Last month, the Gold Newsletter Podcast invited me to speak about my essay 30 Methods and Characteristics of Communism.
by Roman Skaskiw
French historian and philosopher Rene Girard observed, correctly in my opinion, that communism was not popular despite killing millions of people, but precisely because it killed millions of people.
I’m told that my grandfather climbed from the window of a school at which he was teaching when a breathless neighbor told him that “they” were coming for him. So began his trek across war-torn Europe with my then-four-year-old mother. Another relative, who would have been some sort of great uncle to me, was taken to a labor camp in Uzbekistan for belonging to an anti-communist club in his high school. He was sixteen. His family received two letters from him — the first saying it was extremely cold and asking for them to send a pair of boots, the second saying that the boots had been taken by another prisoner. He did not return.
The worldview of the radical left offers many dizzying contradictions and fantasies. One of the strangest is the extent of indifference and even hostility with which radical leftists treat those who deliver on the very vision they so tirelessly advocate.
There are myriad examples, some so obvious that articulating them seems like shaking the foundation of the postmodern reality (or anti-reality) in which we live.
In The Soviet Tragedy, Martin Malia describes many Soviet citizens feeling great relief at the outbreak of World War II. These were people less than twenty years removed from devastating wars, so they were unlikely to be naïve to the horrors, yet many welcomed the news of war because, as Malia describes, war provided a coherent, tangible reality again, in contract to the schizophrenic insanity of communism.
The incoherence is everywhere.
It’s difficult to believe, given modern rhetoric, but in the early days of communism, wealth was considered a good thing, and, they argued, communism was superior because it created more of it. By the mid-1950s, it became impossible to ignore communism’s poverty and deprivation, so rather than abandon their revolutionary ideology, the communists completely replaced what had been their fundamental goal. Yes, capitalism caused wealth, they conceded, but the wealth caused inequality, and inequality, not poverty, was the great evil against which all society’s resources must mobilize.
The intellectual bankruptcy is absolutely shameless and calls to mind an observation from the great black conservative Thomas Sowell: “Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it.”
Philosophy professor Stephen Hicks’s excellent little book Explaining Post-Modernism details the many outrageous ideological pivots the radical left has been forced to make over the years to preserve a revolutionary posture, including even its abandonment of the presumption of truth.
Read more at the American Thinker.