Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

The Greater of Two Evils

One of the interesting after-effects of the left's domination of the West's film and entertainment industry has been an intentional dulling down of the awareness of the evil of Communism and the magnitude of the atrocities it commited in the 20th century.  Call someone a Nazi and people gasp.  Call someone a Community and they chuckle or mutter something like "McCarthy".  Wave a swastika and people scream, the hammer and sickle - not so much.  Fascism is certainly more famous and when you want a smirking villian in a movie you're more likely to get a reaction from a guy in an SS uniform than someone with the hammer and sickle on his chest.
Heck, Stephen Colbert once interviewed the only Communist ever elected to Congress on his show.  Could you imagine him inviting a member of the American Nazi party (assuming one had ever been elected to office) and treating him respectfully?
Yet which was the greater evil?  Communism killed far more people than Fascism did.  It lasted far longer, affected far greater stretches of territory and continues to oppress billions until today.  Concentration camps?  Attempts at genocide?  Causing wars?  Yes to all three.
Yet for some reason people remain horrified by the concept of fascism and and yawn when in comes to communism.  Add to this the Holocaust industry which, in its zeal to maintain the Shoah's unique status as the greatest genocide of the 20th (or any century) instinctively attacks any attempt to equate another evil with that of the Nazis, y"sh.
As i just noted, there is no question that the Holocaust is unique in scope and scale.  However, it is not unique in occurance.  Within the years of the 20th century the Armenians, Ukrainians, Tutsis of Rwanda and Cambodians all suffered massacres at the hands of others intent on wiping them off the face of the Earth.  Acknowledging the Holocaust's unfortunate position at the top of the heap should not lead to downplaying the tragedies others went through.
However, Communism was unlike Fascism in one important way: the Fascists were focused on slaughtering their opponents.  The Communists were more interested in breaking their spirit.  A dead Jew was good for the Communists but a Jew who repudiated his faith and became a good member of the Socialist International was even better.  The legacy of Josef Stalin, y"sh, isn't only the body count he left behind but how he and Vladimir Lenin, y"sh, before him destroyed Judaism in Russia and turned our brothers on each other.
It goes even further.  The hateful regime of Communism did not stop at its Jewish captives.  Name a country occupied by the Soviet Union after the war and you name a country that suffered under Stalin.  For the people of these countries Hitler was a short-term evil while Stalin was an evil without end.  With Hitler there was always the hope that war would end his reign of terror.  There was no such hope under Stalin.
One must also remember that many gentiles suffered far less under Hitler than under Stalin.  That their local Jewish populations were wiped out was of little concern to most of Eastern Europe's peoples (revisionist histories notwithstanding). 
Is it therefore any wonder than Lithuanians and Ukrainians feel Stalin was a greater evil than Hitler?
It behooves us to have a sensitivity to this history and understand that Eastern Europe's suffering was greater under the Communists than the Fascists.  At the same time we also have to understand that while Hitler committed unspeakable crimes against us, Stalin did as well.  We should spit when we say his name with the same vehemence that we do when we recall Hitler.  To do less is to be ignorant of how much we suffered inthe 20th century.


Avraham said...

Marx embraced the Labor Theory of Value (LTV). This theory holds that the price of
a good will be proportional to the amount of labor that was necessary to produce the
How important is the LTV to Marx’s overall philosophy? The answer is that it is
crucial to his critique of capitalism. Central to that critique is his claim that, in a capitalist
system, the workers are ‘exploited’ by the capitalists (businessmen). If one accepts the
LTV, then Marx’s argument for the theory of exploitation is persuasive. But if one rejects
the LTV, then the argument collapses.

of economic theories LTV was the worst to pick.

We know that Marx’s general economic theory is false, because he made a number of testable predictions which are now known to be false. For instance, the middle class did not shrink and disappear as he predicted; nor did the upper class
shrink as he predicted; nor do we see wages set, in capitalist countries, anywhere near subsistence level; nor has the rate of profit fallen as he predicted; and nor have capitalist economies collapsed because of their internal ‘contradictions’ as he predicted. But, on
a theoretical level, what is wrong with the LTV and the argument for it that we
summarized above? This can be understood in terms of the standard modern theory of

of philosophers, Hegel was also the worst to pick for other reasons.

