One of the repeated questions of the modern age is why Nazis are our culture’s go-to villains, while Communists, no less accomplished in building pyramids of human skulls, are largely ignored or given a pass. I mean by the producers of culture; the intelligensia and the commentariat. I mentioned in my recent post about Oscars:
Which is why we don’t see films about the Holdomor, or Sherman’s March to the Sea. Hollywood will never ever shove Communists into the role of cartoon villainy that Nazis play, and Hollywood doesn’t give a damn about the South except when using them as a backdrop for films about Race. That doesn’t flatter the sensibilities of the Academy, so you won’t see them.
That offers one explanation for the ComPass: The Commies themselves were intelligensia and artists (young Stalin’s poetry was not bad, actually) and poseurs to art, so there’s a kinship even as they know on some level not to let the bastards actually take the reins. Even a PoMo fog machine like Derrida knew that communism was no less worthy of deconstruction than capitalism, but he still teared up when he heard the Internationale and he held up “Justice” as the one thing you couldn’t deconstruct.
There’s another reason, and for that we consult Camus:
…nor did they know that the negation of everything is in itself a form of servitude and that real freedom is inner submition to a value which defies history and its successes.
That ol’ Albert on the Nazis, and he’s dead on, because the whole inner fuhrerprinzip was the eradication of anything like norms or rule of law. The State will do what the State has to do to survive, and anyone crushed thereunder, well, can’t make an omelette, etc. They were open about it. Kristallnacht is the result of a movement embracing shamelessness.
The Commies are no less ruthles, of course, and no less proud of their ruthlessness. The difference lies in messaging. Unlike the Nazis “negation of everything”, war for war’s sake, the Red Star brigade can always point to the high and grand utopia they were building as the grace for all of their sins. Fascists take their bullying and murder as a demonstration of their strength and victory, and thus make it an end in itself; Communists take theirs as an unpleasant reality on the road to Promised Land, and anyone who talks of the unpleasant reality and not the Promised Land is leading the peoply awry.
Hence, the Communist penchant for lying about what they do. For decades the Soviets pretended the Katyn Massacre a) never happened, b) was the Germans’ doing, and c) was so long ago, who even cares anymore? They always have an alibi, and they always have people willing to help them charge the gaslights. Which is why they so readily reached for the “That wasn’t TRUE Communism!” line for a few years. When you’re willing to sacrifice everything to achieve the end of sacrifice, what difference does the Truth make?
This may seem like I’m holding up Fascists as exemplars of honesty. I’m not. Those goons invented the Big Lie. But they did not provide themselves with an alibi. They did not imagine that they’d need one. At Nuremberg they stated that they’d followed their orders, and obeyed their laws and that was that. They called the legality of the Trials into question, and the hypocrisy of their accusers out (The governments behind the Gulag, Jim Crow, and the Irish Famine hardly deserved to be anyone’s instruments of righteousness. But neither did the Assyrians deserve to be God’s instruments. We play the roles we’re given), but they didn’t pass the buck.
Not that it would have mattered if they had. If Goering wasn’t guilty, then Aushwitz was no crime, and that absurdity could not be born by the mind of a civilized man. But Communists have never had to make that reckoning, because no one was in any position to force it on them. They got to retreat to their academic playgrounds and spin new alibis for themselves, comparing the realities of capitalism to the fantasies of Justice and Equality and flunk anyone who pointed out the fallacy.
I don’t know how it all plays out this time, with neo-nationalists rising on one side and neo-socialists on the other. But if God is on his Throne and we’re spared them all again, we should remember that the dog is not dead if the tail keeps wagging.