Communism is dead -- but still dangerousIn his column...

the Forum

December 28, 1992

Communism is dead -- but still dangerous

In his column "Nationhood becomes Nazism" (Dec. 9), Jonathan Schell identified Adolf Hitler as the most repulsive personality Europe has ever produced.

Mr. Schell was close, but Joseph Stalin is the actual winner of that "prize." A concern about the menace of fascism should not blind people to the threat of communism.

The Soviet regime, especially under Stalin, was worse than the Nazis. More people were murdered in Russia under the rule of Stalin than in Hitler's Germany, and the Soviet Union was more successful in its imperialism than was the Third Reich.

With Stalin (and Lenin, as well) in power, a person could easily be murdered for belonging to the wrong class or ethnic group or for having the wrong religious or political views. Even before Hitler, the communists firmly believed that certain groups of people were "garbage."

The intellectual respectability that communism possessed at the height of its "success" was a sham.

Communist leaders were often middle- and upper-class failures or malcontents alienated from their traditional societies.

Marxism was a method of revenge for these people; they were not motivated by a noble concern for the working class, peasantry or people in general. It is fitting that Karl Marx, the "great savior" of the working class, horribly neglected his own family.

While some people are quick to spot fascism everywhere (including under every bed), the same can no longer be said about communism.

Too many people, both Republican and Democrat, comfort themselves with the idea that the Cold War has been won. It is not over yet. The spirit of Marx, Lenin and Stalin lives on in nations such as communist China, North Korea, Vietnam and Cuba (that's over a quarter of the world's population).

The "ex-communists" that for the most part still govern Eastern Europe and the old Soviet Union can turn back the clock at any time.

The Soviets have always had a knack for turning weakness into strength, whether it was Lenin's New Economic Policy or Stalin's marshaling a weak regime to repel the Nazi invasion and emerge as a postwar superpower.

There is still a need for caution by the West in dealing with "ex-communists."

In the fight against totalitarianism, there should be a consensus to battle all varieties of this threat to man's freedom.

What is not needed is a biased response like the attitude of a lot of Western intellectuals and academicians toward communism. Many in these groups were either pro-communist or sympathetic toward socialism with no stomach to oppose leftist totalitarianism.

These hardy souls (many of whom had no problem with fighting a world war against Hitler) dragged their feet during the Cold War, citing fear of a global conflict even before Russia had developed an effective nuclear arsenal.

Both the fascist disease of the irrational soul and the communist illness of the rational intellect need to be fought in order for the cause of freedom to survive.

Charles E. Wilson Jr.

Elkridge

Money habit

I just read Mike Royko's column about a mugger-robber who robs little old ladies to support his cocaine habit and also gets $367 a month Social Security disability because he is addicted to cocaine ("Why do we give money to people who use dope?" Dec. 16).

How about me? I am addicted to candy, ice cream and cake. I already get Social Security because I am a senior citizen, but it is less than the mugger-robber gets.

I think I'll apply for Supplemental Social Security to support my addiction.

Edith Ades

Mount Washington

Burdened by hope

The American economy is becoming more and more troublesome because of Congress' spending policies. Bill Clinton must find ways in his term as president to bolster a stagnant economy.

One of the main reasons the economy keeps spiraling downward is because Congress keeps raising the debt ceiling. Congress says it will only spend a certain amount of money, but if it reaches its money limit and still needs more funds for projects, up goes the debt ceiling. This causes the national debt to increase even more.

When is Congress going to wise up and stop spending more and more tax money? It is about time the president and Congress did something about the economy instead of making lame excuses.

Unemployment continues to decline in some parts of the country, but the American people still face a deficit of $4 trillion. The last time the nation had a budget surplus in one year was 1969. Optimists will say the economy has grown in the last six quarters, but at a rate of 1.5 percent. A normal growth rate would be 4.1 percent.

As the American people can see, Bill Clinton has his work cut out for him, burdened with expectations of hope.

Tom Harner Jr.

Reisterstown

Pitfalls of statehood

Before Senators Barbara Mikulski and Paul Sarbanes rush into voting statehood for Washington, D.C., they had better carefully read the "New States" clause of the U.S. Constitution and ponder the implications.

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