May Day – Victims of Communism Day

What better way to commemorate May Day than to remember and honor the billions who have and continue to suffer under communism and the tens of millions who have been murdered in the name of this vile and heinous ideology.

Ilya Somin in The Washington Post:

Victims of Communism Day 2017

Today is May Day. Since 2007, I have defended the idea of using this date as an international Victims of Communism Day. I outlined the rationale for this proposal (which was not my original idea) in my very first post on the subject:

May Day began as a holiday for socialists and labor union activists, not just communists. But over time, the date was taken over by the Soviet Union and other communist regimes and used as a propaganda tool to prop up their [authority]. I suggest that we instead use it as a day to commemorate those regimes’ millions of victims. The authoritative Black Book of Communism estimates the total at 80 to 100 million dead, greater than that caused by all other twentieth century tyrannies combined. We appropriately have a Holocaust Memorial Day. It is equally appropriate to commemorate the victims of the twentieth century’s other great totalitarian tyranny. And May Day is the most fitting day to do so….

Our comparative neglect of communist crimes has serious costs. Victims of Communism Day can serve the dual purpose of appropriately commemorating the millions of victims, and diminishing the likelihood that such atrocities will recur. Just as Holocaust Memorial Day and other similar events help sensitize us to the dangers of racism, anti-Semitism, and radical nationalism, so Victims of Communism Day can increase awareness of the dangers of left-wing forms of totalitarianism, and government control of the economy and civil society.

This year is a particularly important time to remember the victims of Communism because of the approaching one hundredth anniversary of the October Revolution – Bolshevik takeover of Russia. The Soviet Union was not the most oppressive communist regime. It probably did not match the even more thoroughgoing totalitarianism of the Khmer Rouge and North Korea. Nor did it kill the most people – a record held by Mao Zedong the Chinese communists. But the Soviet experiment was the principal model for all the later communist states, and it is hard to imagine communists seizing control of so much of the world without it. In addition to the significant material aid that the Soviets provided to communists in other nations, the communist seizure of power in Russia also greatly boosted the ideology’s prospects elsewhere.

To this day, some claim that Soviet communism was originally a positive development and only went bad later, after Joseph Stalin came to power. But Stalin’s crimes were largely extensions of the earlier practices of Lenin. And it is unlikely that things would have gone better if Stalin had lost out to Leon Trotsky, his principal rival in the struggle for power. In some ways, Trotsky’s agenda was even worse than Stalin’s.

As British scholar Tony Brenton and other leading historians show in an important recent book, the rise of communism in Russia was very much an avoidable tragedy, and far from inevitable. Hopefully, we can learn from its history and find ways to reduce the risk of similar atrocities in the future.

Continue reading HERE.

1 thought on “May Day – Victims of Communism Day”

  1. And still, to this day, the Russians continue to carry on as if the incalculable amount of deaths, suffering, misery and destruction wrought by the USSR, directly or indirectly, all over the world, is not their responsibility. There has been no admission of guilt and no expression of shame, not even feigned remorse–it’s like “Oh, well, whatever bad stuff may have happened is old history and we’re moving on and turning the page,” or something. Truly beneath contempt.

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