McClaughry: The communism centennial

By John McClaughry

A hundred years ago last week armed Bolsheviks seized the Winter Palace in Petrograd — now St. Petersburg — and arrested ministers of Russia’s provisional government. The world’s first Marxist-Leninist revolution put the Communist Party in full control of the totalitarian state.

John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, David Satter says, “In countries where communism came to hold sway, it hollowed out society’s moral core, degrading the individual and turning him into a cog in the machinery of the state. Communists committed murder on such a scale as to all but eliminate the value of life and to destroy the individual conscience in survivors. In a 1920 speech, Lenin said that communists subordinate morality to the class struggle. Good was anything that destroyed ‘the old exploiting society’ and helped to build a ‘new communist society’.”

“Communism’s rise to power set the stage for decades of murder on an industrial scale. In total, no fewer than 20 million Soviet citizens were put to death by the regime or died as a direct result of its repressive policies. This does not include the millions who died in the wars, epidemics and famines that were predictable consequences of Bolshevik policies. Add in the deaths caused by communist regimes that the Soviet Union created and supported — including those in Eastern Europe, China, Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam and Cambodia—the total number of victims is closer to 100 million. That makes communism the greatest catastrophe in human history.”

Even though the Soviet Empire is gone for a quarter century, the evil of Marxist-Leninist ideology, and its less vicious offspring “democratic socialism,” are still with us.

John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute

6 thoughts on “McClaughry: The communism centennial

  1. Communism, socialism or any name you may call it is pure evil. It is based on covetousness which is the tenth Commandment.

  2. Re: Their abysmal schooling failed to teach them just what Communism and Socialism are.

    “The education of all children, from the moment that they can get along without a mother’s care, shall be in state institutions.” Karl Marx

    “Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.”
    Vladimir Lenin

    “A lie told often enough becomes the truth.”
    Vladimir Lenin

    “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”
    George Orwell, 1984

    “The cat joined the Re-education Committee and was very active in it for some days. She was seen one day sitting on a roof and talking to some sparrows who were just out of her reach. She was telling them that all animals were now comrades and that any sparrow who chose could come and perch on her paw; but the sparrows kept their distance.”
    George Orwell, Animal Farm

  3. Communism is now the hallmark of the Democrat Party….only most of them are too dumb and too uneducated to realize it. Their abysmal schooling failed to teach them just what Communism and Socialism are. They have no clue. Vermont Democrats played host to their party’s leader…Keith Ellison….a Muslim and a friend of the Muslim Brotherhood. Democrats have turned into the enemy of America….decay from within.

  4. My wife grew up within a mile of the wall in SE Berlin and had family on both sides. It’s nearly impossible to have a conversation with most Americans about how truly wretched the situation in East Germany was, because they simply can’t believe the stories.
    A good family friend spent five years imprisoned in STASI headquarters because he didn’t want to be either a baker or a barber – the only two authorized job offers for male high school graduates that year.
    You’re correct that the evil is still with us.

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