A rare essay on a little-known museum in the making, and on the rottenness of the politics that surround its construction.
And the image chosen by The Daily Beast’s editors to illustrate the blood lust of communists is as much of an insult to pop culture as the museum project itself (see above).
This museum will be vilified by the so-called “thinking” class and many so-called “artistic” folk, but its creation is long overdue.
Question for all genuine Cuban exiles (not for “migrants”): If any of us walk into this museum will we be visitors or exhibits?
From The Daily Beast:
Communism’s Victims Deserve a Museum
by James Kirchick
Supporters of a museum dedicated to the estimated 100 million victims of communism worldwide hope to break ground on the National Mall on the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution. Why are there so few Democrats and liberals among them?
Not long ago, I mentioned the Victims of Communism Memorial to an acquaintance. It’s a bronze model of the statue raised by Chinese students in Tiananmen Square shortly before the Peoples Liberation Army massacred thousands of peaceful demonstrators in 1989. Located on a small patch of land near Union Station in Washington, countless people walk by it every day, perhaps without even recognizing the memorial or understanding why it is there.
“Communism wasn’t responsible for any deaths,” my interlocutor said. “Crappy leaders were.”
How many times have you heard some formulation of this viewpoint? “Communism is an excellent idea in theory, it just hasn’t worked in practice.” I wish that was the sort of sentiment I only remembered from college dorm room bull sessions. (“OK. How many more millions of people have to die before we get it right?” I always asked, incredulously).
Unfortunately, the notion that Marxist-Leninist ideology is not responsible for the estimated 100 million deaths perpetrated by communist regimes has long been de rigeur among a broad segment of the intellectual elite. And it’s a worldview that, as my friend’s remark and countless other examples attest, is earning followers among a growing number of the Millennial Generation. The Marxist recrudescence is hard to quantify, but it can be seen in populist reactions to the worldwide financial crisis, the rise of far left political parties around the globe, and the increasing popularity of once-obscure figures like Slavoj Zizek, a Slovenian Marxist cultural critic. Last year, The New York Times heralded the arrival of the appropriately-named Jacobin, “a magazine dedicated to bringing jargon-free neo-Marxist thinking to the masses.” In January, Rolling Stone — blissfully unaware of its own role in the consumer economy—published a widely discussed piece calling upon the government to secure jobs for everyone, abolish all private property, and “take back the land.” The only thing missing from this bill of particulars was elimination of the bourgeoisie.
The growing worry over income inequality in America is not a sign of a generation yearning for communism, but it does exist on a spectrum that in the extreme can lead to obliviousness about its evils. “The key to understanding Marxism’s renaissance in the west,” a 2012 article in The Guardian noted, is that, “for younger people, it is untainted by association with Stalinist gulags.” This retrospective amnesia alternately reveals a generational ignorance about the ideology and nature of communism as well as evidence of the need to educate the public about its horrors.
That’s the goal of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, which hopes to break ground for the construction of a “world-class” museum on the National Mall in 2017, the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution. The museum would include witness testimony, artifacts, and interactive exhibits registering the toll communism has wrought in some 40 countries throughout history.
Such an institution would join the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in teaching future generations about man’s capacity for inhumanity.
“It is perhaps one of the biggest lies that exist in our culture today that the deadliest ideology in history is somehow not responsible for the regimes that it brought to life and the deaths that it caused,” says Marion Smith, executive director of the foundation. “Ideas have consequences and there has never been a communist regime that did not end up killing its own people as a goal.”
Continue reading HERE (truly worthwhile).