Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Viva la Revolución, Baby!

 

This year, and practically this month, marks the 100th anniversary of the Russian revolution that propelled socialism to power and cemented its grim reign over the Russian people and, ultimately, a significant fraction of the globe.

So here’s a question you might pose to your favorite Bernie supporter or “Antifa” sympathizer: “Practically speaking, what is the difference between fascists and socialists?”

The most obvious answer that comes to my mind is that the socialists killed far, far more people — scores of millions more — than the fascists ever did.

Just for perspective, some 20th-century body counts. (I’m always surprised how many educated people don’t know the sorry story of 20th-century experimentation with collectivism.)

  • Nazis: 48,000,000
  • Soviet Socialists: 58,000,000
  • Chinese Communists: 73,000,000

Now throw in another 15,000,000 or so for all the “little” socialist tragedies, like Cambodia and Cuba and Ethiopia and Korea and Vietnam.

So that’s: Fascists 48,000,000; Socialists 145,000,000. Give or take.

Thank you, Mr. Marx, for what is undoubtedly the single worst idea in history.

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  1. Seawriter Contributor

    Henry Racette: Thank you, Mr. Marx, for what is undoubtedly the single worst idea in history.

    But it sounds so good.

    That was one of the things that struck me when I reviewed Ballad of the Anarchist Bandits. Marxism sounds good on paper. Beguiling. Especially 100 ago when we lacked the experience of what happens when it is put into practice. In some ways it is analogous to those who got hooked on cocaine in the late 1800 or amphetamines in the 1940s. A drug that made you more perceptive, less subject to fatigue, that turned you into superman. It is only after you have become dependent you realize the downside.

    I can understand the Bolsheviks getting high on Socialism 100 years ago. They did not know what it would lead to. It’s the Berniebots I do not understand. They should know better.

    Seawriter

    • #1
    • October 29, 2017, at 1:25 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  2. Randy Webster Member

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Henry Racette: Thank you, Mr. Marx, for what is undoubtedly the single worst idea in history.

    But it sounds so good.

    That was one of the things that struck me when I reviewed Ballad of the Anarchist Bandits. Marxism sounds good on paper. Beguiling. Especially 100 ago when we lacked the experience of what happens when it is put into practice. In some ways it is analogous to those who got hooked on cocaine in the late 1800 or amphetamines in the 1940s. A drug that made you more perceptive, less subject to fatigue, that turned you into superman. It is only after you have become dependent you realize the downside.

    I can understand the Bolsheviks getting high on Socialism 100 years ago. They did not know what it would lead to. It’s the Berniebots I do not understand. They should know better.

    Seawriter

    Until you think about it for a minute. Then it becomes obvious that the only way you can have Marxism is at the point of a gun.

    • #2
    • October 29, 2017, at 1:36 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  3. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    Seawriter (View Comment):
    I can understand the Bolsheviks getting high on Socialism 100 years ago. They did not know what it would lead to. It’s the Berniebots I do not understand. They should know better.

    I have good friends, smart decent educated people, who are surprised to hear of the collectivist apocalypse. They simply don’t know these things happened, don’t know what Stalin or Mao did.

    People point to Denmark, to boutique socialism, as if that were representative of the collectivist experience. They just don’t know.

    • #3
    • October 29, 2017, at 1:40 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  4. Richard Fulmer Member

    But it’s so simple. Nazis tortured and murdered millions of people for the wrong reasons. Socialists and communists tortured and murdered even more millions for the right reasons.

    • #4
    • October 29, 2017, at 1:52 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  5. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):
    But it’s so simple. Nazis tortured and murdered millions of people for the wrong reasons. Socialists and communists tortured and murdered even more millions for the right reasons.

    The road to the People’s Republic of Utopia is paved with good intentions.

    • #5
    • October 29, 2017, at 1:58 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  6. Hoyacon Member

    Let’s also not forget that there are elements to Fascism that are Socialist (see Benito Mussolini).

    • #6
    • October 29, 2017, at 1:59 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  7. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    As someone almost said: Those who are ignorant of history are doomed to make the rest of us repeat it.

    • #7
    • October 29, 2017, at 3:09 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  8. Kozak Member
    Kozak Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    Let’s also not forget that there are elements to Fascism that are Socialist (see Benito Mussolini).

    Lets not forget where Nazi comes from

    Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei

    It’s all there.

    The Totalitarian Twins of Socialism, Communism and Nazism.

