Now that we have atheistic communists in the majority of the House, Senate and White House, it might be a good idea to take a look at what atheistic communist leaders have done in history. First, let’s see how the atheistic worldview of communist leaders affected religious people.
Here is what Josef Stalin did during his rule of Russia in the 1920s and 1930s.
The Library of Congress offers this in their “Soviet Archives exhibit”:
The Soviet Union was the first state to have as an ideological objective the elimination of religion. Toward that end, the Communist regime confiscated church property, ridiculed religion, harassed believers, and propagated atheism in the schools. Actions toward particular religions, however, were determined by State interests, and most organized religions were never outlawed.
The main target of the anti-religious campaign in the 1920s and 1930s was the Russian Orthodox Church, which had the largest number of faithful. Nearly all of its clergy, and many of its believers, were shot or sent to labor camps. Theological schools were closed, and church publications were prohibited. By 1939 only about 500 of over 50,000 churches remained open.
What’s the attitude of Democrat candidates to Bible-believing Christians? My read is that they think that Christian values need to be suppressed by the government lest they offend Democrat voters, who seem to be very easily offended these days. You can already see their animus towards Christians in their Equality Act, which eradicates conscience rights in order to protect (some) LGBT people from feeling offended.
The Ukraine Famine
Take a look at this UK Daily Mail article about Josef Stalin.
Now, 75 years after one of the great forgotten crimes of modern times, Stalin’s man-made famine of 1932/3, the former Soviet republic of Ukraine is asking the world to classify it as a genocide.
The Ukrainians call it the Holodomor – the Hunger.
Millions starved as Soviet troops and secret policemen raided their villages, stole the harvest and all the food in villagers’ homes.
They dropped dead in the streets, lay dying and rotting in their houses, and some women became so desperate for food that they ate their own children.
If they managed to fend off starvation, they were deported and shot in their hundreds of thousands.
So terrible was the famine that Igor Yukhnovsky, director of the Institute of National Memory, the Ukrainian institution researching the Holodomor, believes as many as nine million may have died.
[…]Between four and five million died in Ukraine, a million died in Kazakhstan and another million in the north Caucasus and the Volga.
By 1933, 5.7 million households – somewhere between ten million and 15 million people – had vanished. They had been deported, shot or died of starvation.
The Holodomor is just one of the atrocities committed by Soviet Union communists. You may also have heard that they operated a system of labor camps for dissidents that killed millions more. The total number of people killed by Stalin is estimated at 20 to 40 million.
Stalin actually wasn’t very good at mass murder compared to another communist, Mao Zedong.
Can you name the greatest mass murderer of the 20th century? No, it wasn’t Hitler or Stalin. It was Mao Zedong.
According to the authoritative “Black Book of Communism,” an estimated 65 million Chinese died as a result of Mao’s repeated, merciless attempts to create a new “socialist” China. Anyone who got in his way was done away with — by execution, imprisonment or forced famine.
For Mao, the No. 1 enemy was the intellectual. The so-called Great Helmsman reveled in his blood-letting, boasting, “What’s so unusual about Emperor Shih Huang of the China Dynasty? He had buried alive 460 scholars only, but we have buried alive 46,000 scholars.” Mao was referring to a major “accomplishment” of the Great Cultural Revolution, which from 1966-1976 transformed China into a great House of Fear.
The most inhumane example of Mao’s contempt for human life came when he ordered the collectivization of China’s agriculture under the ironic slogan, the “Great Leap Forward.” A deadly combination of lies about grain production, disastrous farming methods (profitable tea plantations, for example, were turned into rice fields), and misdistribution of food produced the worse famine in human history.
Deaths from hunger reached more than 50 percent in some Chinese villages. The total number of dead from 1959 to 1961 was between 30 million and 40 million — the population of California.
[…]Mao kept expanding the laogai, a system of 1,000 forced labor camps throughout China. Harry Wu, who spent 19 years in labor camps, has estimated that from the 1950s through the 1980s, 50 million Chinese passed through the Chinese version of the Soviet gulag. Twenty million died as a result of the primitive living conditions and 14-hour work days.
Whenever I bring up the historical record of communism to Democrats, they always tell me that their leaders have good intentions. But the communist leaders of the past aren’t any different from the communist leaders of today. Communist leaders all start out with noble ambitions of wanting to help the poor. The problem is that they don’t know anything about economics, so whatever they try doesn’t work. Communist policies like nationalizing private industries, printing money, purging wealthy people, imposing tariffs, and imposing price controls cause enormous poverty. And then they need someone to blame for their failure to produce the results they promise.
