Skip to comments.Remembering Communism
Posted on 11/23/2004 3:45:56 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe
Fifteen years ago this month, the world witnessed the downfall of Communisms greatest symbol. As guards stood by, Berliners gathered before the Wall that had scarred their city since the 1960s and, taking Ronald Reagans advice to Mikhail Gorbachev, began tearing it down.
In the span of centuries, fifteen years is not a long time. It is extraordinary, however, how quickly awareness of Marxist regimes has faded from public memory. Millions of people know about the Nazis atrocities. Relatively few have heard of the millions imprisoned, tortured, and murdered by Communist systems. Even fewer know about the faithful Orthodox, Protestant, and Roman Catholic Christians who suffered at the hands of Marxist oppression.
What people do know is that Communism was an economic disaster. As early as the 1920s, wiser economists argued that command economies could never work. It was simply impossible, they noted, for a group of planners to know all the information about supply and demand conveyed in free economies through the price mechanism.
Still, despite its economic deficiencies, Communism lumbered along, held in place by corruption, apathy, and, above all, fear. Though often unable to access even basic material essentials, millions remained cowed by the terrorist methods employed by Communist regimesmethods that define them as being as criminal as the Nazis.
Its tempting to believe that Communisms economic woes were responsible for its collapse. Communisms persistence in North Korea and Cuba, however, suggests that an economic system mired in stagnation is no guarantee that tyrants will lose power.
In this light, we begin to understand that 1989 represented not simply admission of Communisms economic bankruptcy. More fundamentally, Communisms collapse throughout Central-East Europe was the result of a moral revolutionan insurrection wrought by Christianity and its non-negotiable demand that all governments affirm the human persons intrinsic dignity.
The roots of this upheaval may be found in the struggle of the Catholic Church in Poland to maintain its liberty and proclaim a vision of man rather different from that articulated by Marxism. It is little wonder that the gray, cold men in the Kremlin are reported to have gone white with shock upon hearing that a Pole had been elected to the Chair of Peter.
From then on, Central-East Europe was relentlessly subjected to a call to libertya liberty that has nothing in common with the hedonistic autonomy so assiduously promoted in Western Europe since the 1960s. This was a call, rather, to a freedom grounded in the truth about the person as the very image of God.
It was a message that gave people courage to raise their heads and cease feeling humiliated; that reminded them of their dignity and that the state existed for them, and not they for the state. It was a message that told them that religious liberty was owed to them by the state; that they possessed what John Paul II called the right to economic initiative; and that Communist political structuresbe they of the Leninist, Maoist, Latin American, or African varietywere utterly incompatible with authentic human freedom.
No one is going to die willingly for utility or efficiency. People will, however, give their lives for love or liberty. There was no greater witness to this willingness to reject evil than the millions of Christians who flocked to see Pope John Paul when he visited Poland in 1979. In the end, the only way the Communists could cope with the ensuing desire of Poles to live in truth was to declare a state of war and order the army to invade its own country in December 1981. Yet within 8 years, one of those individuals imprisoned by the Communists became Polands first non-Communist prime minister since World War II. Such was the impact of Central-East Europes moral revolution.
Fifteen years later, freedom in Europe is again under siege. Western Europes economic decline surely reflects many European governments unwillingness to take economic liberty seriously. Political liberty is also under attack from what is nothing less than a secularist-fundamentalism that permits former Communist officials to become European Union commissioners, while treating Christians who politely but firmly refuse to disguise their faith as if they are the equivalent of Osama Bin-laden.
Clearly, while the EU is a long way from degenerating into the Communist systems of yesteryear, totalitarian tendencies remain alive and well throughout Europe. But if Communisms demise teaches us anything, it is that people of hope have reason to believe that liberty grounded in the truth about man consistently overcomes its opponentsbe they of the Marxist, Nazi, or secularist-fundamentalist variety. For authentic liberty gives rise to life, while totalitarianism is the path to death. And life enables us to flourish as we ought. A culture of death, by contrast, carries the seeds of its self-destruction.
