“How the communists killed communism” by George Jonas (National Post)
Ideological writings, like the political writings of many high school students and high school teachers, tend to be rife with inaccuracies, misapprehensions, oversimplification, and misleading statements arranged so as not to cultivate learned discussion but the angry shaking of fists, wrinkled and riddled with liver spots.
How fortunate we are that George Jonas, whose book Vengeance was adapted to film by Steven Spielberg as Munich, again supplies us with another example of polemics, and not just polemics but sophistry… and not just sophistry but passé sophistry.
I found it surprising that Jonas would devote considerable time in piece to the voices of defectors from the Soviet Union, including serial rapist Arthur Koestler, without a discussion of why several countries today officially claim to be socialist and officially claim to be working towards communism, namely China, Cuba, Laos, and Vietnam.
Obviously, the existence of these so-called communist countries today would negate his arguments that:
- communism is dead,
- that the only communist country was the Soviet Union, and
- that communism = Marxism = Stalinism.
Marxism, Mr. Jonas, was indigenized in every country and region where it was read. In Russia, Marxism was adapted into Leninism and it was later hijacked by Stalin. In China, Marxism was adapted into Maoism, in its consecutive forms, until Deng Xiaoping and his successors gave it up. And so on and so forth across the world.
It was equally surprising that in this 100th anniversary year of the beginning of World War I, a brutal war waged by colonial and capitalist empires, that Jonas truly has nothing to say except that communism has caused the greatest horrors in history. What selective memory! Regardless, I doubt that the people who fought, died, and/or lived through the World Wars would blame those human tragedies on communism. I’m sure that more people than ever are grateful that the Soviet Union existed, if only that Soviet armies took the brunt of the German Wehrmacht during World War II and ultimately overwhelmed the Axis Powers. I’m also pretty sure that the nearly 400 million people who were pulled out of poverty by the Chinese Communist Party would disagree with Jonas. Likewise, I’m pretty sure that Jonas, like me, enjoys his universal health care, care of Canadian socialists like Tommy Douglas.