Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Lie That Will Not Die

Gene Wisdom
by Gene Wisdom - Like a bad horror movie the twentieth century gave birth to a monster. We are told it came to us suddenly in the form of a Revolution in Russia. But no, the beast gestated for decades in the minds of those thinkers who also gave us modern liberalism. The evil twin carried the same genes of a focus on economic equality, on the ability to create a utopia here on earth, and more fundamentally in the view that man’s nature is malleable; no, even more—perfectible. In the even earlier—by millenia—promise made to Adam by one who said he had Adam’s best interest at heart. Satan. “I’m from hell, I’m here to help.”

The promise? You shall be as Gods. If possible that would indeed be quite an improvement on man’s nature which eons of evolution have yet to dent.

Jean Jacques Rousseau tickled man’s ears telling him that he was born a noble savage, that the society into which he was born corrupted his soul. If man would but subsume his will to the General Will embodied in the State and eliminate those intermediate associations and influences and obligations he could live the tranquil life. Karl Marx simply gave a different cast to the baleful society; for him, the evil was in the economic arrangements, in exploitation by a powerful class. Still, the evil was not within man’s heart but again “out there” in the world. The goal was the same. General Will became the State, centralized and all powerful.

Lenin went on to weaponize these perversions, the ancient promise. Class warfare became coup d’etat, a sudden taking of power. But to effect the promise, to seal the lie, required a revolution in society, in government. Once power was taken, the real revolution began of overturning society. The intermediate associations were abolished as Rousseau required. Private organizations were eliminated, churches closed, priests imprisoned as in the first Rousseauan experiment, the French Revolution, opponents tortured and eliminated. Individual farms had to be abolished in the government’s absorption of individuals and the economy. Millions died in the ensuing orchestrated famine. To remake man, millions had to die. You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs, Lenin said. Millions.

And the millions multiplied. By the count of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, that number is over 100 million. The bodies piled up. In the USSR, where this nightmare first took form, the number was over 30 million, according to the late scholar Robert Conquest. In China, 65 million. Eastern Europe, Angola, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Nicaragua. And in North Korea, Cuba, and China, the bodies continue to pile up. For those who doubt China’s place in Communism’s ongoing horrors, you need but read human rights activist Harry Wu’s report on the Chinese laogai prison system.

And these numbers are but the bodies, the lives taken. Communism’s toll, its lie, also counted in the souls and minds destroyed. The horrors of the Soviet Gulag, the ongoing hideousness of the North Korean concentration camps in which over 200,000 are currently imprisoned, Cuba’s political prisons, and the systemic campaign of rapes of German women by the Red Army at the end of World War II are the short list.

In addition to the torment behind its Iron Curtain were the efforts to subvert free countries in the Marxian mandate of the Communist Manifesto, “Workers of the world, unite!”, the infernal version of the Great Commission, except that instead of freeing individual souls, it sought to subjugate peoples behind its barbed wires and guard towers. It began with the Communist International, the Comintern, in a worldwide campaign of subversion. The discipline of world Communist parties is captured in J. Edgar Hoover’s classic, Masters of Deceit. While not remembered as a moral high point it should not be forgotten that Senator McCarthy’s campaign was a response to that effort of subversion and espionage. And in addition to this are the countless numbers who have died fighting to defend against Communism’s attacks. American lives alone in Korea and Vietnam are over one hundred thousand.

President Trump, whom I otherwise am loathe to mention in the same sentence as Ronaldus Maximus, in a very Reaganesque move declared November 7 as National Day for the Victims of Communism. But is Communism a lesson not to be repeated? On that day one hundred years ago Lenin declared war on civilization, giving pallid life to the dream of Rousseau. We’ve long heard the adage from George Santayana that “those who don’t learn from history are condemned to repeat it”. Unfortunately, given modern liberalism’s spoiled fruit in the West, which is our public education system and the attack on learning and real history, has given us a generation of “millennials”, most of whom in recent polling prefer Communism to free enterprise and liberty. And so, this system that has cost the lives and souls of millions of people, this lie that has had more human cost than centuries of warfare lives in the prison countries of North Korea, Cuba, and China, and in the weakened minds of Western youth.

Gene Wisdom, a retired naval officer, is a lifelong conservative Republican.  He is a native Alabamian, and he and his wife have recently moved from Nashville, where they lived for ten years, to Knoxville. While in Nashville Gene was moderator of the Conservative Fusion Book Club.

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