Communism. The bete noire of all the various parts of the “Reactosphere”. And with good reason—regardless of its past crimes (which are well documented by many sources, suffice to say “shit sucked”), we can see its odiousness all around us right now as we speak. Just look at the ongoing collapse of Venezuela to the repeated efforts of “The Cathedral” to wallpaper over communism’s bloody past. Needless to say there’s something for every sensible person to dislike about Karl Marx’s intellectual fruit.
But the question remains, how do we argue intelligently with these sorts of people? After all, you want to have some rhetoric other than barking “commies suck” like the stereotypical right wing clod, don’t you?
The Black Book of Communism, while some of its claims have been disputed is nevertheless the source of material for any anti-communist, and should be mandatory reading for anybody to the right of Karl Marx.
Written by a team of French academics, the book deals with all of the “big hitters” of 20th century far left politics and all of their various crimes against humanity: Lenin and the gulags, Stalin and his purges and the Holodomor, Mao and the Cultural Revolution, the Khmer Rouge and the Killing Fields, and so forth. The ones that even Joe Sixpack knows about.
In addition, the team goes int greato detail with regards to the various sideshows of communism that are perhaps less well known, such as Cuba and the rest of Latin America (in the process utterly destroying the pro-Castro/Che Guevara hagiography still existent to this day), Vietnam after the fall of Saigon (pro-tip: the “boat people” were leaving for a very good reason), and even places that I didn’t really know about beyond the bare minimum, such as Ethiopia and Angola (ie: I didn’t know about their communist histories other than that communists had political power at some point).
And if that wasn’t enough, the book also discusses non-state communist violence, from terrorist groups like Peru’s Shining Path and Colombia’s FARC, to even the “useful idiots” in Western countries. It is those last chapters that I found interesting—indeed, comparing crimes of the past to the modern day proved a chilling portrait of where we are and where we could be going in the next few years, a notable example being the pulling down of statue after statue and memorial after memorial in the United States in an attempt to purge the warts-and-all history of this country was eerily similar to the Chinese Cultural Revolution, in which priceless historical and cultural treasures were destroyed by Mao’s Red Guards, and any who were knowledgeable in “The Old Ways” were ruthlessly purged.
Beyond that, a lot of the rhetoric used is disturbingly similar: Lenin’s rationing out food based on “worthiness” of the people is quite similar to SJW dividing everything into righteousness and racist, the persecution of artists and an overall “fuck you, dad!” mentality is prevalent both amongst Castro’s m-26 movement and modern day leftists, and those are just to name a few.
Another thing to bear in mind is that the writers of this book are not “Reactionary cranks”: they go to great pains to understand why communism would have had a.ppeal, usually as a reaction to a right-wing dictatorship. And of course those dictatorships are not treated with kid gloves either. Indeed, this book is about as straight a history book as you’ll find on these topics, which is why this review probably seems rather perfunctory—the presentation of the material is admittedly not the most interestingly written, as this is explicitly written to be an academic text
Despite the fact that the numbers have been in dispute (often by the champagne socialist chatterers that we all know and love), the book’s findings still for the most part hold up. Read it now, it’s much better than this dry article would have you believe.