Saturday, April 17, 2010

The morality of communism?!?!?

So the other day I clicked onto P.Z. Myers' Pharyngula blog and read this entry, about a three-way presentation featuring him, a liberal priest, and a communist. My eyebrows shot up on that bit alone. Not that he consented to share the air with the priest, but with a communist. Communism is the most murderous form of government ever devised, vengefully doing away with more of humanity than all the inquisitions and such in all of history. I would have refused to appear on such a program, or would have ripped off my lapel mike and walked off, upon learning that a co-speaker was a proponent of such a system. By now I know you can't argue with an epiphany. Everyone rightfully execrates race hatred and ethnic hatred. However, it's class hatred that has racked up the big league body count in this past century.

Dr. Myers was milder, and more ambivalent:

[Sunsara] Taylor's position was very similar in a lot of ways — that we need to change the world through liberation of the oppressed, and the way to do that was through revolutionary Communism. In her case, though, the philosophical justification wasn't at all superfluous — Communism was the best strategy for bringing about change. We had a little set of questions we'd worked out before the event, and she had the advantage of us all in providing the most coherent answers to them…I just don't think she's entirely right. I don't like the idea of a revolution led by a vanguard, I'm more of an evolution driven by the education and inspiration of the masses kind of guy.

It's as if he's unaware that communism isn't a hypothetical thing. It existed. It held the reins of government in many countries. It killed tens of millions of people, and ruined the lives of tens of millions more, and warped the inner lives of tens of millions more than that. This happened.

Oh, turns out he is aware:

I find it a little hard to excuse some of the human costs of communism, but then science also has had human costs.

If you want to call that weak tea "awareness." I know nothing of Dr. Myers' personal politics, and so will not speculate. But for someone who bangs on so much about the depredations of Christianity over the centuries, there's no valid reason for him to soft pedal the exponentially greater harm done by communism.

He continues:

The quest for social justice is a humanist ideal, and it's also front and center in communism and liberal religion; you can be either of those and also be a humanist. I wouldn't exactly call them complementary, but I would call them compatible.

It's as if he has never heard of the monstrosity known as Lysenkoism, wherein science most certainly did conflict with communism. And came out quite the loser, in fact. Could Dr. Myers envision himself among the scientists in the communist era, being required to sign declarations denouncing colleagues that had been singled out for victimization by the Party? Could he imagine seeing colleagues be executed for having taken an insufficiently marxist opinion of the formation of sunspots? Could he imagine himself having to parrot the precepts of "scientific marxism" at political indoctrination sessions? Could he imagine himself fleeing for his life to the West, once his life became unbearable under communism? Incredible...

Scrolling through the comments, I see that some of these same facts are known to a few of his commenters. There's also a few people floating once again the lie that Lenin's communism was a good idea perverted by his successor Stalin. No. The only difference was in degree. Stalin upped the body count thanks to his longer reign. It was the fulfillment, not the perversion, of the original revolution. Few of them seem to have any problem with the fundamental premise that there are people worthy, booted and spurred, to ride their fellows in the cause of "changing the world". And why is that? Who are they to change the world? It was here first. They'll have to present more credentials than their own ignorance of history.

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