Skip to comments.Is the left forgetting how evil communism was?
Posted on 02/18/2014 7:33:56 PM PST by ReformationFan
Is communism making a comeback? On its face, the question seems more than a little absurd. The Berlin Wall came down over 24 years ago. We are more than 22 years removed from the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War.
All that remains are the Stalinist museum pieces of North Korea and Cuba, the former an isolated country known mainly for its absurd dictator and starving population, the latter a beautiful island stuck in a 1950s time warp due to backwards economic and social policies.
Even China, the one major power still ruled by a Communist Party, is so far removed from the strict economic teachings of Marx and Engels as to nearly constitute some other political system entirely (albeit one that is still tyrannical).
What Jimmy Carter called an inordinate fear of communism today requires a degress of obsessiveness that combines Joe McCarthy with Jenny McCarthy. Surely the American body politic has been vaccinated to prevent anything like that.
Yet there does seem to be a growing tendency to not take communism as seriously as Nazism, to treat it as a historical curiosity rather than assign the discredited dogma to its rightful place among the totalitarian nightmares of the twentieth century.
rollingstone_900 Rolling Stone published the economically illiterate musings of one Jesse A. Meyerson, who featured the full communism hashtag in his Twitter bio. (It contained sage observations like as much as unemployment blows, so do jobs.) Meyerson denied that his preferred economic reforms had ever really been tried, despite some of them being road-tested in the Soviet constitution, and suggested his critics were more responsible for things like global warming than he was for the indefensible human rights record of communist regimes.
Late last year, BuzzFeed posted not one but two cutesy items about Cuba that almost seem designed to whitewash the governments crimes. The first says more about the U.S. embargo of Cuba (an ineffectual anachronism I oppose) than the nature of the government itself, allowing that ordinary people just dont have the money in a country that is still pretty darn socialist while also positing that the basic safety net of the government has made Cuba different and less dangerous than other impoverished Latin American countries.
The second one, a slideshow, starts off promisingly enough by acknowledging, Cuba has a repressive government, disastrous economic policies and was ruled by Fidel Castroand now his brother Raul for decades. The piece ends with an update that says, As noted by some readers, these are interviews with admirers of Cuba, none of whom discussed the countrys much maligned human rights record, which you can read about more here and here.
In between, readers are treated to a series of images that is part tourism brochure, part Gus Hall propaganda show.
stalin 2 More recently, when Pete Seeger died he was hailed not just as a folk music legend but a political visionary. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof praised him as someone whose folk music backed the civil-rights movement and stood up to Congress. President Obama celebrated Seeger as one who believed deeply in the power of song but also in the power of community.
There was no mention of the fact that Seeger long defended Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, first criticizing him publicly 40 years after the mass murderers death. Seeger opposed U.S. entry into World War II during the Hitler-Stalin nonaggression pact and continued to compare subsequent Soviet rulers to nonviolent figures like civil-rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
The New York Times, a newspaper that won a Pulitzer prize when its reporter Walter Duranty covered up Stalins crimes, in 2007 dismissed this lingering debate, If anything, the interest in Mr. Seegers views on the Soviet Union shows the durability of cold war ideological debates.
This myopia persists in some circles today, as evidenced by certain reports coming out of Russia during the Olympics. The empire that ascended to affirm a colossal footprint; the revolution that birthed one of modern historys pivotal experiments, enthused an NBC opening video. But if politics has long shaped our sense of who they are, its passion that endures.
Signboard of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalinís Villa is seen in Sochi There was also a justly condemned CNN report At home with Uncle Joe Stalin. He was a notorious dictatorial leader, yes, but he also helped create much that is modern Sochi, the host of the 2014 Winter Games. We are treated to tales of the cinema room where Stalin used to view his favorite Charlie Chaplin movies but no stories of the 20 million people murdered by his regime, atop another 20 million killed in war (considered by some to be a conservative estimate).
Adolf Hitler would notand emphatically should notreceive such fawning treatment. Why do Stalin and other communist murderers? How can videos of Fidel Castros island prison sit alongside quizzes about which Friends character the reader is? To quote Lennon rather than Lenin, But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao/You aint going make it with anyone anyhow.
Everything old is new again, goes the old adage, especially true in an era of hipsters and ironic detachment. But there is a big difference between pretending Pabst Blue Ribbon is fine wine and normalizing the crimes against humanity carried out underneath the hammer and sickle.
Even before the Berlin Wall crumbled, a not insignificant amount of American history made it sound like the worst things that happened during the Cold War were McCarthyism, the House Un-American Activities Committee, Roy Cohn and Red scares. A lot of the people who wrote that history were more directly affected by blacklists than forced starvation, Stalinist purges or five-year plans.
From the treatment of dissidents at home to the support for illiberal governments abroad, American anti-communists have been guilty of sins of their own. But to pretend that what Pete Seeger went through in testifying before Congress was in the same universe as the liquidation of the kulaks, to cite just one example of communist crimes, is morally grotesque.
