by Walter E. Williams
Rep. Diane Watson said, in praising Cuba’s health care system, “You can think whatever you want to about Fidel Castro, but he was one of the brightest leaders I have ever met.” W.E.B. Dubois, writing in the National Guardian (1953) said, “Joseph Stalin was a great man; few other men of the 20th century approach his stature. … But also — and this was the highest proof of his greatness — he knew the common man, felt his problems, followed his fate.” Walter Duranty called Stalin “the greatest living statesman . . . a quiet, unobtrusive man.” George Bernard Shaw expressed admiration for Mussolini, Hitler and Stalin.
John Kenneth Galbraith visited Mao’s China and praised Mao and the Chinese economic system. Gunther Stein of the Christian Science Monitor admired Mao Tsetung and declared ecstatically that “the men and women pioneers of Yenan are truly new humans in spirit, thought and action,” and that Yenan itself constituted “a brand new well integrated society, that has never been seen before anywhere.” Michel Oksenberg, President Carter’s China expert, complained that “America (is) doomed to decay until radical, even revolutionary, change fundamentally alters the institutions and values,” and urged us to “borrow ideas and solutions” from China.
Even Harvard’s late Professor John K. Fairbank, by no means the worst tyrant worshipper, believed that America could learn much from the Cultural Revolution, saying, “Americans may find in China’s collective life today an ingredient of personal moral concern for one’s neighbor that has a lesson for us all.” Keep in mind that estimates of the number of Chinese deaths during China’s Cultural Revolution range from 2 to 7 million people. Mao Tsetung was admired by many academics and leftists across our country. Just think back to the campus demonstrations of the ’60s and ’70s when campus radicals, often accompanied by their professors, marched around singing the praises of Mao and waving Mao’s little red book, “Quotations from Chairman Mao Tsetung.” Forty years later some of these campus radicals are tenured professors and administrators at today’s universities and colleges, as well as schoolteachers and principals indoctrinating our youth.
The most authoritative tally of history’s most murderous regimes is in a book by University of Hawaii’s Professor Rudolph J. Rummel, “Death by Government.” Statistics are provided at his website. The Nazis murdered 20 million of their own people and those in nations they captured. Between 1917 and 1987, Stalin and his successors murdered, or were otherwise responsible for the deaths of, 62 million of their own people. Between 1949 and 1987, Mao Tsetung and his successors were responsible for the deaths of 76 million Chinese.
Today’s leftists, socialists and progressives would bristle at the suggestion that their agenda differs little from Nazism. However, there’s little or no distinction between Nazism and socialism. Even the word Nazi is short for National Socialist German Workers Party. The origins of the unspeakable horrors of Nazism, Stalinism and Maoism did not begin in the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s. Those horrors were simply the end result of long evolution of ideas leading to consolidation of power in central government in the quest for “social justice.” It was decent but misguided earlier generations of Germans, like many of today’s Americans, who would have cringed at the thought of genocide, who built the Trojan horse for Hitler to take over.
Few Americans have the stomach or ruthlessness to do what is necessary to make their governmental wishes come true. They are willing to abandon constitutional principles and rule of law so that the nation’s elite, who believe they are morally and intellectually superior to the rest of us, can have the tools to implement “social justice.”
Those tools are massive centralized government power.
It just turns out last century’s notables in acquiring powerful central government, in the name of social justice, were Hitler, Stalin, Mao, but the struggle for social justice isn’t over yet, and other suitors of this dubious distinction are waiting in the wings.
Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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