by Newt Gingrich
June 4, 2018
Karl Marx is being celebrated by Chinese president Xi Jinping as the “greatest thinker of modern times.” Western academics are celebrating Marx as a historic critic of the modern world.
Yet what all the pro-Marxist, pro-socialist speakers ignore is the human cost of Marxism.
In the name of Marx, Lenin established a police state which killed millions. Stalin succeeded Lenin and proved even more ruthless and committed to killing. Hitler led the National Socialist German Workers’ (Nazi) Party and socialism was central to his taking over the German economy and the German state – a fact the Left makes every effort to avoid. Mao was the deadliest Marxist of all and killed an uncounted number of millions to impose his will on China. Castro turned a prosperous Cuba into a tragic police state in the name of Marxism-Leninism. Venezuela has been shattered by socialism.
The academic Left and its news media and Hollywood acolytes cannot confront the horrifying record of Marxism’s endless inhumanity.
This would be a good year to begin educating all those who have been lied to by the American academic infatuation with Marxism.
We need a TV series on Marxism (and its evolution through Leninism, Stalinism, Maoism, Castroism, etc.) so that Americans can come to grips with the horrors of centralized government and the cost of tyranny.
The desire of those with power to get more and more power seems insatiable.
Our Founding Fathers understood this and designed the Constitution to distribute power so no one person could establish a dictatorship. American exceptionalism is the opposite of Leninism.
Lenin used Marx analysis and rhetoric to justify establishing a secret police-controlled totalitarian system. Within a remarkably few years, he had centralized authority and begun to lock up, torture, and kill his critics. When Lenin died, Stalin took his system of centralized power and refined it with even more brutality. Literally, millions were starved to death as a matter of policy to break the middle class farmers. As an example of the grip Marxism had on the American news media and intellectuals at the time, the New York Times reporter in Moscow conspired with other reporters to avoid covering the famine and the mass deaths. Diana West’s American Betrayal cites the evidence of this deliberate coverup.
Left-wing American academics have always had a soft spot for Marxist regimes. One of the most widely read economic textbook writers and the first American to win a Nobel Prize in economics, Paul Samuelson, told college students in the 1961 edition of his best selling Economics: An Introductory Analysis textbook, that the Soviet Union’s economy was growing faster than the United States’ economy (never true). This incorrect information continued to appear in subsequent editions of the book for more than two decades. Today the Left argues that Marxism didn’t fail in the Soviet Union, only the way the Russians tried to implement it failed.
In fact, I was told by someone who was at a dinner with Mikhail Gorbachev and a group of academics that when one of them made that argument Gorbachev responded, “you would have to be an American professor to believe that.”
Hitler studied the Lenin-Stalin police state and modeled much of his own totalitarianism on their design. There was a lot of the KGB in the design of the Gestapo. The central power of the state and its authority over people was central to Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, and Mao. The individual human disappeared in the search for historic power and control.
We are about to witness a fascinating experiment in whether Marxism with big data can work. Xi Jinping is implementing a system by which Chinese people are heavily surveilled and assigned citizenship ratings based on their social media activity, patriotism, productivity, fitness routines, and other behaviors. Those with low scores can be barred from commercial flights, some trains, or from having their children enrolled in some schools.
Deng Xiaoping saved the Chinese communists from popular rejection by advocating a system of free enterprise within the communist structure after Mao’s death. He argued that unless the Chinese economy was dramatically improved, China would not prosper. Further, he understood that if the system didn’t reward the Chinese people, there would be a widespread rejection of the Communist Party.
In his famous Southern Tour of China in January and February of 1992, Deng made the case for free markets in which productivity – not politics – decided winners and losers.
Now Xi Jinping is reversing the market-oriented decentralization of Deng. As he made clear in his recent speech on Marx (have your web browser translate it), he regards Marx – not Adam Smith – as the central guide for China’s future.
If indeed Marxism has defeated Deng Xiaoping in the corridors of Chinese power, we are in for a terrible experiment in tyranny. I wrote about President Xi Jinping’s aggressive power gathering in China, in my new book, Trump’s America: The Truth About Our Nation’s Great Comeback. I will doubtlessly write more on this in future columns, but for the moment, simply note that no experiment in Marxism has come out well.
Centralized control leads people to lie and cheat. Lying and cheating leads to the leadership demanding more secret police with more rules and more punishment. The system becomes a downward spiral in which humans are sacrificed to the power of the few.
This is Marx’s legacy, and President Xi should study it carefully before taking China off the path of economic growth and onto the path of tyrannical growth.