Both the true believers and the apostates understand all too well that Communists aren’t just funny people but Nazi-equivalents who knew how to win. They were more clever, better spoken than Hitler’s crude spokesmen, but they were every bit as cunning and ruthless as the minions of the Third Reich. Communism owns most of the major genocides of the 20th century. By comparison to Stalin — Frank Davis Marshall’s idol — Hitler was a low rent clown.
This truth of this apparently hasn't stripped most leftist intellectuals (including the current President) from their admiration of committed communists or of communism itself. Witness the plethora of communist and socialist groups that converged on the National Mall recently to support Obama and stand in unified opposition to those awful, "racist" teapartiers. And, need I mention that the evil, universally condemned and shunned "NAZI" designation was the fond abbreviation of the National SOCIALIST party in Germany? Yet today, NAZI=EVIL and COMMUNIST=OK (or even "GOOD")
Wretchard's point is that, through an interesting psychological circumstance, communism has essentially become mainstream in the U.S.
If that doesn't bother you, it should. If it doesn't bother you that someone who was an active propagandist for Stalin's USSR was a key influence in forming the character of the current President of the U.S., then you need to get out of your self-induced stupor and wake up.
Let me digress for just a moment about religion, because contrary to PC dictates, not all religion is equally good or equally bad.
Whatever you may think of religion, the Judeo-Christian tradition has, for millenia, provided and continues to provide to those who believe in God a moral compass--an ethical foundation that is now rooted in a committment to a rational metaphysics and epistemology that states that reality exists and human beings are able to percive it.
The philosophical premises which attempt to deconstruct this tradition are only a few centuries old, but already they have managed to generate more human misery, suffering, and death from the various utopian ideologies which they caused to be unleashed on the human population than in all the centuries before. It is argued, that this catastrophe is a direct result of the "death of God"--or, as I would put it, the deconstruction of the divine--in human affairs.
You see, communists not only don't believe in a god (except, of course, for their own ideology), they have also abandoned the rational metaphysics and epistemology that is required for an ethics that prioritizes human life as the basis for what is good.
In an existence where objective reality doesn't exist; and where the human mind is disconnected from it, anything goes. This is postmodernism its ultimate manifestation. And it is from the darkness of this manifestation that communism, socialism and fascism--and their 21st century iterations: radical Islam and radical environmentalism (see here for a more complete discussion of this)-- have erupted into history--all of them variations on the same totalitarian theme in the the postmodern philosophical songbook.
"Good" communists, and the "low rent clown" socialists all thrive in an environment of economic and political oppression. They facilitate poverty and human misery. And they have inevitably led to the death of millions, all rationalized as for the good of the collective.
As for the Islamists, far from being an example of a "good" religion are the living, breathing examples of everything that "bad" religion could possibly be--in essence, they are an "anti-religion" religion in the same way that radical environmentalism has become the left's secular religion.
Mark Steyn in a post titled "The earth is your fuhrer" makes the connection and demonstrates the logical extreme of today's enviromental-fascists, whose ethical "Ideal" is a physical planet, quite indifferent to human suffering; and whom they worship as Gaia/God in much the same way their primitive ancestors worshipped the sun or moon. And like those primitive ancestors, today's environmentalists are even now planning the sacrifices necessary to placate the whim of those destructive gods:
... Bigshot eco-panjandrum lays down the law:Hillman, senior fellow emeritus at the Policy Studies Institute, says carbon rationing is the only way to ensure that the world avoids the worst effects of climate change. And he says that the problems caused by burning fossil fuels are so serious that governments might have to implement rationing against the will of the people.
"When the chips are down I think democracy is a less important goal than is the protection of the planet from the death of life, the end of life on it," he says. "This has got to be imposed on people whether they like it or not." (emphasis Steyn)
When religion is rooted in human freedom, as it is in the Judeo-Christian tradition, then it is able to enhance human life and give meaning and purpose to that life. When it is perverted and used for secular political ends--as in the case of radical Islam or radical environmentalism, i.e., those who want to impose or mandate some social policy or another on others--then it inevitably leads to oppression and cheapens or devalues human life.
So, it is essential that today, as the U.S. and much of the world begin once again to flirt with these toxic ideologies (i.e., the "NAZI-equivalent" communists and their "low rent clown" compatriot socialists) to remember all the millions of victims who suffered in these Marxist-inspired "utopias." Especially since the memory of communism's virulence seems to be fading away in our new, improved postmodern political world.
From Reason TV:
and, as a companion to the above, here is Reagan's Berlin speech:
It is well past time for American voters to once and for all stop giving a free past to and (even electing politicians who have embraced the toxic ideology of either communism or socialism. In case you haven't figured it out yet, the adherents of these ideologies--like those of radical Islam and radical environmentalism-- are intent on destroying everything America stands for.
UPDATE: While I was writing this last night, I noticed this relevant tidbit from Ron Radosh via The Corner:
The late Italian Communist and Marxist intellectual Antonio Gramsci was correct. Before any major social change can take place — such as the revolution he favored — those who seek it have to wage a fight for what he called cultural hegemony, via a war of position in which the intellectual and cultural issues that will decide the nation’s future are adopted by the people who desire a new path.
When he was a Marxist, the great historian Eugene D. Genovese, now a rock-ribbed conservative, wrote against what he called the “cult of perpetual adolescence,” in which would-be revolutionaries rebelled against society for its own sake, and did not want to “face the necessity of waging a long, hard struggle to reshape our national culture as well as our national politics.” That is what is meant by waging the war over culture — and just as Tea Party members and other conservatives have now adopted Alinsky’s tactics as a rule-book for organizing, so must conservatives adopt Gramsci’s insight and wage a war over cultural issues before they can be successful in changing our country’s politics.