At communist centenary, many Americans still believe in collectivism

November 7 marks a century since the founding of one of the most murderous tyrannies in human history.  Russia's communist empire was an appalling failure in every way, yet we often see the hammer and sickle, the symbol of the Soviet Union, carried on college campuses and at protests around the country.  Communism still holds sway among a significant part of the U.S. population. In 1917, Russia was ruled by a powerful tsar.  But in the preceding decades, reformers had been chipping away at the feudal system, which was all Russia had ever known.  More democratic and free-market ideas were taking hold.  Most of the peasant masses, however, were still impoverished, and millions of Russian men were being used as cannon fodder in World War I.  The process of change accelerated in March 1917, when reformers forced the tsar to cede power. Elections were planned for a democratic assembly, the Duma. The Bolsheviks, however, had been agitating and...(Read Full Post)