Sanders bringing Communism to a new, unaware generation
By Clark Bailey
“The change, it had to come
We knew it all along
We were liberated from the fold, that’s all
And the world looks just the same
And history ain’t changed
‘Cause the banners, they are flown in the last war”
From the song “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”
Democratic Presidential Candidate (nay, front runner) and darling of the radical left Bernie Sanders recently drew some fire (albeit very little) for comments about how the Castro regime of communist Cuba wasn’t all bad.
Sanders went on to say that during his trip to Cuba in 1989 as he was the outgoing mayor of Burlington, Vermont that he found that revolution had deeper and more profound effects than he imagines. Sanders was astonished at how one could catch a cab to anywhere on the island, and the achievement he touted the most, was the literacy program of Castro. Marveling at how Cuba had almost zero illiteracy.
This could be due, in part, to the escape of many farmers or Che Guverra executing many of the remaining. I don’t know
Historian R. J. Hummel, who specializes in documenting governments killing their own people estimated in 1987 that the Castro regime had killed from 35,000 to 141,000 from 1959 to 1987. Pretty high numbers for an island that held populations from between 7 million and 11 million for the years from 1960-2018.
This doesn’t factor in the thousands that were able to escape Cuba or those who have braved 90 miles of shark-infested waters on any kind of makeshift raft they could fashion to escape free healthcare and high literacy rates.
Sanders likes to use the excuse he is merely separating the good from the bad in regards to communist dictatorships and will usually fall into criticism ( some of it very valid) of US foreign policy. His track record of praise for the most despotic regimes trumps his feigned attempts at nuance.
Sanders, who in the past has praised leaders like Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua, with wide-eyed optimism seems to gloss over death squads, property confiscation, loss of religious freedom, bread lines, etc…He also offers little critique of starvation, currency collapse, hoarding of resources and finance by party leaders and the enormous corruption that has always plagued these socialist “utopias”.
Sanders, whose knowledge of economics seems to be as lacking as his understanding of human nature has figured out one thing at least. His constant assaults on the issues of capitalism aren’t delivered as logical diatribes against the economic system. He doesn’t vent with the style of leftist economist Paul Krugman. He doesn’t offer up, as policy alternatives to the ideas of radical free marketeers like Milton Friedman, his ideas on how the economy should run. No, Sanders makes what he feels to be moral arguments that grab hold of people’s emotions.
Sanders believes that some of the enormous disparities in wealth is a moral issue. I would say that he isn’t totally wrong. He is 100% wrong on the type of system to bring about moral change, but he isn’t completely wrong on the moral issue of the enormous gaps in wealth. The socialist system has always sought to replace God with the state. In this, you have a moral vacuum. You have a system of domination and control that believes that if the majority wills it then it is the moral choice.
The will of the majority, usually not even the majority, and almost always brought about my immense violence, has been the rally of the Marxists even before there was Marxism. Bastille Day, or as I like to call it the original Red October ( yes I know it was in June) was the proto-Marxist revolution seeking to topple all before it under the banner of “modernism”. What came from the French Revolution was terror, death, and eventually a despot named Napoleon Bonaparte ruling with an iron fist. The lot of the lowly being no better than before. Or as The Who would say in the lyrics at the beginning of this column, meet the new boos, he’s the same as the old boss.
The communists, that Bernie Sanders has praised have a history replete with death, terror, famine, tyranny, and soul-crushing control of their people. All this in order to achieve, “equality”.
The Bolsheviks who came to power over 100 years ago in Tsarists Russia brought about hunger, death, prison camps, the murder of the royal family of Russia and the annexation of many satellite countries. All done under the auspices of democracy. Usually, this democracy was brought by rifle, howitzer, and tank, but literacy rates usually improved soon after, even in Siberia and the labor camps.
Sanders believes that some of the enormous disparities in wealth are a moral issue. I would say that he isn’t totally wrong. He is 100% wrong on the type of system to bring about moral change, but he isn’t completely wrong on the moral issue of the enormous gaps in wealth. The socialist system has always sought to replace God with the state. In this, you have a moral vacuum. You have a system of domination and control that believes that if the majority wills it then it is the moral choice. That choice of death in prison camps, or by the engineered genocide known as the Holomodor or the Soviet Famine of 32-33 where as many as 7.5 million died and especially the Ukraine where as many as 4 million people were starved to death.
This is not an anomaly either:
Conservative estimates put the deaths under Stalin at over 25 million through the great purges before, during and after WWII.
Estimates for deaths in China from the revolution, the great leap forward, the cultural revolution, the invasion/suppression of Tibet, the Tinnieman Square protests up to the Hong Kong protests of today have been as high as 75 million. Conservative estimates are lower but everyone agrees there have been tens of millions of murders by the communist regimes in China.
The Khmer Rouge or The Killing Fields of Cambodia during the revolution from 1975-79 yielded close to 2 million deaths, or right at 25% of the Cambodian population. Notably many intellectuals who supported socialism were among the first to be executed by the new regime.
Vietnam from the revolution to the long war, and afterward estimates millions killed by the communist regime of Vietnam.
North Korea to this day remains one of the most dreary and despair ridden places on earth. Hunger and violent tyranny are an everyday fact of life for North Koreans. Estimates are hard to come by but even conservative estimates put millions of death by execution or starvation.
Sanders has praised most of these countries for the positives he has found in them while offering half-hearted criticism of some of their tactics. His criticism falls on deaf ears when you learn he honeymooned in the Soviet Union, he visited Cuba in the 1980s while an elected official and offered praise then and now.
It is troubling that the lack of historical insight and an attitude of what is now is what matters that Senator Sanders is the front-runner for the Democratic party. He does speak to some issues ignored by almost all Republicans and even a great deal of his own party. That’s where it stops, however. His solutions tied so intrinsically to the failed and ostensively evil system of communism are the recipe for death and despair.
So we keep an eye towards this upcoming Super Tuesday and see how Bernie Sanders fairs and seek to educate those not yet aware of the dangerous doctrines he promotes.