A few years back, I decided to go back to college and finish my Bachelor's Degree (a B.S. appropriately enough). I met this kid, I'll call him Che, because that's the t-shirt he was wearing, and asked him if he understood the irony of a mass-marketed, for-profit t-shirt depicting a Communist icon. He just looked at me with a blank stare. I said, "You do know Che Guevara was a communist, don't you?" and he told me he thought communists were cool.
An idea was hatched.
I decided right then to teach Che a little lesson. I asked him if he wanted to try a little experiment in Communism: if he would work for me to the best of his ability, I would provide for his every need: room board, clothing, everything. He thought that sounded pretty good, so he agreed, enthusiastically.
He was a little less enthusiastic that night, when he got to my house and saw he would be sleeping on a cot in my basement. He said, "That doesn't look very comfortable. It's cold down there, and I can hear water dripping. And I think I just saw a rat the size of a doberman."
"It's a place to lay your head, and rest. You really don't need anything more than that. But I will give you a blanket. I'm not a total jerk."
So, I closed the basement door and set the deadbolt.
The next morning, I woke to pounding on the door and a lot of yelling, "Hey, let me out!" I was a bit perturbed. I need my beauty sleep. "I need to get to class," Che told me.
"No you don't,: I replied. "Communism is a classless society, remember?" Che was not amused. Nor was he thrilled when I brought him a bowl of instant oatmeal for breakfast. "I like bacon and eggs for breakfast," he told me.
"I don't care what you LIKE, I'm only required to give you what you need." Again, he was not amused.
Nor was he amused when I blacked out the basement windows and installed industrial grade soundproof panels. Or at lunch, which was again a bowl of instant oatmeal. "This crap AGAIN?" he yelled. "I this is breakfast food. It's lunch time. How about a sandwich or something?"
"You don't NEED a sandwich. What you like doesn't matter, only what you need."
"And my cell phone service has been disconnected! I can't even call my parents!"
"You don't NEED a cell phone, and WE'RE your family now."
Dinner was no better. Once again, instant oatmeal. "Dude, I'm sick of the oatmeal! And the portion size is so small, I'm always hungry!"
"You're a little overweight, and you need to lose a few pounds. Be happy I'm giving you as much as you're getting."
"But I need better nutrition!"
"You'll get all the nutrition you need from the multivitamin you'll get before bed."
"And I have to go to the bathroom! There's no toilet down here!"
"Just use that cleaning bucket. We'll clean it out once a day."
The next morning started just like the one prior: Pounding on the door, yelling and whining. And the door looked like it was about to come off the hinges. So, I bricked it up and built a wall with a slit in and out for food to go in and work to come out. I had set him to doing my kids homework for them, while we played video games. At first, their grades suffered as Che would purposely get the answers wrong, but that improved when I started withholding meals. "I'm hungry," said Che.
"You're not working to the best of your ability," said I. "If you're not going to do the work right, you're not going to eat." That solved the problem fairly quickly, and the kids' grade improved greatly, as did their hand-eye coordination skills.
Che was pretty upset, most of the time: "You're not giving me what I need! These are like cheap three dollar velcro-strap sneakers from WalMart! I need something that looks nice and feels comfortable."
"No you don't," I replied. "When you delegated the responsibility to provide for your own needs, you gave up the right to determine what you needs are. That's my job now."
"But I'm not happy!"
"When did I ever promise you happiness? I said I'd provide for your needs, not for your wants or for your happiness." Score one for me!
"But you and your kids eat great big meals, play video games all the time, and, heck, you get to go out all the time! You guys have everything you want, and I'm trapped here in the basement, doing nothing but wasting away!"
"Yes, that's because I'm a in leadership. Do you think I don't deserve to live well? After all, I make all the hard decisions and all the work that provides for your needs."
"But that hardly seems right. You have all the latest gadgets and toys. That stuff isn't cheap. You surely could afford more for me!"
"I do have a bunch of good stuff, but then I'm a capitalist. I'd only be a communist if I wanted to live like a slave on subsistence rations walled away in someone's basement. Sucks to be you."
Anyway, the whole reason I'm writing this is that, sadly, Che has passed away. I guess he DID need an appendectomy after all. I buried him in an unmarked grave next to his predecessors, John (as in Lenin. I know that wasn't Lenin's real name, but seriously,who names their kid Vlad?), Karl and Joe.
So, know any other college kids who need a lesson in the difference between communism and capitalism? I'm in the market.
If you're in the ruling elite, Communism is AWESOME!!!!!