Friday, February 27, 2015

Klaus Wäscher, Der Socialismus Siegt

Finalist in the Sony World Photography Awards. Note the faded lettering across the top of the building that reads, Der Socialismus Siegt, Socialism is Victorious. I think this perfectly captures how people of my generation feel about socialism, which for us is all bound up with concrete apartment blocks and other aesthetic horrors.

1 comment:

G. Verloren said...

Strange - at first glance, I assumed I was looking at a portion of the Detroit Ruins, something like the Packard Motor Plant or Michigan Central Station.

The word "Socialism" is so convoluted and bloated with external meaning and associations as to make it almost meaningless anymore. The word is almost never used in its original intent, but rather as symbolic stand-in for the bizarre realities of the Cold War. It has become so burdened by politics and warfare that we can no longer tell where the original concept of Socialism ends, and where the associated baggage begins.

People point to the blunders of the CCCP and say, "See? Communism and Socialism don't work!", as if the Russians were ever actually truly either Communist or Socialist, instead of being a totalitarian fiscal-military state having far more in common with the Third Reich than anything Marx or Engels ever described.

Which is a shame, really. Despite its apparent stability, Capitalism is still inherently flawed on a number of levels, as history has amply demonstrated. Socialism, as a basic concept of cooperative sharing and fair resource management, is inherently an attractive notion. The philosophy's problem thus far has been in the implementation (or lack thereof), not in the underlying theory.

In time, the Cold War will have passed out of memory, and perhaps the core concept can be reclaimed and properly implemented. In a world of finite resources where the cultures of Globalism and Egalistarianism are rapidly ascendant, there is a lot of incentive for finding a way to make real Socialism actually work - and to avoid repeating the mistakes of history.