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Remembering Communism

Samuel Gregg

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Fifteen years ago this month, the world witnessed the downfall of Communism's greatest symbol. As guards stood by, Berliners gathered before the Wall that had scarred their city since the 1960s and, taking Ronald Reagan's advice to Mikhail Gorbachev, began tearing it down.

In the span of centuries, fifteen years is not a long time. It is extraordinary, however, how quickly awareness of Marxist regimes has faded from public memory. Millions of people know about the Nazis' atrocities. Relatively few have heard of the millions imprisoned, tortured, and murdered by Communist systems. Even fewer know about the faithful Orthodox, Protestant, and Roman Catholic Christians who suffered at the hands of Marxist oppression.

What people do know is that Communism was an economic disaster. As early as the 1920s, wiser economists argued that command economies could never work. It was simply impossible, they noted, for a group of planners to know all the information about supply and demand conveyed in free economies through the price mechanism.

Still, despite its economic deficiencies, Communism lumbered along, held in place by corruption, apathy, and, above all, fear. Though often unable to access even basic material essentials, millions remained cowed by the terrorist methods employed by Communist regimes--methods that define them as being as criminal as the Nazis.

Read the entire article on the Acton Institute website.

Posted: 11/20/04



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