Communism

Communism Turns 100

Nothing to celebrate.

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This year marks the hundredth anniversary of one of the worst mistakes ever made: the Communist revolution in Russia.

Communist regimes went on to kill about 100 million people. Most died in famines after socialist tyrants forced people to practice inefficient collective farming. Millions of others were executed in political purges.

Yet when the Russian Revolution happened, people both inside and outside Russia were excited. Crowds cheered Lenin. No longer would nobles rule; no longer would capitalists exploit workers. Now the people would prosper together.

British journalist Theodore Rothstein wrote, "The undivided sway of the Imperialist nightmare is at an end… (there will be) rule of the labouring classes."

But you can't have government plan every aspect of people's lives and expect things to go well. Instead, you get bureaucratic planning commissions and secret police.

That won't stop some Americans from celebrating Communism's anniversary.

A day of anti-Trump protests is scheduled for Nov. 4, and I'm sure some protestors will wave hammer-and-sickle flags. Some will wear Che Guevara shirts.

A few commentators will call the protesters "idealistic" but impractical. They shouldn't. We should call them supporters of mass murder.

Lenin ordered the hanging of 100 property owners at the very start of the Revolution, saying people needed to see the deaths of "landlords, rich men, bloodsuckers."

Mass murder and starvation rapidly increased the death toll after that.

It wasn't exactly what philosopher Karl Marx had in mind—but it shouldn't have surprised anyone. Marx's writing is filled with comparisons of capitalists to werewolves and other predators who must be destroyed.

Marx admitted that capitalism is productive but said that "capital obtains this ability only by constantly sucking in living labor as its soul, vampire-like."
Even as the Russian regime killed millions, some journalists and intellectuals covered up the crimes.

Stalin kept most media out, so few Americans knew that millions were starving, but New York Times writer Walter Duranty saw it first-hand.

Yet he "covered up Stalin's crimes," says Tom Palmer of the Atlas Network, a group that promotes free market ideas around the world.

Because Duranty wanted to support "the cause," he wrote that "report of a famine in Russia is today an exaggeration or malignant propaganda."

Duranty "saw the truckloads of bodies," says Palmer, yet "he wrote on the front page of The New York Times how wonderful everything was." He even got a Pulitzer Prize for it.

In some ways, times haven't changed that much. This year, the Times ran a series of essays commemorating the anniversary of Russian Communism, including one piece arguing that sex was better in the Soviet Union because the Revolution destroyed macho capitalist culture.

At least The New York Times eventually admitted that Duranty's work was "some of the worst reporting in this newspaper," but the Pulitzer committee never withdrew its prize.

Communism kills wherever it's practiced. But people still people believe. Making a video on Communism's hundredth anniversary, I interviewed Lily Tang Williams, who grew up under the regime in China.

"Mao was like a god to me," she recounts. "In the morning, we were encouraged to chant and to confess to dear Chairman Mao."

Under Mao, Williams nearly starved. "I was so hungry. My uncle taught me how to trap rats. But the problem is, everybody is trying to catch rats. Rats run out, too."

Still, she says she was so brainwashed by Communist propaganda that she "cried my eyes out when Mao died."

But then, "when I was college student, I met a U.S. exchange student… He showed me a pocket Constitution and Declaration of Independence. A light bulb came on!"

For the first time, she realized, "I have rights… natural rights that cannot be taken away. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

She escaped to the United States. Now she says her mission in life is to teach Americans the importance of liberty.

I think her message is wiser than that of Karl Marx, Lenin and Stalin.

"Big, powerful government, it's very scary," she warns. "It will keep growing like cancer, will never stop. If you empower government, not the individuals, we're going to lose this free country!"

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  1. “But people still people believe”

    Indeed, people stilled the people who believed.

    1. Indeed. Communism is truly an existential threat to humanity. Anyone who subscribes to this kind of evil deserves no mercy.

      1. Which is why I and my fellow Grammar Wehrmacht troopers will not stop until Stosselgrad has fallen.

      2. Since Communism is so evil, the wars against Communism must be good. Try telling that to a lot of Libertarians.

        1. Some Libertarians are still scared to fight back even when the NAP easily allows for preemptively defending yourself. The socialists have been wanting to kill and actually killing Libertarians for over a century.

          It might be time to fight back.

          1. I’ll not have you talk about Jeff Hummell that way! To socialist impersonators, aggression is self defense just as property is theft.

