One has to peel away layers of cant to see that the legacy of communism is a century of genocide littered with one million corpses. In today’s column for The Australian, Russian Revolution: Communist barbarians led us to genocide, I write:
As we approach the centenary of the Russian Revolution, it is time to honour the dead. Dispense with romantic notions of Marxism and trash red chic. Communists turned back the clock on human progress and led humanity into a century of genocide. Yet they are celebrated in The New York Times, rebranded as punk icons on Amazon, venerated by the UN and refashioned as progressives in mainstream politics.
… Despite leading the most murderous regimes of the past century, genocidal communists are still in vogue. Compare the difference between the branding of communism and Nazism. If you want a Hitler T-shirt on Amazon, you’ll land on a page ridiculing or celebrating violence against him. So far, so good. But type in Trotsky, Lenin or Mao Zedong and the template is transformed into fist pumps, woke jokes and old reds reincarnated as punk icons. There’s a Valentine’s Day T-shirt featuring Trotsky, Lenin dressed up as a punk idol and Mao venerated in vintage chic: “China’s Papa”. And it seems papa has had a baby. Amazon fashion sells a “cute infant bodysuit baby romper” depicting Mao, Stalin, Lenin, Engels and Marx.
Fashionable silence about the genocidal legacy of communism has paved the way for a resurgence of the hard left … Totalitarian communists are venerated by the very body established for the purpose of preventing the return of totalitarianism. Last year, the UN observed a minute of silence to honour Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. General Assembly president Peter Thomson described Castro as: “One of the iconic leaders of the 20th century, with a great love for his homeland and the Cuban people, he dedicated his life to their welfare and development.” Fact check: Castro’s regime killed thousands of people in the name of communism.
The widespread denial of communism’s death toll enables the West to forget the 100-year legacy of red genocide. As a result, red revolution is back in vogue and communists are returning to the corridors of power. The Greens party in Australia has a new faction, Left Renewal, that aims to abolish capitalism. UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn hired a communist sympathiser to his campaign team. Militant leftists will march against democracy on November 4th in a bid to oust the US President.
Red terror is on the rise and just like their Bolshevik forefathers, hard left activists claim to be acting for the people, free speech and democracy. They lie. The most persistent feature of revolutionary socialists, anarchists and communists during the past century has been their capacity to lie their way into power and turn on the people within months of staging a coup.
Consider Vladimir Lenin’s promise that unlike the Tsar, the Bolsheviks would rule for the workers and peasants. Less than a year after they seized power in the 1917 October revolution, the Bolsheviks began a reign of terror whose methods were imitated by both communist and fascist totalitarian regimes throughout the 20th century. The mass slaughter was approved by Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin. Among the victims were socialists who dissented from the one party state established by the communists.
It is estimated that in the first few months of the Red Terror, the communists murdered between 10,000-15,000 people. The Cheka (Bolshevik secret police) created concentration camps where political dissidents were used as slave labour for the communist state. By 1920, the Bolshevik rulers had imprisoned around 50,000 people in concentration camps. Many did not survive the horrific conditions. In his book The Gulag Archipelago 1918-56, dissident survivor Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn described the horror of life in Russia’s communist concentration camps.
The true nature of the “workers’ paradise” has been laid bare by political refugees who fled communist states to the West. Yet many on the hard left pretended that communist brutality was an accident of history; an unintended consequence of an otherwise noble cause. They lied. Declassified documents proved that genocide was a deliberate strategy used by communist heads of state to liquidate millions of dissidents and steal property. For example, Lenin wrote in a letter: “Now and only now, when people are being eaten in famine-stricken areas, and hundreds, if not thousands, of corpses lie on the roads, we can (and therefore must) pursue the removal of church property with the most frenzied and ruthless energy and not hesitate to put down the least opposition.”
It was American food aid – the fruit of capitalism – that saved many starving Russians from the ineptitude and cruelty of communist leaders. In a PBS documentary, survivor Zukra Ibragimova said: “People used to call that food ‘America.’”
Despite the horrors of the Bolshevik revolution and the genocidal legacy of numerous communist regimes established since, some hard left groups are preparing to celebrate the Russian Revolution.
To celebrate the Russian Revolution on October 24th – 25th (November 6th – 7th Gregorian) is to celebrate genocide. As I write in today’s column for The Australian:
In his book Genocide, Adam Jones writes: “There is very little in the record of human experience to match the violence unleashed between 1917, when the Bolsheviks took power, and 1953, when Joseph Stalin died …”
In The Black Book of Communism, scholars attempted to estimate the number of people killed by communists across the 20th century. At the time of publication in 1999, they estimated a total death toll approaching 100 million. In 2007, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation was dedicated by then president George W. Bush. It is credited as the only foundation in the world commemorating “every victim of communism.” The foundation believes communists have killed more than 100 million people.
If you’re planning to commemorate the Russian Revolution, tell the truth about its legacy: 100 years of communism, 100 million victims.
Oriel, Jennifer. Russian Revolution: Communist barbarians led us to genocide. The Australian. October 9, 2017.