    • #8
    • October 29, 2017, at 3:14 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  9. Larry3435 Member

    Fascists are socialists who believe in national borders, if only to demark the next place they are going to invade. If you’re a leftist, believing in national borders is a much greater sin than murdering millions of people.

    • #9
    • October 29, 2017, at 3:35 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  10. DocJay Inactive

    Spoken like a bourgeoise fat cat spitting some stats to forestall the ever grinding wheels of social justice. Power to the people!

    • #10
    • October 29, 2017, at 3:45 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  11. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    DocJay (View Comment):
    Spoken like a bourgeoise fat cat spitting some stats to forestall the ever grinding wheels of social justice. Power to the people!

    I see what you did just there. You sloganized. You hinted at a potential, and devastatingly effective, chant.

    We on the right are powerless against organized sloganeering.

    • #11
    • October 29, 2017, at 3:52 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  12. GLDIII Temporarily Essential Reagan
    GLDIII Temporarily Essential Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):
    I can understand the Bolsheviks getting high on Socialism 100 years ago. They did not know what it would lead to. It’s the Berniebots I do not understand. They should know better.

    I have good friends, smart decent educated people, who are surprised to hear of the collectivist apocalypse. They simply don’t know these things happened, don’t know what Stalin or Mao did.

    People point to Denmark, to boutique socialism, as if that were representative of the collectivist experience. They just don’t know.

    In theory Communism works!

    Apparently only in theory though.

    • #12
    • October 29, 2017, at 4:47 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  13. JosePluma Thatcher

    Henry Racette:

    Practically speaking, what is the difference between fascists and socialists?

    um. . . there is none?

    • #13
    • October 29, 2017, at 5:00 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  14. Ralphie Member

    But is all works out on paper. If only people were like paper, then it would work. The management of the masses by a few, no matter what the brand just doesn’t seem to end well.

    • #14
    • October 29, 2017, at 8:23 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  15. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Henry,

    There are two really first quality pieces on NRO in relation to your subject one history one film review. Read and enjoy.

    The Russian Revolution, 100 Years On: Its Enduring Allure and Menace

    Warren’s Beatty’s Russian Revolution

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #15
    • October 30, 2017, at 10:38 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  16. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    James Gawron (View Comment):
    Henry,

    There are two really first quality pieces on NRO in relation to your subject one history one film review. Read and enjoy.

    The Russian Revolution, 100 Years On: Its Enduring Allure and Menace

    Warren’s Beatty’s Russian Revolution

    Regards,

    Jim

    One of the points made in the first article is something I’ve wondered about. Why do we have so many big-budget, well-advertised movies about Nazi’s and so few about Communists?

    • #16
    • October 30, 2017, at 2:07 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  17. JosePluma Thatcher

    This idiot very enlightened person would disagree with you:

    https://medium.com/@discomfiting/debunking-communism-killed-more-people-than-naziism-7a9880696f67

    For those of you who don’t want to slog through this nonsense, here are some of the points:

    The Russian famine of 1921 was caused by drought, war and “Whites stealing food,” not incompetence and forced collectivism, so those deaths don’t count. (The famine in Ukraine in the ‘30s is not mentioned at all.)

    POW’s and partisans who died in the gulag don’t count because they were all Nazis.

    In fact, everyone who died in World War II was the fault of the Nazis because they started it. The Soviet Union had nothing to do with it.

    In fact, the Nazis killed 85 million in twelve years while it took the communists 100 years to kill 100 million, so “Comparing the alleged deaths of 100 years of communism to the death toll from 12 years of naziism is intellectually dishonest, you are comparing apples to oranges.” (An actual quote from the text.)

    An besides “100 million Indigenous people in the Americas were killed during the European colonization for the propagation of American capitalism . . .” (Even though “America” and “capitalism” did not exist at the time.)

    No mention of Mao, Pol Pot, North Korea, or any of the other minor Communist bloodlettings that added to the carnage.

    I’ve seen apologists for Nazis who were more convincing.

    But our educational system has done such a good job that people are still convinced by this garbage.

    • #17
    • October 30, 2017, at 3:15 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  18. JosePluma Thatcher

    “It might not be entirely fair to Stalin but it nonetheless remains an accurate generalization that no other single individual was responsible for more deaths between 1925 and 1945, whether by forced famines, mass executions, the aid to and empowerment of Hitler until June 1941, the reckless wastage of the Red Army in 1941-1942, and the political cleansing of Eastern Europe between 1945 and 1946.”

    -Victor Davis Hanson, The Second World Wars, page 56

    We wouldn’t want to be unfair to Stalin, now, would we?