It has also long been easy for people to compartmentalize the various aspects of communism, sealing off what they like (such as government-provided health care or free college) from the human rights abuses they dislike. From the 1930s to the 1960s, this included many activists and normal citizens who displayed decent and humane impulses on other contemporary issues, like the fight against Jim Crow. It includes some well-meaning people today.
gulag People who would never dream of saying a nice word about Hitler because of the autobahn nevertheless praise Chinese and Soviet social experiments because they naively see communism as not inherently bigoted or discriminatory. Not only is this not always trueask members of various minority groups in communist countries or look at the plight even of South African blacks before the local communist party decided to use the anti-apartheid cause for recruitmentit prioritizes refraining from discrimination over refraining from mass murder.
But because the bizarre and evil racial theories behind Nazism are apparent early on to all but the most obtuse, Nazism tends to repulse most people of good will living in the postwar era rather quickly. In modern times, fellow travelers of Nazism are almost always racists and anti-Semites rather than people in denial about the true meaning of Hitlerism.
By contrast, people have been attracted to communism because of the prosperity it falsely promises to share without willing anyone to be a victim of the secret police. (Though such people often remain willfully ignorant of the secret polices existence.)
Das Kapital can be sanitized of the gulag in a way that Mein Kampf can never be scrubbed of the concentration camp. Thats what allows us to be cute about Uncle Joe and to perhaps dismiss anti-communism as a dated right-wing concern.
kulaksstarved Nevertheless, communism should be held to the same standard as Nazism and fascism. It is no historical accident that communisms denial of human nature has always and everywhere required a massive denial of human rights.
Jonah Goldberg observed that some grapple with Americas legacy of slavery while ignoring the Soviet Unions. (An exception is Ronald Reagans Evil Empire speech, famous for its denunciation of Soviet communism, containing a less-noticed passage describing slavery and racism as a legacy of evil with which America must deal.)
Watching the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, Goldberg wrote, youd have no idea that from the Moscow metro system to, literally, the roads to Sochi, the Soviet Unionthe supposed epitome of modernity and scientific socialismwas built on a mountain of broken lives and unremembered corpses.
The victims of communism had names, even if they were lost in the vast numbers. It is time to remember, and indeed never forget.
They share that evil
Not forgetting, this is the way they have always covered it.
Forgetting ? If they were just forgetting they wouldn’t be trying to implement everything they did to the T ! NO THEY AREN’T FORGETTING ! They want it with all their souls and being they want it !
The problem is they are, with China’s help, and America is helping them.
Both parties are contributing to this.
Our country is 17.25 trillion dollars in debt, and China now exports more than America does.
Americans cannot own factories in China.
They’re just dumb enough to think they can do it better this time.
They aren’t forgetting the part that the ones in charge live pretty well in communist countries.
like the current potus is bad wait until we get thrown under the succubus—hillary 2016
Ornaments of Mao adorned the Clinton Whitehouse christmas tree. Along with condoms.
This must be a younger person, fell for that baloney about “Mr. X and containment” false narrative they floated at that time. Leftists were anti-anti-Comminists.
It was only evil because they weren’t in charge. No evil regime sees itself as evil.
When the left went gaga over Gorbachev when he made his first trip here I believe in 1988 that was all that was needed to show me what the Democratic Party was all about. They treated Comrade Gorbachev a thousand times better than Ronald Reagan so what does that tell you about the left’s political leanings?
our only hope is a mass exodus of americans to china
they have empty cities waiting to be filled
They’re looking “FORWARD” to it...
See what I did there?
Why do you think they fired all the generals, bought up all the ammunition, and are now planting commissars in all the newsrooms?
Of course they know how horrible Communism is, that is why they EMBRACE IT..their goal, kill as many Conservatives as humanly possible, if they could make a Holocaust just for Conservatives they would do it in a New York minute
Their argument is the same with Islamic terrorism.....It’s was only a few evil people that made it look bad.
They crave it and all the misery it brings; they crave the power of oppression.
My last laugh will be watching the left/democrat underlings being exterminated far before me (I pose a greater danger in trying to exterminate; I’ll be left for last). The underlings have not studied history too much in earnest and think they will be welcomed in. Jokes on you useful idiots. You’ll be gone first when the power grab is underway.
No, they’ve never seen communism as evil. They’ve seen it as hamhanded and clumsy, and see liberalism and progressivism as better approaches to achieving communist goals.
The left thinks it’s just fine to murder babies with scissors.
Huh? .... The Left IS communism
They didn’t buy up all the ammo....jus’ sayin’!
What a silly question. The Left is evil. They want you to forget how evil they are. So they can do it all again.
Communism IS Evil. That’s an aspect that has NEVER changed.
