stat counnnter

Friday, November 08, 2019

Stopping the growth of communism

The Detroit News of Nov 7th editorial page carried an oped by Marion Smith, the executive director of the congressionally authorized Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. The oped title is "How to stop the communist comeback." He writes:
"Confronted with communist aggression, moral clarity is precisely what's needed. This is where Michigan can step up."
I couldn't agree more. About his organization he writes:
"Our organization is urging state lawmakers and city leaders to designate an annual day of commemoration on Nov.7. Three states have already established a Victims of Communism Memorial Day. As we mark this anniversary (of the fall of the Berlin wall), we should recognize the 100 million people killed by communism, and the 1.5 billion people who still live it its thrall."
I support this goal especially since our schools and universities have failed miserably in their responsibility to teach students about the horrors and evils of communism. He concludes with:
"The Berlin Wall fell, but communism didn't. The sooner we acknowledge this, the sooner we can stop this evil ideology from capturing more American hearts."
Again, I agree completely. But we need to look further into why so many people still think communism is an ideal even in light of its horrendous history of human slaughter and starvation. First, we have to see that Communism as a political system is just the most consistent form of collectivism. Whether it's socialism, democratic or otherwise, fascism or a mixture of them, all are forms of collectivism.

As a social philosophy, collectivism says that the sovereign power resides in the collective which means the group, the society, the public, and so on. It says the individual has no rights and can be sacrificed to the collective whenever it thinks such is in its interest.

 It is opposite of the philosophy of individualism upon which the founders tried to erect a free society where the sovereign power resides in the individual and the state exists to protect him by recognizing his rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of his happiness. Its moral code is one of rational self interest, not sacrifice.

However all political systems are founded on some moral code. Up to and including the Enlightenment most societies were built on the morality of sacrifice and there is a lot of confusion today of what that concept means.

Most people today think that sacrifice is giving up something of value to get something else. But that is a trade not a sacrifice.

In her essay "Racism" in her book "The Virtue of Selfishness" she wrote:
"Collectivism holds that the individual has no rights, that his life and work belong to the group...and the group may sacrifice him at its own whim to its own interests. The only way to implement such a doctrine is by means of brute force--and statism has always been the political corollary of collectivism."

And this means the only sure way to stop the comeback of communism is to challenge its morality of sacrifice. All other efforts will only slow down its growth but not stop it.

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