Skip to comments.Murderous idealism
Posted on 11/02/2009 6:25:22 AM PST by La Lydia
The Berlin Wall that came down 20 years ago this month was an apt symbol of communism. It represented a historically unprecedented effort to prevent people from "voting with their feet" and leaving a society they rejected...While greatly concerned with communism in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Americans -- hostile or sympathetic -- actually knew little about communism, and little is said here today about the unraveling of the Soviet empire. The media's fleeting attention to the momentous events of the late 1980s and early 1990s matched their earlier indifference to communist systems. There is little public awareness of the large-scale atrocities, killings and human rights violations that occurred in communist states, especially compared with awareness of the Holocaust and Nazism...
The different moral responses to Nazism and communism in the West can be interpreted as a result of the perception of communist atrocities as byproducts of noble intentions that were hard to realize without resorting to harsh measures. The Nazi outrages, by contrast, are perceived as unmitigated evil lacking in any lofty justification and unsupported by an attractive ideology...Political violence under communism had an idealistic origin and a cleansing, purifying objective. Those persecuted and killed were defined as politically and morally corrupt and a danger to a superior social system...
In the aftermath of the fall of Soviet communism, many Western intellectuals remain convinced that capitalism is the root of all evil. There has been a long tradition of such animosity among Western intellectuals who gave the benefit of doubt or outright sympathy to political systems that denounced the profit motive and proclaimed their commitment to create a more humane and egalitarian society,
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
I’m sorry, but anyone who calls themselves an intellectual isn’t one. Reading lots of books, or having an advanced degree, or having tenure somewhere doesn’t make you an authority on life, and it certainly doesn’t ordain you into some club of superior intellect. It’s about how you apply knowledge in the world and respond to new information as it is presented. How in the world can you call someone too rigid and unthinking as to still think communism/socialism is a good thing an ‘intellectual’? It’s comical.
The failure of Soviet communism confirms that humans motivated by lofty ideals are capable of inflicting great suffering with a clear conscience. But communism's collapse also suggests that under certain conditions people can tell the difference between right and wrong.
This passage highlights the harsh reality of the impending totalitarianism the hard left in America is seeking and the bright hope that Americans can and will recognize it for what it is, despite the pretty words and lofty ideal leftist use to camouflage their true objectives. Well, one hopes, anyway.
Yes, the “lofty ideals” of our current White House are only a couple of steps away from the rationalization of inflicting great suffering.
“Why are there so many people in our country — running our country — that don’t understand this basic truth? “
For starters, politics and elected office attract some of the dregs of society, and it’s clearly not the cream of the crop that wind up in elected office, at any level.
When I was a teen I was handed an old copy of “Worker’s Paradise Lost,” about the failed Soviet state. Just checked it out on amazon. Nobody seems to have read it!
iow: "Don't let THEM immanentize the Eschaton"
Bill Buckley used to scream that pretty often in National Review. I haven't seen it in quite a while. Maybe it'll become part and parcel of the lexicon again!
He used to say, "Don't let THEM immanentize the god damn Eschaton"
Scans better on a bumper sticker...
“How in the world can you call someone too rigid and unthinking as to still think communism/socialism is a good thing an intellectual? Its comical.”
Come on, now, it might work this time...
For the same reason as in any other country: they don't want to know and understand.
Socialism is a form of religion that moves into vacuum left be the retreat of Christianity taking place since Enlightenment.
You cannot reason with people in questions of faith. This is why, I believe, socialists are oblivious to facts. It does not matter that socialism failed wherever and whenever it has been tried --- every new generation believes that their socialism will be different and, unlike in the Soviet Union, Cuba, China or Cambodia, it will have a "human face."
Excellent find, Lydia. Thank you for posting it.