by Paul Niquette
Copyright ©1996 by Paul Niquette. All rights reserved.

comrade n. 
    1. A friend, associate, or companion. 
    2. A person who shares one's interests, occupation, or activities. 
    3. A fellow member, as in a political party or fraternal group; especially, a fellow member of the Communist Party.
A benign, civilized word appropriated by Communism and clobbered by McCarthyism.

Too soon to say, but if the Cold War is truly over, maybe we can have the word "comrade" back.  It will take much longer to redeem the idealistic maxim...

"From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs."
For one thing, it loses something with an obligatory "his/her" substitution (see virgule).  For another, there's more than a hint of coercion in the first half and a void in volition in the second.  Then too, a fourth of the world's population continues to live under Communism.  By the way, the Chinese changed the word "needs" to "production"...
 "From each according to his/her ability, to each according to his/her production."
...which signals a curious shift toward incentives, not to be confused with greed.

Meanwhile, I use "colleague," which is serviceable enough but not so warm.  As an aging liberal, I have neither "buddies" nor "chums" anymore.  They all became Republicans.


In his 2011 novel Snow Drops, A. D. Miller depicts a fictional Russian journalist who says...

“Communism did not ruin Russia; it was the other way around.”

 ...which makes one wonder if historians will look back on our time and say...

 "Capitalism did not ruin America; it was the other way around."

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