Fell to its knees 20 years ago today.
The Berlin Wall… was an apt symbol of Communism. It represented a historically unprecedented effort to prevent people from “voting with their feet” and leaving a society they rejected. The wall was only the most visible segment of a vast system of obstacles and fortifications: the Iron Curtain, which stretched for thousands of miles along the border of the “Socialist Commonwealth.” […]
There is little public awareness of the large-scale atrocities, killings and human rights violations that occurred in Communist states, especially compared with awareness of the Holocaust and Nazism (which led to far fewer deaths). The number of documentaries, feature films or television programs about Communist societies is minuscule compared with those on Nazi Germany and/or the Holocaust, and few universities offer courses on the remaining or former Communist states…
There are, though, academics making efforts of an altogether different kind. And then there are the mutterings of bedlamites.
The different moral responses to Nazism and Communism in the West can be interpreted as a result of the perception of Communist atrocities as byproducts of noble intentions that were hard to realize without resorting to harsh measures. The Nazi outrages, by contrast, are perceived as unmitigated evil lacking in any lofty justification and unsupported by an attractive ideology…
Paul Hollander, quoted here, from this longer essay.
I can’t say I’ve ever found Communism attractive even as a theoretical sketch. The implications of egalitarian utopias aren’t exactly hard to fathom. Unless, that is, one takes care not to notice certain things or think in certain ways, and then goes on not noticing with growing sophistication. Given the monstrous human cost of Communism – estimated at around 110 million lives - it’s worth giving some thought to this proposal.
Via Maggie’s Farm. Related: Victims of Communism.