The NBA came under fire recently after responding to a tweet by a Houston Rockets official supporting the Hong Kong protesters. After its official statement saying it was regrettable the tweet “deeply offended many of our friends and fans in China,” the NBA was widely denounced for kowtowing to the communist government there. But considering China is the NBA’s largest market after the U.S., where there are an estimated 500 million basketball fans, what else should we have expected?
This wasn’t about ideology, it was about money, nonetheless the episode got me thinking. Suppose the Chinese government had been Nazi instead of communist, do you think the NBA would have responded as it did? For an answer to that question try this thought experiment. Imagine you’re at a social function and you see two men standing side-by-side. Both are wearing lapel pins, one wears a hammer & sickle, the other a swastika—now ask yourself, what might your reaction be to each?
Given the unparalleled amount of human suffering communism has brought to the world, I find it more than interesting that communism isn’t as loathed as Nazism. Communism like Nazism is a socialist vision that believes in government-controlled health-care, guaranteed jobs, euthanasia, and gun control. Like Nazism, it confiscates inherited wealth, makes use of secret police, promotes secularism and attempts to insert its authority into every nook and cranny of daily life. Meanwhile, beginning in 1917 communist governments have killed/murdered more than 100 million people in China, the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, North Korea, Cuba, Cambodia, and elsewhere. So my rhetorical question is, why the disparity in the way people view these two malignant ideologies?
Perhaps it’s because the evils of communism have never truly been revealed. In absolute terms the communists have a far worse legacy than the Nazis. And it’s been proffered that there’s a double standard regarding Nazi and communist crimes. But to some equating Communism with Nazism is an obscenity bordering on Nazi apologism. So the next question becomes, has the world at large focused on the horrific actions of communists as they have on the horrific actions of the Nazis?
No event in recorded history matches the Holocaust for pure evil. Communists may have brutally murdered far more people than did the Nazis, but nothing compares to the “Final Solution” for its horrors. Perhaps too another reason communism doesn’t share the patina of Nazism is because communist ideology is frequently expressed in terms such as, “fairness,” “equity,” and “to each according to their needs,” whereas the lexicon of Nazism is replete with unnerving phrases as “settling of accounts,” forced removal” and other expressions of racism.
Additionally, the German people have thoroughly exposed the evils of Nazism, they’ve taken responsibility for what occurred and have attempted to atone. Meanwhile, the Russians and Chinese have done no such thing. Quite the contrary; in fact Lenin, the father of Soviet communism, is still widely revered in Russia. Additionally, as historian Donald Rayfield of the University of London phrased it, “Russians still deny, by assertion or implication, Stalin’s holocaust.
Meanwhile, China has suppressed communism’s history for years, having never exposed Mao Zedong for what he was—the greatest mass murderer of all time. Mao, who during the “Great Leap Forward” brutally killed as many as 45 million Chinese citizens remains venerated as his picture graces every Chinese currency note.
But perhaps the most perverse reason communism isn’t regarded with the same disdain and revulsion as Nazism is because the communists murdered their own people, while the Nazis turned their hatred toward the Jews in France, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Russia and elsewhere. And for some inexplicable reason “world opinion” appears to deem murdering your own citizens less barbaric than murdering outsiders.
So which ideology is worse? I can’t answer that, but perhaps the more appropriate question is, which ideology poses the greater threat to society today? Yes, we have white supremacists and neo-Nazis, but Nazi-style fascism will never again be embraced outside of small groups of fanatics. However, the aforementioned dust-up between the NBA and China was quite revealing.
Consider, much left wing ideology is predicated on the identical precepts found in communist doctrine—if you doubt that, Google the constitution of the former Soviet Union.
The predicate of communism is to establish an equal society through government distribution of resources. And the notion of a society where “each receives according to their needs” can be very seductive, even to men and women of good will.
Quote of the day: “Communism is not love, communism is a hammer which we use to crush the enemy”— Mao Zedong