Sunday 14 May 2023

Socialist genocide


Literary historian George Watson cited an 1849 article written by Friedrich Engels called "The Hungarian Struggle" and published in Marx's journal Neue Rheinische Zeitung, and commented that "entire nations would be left behind after a workers' revolution against the bourgeoisie, feudal remnants in a socialist age, and since they could not advance two steps at a time, they would have to be killed. They were racial trash, as Engels called them, and fit only for the dung-heap of history." One book review criticized this interpretation, maintaining that "what Marx and Engels are calling for is ... at the very least a kind of cultural genocide; but it is not obvious, at least from Watson's citations, that actual mass killing, rather than (to use their phraseology) mere 'absorption' or 'assimilation', is in question." Talking about Engels' 1849 article, historian Andrzej Walicki states: "It is difficult to deny that this was an outright call for genocide." Jean-François Revel writes that Joseph Stalin recommended study of the 1849 Engels article in his 1924 book On Lenin and Leninism. My source for all this is Wikipedia.

Romanians were certainly one nation Engels considered unfit, as Larry Watts explains in his 'With Friends Like These'.

Wikipedia gives various estimates by historians of how many people died because of Communism, ranging from 10-20 million to 148 million. They include these.

Rudolph Rummel's estimated in 2005 that about 148 million people were killed by communist democide from 1900 to 1987.
In 1997, historian Stéphane Courtois's introduction to The Black Book of Communism, gave a "rough approximation, based on unofficial estimates" of 94.36 million killed. In his foreword to the 1999 English edition, Martin Malia wrote that "a grand total of victims variously estimated by contributors to the volume at between 85 million and 100 million."[
In 2005, Benjamin Valentino stated that the number of non-combatants killed by communist regimes in the Soviet Union, China, and Cambodia alone ranged from 21 million to 70 million.
In 2010, Steven Rosefielde wrote in Red Holocaust that the internal contradictions of communist regimes caused the killing of approximately 60 million people and perhaps tens of millions more.
In 2012, academic Alex J. Bellamy wrote that a "conservative estimate puts the total number of civilians deliberately killed by communists after the Second World War between 6.7 million and 15.5 million people, with the true figure probably much higher."
In 2014, professor of Chinese politics Julia Strauss wrote that while there was the beginning of a scholarly consensus on figures of around 20 million killed in the Soviet Union and 2–3 million in Cambodia, there was no such consensus on numbers for China.
In 2017, historian Stephen Kotkin wrote in The Wall Street Journal that 65 million people died prematurely under communist regimes according to demographers, and those deaths were a result of "mass deportations, forced labor camps and police-state terror" but mostly "from starvation as a result of its cruel projects of social engineering."

I previously quoted from an interview with a German historian who is an authority on the German hunger plan and treatment of the Soviet territories she occupied in the second world war.

Interviewer: You have done extensive research into the genocidal policies of Nazi Germany but also other genocides. Today, the term “genocide” is regularly used by politicians and the media but with little to no evidence provided and no serious discussion of what the term actually means. Can you explain to a lay audience what issues a historian needs to consider when it comes to the assessment of whether or not a given historical event constitutes a genocide?

Christian Gerlach: Genocide is an analytically worthless concept made for political purposes. I don’t use it. It serves for political condemnation and intervention, that is, as a pretext for war (whether with aerial attacks, ground forces or deadly “sanctions,” as economic warfare is warfare). It also serves for prosecution in show trials, as part of the two main remedies that bourgeois regimes offer: enforced regime change and a bit of re-education. But since the socioeconomic problems and conflicts underlying mass violence are not being addressed in that way, such interventions are as “successful” in stopping violence as they were in Iraq or Libya; often they aggravate it.
Genocide is a stupid, political word that historians should never use. But if it is to be used it covers not just killing but ethnic cleansing and replacement of one people by others. Those of a contrarian turn of mind think a replacement of indigenous European peoples is happening now.

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