A century ago this week, the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia ushered in a century of mass murder, starvation, summary execution of millions of people, destruction of ancient social institutions, wars, a vast network of death camps, and the evisceration of liberty, at one time, of a third of the planet.
According to the New York Times, we should be mourning the passage of this era and all of its promises of a better life for all.
You read that correctly.
For the past few months, leading up to the centennial of when the followers of Lenin and Trotsky overthrew the Provision Government of Russia and established “all power to the Soviets,” the Times has run a series of op-ed articles by people mostly mourning the “Lost Cause” of communism and all of its promise. We have learned that Bolsheviks were wonderful parents, that women under communism had great sex, Mao liberated women (when he wasn’t murdering them), that Bolshevism promoted a pristine, clean environment and we should all be communists if we want environmental purity (except that the communist bloc had much worse pollution problems than the so-called polluted capitalist West), and that the revolutionary fervor of communism can lead to a glorious socialist future.
As one reads these articles, it becomes clear that to the NYT, the end of communism as we knew it – except for a few backwaters like North Korea and Cuba – really was the end of hope for a better life, the end of hope of liberation from the slavery of capitalism, and the end of hope that the state could forcibly destroy human institutions from marriage to religion and replace them with peace, love, and brotherhood. If only.
Should there be a common theme in these odes to the glories…