Dec
16
2010

Yet another reminder: Communism kills people.

Via Instapundit comes this surprising op-ed from the New York Times that admits that the People’s Republic of China’s ‘Great Leap Forward’ caused truly frightening numbers of deaths: looking at the actual source material, its author is now estimating a death toll of 45 million (50% more than previous estimates).  That works out to about 6.5% of its population, based on the 1960 census: to put that in perspective, the equivalent for 2010-era USA would be 20.15 million, or just over the entire population of New York State.

Now, this op-ed is not surprising because said famine (which was largely deliberate) is unique in the annals of world Communism: it’s not.  The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics had deliberate famines in the Ukraine in the 1930s and a general one just after World War II.  The Khmer Rouge of Democratic Kampuchea likewise had a general one in the 1970s, as did the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in the 1990s.  Half the famines in Africa over the last fifty years involved either civil wars started by Marxists, or started against them.  In short, it’s long been known that the only thing that Communism is good at is in turning large numbers of live peasants into large numbers of dead ones.  That’s because – as I have noted before – Marxism is intellectualism for stupid people; it tends to attract the sort who can’t understand that an economic system that cannot feed its own population reliably has failed at the game of Life.  Literally.

No, this article is surprising because it got published in The New York Times.  Do you know that they still list Walter Duranty’s Pulitzer on their awards page?  Apparently, they think that it’s enough to declare that the deliberate framing and hiding of widespread deliberate famines was a ‘failure’ on Duranty’s part.  Personally, if I was running the NYT I’d be demanding that the Pulitzer people revoke that prize as a blot on my paper’s good name, but I suppose that the current owners have different priorities…

Moe Lane (crosspost)

[Update]: Ah, Glenn got a irate email from somebody throwing out the ‘But their motivations are noble!’ apology.  Yes, of course: when I get a bullet in the back of the head from somebody for the ‘crime’ of believing in property rights I so totally will feel better about it because the shooter and I ‘merely’ disagree on the best route to Utopia.

14 Comments

  • tarpon says:

    The “isms”, nudge, shove shoot, always have the same sorry ending. Just look at Europe.

  • Huh says:

    The core of communism is the denial of individual agency. The individual is the property of the collective. How is this not an evil foundation?

  • craig says:

    There’s a famine going on now in North Korea, and it is the same old communist tactic: deliberate withholding of food from disfavored groups (e.g., Christians) and an absence of famine among soldiers and supporters of the regime.

  • JamesG says:

    I’m not a fan of counter-factual history but ask yourself this question: if Mother Marx in a fit of post-partum depression had smothered baby Karl would all those tens of millions of people have been killed?

  • Andy Freeman says:

    Communism’s “noble” intentions are exactly the same as Nazism’s noble intentions.

    Both promise “equality”, “fairness”, and “brotherhood” for “all”. However, each define “all” to mean “people we like”.

    In some sense, the problem with both is the unstated promise to rain terror onto the “not all”.

  • […] Moe Lane: Marxism is intellectualism for stupid people; it tends to attract the sort who can’t understand that an economic system that cannot feed its own population reliably has failed at the game of Life. Literally. […]

  • Richard40 says:

    Good point about the so called “noble intentions” of communism. Isn’t there a saying about the road to hell being paved with good iintentions. I judge by results, not intentions. By that criteria Communism has murdered MORE people than Facism, for no just reason, both by absolute numbers, and in the case of Cambodia also by percent of the population, and would thus be MORE evil.

    Any academic or journalist who still supports Marxism today, after its appalling genocidal record, can no longer be dismissed as just a misguided idealist, they are EVIL.

    Those who support western European style socialism are a little different. Western Socialism is grossly wrong, and a definite failure, but has not yet perpetrated any genocide. Thus, socialists can still be excused as misguided idealists. But Marxists or Communists cannot, they are EVIL.

  • alanstorm says:

    Re: the “good intentions” argument:

    The early supporters of the Soviet Union (which, IIRC, was the first large scale test of “progressive” theories, MIGHT have been able to use this defense – but not after the first 15 – 20 years showed how it would work. No one alive today can claim the “good intentions” argument. The last hundred years of evidence demonstrates that the effects are inseparable from the ideology.

  • DavidL says:

    It does seem that famine seems to accompany socialism much like stink does poop. Whereas socialist famine seemed to be indifference to human life, it now shows to deliberate murder.

    And the Obamas want to gain control of the food supply.

  • Yes, Communism always has been deadly, but the lesson keeps getting shuffled out of sight.

    “Marxism is intellectualism for stupid people” — very good.

  • James H, London says:

    I grew up in South Africa during the ‘Total Onslaught’ days of the 1980s. Even then it sickened me to see how my trendy, liberal, fellow white English-speakers continually poo-poohed the idea that communism was evil. The historical churches were hopelessly in hock to Liberation Theology and Archbishop Tutu proclaimed that if the USSR were to invade South Africa, black people would welcome them as liberators.

    Today, the only one who seems to have changed his public tune is Archbishop Tutu (which is greatly to his credit). All the others have quietly melted into the background – of other countries where their money is safe.

    Hitchens and his ilk should be hunted down and hanged. Then drawn, then quartered.

  • -JC says:

    Andy Freeman, probably one of the usual suspects, said on
    December 16, 2010 at 12:46 pm that “Communism’s “noble” intentions are exactly the same as Nazism’s noble intentions” which, of course, is simply not true but is typical propaganda running exactly counter to the gist of the post that started this thread.

    For a complete understanding of such foolishness, see the made for relatively left-liberal PBS “Hitler’s War,” by David Irving, for starters, and– for balance, then have a look at his Churchill’s War.

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