Sunday, August 26, 2007

Lofty Intentions Result in Horror

The following is my response to a letter from a sincerely Red writer on the web site for the magazine The Nation. A part of the original is quoted verbatim in italics. Any spelling or grammar mistakes are his, not mine.

"I wish people would realize that a true communist government has ever been established. Pointing at Russia and China is pointing to authoritarian governments, which is diametrically opposed to communist theory. People need to forget 1950s US propoganda."

I'm glad you cleared up my confusion. I thought the 20 million people who were murdered in the USSR died at the hand of a communist government. Now I learn that they died at the hand of an authoritarian government.

Too bad we couldn't have made that distinction clear to them before they were snuffed. I’m sure it would have made death a little easier to understand.

But I guess I'm still afflicted with 1950s US propaganda. What's the difference between communism and authoritarianism? As F. A. Hayek made incontestably clear in "The Road to Serfdom", the lofty intentions of one system inevitably lead to the horrors of the other.

No comments: