Phyllis Beveridge Nissila
Section 1: Article Review, “The God that Failed…Over and Over Again,”
The article featured in this first section of Part 3 is an essay from American Thinker, online edition, March 15, 2019, written by Lee Edwards. The author’s premise is that Socialism (and variations thereof), for all its political power, resembles a religion, a god, if you will.
While some may disagree with the analogy, Edwards makes the compelling point that Socialism’s adherents resemble religious zealots.
He explains in his own question/answer format:
Why do so many of our university professors argue that socialism is a better way to peace and prosperity than capitalism? Because it is, to them, an article of faith. To admit that socialism has failed — repeatedly, consistently and abysmally — for over a century would be, for them, to deny their god.
Theirs are the eyes of faith that cannot see.
He cites the faith in Socialism–and the resulting devastation of same–in countries such as Venezuela, Cuba, Soviet Russia, and its iteration in Nazi Germany.
There were, of course, nations who recovered from their devotion to the idealism of Socialism once they lived the realism of it.
As Edwards puts it, Some nations experimented with socialism, then came to their senses and reversed course. He cites India’s reversal (in large part to their successes in the technology industry that has helped created a prospering middle class) as well as Great Britain’s after World War II (with a nod to “Iron Lady” Margaret Thatcher’s influence).
There were also intellectuals who reversed their devotion to the ideals of Socialism (and its joined at the hip “isms”). According to Edwards,
Some intellectuals who initially succumbed to the siren song of socialism managed to free themselves. Among the great writers of the early 20th century who joined and then rejected the communist cause were: the black American novelist Richard Wright, the Italian realist writer Ignazio Silone, the French Nobel Prize winner Andre Gide, the Hungarian novelist Arthur Koestler, the British poet Stephen Spender, and the American foreign correspondent Louis Fischer.
Whereas they had turned to the authoritarian forms of government…
…desiring and end to poverty and war, they (discovered) that its promises were all lies. The words “brotherhood” and “freedom” were only slogans. Truth was whatever the Communist Party said it was. The very things for which these intellectuals had joined the Party were most endangered by the Party.
What shattered their commitment was the reality born out by the 1939 Hitler-Stalin Pact. As Edwards puts it “scales fell from their eyes,” as well as from the eyes of many Socialism devotees throughout the world. But before the scales were fully cleared, Hitler had enough time to stack up his dogmas and circulate his deadly, antisemitic encyclicals…
Section 2: Resources–Image, Print
It was real.
It could happen again.
The print resource featured in this section comes from another article, this one from the collection of video, audio, and print collections featured at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. It is titled, “What is Genocide?,” a new term coined in 1944 by a Polish-Jewish lawyer named Raphael Lemkin (1900–1959) who
sought to describe Nazi policies of systematic murder, including the destruction of European Jews. He formed the word genocide by combining geno-, from the Greek word for race or tribe, with -cide, from the Latin word for killing. In proposing this new word, Lemkin had in mind “a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves.” The next year, the International Military Tribunal held at Nuremberg, Germany, charged top Nazi officials with “crimes against humanity.” The word genocide was included in the indictment, but as a descriptive, not legal, term.
Besides Nazi Germany’s genocide against the Jews, the article includes links for information on other cases around the world including Bosnia-Herzegovina, Burma, Darfur, Sudan, Iraq, and Rwanda, as well as links to trouble spots today*. There is also a link to information on the book “Fundamentals of Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention.”