Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Can There be an "After Socialism"? - Alan Charles Kors

The goal of socialism was to reap the cultural, scientific, creative, and communal rewards of abolishing private property and free markets, and to end human tyranny. Using the command of the state, Communism sought to create this socialist society. What in fact occurred was the achievement of power by a group of inhumane despots: Lenin, Stalin, Mao Tse-tung, Kim Il Sung, Ho Chi Minh, Pol Pot, Castro, Mengistu, Ceausescu, Hoxha, and so on, and so on.

We are invited now to discuss what follows these tyrants, and what lessons we have learned from them, and what sort of world might emerge from the loss of belief in Communism. There is one problem, however: the bodies.We are surrounded by slain innocents, and the scale is wholly new. This is not the thousands killed during the Inquisition; it is not the thousands of American lynching. This is not the six million dead from Nazi extermination. The best scholarship yields numbers that the mind must try to comprehend: scores, and scores, and scores, and scores of millions of bodies.

All around us. If we count those who died of starvation during Communists' experiments with human interactions—twenty to forty million in three years in China alone—we may add scores of millions more. Shot; dead by deliberate exposure; starved; and murdered in work camps and prisons meant to extract every last fiber of labor from human beings and then kill them. And all around us, widows and widowers and orphans.


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