    • #18
    • October 30, 2017, at 3:24 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  19. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    JosePluma (View Comment):
    An besides “100 million Indigenous people in the Americas were killed during the European colonization for the propagation of American capitalism . . .”

    That’s a lot of indigenous people.

    The combined population of North and South America was about 25 million people in 1800 — and that’s after centuries of European colonization. So, obviously, even the bloodthirsty European usurpers would have had a hard time murdering four times that number of Noble Savages.

    *sigh*

    • #19
    • October 30, 2017, at 3:25 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  20. Randy Webster Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    JosePluma (View Comment):
    An besides “100 million Indigenous people in the Americas were killed during the European colonization for the propagation of American capitalism . . .”

    That’s a lot of indigenous people.

    The combined population of North and South America was about 25 million people in 1800 — and that’s after centuries of European colonization. So, obviously, even the bloodthirsty European usurpers would have had a hard time murdering four times that number of Noble Savages.

    *sigh*

    I think I read somewhere that the native population of North America at the time of Columbus’ discovery was about 3 million.

    • #20
    • October 30, 2017, at 3:39 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  21. JosePluma Thatcher

    If you read the whole thing, it is conglomeration of bad arguments and faulty logic:

    One bad event in one communist country may not have been totally due to the failures of the communist system, therefore none of the disasters in any communist country were caused by communism.

    Some of the statistics used in one book are controversial, therefore all of the statistics in all anti-communist books are invalid.

    She inflates the number of people who died in World War II, adds the number of people killed the Holocaust when that number was included in the toll of the war, then blames every death on the Nazis. That number still does not reach the death toll of the communists, so she says the Nazis were worse because they did it faster. Then she adds people the Nazis supposedly wanted to kill, but did not. Then she states that fascists are still killing people, citing one event where the death toll was probably 0.01% of the deaths caused by communism that same year.

    She then inflates the number of Indigenous people who died in the Americas, and blames it on an economic system and country that did not exist at the time. Neither are Nazi either, so that has no bearing on her argument.

    Of course, you have to be illogical to be a communist.

    • #21
    • October 30, 2017, at 6:22 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  22. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    Let’s also not forget that there are elements to Fascism that are Socialist (see Benito Mussolini).

    Lets not forget where Nazi comes from

    Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei

    It’s all there.

    The Totalitarian Twins of Socialism, Communism and Nazism.

    Is the distinction truly significant?

    Both claim, as all governments do, to be for the common good. Both assume totalitarian politics and an omnipotent central authority. The only difference is rule by dictator or rule by committee chairman.

    Or one might argue that fascism is national while socialism is international. But they both essentially mean: “We know a better way to live. Conform or be punished. Heil hemlock!”

    • #22
    • October 31, 2017, at 6:26 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  23. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):
    One of the points made in the first article is something I’ve wondered about. Why do we have so many big-budget, well-advertised movies about Nazi’s and so few about Communists?

    Because Nazis had cooler uniforms and that inimitable kinetic German accent. Communists are film noir.

    • #23
    • October 31, 2017, at 6:33 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  24. Doug Watt Moderator

    Fascism and Communism are the two branches of Socialism. Fascism allows the ownership of private property, but controls its’ use. Communism mandates state ownership of all property.

    A third branch would be Corporatism, practiced by Mussolini. A mix of state and corporate business interests. We are seeing that today in the United States. The Solyndra debacle that came to a final end during the Obama administration is one example. The auto maker bailout. The granting of health care mandate dispensations to some corporations, but not to small businesses.

    Does this quote seem familiar in today’s political climate:

    We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are determined to destroy this system under all conditions. – Adolf Hitler

    • #24
    • October 31, 2017, at 7:51 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  25. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    Let’s also not forget that there are elements to Fascism that are Socialist (see Benito Mussolini).

    Lets not forget where Nazi comes from

    Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei

    It’s all there.

    The Totalitarian Twins of Socialism, Communism and Nazism.

    Is the distinction truly significant?

    No, the distinction isn’t significant at all. They’re all overweening soul-killing bureaucracies that rob people of their freedom and initiative and push them into poverty as they lurch relentlessly toward totalitarian oppression.

    I only ask the question because young people today have been told that fascism is bad (even as, ironically, they embrace the spirit of it in their campus protests), but have also been told that socialism/communism is good.

    • #25
    • October 31, 2017, at 7:54 AM PDT
    • Like
  26. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    Doug Watt (View Comment):
    Fascism and Communism are the two branches of Socialism. Fascism allows the ownership of private property, but controls its’ use. Communism mandates state ownership of all property.