Several years of buying ammo, hiding containers throughout the country, militarizing the police, armored personnel carriers being deployed to police departments, and one article to disprove it?
And now the post office is buying ammo?
If you have the stomach for it try this.
just point out to your favorite flaming pinko commie that their fantasy world of communism always fails and then prove it. It’s not hard.
You will in the end get this exact response when they run out of BS.
“well if I had been in charge, things would have worked”
It’s the ultimate in condescending. We are all just too stupid for our own good.
That’s what were dealing with folks.
Have a nice night and keep your powder dry.
Forgetting? Is that a joke? America’s Liberals were the greatest aiders and abettors of Stalinism from 1930 on until it became politically expedient for Khruschev to denounce the monster he had served so loyally. Even then our homegrown “Liberals” reserved their deepest venom for Conservatives, not for murderous Communist brutes like Mao or Pol Pot.
They want YOU to forget
What do you mean "forgetting"? Few on the Left ever appreciated how evil Communism was.
Western intellectuals never had to pay a price for being so wrong. The Right never spiked the football, mostly due to ... wait for it ... take a guess ... could it be ... the GOPe. Every leftist from Noam Chomsky to Oliver Stone to the silly little twit who taught me Poly-Sci 101 should have been ridiculed for years. Liberal Democrats were horribly wrong on all of it, but never had to suffer for it. They can proceed in their stupidity 100% free of any consequences.
The end justifies the mean, in their minds.
The left forgetting? It’s the rest of the people they want to forget about it, so they can try it again.
It is, and always has been, a game of make-believe for the Left. History is easier to falsify than to learn, envy is easier to hold than understanding, and scapegoating is easier to cling to than taking responsibility for one's own actions. It is no accident that it has been a generation away from the fall of the Soviet Union that a vast fabric of mythology has been rewoven.
There are key phrases that betray this: "true communism has never been tried" is an indication that the speaker is defining "true" communism as one that works. It's a lovely fantasy. These are children who have never given up unicorns and castles, with themselves in the role of prince or princess and always somebody else emptying the chamber pots. And they'll happily kill for that illusion.
We see this in the profoundly anti-intellectual fashion of what is ironically termed "Critical Thinking", two lies in a single phrase. "White privilege" is one of its offshoots - a doctrine that cannot be tested, cannot be falsified, and even to question it validates it. It's invisible, it's magical, it explains everything. What it isn't, is real.
We see it in the economic falsehood that one cannot earn anything fairly, that inequities in material possession are uniformly the result of theft and unfair systems, and that merit is impossible except for those who are clever at turning a rhetorical phrase. We see it most openly in the insatiable desire to rule the lives of other people. One may display that without being a Leftist, but one cannot be a Leftist without it. We see it in the constant, relentless effort to change language instead of changing the reality it represents. We see it in the elevation of hatred and envy to virtues, of nihilism to truth.
It isn't going away.
Excellent yet sad point.
My mother believed all the lies from the left media about how great USSR was, and when the truth finally was revealed she refused to believe it.
You beat me to the draw. I had the same set of words buzzing on the tip of my tongue and the tips of my fingers on the keyboard but you got there first.
I’ve had more than one liberal tell me that Gorbachev stopped the cold war, not Ronald Reagan.
Evil is just a word. State Socialism is a goal.
When the US has dissipated its strength Russia and China won't buy Arabian oil any more either. They will colonize it.
At least until the show trials. Once the Left is Ascendant and Supreme they will start eating their own in earnest. Everybody then becomes Trotsky and Budenny.
That reminds me of this story:
‘A guy thought he was dead, but in reality he was very much alive. His hallucination became a real problem for his family and they finally took him to see a psychiatrist.
‘After spending many laborious sessions trying to convince the guy he was still alive, the psychiatrist tried one last approach. He opened his medical book and proceeded to show the man that dead men don’t bleed.
‘After a mind-numbing study, the man seemed convince that dead men don’t bleed, and the psychiatrist asked: “Do you now agree that dead men don’t bleed?” “Yes I do” the man replied.
‘”Very well, then,” the psychiatrist said. He took out a pin and pricked the man’s finger. Out came a drop of blood.
‘The doctor asked. “What does that tell you?” “Oh my goodness!” The patient exclaimed as he stared doubtfully at his finger.” “Dead men DO bleed!!”’
Gorby can be given some of the “credit” for bringing down the Soviet Union, at least fro bringing it down a modicum faster than its already established trajectory. He was using a monkey wrench as a screw driver in attempts to adjust the machinery.
To those on the Left, the Eternal Refrain is always the same: TRUE communism was never tried and we’ll certainly do better.
The delusion never dies.
You are right. To a communist, anything that furthers the cause of communism, is good, moral and just, so if killing 100 million people furthers communism, to them, it is good. I often wonder why these people are such fanatics about it. I think it is their "religion" so they are dedicated to their religion.