Why is Daniel Hannan the only one out there commemorating the centenary of the Bolshevik Revolution? Surely there are more than a few brain dead graduate students longing for a return to Marx.
For the sake of perspective, Hannan introduces the body count of the various Communist Revolutions:
The revolution, in other words, began as it was to continue: with looting. It wasn’t long, though, before the looting turned to bloodshed – bloodshed on an unimaginable, oceanic scale.
Nothing had prepared humanity for so much slaughter. Perhaps ten million indigenous Americans were killed by European pathogens after Columbus. A similar number of people died in the Atlantic slave trade. The Nazis killed 17 million. The Communists killed 100 million – some shot after show trials, some tortured to death, some starved to enforce collectivisation.
To the mind of your average graduate student the body count, the cost in blood, the cost in human life is a sign that Communism was on the side of the Devil, the side of the most awesome power to do ill.
Hannan asks whether they are all gullible or just stupid:
Is it that young people are gullible? Do they insist on seeing the defining ethic of Communism as fairness rather than force? Do they cling to the idea that there is some idealised form of Marxism, one without secret police or shortages, just waiting to be tried?
Or is it the opposite? Is it precisely the pitilessness, the purity, the inhumanity, that attracts them? In every age and nation, some people – often young men – are drawn to ideologies that promise a completely new way of life, ideologies that make no concession to human frailties, nor to past practice. In this regard, at any rate, the appeal of Communism is not so different from the appeal of Daesh.
For people who believe only in the power of destruction, Communism and all the other nihilist sects will ultimately win out over the good guys, over the simpletons who try to live a good life, to do right by themselves and their families, who want to add value to their communities and to humanity.
To the mind of the useless graduate student, this makes them losers. Because, don’t you know it, these great minds have discovered the ultimate truth: in the end we are all dead.