Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Victims of Communism Day

As Obama is ‘spiking the football’ to remind us of his decision to take out bin Laden on this day last year (much has been written in response, so I will limit my observation of that pathetic attempt to connect with the operators who actually took the real risk, and their feelings on the matter), he also had time to sign a presidential proclamation out of the blue, to the effect that henceforth May 1st will be an American holiday to be called Loyalty Day.  There is no further explanation except to acknowledge a “spirit of loyalty and the sacrifices that so many have made for our Nation”.  People are encouraged to recite the pledge of allegiance and fly the flag.  That’s it – no further information.  So now we have reason to have festivities on the first day of May, and all this while the rest of the world understands that same day to be International Workers Day, initially a favorite of the labor movement and other Leftist groups, and quickly adopted as a communist commemoration.  No attempt at conflation there, right?

But what better day to remind us of the atrocities of international communism as well?  Ilya Somin of the Volokh Conspiracy web log writes of his advocacy since 2007 for a Victims of Communism Day, drawing reference to Rudolph Rummel’s post in 2005, “The Red Plague”, which speaks of the massive death toll of communism.  Rummel places it at 80 to 100 million, though I can remember an estimate by Zbigniew Brzezinski that combines the toll of the fascist and other such movements in the twentieth century and arrives at a total of around 750 million.  (An automatic quibble is with the political spectrum of Left and Right, as conventional wisdom assumes that fascism is the right-wing equivalent of left-wing communism – not so: fascism and communism, and socialism for that matter, all are variations of the workers movements of the Left, something I taught for years, and was explained for the masses recently in Jonah Goldberg’s excellent Liberal Fascism.)

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