Originally Posted by Jennifer Oriel
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.
The refusal to acknowledge the communist legacy of genocide provides fertile ground for the renewal of the totalitarian left. The Bolshevik revolution provides an opportunity to remember the past century of communist genocide so that we are not doomed to repeat it.
The ignorance of Western populations about the reality of communism has paved the way for a resurgence of the hard left. Amassing under the banner of anti-fascism, militant leftists have declared November 4 as the day their coup against the US government begins. The ignorance that sustains Western tolerance for left-wing totalitarians is cultivated by the popular rebranding of genocidal communists as revolutionary heroes.
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.
The New York Times has launched a special series, The Red Century, to commemorate the centenary of the Russian Revolution. Consider this quote from a recent column: “For all its flaws, the communist revolution taught Chinese women to dream big.”
What an incredible revision of genocide. What about the estimated 50 million people killed by Chinese communism? What about the thousands of women and girls raped? What about the mother of Zhang Hongbing, who was executed by firing squad because she disrespected the image of Chairman Mao?
What about the grandmother and granddaughter buried alive for being class enemies? What about the female intellectuals tortured and killed for harbouring politically incorrect thoughts? What about Lin Zhao, who was executed after being tortured for criticising socialism? What about her mother, who only learned of the execution after a Communist Party official demanded she pay 5c for the bullet that killed her daughter? What about all the peasant women condemned to agonising death by mass starvation? If you want to understand the depravity of Chinese communism, put down the PC press and pick up Frank Dikotter’s The Cultural Revolution.
Fashionable silence about the genocidal legacy of communism has paved the way for a resurgence of the hard left. Mercifully, the hard right has been denied such an opportunity. Thanks to the dedication of Jewish survivors and the postwar consensus on Nazism, young people learn about the horrors of the Holocaust in schools and popular media. Nazi is a term of derision. Hitler is held up for scorn. All that is as it should be. While Holocaust revisionism is banned in some countries, communist revisionism is all the rage.
Totalitarian communists are venerated by the 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.
By way of example, consider that British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn hired Andrew Murray for his campaign team. Murray was a leading member of the Communist Party with a track record of public speeches praising red terrorists like Stalin, Trotsky and the murderous ideology of Marxism-Leninism. The Independentnewspaper reported that when asked about Murray’s “Stalinist” sympathies, Corbyn defended him, saying: “I don’t believe that Andrew is anything other than a democratic socialist and member of the Labour Party like me.”
Now that the election is over, we can see what Corbyn’s democratic socialism looks like. Murray is booked to speak at an event celebrating the Bolshevik revolution. The organising committee states: “The Russian Revolution had a profound impact on British society and we intend to mark its centenary with a diverse program of national events celebrating it as a positive development for both our country and for humanity.”
Scholars of genocide do not celebrate the Russian Revolution as a “positive development” for humanity. 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 and the Soviet Union moved to adopt a more restrained and largely non-murderous domestic policy.”
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.