Saturday, October 10, 2009

Russia better off Red? A criticism

Newsweek magazine has a throw away page on the back of their most recent issue that just gives stats. The question is posed whether or not Russia was better under communism or not. Clearly the collector of the stats believes Russia was better off under communism. I do not remember all the stats, but they included things like population (higher under Communism), life expectancy (insignificantly higher under Communism), and land in agricultural use as well as forest land (both higher under Communism). It also contained a few more serious stats like number of hospitals, which was almost twice as high under Communism. Reported crimes (lower under Communism) and diseases diagnosed (lower under Communism). I can argue against Russia being better off today based solely on these stats. For instance, I could point out that "reported" crimes are not an actual measure of crimes, and the fact that they are higher may show people trust the police more now than under the Red years. I could argue that fewer hospitals yet higher disease diagnoses probably points to a better health care system. But that misses the point, just like Newsweek always does. The point is this:
Communism is a worldview, a philosophical outlook, not just an economic system.

You cannot have the economic system without the accompanying worldview. This is why America stood against Communism for so long. It was not that we thought some guys in Russia ought to be able to hold their own farms. No. It is that Communism is a dangerous, deadly worldview that seeks to turn the world upside down in all areas, not just economics. Does anyone really think that Eisenhower added the phrase "under God" to the pledge of allegiance because he favored the Free Market? Clearly it is because he knew Communism was against all that is good and holy in the world, including the existence of God. With religion as an "opiate" and God as non-existent, a new basis for order must be found. Evil was not violating God’s law (in communism), but evil becomes materialism. Material goods shape ideas is a basic point of Marx. Thus, the removal of materialism is the way to promote good and eliminate evil. Only the state has the ability to do this and stop this materialism since any individual with material goods (means of production or wealth) is necessarily corrupted by them. Even in the Declaration of Independence our individual rights are linked to our Creator. Communism removes the creator, the individual rights follow the Creator and are removed. And with no measure of good or evil accept materialism and utilitarianism it is no surprise that blood revolution is promoted as an acceptable means to achieve these goals. It is not a surprise then that "to make an omlete you have to break a few eggs" or "one death is a tragedy but 10,000 is a statistic." The economics of collectivism is simply the result of the broader worldview. One that led to the slaughter of countless thousands if not millions.

Newsweek may have found that people on average live less than half a year longer. But does that really mean Russia was better off when a word spoken against the state could lead to one "disappearing" and never returning. Does Newsweek really think the mass murder committed by Stalin and others is better than what they have now? Such an argument is a moral outrage. Our country was founded on Christian belief whether Meacham likes it or not. Our country is founded on "Give me liberty or Give me death." But Newsweek apparently would trade a lifetime of liberty for a few more months to live. And that is just an outright shame.