Why Isn’t Communism as Hated as Nazism?

When people describe particularly evil individuals or regimes, why is it that they use the terms “Nazi” or “fascist,” but almost never “communist?” Given the unparalleled amount of human suffering communists have caused, why is “communist” so much less a term of revulsion than “Nazi?”

Communists killed 70 million people in China, more than 20 million people in the Soviet Union (not including about 5 million Ukrainians), and almost one out of every three Cambodians. And communists enslaved entire nations in Russia, Vietnam, China, Eastern Europe, North Korea, Cuba and much of Central Asia. They ruined the lives of well over a billion people. So, why doesn’t communism have the same terrible reputation as Nazism?

Reason Number 1: There is, simply put, widespread ignorance of the communist record. Whereas both right and left loathe Nazism and teach its evil history, the left – and I’m talking about the left, not traditional liberals like Harry Truman or John F. Kennedy – has never loathed communism. And since the left dominates academia, almost no one teaches communism’s evil history.

Reason Number 2: The Nazis carried out the Holocaust. Nothing matches the Holocaust for pure evil. The rounding up of virtually every Jewish man, woman, child, and baby on the European continent and sending them to die is unprecedented and unparalleled. The communists killed far more people than the Nazis, but never matched the Holocaust in the systematization of genocide. The uniqueness of the Holocaust and the enormous attention rightly paid to it have helped ensure that Nazism has a worse name than communism.

Reason Number 3: Communism is based on nice sounding theories; Nazism isn’t. It’s based on heinous sounding theories. Intellectuals in general – including, of course, the intellectuals who write history – are seduced by words – so much so, that they deem actions as less significant than words.  For that reason, they haven’t focused nearly as much attention on the horrific actions of communists as they have on the horrific actions of the Nazis. They dismiss the evils of communists as perversions of “true communism.” But they regard Nazi atrocities (correctly) as the logical and inevitable results of Nazism.

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