Conservatives lashed out at the New York Times over the weekend after the newspaper published an op-ed praising communism.
The op-ed, which was part of a Times series called "Red Century" that explored communism 100 years after the Russian Revolution, praised communism as helping shape the modern backbone of Americans and the American political landscape.
"It is perhaps hard to understand now, but at that time, in this place, the Marxist vision of world solidarity as translated by the Communist Party 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," the op-ed's author wrote. "It was to this clarity of inner being that so many became not only attached, but addicted."
When publicizing the op-ed on Twitter Sunday, the Times wrote: "Communism once gave ordinary Americans a sense of their humanity."
Communism once gave ordinary Americans a sense of their humanity https://t.co/YExSCMam79 https://t.co/LLkZ94RQzw— New York Times Opinion (@New York Times Opinion) 1493600376.0
As history goes, communism is responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of people, maybe even hundreds. In the 20th century, Soviet Union dictator Joseph Stalin, Chinese dictator Mao Zedong and leaders in North Korea, Vietnam, Laos and Cuba ruled their communist states with iron fists, killing anyone who stood in their way or disagreed with their government.
In most cases, people who lived in communist states had their rights severely restricted and lacked basic human needs, such as adequate food, water and health services.
The amount of power and control exercised over people even boiled over into many bloody revolution attempts in Eastern European nations, such as Czechoslovakia and Hungary.
It wasn't until 1956, three years after Stalin's death, that then-Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev denounced Stalin and announced to the world the atrocities of Stalin's reign. As the author notes in her op-ed, it was after then that communism became very, very unpopular in the U.S.
Still, the notion that communism is anything good or has brought anything good to the world or humanity is something many readers quickly denounced and were understandably upset over:
@nytopinion You misspelled "ended their humanity." Primarily through mass starvation, mass murder, gulags, etc.
— Bob Owens (@bob_owens) May 1, 2017
You're freaking kidding, right? People like my parents came to America to ESCAPE Soviet-style communism, not suffer… https://t.co/ZDlBnGKZaS— Gabriella Hoffman (@Gabriella Hoffman) 1493604341.0
Well, yes. I imagine that people cling to their humanity when it's being ripped away by murderous totalitarians. Oh… https://t.co/cJSKMHPlyD— J.D. Tuccille (@J.D. Tuccille) 1493605964.0
Communism once gave 90 million people a sense of their humanity, by killing them. https://t.co/Qnvsu2R5QY https://t.co/IbEWrqKWB5— Razor (@Razor) 1493645285.0
@nytopinion next you'll be celebrating the nazi's pursuit of excellence. Communism killed *millions*. Get in the sea, arseclowns.
— Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) May 1, 2017
@nytopinion I was born and grew up in the USSR, you know, communism central. Communism promoters like u are enemies of humanity. https://t.co/OZtMbMPm6n
— Eye On The World🇺🇸 (@EyeOnTheWorld) May 1, 2017
@nytopinion Unbelievably horrible & revisionist editorial. Lenin accurately coined these people "useful idiots". #mao#khmerrouge#Castro#stalinpic.twitter.com/o58pjZZZCI
— Sean Stafford (@sstaffordtweet) May 1, 2017
The outrage over the communism op-ed came just days after a Times columnist was criticized for suggesting in a column that "climate change" is not settled science and that it's OK to suggest such a thing. In response, liberals lashed out at the columnist, Bret Stephens, and cancelled their Times subscriptions.
Many also mocked the outrage over Stephen's column in light of the Times op-ed on communism:
Bret Stephens has really gone off the deep end. https://t.co/lMyBR6Rksa— Charles C. W. Cooke (@Charles C. W. Cooke) 1493601761.0