This was originally written CIRCA 1970. When you read it you will understand it’s relevance to today.
The Communist bloc in Eastern Europe is disintegrating. Nation after nation is rejecting Communism and seeking a democratic form of government. Americans, refugees, and our government are overjoyed. The inhuman excesses of Joe Stalin and his brand of Communism are discredited, and a new dawn bringing the blessings of freedom is anticipated.
Certainly this realization of the economic and humanistic bankruptcy of the Communist system is welcome. Certainly this realization is the first step. What next?
If we and the world are to profit from the awful Communist experiment we need to know what happened. The problem didn’t start with Joe Stalin nor even Lenin. It goes back to about 1825 when philosophers conceived ideas that led to Karl Marx’s book “The Communist Manifesto” in 1875. His ideas became the basis for the political system known as “socialism”. Russia is called the “Union of Soviet Socialist Republics”, USSR. Hitler’s political party in Germany was the “National Socialist Party”, the Nazis. These violent systems were socialist. Other nations have become partially socialist, which is to say that they didn’t apply socialist theories to the entire economy. Some of these socialist experiments avoided violence for a time, some were moderately workable for a time.
The real lesson of recent history is that we shouldn’t assign all the blame to Stalin for his clones. The real culprit is Marx. His socialist ideas led to centralized powerful governments which were soon able to ignore the ideas or rights of the people. Eventually this led to their downfall, but not until the Russian Communists killed over 30 million of their own people, including over 7 million Ukrainians in the 1930’s alone. The Chinese killed over 50 million their own and continue to murder and oppress their people in or to stay in power. Cuba, Europe, Ethiopia, Nicaragua, and Angola still suffer.
The culprit is a too strong government. When a government gets too large, even if originally trying to benefit the people through using its power, it ends abusing the system. First there are excessive regulations aand excessive taxation. This followed by oppression, and finally a slave state results. Marx gave an idealism to this process which enchanted intellectuals for over a hundred years. Big government, welfare states, and excessive regulations for whatever humanistic proposals lead alike to failure of the system as a whole. Today American has hampered itself in the name of “rights” for many groups. Unlimited use of government power for racial, age, handicapped, welfare, religious, sex, and environmental affairs has led to an unwieldy bureaucracy that is an expensive evil in itself. Worthy ideas seem to be carried to excess if we fail to guard our liberty.
The failure of the socialist systems of Eastern Bloc should carry a message for us. America, the Gulliver of nations, can be tied down with many small strings. Whether these strings are knotted in place because of the idealism of Marx or the idealism of humanistic bureaucrats matters little. For whom does the bell toll? It tolls for thee.