As the UK General Election campaign starts to turn nasty, more and more people are trying to excuse the anti – Semitism and the authoritarianism of the Jew – hating communists who have hijacked the Labour Party. They play down the fact that party leader Jeremy Corbyn is a Trotskyite who in true Bolshevik tradition has abandoned his principles for the sake of power, (he has been a lifelong opponent of British membership of the European Union and was at least a supporter of a kind of democracy.) When it came to a choice between honouring the result of a democratic referendum or aligning himself with the advocates of global government, high taxation and uncontrolled immigration however, he chose to cling to power.
Corbyn’s de fact number 2, the Stalinist thug John McDonnell has never made any secret of the fact that he favours turning the EU into a kind of EUSSR, with Britain reduced to the status of a province.
In spite of this young (and some not so young but certifably insane,) lefties cling to the belief that life in the old Soviet Union, its satellite states in Europe and Asia, in Communist China, Viet Nam and North Korea, and in the outlying farmstead of communism, Cuba, was all beer and skittles.
In my almost 20 years as a blogger and web content creator I have corresponded with many people from Russia, the former Yugoslavian states, Romania, Poland and Hungary who experienced life under communism (or socialism as communist tyrants like to call it. And none have had a good word to say about it.
In fact most have been so vitriolic about communism / socialism that I believe conservatives and nationalists in Britain, the USA, the European Union, Canada and Australia are actually too moderate when talking about Communism. I don’t know if this is because they have not read enough about the history of Soviet Russia, Red China, Eastern Europe, Viet Nam, North Korea and the other nations that became slave states under socialist dictatorships or just trying to avoid hate attacks from the left-leaning university brainwashed millennials who fall for the ols “ah but none of those were proper socialism,” excuse but what they usually say is not even close to the whole truth.
Also, please don’t make the mistake of confusing communism with a welfare state: while there are states with a strong welfare component, high taxes, and more government control, most of these are social democracies, capitalistic economies ruled by democratic principles.
Communism was never about welfare: yes, people were getting food (though nowhere near enough as is abvious from the numbers who died of starvation or malnutrition related diseases,) and shelter, but they were forced to work until the state decreed age of retirement — which was constantly raised according to that good old National Socialist concept of “useless eaters.” If somebody refused to work on the job that the Party assigned to them, they would go to prison — where they would be put to hard labor, or if the prisons were full or the local kommisar did not like their face they would simply be shot.
Also, the free food and shelter were not subject to personal preferences: every person was given food stamps, stating what they were allowed to buy for the month — and it wasn’t a lot. “Hoarding” food was a major offense, punishable by prison time or death — and “hoarding” meant that you had a food closet at home, not freight containers. China’s communist government passed a law against hoarding food and enforced it so brutally that peasant farmers who laid aside a portion of their grain harvest for next years seed were deemed guilty of hoarding and summarily executed. But those farmers who obeyed the law and handed over all their crop faced long prison sentences in forced labour camps when they had no crop to hand over the following year.
Add to this the lack of any human or civil rights that we consider today a given: you could be arrested anytime, with or without reason, if somebody in the police felt like it. People would disappear without warning — sometimes on the way back from work, sometimes when taking the trash out. No due process was required for “enemies of the people,” there was no presumption of innocence or right to trial by jury of one’s peers; even when a trial was conducted, it was just the judge (always a ‘party’ member,) that hear the case, examine the evidence, question witnesses and pass sentence — no jury, no defense, no witnesses required because there was no “not guilty” verdict, to be accused by a party member was proof of guilt.
No significant private property was allowed: you could own your clothes, and possibly a car of you were a party member or in a protected profession such as a doctor, engineer or senior police officer but even for those privileged people which there was a waiting list years long, but that was pretty much it. Owning a house was out of question, with minor exceptions; most people would live in government-owned apartments, which were subject to reassignment if considered necessary by the Party.
Apologists for socialist authoritarianism claim it worked for mant decades and still does in China, Cuba, North Korea and a few other outposts. After the Russian Revolution it did work for a while, because nobody dared oppose the state. Anyone who even complained about the chronic shortages or lack of freedom would go to prison or worse. There were people who tried to fight against it in the beginning — they were caught and shot without wasting time on trials or debate.
The system “worked” so well that, in about 50 years of communism, Eastern Europe became a poverty zone that everybody was desperate to get out of. The power outages were so common that everybody were lighting their homes with candles; hot water was only provided a few times a week, by a strict schedule; during winter, it was not uncommon to hear about a family found dead because they tried to use the cooking stove to heat themselves.
So it seems people in the liberal democracies who have taken the trouble to discover the truth about socialism and communism (Karl Marx used the terms interchangably,) do not go too far in demonizing a system that killed millions of people directly, enslaved hundreds of millions, and caused poverty that indirectly killed so many more than we can even estimate.
I like to remind people that in 1870 the Russian anarchist Mikhail Bakunin warned Karl Marx, after reading “The Communist Manifesto,” that a communist government would quickly become more authoritarian and oppressive than Russia’s Czarist regime which was notorious for its brutality. Events have proved hundreds of times, that Bakunin was right.
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