Adolph Hitler, Che Guevara, Class Struggle, Disparate impact, FEE, Fidel Castro, Foundation for Economic Education, Friedrich Engels, Joseph Stalin, Karl Marx, Liberalism Unrelinquished, Marion Tupy, National Socialism, racism, Sidney and Beatrice Webb, Socialism
Can you think of a social philosophy steeped in many years of blame-making and hatred for “others”, including massive persecution, more than a passing flirtation with racism, and genocide. Why, that would be socialism! Marion Tupy’s 2017 article on racism and socialism at the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) blog is a good reminder, just in case you know anyone having a romantic fascination with collectivist ideology. I know too many! And if they subscribe to the notion that socialism eschews racism, they are sadly mistaken. In fact, to put it kindly, socialists ultimately eschew anyone standing in their way. Here are a few excerpts from Tupy’s article:
“… Sidney and Beatrice Webb, who were both socialists and eugenicists, bemoaned the falling birthrates among so-called higher races in the New Statesman in 1913. They warned that ‘a new social order [would be] developed by one or other of the colored races, the Negro, the Kaffir or the Chinese’.
Che Guevara, the Argentine revolutionary and friend of the Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, offered his views on race in his 1952 memoir The Motorcycle Diaries, writing, ‘The Negro is indolent and lazy and spends his money on frivolities, whereas the European is forward-looking, organized and intelligent.’ …
In the New York Tribune in 1853, Karl Marx came close to advocating genocide, writing, “The classes and the races, too weak to master the new conditions of life, must give way.” His friend and collaborator, Engels, was more explicit.
In 1849, Engels published an article in Marx’s newspaper, Neue Rheinische Zeitung. In it, Engels condemned the rural populations of the Austrian Empire for failing enthusiastically to partake in the revolution of 1848. …
‘The Austrian Germans and Magyars will be set free and wreak a bloody revenge on the Slav barbarians,’ he continued. ‘The next world war will result in the disappearance from the face of the earth not only of reactionary classes and dynasties, but also of entire reactionary peoples. And that, too, is a step forward.’
Here Engels clearly foreshadows the genocides of the 20th-century totalitarianism in general and the Soviet regime in particular. In fact, Joseph Stalin loved Engels’ article and commended it to his followers in The Foundations of Leninism in 1924. He then proceeded to suppress Soviet ethnic minorities, including the Jews, Crimean Tatars, and Ukrainians.”
As Tupy notes, socialists are given to dressing-up their repressions as “class struggles”, as opposed to racism when it suits them, ideological eliminationism, and genocidal paroxysm. And these fits have often had pronounced “disparate impacts” on ethnic, racial and national minorities. In this sense, Hitler, the national socialist was no exception. Again, from Tupy:
“Hitler’s hatred of the Jews, for example, was partly rooted in his belief that capitalism and international Jewry were two sides of the same coin. As he once famously asked, ‘How, as a socialist, can you not be an anti-Semite?'”
Socialism is not an ideology of “kindness”. As a practical matter, it is an ideology of coercion, control, and extreme inequality of outcomes. It is antithetical to the ideal of personal liberty, not “liberal” in any real sense of the word. It should come as no surprise that the practitioners of socialism have indulged in virulent intolerance and racism. And it’s not simply a matter of “my way or the highway”. It’s often my way or death for those who don’t fall in line, and a highway to hell on earth for those who do.