Poor Put-Upon Communists…

Zoe Williams writes

 Lefties over 40 will never call themselves communists because the inevitable conversation about whether or not Stalin was evil is just too tedious. It is a glimpse of what it feels like to be seen, if a Muslim, as an apologist for Isis, but only a glimpse.

Those poor communists. So tired of hearing about “gulag” this and “Katyn” that. But wait a moment. Communist leaders who spilled oceans of blood in the 20th Century included not just Stalin (and Lenin, and Khrushchev) but Rákosi in Hungary, Hoxha in Albania, Bierut in Poland, Mao in China, Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam, Pol Pot in Cambodia, Mariam in Ethiopia and Ceausescu in Romania. Being a communist need not entail that one supports mass murder, of course, but self-declared fascists would be condemned on the basis of Hitler even if Mussolini and Pavelić had never existed. I don’t want to launch a red scare any more than a brown scare but the fact that Williams considers even her more extreme ideological brethren so immune from critique says something about the undeserved claims to moral status made by the left.

Isn’t “lefty” an obnoxious word, by the way? It’s both chummy and childish. Say what you like about traditionalists, free marketeers, monarchists and what have you but at least we don’t go around calling each other “righties”.


About bsixsmith

I am a writer of stories and poems - published by Every Day Fiction, The London Journal of Fiction, 365 Tomorrows and Det Poetiske Bureau - and a columnist for Quillette, Areo and Bombs & Dollars.
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2 Responses to Poor Put-Upon Communists…

  1. Whyaxye says:

    Yes, I agree. It’s also worth noting that those “inevitable” conversations are less likely to be about Stalin, etc, and increasingly likely to probe the dodgy economics and philosophy which would lead a person to describe themselves as a communist.

    And yes, “Lefty” is utterly ridiculous. But at least if we are laughing at the childishness, we are not recalling gulags and state murders in the service of the dialectic. That might be why they use the term.


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