Is socialism really dead or will be face "bigger and better Marxs, Lenins, Stalins, Maos, Kim II Sungs, Pol Pots, Ceausescus, Badder-Meinhofs, Shining Paths, and all the rest?"
It is one of the great ironies of modern history that socialism, which promises a more humane, caring, and equitable society, has consistently delivered a more oppressive and mismanaged one. Socialism's motto-- Muravchik optimistically offers it to us as socialism's "epitaph"--turns out to be: "If you build it, they will leave."
If, one must add, they are allowed to leave. As Muravchik reminds us in this excellent survey of socialist personalities and socialist experiments, encouraging dissent is never high on a socialist's agenda. The socialist pretends to have glimpsed paradise on earth. Those who decline the invitation to embrace the vision are not just ungrateful: they are traitors to the cause of human perfection. Dissent is therefore not mere disagreement but treachery. Treachery is properly met not with arguments but (as circumstances permit) the guillotine, the concentration camp, the purge.
For the complete article go to The New Criterion website.