Socialism Again?


An older friend once said to me that America's collective memory endures about twenty years, and then a new generation of events eclipses it and implants itself. The implosion of the Soviet Union and the fall of the Berlin Wall—the Marxist Last Supper—happened thirty-four years ago; so my guess is that few Americans today have enough recollection of those events to explain in detail how and why they happened.


As a result, the socialist siren has begun singing her vindictive melody again, and Americans by the thousands are listening. The crass level of rhetoric, the instigation to violence, and demonizing of whole classes of people, marks its senseless return. We thought that it had collapsed forever in the twentieth century, ending its heyday forever. But the prominence of Facebook has permitted it to make a scary return: Socialism all over again!

Dr. Asatar Bair teaches economics at Riverside City College in California. He identifies himself as an unabashed Soviet sympathizer. Is this guy for real? Dr. Bair holds forth about capitalist-induced poverty and homelessness. He looks sixtyish, old enough to know better! His friends might call him "Ol' Chip on his Shoulder." You're never too old for a little envy and resentment!

So I decided to do a reality-check of Socialism's historical performance. It makes terrible reading. Most Americans remember the term "Nazi," its logo the Swastika, and its concentration camps, but most probably don't know that the term "Nazi" is an abbreviation for "National Socialism." I'm not kidding. Looking at the Nazi propaganda posters, they remind me a lot of the FB posts from Asatar Bair and the Hampton Institute, just crass anti-capitalism.


When I was preparing my book Freedom is a Public Utility for publication, I read up on the Soviet  Union. Its proper name "The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics" denotes its left-wing orientation.  Judging from its performance and end-results, the Soviet Union was a destructive, horrific failure. Western journalists finally exposed Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin's reign of terror, incredulous at his cruelty toward his own people. The new movie Mr. Jones relates the story of Gareth Jones, a Welsh journalist who revealed in 1933 that Stalin had induced a famine that starved a million Ukrainians to death. His stories appeared in The Times of London and the Manchester Guardian.

An American reporter Harold Denny revealed that Stalin had also purged his military by murdering his generals and most of the officer-class. He had also murdered most of the leadership class of the Soviet Union. Denny's articles appeared in the New York Times and Time magazine. Between him and Gareth Jones, there existed enough evidence to tar Stalin for life.

As I continued my research into the Soviet Union, however, I learned that four hundred prominent left-wing Americans had co-signed an "Open Letter" in August, 1939, to the editor of Nation magazine to complain that the United States had an unjustifiable negativity toward the Soviet Union. Some of the the co-signers needed no introduction—Ernest Hemingway, Langston Hughes, James Thurber, Dashiell Hammett,  the poet William Carlos Williams, Broadway impressario George Kaufman, and Waiting for Lefty author Clifford Odets. They posted the Open Letter on August 10th.

The magazine Soviet Russia Today republished the Open Letter September 5th, astoundingly four days after the Soviet Union had started its invasion of Poland! The least that one can say about the timing of the Open Letter is that it puts the signatories in an awkward position, totally out of touch with the political realities of the nation they claimed to support. The Open Letter also reveals how slightly Stalin regarded American sympathizers.

That so many educated left-wingers glibly parroted the Soviet Union's systematic falsehoods and rationalized its ruthlessness really bothered me. They remained faithful till the bitter end, even after the Soviets signed a non-aggression pact with the Nazis just twelve days after the publication of the Open Letter! Since the Nazis and the Soviets intended to invade Poland from opposite sides, the non-aggression pact protected their troops from "friendly fire." The invasion of Poland started just nine days after the signing of the non-aggression pact. Among its atrocities, the Soviets murdered 15,000 Polish officers in a field near Katyn, Poland.

Younger Americans, not familiar with these events, need to understand the mentality of Americans at that time, in order to understand the truth about the so-called "Anti-Soviet hysteria" and "Anti-Communist Witch-hunts." The hysteria and witch-hunts were based on real events—genocide, endless massacres, and the utterly senseless "Great Purge." Average Americans of that time could not fathom the stupidity of the Open-Letter signatories. Modern Americans need to take note the gullibility of past prominent leftists and be vigilant!