BOOK REVIEW: Laina Farhat-Holzman, Reviewer.
James DeMeo’s: “Marx, Engels, Lenin, Trotsky: Genocide Quotes. The Hidden History of Communism’s Founding Tyrants, in their Own Words.”
Because historic memories in the United States tend to be short, there has been a resurgence of romanticism about Marx and Lenin by those who believe that Stalin’s Communism perverted what was intended to be a benign philosophy of creating a just world. Many people on the far left of the political spectrum hold this view, but so do all utopian and dystopian tyrants in the world, who secretly like Stalin better than Marx and Lenin.
My colleague James DeMeo, a geography Ph.D. (a rare degree today), has just come out with what he calls “The other ‘Little Red Book'” (borrowing from Mao), in which he has compiled the words of Communism’s founding fathers, words in private correspondences or obscure speeches, that reveal what these people really thought.
This is a little book, available on Amazon, but deserves much more attention than it will likely get. I read it in one sitting because it is no larger than a decent essay might be, but its effect is explosive. I have never been naïve about Marxism, but I had no idea that it was the godfather of all fascism and has also been a model for today’s Islamism as well. We were foolish to think that religion and communism were inherently enemies; this book shows that they were not.
It is widely believed that Stalin and Mao were butchers, but Marxist apologists still insist that their horrors were a perversion of Marxism. This sounds exactly like the apologists for Militant Islam, who claim that their horrors are a perversion of real Islam. Both of these groups of apologists appear ignorant of what their glorious founders actually believed and said.
The pronouncements (often private) of Marx and Engels shocked me the most. I had thought that they were expounding a philosophy that addressed civilization’s inequities as philosophers have always done. But this is not so. They both wrote to each other and to their inner circles bombastically, advocating the benefits of war, the necessity for slavery, ethnic hatred and virulent anti-Semitism (Marx was born Jewish). They advocated genocide, mass murder, assassinations, and terrorism, all of which, they said, would clear the way for a brave new world. (Hitler learned from them, as did Pol Pot, and certainly Stalin and Mao).
They advocated “exterminating” the peasants of the Ukraine by starving them to death (which Stalin did); they also set up concentration camps and advocated and executed mass deportations of entire peoples (such as the Chechens and Tatars) to Siberia.
One example of Lenin’s instructions particularly shocked me: “Comrades! The kulak uprising in your five districts must be crushed without pityYou must make example of these people. 1) Hang (I mean hang publicly, so that people see) at least 100 kulaks, rich bastards, and known bloodsuckers. 2) Publish their names. 3) Seize all their grain. 4) Take hostages per my instructionsDo all this so that for miles around people see it all, understand it, tremble, and tell themselves that we are killing the bloodthirsty kulaks. Telegraph your receipt and implementation.” The kulaks were only prosperous farmers who resisted collectivization.
Another shock: “slaughter of those wounded fighting against youanyone raising the sword against the existing order will perish by the sword.” Mohammad did the same in his wars against unbelievers.
The cumulative horror of reading these century-old quotes are indeed shocking-and yet terribly current, as practiced by today’s monsters.
The little book also provides a brief timeline of early communism. Very good reading.
DeMeo has done us all a service in this revisit to a history that we had all better know. It is alive again.
Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman is a historian, lecturer, and author of God’s Law or Man’s Law.
"The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it."
– George Orwell