The Ultimate Evil
In one of his superb columns, Richard Grenier wrote about the opportunity and the need to put Communism on trial before the peoples of the world (WT, July 4). The opportunity comes with PBS's documentary series "Russia's War: Blood Upon the Snow;" the need has been with us even before the Nuremberg Trials. Americans still in possession of common sense should applaud both Mr. Grenier's unimpeachable reasoning and his conclusions. The following is but an appendix.
Mr. Grenier offers graphic details of Stalin's bestiality and the parallel with Hitler - a fact that ought to form part of every discussion about the Third Reich and the Holocaust. While our major media seems light years away from doing even this much, one has to descend three more levels to arrive at the foundation.
As we follow the branches to the root, we observe not only that Stalin and Hitler were twins, but that Communism/Socialism and Nazism/Fascism were twins as well in all their various forms, distinguishable only by the local traditions and personal idiosyncracies of their respective practitioners. In order to create a sense of permanent warfare, the Nazis use mostly race - the Communists mostly class. The resulting cult of hatred is the same. For greeting one another, the Nazis stretch their palm, the Communists clench their fist. The terror both awaken in the observer is the same. Nazis prefer a clean, sterile appearance, Communists cultivate an unclean, slovenly look. The faceless regimentation is the same.
Born into very different circumstances, how did Stalin and Hitler develop identical goals and acquire the same methods for achieving them? By attending the same school, of course. The school was not housed in any particular building, but was no less real. I call it "The Vladimir Ilyich Lenin School for Behavior Control." If the previous argument set forth the historic necessity always to speak of Nazis and Communists in the same breath, the necessity is even greater to recognize the Master in the pupils: Indeed, Stalin and Hitler were Lenin's great accomplishments, his prize disciples.
The necessity is greater because those among us whose admiration for the Soviet Union will not die have seized upon the opportunity to denounce Stalin, only to assure themselves and their hapless students that Lenin was just dandy. "If only Lenin had lived...!"
You have to ask yourself how grown-up people, able to see and hear, knowing how to read, continue to live in such an irrational state. Yet they do. They tend to be tenured professors at our universities. They bring up our commentators of news and our columnists. They "educate" those who write, produce and direct the movies we get to see. The only way to understand why the American Academy loves the Soviet Union and works so hard to reconstruct it here is to remember the passionate embrace its progenitor, the German Academy, offered the Third Reich the day after Hitler had come to power. Then as now, leader of the pack was the late Martin Heidegger. Interested readers will find veritable shrines dedicated to Heidegger in many a bookstore.
And this brings us to the lowest, most fundamental level. To comprehend the profound similarities between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, one has to get down to the origins of Socialism. Stripped of its daily changing slogans, Socialism is simply hatred of, and permanent warfare against everyone who has more, knows more, achieves more. In other words, it is the exact opposite of the genuinely American tenet which says, "if he has it, I can have it, too; I'll just work harder." The socialist says "if I don't have it, I'll take it from others - or no one else shall have it." Of course, socialists dress up their plundering as "caring and compassionate giving." What they "give," however, has been taken invariably from someone else. Have you ever seen a socialist giving away his own possessions?
Yet Socialism's greatest achievement has been the creation of the grand illusion that there are bad and good varieties. Example: National Socialism (Hitlerism) is "bad," International Socialism (Leninism) is "good."
It is as if to say, there is bad cancer - and then there is good cancer.
If we die of "good" cancer, do we die happy?
I would like to issue a challenge to the major foundations of America. Let them create endowed chairs at our leading universities for the study of differences between the Third Reich and the Soviet Union. Every year, the academic who succeeds in demonstrating and documenting material differences should receive a prize and an appearance on national television. Warning: the difference cannot be merely symbolic, like swastika and red star. It has to go deeper, like explaining why a Communist speech code is better than a Nazi speech code; why a Communist application form inquiring about a person's origins is better than a Nazi application form doing the same thing; why a Communist pretext to confiscate property is preferable to a Nazi pretext to confiscate property.
Such an exercise would at last shed light on the Communist origin of speech codes at American institutions, the Nazi model for affirmative action forms, and the devilishly clever invention of the environmental pretext for the confiscation of private property.