When I came to the U.S. five years ago, one of the first thing that I discovered to my amusement is that most of my new American friends believed that "communism" was far more cruel than it really was. At the same time I realized that living in late Yugoslavia I was exposed to mixed feelings about "capitalism": we were taught to be scared of "capitalism" and its cruelty to "workers" pretty much in the same way like people here were taught to be scared of "communism". Capitalism was explained to us in terms of Emile Zola's Germinal and 19th century Dickensian England. The same way as Communism here was identified with Stalin. "Communist countries" at some point started to loose economic battle with "capitalism". Therefore we, particularly younger generations of Eastern Europeans, came to think of "capitalism" as a superior system. Which, I still believe, it is, in strictly economic terms. It is at least more self-honest admitting its cruelty instead of masquerading it as caring love of the mother state.

Finally I reached the conclusion that both systems were fundamentally the same: unbelievably cruel. One my friend somewhere said how humans are predators, and another argued that humans are primarily political. Well, I don't see a difference between terms "predator" and "political". Humans are pack predator animals, like wolves. That's probably behind that secret bond between the dog and man (Hollywood is actually coming up with the movie this fall: "The Last of the Dogman", which speculates that some American Natives survived in hiding somewhere in the U.S. mountains maintaining their warrior society; they are discovered by three escaped prisoners, and the film ends with tragedy for those 'last Mohicans' - there is a real cavalry attack scene carried out by 'blue blouses' at the end and I am not sure if I'd recommend it. Similarly, there is a speculation by Emir Kusturicain his new film "Underground" that some of the people in Yugoslavia secluded way up in the Bosnian mountains never heard that the World War II was over, and continued to prepare for the final showdown, that is just about to come.).

Note:Like many others Yugoslav artists, Kusturica gravitated towards Belgrade. The largest Yugoslav city, clearly a center of modern Yugoslav culture - city with most theatres and with most money invested in art, attracted artitsts regardless of nationality, particularly those whose art was resources-hungry like pop-musicians and film-makers. It might be that this was all a part of the shrewd political manipulation by the Serb politicians and it may be that Belgrade Communist League authorities were just a bit smarter and more tactful than others. The fact is that a lot of young artists who had problems in their own towns being refused funds and being politically persecuted by the local communist party leadership, that, ironically, tried to prove themselves to their federal bosses in Belgrade, fled to Belgrade, where they were warmly welcomed and given space to perform and develop. Emir Kusturica was one of them. More about Emir.

Of course, humans are more sophisticated and intelligent than wolves. So, they can actually chose to behave differently than their nature leads them to. Faced by such a choice most of the people however chose to follow their natural instincts. It's easier that way: follow the leader, secure your place in the tribe, eliminate enemies of the tribe. Capitalism plays to those natural instincts, expecting people to behave that way, and rewarding them for their 'success' in such a behavior. Their success often means suffering to other humans (suckers, loosers).

When you look around and see about how did people use their formidably advanced intelligence to submit other people, all non-human animals and nature to themselves, you'd see that most of technological advances came through the wartime, and that benefits we are reaping from them today were mostly just incidental side effects of a diabolic intent to inflict pain and suffering.

To that extent the difference between contemporary 'capitalism' and late 'communism' is like a difference between the old decadent Roman Empire and the times of Holly Inquisition. In Roman Empire humans were fed to lions and torched to *please* cheering folks in the bleachers of Colosseum. Such unholy practice was quickly outlawed by Christianity. Public torchings there were performed to please God, and priests had to act morally devastated by the act they HAD to commit. Still, it was nevertheless entertainment for the masses. Nobody would dare to admit that, however, lest not become branded heretic himself.

Our nature did not change that much since then. Yet we do behave far less physically cruel to each other today. The times of war are clear exception to that. Then the nature rules again.

Communism had the same problems like Windows. It was not really an operating system. It was merely a graphic interpreter of the same operating system that powered capitalist societies as well: industry and free market economy. It could work only on the condition that it is installed everywhere on the planet. As Lenin secretly knew, if just one country remained 'capitalist', people would flee there from 'communism' lured by perfect illusions of nicer graphic environment. However, even if 'communism' was established worldwide it would not deny the existence of 'free market': it would just masterfully hide it under the layer of bureaucracy which would 'sacrifice' themselves and take the profits home for the sake of historical achievement of freeing the working class from the cruelty of capitalism. Also, communist state is more expensive to taxpayer than a capitalist state (as the Windows take up far more resources than plain DOS).

Humans did not yet learn how to keep up with their ever growing numbers in an economy which would not be profit oriented. They need incentives to do their basic life sustaining tasks. And by default they hate taxes.

So, if revolution does not change things much for the poor, why rich are so afraid of it? Because they would be killed, and replaced by a new leading predator pack.

Those who have troubles fitting in any pack, or those who have troubles eating human flesh graciously, they better be big like rhinoceros, otherwise they become extinct in their early thirties. Going straight to the history's garbage dump, falling prey to scavengers, or becoming scavengers themselves, like Charlie Manson once did. Or for that matter, Tim McVeigh did just recently. Those are normal troubles of capitalism. Communism had a more dangerous failure built in: in an attempt to establish more complete control of society, it created a society that self- destructs when that control falters. Ah, just like damned Windows.

