Why don’t we view socialists and the hammer and sickle with the same revulsion as we view Nazis and the swastika?
As a Modern History teacher for the past two years, I have had the opportunity with my classes to cover a broad spread of the worst atrocities ever committed in the 20th century – the Nazi Party’s rise to power, the Cold War, Communist China. However, in our professional groups on social media, there are a vocal minority of fellow history teachers who, in spite of the clear lessons that history teaches us, feel it appropriate to share openly socialist propaganda among our fraternity.
Now I understand that the economic system that we have, with governments and corporations giving concessions to each other, is hurting young people most of all. Many young people feel that they have no future in our society as it stands. They perceive that those who are wealthy are using their wealth not to help their communities, but to slam the door on the rest of them who are trying to make a comfortable life. They see that the government has been bought out by special interest groups to give our taxpayer dollars to and to make laws that benefit big corporations who don’t need the help.
But having seen this, many in my generation have concluded that the only course of action is to embrace socialism, to forcibly redistribute the wealth at the end of the barrel of a gun, or the improvised weapons of the mob. Of course, whether due to ignorance, wilful blindness or realpolitik, they dare not admit this openly.
Socialism, on the face of it, does not like being seen to indulge itself in street violence. Its proponents position it as an intellectual movement that demands to be answered on an equal footing with our beloved classical liberal ideals. We must not forget also that the Nazi party used the veneer of academia, science, and philosophy to grant legitimacy to their genocidal dogma, even as their will to power was enforced by similar ideologically-possessed footsoldiers to those that walk the streets of America today.
In contrast to our forgetting of Nazism’s intellectual claims and reduction of Nazis to jackbooted thugs, why must we contend with Soviet commissars, pistols against our foreheads, as if they are a study circle of Parisian intellectuals?
Socialism is all too quick to claim the moral high ground over our decadent and uncaring capitalist system. While Nazism’s dogma of racial superiority is apparent in its barbarism, socialism, on the other hand, claims to have the best interests of every citizen at heart. After all, what kind of sociopath doesn’t care about equity for all people? Socialism can, through its generosity with the possessions of others, claim the mantle of morality while sweeping its history of bloodshed and tyranny under the rug.
It is a grave injustice that, between Nazis and socialists, only the 13,000,000 industrialised murders* committed by the Nazis are accepted as a self-evident refutation of the legitimacy of that ideology. Why are the 75,000,000-110,000,000 deaths** from repression, engineered famine, ethnic cleansing not considered enough of an argument to consign forever socialism’s broken promises to the dustbin of history? Why is that ‘not real socialism’?
Socialism pretends that everybody will benefit from the confiscation of private property by the state – but what about those who don’t want to give up the businesses and land they’ve worked so hard to own and maintain? Quite simply, they will be executed; as they have in every other socialist regime. Business owners and private landowners in our service economy would most assuredly face the wall, as did the landholders of every previous agricultural economy to suffer a socialist takeover.
But the bourgeoisie have no more to fear from a socialist regime than do socialist revolutionaries themselves. No one is more in danger from socialism as its activists, most of whom history shows are liquidated by their newly-crowned regime when their usefulness expires. In a sense, I have said all that I have because I love socialists and communists; I want to see them give up their wrong-headed beliefs that will get them killed if they ever get what they want.
Let us make no mistake: socialists deserve to be treated with as much scorn as do Nazis, and we have neglected our civic duty by failing to do so. The Cold War may have ceased in 1991, but the pernicious ideas that first took root in 1917 pose no less of a threat to our society. As we have successfully ostracised anyone who would dare raise their hand in salute of a fascist ideology, so must we relentlessly run out of public spaces any who would so much as speak a word in favour of socialist principles.
*(6m Jews, 7m others; including Poles, Russians, Gypsies, JWs, LGBT community, political opponents, the disabled)
** (20-25m Russian, 50-80m Chinese, 2m Cambodian, 2m North Korean, 500k Ethiopian, 460k others, including Bulgarian, East German, Romanian, Vietnam, Cuba)
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