Memorial to the Victims of Communism

Communism was a terrible ideology that killed more people during the 20th Century than the wars of those bloody hundred years. For reasons beyond my ken, otherwise moral people feel perfectly comfortable wearing shirts with pictures of mass murderers like Che Guevara, Mao or Lenin. Maybe it is just ignorance. Now we have a memorial to the victims of communism to remind them.

Although around 1/5 of the world population still lives under ostensibly communist governments, the only places where anybody really still believe in Marxism is on western university campuses, proving the old adage that there is nothing worse than an educated fool. (Even there, communism is dying out. It just takes a bit longer for the news to climb some ivory towers.)

I remember when I first learned about the evils of communism and its fundamental stupidity. It was on a university campus. The stupidity part I learned from a Marxist professor. Of course he didn't know what he was doing. He was some a former rich kid with an Ivy League education and evidently came to the Midwest to bring the light of elite leftism to us kids from working and farming families He made us read Marx. I suppose he thought we would be impressed. Anybody with real experience and more than half a brain who actually reads Marx is not impressed. This dialectical materialism and class consciousness crap Marx made up and Marxists believed was just too precious for kids who grew up in real working class families. I learned the evils of communism from a professor from Poland. It was always fun to see him with the lefty professors. They would try to lecture him on the theory of communism. He would just tell them about the real experience of his friends and family murdered, enslaved or betrayed by the acolytes of old Karl & his atheistic religion.

Anyway, it is good that we finally have a those and the millions of other victims of this nefarious and failed ideology.

Posted by Jack at June 13, 2007 10:26 PM
Comments
Comment #223146

Jack, as they say, people kill people. People do much atrocity in the name of ideals.

Posted by: Gerrold at June 13, 2007 10:47 PM
Comment #223149

Gerrold

I agree with you. What annoyed me is how communism is given a pass so often. You would not expect to find a poster of Himmler or Goering in a dorm room.

I understand that we had to deal with the communists when there were still some in power. But as they slip into the dustbin of history, we should show them no more respect that we would National Socialism.

Posted by: Jack at June 13, 2007 10:53 PM
Comment #223155

I’m not so sure it’s “communism” that is to blame. Communism is a poor system because it fails to motivate people to productivity and innovation. It becomes a “FAILED” workers paradise which in turn becomes a shared poverty.

And lets not forget those who are suffering and dying today behind communist lines. Most estimate that at least TWO MILLION have died of starvation in N. Korea. They have their bomb, they should have been buying food and finding ways to feed their people.

Mao was great at this, he built a modern Military power out of China, and all he had to do to achive this was kill 35 million to 70 million people, depending on who’s stats you want to believe.

And lets not forget the Soviet Union with it’s millions of dead. Nothing like a good old communist PURGE of “ENEMIES”.

I’m afraid today, that “Progressive” liberal school teachers are pushing socialism and refusing to talk about it’s terrible cost on human lives. Let alone the misery, suffering and all that has gone with it.

It’s encouraging to see Europe pulling back a bit from socialism as they realize the left has ruined their countries and is handing them over to radical Islam by way of politically correct, massive, illegal immigration.

Posted by: StephenL at June 13, 2007 11:18 PM
Comment #223158

Jack,

I think some of it is ignorance. I remember Chairman Mao T-shirts worn by people who would never countenance mass murder. For some reason he wasn’t considered in the same light as Stalin. Part of that might be that the West treated China so poorly.

We’ve discussed this before. Marx, as you know, said he wasn’t a Marxist. I see him as a reaction to the time; indeed the various forms of socialism then all seem reactions to the generally new notion that ordinary people were entitled to some degree of dignity (the Enlightenment, the overthrowing of monarchies), but in fact they and their children suffered terrible working conditions under early industrial capitalism. Meet the new boss, etc. If not Marx, something similar, I’ve always thought.

That said, we had the same old story of power-hungry thugs justifying their rules by whatever rhetorical and ideological tools were available — and piles of bodies. When I studied Marx and Marxist writers in college, the focus was on the notion of ideology, not economics or revolution. There wasn’t a programme. I suspect that is the case in most universities; in fact, you can’t really study critical theory without spending some time on Marx. As far as a program for revolution — I dunno, maybe somewhere it’s taught like that, but not at the schools I attended.

Posted by: Gerrold at June 13, 2007 11:39 PM
Comment #223161

Well, I’m a hard-core believer in free market capitalism, but I actually enjoyed reading Marx in college, and still dip into it every now and then.

Marx was brilliant, in his way, and his writings are fascinating as a kind of theoretical reading of history in the mold of Hegel (albeit a reading heavily invested in a single ideology). I think that Marx was a far more subtle thinker than your average Marxist, and he was not a cultural philistine. He’d have had no use for the deadening, oppressive mediocrity and stupidity of the Soviet Union, Castro, Hugo Chavez, or your average unwashed Berkeley activist.

