Remembering the Victims of Communism

Twenty years ago today, the Berlin Wall was breached and Soviet communism, at long last, entered its death spiral.

After claiming approximately 100 million victims in the 20th century, communism was dismissed to the ash heap of history. But those who suffered under its boot heel have largely been confined to the history books when not forgotten altogether.

Author and historian Lee Edwards set out to correct this oversight with the creation of the Victims of Communism memorial and online museum, dedicated to those who perished because of Communist regimes between 1917 and 1989.

Reason.tv spoke to Edwards about the importance of historical memory, plans for a forthcoming bricks-and-mortar museum in Washington, DC, and the paintings of Ukrainian gulag survivor Nikolai Gettman, currently on display at the Heritage Foundation, where Edwards is a “Distinguished Fellow in Conservative Thought.”

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  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/PDDVWRQVUPMKRGHURIEQVNYWHQ Sean

    how many were victimized by capitalism?
    how many people have died of disease because they couldn't afford to buy medicine,
    or were worked to death in mines and sweatshops, or were murdered for speaking for organized labor?
    look at the opium wars, wars of empire, pinkertons busting unions, excesses committed by tyrants propped up to”check communist aggression” remember when sadam was our man in baghdad, when we financed the shah, remember the trail of tears,remember the 500,000 Vietnamese children with birth defects from chemical weapons we used. before we pat ourselves on the back too hard maybe we should count the casualties we have caused too

  • victim of capitalism

    Ah, denouncing our official enemies. Very edgy, disinfo. You're so cool.

    • Marxist Bullshit

      Yeah, we really should be focusing our energy on something constructive, like deliberately revising history to whitewash the untold evil Communism has brought into the world.

  • victim of capitalism

    Will there be articles every 10 years remembering the Victims of Slavery in this country?

    Victims of Genocide against the Indians?

    Basically, anybody who dies, for any reason, in a country run by somebody you don't like, was SLAUGHTERED BY THE ANTICHRIST. Somebody who dies in YOUR country died of natural causes. Unless a bullet actually passed through his skull. And even then he was probably asking for it.

    Cops in countries you don't like MAKE PEOPLE SUFFER UNDER THEIR BOOT HEELS. Cops in your country are heroes. Soldiers in countries you don't like are murdering the innocent to keep despots in power. Soldiers in your country are spilling their sacred blood to defend your freedom.

    There are reasons the Teabaggers are calling Obama a “fascist” and not a “Communist.” One reason is that Communists are actually still in power in China and that's quite inconvenient for various ideologues. Another is that it's been 20 years and the argument that Russians are better off today than they were under Brezhnev and Gorbachev is looking pretty weak.

    Let it go, Disinfo. This isn't your fight. The Heritage Foundation, of all things, is not your friend.

    • Alt. Report

      Should disinformations content be limited to only specific political ideologies? Should moderators of this forum dismiss articles, based simply on the ad hominem sentiments, expressed by it's more left wing supporters?

      The alternative institution: that is disinformation, should attempt neutrality in my opinion. Each article should be judged on it's merits alone, not simply because it came from a conservative/libertarian source and not for instance: black sun gazette. If someone wants to post an article which addresses the crimes of capitalism, I am sure the moderators won't object, providing it has some substance to it.

      This is the information age, let the content speak for itself.

      • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/PDDVWRQVUPMKRGHURIEQVNYWHQ Sean

        since when does conservative and libertarian have anything in common?
        conservatives say they want less intrusion but they actions don't back that up,
        there are enough propaganda channels for our good cop/bad cop parties, disinfo should stand outside the illusion and not give them any aid or comfort

        • Alt. Report

          You can have left wing libertarians and right wing libertarians, and some who simply identify themselves as simply libertarian. But some conservatives and some right wing libertarians have economic and constitutional beliefs in common: I.e minimal government, flat taxation, individual rights et al.

          Why is supporting such positions (no mater how much you may detest them) any more, or any less (for that mater) propaganda, than say, other ideologies espoused in the world?

          You make it seem like there is a “single objective standard of correct belief” which is only worthy of permeating on the disinformation network. If so, then what is the criteria for this? Am I to resort to Plato's notion of “The Good” or Aristotle's?

