Stories that don’t get told often enough

On the one hand will be a person who says “Communism IS a special kind of monster. It has been the bloodiest ideology of the 20th century bar none.”

On the other hand will be a person who says “Totalitarianism is awful in all of its forms. I don’t single out any one breed but condemn them all.”

How needless that there should be any quarrel between these two since both are stating a critical truth. Totalitarianism is horrible in all of its forms; the world has certainly seen more than enough variations on this same appalling theme.

At the same time, the particular breed called communism does deserve a special spot in hell’s library for the extent to which it was attempted worldwide, for the numbers it put up–100,000,000 million murdered by a conservative estimate, for being arguably the most notorious social experiment in all of human history. Not to mention that it still goes on in some places.

Which is why those of us who think history is kind of important (and do not wish to see it repeated) must continuously harp on the relative lack of inattention given to the Red Plague by certain institutions. From a back issue of Reason Online Kenneth Lloyd Billingsley made this observation:

Indeed, in the decade since the Berlin Wall fell, or even the decade before that, no Hollywood film has addressed the actual history of communism, the agony of the millions whose lives were poisoned by it, and the century of international deceit that obscured communist reality. The simple but startling truth is that the major conflict of our time, democracy versus Marxist-Leninist totalitarianism–what The New York Times recently called “the holy war of the 20th century”–is almost entirely missing from American cinema. It is as though since 1945, Hollywood had produced little or nothing about the victory of the Allies and the crimes of National Socialism. This void is all the stranger since the major conflict of our time would seem to be a natural draw for Hollywood…

I’m not enough of a theater-goer to be able to measure for myself what coverage communism may not be getting in cinema, but the detailed explanation that follows in the above quoted article rings true given the biases I know Hollywood to have inherited from the propaganda front of the Cold War. Its roots go much deeper than most people realize.


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