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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The acceptability of Communism over Nazism. Walter E. Williams offers an explanation

Apparently, columnist and economist Walter E. Williams was an MC at a recent dinner for economists. The keynote speaker was University of Pennsylvania history professor, Alan Kors. Some points brought up by Kors are as follows......

"What he revealed about the dereliction and character weakness of academics, intellectuals, media elites and politicians is by no means complimentary, but worse than that, dangerous. Professor Kors said that over the years, he has frequently asked students how many deaths were caused by Josef Stalin and Mao Zedong and their successors. Routinely, they gave numbers in the thousands. Kors says that's equivalent to saying the Nazis are responsible for the deaths of just a few hundred Jews. But here's the record: Nazis were responsible for the deaths of 20 million of their own people and those in nations they conquered. Between 1917 and 1983, Stalin and his successors murdered, or were otherwise responsible for the deaths of, 62 million of their own people. Between 1949 and 1987, Mao Zedong and his successors were responsible for the deaths of 76 million Chinese. Professor Kors asks, why are the horrors of Nazism so well-known and widely condemned, but not those of socialism and communism? For decades after World War II, people have hunted down and sought punishment for Nazi murderers. How much hunting down and seeking punishment for Stalinist and Maoist murderers has there been? In Europe, especially Germany, hoisting the swastika-emblazoned Nazi flag is a crime. It's acceptable to hoist and march under a flag emblazoned with the former USSR's hammer and sickle. Even in the U.S., it's acceptable to praise mass murderers, as Anita Dunn, President Obama's communications director, did in a commencement address for St. Andrews Episcopal High School at Washington National Cathedral where she said Mao was one of her heroes. Whether it's the academic community, the media elite or politicians, there is a great tolerance for the ideas of socialism – a system that has caused more deaths and human misery than all other systems combined."

The acceptability of such a train (wreck :-P) of thought within the liberal community is something that I have observed over the years. I sort of knew why but I could never articulate the reason anywhere near as well as Williams, which may explain why they made him the John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics at George Mason University. Williams went on to offer his explanation as to why such thinking is acceptable to many of those on the left.

"the reason why the world's leftists give the world's most horrible murderers a pass is because they sympathize with their socioeconomic goals, which include government ownership and/or control over the means of production. In the U.S., the call is for government control, through regulations, as opposed to ownership. Unfortunately, it matters little whether there is a Democrat- or Republican-controlled Congress and White House; the march toward greater government control continues. It just happens at a quicker pace with Democrats in charge."

I strongly concur. I have noted in several different forums my opinion that if McCain had somehow won the last election, we would still be on the road toward socialism and global governance but at a slower more measured pace.

19 comments:

Tracy said...

Thanks for this post; very interesting that so many students had absolutely no concept of how many people were killed under Josef Stalin and Mao Sedong...very telling.

BTW - I did not know that Anita Dunn's hero is Mao; I can't imagine why she would say such a thing.

JD Curtis said...

Re: Dunn, it was in the news recently and I believe she just resigned as a result of her comments. I'm sure that they came up with another reason to explain her departure though.

JD Curtis said...

RE: the article, I also think that alot of people are under the impression that Nazism was somehow "right wing" (although it wasnt) and thus it's acceptable to bash it and then uphold, for example, Chairman Mao.

GCT said...

How is Nazism not right wing? Why do conservatives regularly conflate socialism with communism and with what was practiced by Mao and Stalin?

As for why we regard Nazism is worse, it's because the Nazis were able to kill almost as many people in a much shorter timespan, their crimes spilled out more to affect those around them, and they were mostly aimed at a specific cultural/ethnic group. We should, of course, also be appalled at the death and destruction of those other irrational, maniacal, zealots. But, it has nothing to do with empathizing with socialism or communism. And using this to state that socialism is responsible for more deaths than any other system is simply absurd.

JD Curtis said...

How is Nazism not right wing?


The important question here is...To the right of what?

GCT said...

I guess it depends on how you define things. It was certainly conservative in terms of "family values" and all of that. It was also very authoritative, but I suppose that is orthogonal on the axis of political thought to left vs. right. In terms of economics, it was rather oligarchal. Yeah, I'm still seeing right wing.

JD Curtis said...

Please enlighten me. Exactly how does one see National Socialism being equated to small government conservativism?

GCT said...

It wasn't very socialist, for one. It was oligarchal, just like Soviet Russia.

JD Curtis said...

"Until Herschel's discovery of Uranus in 1781, it was considered a matter of certainty that there were six planets. But the fact that everyone knew this to be true did not make it so. In like manner, college students and other insufferable connoisseurs of all human wisdom "know" that the historical Nazi Party epitomizes the extreme right-wing.

These supposedly right-wing extremists were calling for national health care, social security, state-run schools, communal land development and centralized government control. They were determined advocates of gun control. And if they did not believe it took a village to raise a child, they were certainly enthusiastic about public youth programs. And then there were the complaints about vast conspiracies in the private press. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?"

And all of this doesnt even begin to touch on the links between Nazi eugenicists and Planned Parenthood. Link to full article

JD Curtis said...

And oh yes, the referral to one another as "Komrad"

GCT said...

Wow, the WND? Why am I not surprised? Let's not forget that many Xians had no issue with eugenics at the time (look into the Scopes trial some day and you'll find that the Eugenics chapters of the textbook were not at issue, only the evolution sections).

And, why should we be surprised that an oligarchal government would seek to control guns, indoctrinate the youths, own the land, etc, especially if they hold their power by claiming to represent the will of the people?

JD Curtis said...

Certain Americans had no problem with eugenics back in the day. There are pro-abortionists who, in some convoluted way of thinking, consider themselves "Christian" even today.

control guns, indoctrinate the youths, own the land I don't believe these things can be considered necessarily "right-wing"

GCT said...

The Americans/Xians who prosecuted Scopes certainly didn't mind about eugenics.

Land grabbing, controlling guns to the point where only you have them, and indoctrinating youth are not right wing? Let's not be coy here. At best for you, they are neutral (i.e. not right or left wing, but authoritarian) but I still say they lean towards right wing in that they are methods of conserving an oligarchical structure of power over others, and certainly were not efforts at equality.

GCT said...

And, yes, I consider modern conservatives to be against equality.

JD Curtis said...

And who can be accused of playing "identity politics" more? Small government conservatives or Nazis?

GCT said...

Both pimp for white-bred Xians, so it's pretty equal.

JD Curtis said...

C'mon, in their speeches, rhetoric, etc., is it more a Nazi/Liberal sentiment or that of small-government conservatives? Really.

GCT said...

Why are you equating Nazi and liberal? It makes no sense. All sides play identity politics, only one side is hypocritical enough to call the other out for doing it and act as if they don't. How badly did the Repubs trash Hilary for being a woman and then turn around and claim that Palin was being unfairly treated because she's a woman? This is ridiculous and has nothing to do with whether the Nazis were left or right wing.

GCT said...

Here's a better example: gay marriage. How many times have the conservatives tried to make opposition to gay marriage the centerpiece of their election platform lately? How many times have they demonized their fellow Americans in doing so? How many times have they shown that they are anti-equality and anti-equal rights in doing so? What other group that we've been discussion was anti-equal rights?