The Bolshevik Revolution recently turned 100. While the genocidal empire it birthed may have vanished, communism retains its utopian appeal.
According to a 2011 Rasmussen poll, 11 percent of Americans think that communism would better serve this country’s needs than our current system. The “Annual Report on U.S. Attitudes towards Socialism,” released in October by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, may explain the ideology’s diminishing stigma: Americans are increasingly ignorant of its history. A third of millennials believe more people were killed under George W. Bush than were killed under Stalin.
To don a swastika and walk down a city street is to invite looks of disgust or worse. The social costs of displaying the emblem of the Soviet Union are much smaller.
Given the fact that communist and fascist ideologies both tolerate mass murder to bring about their respective ideal societies, this double standard makes no sense.
Perhaps with communism, the connection between the belief system and the atrocities is slightly more tangential. But the connection is there and readily apparent. The inexorable pursuit of a workers’ paradise killed more than 100 million people in the 20th Century.
Granted, a neo-nazi is likely to be a psychologically scarier person than a Marxist. To the extent that that is true, it is in large part the result of insufficient time spent on the Soviet Union and Maoist China in history classes.
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