A history repeated
One issue must be confronted and clearly stated. There can be no compromise of any kind with communism. Whether theoretical or practical, marxist or leninist. It should stay in the sinkhole that was the Twentieth Century. We have enough problems already in the Twenty-First.
Karl Marx spent the latter part of his life at the British Library, trying unsuccessfully to prove his shabby theories. In the end, he himself conceded that he is “not a marxist!” Probably the only places where marxism is still on life support are some universities.
Communism was responsible for tens of millions of deaths around the world, more than any other so-called ideology. Tens of millions lost their homes and their countries, were murdered, tortured, maimed and forcibly deported. Millions succumbed to deliberate starvation. Millions of innocents died a slow death in the inhuman conditions of the gulag. Yet there are still people who are trying to justify its horrors.
It is unfortunate that there was no Nuremberg to try the Soviet Union. There should have been, considering that USSR/communist crimes against humanity remain unpunished to this day. Instead, in one of the world’s worst miscarriages of justice, the USSR was one of the prosecutors at Nuremberg. Its murderers, starting with Stalin, should have been right there along with the nazi criminals. This was almost exclusively the fault of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, because of his unconditional and even enthusiastic support of Stalin and Moscow. Several of his generals could have marched on to Berlin and Prague unopposed. His diplomats in Eastern Europe kept sending him warnings about coming communist coups. However, Roosevelt ignored all of them, including several clear and factual warnings about the slaughter of Polish officers at Katyn. Soviet Marshall Georgi Zhukov wrote in his memoirs that the Soviets would not have won without American aid and help.
Thousands of men in the Baltic States and elsewhere in Eastern Europe, even including Russia, went to their deaths, fighting. Their only cause was to prevent the Soviets from coming again and repeating the earlier atrocities in their homelands. They clung to the hope that the West would come to their aid, only to succumb to disappointment and treachery. Treachery in the context of abandoning the West’s own principles of freedom and self-determination declared in the Atlantic Charter, thus leaving small defenseless countries deliberately for Moscow to annihilate. The Balts had experienced the atrocities of the bloody Soviet occupation in 1940-41 and had no choice but to defend their families alone in whatever uniform against another impending calamity from the East.
The defeated, post-World War One Germany should serve as a perfect historical precedent. The excessively punitive Versailles Treaty and the weak, ultra-liberal Weimar Republic, along with the sharp rise of relentless communist agitation, were directly responsible for the rise of Hitler.
Let’s forget the notion that Hitler appeared suddenly, out of nowhere. He was created by the West, just as Lenin and Stalin were created by the West. One needs only to recall one of Newton’s Laws, especially the one about every action having an equal and opposite reaction. In both cases, the West not only prepared the circumstances for the birth of naziism and communism, but nurtured them along. Western liberalism of the leftist variety had no clue what it had wrought until it was too late.
The post-World War Two leadership of President Harry Truman was aware of the Versailles-Weimar lesson and prevented its recurrence in Western Europe. However, Roosevelt’s policies and cheerful concessions to Stalin at Yalta and Tehran had left the rest of Europe in the bloody clutches of the Soviets for the next half century. The new policy of containment had the effect of “containing” the Balts and East and Central Europe to political, economic and social stagnation while Western Europe prospered. It created the expected contrast between the free and the oppressed, at the expense of the oppressed.
Again, once created, the West realized late that communism had to be opposed. This was accompanied, however, by the typical angst of Western liberalism. Angst was thoroughly exploited by the USSR, paralyzing Western action to half-measures. It was not hard for Moscow to figure that it could create anti-Western groups right within the West. Angstand the classic inability of liberalism to distinguish between right and wrong helped the Soviet Union and communism to sail from success to success. And so it was until President Reagan said out loud, to the consternation of the angst crowd, that there was this “evil empire” that belonged on the ash heap of history; that it was in reality a “house of cards” that contained the seeds of its own destruction; and that this ”Humpty Dumpty” only needed a little push. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Meanwhile, there are those who ask, with some justification, that if communism is dead, where is the corpse?
The trouble is that the corpse may come back to life, albeit in a somewhat different incarnation. We now see its roots sprouting in Putin’s Russia, where communism as an ideology may be dead, but its symbols are co-opted by the rise of a nazi-fascist state. A new generation is being educated in the Putin-Jugend or “nashi” (ours) style.
People who claim that Russia is already democratic or is on its way, are utopian dreamers. They are engaged in the Politics of Illusion, so dear to the leftist liberals of the past one hundred years. Like the Chamberlains of yesteryear, proclaiming peace in our time after making concessions to dictators, they will wake up to the Politics of Reality. By then, as in the past, it may be too late. Are we going to let history repeat itself?
No compromise with communism (13)