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Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Why Isn't Communism As Hated as Nazism?
By Dennis Prager for Prager University,
describe particularly evil individuals or regimes, why is it that they use the
terms “Nazi” or “fascist,” but almost never “communist?” Given the unparalleled
amount of human suffering communists have caused, why is “communist” so much
less a term of revulsion than “Nazi?”
killed 70 million people in China, more than 20 million people in the Soviet Union
(not including about 5 million Ukrainians) and almost one out of every three
Cambodians. They enslaved entire nations in Russia, Vietnam, China, Eastern
Europe, North Korea, Cuba and much of Central Asia. They took or ruined the
lives of well over a billion people. So why doesn’t communism have the same
terrible reputation as Nazism?
Number 1: There is, simply put, widespread ignorance of the communist record.
Whereas both right and left loathe Nazism and teach its evil history, the left
– and I’m talking about the left, not traditional liberals like Harry Truman or
John F. Kennedy – has never loathed communism. And since the left
dominates academia, almost no one teaches communism’s evil history.
Number 2: Nazis carried out the Holocaust. Nothing matches the Holocaust for
pure evil. The rounding up of virtually every Jewish man, woman, child and baby
on the European continent and sending them to die is unprecedented and
unparalleled. Communists killed far more people than the Nazis, but never
matched the Holocaust in the systemization of genocide. The uniqueness of the
Holocaust and the enormous attention rightly paid to it has helped ensure that
Nazism has a worse name than communism.
Number 3: Communism is based on nice sounding theories; Nazism isn’t. It’s
based on heinous sounding theories. Intellectuals in general – including, of
course, the intellectuals who write history – are seduced by words – so much
so, that they deem actions less significant than the words which provide cover
for them. For that reason, they have focused far less attention on the
horrific actions of communists than on those of Nazis. They dismiss the evils
of communists as perversions of “true communism.” But they regard Nazi
atrocities (correctly) as the logical and inevitable results of Nazism.
Number 4: Germans have thoroughly exposed the evils of Nazism, have taken
responsibility for them and have attempted to atone for them. Russians have not
done anything similar regarding Lenin's or Stalin's horrors. To the contrary,
Lenin, the father of Soviet communism, is still widely venerated in Russia. And
as regards Stalin, as University of London Russian historian Donald Rayfield
puts it, “People still deny, by assertion or implication, Stalin's holocaust.”
also failed to expose the greatest mass murderer and enslaver of them all, Mao
Zedong. Mao remains revered in China. Every Chinese currency note has his
picture on it. Until Russia and China, Vietnam, Cuba and North Korea acknowledge
the evils their countries committed under communism, communism's evils will
remain less recognized than those of the German state under Hitler.
Number 5: Communists murdered mostly their own people. Nazis, on the other hand,
killed relatively few fellow Germans. “World opinion” – that largely
meaningless and amoral term – deems the murder of members of one's own group
far less noteworthy than the murder of outsiders. That’s why, for example,
blacks killing millions of fellow blacks in Africa elicits almost no attention
from “world opinion.”
Number 6: In the view of the left, the last “good war” was World War II, the
war against German Nazism and Japanese fascism. The left does not regard wars
against communist regimes as “good wars.” For example, the American war against
Vietnamese communism is regarded as immoral and the war against Korean
communism – and its Chinese communist backers – is simply ignored.
left--and all the institutions influenced by it--acknowledge how evil communism
has been, we will continue to live in a morally confused world.
meantime, all good people owe it to the victims of communism to learn what
happened to them. Even worse than being murdered or enslaved is a world that
doesn’t even know that you were.
Prager University helps millions of
Americans understand the fundamental values that shaped America and provides
the resources to articulate them. See the video “Why Isn't Communism As Hated
as Nazism?” at PragerU.com.Published
Language of Liberty series is a collaborative effort of the Center for Self
Governance (CSG) Administrative Team. CSG is a non-profit, non-partisan
educational organization, dedicated to training citizens in applied civics. The
authors include administrative staff, selected students, and guest columnists.
The views expressed by the authors are their own and may not reflect the views
of CSG. Contact them at CenterForSelfGovernance.com