Better red than dead, at least in the The New York Times op-ed section. Ahead of Monday’s socialist holiday May Day, the Times ran an op-ed reminiscing idyllically on a time “When Communism Inspired Americans.”
Writer Vivian Gornick, whose parents were “working-class socialists,” claimed the early 1950s Communist Party’s version of Marxism “induced in the most ordinary of men and women a sense of one’s own humanity that ran deep, made life feel large; large and clarified.” Blatantly missing was any mention of communism’s 80-100 million victims.
The Communist Party attracted members because it “was possessed of a moral authority that lent shape and substance, through its passion for structure and the eloquence of its rhetoric, to an urgent sense of social injustice,” Gornick wrote on April 29.
But her reflections were divorced from reality.
People can be inspired, find “moral authority” and be impressed by the eloquent rhetoric of an evil movement. After all, eugenics once inspired Americans, slavery offered structure, Hitler was a famed orator and ISIS claims an overarching “moral authority.” But no one could rationally claim those movements were good.
And while Gornick admitted the “incalculable horror of Stalin’s rule” caused 30,000 horrified Americans to “quit the party,” she refused to admit the truth: that communism is ats best, unrealistic, and at worst, wicked and deadly. It was responsible for roughly 100 million deaths in the 20th century.
However, her version of history portrayed the atrocities under Stalin were in spite of socialism, not because of them. Communism was a victim, suffering alongside the tens of millions murdered by Stalin.
“Hundreds of thousands of Americans were communists at one time or another during those 40 years. Many of these people endured social isolation, financial and professional ruin, and even imprisonment,” Cornick wrote.