In any case, I’m as convinced that conservatives should read Marx and other left wing thinkers as I am that liberals should break out of their own shells and read conservatives. If nothing else, you should know your enemy.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at June 13, 2007 11:57 PM
Comment #223172

Marx may not have envisioned Lenin,Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot or Kim(s) using his ideology as they did. But Marxism easily lends itself to use as a deadly weapon. Giving Marx a pass on Marxism is like someone inventing a children’s toy that squirts acid and then claiming it was misued each time a kid is hurt.

Marx is fundamentally flawed. This is not uncommon. No philosopher of philosophy can stand up to every (or even most) situations. But the FATAL flaw in Marxism is that it is suppose to be a total explanation. That leads to totalitarianism. In a free market, if something doesn’t work, you try something else and those who will not are soon out of business so that a new guy can try something else. When something doesn’t work in Marxism, a couple of million peasants are starved or some workers shot to fit reality into Marxism procrustean bed and prove the Marxist point.

What can you say good about Marx? He was an interesting, although somewhat sloppy and dishonest thinker who hid his incompetence and lack of real world experience behind the old 19th century Teutonic wall of impenetrable prose. He is a creature of his time and place. You could put him in the same group that other 19th Century social thinker, Herbert Spenser, or maybe he is more of an Oswald Spengler. Maybe had it not been for the villainy and luck of Lenin, we would just talk about Marx as we do Spenser or Spengler (i.e. not very much). But unfortunately for the world, it did not work out that way. We have a real world record of appalling evil and destruction. And maybe next time we see that cute Che t-shirt, we should recall that he personally murdered political prisoners and evidently enjoyed the thrill and that he fought for the most murderous ideology of the 20th Century (and it was a tough league to be the worst in).

Posted by: Jack at June 14, 2007 8:13 AM
Comment #223207

How about a memorial to the American Native Indians ?

Was there decimation any less horrific at the hands of democratic Christians?

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 14, 2007 7:00 PM
Comment #223222

Jack
FYI People die from capitalism also,abroad and here. Millions of people. Examples:Worker exposure to asbestos even after the health effects were known.In some cases managers were given information on how to spot workers showing symtoms so they could be let go befor making any trouble.Example Tobacco companies have been found guilty of purposly attempting to addict kids to sell more product. Their delema was their best custumers kept dieing as a result of the product they were selling.Theres plenty more. How about people that cannot afford healthcare? How about countries abroad that cannot produce enough food for their people while exporting things like coffee.
I found it interesting that Pope John Paul’s missives critising communism always got play in the MSM but his critiques of capitalism that were always included seldom got a mention. My point here is not to excuse Stalins crimes but is an effort to deflate a degree of smugness that can blind some people to the prospect of positive change.

Posted by: BillS at June 14, 2007 11:56 PM
Comment #223252
. But the FATAL flaw in Marxism is that it is suppose to be a total explanation. That leads to totalitarianism.

You could make the same argument against religion. But I don’t think you are comparing God to Marx. Nevertheless, man is quite willing to kill and die other over their beliefs.

Posted by: Cube at June 15, 2007 3:03 PM
Comment #223269

The fatal flaw of Marxism is its denial of the necessity of free enterprise conjoined with it.

Conversely, the flaw of capitalism is that it can provide all things to all people each according to their worth as dictated by the marketplace. Needless to say, huge segments of all and any society will fight against allowing the free marketplace to dictate their individual worth, for that system is the system of slave owners. It is no coincidence that the majority of ardent believers in pure capitalism reside in the Southern and Western states, (barring the coastal states) the slave empathy states of just a century ago.

Every growing and dynamic economy in the world today is a mix of both capitalism and socialism, and for good reason. Capitalism motivates and creates wealth and stabilizes society when mixed with social programs that ensure a broad middle class. Socialism prevents revolution when mixed with capitalism, by insuring the vast majority of the population share a role in the Middle Class, (have a stake in preserving social stability) semi-regardless of their individual worth to the market.

Those who would argue one without the other both demonstrate an ignorance of history, and denial of the mixed economy reality which spans our globe.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 16, 2007 12:53 AM
Comment #223285

Gotta love these moral high roaders who denounce “mass murderers” from other ideologies but can so vehemently, consistently, and iconic-“ly” support the “mass murderers” of their own ideology.

Who can have LESS CREDIBILITY than a hypocrite?

Posted by: Kim-Sue at June 16, 2007 11:21 AM
Comment #223288

Jack,

While I have to admit I haven’t read Marx, at what point do we assume that humans aren’t just cattle to be manipulated by those that seek power?

Where exactly does Marx espouse the slaughter of millions of innocent people to achieve a perfect society?

At what point do people take the responsibility for the leaders that they allow to lead them?

Humans are born with a free will. It is not granted to them by fiat, and each of us must assume the responsibility for giving up those very freedoms that lead humanity to the Mao’s, and Lenin’s of the world.
These guys don’t just appear out of nowhere, they are allowed to happen.
When a free thinking people allow despots to remove that free will, they get what they deserve.

As I see it, the greatest human flaw is believing in that which is too good to be true, because invariably, it always is.