Marx went around picking the worst aspects of few systems of thought and making a cholent out of them--but a cholent that was and is a powerful social glue. It tell the poor they can steal from the rich and feel good about it. The thing here is that America does not have an social glue. It is becoming unraveled. So while it is important to notice that communism is a highly evil system, this still leaves the question open of what could be better. The principles of John Locke that America is founded on, are currently ignored in the USA. I would say we are at a time of crisis in Western civilization.

Friar Yid said...

You are quite right that people should be aware of the evils of Communism. That said...

1- Bernie Sanders (the person Colbert interviewed) is not a Communist. He is a Socialist. Conflating the two is part of the problem when it comes to discussing the evils of Communism seriously-- during the Cold War, it became very easy to call anyone on the left (or even the middle) a Communist, which in turn led to the left dismissing any of its critics. How am I supposed to take you seriously if you claim, for instance, that Bernie Sanders has the same goals as Josef Stalin? Your brain turns off, just like it does if someone on the Left starts saying that a GOP politician is a Nazi.

2- While McCarthy may have been correct about the existence of Communist agents in the US government, I think it is totally legitimate to continue to use "McCarthyism" as a byword for political witch-hunting-- because while McCarthy may have been right in the end, his methods were atrocious, and plenty of innocent people suffered because of him and the hysteria he caused-- my great-grandparents included.

I am by no means apologizing for Left-wing whitewashing of Communist atrocities. But I think that most of that tendency towards thinking the Communists "weren't so bad" has less to do with thinking the USSR was awesome and more to do with defensiveness over the Right using critiques of Communism as a way of attacking all Left-wing economics and ideology. That, and just plain ignorance of what the Communists actually did.

Avraham said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Avraham said...

in the USSR the failings of Communism were officially attributed to be because the system was only communistic--it had not yet gotten to pure Socialism. I.E. Socialism was considered in Russia to be to the left of Communism. An example of this is that Socialism wants every person to receive "according their needs" and yet Lenin changed this to according to "their work." The disastrous mass starvations of the communist experiment in the beginning of Lenin's period caused him to change things. It turned out that factories did need managership and that just any worker could not be a manager.
Though communism was bad, still people managed under it by ignoring the rules.
People simply did not believe in Communism. I heard from a former KGB agent that he and all his classmates people in his class on politics could see the fallacies of Communism easily. In book stores in the USSR, the "Capital" would sit for decades with no one buying it. It would be displayed prominently in the store, but it would have a thick layer of dust over it. No one even picked it up to see what it said. Because no one believed that it would lead to a the New Man and the New Gan Eden.--just the opposite. They all knew exactly what Socialism leads to. Everyone lived with the misery every day. No one needed to be reminded.

In America the government is becoming more and more Socialist-- and this is eating away at the foundations of American society.

Mighty Garnel Ironheart said...

Friar, I'll admit my bias straight off: I hate Communists. I'd rather spend the afternoon with an angry scorpion than a Communist. I apply to them the verse about Amalek and wiping them out. In short: I hate Communists.
And the way I see Socialists is that they're Communists who are constrained by democracy and a constitution. They can't suspend elections and outlaw right wing parties so instead they spend their time in opposition questioning the legitimacy of the elected government. They can't suspend religious freedom and free speech so they bring in "human rights" commisions to persecute people for exercising their rights to freedom of speech and religion. They are simply a blander form of Communism because they can't show their true colours. And I stand by my point with Colbert. If this guy had been a soft fascist (odd that there is no "socialist" equivalent in fascism) Colbert would never had treated him as nice as he did.

Bartley Kulp said...

You forgot to mention 10 to 15 million people killed by the Belgians in the Congo Free State at the beggining of the 20th century.

Bob Miller said...

Ironically, all the unsavory methods credited to Joe McCarthy had been invented and perfected earlier by the communists themselves, who even used them as needed on communist opponents.

Might Garnel Ironheart said...

No question! The best defense is a good offense. Even as Stalin was purging his own ranks his lackies in Hollywood were screaming about being purged themselves.