The American Left’s Infatuation With Communism
Nazism and Communism are two sides of the same coin, but it’s fashionable for leftists to despise one of them.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the two revolutions that swept through Russia, ending the reign of the czarists and enabling the rise of radical Bolsheviks led by Vladimir Lenin. Since then communist ideology has precipitated the deaths of more than 100 million people — and counting.
The riot in Charlottesville last Saturday is a stark reminder of the American Left’s dubious double standard with regard to virulent ideologies. While leftists are correctly contemptuous of the Nazism that forms the foundation of white supremacist hate groups, they retain a soft spot in their hearts for Communism.
And yet both ideologies are flip sides of the same totalitarian coin.
For most leftists, and many other Americans, Hitler’s Third Reich remains the ultimate expression of racist, murderous hate. Yet among the 20th century’s worst mass murderers, Adolf Hitler comes in third — by a wide margin. By most historical estimates, Hitler murdered six million Jews and an additional five million others, bringing his total to 11 million.
Josef Stalin’s total is conventionally put at 20 million killed, with some historians contending it may be twice that number.
Both men pale in comparison to Mao Zedung. Chairman Mao bears responsibility for 40 to 77 million killed, with the discrepancy owing to an ongoing historical argument over whether the mass starvation of millions in China’s great famine (1958-1961) was intentional or not. Most historians lean toward the higher number.
Mao and Stalin were Communism’s superstars, but there were other mass murderers like Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, who ruled Cambodia from 1975-1979 and killed up to two million people. Their ascendance was part of the Communist takeover of the Southeast Asian Peninsula following America’s withdrawal from Vietnam, whose own fall to Communism was aided and abetted by a Democrat-controlled Congress that cut funding to South Vietnam’s government from $700 million in 1974 to only $300 million the following year. This enabled Hanoi’s Communist takeover and additional mass murders.
So why is Hitler, as opposed to Mao or Stalin, the embodiment of evil? Because the American Left has never completely rejected its belief in the philosophy of Communism and its radical egalitarian, collectivist worldview. Leftists only wish to paint the American Right as racist, and thus use Nazis as a bludgeon.
Moreover, a certain level of nostalgia remains the order of the day. In a series of articles called “Red Century,” The New York Times explored an ideology it alternately acknowledged as horrific yet “morally complex.”
Morally bankrupt is more like it, despite Times columnist and Democratic Socialists of America vice chairman Bhaskar Sunkara’s pathetic attempt to separate the message from the messengers. “We may reject the version of Lenin and the Bolsheviks as crazed demons and choose to see them as well-intentioned people trying to build a better world out of a crisis, but we must work out how to avoid their failures,” he insists.
Such contemptible nonsense courtesy of the Times is nothing new. Reporter Walter Duranty won a Pulitzer Prize for singing Stalin’s praises during a Ukrainian famine that killed 10 million in 1932. Yet as Sunkara indicates, Duranty’s apologist take — “you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs” — remains ideologically operational.
It also remains literally operational in Venezuela, whose implosion reveals the rank ignorance of leftist useful idiots like Jesse Jackson, Sean Penn, Michael Moore, Danny Glover, Oliver Stone and others who hailed the “21st century Socialism” that is devolving into totalitarian tyranny.
The same totalitarian tyranny entrenched in North Korea.
To communist sympathizers and adherents, none of it matters. Nor does it matter that Communism’s founders, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, were avowed racists and anti-Semites. Both expressed contempt for Mexicans, politicians with “n—ger-like” features, a quality Engels referred to as a “degree nearer to the rest of the animal kingdom than the rest of us,” and the “huckstering” Marx referred to as the “worldly religion of the Jew.”
“The progressive blind spot to communism reflects historical ignorance on the part of Americans and Europeans,” columnist Michael Rubin asserts.
In America, it is cultivated ignorance. Thus 40% of Millennials believe it’s acceptable to suppress offensive speech about minorities, while minorities and their equally clueless allies countenance elimination of history itself, emulating the Islamic State, as well as the Nazis who destroyed any piece of art Hitler found offensive.
And on America’s college campuses, where leftists routinely shut down speech they define as “hate” — employing violence if necessary to do so — they are emulating Communist China’s Red Guard movement that precipitated attacks on those whose traditional views were insufficiently “revolutionary.”
The Left’s cultivation of communist ideas has occurred for decades. In 1993, Library of Congress experts traveled to Moscow to copy previously secret records of Communist Party USA activities that had been sent to the Soviet Union for safekeeping. They reveal irrefutable evidence of cooperation between the Soviets and American leftists from the ‘20s through the '40s. Coded Soviet intercepts known as the Venona Papers confirmed that infiltration, vindicating much of what Sen. Joseph McCarthy asserted during the '50s, despite his continuing status as the Left’s most enduring icon of evil.
In the '60s, the college students who recoiled in the presence of a swastika did so while wearing Che Guevara T-shirts and singing the praises of Communist Party U.S.A. radicals like Angela Davis. It was also a time when future failed Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was learning and teaching the revolutionary tactics of communist sympathizer Saul Alinsky — tactics Barack Obama perfected in winning the presidency.
In the '70s and '80s, Democrats pursued their admiration of the Soviet Union with vigor, making peace trips to the USSR, often as members of communist-created front groups. And when Ronald Reagan called the Soviets the “evil empire” they actually were, Democrats painted him as a warmonger who would lead the nation to nuclear holocaust. Moreover, the party that currently excoriates Donald Trump for his Russian connections apparently had no problem when Ted Kennedy offered to help the Soviets thwart Reagan’s re-election.
Most recently, the Obama administration had at least two communist sympathizers working for it: former White House Communication Director Anita Dunn, who professed admiration for Mao Zedung, and former CIA Director John Brennan, who voted for Communist Party candidate Gus Hall in 1980. As for Obama himself, a video from 1995 shows him stating he was taught about race relations by Communist Party member Frank Marshall Davis.
“Until the left, and all the institutions influenced by the left, acknowledge how evil communism has been, we will continue to live in a morally confused world,” argues Dennis Prager.
Of course, as Prager knows full well, the American Left embraces Communism. Moreover, moral confusion is a necessary component of leftist power. When right and wrong are relative, “by any means necessary” becomes a “reasonable” substitute. Exhibit A is a despicable Washington Post op-ed by Johns Hopkins University associate professor N.D.B. Connolly, who insists leftist “generic solutions” to racism, etc. aren’t working.
What to do instead? “Start throwing rocks,” he advises.
Thus, 100 years and 100 million deaths later, the American Left’s infatuation with Communism remains undimmed. And as decent Americans recoil in disgust, the historical purges remain ongoing, begging the inevitable question:
When do the book burnings begin?
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