Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Evil of Communism

Having grown up in the 60s and 70s, I learned to laugh at some of the more beligerent anti-communists who seemed so out of touch and clueless to the real world. Movies and television seemed to share a belief that our conflicts were really no more sinister than a difference of philosophy. In fact, I remember an episode of "Star Trek, Next Generation" in which Picard made a comment regarding Earth's past and the cold war with something along the lines of "It's hard to believe that countries would be ready to go to war over economic philosophy." And of course the entire crew shook their heads in agreement at his sage words.

There is only one problem with my prior assumptions and with Picard's witty quip, economic philosophy had nothing to do with it.

Totalitarianism and oppression had everything to do with it.

It is at this point that a friend will inevitably quote something by Chomsky about the vile actions of an imperial America. The only problem is that whatever vile actions that were committed by America, the don't come close to a percentage of the absolute horror committed in the name of communism. The numbers are all over the place and since we are dealing with closed regimes the records are difficult to find are are lost forever. Suffice to say that we are talking in numbers over 100 Million.

The numbers are so huge that they begin to lose meaning.

And these aren't people killed in wars, these are people intentionally murdered by their own government. What kind of monster starves to death 10 million people? How about 30 million?

I have often made comparisons to Nazi Germany and Communist USSR. I have a great reluctance to say anything that diminishes the horror of the Halocaust but the fact is that if you compare numbers, the people murdered by Lenin, Stalin and the rest exceed Hitler multiple times. Stalin alone more than doubles Hitler's rampage. And don't get me started on Mao.

Don't ask me why, I don't understand why these basic facts are not widespread. But what is even more appalling is that even people that are aware of Communism's toll will willingly accept a red star or a Che tshirt, symbols of terror and death, because for some reason they have become chic.

I think one reason for this is the complete lack of attention by Hollywood. Sure there have been movies that have taken an anticommunist position, but where are the movies that show the horrors of the Holodomor? The great Terror? The Cultural Revolution? Where are the artists that express their commitment to human rights when it comes time to expose the horrors of the last 80 years done in the name communism?

Maybe one day it will happen but until then, Hollywood has no moral standing with me.

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