That's the Marxist "May Day" routine anymore: Workers in communist and socialist societies who have little to no freedom - and barely enough to eat - are expected to go out and cheer their oppressive regimes each May 1. And they don't disappoint, even when the chief oppressor - such as Cuba's Fidel Castro - calls in sick.
Never mind that you're dirt poor and can't leave the island without risking your life on a raft. Let's party!
Instead of wrapping a May pole, let's just thank our wise and paternalistic leaders for wrapping us in the suffocating plastic wrap of paranoia and government control, and for protecting us against the evil freedoms that make Americans so miserable.
Maybe you can fool all of the people all of the time.
Look at Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. He's taken yet another step to nationalize the oil industry, seizing the last privately owned oil fields Tuesday from some very large oil companies.
It was timed, no doubt, to coincide with the Marxist May Day charade.
Let's look at that for a moment.
It sounds good for a dictator like Chavez to say he's claiming the people's resources for them. But what is he really doing?
He's enriching his own government, No. 1. Then he will dribble a fraction of the proceeds out to the people to buy their loyalty and gratitude.
In reality, he will be making them poorer and less free. Why? Because they'll be more dependent on government, for one thing. For another thing, nationalizing the oil industry will most likely discourage international investment in Venezuela - and workers there will suffer quietly, subtly and significantly for it.
There may be winners and losers under capitalism - but at least they have some say over it. Under totalitarian regimes, only the strongmen who ingratiate themselves to the regime - through corruption, for example - are winners.
In short, hardly a worker's paradise.
And certainly nothing to celebrate.
Why don't workers of the world celebrate freedom and self-determination instead? How about Nov. 9 - World Freedom Day, the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall?
Freedom - or dependence, control and domination? Which should the workers of the world celebrate?