Sunday, June 1, 2014

Living Under Communism vs. Democratic Capitalism

Recently, letters to the Wallkill Valley Times have discussed the attitude that should be taken toward people like Pete Seeger, who was sympathetic in one sense or another to communism. I argued we should disapprove of such a position, as we do of favoring fascism and totalitarianism in general. I maintained we would choose to live under democratic, capitalist regimes rather than communist ones.

Last week’s letter-writer criticized the United States for the various unworthy regimes it has allied with, and there is merit to this position, but the U.S.S.R. and China, the two largest communist governments, also have been allied with despots. “Politics makes strange bedfellows” goes the adage, particularly apt for international politics.

This recent letter-writer, defending Pete Seeger, quotes that political activist folk singer: “I still call myself a communist because communism is no more what Russia made of it than Christianity is what the churches make of it.” I’ll let others defend Christianity and the churches, but if communism is not what was practiced [and has failed] in Russia and China and Cambodia and Vietnam and the former captive nations of Europe, then Nazism [National Socialism] is not what was practiced in Germany. This naivet√© made the kind of people whom Lenin called “useful idiots,” like Seeger, so dangerous.

Take your choice of where to live: predominantly democratic, capitalist Canada, the U.S., the United Kingdom, France, Germany (now), Italy, Spain, Japan, Australia, or communist Russia, China, North Korea, Vietnam.

When people have been free to migrate, they have “voted with their feet.”


Douglas Winslow Cooper, Ph.D.

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