Whenever a communist country traded with a capitalist country it had to do it in 'generic' (capitalist) mode, like when you log on the Internet you do it through UNIX based TCP/IP. Aware of that, communist leaders always tried to isolate their countries and make them as self-sustainable as possible. Somewhere in sixties the borders for capital in capitalist world begun to vanish, which made capitalism incredibly powerful. There was a choice to isolate yourself and live in 19th century - like Albania or North Chorea or Khmer Rouge regime - or to gradually disassemble communism as much of the Eastern Europe did.

Now we have what we've got. The revolution won't be televised, and not because there won't be television. It won't be video taped either. Although I can imagine a lot of happy campers waiting with their video cameras for it to happen at the corners of streets of world largest cities.

Essentially humans finally built three class society, which is global, well connected and follows the same basic set of values (capitalist). The core of it is so-called "middle class" - which greatly differs in income, living standard, wealth, education, etc. - but they all have the same basic traits: they have something to loose - so they would rather not take risks, they serve and enlarge the capital, and they are all absorbed in the marketing fairy tale of once becoming really successful, self fulfilled and happy. Their numbers vary from country to country depending on how successful the capitalism was there. Like the middle class is larger in the U.S. than in Rwanda. Middle class will always be anti-revolutionary. They are perennially cranky and they demand change, but they'd always bail out from anything that might harm their present position in the society. More likely they'd accept change delivered to them by elected officials (which most of them are middle class themselves).

Two other classes are more ethereal. They rarely intersect each other, and I wonder if those who belong to one of them are even aware of existence of the other one. The large middle class serves as a buffer between them. They are both growing, although at a fairly slower pace. Their characteristic is that they constantly change in wealth: the Rich are becoming richer as a global group every day, while the Underclass is becoming poorer. The underclass will soon be so dispossessed that it would barely be able to survive, which won't give it time to plot a revolution. The way how they are politely sucked dry leaves a sick scar of anger on them. Thus, from time to time they might blow up some building or air-plane, serving their precious purpose in society: scaring middle-class into beefing up police and military budgets. The rich have all the time and money to make the revolution. But somehow I suspect a lack of motive on their part.

Notably 'capitalism' offers a lot of opportunities to gamble - so if you are lucky, your situation may virtually change overnight. If everybody wins lotto once in a lifetime the talk about revolution would become obsolete. This was not possible in communism. If you were sucker, you had a bad luck forever. And lotto winnings were far smaller. Of course odds makes gamble difficult to win and frustrating to play. Also, if you leave your ghetto and become All-American sports idol it does not always help you, because the old scars are too deep, and if your predator nature is suddenly awaken it might take unnecessary many victims, or if you are suddenly picked up from a trailer park and elevated in the global rock stardom, it might not make you immediately happy. It is even worse to loose. It makes you really depressed and evil.

I have "an attitude problem" myself: I can't be middle class. It just doesn't fit me. And I am by no means rich. So, I have no much choice left but to blow up something. I wonder does this rant sound similar to Unabomber's?

When Marx wrote about communist revolution and the dictatorship of proletariat, he was very explicit about the working class, generally meaning industrial proletariat, having the main role in both the revolution and the aftermath. He never envisoned worker's revolution and the worker's dictatorship in a country without workers. So, he was never able to consider Stalin, Pol Pot and Kim Il Sung. They were not planned in his academic flatulence. The fact is that all historical examples of "workers paradise" happened in countries largely without workers around. Let's face it: in 1917 Russia was in pre-industrial society. Majority of population lived from agriculture. Industrial revolution, that necessary technological component of capitalism that made mass-production possible, didn't yet reach Russia in its full force, and industrial proletariat was scarce. Campucea is still pre-industrial society, and North Korea is at 1950-s level of industrial development, gleefully discovering the Bomb.

What happened was that younger people educated on foreign (West-European) colleges were impressed with marxism in the same way that caught their western peers; only they were living in countries where most of the populace was still illiterate. That's why the word "intelligentsia" is so important in understanding of the Eastern Europe. Instead of becoming individual capitalists risking vulnerability to the chaos of the market economy and social instability of antagonizing class system, they decided to become a collective capitalist keeping for themselves a "historic" role of "scientifically" balancing of economy and society. Not so surprisingly, such over-managed, over-supervised, over-administrated society ended in providing fewer opportunities of worker's participation, worker's ownership, worker's standard of living and work safety, than so-called countries enemies of the working state.

However, even the most developed communist states, like the U.S., have the same problems: first - too many managers, too many middlemen (or midllewomen); second - the creation of the new underclass, proletariat of the next century: unemployed class, homeless, hopeless. The next revolution is ours. We'd pick the right country this time. I'd be "the" Trocki of new revolution. My commrades would axe me for breaking the POCO laws (political correctnes) which would be brought to effect in place of that outdated Bill of Rights, immediately after the revolution.