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          2. What exactly are you suggesting? Fight back against who? Preemptive “defense” against who? Random self-identified socialists? Democrats? Your reasoning sounds very similar to antifa’s justifications of their violence.

            1. We could start with antifa, and work our way up

          3. What? The non-aggression principle is an ethical concept not public policy. NAP also has different meanings to different people.

        2. An ideology being evil doesn’t mean every war against adherents of that ideology are good or justified. Is it the US’s job or obligation to take out every evil dictator in the world?

          1. No. If we would just revert to sound fiscal policies, reduce debt and allow more free markets with no regulation, no protectionism, and no cronyism, we could once again become the beacon of commerce and capitalism that the world used to envy. That would pull more people out of misery and poverty by spreading free trade and innovation. It would also expose further the fraud of socialism/fascism/communism. It would also expose people like putin, moduro, kim, assad, etc. for the scum and evil that they represent.

            We should let countries like china and Russia go bankrupt playing world police for a while.

            1. We should use those prInciples to actively bankrupt them. Then execute the stragglers

  2. Marxists have no right to exist.

    1. Fuck off.

      1. Why? Are you a commie sympathizer? Kill a commie for mommy. That’s what I always say.

  3. In 1996, while visiting the former USSR controlled satellites of Romania, Bulgaria, and Ukraine I was shocked to see people waiting in line for propane.

    Not because there was some natural disaster that caused a shortage of propane for your BBQ grill. These people were waiting in line for propane to cook with. These countries are in Europe and had been exposed to “superior” Communist technology for decades.

    Socialism is a mental disease that has eaten away at the logical parts of one’s brain. History has shown that people work harder overall when they can keep the fruits of their labor and make life better for their families compared to being forced under threat of death to give so much to others.

  4. Still, she says she was so brainwashed by Communist propaganda that she “cried my eyes out when Mao died.”

    But then, “when I was college student, I met a U.S. exchange student… He showed me a pocket Constitution and Declaration of Independence. A light bulb came on!”

    We need a Jack Chick for liberty.

    1. Freedom Tracts

  5. Lets not forget the damag commies did to this country. they inflitrated our government and gave niggers all kinds of rites they dint diserve. made those niggers go to our wite schools so they could pregnate all our wite girls. and made all our wite men imptent with floreen in the drinkin water. makes our teeth stronger bullshit, just a commie plot made all the wite men imptent and the niggers made all those mulatto children

    1. That’s top notch insanity. You should hang out with Rachel Maddow.

      1. It’s either Mary Stack or that fucking retard Michael Hihn (or David Nolan, or whatever the fuck he’s calling himself these days).

        1. This isn’t Hihn’s style.

          1. Smells like American Socialist. He keeps showing up with different handles trying to prove that Communists weren’t all that bad because they supported civil rights sometimes and were against some wars. Cherry picking is easy enough for a learning impaired one like himself.

            1. It’s AmSoc

          2. Hihn’s not smart enough for this.

      2. Son I resent yore coment. Ive bin a libraterian all my life my daddy was a libraterian bak in the 50s. he suported states rites to keep niggers seprated from wite folk. matter of fact he fownded the LP of cooter county alabama

        1. You come off as a liberal hack trying to discredit a philosophy you don’t understand by pretending to be a part of it and the culture you believe represents its members. You are a transparent idiot of the highest order.

          1. You come off as a liberal hack trying to discredit a philosophy you don’t understand

            ^ This.

            1. To be fair, that describes most progtards.

          2. It doesn’t really help that there are a bunch of people around here claiming to be libertarians who unironically espouse pretty much the same ideas with better spelling.

        2. Finally! A REAL libertarian showed up!

          I’ve been waiting for years and years!

          What’s it like?

          1. We’ve finally seen a true Scotsman.

        3. Usually this kind of low-rent trolling only appears on the Federalist. Have your handlers had to cut back your pay since the Clinton Foundation’s funding has dried up?

        4. Remember a time when women couldn’t vote and certain folk had to use different water fountains?
          Pepperidge Farm remembers.

          1. Tu quoque much, biatch?

      3. More like top notch trolling.

        1. Well, trolling for sure. Top notch it ain’t.

      4. Pretty sure it’s the slime-bag commie kid. It fits his attempts at sarcastic ‘humor’.

        1. i agree-it’s American Socialist/Robespierre-Joseph Stalin (or whatever he goes by now).