The 120-metre wall, constructed out of original segments, has been erected at the legendary Checkpoint Charlie where American and Soviet tanks once faced off muzzle-to-muzzle at the height of the Cold War.
Behind the wall are 1,065 wooden crosses in what would have been the death strip. Standing tightly packed on top of white gravel, each of the three-metre-high crosses bears the name of a victim.
"Everyone must know what price we paid for freedom," said Alexandra Hildebrandt, head of the Berlin Wall Museum at Checkpoint Charlie, who organised both the rebuilt wall and crosses. - LINK
Make no memorials for Communism. It is alive and well and is now called The Democrat Party of the United States of America. Make no mistake about it. They know what they are and revel in it.
The collapse of East Germany was the best thing to happen. How about 100 million crosses? Communism thankfully never took off in Indonesia, South Korea, Singapore, Phillippines, Chile, Argentina, etc.
The flawed socioeconomic system that puts The State above God and family is alive and well.
I am surprised they were allowed to use crosses.
Great post. I hope someone posts this over on DU for the DUmmies to see what nightmares their dreams have wrought upon humanity.
Come to think of it, what government is responsible for killing the most commies?
How ironic. Commies killing each other. Stalin is said to kill more commies then what happened in Indonesia, Chile, South Korea, Argentina, etc.
Communism is not dead at all; it's alive and well all over the world, including here.
A culture of death, by contrast, carries the seeds of its self-destruction.
I certainly hope so. The culture of death headed up by John F'ing Kerry and Breckgirl carries its seeds of self-destruction. We need to help germinate those seeds.
Good link to deaths due to Communism ~ 60 million between Stalin and Mao. More than all during WWII. Some claim that deaths under Mao are closer to 100 million.
Maybe John Lennon was a fool for believing in Communism and Mao after all.
What kind of controversy could that possibly stir up? People are really that ignorant? Don't answer that.
Communism is attractive - romantic - because of its emphasis on beautiful abstraction, its cynical exploitation of ideals, and its insistent denial of the practical consequences of its policies and deflection of the blame for them to its opponents. It lasted as long as it did because its adherents were very good at this. It still has its attractions to those who prefer pretty myths to tragic reality.
Commumism is a disease of the brain. Thank God for anti-Communist regimes. Communists sympathize with the Nazis until 1941. Afer World War II, they sympathized with the Nazis again. Many Nazis became Communists, especially Gestapos, who became East German guards.
good stuff but how about this reality check....universities and colleges in the usa and canada have been overun and taken over by marxist faculty members..our kids get a steady diet of,at best,socialist/liberalism spew,...it takes our kids 20 or 30 years to kick the socialist habit after 4 years of "education" in college by the tax paid pseudointellectuals ...this is not good...eh bc boy
With the Soviet Union under Stalin running neck-and-neck with it.
Spot on, and an explanation which applies to every system of belief which has led to totalitarianism
Communism is the greatest evil that man has ever known. It is responsible for more than 100 millions deaths (more than all the wars in history combined), millions and millions of refugees and the subjugation and slavery of over 2 billion people since WWII. Communist regimes always follow a similar pattern. A Communist regime has never been elected, so first Communists must orchestrate a revolution, often with the support of funding from preexisting Communist regime. Next, Communists dissolve private property, nationalize media and begin a brutal purge of political prisoners and the upper classes. To conduct it's class warfare and maintain control of the revolting people, the state will militarize, establish a large secret police presence, and create horrific labor/reeducation camps. The economy collapses, failed farm policies result in starvation, refugees flee, and the government begins to export Communist revolution abroad. How far the government is willing to push the Communist philosophy will directly equate with the severity of these events and the suffering of their people. This exact pattern has come to pass in the Soviet Union, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, North Korea, Angola, Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Cuba. A few countries on this list have not experienced the true hell of Communism because the governments either didn't last long enough to take full root, or total Communist policies were not pursued in earnest.
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