"I grant that the Nazis committed excesses, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t something to be said for Fascism." -- Douglas Murray sarcastically (National Review) Let that sink in...
Now... That statement is about as absurd as it gets. Why? What is the key trait, the key results that define that era, those men, that political system as reprehensible?
Answer: The body count... The number of deaths and amount of misery they inflicted upon the world in the twentieth century. Adolf Hitler (and his National Socialist Party) were responsible for the murder of six million Jews; then there were the additional deaths associated with the Second World War that can be squarely laid at their feet. They deserve the corner of hell reserved just for them.
Yet an equally absurd (actually much more so) statement could be made today about another political movement with hardly the batting of an eye.
Exactly one hundred years ago (October/November 1917) the groundwork for the death of close to 100 million souls over the next century was laid down in history. Uncounted millions more would suffer; most for the entire lives.
This dark stain in all human history was nothing less than the beginnings of the first socialist state born in Russia. The event is known by many names but common monikers are the "Bolshevik Revolution", "Red October", and the "Great October Socialist Revolution".
This historical event was led by none other than Vladimir Lenin. From that spark would come the Russian Civil War and the creation of the Soviet Union in 1922. Other leaders would follow as would other nations in the footsteps of socialist/communist dictators. The death-toll inflicted by even the fascist would pale in comparison.
- USSR... 20 million (Stalin)
- China... 65 million (Mao)
- Cambodia... 2 million (Pol Pot)
- North Korea... 2 million (and counting)
- Africa... 2 million
- Vietnam... 1 million
- Eastern Europe... 1 million
The fascist murdered 1/10th the number achieved by the communists and the world (mostly) remembers... but today...
In Russia Joseph Stalin (the biggest mass murderer in Russian history) is easily regarded as the "most outstanding" historical figure in World history. Just imagine the world outcry if Adolf Hitler still retained that honor in Germany.
Even in western society (Britain) only about 61% of youth (age 16-24) associate Stalin with "crimes against humanity". 28% have never heard of the guy (an indictment itself on their education system). 50% have never heard of Lenin (not the Beatle).
Proving propaganda and disinformation (that Stalin himself would be proud of) works; 39% associate George W Bush with "crimes against humanity" and even 34% transfer that same identity to Tony Blair. YET... only 20% apply the label to Mao Tse-tung or Pol Pot (mostly because none of them have ever heard of these guys either).
And despite the body count upon which these Cuba, China, and North Korea were built, they continue the great communist/socialist experiment. Then there are also the regular implosions of nations/societies who give it a try from time to time. (see Argentina).
Meanwhile democratic socialist states increase in scope and even in the United States a major party embraces more and more Marxist ideology. When a kinder, gentler Marxist is a viable candidate for the Presidency of the United States (or even dog catcher for that matter) we're in trouble.
Socialist/Communists apologists everywhere pretend (or worse actually believe) these atrocities never happened. Some, who are at least intellectually honest (see historian Eric Hobsbawm), admit it but say it was (and is) worth it in pursuit of the ultimate goal of social utopia.
So, on this momentous centennial anniversary, humanity blindly declares... "ONE HUNDRED MILLION DEAD IN THE LAST CENTURY! OK comrades... we'll get it right this time... because we are the people we have been waiting for. We grant that past Leninists committed excesses, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t something to be said for Communism and Socialism."
As for those who aren't quite on board? Nothing a little purge, re-education, and quality gulag time can't fix.
(Note: This post was inspired by and heavily borrows from "One Hundred Years of Evil; The inextinguishable allure of Communism" by Douglas Murray, National Review, October 30 2017)