    2. Oh, my yes, let’s claim the Civil Rights movement for the Liberal Left Democrats! And pretend that Jim Crow was in any way comparable to Staln’s mass murders!

      *spit*

      Pissant.

  6. 100 years old and it has never looked better.

  7. Communism isn’t a hundred years old. It is simply another flavor of forced collectivism, like socialism. And the idea is ancient. After all, it makes sense on the family level. Everyone pitches in to the best of their ability, and they are get what they need. That’s what families do.

    However when imposed by force over people who are not related to each other, it always fails.

    But since it appeals to basic human nature, it will always rear its ugly head. Again and again.

    Because it makes sense emotionally. Facts be damned.

    1. It appeals to stupid people on a much larger scale and with far more success.

      Socialism is an affliction of imbeciles first and foremost. How else can people just ignore the trove of historical evidence of the abject failures and atrocities of fascism/socialism/communism?

      1. I don’t think smarts has anything to do with it. It can appeal to intelligent people as well as dummies because it feels true. I know plenty of otherwise intelligent people who are totally enamored by forced equality. After all, the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Value is proportional to the work that is put into something. Those things are logically false, but they feel true. So otherwise intelligent people who are guided by their emotions can totally fall for socialism.

        1. That’s my point though. There are two types of intelligence. Some people are smart enough to make some money but are too ignorant to se the inevitability of a little bit of socialism.

          kind of like sociopathic politicians. Obama was smart enough to dupe the world and smart enough to play people like puppets. He was not smart enough, however, to use that power to advance the human condition by advocating for free markets and liberty and pulling people out of poverty the world over through capitalism.
          Therefore, I find him and most other advocates of the three isms to be imbeciles of the highest order. Successful or not.

          1. I don’t think success is a measure of intelligence. I think of intelligence as the ability to solve problems and see patterns. IQ. But that intelligence can be blinded by emotion, or used to come up with fallacious reasoning based upon false premises that feel true (wealth equals money, labor theory of value, fixed wealth within society…).

            My father is an otherwise intelligent guy. But when you mention things like “rich people” or “capitalism” he has an emotional reaction. You can see it on his face. He gets angry and envious and jealous. The rational part of his brain switches off and the lizard brain takes over. He turns into a full blown Bernie-bot.

            And you can’t reason someone out of something they arrived at by emotion.

            1. My guess is the envy factor is what accounts for 90% of the popularity of these ideas. Many ordinary people just can’t help but be emotionally triggered by other people who are better looking, smarter, or richer. And if someone that they perceive to be less intelligent than themselves is also richer, that’s like a double slap in the face insult to the jealous, resentful types.

            2. you can’t reason someone out of something they arrived at by emotion.

              Tangent: Scott Adams has been using the Trump phenomenon to illustrate this point for two years, and roughly 3/4 of the comments I read about his work completely miss this point.

              1. I haven’t read Dilbert in years.

                1. He’s done so in his blog and gotten quite a bit of pub in the greater media landscape for doing so.

            3. But that intelligence can be blinded by emotion, or used to come up with fallacious reasoning based upon false premises that feel true (wealth equals money, labor theory of value, fixed wealth within society…).

              Anyone blinded by emotion while problem solving is at a significant disadvantage in every situation and outcome imaginable.

              I can’t consider such people intelligent, and if they are because everyone else says so, then the word is meaningless.

              1. My Marxist aunt considers all her lefty friends to be very intelligent. But over the years I’ve come to find that her assessment of intelligence is imore closely to their adherence to progressivism ithan their actual cognitive ability or creativity.

          2. Oh, Obama was SMART enouugh to advocate all those things. He just didn’t WANT to. He LIKES belonging to a powerful and arbitrary political class that orders all the peasants around.

            In other words he’s a minorly evil Democrat Establishment Twit, one each.

        2. Maybe it’s just that I’m a Crank, but collectivism has NEVER ‘felt right’ to me. I have NEVER understood the radical left’s fascination with anthills. Ants are SLAVES. Alll of them, even the poor queen. Who is that ADMIRABLE?!?!?!

      2. They ignore it because they secretly believe that, however miserable the peasants will be, THEY will belong to the ruling clique, junta, what-have-you.

  8. Under Mao, Williams nearly starved. “I was so hungry. My uncle taught me how to trap rats. But the problem is, everybody is trying to catch rats. Rats run out, too.”

