers who are not allowed to unionize.
Millions of slaves were kidnapped and brutally forced to work on plantations. That was a feature of Capitalism for centuries, and some wealthy capitalist slave traders of yesteryear founded the great wealth and power today enjoyed by their aristocratic descendants. Never forget the thousands of children who died or became seriously ill in factories due to negligence in the drive for profit before child labour was outlawed. Yet, child labour still exists in many countries. How about the hundreds of sweatshop workers in Bangladesh, who died when their factories collapsed. Cheap and shoddy construction added to those capitalists’ bottom lines.
And then, there was the BP oil platform blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, which resulted from that company’s greed for profits above safety. Many, many victims of capitalism resulted from that one, including ocean animals and birds. Many companies have left disasters and poisonous pollution behind before they skipped out of a country with their profits, and now refuse to pay damages. It has happened many times, and is still ongoing. I could go on, and on, and on. But you get my drift, don’t you?
The victims of Communism are long gone, and a monument to them won’t do anybody much good, whereas victims of Capitalism are being created continuously, all over the world. Wouldn’t a monument to them serve as a warning shot to extremely greedy capitalists? It would; but Stephen Harper would never want to send that message.
I think this monument is just another Harper attack ad. A big, permanent, 3-dimensional attack ad against a boogeyman, intended to divert attention and blame away from Conservative policies and Harper’s legacy.