Far-left website Salon published a stunning defense of communism on Sunday, revealing what it claims are seven “huge misconceptions” about communism and capitalism.
Author Jesse Myerson pushed back at the claim that communism has killed as many as 110 million people. Using “The Five” host Greg Gutfeld as an example, Myerson sought to clarify details about the slaughter that occurred under Stalin and Mao:
In declaring this, Gutfeld and his ilk insult the suffering of the millions of people who died under Stalin, Mao, and other 20th Century Communist dictators. Making up a big-sounding number of people and chalking their deaths up to some abstract “communism” is no way to enact a humanistic commitment to victims of human rights atrocities.
For one thing, a large number of the people killed under Soviet communism weren’t the kulaks everyone pretends to care about but themselves communists. Stalin, in his paranoid cruelty, not only had Russian revolutionary leaders assassinated and executed, but indeed exterminated entire communist parties. These people weren’t resisting having their property collectivized; they were committed to collectivizing property. It is also worth remembering that the Soviets had to fight a revolutionary war – against, among others, the US – which, as the American Revolution is enough to show, doesn’t mainly consist of group hugs. They also faced (and heroically defeated) the Nazis, who were not an ocean away, but right on their doorstep.
Additionally, Myerson said that the Great Chinese Famine was the most “horrifying episode in 20th century official communism.” However, the main reason for the deaths of tens of millions of people was Mao’s “Great Leap Forward.” It was a “disastrous combination of applied pseudoscience, stat-juking, and political persecution designed to transform China into an industrial superpower in the blink of an eye.”
So why are the deaths under the Great Chinese Famine not fully the fault of policies implemented under communism?
“Famine is not a uniquely ‘left-wing’ problem,” Myerson wrote.
Another popular “misconception” many people have is the assumption that “21st century American communism would resemble 20th century Soviet and Chinese horrors,” the article stated.
Communism is more of an “aspiration, not an immediately achievable state,” Myerson wrote. “It, like democracy and libertarianism, is utopian in that it constantly strives toward an ideal, in its case the non-ownership of everything and the treatment of everything – including culture, people’s time, the very act of caring, and so forth – as dignified and inherently valuable rather than as commodities that can be priced for exchange.”
Because of the various technological and social advances made in the last century, “we could expect an approach to communism beginning here and now to be far more open, humane, democratic, participatory and egalitarian than the Russian and Chinese attempts managed.”
Here’s to wishful thinking that communism in America wouldn’t end as bloody and tragically as it has in every single instance throughout history?
If you aren’t too frustrated already, read the rest of Myerson’s defense of communism and criticism of capitalism here.
Editor’s note: The headline of this story has been updated to clarify that Myerson is not a full-time Salon employee.