    See, under communism the rodent problem fixes itself.

  9. We should call them supporters of mass murder.

    Indeed. The same idiots that wear the likeness of an actual mass murderer on a t-shirt from Old Navy (Lol!) think your MAGA hat represents genocide. They need to be put in there place.

    1. Their place, even.

  10. (there will be) rule of the labouring classes

    So… kind of like where we’re at now. Only slowly bleeding us dry instead of the mass famine. But we’ll get there!

    1. We are working hard at it. Taking over one massive sector at a time. Energy sector is rife with cronyism. Now they have taken over the healthcare sector. Cronyism will abound and quality of service and choices will disappear.
      The military industrial complex is a total cronyist, protectionist scheme. I always wonder how many americans are either directly employed by it or indirectly employed in support industries and as vendors.

      What other sectors am I missing?

      How many amercians are basically already at the government tit?
      I would say a vast swath of them given how many idiots line up at the polls to divide into camps and vote for Dems or Repubs which are the exact same thing.

      1. There is that, but I was thinking more of public sector unions that have total control of local politics wherever they take root. In my city there is zero chance of stopping them from banding together and emptying my wallet.

        1. Have you thought of moving to another city/country? Do you work for a living rather than living off your investments?

          1. mtrueman|11.1.17 @ 2:15PM|#
            “Have you thought of moving to another city/country? Do you work for a living rather than living off your investments?”

            Were you born an annoying asshole, or did it take long years of practice to become one?

              1. “Both” was certainly possible.

  11. We should make communism a cake.

    All it takes is 1. wheat. Collectives hardly ever over exploit the resources.
    2. Sugar – they can just import sugar from multiple competitors to get the best prices. Oh wait, no free trade. Only Cuban sugar goes to the richest communists.
    3. Candles – they can get those from the grocery store in pre-wrapped,, multiple colors for about $0.99. But the candle maker went bankrupt because of price controls.
    4. Cardboard box – made in a state factory town in the siberia where most spare paper and card board is used to insulate the walls from the miserable cold living conditions.
    5. Efficient technologically advanced mixer – That can be purchased with myriad credit options at the local shopping mall from many diverse retailers. Oh wait.

  12. “Idealistic” is how conservative and progressive altruists describe their noble experiments ending in mass murder, financial collapse and economic depression. They only disagree on whether people should be sacrificed to God or the Proletariat. It’s ironic that “Frankenstein” became a Boris Karloff movie in 1930, in the middle of Herbert Hoover’s noble experiment with prosperity just around the corner of perfect prohibition enforcement.

    1. I wasn’t aware that conservatives killed millions of people. Thanks for the history lesson. Oh, wait…

      1. We do bomb lots of middle eastern people in huts at the drop of a hat. We still are a distant second to communism and dictatorships(same thing).

        1. Who is this “we” you’re talking about. I didn’t bomb anyone, though I was forced to pay for it against my will.

          And there is a big difference between dropping bombs on enemies and killing your own people by the millions.

          1. I didn’t kill anyone either amnd I share your sentiments entirely.
            I was thinking about this the other day. What is the most hated entity in the world?

            The middle east hates the US gov’t. The leftists sort of hate the US gov’t when their side is out. The conservatives sort of hate the gov’t when their side is out.
            Communists hate it. The true opposite of communism, real libertarians, hate the gov’t. Preppers and off the grid types hate the gov’t. private property and rule of law advocates hate it although still appreciate that it is the best place and best chance for both.

            You would think people would figure out the pattern hear and stop hating capitalism and liberty.

      2. Try to remember that Hank is a mental patient I’m a mental institution . He occasionally slips out after curfew and gets to an Internet connected computer.

  13. “In some ways, times haven’t changed that much. This year, the Times ran a series of essays commemorating the anniversary of Russian Communism, including one piece arguing that sex was better in the Soviet Union because the Revolution destroyed macho capitalist culture.”

    We need a chart/matrix whereby we can easily determine what cause trumps crimes against humanity and mass extermination, and who is more protected than whom. Any takers on this?

    1. No so much a chart as this:

      DC and Hollywood and all of their worshippers – live

      Everyone else – property taken and death/labor camps abound.

    2. Isn’t it already documented in the hot/crazy matrix?

      1. One of my favorites.

    3. “and who is more protected than whom. Any takers on this?”

      You don’t need a chart to tell you that the Turks have been shielded from the consequences of their atrocities. Or the Americans.

