Tuesday, May 02, 2006

May Day 2006: Another day of remembrance

Aside from one strike and a handful of school students marching up Queen St after being bussed in by their teachers for the occasion, few New Zealanders and even fewer New Zealand workers remember May Day as they once did. Good.

Today's marching was more about teaching youngsters to value the radical past and to try and foment some sort of radically collectivist future than it was about commemorating labour's heroes. Just as Radical Youth is more about getting failed lefties like John Minto and Matt McCarten access to impressionable high school students with their toxic ideology than it is about Youth Rates, so yesterday's muted May Day celebrations were really more about the rest of us celebrating that the streets remained un-filled with militant mobs demanding wealth at others' expense, as May Days past once were.

Nonetheless, those who take today's apathetic communists for granted should themselves use May Day as a day of commemoration - a commemoration of communism's dead, and socialism's poor and downtrodden. Catallarchy's 2006 commemoration is here, with last year's thoughts here. Lest we forget:

The modern celebration of May Day began as a working class holiday in the late 19th century. It was the culmination of a struggle of the common man for better working conditions and a demand for greater dignity. In the 20th century, various governments gave their official endorsement to the holiday with celebrations consisting of displays of military and political might. With trumpets blaring, tanks rolled through public squares and square-jawed soldiers marched in lockstep, saluting flags while the Premier reveled in the exhibition of power.

Such parades were largely a facade that hid a harsh underlying reality. While the regimes played up an image of strength and vigor to the outside world, the societies they ruled over were decaying on the inside. And the same power on display in the parades was used in carte blanche fashion to create terror, repression, brutality, and crimes against humanity. The unfortunate irony is that the common man bore the brunt of the hardship. The victims of these totalitarian states were privy to human nature at its darkest depths.

The story of their struggle has not yet been told in all its starkness. Today, we at Catallarchy try to tell a small part of their story.
Read on for the full 2006 commemoration. And here for the 2005 commemoration.

LINKS: May Day 2006: A day of remembrance - Catallarchy
May Day 2005: A day of remembrance - Catallarchy
Who is Radical Youth?
- New Zeal
Haymarket riot
- Wikipedia

TAGS: History-Twentieth_Century, Politics-NZ, Socialism

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