Monday, January 28, 2008


Christian love, which applies to all, even to one's enemies, is the worst adversary of Communism. --Nikolai Bukharin, _Pravda_, March 30, 1934

From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an Iron Curtain has descended across the Continent ... The Dark Ages may return on the gleaming wings of science. Beware, I say. Time may be short.--Winston Churchill speaks at Fulton, Missouri, on 5 March 1946

Revolutions, like trees, must be judged by their fruit," Ignazio Silone wrote, and this is the standard the authors apply to the Communist experience--in the China of "the Great Helmsman," Kim Il Sung's Korea, Vietnam under "Uncle Ho" and Cuba under Castro, Ethiopia under Mengistu, Angola under Neto, and Afghanistan under Najibullah. The authors, all distinguished scholars based in Europe, document Communist crimes against humanity, but also crimes against national and universal culture, from Stalin's destruction of hundreds of churches in Moscow to Ceausescu's leveling of the historic heart of Bucharest to the widescale devastation visited on Chinese culture by Mao's Red Guards. As the death toll mounts--as many as 25 million in the former Soviet Union, 65 million in China, 1.7 million in Cambodia, and on and on--the authors systematically show how and why, wherever the millenarian ideology of Communism was established, it quickly led to crime, terror, and repression. An extraordinary accounting, this book amply documents the unparalleled position and significance of Communism in the hierarchy of violence that is the history of the twentieth century. -- review of The Black Book of Communism Crimes, Terror, Repression Stéphane Courtois, Nicolas Werth, Jean-Louis Panné, Andrzej Paczkowski, Karel Bartosek, Jean-Louis Margolin Edited by Mark Kramer Translated by Jonathan Murphy

The real "opium of the people", distracting men's minds from their essential task, is the communist myth of an earthly paradise.
Jean Danielou, _The Lord of History_, 1958

One thing about Ronald Reagan that struck me time and again was his obvious, visceral loathing of communism. For him it wasn't just a difference of opinion about economics or governance: he saw through the whole thing to its essentially anti-human nature. And this was at a time, we all too easily forget, when plenty of people in the West -- I think a majority of the intellectual classes even as late as the 1980s -- didn't mind communism at all, thought in fact that it was just the ticket, if perhaps not for the USA, at least for poor counties like Nicaragua. Reagan had the firmest, clearest, truest moral compass of any modern President. May he rest in peace. -- John Derbyshire,

We deny all morality taken from super-human or non-class conceptions. We say that this is a deception, a swindle, a befogging of the minds of the workers and peasants in the interests of the landlords and capitalists. --Lenin, speech, October 2, 1920

We need the real, nation-wide terror which reinvigorates the country and through which the Great French Revolution achieved glory.--Lenin, 1908

Freedom is a bourgeois prejudice. We repudiate all morality which proceeds from supernatural ideas or ideas which are outside the class conception. In our opinion, morality is entirely subordinate to the interests of the class war. Everything is moral which is necessary for the annihilation of the old exploiting order and for uniting the proletariat. Our morality consists solely in close discipline and conscious warfare against the exploiters. --V.I. Lenin

From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need. --Karl Marx

Communism will probably disappear altogether when the Russian experiment comes to a climax, and Bolshevism either converts itself into a sickly imitation of capitalism or blows itself up with a bang. The former issue seems much more likely. ---H. L. Mencken, Baltimore _Evening Sun_, July 14, 1930

The trouble with Communism is the Communists, just as the trouble with Christianity is the Christians.~H.L. Mencken

Communist atheism denies any transcendent dimension to being,any call to which humans must freely respond, any standard of truth, evidence, moral integrity, and goodness by which humans are every moment being judged. For the Communist, all is nothingness except the Dialectic of History, before which and in whose name he prostrates himself. The Communist borrows from Christianity and Judaism a comfort, viz. that his prostration places him on the side of justice and compassion. Yet his comfort is unwarranted because it rests on ideas in which his premises forbid him to believe. For the Communist has only one moral principle: the Collective Will of the Party. All else can be done in that name: murder, torture, imprison, exterminate, assassinate. No other moral question can be scientifically raised. There is in man no internal source of dignity. Personal liberty and personal responsibility cannot be honored in theory, although of course they continued to live on among individuals. In theory, these realities are dismissed as bourgeois affectations. The Communist's moral comforts are stolen from elsewhere. --Michael Novak, "The Godlessness That Failed", _First Things_, June/July, 2000 absolutely contrary to the natural law itself, and, if once adopted, would utterly destroy the rights, property, and possessions of all men, and even society itself. --Pope Pius IX, _Qui Pluribus_, 1846

Marxism is a perfect example of the chimeras that fuelled the sixties. And it was probably the most potent one. Albeit, much of this Marxism would have been unrecognisable to Marx. It was Marxism watered down, Marxism spiked with LSD and Marxism adulterated with mystical food colouring. But it was Marxism nonetheless because the wildest hippie and the sternest member of the Politburo shared the same daydream, the daydream that underlies all Marxism: _that a thing might be somehow worth other than what people will give for it. This is just not true. And any system that bases itself on such a will-o'-the-wisp is bound to fail. Communes don't work. Cuba doesn't either. --P. J. O'Rourke

"All right, I can see the broken eggs. Now where's this omelette of yours?" - Victor Lvovich Khibalchich ,(1890-1947) (better known as Victor Serge)
Note: This statement was made after visiting Russia, to the pro-Leninist sentiment in the global left.

Nearly 20 years ago, confined to an 8-by-10 cell in a prison on the border of Siberia, I was granted by my Soviet jailers the 'privilege' of reading the latest copy of Pravda, the official mouthpiece of the Communist regime. Splashed across the front page was a condemnation of Ronald Reagan for having the temerity to call the Soviet Union an 'evil empire.' Tapping on walls and talking through toilets, prisoners quickly spread the word of Reagan's 'provocation' throughout the prison. The dissidents were ecstatic. Finally, the leader of the free world had spoken the truth--a truth that burned inside the heart of each and every one of us. --Natan Sharansky, "Afraid of the Truth", _The Washington Post_, October 12, 2000

Class is a communist concept. It groups people in bundles, and sets them against one another. Margaret Thatcher in Brenda Maddox, Maggie the First Lady,

Communism was the regime for the priveleged elite, capitalism the creed for the common man..- Margaret Thatcher, The Path to Power, Harper Collins,1995, p156

Communism doesn't work because people like to own stuff.--Frank Zapp

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'd be a little cautious about the Nikolai Bukharin quote. It would be interesting to see it in context, to be sure about what he actually meant (unfortunately, a more complete section of that Pravda article is not available online). Mitigating circumstances are the fact that Bukharin was executed by Stalin, and that Bukharin contributed to the Soviet Constitution of 1936, which included article 124 (dealing with religious freedom). Bottom line is that this is a complex story, and a short, extracted quote could be very misleading.