"Just what is so bad about communists?" This was the question I was asked in today's history class. Several other students echoed his question, pointing out that in that hour I had mentioned several times that fighting communists was a good thing and that the advancements by the communists in Korea and Vietnam were bad things. My students felt that I was being too judgemental about communists and pushing some sort of propaganda at them, because after all, "just what is so bad about communism."
This sort of sentiment coming from these young people should not be surprising. The educational establishment is heavily dominated by Democrats and their liberal values ever since conservatives conceded the raising of our young to them, and according to a recent Gallup poll Democrats and those who lean Democrats have a 53% favorable view of socialism and only a marginally higher positive view of the capitalism at 55%. Democrats, who appear to dominate the teacher ranks, are just about as supportive of socialism as capitalism, and over the last several decades students must have adopted these values as well and today a good number- maybe half- of our future generation believes in socialism.
It is no great leap from socialism to communism, especially when the students are not taught in any of their classes anything about communism other than generic ideas about it being bad. Lacking any specific reasons why 'communims must be bad' and believing from comments by their teachers and textbooks and other educational leaders that socialism is a good thing, the students naturally begin to doubt that communism really is that bad.
They know that capitalism is bad because they are constantly given specifics as to why capitalism and the free market and big business and making a profit are bad- in their economic classes, in their history classes, in their environmental studies classes, in their literature classes, in their music classes, and in their foreign language classes. From teachers to textbooks to conversations to video's to discussions to readings, they learn of the many specific problems with capitalism. But they do not learn the same regarding communism.
So students wonder to themselves- "just what is so bad about communism." They believe that perhaps a vanguard party of intellectuals and those who finally get it- as opposed to all those clueless old people- may be able to take charge of society and use the power and force of the government to redistribute wealth and property in the name of fairness and that this will create a better world than any sort of capitalism or free market economy would or could. These students, most of whom have never worked for anything more than minimum wage in a service industry and none of them investors or entrepreneurs or job creators- believe that if they were given more power, or if not them than someone like them like a celebrity or a hip or cool politician, than the world would be a better place.
In their ignorance and lack of knowledge, students in classrooms around the nation espouse the same sort of arguments and views that communists have made from time immoral- that if a government run by a few could take the property and freedom away from the many, than somehow the world would be a better place. And in their ignorance and foolishness these students and youths ignore real truths.
When I told my students that it would have been worse for the world if South Korea would have fallen to the communists, they asked me in all seriousness if that really would have been that bad for the people of South Korea. They have no idea how bad it has been for the people of North Korea- poor, starving, many working in slave labor camps, oppressed by their military, desperate for food or medicine, and living in constant fear of a tyrannical government.
When I told my students that it was worse when Vietnam fell to the communists, they did not believe me, even when I told them what had happened to those who had opposed and resisted the communists in Vietnam. When I mentioned that the fall of Vietnam may have led to the fall of other nations, these young kids shrugged and said so what- and then were surprised that the fall of Vietnam led to communist regimes in other nations in Southeast Asia, some of whom were quite brutal.
These students, like many liberals and many Democrats, look to China and think that the Chinese have it all figured out- that the Chinese have figured out a way to implement socialism and achieve economic growth and have a better system than America. They ignore the millions that were killed under Mao, the millions that live in utter poverty today, the escalating environmental problems in China, the constant abuses of civil liberties and civil rights, and the flaunting of copyright law and trade laws that the Chinese are engaged in that are inconsistent with being a civilized nation. Communism is not a way forward, but a way backward, as China will soon realize, especially if pressed by free-market capitalist nations.
"Just what is so bad about communism"?
According to some studies, communist probably have murdered something like 110,000,000, or near two-thirds of all those killed by all governments, quasi-governments, and guerrillas from 1900 to 1987. The Soviet Union appears the greatest megamurderer of all apparently killing near 61 million individual, Communist China especially under the communist Mao may have killed several million more, and the communist Khmer Rouge in Cambodia killed maybe 2 million out of a population of only 7 million in a little under 3 years. More people have been murdered, abused, raped, pillaged, and terrorized by communist governments- and their many Marxist or socialist varieties- than killed in wars or by terrorists over the last century.
Communism is bad because as a form of government it easily leads to the loss of life for individuals, the loss of freedom, and no protections for private property. Communism is bad because it is, based on the objective record, one of the worst forms of government that man can adopt and reasonable and sensible and decent people should be proud to fight it into extinction. And that is what is so bad about communism.