If you’re a Millennial who loves bread lines, prison camps, forced famines, and abject human misery, then you’ll love the latest offering from Rolling Stone. Over the weekend, Jesse Myerson, a twenty-something former Occupy organizer, finally stumbled upon a foolproof recipe for success for today’s struggling Millennials. The recipe? Communism, naturally.
Myerson, whose Twitter bio includes the hashtag #FULLCOMMUNISM (for when fractional communism just can’t murder people quickly enough), listed five economic reforms that he thinks every Millennial should demand: Guaranteed jobs, guaranteed income, no more private real estate, no more private assets at all, and a public bank in every state (a great place to store all those financial assets you no longer own). If that sounds eerily similar to a Yoko Ono-infused brainstorming session by John Lennon, it’s because it is eerily similar to a Yoko Ono-infused brainstorming session by John Lennon.
Imagine there’s no possessions? Check. No need for greed or hunger? Check. All the people sharing all the world? Check. The only standard communist tenet missing from Myerson’s Communism For Dummies listicle was a call to abolish religion.
Look, lots of people think everybody else’s stuff should be their stuff. Unfortunately for Myerson, most of those people drink juice out of a box and think Cookie Monster and Dora the Explorer are real people. There’s a time and a place to brag that you’ve finally figured out how to make communism work, and it’s your college dorm room at 3:00 a.m. If you publish a serious call for the reconstruction of several core pillars of communism barely two decades after the dissolution of the Soviet Union (this is the point at which Myerson would almost certainly interject that the USSR wasn’t practicing real communism, maaan), you’re pretty much begging to be mocked.
But what makes Myerson’s article so precious is that either he’s too dumb to know what the Soviet Union stood for (or too lazy to have done a quick Google search prior to clicking “Publish”), or he thinks his readers are too dumb to discern that he’s actually pushing for a return to Soviet-style communism. In his defense, he published his Marxist mash note at Rolling Stone — a site run by a seemingly drug-addled 23-year-old nepot — so maybe he has a point about the collective IQ of his readers.
Here’s a quick selection of his Soviet Trutherism from Twitter:
The Right seems to think that history (I assume they mean the USSR) refutes the five non-Soviet reforms I proposed earlier today. Odd.
As Andrew McCoy noted shortly after Myerson’s piece was published, Myerson’s ideas aren’t just similar to Soviet ideas. They are Soviet ideas, which should come as no surprise to anyone with even a passing familiarity with the Soviet Union. According to McCoy’s research, each of Myerson’s five reforms was contained in the USSR’s Constitution. Guaranteed jobs are in Article 40. Social insurance for everybody is in Article 43. Abolition of private real estate is in Article 6. Complete abolition of all other private property is in Articles 4 and 5. And government-owned banks — the only banks allowed in the Soviet Union — were a natural byproduct of a system that says only the government can own things.
But other than that, Myerson’s ideas are all totally original and completely untested by mankind. Have no fear, though. Historical ignorance is not Myerson’s only specialty. He’s also a master of cognitive dissonance:
@erickbrockway I think you'll find the history of the reforms I'm proposing is successful, in the main. Or are you blaming me for the gulag?
@MattDycus Name one civilization, let alone dozens, that have tried any two of the five reforms I proposed today.
Did you get that? The history of the reforms he is proposing is “successful” even though, according to Myerson’s implied assertion, no civilization has tried more than one of his ideas. Those two tweets were literally eight minutes apart. But he didn’t stop there, because no endorsement of communism is complete without an absurd condemnation of capitalism.
If I have to answer for Soviet gulags, these market/capital twits have to answer for climate collapse, the greatest genocide in history.
If you're happy to deny that capitalism is engineering mass extinction, go ahead and miss me with the severely humanist anti-genocide BS.
— Jesse A. Myerson (@JAMyerson) January 5, 2014
Memo to all my friends from the Capitalist Club who are reading this: it’s time to change the passcode on our conference calls, guys. Homeboy’s figured out our entire game plan. And while we’re at it, we should probably find a better name for our evil plan than Operation Mass Extinction. If we’re aiming for an economic program that immediately results in famine, starvation, and the needless deaths of tens of millions of people, we’ll need something catchy. I’m thinking Operation Great Leap Forward.
If Myerson wants to see what a government-engineered “climate collapse” (whatever that means) looks like, he need only study the Great Chinese Famine, a three-year period of absolute desolation caused directly by Mao’s communist regime. Between 1958 and 1962 alone, upwards of 45 million Chinese died as a result of the Mao-engineered famine, while another 30 million failed to be born because of the communist-caused carnage. As a percentage of the country’s total population, those 45 million Chinese deaths would be roughly equivalent to the entire populations of New York City, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia being wiped out between now and 2018, all thanks to government fiat. I’m pretty sure my capitalist air-conditioning and SUV haven’t murdered 45 million people since 2009, but your mileage may vary.
For all his faults, though, Myerson really is the perfect 21st century chickenhawk communist. Oh, you live in Manhattan, make close to six figures, and went to a middling NY liberal arts college where the cost of a single credit hour exceeds the GDP per capita of a whole host of African countries? Tell me more about how you’re down with The Struggle™. Nothing says certified prole like black-and-white candids, three-piece suits, and finely manicured beards, amirite?
Between this sort of nonsense and its fawning Boston Bomber coverage, Rolling Stone is clearly trying to cement itself as Slate for the dumb set (but I repeat myself) with a traffic model that all but begs people to mock its stupidity. No longer wanting to be confined to writing terrible music reviews, Rolling Stone is basically becoming the print equivalent of clips of the grape-stomping local TV reporter, minus the shame and embarrassment.
In its 1967 review of the album “Are You Experienced,” Rolling Stone mocked Jimi Hendrix, writing, “It is one thing for Jimi to talk arrogantly, and without any pretense at artistry; it’s another to write lyrics in that fashion.”
It’s one thing for the writers at Rolling Stone to think arrogantly, and without any pretense at basic historical accuracy or intellectual honesty. It’s another to publish articles in that fashion.