100 years of communism
Let’s meander through the Museum of Marxism today. It’s a good time to do it, because the oldest exhibit is 100 this year.
It’s just there on the left, in fact where you see Lenin’s Bolshevik uprising in 1917. That was where the little child conceived by Marx and Engles first entered the world, and was christened “communism”. This baby idea that would soon storm the world is decorated in red flags. Red for the blood of the tens of millions whose lives it demanded in the name of equality, freedom and true justice.
In the Soviet Union alone, as you can see, the bones of 20 million people are piled under communism’s smiling face. Those bones were earned through war, through the purging of those with different ideas, or through starvation induced by property and industry reforms. Academics argue over the body count. Communism didn’t care enough to chronicle the names of the workers it murdered while claiming to rescue them.
At our next exhibit you can see the hammer and the sickle in the hands of Mao Zedong. He too stands atop a pile of bones taken from 65 million people. With the hammer he destroyed thousands of years of “bourgeois” culture, with the sickle he culled comrades in ways so cruel, and in numbers so great, it would make a normal human cry to think about. And still, communism didn’t care to record their names.
Communism also made a move into Cambodia and his lust for blood was still not satisfied. As he had every where he went, he killed dissidents, intellectuals, those from different ethnic or political groups and he killed the religious. He claimed around 2 million lives through disease, starvation and torture, out of 8 million people.
In the other exhibits, of course, we find communism calling workers of the world to unite. And they do unite, in every one of the scores countries in which he is or was present. Under the guise of redistributed wealth he unites them in poverty. Under the guise of equality communism unites workers in some of the most unequal nations. Under the guise of justice, communism unites them as victims of terrible human rights abuses. Under the guise of freedom he unites them in an intellectual and political prison. His hollow-eyed citizens don’t even have the energy to laugh anymore at the words “equality, freedom and true justice”.
There five nations where the dying man still maintains a firm grip: China, North Korea, Loas, Vietnam and Cuba. Perhaps they are the five points of the communist star, but none shines as a model for freedom or equality.
We have reached the end of our tour for today, and just outside the back door (for they refuse to come in) you will find intellectuals – even in New Zealand – telling you that old man communism is yet “untested” and may still work under the right conditions. They have never lived in communist states, nor have their families. You will know them by the hammer and sickle on their hats, or the red star on their shirts – symbols that, on body count alone, are ten times more offensive than the swastika.
These intellectuals will say Marx was right, it is just his followers that got it wrong. Ask them how many more they are willing to sacrifice to find out if this is true, and how much more time we will need.
Because, as the Little Black Book of Communism says, the body count is almost at 100 million, making Marx and Engle’s ideas the most deadly ever conceived in human history once they were put into action.
Surely it is time to put communism in the museum forever.
This article was first published on Stuff.co.nz