          What is “Good”?

          • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/PDDVWRQVUPMKRGHURIEQVNYWHQ Sean

            nothing involving government or support of government,

            you do mention less government and individual rights, if you would educate me, please tell me of a republican regime that saw the scope and exercise of governmental power decrease and the amount of federal personal decrease, or illustrate how the association of the right with religion increases personal liberty rather than act as a celestial totalitarian dictator designed to keep the serfs on the farm.

          • Alt. Report

            Then shouldn't it be your duty as an anarchist (or perhaps you have a natural distaste for labels) to post up your own content for the disinformation network?

            You're goal (if you don't feel coerced by having one suggested for you), should not be to complain or request censorship of my selected article. But rather? to present your own alternatives, compatible with your beliefs, no?

          • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/PDDVWRQVUPMKRGHURIEQVNYWHQ Sean

            you have me confused with someone I never requested censorship, i merely pointed out that the article was one sided cheer leading one pack of corrupt monsters over another pack of corrupt monsters.

          • Alt. Report

            Fair enough, but then if it was 'all inclusive' of corrupt monsters, the video would be never ending.

            *smirk*

          • Alt. Report

            It seems you edited your post above?

            You have added:

            “you do mention less government and individual rights, if you would educate me, please tell me of a republican regime that saw the scope and exercise of governmental power decrease and the amount of federal personal decrease”

            Despite Republicanism first forming in Rome, with the expulsion of the monarch Tarquin the Proud by Lucius Brutus, this system was quite difficult to interpret and know with any great certainty (other than via historians such as Livy) how free it really was. However, I suspect the closest we have seen to a true limited republican government, would probably be America during the 19th century: where government only constituted one tenth it's current size. Free banking existed (although it was still fractional reserve), there was very little regulation or taxation. Even though I wouldn't call it 100% laissez-faire, the abuses of that government were certainly much smaller than now.

            However, consider the following:

            - On average there was 9% growth
            - Very little to no credit expansion/inflation
            - Very little regulation
            - Government's taxes are only tariffs, there is no income, sales, oil and other taxes.

            Of course, people can mention government-subsidized railroads, but then one only need to mention: Cornelius Vanderbilt as an example of this not necessarily being required.

            However back on theme: you are right in regards to the republic moving away from a limited function and increasingly becoming more authoritarian overtime. I believe this is because the constitution was slowly developed over time (the bill or rights for instance came later) and was actually (in my opinion) poorly written. Essentially there weren't sufficient term limits and some lines in the documents even seem contradictory. The later depending more on how definitions are interpreted.

            However I will mention that under Warren G. Harding's Presidency, he did cut back considerably on the size of government, after a dramatic increase from WWI. This can be seen in a general reduction of spending, taxes were reduced, the top rate of 70% cut down considerably, the budget was cut (6.3 billion 1920, down to 5 billion in 1921, further down to 3.2 billion in 1922).

            This was largely in response to the Great Depression of 1921 and attempting to let the economy to repair after WWI. Wars of course have always been a significant cause in increasing the scope of government.

            However you also said this:

            “or illustrate how the association of the right with religion increases personal liberty rather than act as a celestial totalitarian dictator designed to keep the serfs on the farm.”

            You have confused me here, for just because people should have the right to practice religion, it does not necessitate personal liberty as an a priori deductive certainty? And as for your celestial totalitarian dictator designed to keep the serfs on the farm? I'm not sure how this applies at all. You merge some interesting concepts together and I am forced to assume, it's supposed to be a witty comment, made in jest.

            If so, you need not continue, for I am not interested in digressing into sarcasm.

          • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/PDDVWRQVUPMKRGHURIEQVNYWHQ Sean

            i just don't see how a oppressive socially conservative movement that wants people to have less options is compatible with individual liberty. religion forms a collective mentality which is toxic to individualism, collectivism weather it be for religion, patriotism, nationalism leads to group think, violence against the”wrong kind of people” Unity is the hallmark of atrocity and any movement that increases unity is a potential tool of a despot.

