Sunday, September 4, 2016

The ghastly legacy of Communism

The New Criterion offers us a horrifying overview of the bloody legacy of Communism down the centuries.  Those of us who fought the Cold War in one way or another needed little convincing of the evil of the 'other side', but today, many of its horrors have been forgotten, or whitewashed by 'fellow travelers'.  This article sets the record straight.

Ninety-nine years ago, Tsar Nicholas II abdicated, and, after a few months of weak parliamentary rule, the Bolsheviks seized power. We call that seizure the Russian (or October) Revolution, but it might better be designated the Bolshevik coup d’état. A party of 10,000 people gained control of an empire occupying one-sixth of the earth’s land area.

From the start, they made up for their small numbers with outsized violence. If at first their executions of liberals, socialists, workers who showed independence, and peasants from whom grain was seized at gunpoint seemed like a short-term necessity, it soon became evident that the violence would never stop. In fact, it was to grow, with Stalin proclaiming “the intensification of the class struggle” when Bolshevik control had long been total.

The Bolsheviks made up for their small numbers with outsized violence.

Eventually some eighteen countries were to fall under Communist rule. In 1999, Time magazine proclaimed Einstein the “man of the century”—the person who “for better or worse most influenced the last 100 years”—but Einstein did not remotely affect so many lives as Lenin. Bolsheviks were never very good at material inventions, but they excelled at political technology, inventing an entirely new system we call totalitarian. As they say today, it went viral. There is still no vaccine.

Of course, lots of conquering groups have annihilated or enslaved other groups—just think of the Trojan war or Tamerlane’s mountains of skulls—but no form of government had ever been so brutal to those it regarded as its own people. Soviet Russia was far crueler than its tsarist predecessor, which had long been proverbial as “the gendarme of Europe.” Between 1825 and 1905, the tsars executed 191 people for political reasons—not for mere “suspicion” as under the Soviets but for actual assassinations, including that of Tsar Alexander II. In The Gulag Archipelago, Alexander Solzhenitsyn remarked that between 1905 and 1908 the regime executed as many as 2,200 people—forty-five a month!—“calling forth tears from Tolstoy and indignation from Korolenko and many, many others.” By comparison, conservative estimates of executions under Lenin and Stalin—say, twenty million from 1917 to 1953—yield an average of over ten thousand per week. That’s a tsarist century every few days.

Western public opinion has never come to terms with the crimes of Communism. Every school child knows about the Holocaust, Apartheid, and American slavery, as they should. But Pol Pot’s murder of a quarter of Cambodia’s population has not dimmed academic enthusiasm for the Marxism his henchmen studied in Paris. Neither the Chinese Cultural Revolution nor the Great Purges seem to have cast a shadow on the leftists who apologized for them. Quite the contrary, university classes typically blame the Cold War on American “paranoia” about communism and still picture Bolsheviks as idealists in too great a hurry. Being leftwing means never having to say you’re sorry.

There's much more at the link.

Indispensable, essential reading for anyone who doesn't know (or has forgotten) the full horror of all that Communism perpetrated in its quest for the left-wing, progressive chimera of the 'classless society'.  It very nearly ended up with no society left at all.



0007 said...

Of course Western public opinion has never come to terms with the crimes of Communism. Because they have never been told about them. Thanks to the subverted press, starting way back when, and the thousands of "useful idiots" who supported the various "revolutions for democratic rule" across those times(and still do) it's a wonder that we don't have a president brought up by commun...oops sorry about that.
Hell, when I was in junior high, I remember reading/hearing about what a wonderful thing it was going to be for the Cuban people now that castro had ousted the EEEEVIL BATISTA.
And in deference to our host I won't go into how well helping the communists in the overthrowing the evils of apartheid worked out.

Rolf said...

Reading The Gulag Archipelago was depressing. More so as I saw more and more parallels between it and modern America. But it was also very enlightening, and has helped me understand things that never made a lot of sense. Fear is a terrible master, and the left is about instilling fear and uncertainty everywhere, so people will turn to them and their promise of safety and security. Destroy men, make them weak and fearful, so they can be controlled. You might say "never me!" but when you job is on the line, when you can't make a payment and might lose the house, etc., it's easy to become fearful and say anything to keep the comfortable-enough, safe-enough lie going. When you see others give in, it's easy to think "why should *I* be the chump, the fall guy, when everyone else is a parasite?"

Stay strong, and NEVER give the lie an inch, never confess or admit that anything you did or said was a problem in any way. They'll take the millimeter and stretch it a mile.

Old NFO said...

+1 on 0007. You'll never see any of this in the MSM, it's only by doing research and reading that you will discover any of this!

Steve Sky said...

To expand on the point made by 0007, the New York Times has never returned the Pulitzer Prize that Walter Duranty received for quoting Stalinist propaganda verbatim, "I have seen the future and it works", while simultaneously ignoring the mass starvation & deaths resulting from the purges implemented by Joseph Stalin. And I don't believe they have ever turned from their pro-communist outlook.

Unfortunately, since the rest of the news media uses the NYT as its' authoritative source for the stories to cover, and the way to cover them, people never hear any news that the gatekeepers don't want heard. JournoList is another example of making sure the entire news media uses the same talking points, and the same voice.

In this respect, the internet & bloggers have made a difference in getting the truth out, as they bypass the gatekeepers, *if people are willing to search the truth out.*

Anonymous said...

... somehow I find it ... annoying... that there hasn't been a proper experiment on the communist economical model without the oppressive totalitarianism, even if there were a couple that were a bit less horrible than Stalin's USSR.

(Not that I'd have any desire to take part in such an experiment.)

Because even with all the evidence of communist economies having performed poorly compared to the western model, there just isn't a case available where the economical side would've been dominant over all this... though I suppose Tito's Yugoslavia might have come closest...

I mean, this little detail makes it harder to argue economics with the local Christian-Communist folks that are active in municipal politics in my home town. (They're the ultrapacifist kind too, "better to die than kill" and all. Too bad that this faction didn't survive much under the actual Communist regimes... and I'm convinced that their way still wouldn't work for productive industries, but since they can argue that it hasn't been tried yet... oh well.)

Unknown said...

It has been tried. Many times, and in this very country. Most famously with Oneida and Peoples Temple.

What it hasn't ever done, is work out well for those involved.

Will said...


Communism and it's kissing cousin Socialism will NEVER work for larger groups, as the basis of them violates HUMAN NATURE. The lie that underpins those political visions is that human nature is changeable. No, it cannot be changed, and therefore they will ALWAYS fail. EVERY country in the world that is based on socialism is failing. Simply a matter of time. Unfortunately, people, especially politicians, are not capable of learning from history, which is why we see the same thing repeated.

MadMcAl said...

It CAN work, if the circumstances are right. The circumstances would of course be something akin to the replicator and an energy source to cheap to meter. If everybody gets his basic needs without any costs, and only those that actually WANT to work have to communism would work.
But as said replicator and the energy source are pure scifi at this time, no more experiments please.