The American intelligentsia has a love affair with Communism that will not die. The dead Soviets, the dead Hungarians, Czechs, Albanians, Poles, Bulgarians, etc., the dead Chinese, the dead Koreans, the dead Africans, the dead Cambodians, the dead Vietnamese, the dead Cubans, and the dead Latin Americans are all irrelevant. Those are just mistakes from Communism done the “wrong” way. The Left has absolute faith that, done the right way — the “American way” — Communism will bring about a paradise of plenty and perpetual peace. All of which shows, as I’ve learned rather painfully over me life, that brains and sense are not the same thing.
One of the worst things that has happened since 1989 is that a new generation is growing up educated by the Left about the joys of Marxism in the abstract, but without any offsetting evidence of the horrors of Marxism in practice. Yes, China and Cuba are still out there, but China has become such an important trading partner, and Cuba is so whitewashed by Hollywood, the average kid doesn’t see either as an example of Communism. Those of us who grew up during the Cold War could hear people at Berkeley or Columbia waffle on about the glories of the Soviet (and the evil that was Reagan), but the evidence of our own eyes was pretty compelling. When people keep trying to escape their own country, you suspect that more is going on than meets the ideologically blinded academic eye.
Glenn Beck is trying to meet and challenge this scary cultural ignorance. Although I don’t watch his show, I’ve heard from many that he’s been on an educational crusade, trying to make his viewers appreciate just how disastrous Communism in action is. (Actually, I would broaden this to say “socialism.” Communism was just one variation of this political plague. The word “socialism” better encompasses alternative forms of this type of government, including the Nazis.) Jamie Glazov is especially appreciative what Beck is doing, because his family suffered so terribly under the Soviets:
The tortures included laying a man naked on a freezing cement floor, forcing his legs apart, and then an interrogator stepping on his testicles, applying increasing pressure until the confession surfaced. Imagine the consequences of no surfacing confession. Indeed, many people refused to confess to a crime they did not commit.
Daughters and sons were raped in front of their fathers and mothers — for the sake of extracting “confessions.”
Both of my grandfathers were exterminated by Stalinist terror. Both of my parents, Yuri and Marina Glazov, were dissidents in the former Soviet Union. They risked their lives for freedom; they stood up against Soviet totalitarianism. They barely escaped the gulag, a fortune many of our friends and relatives did not share. I come from a system where a myriad of the closest people to my family simply disappeared, where relatives and family friends died under interrogation and torture for their beliefs — or for simply nothing at all.
Please read the whole thing. It’s not just an indictment of socialism, it’s also an attack against the “intellectuals” who shunned dissidents who actually experienced the evils of Communism. How much better to live in a world of intellectual theory, with PepsiCo as the big enemy, than acknowledge the fact that the ideology you so cheerfully embrace is responsible for more than 100 million deaths, and uncountable incidences of torture and suffering.