Friday, November 6, 2009

Remembering Communism

Paul Hollander - Remembering communism -

In the aftermath of the fall of Soviet communism, many Western intellectuals remain convinced that capitalism is the root of all evil. There has been a long tradition of such animosity among Western intellectuals who gave the benefit of doubt or outright sympathy to political systems that denounced the profit motive and proclaimed their commitment to create a more humane and egalitarian society, and unselfish human beings.

We could go all the way back to Lord Chesterfield, if we wished, to see the source of this emotion. I see many of my colleagues as his misbegotten intellectual children: railing not for progress but to a return to a sometimes-idealized-sometimes-actualized past where an oligarchic few exerted control over what they feared to be an over-energentic and far-too-clever-for-their-own-good movement of entrepreneurs and optimists --in other words, a form of aristocracy is what they wanted to perpetuate. Dress it up in whatever language you wish: communism, socialism, progressivism, they all inevitably have at the root a small group of people who really want to control a much larger group of people, weal or woe being beside the point.

I will not mourn the fall of the Soviet Union, and I hope to live long enough to see the history community join me whole-heartedly in that.


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