De-Bolshevization and the March of the Useful Idiots
Nazi Germany and the ideology which inspired it was so evil that when we won the Second World War, "de-Nazification" was the remedy. The Nazis had murdered millions of innocent people, conspired to begin an aggressive world war that plunged most of mankind into bloodshed and destruction, and preached a gospel of hate and lies and infected millions. De-Nazification was the right thing to do.
When the Soviet Union imploded twenty-five years ago, there was a compelling case to be made for de-Bolshevization. Communists had murdered many more innocent people than the Nazis – 100,000,000 is the conservative number French leftists calculated in The Black Book of Communism – the first mass genocide in modern Europe was not the Holocaust but the Holodomor, a term virtually unknown to most Americans.
The Second World War was begun not by Hitler, but by Hitler and Stalin. Nazi Germany, until June 1941, had no more slavish lackey and no more devoted helper than Soviet Union and no greater "Fifth Column" in the democracies than communists in those nations.
As awful as Hitler and the Nazis were, the Soviets were worse. The hundreds of Gulag camps swallowed perhaps eighty million people, whose pathetic stories filled books before Hitler came to power. The Iron Curtain stretched thousands of miles, with barbed wire, minefields, and attack dogs to keep the people who lived in Communist lands from leaving, something unknown until then in human history.
The horror of Communism extended even deeper. The Soviet Union, uniquely in human history, had life expectancy grow progressively shorter. The standard of living of Russian peasants in 1960 was lower than in 1913, the last year before the First World War. Science completely atrophied. Art and culture died. The Soviet Union managed to be both virulently anti-Semitic and detestably anti-Christian.
What could be worse than those party functionaries who presided over this wretched empire, which had been the loyal ally of Nazism? How about those fortunate enough to live safely in America, living in relative comfort and ease because of America, serving a foreign monstrosity like Communism while they sneer hatefully and mockingly toward the land that blessed them? How about some hideous creature like Dalton Trumbo?
There were men who idealistically embrace Communism and then recoiled in horror when they experienced firsthand its diabolical nature. Max Eastman, Eugene Lyons, Benjamin Gitlow, and Louis Budenz were among the most prominent Communists in America before they rejected The God that Failed, as one book's title explained their journey from Marxism.
Men like Dalton Trumbo and women like Betty Friedan, however, stayed slavishly devoted to this modern-day Beelzebub. They moved beyond just "Communist" into an even lower level of Hell, "Stalinist." When Hitler tied himself to Stalin, Stalin promised much more than just oil, cotton, grain, minerals, and other resources and much more than just the diplomatic support of the Soviet Union for every aggressive action by the Nazis. Hitler sought – and Hitler got – the active support of communists in America.
Betty Freidan protested America helping Britain fight Germany until Russia was attacked. Dalton Trumbo, when pacifism served the interests of the Soviet Union during Stalin’s alliance with Hitler, published his anti-war book Johnny Got His Gun, but when war fever helped Stalin, when Hitler invaded Russia, Trumbo became passionately pro-war. He withdrew Johnny Got His Gun from publication, and when Americans who truly hated war begged him to put the book back in publication, he turned their names over to the FBI as suspected traitors. Trumbo rediscovered his pacifism in the Korean War, which history shows was one of the few good wars fought in modern history.
The failure of de-Bolshevization means that creeps like Friedan and Trumbo, who are morally indistinguishable from the George Lincoln Rockwell, the founder of the American Nazi Party in 1959, are eulogized as heroes by ignorant Americans who have never heard of just how bad they were.
Worse, the old canard "McCarthyism" is raised, ignoring the sobering fact that when the archives of the Soviet Union were opened by President Yelstin, Western scholars discovered, to their horror, that the penetration of American government by Soviet agents was dramatically greater than even men like McCarthy had alleged.
Hollywood, which has yet to produce a film about the Gulag or the Holodomor or the Great Terror, has also never made a film about the very real evil of communists in their midst – and, we can be sure, it never will. We pay a dear price for the failure of de-Bolshevization.