I THOUGHT COMMUNISM WAS DEAD!?!
Headline: Communist Party USA high on Obama. The Communist Party USA has written a glowing editorial about Barack Obama.
Rudolph Joseph Rummel (born October 21, 1932) is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Hawaii. He has spent his career assembling data on collective violence and war with a view toward helping their resolution or elimination.
Find this information at Hawaii . edu – powerkills
Human costs of communism. Few would deny any longer that communism–Marxism-Leninism and its variants–meant in practice bloody terrorism, deadly purges, lethal gulags and forced labor, fatal deportations, man-made famines, extrajudicial executions and show trials, and genocide. It is also widely known that as a result millions of innocent people have been murdered in cold blood.”
That total is 259,432,000 murdered at the hands of communism. Museum of Communism by Bryan Caplan
The purpose of the Museum of Communism is to for Communism what the Holocaust Memorial Museum does for Nazism: namely, to educate the public about mass murder, widespread slave labor, and other human rights violations committed by Communist regimes.
As it currently stands, a fair percentage of the Western population knows almost nothing of the human rights record of Communist regimes, considering Communism a noble ideal that people weren’t virtuous enough to practice
What were the most significant human rights violations committed by Communist regimes, and who was responsible for them?
All Communist governments have practiced widespread killing of non-combatants. The extermination of the bourgeoisie and wealthy “as a class” has been most loudly proclaimed, although in actual fact peasants have been by far the majority of the victims. In addition, Communist governments have ordered the genocide of numerous ethnic minorities deemed disloyal or anti- Communist. Finally, Communist governments have frequently killed large numbers of rival Communists. In most cases, the official reasons given for mass killings have been economic or political rather than racial, but punishment has rarely been inflicted for individual infractions of the law. Rather, Communist governments would judge “enemies of the people” to be common in one’s class, family, or ethnicity, and respond with blanket repression of the entire suspect group. As the democratic socialist historian Carl Landauer notes in his discussion of Stalin’s “dekulakization” campaign.
Is Communism still alive?
And does it or its variants offer any practical political implications?
Communism has been is in serious decline, but history has a way of repeating itself. For this reason alone, it is important for the future of the world that the basic facts about Communist regimes become common knowledge. While admirers of Hitler’s Germany still exist, the public knows enough about the Holocaust to make a revival of Nazism far less likely than it otherwise would be. Greater awareness of the crimes of Lenin, Stalin, and Mao could similarly inoculate the world against any future Communist revival.
- I would also suggest a stronger and more controversial set of practical implications:
- Government is at best a necessary evil and at worst an intolerable one. Nothing could better confirm the truth of Thomas Paine’s dictum than the experience of Communism; it is virtually a controlled experiment. Remove the checks upon government power, and government quickly produces hell on earth. Not only did Communism kill millions of people. It created poverty rather than plenty, drove human creativity underground, and turned hypocrisy into a basic survival skill. This provides a powerful argument for viewing all government power with intense skepticism.
- Free markets lead to prosperity and socialism leads to poverty. In the real world, all societies have a mixture of free markets and socialism; this can make it difficult to figure out which institutions lead to prosperity. Communism again provided the world with a controlled experiment: Give the government total control over the economy, and see what happens. The results were typically mass starvation, followed by stagnation. The contrast was particularly stark when historical chance split Germany, Korea, and China into distinct politico-economic units. The culture and initial living standards of the fragments were initially the same. As the Communist countries’ prosperity lagged ever further behind that of their more capitalist counterparts, even many skeptics concluded that the difference was not coincidental, but systemic.
- The history of Communism provides one important argument for libertarianism. Communism deprived its people of both personal and economic freedom. It thereby provided a third controlled experiment – a moral experiment testing the value of freedom. Imagine a society with any conceivable properties, but utterly lacking in “bourgeois” freedom. It would remain a profoundly evil society. The experience of Communism makes it possible to conduct this thought experiment without taxing the imagination.
In American politics, liberals typically argue for more personal freedom and less economic freedom, while conservatives argue for more personal freedom and more economic freedom. The moral controlled experiment which was Communism suggests that both popular positions are confused. Each only appreciates half of what was wrong about Communism. A political philosophy recognizing the supreme value of both personal and economic freedom.
“What is the difference between
communism and socialism?”
According to Marx, socialism is a stage on the way to communism, which is the more advanced stage of human organization not yet achieved in China or the Soviet Union, even according to Lenin, Stalin and Mao. Many calling themselves socialist would like to stop with the nationalization of the means of production and not move on to communism. They also often oppose the “dictatorship of the proletariat” in the name of democracy.
Socialism and Communism
The quick ‘n’ easy way to remember the difference between Socialism and Communism is: Socialism is “from each according to their ability, to each according to their DEEDS,” whereas Communism is “from each according to their ability to each according to their NEEDS.”
Socialism is the stage between Capitalism and Communism. It builds upon the previous system (Capitalism) by nationalizing the “means of production” (i.e. corporations, resources, banks, etc.), but not by making everyone equal.
NEXT: Christianity and Socialism