There is a must read article at City Journal by author Claire Berlinski, A Hidden History of Evil – Why doesn’t anyone care about the unread Soviet archives?:
In the world’s collective consciousness, the word “Nazi” is synonymous with evil. It is widely understood that the Nazis’ ideology—nationalism, anti-Semitism, the autarkic ethnic state, the Führer principle—led directly to the furnaces of Auschwitz. It is not nearly as well understood that Communism led just as inexorably, everywhere on the globe where it was applied, to starvation, torture, and slave-labor camps. Nor is it widely acknowledged that Communism was responsible for the deaths of some 150 million human beings during the twentieth century. The world remains inexplicably indifferent and uncurious about the deadliest ideology in history.
Berlinksi points to two treasure troves of documentation which no major newspaper or publisher will touch (although kudos to The NY Times for linking to Berlinski’s article):
Pavel Stroilov, a Russian exile in London, has on his computer 50,000 unpublished, untranslated, top-secret Kremlin documents, mostly dating from the close of the Cold War. He stole them in 2003 and fled Russia. Within living memory, they would have been worth millions to the CIA; they surely tell a story about Communism and its collapse that the world needs to know. Yet he can’t get anyone to house them in a reputable library, publish them, or fund their translation. In fact, he can’t get anyone to take much interest in them at all.
Then there’s Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky [my note, see my prior post], who once spent 12 years in the USSR’s prisons, labor camps, and psikhushkas—political psychiatric hospitals—after being convicted of copying anti-Soviet literature. He, too, possesses a massive collection of stolen and smuggled papers from the archives of the Central Committee of the Communist Party…. “I offer them free of charge to the most influential newspapers and journals in the world, but nobody wants to print them,” Bukovsky writes. “Editors shrug indifferently: So what? Who cares?”
Soviet history teaches us so much about human nature, and how flowery left-wing language about the working class inevitably turns repressive. Sometimes the repression is relatively mild, as in the West European socialist model, in which exhaustive regulation is the means of control; but in its most “successful” form, socialism turns into East European-style brutality.
Some historical narratives do not fit the current academic and political narrative of an evil and heartless capitalist United States. Which is why American Exceptionalism is anathema to our current ruling political class.
The American system of free enterprise, property rights, and personal freedoms as protected in our Constitution and its amendments, is the best model for bringing the most good to the greatest number of people with the least repression.
And I for one am not ashamed to say it. Now if only I could get our President to say it, too.