June 12, 2007

Goddess of Liberty

Today, President Bush dedicated a statue in Washington as a monument to the estimated hundred million people killed by communist regimes in the past century. While somber, it is an important event. We tend to forget these days that there were real communists and they did some really bad things. Maybe “true” communism is a noble ideal, but the utter inhumanity of the brutal dictatorships resulting from pursuit of that ideology should not be forgotten. It was in no small part when I learned about and was horrified by the horrors that these governments and leaders perpetrated on their people that I became interested in politics and government and law, and while adulthood has brought a wider understanding of the world, I’ve never stepped away from seeing communist governments as evil. Not so much for the Cold War rivalry we Americans had with the Soviet Union, but more for the gulags and the secret police and the torture chambers and the brainwashing and the rooms after rooms of nearly-stacked, dirty human skulls, each one a victim of a communist dictator’s demand for political orthodoxy. Communism has claimed at least as many victims than the Nazi’s Holocaust, in terms of the sheer number of lives lost and human misery inflicted. Whatever moral failures, failure to live up to our ideals, or even outright acts of evil perpetrated by the United States or its western allies one might care to point out, nothing compares to the sheer weight of terror and blood that communism wreaked upon the world.

Today, only China, North Korea, Vietnam and Cuba have communist governments, and while these are hardly the only brutal dictatorships to plague their own people, they are the ideological holdouts. Neither China nor Vietnam seem particularly fanatical about their communism, and while these are not what we would call good governments, they are (slowly) getting better. The day these regimes are replaced with more liberal forms of government and communism is truly swept into the dustbin of history will be a great day indeed for humanity and an argument for the existence of progress.

3 comments:

zzi said...

Check out the monument at the side courtyard down at Stanley Mosk Courthouse.

Transplanted Lawyer said...

Not the colossal bust of Lincoln, I assume? I haven't been to Mosk (formerly known as "Central") in several months, so I don't know what you're referring to.

zzi said...

From memory. There's a dedication for the 7-8 million Ukrainians that died under Stalin in the 30s. (forced starvation)