          • Alt. Report

            I think you have confused some positions and merged them together, when they don't necessarily have to exist in unison. As an example: sometimes we libertarian minarchists, are referred to as 'socially liberal, fiscally conservative'. For instance, I believe consenting adults should be allowed to do whatever they like, and that every one of us, should own the right to our own bodies (including what we choose to put in it).

            Now social conservatives may share our economic beliefs, but they usually don't share our social beliefs.

            For instance a social conservative might be against drugs, pro choice et al. social liberals on the other hand, the opposite. However the point I wish to make, is that such conservative attitudes (as much as you may detest them) can be harmless, if the people practicing these beliefs, do so, without infringing on others around them. Of course, one may feel sorry for their children, who have no choice in the beliefs which are forced onto them from birth, via upbringing, and you may argue the movement is actually harming peoples psychology (perhaps via ostracism due to sexual orientation). But then is it my right, to tell these people how to live and how to judge either?

            And how shall we deal with them? Via force? I think it's best to leave people to their beliefs, provided they are acting peacefully in every other respect, I don't care how they judge me. I will just chose not to associate with them and they can do the same with me.

            The key point: libertarianism does not necessarily constitute social conservatism.

          • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/PDDVWRQVUPMKRGHURIEQVNYWHQ Sean

            it's not possible, I've never seen a religion that finds coexistence acceptable,
            pick any religion you want and research it, you will find they are defined by violence, aggression,
            and oppressing “heathens” it would be nice if it were any way, but you take people and tell them they are the chosen ones, everybody else is evil and it's their fault for what ever the magic chosen people don't like and that some invisible magic man in the sky is on their side, well it wont end well, now that we have stadium churches full of them it's going to be ugly i say we will have large scale church based violence within 20 years, I hope you aren't one of the people that doesn't see it coming.

          • Alt. Report

            I'm not sure where you are from, but that seems rather alarmist, it also slightly myopic to focus strictly on religion as a major problem, especially when we can see other ideologies in history can be equally as dangerous. Take the communists for instance, who were mostly atheists, and look at their associated headcount? Said to be in the hundreds of millions.

            Furthermore there are peaceful religions, what about Buddhism and Taoism (okay, discounting the Yellow Turban Rebellion), but mostly you don't see or hear about them as much? History has even shown that Christians, Jews and Muslim's can co-exist peacefully together. Besides what do you suggest is done about it? more violence?

            Let it run it's course….

          • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/PDDVWRQVUPMKRGHURIEQVNYWHQ Sean

            be ready when they're nature comes to the surface.
            as it has again and again, look at the LRA, or Balkan Ethnic cleansings, or the countless religiously motivated uprisings around the world, the Jim Jones' and Joseph Koney's , I agree all people are monsters, but religion give an easy on switch for carnage that any conman with the right phrases can turn on. just look at westboro baptist, think it would tip them from pickets to car bombs, people like to feel superior to others religion does that and makes it soo easy to turn people from your fellow citizens into minions of the antichrist or whatever the local cult leader is using to rile up the flock.

          • AltReport

            I think there are many things we could be alarmist about in this world. Personally I would rate climate change higher on the list at the moment. Anyway, there will quite possibly always be fundamentalists amongst our species, and time and again it should be said, it is usually falls on the responsibility of moderates to hold the radicals in check and appeal to the more peaceful parts of our natures.

            You will notice a common theme in almost every civil war, is when the political centre evaporates suddenly and society is split between two very determined opposites. The Spanish Civil War is a prime example, so is the American Civil War. In truth there are wise and considerate moderates in amongst almost every religion, and it is they who become the most important in times of social upheaval. And I bid you to be careful in what you stir up in your frustration. Your alarmist appeals can insight a great deal of unnecessary division.

          • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/PDDVWRQVUPMKRGHURIEQVNYWHQ Sean

            look around the division is already there, and guess what kind of language it is framed in.

          • AltReport

            I'm not actually located in America, so I can't see what you are seeing. But if it is one thing I am noticing about the tea party movement in particular, it's not a homogeneous movement any more. It's popularity has exploded and all sorts of radicals are involved with it now. You have all the Alex Jones people, the Ron Paul people… You have the Glenn Beck people.

            And then you have loads of pissed off Americans who don't affiliate with any party any more. It's become polarised and extremist due to bad government policy.