If we were serious about helping the poor, then we would elect leaders who had experience lifting the poor out of poverty. A business leader or a governor of a state. It’s not a popularity contest. We need to choose someone who has already had success at helping the poor. And the best way to help the poor is by helping them to find work so they can earn their own success and chart their own course. After all it’s not words that affect our lives. Or the feelings we have about words we like. What affects our lives is policies that produce results. Intentions and rhetoric don’t matter, ultimately.
4 thoughts on “What can we learn about communist leaders from the record of history?”
I have a few interesting (second-hand, third-hand) connections to this.
My high school history teacher was at UC Berkeley when (former White leader) Alexander Kerensky was at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. Kerensky largely was quiet about criticizing Lenin, Stalin, etc. For good reason — pretty much anyone who was a dissident was … having a dirt nap. Even Trotsky got pickaxed/ice axed in Mexico City.
What many people who seem to LOVE socialism don’t understand: you don’t get Fifth Amendment (Eminent Domain) rights. If you have something someone else wants and they have the power, they can take it.
Oh, how about targeting of specific classes or individuals like:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dekulakization (elimination of Kulaks, or “prosperous peasants” like landowners)
I was in a small group/Bible study with some people who left Russia — they were helped by World Relief and sought asylum status which was granted. The woman’s brother was a pastor and was in jail for many years — I suppose being Christian made him an enemy of the state.
My maternal grandparents grew up in China, and my mom and dad were born there. I remember my dad and maternal grandma connecting over denouncing your above mentioned Chairman and how books and cultural relics and history were lost due to the various revolutions.
When my dad was 12, he had heard what the chairman was doing — news had come from the north — so he had the option: move by himself or stay in southern China. He took a ferry to Hong Kong (the toll collector could not bear to see the crying boy who didn’t have enough money to pay the toll and waved him on) — penniless and without immediate family. Brave man, my dad — has been through a lot.
And that’s the thing: I don’t usually get political on you, WK, but I don’t like how the current regimes policies are going. You and I could see this was going to be the case if the current administration was elected. We know from history and also from seeing how other nations have fared regarding these matters.
As to “helping the poor,” there’s a Harvard School of Public Health professor and his dad who are superstars —
Tyler J. Vanderweele and his dad, Kenneth D. Vanderweele
You can find the elder Vanderweele’s Ph.D. thesis her: http://oro.open.ac.uk/59530/1/412403.pdf
“Micro-finance Impact Assessment and Methodology: Evidence from a Christian Development Programme in Honduras” (2003) which was later reviewed and co-published with Tyler as “Micro-finance impact assessment: Evidence from a development program in Honduras.” Savings and Development, 2:161-192 (2007)
The two co-published another paper:
A case for lending to the smallest and youngest micro-enterprises. Empirical Economics Letters, 9:215-222 (2010)
Thi is mostly to WK, but your great post reminded me of a point I want to make. There were a lot of Christians, including strong anti-abortion ones, who didn’t want to “get their hands dirty” by voting Trump in 2020. As a student of history with friends who survived both the fascists and communists, I have never understood how Christians could stand by and not try to resist totalitarianism BEFORE it had completely engulfed a nation.
Many of these people were the types who say, correctly, that we cannot stand by and remain silent while the slaughter of the innocent babies in the womb is ongoing. Apparently the victims of Marxism don’t count as our neighbors. The Left is abusing children in the nation in every way possible – abortion, transgendering, drag queens, pedophilia, experimental gene therapy – but somehow I am supposed to turn a blind eye to them – and to the future victims of Marxism because Trump was a mean tweeter?!?
A little girl and her granddad are suffering in an American gulag in 2030, and I can imagine this conversation:
Little Girl: “Grandpa, what did you do to fight communism before it took hold here?”
Pious Grandpa: “I made sure all of my friends on facebook knew that I was NOT going to vote for that mean orangeman!”
LikeLiked by 1 person
Mao and Stalin made Hitler look like a saint by comparison.
That’s why Patton was so certain that we were fighting the wrong people. Of course, the fact that Stalin was so much worse than Hitler doesn’t mean that Hitler wasn’t extraordinarily evil too.
But Wintery, that’s not real communism/socialism.