Once upon a time a gentleman came across someone who called himself a Communist. As they began to chat, the gentleman asked what had attracted the Communist to that ideology.
“Because I believe that the government should provide for the people,” the Communist said.
“But do you agree with class warfare” asked our gentleman.
“Heavens no,” replied the Communist.
Perplexed, but also curious, the gentleman asked, “Do you think capitalism is bad?”
“Of course not,” replied the Communist, “I believe capitalism is a perfectly legitimate system of economy.”
“Do you believe in private property and ownership?”
“Why should I? People should be permitted to freely own property.”
“Perhaps you could help me for a moment, sir, because you say you are a Communist, and yet you have affirmed a love for all the things which Communism speaks out against.”
The gentleman could tell our Communist friend was getting agitated, if just a bit, and he grew rather stern as he looked at our gentleman and asked, “Are you judging me, sir?”
“Judging? Not at all. You, however, present to be two contradictions: that which you think you are, and that which you truly are. Have you read the works of Marx and Engels?”
“Somewhat,” replied the Communist, “but I find them to be irrelevant to this topic. They are two men who lived long ago, and who are now dead. Their works are antiquated by now.”
“Yet their works have laid the foundation for the belief system you now uphold. You cannot simply ignore the historical development and traditions of the system of beliefs you now uphold, neither can you choose to redefine it by your own unilateral will.”
“Now see here, sir,” said the Communist, his voice showing he was growing quite irate, “I will not have you pass judgment on me. I know what I am, and I’m a Communist! You have no right to tell me otherwise!”
“Tell me, if I told you I descended from African tribes, would you believe me?”
The Communist looked our gentleman over and, finding him quite Caucasian, replied, “I wouldn’t reckon so.”
“Of course not. I could declare myself African all I wanted, but that wouldn’t change the facts. Now, in a similar circumstance, you tell me you are Communist, and yet you neither uphold what Communism believes, nor do you oppose what it opposes – in fact, you present all the negative in the positive. You even belittle their founders.”
“You cannot suppose what is in my heart!” the Communist cried.
“Your heart is irrelevant,” the gentleman said, “the reality that is and the reality you desire are two separate things, irregardless of what your ‘heart’ thinks. Words have meaning, history is in stone, and it is not up to us to reinterpret what either means or says. You cannot choose to unilaterally revise what it means to be Communist any more than I can decide unilaterally means to be Caucasian. In this essence, you deny the authority of Marx, Engels, and other men in history, and choose instead to rely upon your own authority. You are not a Communist, my friend, you are simply yourself.”
“And I suppose you believe yourself to be of authority on Communism?!” the Communist said in a loud voice, his rage building.
“I claim no such thing,” the gentleman said, “I am simply going by what the original writers of your pet ideology have said. I have judged you by them – and they all say that you are a fake.”
At these words, the Communist threw into a rage, calling the gentleman an intolerant bigot and stormed off.