    A third branch would be Corporatism, practiced by Mussolini. A mix of state and corporate business interests. We are seeing that today in the United States. The Solyndra debacle that came to a final end during the Obama administration is one example. The auto maker bailout. The granting of health care mandate dispensations to some corporations, but not to small businesses.

    Does this quote seem familiar in today’s political climate:

    We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are determined to destroy this system under all conditions. – Adolf Hitler

    Doug, I don’t actually think Hitler was an ideological socialist. I think he used the label to try to increase popular support, but was motivated more by German nationalism — a kind of ethnic nationalism we in America simply don’t feel by virtue (and I think it is a virtue) of our mongrel nature — than by any collectivist belief. I suspect that, had he been successful, he’d have presided over a kelptocracy a la Putin’s Russia.

    In other words, don’t be too quick to believe anything Hitler said.

    • #26
    • October 31, 2017, at 8:02 AM PDT
    • Like
  27. Ekosj Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    As someone almost said: Those who are ignorant of history are doomed to make the rest of us repeat it.

    Those who are cognizant of history will find new ways to screw up.

    • #27
    • October 31, 2017, at 8:09 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  28. Ekosj Member

    Ralphie (View Comment):
    But is all works out on paper. If only people were like paper, then it would work. The management of the masses by a few, no matter what the brand just doesn’t seem to end well.

    The “it works on paper” idea is what gives it its long life. Every Castro-wannabe thinks they have got the unique insight that will allow utopia to come about. This time it’ll be different!

    The real problem is that, even on paper, it doesn’t work. All of Marx – the whole socialist edifice – is erected on the Labor Theory of Value. And LTV is just plain wrong. Demonstrably in error. And without LTV the whole thing just comes apart at the seams.

    • #28
    • October 31, 2017, at 8:26 AM PDT
    • Like
  29. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The only discernible difference between fascism and communism is that the former found private ownership of industry to be more efficient in carrying out their murderous intentions.

    American streets are littered with the names of Axis industry that was once dedicated to our destruction: Mitsubishi, Nissan, BMW, Daimler-Benz, Fiat – the last two, ironically, that bought out Chrysler so they could get ahold of the iconic Jeep brand name.

    To Daimler’s credit they’ve owned up to their past. Only recently have other companies attempted to so. Especially for Mitsubishi who used 12,000 American POWs in its factories during the war.

    Otherwise, the Left is well aware of their fascist roots. I’ve seen their Tweets trumpeting each European introduction of universal health care. They are absolutely unfazed when they write down the dates.

    • #29
    • October 31, 2017, at 8:28 AM PDT
    • Like
  30. Doug Watt Moderator

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Doug Watt (View Comment):
    Fascism and Communism are the two branches of Socialism. Fascism allows the ownership of private property, but controls its’ use. Communism mandates state ownership of all property.

    A third branch would be Corporatism, practiced by Mussolini. A mix of state and corporate business interests. We are seeing that today in the United States. The Solyndra debacle that came to a final end during the Obama administration is one example. The auto maker bailout. The granting of health care mandate dispensations to some corporations, but not to small businesses.

    Does this quote seem familiar in today’s political climate:

    We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are determined to destroy this system under all conditions. – Adolf Hitler

    Doug, I don’t actually think Hitler was an ideological socialist. I think he used the label to try to increase popular support, but was motivated more by German nationalism — a kind of ethnic nationalism we in America simply don’t feel by virtue (and I think it is a virtue) of our mongrel nature — than by any collectivist belief. I suspect that, had he been successful, he’d have presided over a kelptocracy a la Putin’s Russia.

    In other words, don’t be too quick to believe anything Hitler said.

    Hitler was definitely a political opportunist. He tailored his message to a specific audience. One message for the captains of industry, and another for beer halls. The captains of industry found out the hard way that it was the socialist message that ended up being practiced. The Nazi philosophy was anchored in race and Germanic expansionism.

    I think the bottom line is that socialism may be presented in many different ways in the public square, but the end result is the same. You will not have freedom, but if you’re lucky you will have just enough bread to stave off starvation, and enough vodka to dull your senses.

    What is disturbing is that the socialist message still resonates today, the result of the memorization of platitudes, rather than teaching critical thinking skills to several generations of students.

    As Lord Acton said: “Few discoveries are more irritating than those which expose the pedigree of ideas.”

    • #30
    • October 31, 2017, at 8:35 AM PDT
    • Like

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