09 November, 2009

Remembering the Victims of Communism


Some 100 million people have died in the pursuit of a communist utopia. Eliminating profit and private property was meant to end social ills, such as inequality, racism, and sexism. But the closer a society got to Marxism—whether it was half-hearted attempt as in Hungary or a whole-hearted attempt as in Cambodia—the bloodier the result. Survival in a communist society necessitated lies, theft, and betrayal. Thus, as the former Czech President Vaclav Havel wrote, most people in the former Soviet bloc grew up without a moral compass. These morally compromised survivors of communism find it difficult to reflect on the past and to come to terms with it.

Unlike the Germans after the World War II, the people in ex-communist countries were never forced to face their demons. As a consequence, communist rule has not acquired the moral opprobrium of Nazism. As long as that remains the case, socialist economics will continue to enjoy an aura of plausibility.

-- Marian L. Tupy, The Road from Surfdom

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