      1. Hmmm; Palin’s Butt Plug/aka “chickenshit,” Roach Pierre Stalinist; Tony, American Socialist, and you. I believe you are all the same person. If not you might as well be.

        I agree with you about the Turks by the way; stone walling can go a long way in denying whatever you want to be other than what it is or was.. The Soviets [worker’s paradise if you prefer] were the world’s greatest in that regard. Until the evil Reagan made them “tear down that wall.”

        1. “Until the evil Reagan made them “tear down that wall.”

          It was torn down by Germans, and not because Reagan made them do it.

          “I believe you are all the same person.”

          I’m not a socialist. I was rooting for Trump during the last presidential election.

  14. The New York Times eventually admitted that Duranty’s work was “some of the worst reporting in this newspaper,”

    I bet that hurt going down.

    1. How many still admire Noam Chomskey, you known, the guy who dismissed all of those eye witness accounts of mass murder under the bucolic regime of Pol Pot?

      One of my favorite examples of poetic justice concerns the murder of an the British academic and committed Marxist named Malcolm Caldwell; he was killed in Cambodia in 1978 after years of denying the documented brutality that had been occurring there, and then stating that in spite of the atrocities he could no longer ignore that “the revolution deserved support” and was worth the cost. He was shot dead by his hosts a few hours later.

      1. It’s funny how often they sort themselves out.

        It’s not an economic model; it’s a murder-suicide pact.

        1. I can just imagine the asshole’s last words: “Wait! No! Not ME! Go kill another little shit-peasant who doesn’t matter!”

      2. “How many still admire Noam Chomskey,”

        Noam didn’t do too badly considering the fact that he never set foot in Cambodia and did all his research out of his MIT office.

    2. “The New York Times eventually admitted that Duranty’s work was “some of the worst reporting in this newspaper,””

      What is sadder yet is that it may not be true…

  15. Well, after all, it has only been 20 five year plans.
    Maybe we should give it another 100 years before we condemn it as a failure.

    1. “Maybe we should give it another 100 years before we condemn it as a failure.”

      Communist China will probably be the world’s pre-eminent power long before then.

      1. China liberalized some sectors of their economy. Quite the opposite of a 5 year plan. The Great Leap Forward was more akin to a 5 year plan. But that might be too nuanced for a historically challenged true believer like yourself.

        Clearly what China needs are more famine-inducing policies. Utopia is always just around the corner!

        1. China is still operating under 5 year plans. The current one started last year and will continue till 2020, some 4 years from now.

          1. mtrueman|11.1.17 @ 2:46PM|#
            “China is still operating under 5 year plans. The current one started last year and will continue till 2020, some 4 years from now.”

            And you’re still a fucking ignoramus.

            1. And you are too chicken shit to denounce the Turkish massacre of Armenians with anything like the vehemence you show towards selected Soviet atrocities, even under a pseudonym.

              1. You’re still a fucking ignoramus.

          2. The success in China has absolutely nothing to do with communism.

            Remember when you paid in money for all that Chinese stuff that’s making them rich? Some “investors” invested their “capital” to acquire natural resources, hire employees, and produce that to sell to you. Because they wanted to profit by the transaction when you paid them. This is called capitalism. No central planning committee is responsible for your ikea table.

            1. “The success in China has absolutely nothing to do with communism.”

              Have you been to Beijing? Is that your idea of a successful city? Not mine, whenever I’ve passed through, I can’t get out of there quickly enough.

              1. Bu but Communist China will probably be the world’s pre-eminent power before long.

                1. Cold communist comfort to those who live in her cities.

  16. WOW I’m amazed! An actual Reason article that has mentioned and quoted John Stossel w/o showing his smug mug!!!

    I’m shocked I tells ya! Shocked!

  17. We might be closer to that kind of mass violence than we’d like to believe. I’m afraid the next economic crisis in this country will end with bankers swinging from lampposts.

    1. “I’m afraid the next economic crisis in this country will end with bankers swinging from lampposts.”

      Communists don’t need an economic crisis. China is doing comparatively well economically but has been under an ‘anti-corruption campaign’ for several years now which has netted some surprisingly high up officials from the party and the military.

  18. I grew up in communist Poland and I experienced all aspects of this evil system. The scary part it’s slowly coming to our country in the form of cronyism and bigger government involvement. Great job by John Stossel! Love your articles and videos.

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