            There is just way to much corruption.

          • Tuna Ghost

            jesus christ enough already. You've made one mindless blanket statement after another about “religion”, as if they were all the same, or treated all the same, or practiced all the same, and they're not getting any more accurate. You're acting like an alarminst but provide only vague, slightyly retarded reasons for doing so. “in the military you are treated like a traitor if you aren't an evangelical” is blatantly false. Going to a church service is not the same as being an evangelical. Pronouncing yourself an atheist while in a branch of the military is not going to get you arrested. I've lived in ACTUAL christian evangelical communities, and you haven't noted a single specific attribute. You're just spouting vague, blanket bullshit.

          • You Bullshit

            >>if you would educate me, please tell me of a republican regime that saw the scope and exercise of governmental power decrease and the amount of federal personal decrease, or illustrate how the association of the right with religion increases personal liberty rather than act as a celestial totalitarian dictator designed to keep the serfs on the farm.
            <<

            Ditto that @ Marxism x 10

      • ick

        This content certainly does speak for itself. It's nostalgic, retro Cold War warmongering from authentic Cold War warmongers. Congratulations.

        • AltReport

          No problem

        • Marxist Bullshit

          Hey, ick, why don’t you tell us the nice little bedtime story about how the totalitarian system of government you worship DIDN’T spend the last 100 years systematically murdering and oppressing over 100 million people?

          Then maybe you can tell us about the Free Market Boogeyman who lives under your bed.

    • Marxist Bullshit

      So, what “victim of capitalism is saying” is: “I don’t like all these uncomfortable facts about the inherent brutality and totalitarian evil of my chosen religo-political dogma, so let’s all look at the straw man over there instead”.

      • Andrew

        You might want to read up on “state capitalism.”

  • …….

    Good ol' Slavoj has something he'd like to tell you.

  • …….
    • Marxist Bullshit

      The article basically outright makes the argument: “Nostalia and Revisionism of Communist atrocities is no big deal and should be ignored, but people who make valid criticisms of the mass murder and oppression of Communist ideology are Counter-Revolutionaries and should be shipped off to Gulag.”

      Yeah, the author’s bias is pretty evident,

  • emperorreagan

    A museum like that would be more appropriate in Russia (or any of the former states of the USSR), if that's something they wanted.

    To build a memorial in the United States comes across to be more a declaration of American moral superiority and a celebration of the victory of American ideology, rather than a memorial to anyone who died.

    • AltReport

      This is actually the one major area I agree with all those, who have criticized this article. There can be no doubt, this IS inappropriate to house such a display in Washington DC. It's a political statement and it generates ill sentiment and unnecessary politics.

      Bad form.

  • Marxist Bullshit

    So, what “victim of capitalism is saying” is: “I don’t like all these uncomfortable facts about the inherent brutality and totalitarian evil of my chosen religo-political dogma, so let’s all look at the straw man over there instead”.

  • Marxist Bullshit

    Hey, ick, why don’t you tell us the nice little bedtime story about how the totalitarian system of government you worship DIDN’T spend the last 100 years systematically murdering and oppressing over 100 million people?

    Then maybe you can tell us about the Free Market Boogeyman who lives under your bed.

  • Marxist Bullshit

    The article basically outright makes the argument: “Nostalia and Revisionism of Communist atrocities is no big deal and should be ignored, but people who make valid criticisms of the mass murder and oppression of Communist ideology are Counter-Revolutionaries and should be shipped off to Gulag.”

    Yeah, the author’s bias is pretty evident,

  • Marxist Bullshit

    Yeah, we really should be focusing our energy on something constructive, like deliberately revising history to whitewash the untold evil Communism has brought into the world.

  • Marxist Bullshit

    Nice Straw Man.

  • Andrew

    Nice denial.

  • Andrew

    You might want to read up on “state capitalism.”

  • You Bullshit

    >>if you would educate me, please tell me of a republican regime that saw the scope and exercise of governmental power decrease and the amount of federal personal decrease, or illustrate how the association of the right with religion increases personal liberty rather than act as a celestial totalitarian dictator designed to keep the serfs on the farm.
    <<

    Ditto that @ Marxism x 10

  • Andrew

    Nice denial.

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