Posted by: Rocky at June 16, 2007 12:45 PM
Comment #223355

Rocky


“Humans are born with a free will. It is not granted to them by fiat, and each of us must assume the responsibility for giving up those very freedoms that lead humanity to the Mao’s, and Lenin’s of the”


we also need to look at why they’re willing to give up those freedoms. it’s generally IMO because of a promise to make the share of wealth more equitable, and a majority that believe they have right to a portion of what someone else has earned, rather than seeing an oportunity through hard work to go out and try to earn it themselves. the promise of utopia through gov’t intervention, and redistibution of wealth. an entitlement mentality.

Posted by: dbs at June 17, 2007 6:31 PM
Comment #223376

Communism of course doesn’t work, and leads to immense suffering. However I think radical laiseiz-faire market fundamentalism is capable of doing us all in as well, although for different reasons. It’s very good at creating wealth (although mainly to the top) unlike marxism, however if we don’t bring the environmental damage under control and be more considerate of what we’re leaving to future generations things won’t turn out well. In fact, there was an interesting article in the magazine “American Conservative” called “Marxism of the Right” (you can google it if you wish, it’s online) referring to libertarianism. Marxism is the irrational belief that altruism and collectivism will solve all our problems, but market fundamentalism goes wrong in assuming selfishness and individualism will. Neither will work. Free enterprise is necessary and no one will work for free, however the market will not solve environmental problems, bring social justice, or do anything that involves cutting back on the short-term bottom line. This is why oversight, accountability, and regulation are necessary.

Posted by: jost at June 18, 2007 2:13 AM
Comment #223378

You wouldn’t happen to have any links or proof regarding these supposed liberals everywhere who wear Mao shirts would you? I guess some people might, just that I’ve never heard of it. On sites like Democratic Underground and many liberal sites they do sell shirts, but I can safely say I have yet to see a Mao one. I’m not that “liberal” or politicially active, but haven’t ever heard a liberal speaker, writer, politician, etc. speak favorably of communism or Mao.

Posted by: josh at June 18, 2007 2:47 AM
Comment #223382

Josh


Marxism is not the idea that altruism or collectivism will solve problems. That is what you might find in a monastery. It is probably something from fundamental religion, but it is not Marx. Marxism is a specific idea about how society works, involving classes, dialectical materialisms and - in practice - lots of oppression & coercion. The free market also is not a system that says that selfishness and individualism will produce the best results. It is a system of diversified decisions making relying on individuals to tend to what they are most concerned with in hopes of bettering their personal situations. It implies the creation of cooperative groups that depend on mutual self interest, not coercion.

The free market, BTW, requires rule of law, reasonalbe regulation and the use of the market mechanism. W/o these things, people cannot enter into enforceable agreements and contracts, which makes free exchange impossible.

Only those who do not understand the free market advocate it in isolation from other societal forces. They are misinformed. Of course Marxists are even more ignorant. A plague on both of them.

Re Mao, you can still find pictures of him, although he is a little passe these days. Che is as popular as ever. I never said anything about liberals and in fact did not even use the word once in my posts here. I am referring to any fool who wears a Che t-shirt. If you have such a T-shirt … if not I hope you ridicule those who do.

Posted by: Jack at June 18, 2007 7:39 AM
Comment #223410

“You wouldn’t happen to have any links or proof regarding these supposed liberals everywhere who wear Mao shirts would you? I guess some people might, just that I’ve never heard of it.”

You must not live anywhere near the Bay Area in California? I live about 5 miles away from Berkeley, and 15 mins from downtown San Francisco. I actually saw a toddler in a kid sized Mao t-shirt - carted around by their urban yuppieite parents (you know the kind - 200$ hemp backpacks and their land cruiser). It takes all kinds…

Regarding Marx - yup I’ve read him among all the other notable philosophers (I was a history and Political Science/Political Theory major in college). Marx more or less was a product of his environment at the time, but then again, most philospohers theorize utopia based upon what isn’t working. Unchecked Capitalism clearly doesn’t work, much like Communism will never work (for different reasons).

Utopia in any form will never exist (in my opinion), simply because the human character/condition is flawed. I do agree with Jack regarding the stupid Mao/Che Shirts. If it is any consolation to you Jack, most of these people don’t even know what the shirts represent - they just think they are trendy. I shudder to think they would consciously wear something that represents something so reprehensible as Che/Mao/Stalin…etc.

By the way - Che was NOT a freedom fighter.

Posted by: b0mbay at June 18, 2007 8:19 PM
Comment #223428

Oh - I heard a kind of funny quote the other day about this…

“A liberal is someone who has read Marx. A conservative is someone that understands Marx”

So true.

Posted by: b0mbay at June 19, 2007 1:44 AM
Comment #223687

Isn’t this what Hillary is wanting to bring to America if elected? I do believe she has the same redistrubution of wealth and catch phrases and watch how she dresses with that chinese look.

Liberals are such a waste of space.

Posted by: im at June 21, 2007 8:13 PM
Comment #224968

Hahhahahha , how about building a Iraq War Memorial for Iraqis ? or maybe a My Lai Memorial

when the USA kills people , no one cares

but when a russian guy or a chinese guy does it
all the white guys cry

Posted by: dfgfdgfdg at July 5, 2007 10:41 PM
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