1917 was a year of momentous events for the world and for the Jewish people. It was the year when the Balfour Declaration was issued by Great Britain and the year of America’s entry into World War I. It was also the year that the Bolsheviks came to power in Russia and created the first Communist government and society in the world.
Communism was messianic vision incarnate. It was the ultimate utopian dream realized. It promised prosperity for all, the abolition of war and bigotry, and the end of the exploitation of the working class, and a society where no one would own anything privately but everyone would own everything collectively.
Its “bible” consisted of the works of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels with an overlay of commentary and dicta by Lenin. A small group of hardened violent revolutionaries hijacked a country of over one-hundred million and immediately began killing those who it suspected of not being true believers in the Communist dream.
Lenin famously said: “One cannot make a successful revolution without a firing squad,” and he was a man of his word. The violence used in enforcing Communist rule created a civil war that lasted for years and consumed hundreds of thousands of lives. But the Communists eventually prevailed and the Soviet Union, as Russia was now to be called, became the workers’ paradise and the wave of the future for humankind generally.
Communism was never intended to be limited to Russia alone but rather it was an international movement that promised to remove all nationalistic territorial borders and all religious differences since there would only be enforced atheism in the Communist new world.
The toll of human lives over the past century in countries under Communist rule has been horrendous. Between Lenin, Stalin, Chairman Mao, Pol Pat, Fidel Castro, etc. it easily surpasses one-hundred million. In spite of this tremendous cost, the longed for paradise never quite arrived. The main Communist states, Russia and China, have long since abandoned the nonsense of Marxian economic theory in order to survive. All states that clung to Marxist theology have failed and failed miserably.
Communism became and to a great extent still remains the engine of anti-Israel and anti-Semitism on the world, especially in academia and other befuddled islands of Leftist belief. What makes this so ironic and troublesome is the fact that a great many Jews in past generations believed in Marxist theory and marched militantly under the red banner.
Many Jews were seduced by the messianic aspect of Communism and its pronounced aim of ending bigotry amongst human societies. But reality intervened and reengineering human nature proved to be much more difficult than the Communist theoreticians ever imagined. So, more terror had to be invoked to reach the unreachable goal of utopianism. The system collapsed in a welter of poverty, inefficiency and state sponsored murder. A century later we are able to look back and wonder how a world could have gone so mad for so long and ignored the realities and followed the false prophets.
History is a brutal teacher. It does not support false doctrines and eventually exposes all of the weaknesses that are part of any and all human propositions. But history is too late to restore the lives and fortunes of those ruined by Communism over the past century. The professors in the Western world’s universities who continue to spew the Communist line of thought do a great disservice to their mostly naïve students.
The history of Communism as it really existed over the past century should be enough to make any rational thinking person understand its failure and falsehood. Instead it is often presented as a truth whose time will yet come and its utopian dream is simply waiting around the corner of human experience to be realized. This is especially important regarding the Jewish left that has become increasingly and belligerently anti-Israel and anti- Jewish traditional values and life style.
After a century of Communist rule and unparalleled human destruction, an honest and hard look backwards at the history of Communism over the past century is certainly in order. There are over one hundred-million lives and souls that demand at least this from us.
Jews and CommunismCommunism was committed to equal rights for Jews, while at the same time opposing Jewish nationhood. Communists rejected Judaism, along with all other religions, as an “opiate of the masses,” and opposed Zionism, Bundism, and other forms of what Communists regarded as Jewish nationalism. Nevertheless, many people associated Jews with communism. Indeed, such different political figures as Winston Churchill and Adolf Hitler, mortal enemies in World War II, seemed to share the view that communism was somehow a Jewish conspiracy. Shortly after the Russian Revolution, Winston Churchill wrote, “The international Jews. The adherents of this sinister confederacy are mostly men reared up among the unhappy populations of countries where Jews are persecuted on account of their race. . . . This world-wide conspiracy for the overthrow of civilization, this band from the underworld . . . have gripped the Russian people by the hair of their heads and have become practically the undisputed masters of that enormous empire” (Illustrated Sunday Herald, London, 8 February 1920). Adolf Hitler, who regularly ranted against Jews and Bolsheviks, wrote, “In Russian Bolshevism we see the attempt undertaken by the Jews in the twentieth century to achieve world domination. . . . Marxism systematically plans to hand the world to the Jews.”