Versus over 100 million victims under communism. The Nazis may have been evil because of their ethnonationalism, but communism killed more people. I am not a proponent of the means justifying the ends in most circumstances, but considering that communism rates objectively as the second most evil ideology in history it is easy to understand why decision-makers at the time felt it necessary to deploy extraordinary measures to depose this unalloyed evil.
In your own country, prison guard forced Christians to eat faeces to renounce their faith!
It wasn’t an easy achievement. The default setting of humanity is abject and unremitting poverty, as witnessed by the fact that for most of human history people lost their teeth by 25 and died for the most part in their thirties. Plus, one of the principal things holding back many developing countries was advice on socialism from Soviet advisors.
Nowhere in Africa was the socialist experiment successful. It was a miserable fiasco in country after country including Angola (under dos Santos), Benin (under Kerekou), Ethiopia (under Mengistu), Ghana (under Nkrumah), Guinea (under Toure), Mali (under Keita), Mozambique (under Chissano), Tanzania (under Nyerere), and Zambia, among others.
In 1961, workers on Ghana state farms barely produce enough to feed themselves let alone the nation. In Tanzania, Ujamaa destroyed the country’s agriculture. Ethiopia’s misguided villagization program did the same. Zimbabwe socialist experiment ended in disaster, transforming the country which used to be called the breadbasket of the region into a net food importer, with millions facing starvation. Over 4 million fled the country into neighboring countries such as Botswana, South Africa and Mozambique. Tragically, South Africa is gearing up to repeat these catastrophic mistakes.
And this is before we consider the disasters in SE Asia: Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
Again, you persist in misreading my statements. I specifically highlighted the desire of former Eastern European countries to join NATO out of fear of an aggressive and resurgent Russia. Georgia was the proof that they were right to fear, and fully justified in joining NATO.
It’s not by accident that countries with the longest history of democratic institutions and capitalism enjoy the highest standards of living objectively. I’m sure you will blame the lump fallacy, and resort to an illusionary finite pot in which somebody has to lose if another wins. But the heterodox economics is exactly what raises people up from default poverty.
Let’s put it in terms you will understand. If Katy and Jane want to have a party and they find that Katy can make seven cupcakes an hour but only one bottle of lemonade, but Jane can make three cupcakes and three bottles of lemonade, capitalism will ultimately allocate Katy to make the cupcakes and Jane to make the lemonade. Socialism doesn’t like the fact that some people are inherently better at doing some things than others, but even if they don’t get round to punishing Katy for being so successful, it assigns labour arbitrarily, except in the rare circumstances it can find gifted people who can bring glory to the state.
This is the rotten timber built into the foundation of Marxism, the removal of living labour from processes, and the subsequent reallocation of said labour is exactly what powers increased productivity, a world of abundance and plenitude. The world prospers when fewer people can do more, it stays brutally oppressive in terms of living standards in the otherwise unassailable nature of poverty when it does not. Granted, capitalism isn’t perfect- it is isn’t always efficient in finding new jobs with dignity for people discarded by the system, and it could do with a more humane system of transitions and safety nets, but Marx and the ideologies which stem from it are wrong because his basic theory of labour was so incorrect.
He imagined a world in which the realisation of communism would lead to unprecedented productivity rises, but didn’t realise his theory of labour was an unsurmountable wall to achieving it. Having said that, there is nothing wrong with worker owner cooperatives, or the idea that workers should have the chance of owning the proceeds of their own labour, but one still needs to have competition in the marketplace, because this is exactly what causes labour to become more productive and innovative its way towards a better future.
The Twentieth Century was a contest between competing ideologies and economic systems. Capitalism may have won politically, but the true testament to its inherent superiority is the fact that people have the opportunity to bemoan their lack of ‘impact’ on the world, in an era where they are amply fed, heated or air conditioned, have running water, access to the greatest source of high quality information in history for free, dental, have more clothes than they know what to do with, and profusion of interesting ways to occupy their ever-increasing leisure time- and the ‘have nots’ of this world are rapidly catching up in a way which was never possible under communism.
The only problem seems to be that a lack of struggle and the absence of existential threat seems to make people miserable- as witnessed by the fact that people in the developing world are generally the most optimistic. Who knew…