Fewer Americans are now aware of the crimes of communist regimes and fewer Americans are skeptical of Marxist ideas than at any time since the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. From Hong Kong to Venezuela, dictators suppress freedom and justify their actions by appealing to the godfather of modern tyranny—Karl Marx. It has never been more important, nor more urgent, to lay bare the flawed ideology of Marxism and the crimes of those communist regimes that, in the name of equality, have engendered a new form of slavery in the modern world.
There are at least three reasons for our current state of affairs. First, there was never a moral reckoning for crimes committed in the name of communism in the USSR and other communist states. There should have been dozens of Nurembergs for communist regimes. Sadly, there has not been even one.
There is a double standard for the crimes committed by Nazis and those perpetrated by the Soviets, Mao, Pol Pot, and others. And although communist regimes began collapsing in Europe in 1989, they live on in Asia and Latin America, but with too few critics. Well-meaning Americans accepted the deceitful promises of self-reform made by the communist parties in Cuba and China and they seem to only pay attention to the North Korean regime’s sinister nature when it threatens to strike at America. The consequences of our historical amnesia and our indifference to tyranny today are dire, and may be more far-reaching than we can yet imagine.
Second, our country’s educational institutions have failed to teach the most important lessons of the twentieth century to a new generation of Americans. As our staff work with high school teachers and college students in all 50 states, it is clear that we are filling a crucial gap in the proper education of young Americans.
Third, geopolitical actors from Beijing and Pyongyang to Havana and Caracas desperately want to undermine the West’s ability to condemn their tyrannies and prevent us from emboldening their people’s desire for freedom. They audaciously present single party dictatorship and high-tech totalitarianism as acceptable twenty-first century alternatives to democracy. This tactic is working. From the United Nations at Turtle Bay to the European Union headquarters in Brussels, and even at times the White House, too many institutions have accepted their claims as valid. All told, we are not in an easy position as lovers of freedom in the early decades of the twenty-first century. And yet, we know that the best hope for keeping our liberties at home in the United States of America is to understand how fragile our way of life is and how different it could be if we accepted the precepts of Marxist collectivism. Ideas have consequences. The historical record is clear: communism kills.
At least 20 percent of the world’s population today lives under the oppression of a single-party communist dictatorship. The witness accounts and the voices of dissidents who fight for freedom in those countries help counter the propaganda that is so successfully misleading American politicians, media, and academics. These dissidents need America to remain the home of the free where speech is protected in all arenas of society and debate is not confounded by those who would make the citizen subservient to the government instead of governments subservient to the citizen.
Both abroad and at home, it is the truth that makes—and will keep—us free. Thank you for courageously and generously supporting the work of Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.
Together we are honoring the millions of victims, supporting the heroic dissidents of our day, and educating a new generation of Americans so that they will see through the false hope of Marxism and defend our precious experiment in human liberty.
Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation