[an error occurred while processing this directive]
About
Content
Store
Forum

Rebirth of Reason
War
People
Archives
Objectivism

Post to this threadMark all messages in this thread as readMark all messages in this thread as unreadBack one pagePage 0Page 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Forward one pageLast Page


Post 20

Thursday, May 31, 2007 - 7:36pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Hong, it is not my intention simply to score points at your expense. I look forward to your explaining your statements without reference to me. I'm posting this in courtesy, I'll examine this string and respond later when I can devote the time.

What's going on now in Venezuela seems much more worthy of everyone's emotion and focus.

Ted



(Edited by Ted Keer
on 5/31, 8:04pm)




Sanction: 26, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 26, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 26, No Sanction: 0
Post 21

Friday, June 1, 2007 - 8:52amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Hong said:

German people who had chosen Hitler, and Chinese people who had chosen Mao, and Vietnamese people who had chosen Ho Chi-Minh"


While you assessment is true in the first two cases, it is not in the third. The Chinese communists had no world super power intervening on their behalf, nor did the National Socialists of Germany. While Mao eventually recieved support from Stalin, it was not a significant portion of the expenditures.

Vietnam, however, was far different, it was not a 'revolution' fought between two competing ideals, it was a small minority of Marxist intellectuals that were well armed and funded by the soviet union that were foistered upon people who had little chance to form any other opinion. To compare the state of North Vietnam, and the funding and growth of the communist movement in North Vietnam, to the internally sustained movements of murderous collectivism in China and Germany is wholly disingenuous and I can't help but think your assessment of this situation is just a manifestation of your predilection to think whites act too much as 'know it alls' when considering 'asian' peoples histories. But you don’t get axiomatic wisdom of the Vietnamese people because of less distant genetic relations, while I am certainly no crystal ball of knowledge on Vietnam, I know you assessment of the history and the context surrounding the Vietnam war is completely wrong, to suggest that South Vietnam was ready to invade the north is completely absurd.

What do you think those North Vietnamese communists fought with? They were not tanks and AK-47's manufactured in the jungles of Vietnam, but weapons of course straight from the Soviet Union and China. How could a peasant rebellion, armed with farming tools, defeat a controlled collectivized military funded and armed by a world super power? Ho Chi Minh met with Stalin and Mao in 1950, received the finest communist education in France, instituted murder quotas, land reforms, a brutal police state, and was well funded and armed from both China and the Soviet Union. The Chinese communists lent almost 400,000 troops to build infrastructure in North Vietnam. There was not even the *potential* for 'self determination' in this case. If you opposed Ho Chi Minh, you were killed, and you were killed by Soviet / Chinese weaponry. The two communist world super powers funded the war, supplied the weapons, and built the infrastructure to fight it. When the people of the North were allowed to ‘choose’ some 500,000 to 750,000 fled the north into the south, while about 30,000 headed north.

By 1975 many of the atrocities of communism were well known, though their true extent of the horror had yet to be revealed (and indeed is still being revealed as secret documents continue to be uncovered) I recommend reading through Nixon’s 1969 speech, here are some notable excerpts, the atrocities of North Vietnam *alone* were all ready well known by this time. There is absolutely no excuse for an elected member of congress to wantonly condemn more than 80 million people to whole sale slaughter and imprisonment that they *knew* communism would bring, and had brought, every single time it rose to power. They "should" have known because they have a responsiblity to be intellectually honest, and a mere 15 minutes of investigation, especially to the resources available to a congressman, would have made the picture quite clear.

Nixon’s “Silent Majority” speech (with many relavent parrallels to today)


In view of these circumstances there were some who urged that I end the war at once by ordering the immediate withdrawal of all American forces. From a political standpoint this would have been a popular and easy course to follow. After all, we became involved in the war while my predecessor was in office. I could blame the defeat which would be the result of my action on him and come out as the Peacemaker. Some put it to me quite bluntly: This was the only way to avoid allowing Johnson’s war to become Nixon's war.

But I had a greater obligation than to think only of the years of my administration and of the next election. I had to think of the effect of my decision on the next generation and on the future of peace and freedom in America and in the world.

Fifteen years ago North Vietnam, with the logistical support of Communist China and the Soviet Union, launched a campaign to impose a Communist government on South Vietnam by instigating and supporting a revolution.

For the South Vietnamese, our precipitate withdrawal would inevitably allow the Communists to repeat the massacres which followed their takeover in the North 15 years before.

--They then murdered more than 50,000 people and hundreds of thousands more died in slave labor camps.

--We saw a prelude of what would happen in South Vietnam when the Communists entered the city of Hue last year. During their brief rule there, there was a bloody reign of terror in which 3,000 civilians were clubbed, shot to death, and buried in mass graves.

--With the sudden collapse of our support, these atrocities of Hue would become the nightmare of the entire nation-and particularly for the million and a half Catholic refugees who fled to South Vietnam when the Communists took over in the North.

For the future of peace, precipitate withdrawal would thus be a disaster of immense magnitude.

--A nation cannot remain great if it betrays its allies and lets down its friends.

--Our defeat and humiliation in South Vietnam without question would promote recklessness in the councils of those great powers who have not yet abandoned their goals of world conquest.

--This would spark violence wherever our commitments help maintain the peace-in the Middle East, in Berlin, eventually even in the Western Hemisphere.

Ultimately, this would cost more lives. It would not bring peace; it would bring more war.




Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Post 22

Friday, June 1, 2007 - 9:33amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Thanks Michael for posting Nixon's speech warning abandoning South Vietnam would result in the disaster that actually did befall Indochina after the Democrats cut funding.

I don't know how the Democrats could claim ignorance of what would happen if they were explicitly told by their President what would happen and what was public knowledge of NVA communist atrocities by 1975.

Ignorantia non excusat

John said,
> I was born in 1975 so I didn't know anything at that time.

Ah, I see.


Was that remark intended to be sarcastic?
(Edited by John Armaos
on 6/01, 9:34am)




Sanction: 4, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 4, No Sanction: 0
Post 23

Friday, June 1, 2007 - 9:00pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
John,

RE:  [Numbers added to quotes for clarity].

"Mike:

I consider this an unfortunate attack on one of the finest and most sincere thinkers on RoR.



[1.] Mike I didn't make the comment to which you are referring to here so why are you referring to me as if I said it?

[2.] And if you consider challenging Hong's comments as an unfortunate attack, I find it quite unfortunate anyone should get a free pass here. Let me know if there are certain posters on RoR that get to make any arbitrary statement they want to make to go unchallenged and I'll make sure to never post here.

Hong simply argues for understanding that judgements made without the advantage of first hand information are inevitably flawed.

[3.] I'm sorry Mike but I thought I made it clear there was no excuse of ignorance to be made by the Democrats in 1975 what the communists had in store for Indochina considering the already known track record of communist atrocities by this time.
"

My reply:

1. Ted's remarks were sanctioned, I assumed by yourself, so I addressed my remarks to both of you. I apologize if I made an unwarranted assumption.

2. What I quoted was not in any way a challenge to Hong's remarks but an ad hominem EVERY SINGLE DETAIL OF WHICH WAS FAR WIDE OF THE MARK.  I am in no way giving Hong a "free pass" about anything.

3. You may claim "ignorance is no excuse" all you want, it does not take away the fact that many good people exist in a state of ignorance, not understanding the context and facts of very important things. Did you think about my example of Thomas Sowell for even an instant? He was in a "state of ignorance" when he was a Marxist. Did that make him any less of a good person? His character was shown by his change of mind when the facts became clear to him, not when he was in a state of being mistaken. The fact was he believed a certain way until he learned first hand that it was a mistake.  YOUR opinion does not make for first hand information for someone else no matter how loudly you say it.  They will simply not hear you.  What we don't already agree with is just background noise.

I have sanctioned you and Ted many times. I respect your experience, intelligence and points of view and agree with a great deal of what you have to say. I have learned interesting things, gotten good references from both of you and I sincerely appreciate it. But I have been waiting for you to "get" Hong for some time and I'm getting a little impatient. Stop with the ad hominems, try to understand what she is saying and I will enjoy your conversations far more.  [Yes, it IS all about me].






Sanction: 10, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 10, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 10, No Sanction: 0
Post 24

Friday, June 1, 2007 - 11:31pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
But I have been waiting for you to "get" Hong for some time and I'm getting a little impatient. Stop with the ad hominems, try to understand what she is saying and I will enjoy your conversations far more.


Again, you accuse me of ad hominem attacks? Or was this addressed to Ted? If so you need to make that clear.


Mike, I sincerely do not understand your assertion I am using any ad hominems against Hong. Ted's comments are his own and only he can claim ownership, please only attribute comments I have made myself to me and no one else. I think Ted can defend himself and nor am I aware of his past conversations with Hong so I don't even know the context behind his posts about Hong. I await evidence of your accusation (Ted's comments are not mine) as I feel you are simply making a hasty generalization that I and Ted speak as one. I agree with a lot of what Ted says but I have a busy plate defending myself around here from false accusations I don't need to take on the responsibility of defending others. Saying I'm attacking anyone without backing this up is just too easy and I can't help but feel it is itself an ad hominem against me. Please withdraw the accusation.

You may claim "ignorance is no excuse" all you want, it does not take away the fact that many good people exist in a state of ignorance, not understanding the context and facts of very important things.


There is a difference between those you can claim ignorance while still being intellectually honest. That is, information was not available to them, but they made every possible sincere effort to arrive at the truth and scrutinize whatever evidence was available to them. Then there are those who claim ignorance, yet have arrived at their ignorance through intellectual dishonesty, that is not making the effort to do a little research and dismiss what others say around them and ignore evidence that is made available to them, another words obfuscating reality. I accuse the Democrats of the latter kind of ignorance, not the former. Did you read Michael Dickey's post? I think he sums it up quite nicely here:

By 1975 many of the atrocities of communism were well known...They "should" have known because they have a responsiblity to be intellectually honest, and a mere 15 minutes of investigation, especially to the resources available to a congressman, would have made the picture quite clear.


If the Democrats of that elected congress in 1975 is seeking forgiveness for what they did, I'm still waiting to hear it. But there's no way they can say they are not guilty of depraved indifference to the people of Indochina through no fault of their own. Not making an effort to educate one self is not a valid excuse. 7.5 million people paid for that intellectual laziness and denial of reality. I wonder if these Democrats, whichever ones that are still alive, can still sleep at night knowing their actions lead to so much misery and slaughter?



Did you think about my example of Thomas Sowell for even an instant? He was in a "state of ignorance" when he was a Marxist. Did that make him any less of a good person?


I don't know anything about him, or under what circumstances he came to be a Marxist or how or for what reason he changed his mind. I also don't understand the example given. Did Thomas Sowell have information available to him of the evils of Marxism, no wait not just available to him, but foisted upon him and yet still remained a Marxist? Was he ever intellectually dishonest with himself? Because that is what would have to be the similarity here if you're going to use him as an example. Otherwise I would reject the notion one could always claim ignorance under any and all conceivable circumstances and escape moral culpability. And even if one did atone for one's beliefs and change their mind to believe something that is of more value to humankind, it does not absolve the individual from ever being held to any moral standards. Perhaps he was immoral but as time passed he discovered values that changed his position to one that was moral. I don't know but not knowing all that is needed to know is not fair to me since I don't have enough information to justify or condemn Sowell's actions.
(Edited by John Armaos
on 6/02, 12:59am)




Sanction: 9, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 9, No Sanction: 0
Post 25

Saturday, June 2, 2007 - 12:18amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Mike, I understand and appreciate your respect for me, and assumed your distress was based upon that respect and the apparent conflict with Hong. I am not sure if you are aware of my exchange with her over isl*m, and her method there of asserting arbitrary nonsense and then complaining about what she asserted were my emotions and, in essence, my stupidity and cowardice. She never refuted any fact, she just went from the arbitrary to ad hominem to silence. I can find you the links, but see little point in continuing the matter except if you doubt my good faith.

Hong is indeed getting a free pass here, and her pretense at our supposed outrage doesn't excuse her from making absurd and arbitrary assertions such as that the peoples under Soviet domination "chose" Communism. I said she might be (seemed) ignorant (i.e., not fully aware of the facts) or possibly cynical - her snide remarks are not unknown; amoral - see her comments on Tolstoy; or insincere. I also said that I had no evidence sufficient to draw any of these conclusions without a doubt, but that her behavior when it comes to excusing evils and speaking of the equal guilt of the West is bizarre. It is bizarre. You omitted that last sentence when you spoke of my "attack." Surely you know that if I want to attack someone I am not so subtle or qualified in my words.

Her response was not to explain herself, but again to accuse John & me of "outrage" and to withdraw from the debate like a passive-aggressive person who says he was "just kidding" after he made a rude comment.

As I said, I am happy to listen to her explanations of how the evil of communism was unknown or unknowable until the 1980's, her explanation as to how the Balts, the Ukraines (who suffered 20 million dead under Stalin) and the rest of the subjects of the Soviet Union "chose" communism. I would love to know how anyone after 1939 was possibly unaware of its genocidal tendencies. She can do this without the indignity of having to address me directly.

Read my posts on suicide as a capitol crime. I did not shrink from blistering attacks or say that my feelings were hurt and that I was taking my marbles and going home. It is not I who acts like the pet Diva of this site.

This is an awful waste of time on my part to have to justify my comments. I have been perfectly objective toward Hong, perhaps at some times taking her off the cuff remarks more seriously than they deserved to be taken. I've also backed her up on such occasions as her discussion with Phil O. over his accusations of the particular insidiousness of Chinese culture and the mysterious Chinese language. If my posts are re-read, you will see that there is dismay but no malice and no desire to attack any person, just a strong challenge to absurd nonsense.

Hong is a big girl. She doesn't hurt me by refusing to answer my questions. Until Hong responds here, I will assume her argument is not won, but cancelled.

Ted

Oh, and whether or not John sanctioned my posts, the ones that were sanctioned were all sanctioned by multiple parties. I am generous in my sanctions, often giving Atlas points to my opponents when they make the attempt at sincere and enlightening responses.

(Edited by Ted Keer
on 6/02, 12:24am)




Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Post 26

Saturday, June 2, 2007 - 7:51amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Michael,
I am very glad that we at least agree on two accounts, that of Soviet and China. As for the case of Vietnam, yes, I am willing look into it more. You did remind me the general sentiment the Chinese people had back then in their fervent support of N. Viet's cause. However, nothing in your post, nothing in Nixon's speech, which I assumed were generally aware of in the West, reflected the true extend of Communist atrocities. No 7.5 millions there as John constantly mentions.  In this case, knowing the exact nature and numbers of the killings matters a great deal. Because if you look at Rummel's site, look at the killings that he attributed to some of the non-Communist reigns such as Chinese Nationalist, they are quite horrendous too.

It is ironic that you would cite Nixon. Perhaps you are aware that Nixon was and probably still is Chinese Communist's favorite American President? He and Kissinger extended much needed recognition to China at its darkest hour and started the process to "normalize" Sino-American relationship in the early 1970s. In 1972, with US backing, Taiwan was kicked out of United Nation and Mainland Communist government became the recognized representative of China. I did remember what a morale boost that was for China!

(Edited by Hong Zhang on 6/02, 8:02am)




Sanction: 10, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 10, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 10, No Sanction: 0
Post 27

Saturday, June 2, 2007 - 7:57amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Gosh, Ted, I didn't realize that you have spent so much time thinking of me! It's impossible for me to reciprocate.



Post 28

Saturday, June 2, 2007 - 8:18amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Mike E.,

You seem to understand everything I was saying here. (Thank you). Was I really so difficult to "get"?




Sanction: 10, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 10, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 10, No Sanction: 0
Post 29

Saturday, June 2, 2007 - 11:16amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
This post is about the claim that the Soviet peoples "chose" communism. But first, a plea for a return to reason by "one of the finest thinkers on this site."

Again, Hong, in post 27, you play the snide cynical amoralist. Why? Can't you rise above this? I wrote post 25 for Mike's benefit, since I respect his opinion. He said I had attacked you. I explained to him that I had been surprised by your ignoble behavior, here and elsewhere. You are entirely free to stop addressing me and start addressing the issues. I don't spend any time thinking about any of the people here on this list. I think about the issues, about the integrity of my arguments, and about what, of value, I can contribute to this site.

You said that the Russians "chose" the communists. That's quite untrue. They "chose" to overthrow the Czar, and when popular protests erupted, and the army refused to put down the uprisings, the Czar abdicated and Kerensky became the president of the Republic. The takeover of the "Bolsheviks" was accomplished by their being the most ruthless and ideologically driven minority in the government. Indeed, knowing Lenin's murderous nature, The German government had released him from prison and had financed his return to Moscow as a destabilizing force. The Communists then ousted Kerensky in a coup, having insinuated themselves in all the key positions. The Communists weren't voted into power then or in any free election ever.

Once in power, the communists resorted to campaigns of brutalization and forced collectivization. Landholders and private farmers were executed outright. Some 20 Million Ukranians were starved to death. The West was quite aware of this - but as with today the left denied, obfuscated and lied. Orwell and others knew better, and these truths were trumpeted from the right. There's even some obscure Russian emigre, a certain Miss Rosenbaum of St. Petersburg who wrote about what was going on there on the small-scale. If you like, I can try to find the name of that book for you.

Ted Keer



Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Post 30

Saturday, June 2, 2007 - 12:21pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Hong said in post #11:
However, please remember that at those particular historic moments, it was the Russian people who had chosen Bolshvek, the German people who had chosen Hitler, and Chinese people who had chosen Mao, and Vietnamase people who had chosen Hu Chi-ming.
I gleaned the following from the web:

On January 30, 1933, President Hindenburg appointed Adolf Hitler chancellor of Germany, although the National Socialists [Hitler's party] never captured more than 37 percent of the national vote, and even though they still held a minority of cabinet posts and fewer than 50 percent of the seats in the Reichstag. On August 2, 1934, Hindenburg died, and the title of president was abolished. Hitler’s title became Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor.

If this is accurate, then I wouldn't exactly say that the German people chose Hitler.

Thanks,

Glenn




Post 31

Saturday, June 2, 2007 - 8:04pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Glenn,
I don't doubt that your quote is accurate. But, you might have also gleaned from the web the following:
Free elections in 1932 under Germany's Weimar Republic made the NSDAP (aka Nazi) the largest parliamentary fraction; no similar party in any country at that time had achieved comparable electoral success.
 Which is not contradictory to you quote, but looks at the same phenomenon in a different light.




Sanction: 16, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 16, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 16, No Sanction: 0
Post 32

Sunday, June 3, 2007 - 4:43pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Hong:

No 7.5 millions there as John constantly mentions.


I'm sorry I ever mentioned this number as it has been used to dismiss what the Democrats did in 1975 only because they could not foretell the holocaust that would happen to this precise a number. It has been used as an absurd standard of what was and was not foreseeable in 1975. You're right Hong, in no way would they know precisely 7.5 million people would be murdered. As if that is the standard here I made before we can say the Democrats were culpable? Would it have been better if 5 million were murdered? 2 million? What does it matter I have said 7.5 million people were murdered, the west knew what the anti-life ideology of communism meant. The point was that the Democrats were told mass murder would occur, that South Vietnam would live under a system of slavery and brutality, and what happened was precisely what conservatives warned would happen. 7.5 million dead is the proof that warning came to be true. They did know (or at least obfuscated due to their intellectual dishonesty) that every single communist government before it, especially the Soviet Union, resulted in mass murder. Whether they had a crystal ball and could foretell the precise quantification of "mass" in mass murder is irrelevant and quite silly as a standard for guiding behavior. What was foreseeable was that the crimes that would befall Indochina would be an atrocity, and whatever final tally the death toll would be, it would be too high and it was.

It would be like releasing every felon from our prison system and arguing "well we can't tell what the future will hold and what they will do, they may not go out and kill, rape, and steal from people" If you have a proven track record, that's all you need to predict the likely-hood of future communist behavior.
(Edited by John Armaos
on 6/03, 5:00pm)




Sanction: 15, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 15, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 15, No Sanction: 0
Post 33

Sunday, June 3, 2007 - 8:52pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Hong, You seem to keep asserting that by 1975 the west knew hardly anything about the atrocities of communism, can you cite some timelines that indicate when and what knowledge became available about what atrocities at what time?

My point in citing the Nixon speech was that to indicate, in the specific case of North Vietnam, we all ready knew that communism had caused an immense blood shed, and any reasonable examination of the question would have indicated the same thing would occur in all of Vietnam, and neighboring nations as well, which is exactly what happened in Laos and Cambodia.

As for our knowledge of the rest of the atrocity’s of communism, lets first take a look at the Soviet Union.

For starters, Solzhenitsyn’s “Gulag Archipelego” was published in 1970, and he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature for this monumental narrative which detailed the horrors of the Soviet Gulag system. Sozhenitsyn continually warned Americans about the threat of communism and in fact at his commencement address at Harvard University in 1978, said (quoting wikipedia)

“Solzhenitsyn alleges that many in the U.S. did not understand the Vietnam War. He argues that although many antiwar proponents were sincere about stopping all wars as soon as possible, they "became accomplices... in the genocide and the suffering today imposed on thirty million people there." He rhetorically asks if the American antiwar proponents now realize the effects that their actions had on Vietnam by inquiring, "Do these convinced pacifists now hear the moans coming from their Vietnam?"”


The Gulag Archipelago just convinced people that the Gulag’s were not something that occurred only under the rule of Stalin, and they in fact continued, and that the purges and show trials continued as well.

Robert Conquest’s “The Great Terror” published in 1968, based mostly on information that Krushchev allowed released in the period of 1956 – 1964 (in an attempt to distance the Soviet Union from the horrors of Stalin) further detailed the gruesome and brutal reality of communist Russia.

Krushev’s “Secret Speech” was first presented in 1955, a speech which detailed the horrors of the Great Purge and executions of Soviet Communism under the rule of Stalin. The details and content of the speech were photographed by a Jewish journalist whose girlfriend worked for the Polish Communist Party, the photographs were relayed to the Israeli Embassy and in April 1956 was delivered to the CIA and President Eisenhower. The CIA leaked the speech to the New York Times a few weeks later.

Consider also the extensive repression of Jews during the Lenin and Stalin regimes; include widely publicized repression of Jewish Intellectuals following WWII.

The “Dewey Commission” published in 1937, detailed the show trials and purges of early Soviet Communism, Conquest’s book illustrated that the scale and horror of it was much greater than the Dewey Commission had understood.

And of course one must consider the numerous personal stories of the hundreds of thousands that had escaped, in some manner, the murderous brutality of communism, reports that were relayed indirectly all around the world, and no doubt collected by people whose job it was to know these things, and surely would have been made available to any congressman or senator who gave a damn, had they not bothered to have the issue explained to them from the numerous popular texts above.

Michael F Dickey




Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Post 34

Monday, June 4, 2007 - 10:21amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Michael and John,

> You seem to keep asserting that by 1975 the west knew hardly anything about the atrocities of communism...

No, that's not what I am saying at all. What I was saying is, essentially, that by 1975 the majority of Western people, the individuals, not some abstract "west" or "democratic countries", hardly realized the true magnitude of the atrocities of communism. Talk to people around, and I would even venture to say that even now, a significant number of people still do not have any concrete grasp of the crime of communism. How many people have read "Gulag Archipelego" or other publications that you listed? How many movies or popular books or museum or first-hand accounts of experience of Communism were out there by 1975? And how many of those were pro-Communism? In contrast, how many people have seen "Schindler'e list", or "War and Remembrance", or photographs of Nazi concentration camps, or have been to a Holocaust museum, or read a chapter in the history book on Holocaust? How many Holocaust survivors do you know? And how many survivors of Communism persecutions do you know? Do you know of a single museum of Communism? I don't. And go to a book store and randomly open a world history book, and read what does it say about Soviet or China. Is it adequate? Now you have Rummel's site to tell you all those numbers. How exactly did he compiled those numbers? Why it takes an academician instead of a political organization to do that?

Well, at least you guys realized that what we have been arguing is not whether Communism is evil, but the awareness of the magnitude of that evil by the Western society, the policy makers, and since the policy makers were elected by people, the awareness by the general populace. Since both of you were hardly born at that time, you assertion has been based on "what should have been", "what people should have known", and not what actually was or what people actually knew. Solzhenitsyn's statement in 1978 that "many in the U.S. did not understand the Vietnam War" was exactly right.

(Edited by Hong Zhang on 6/04, 1:30pm)




Sanction: 17, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 17, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 17, No Sanction: 0
Post 35

Monday, June 4, 2007 - 10:21pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
This is mere assertion Hong, baseless and false. You do not know what individual American people did or did not know about Communism in the 40's 50's or 60's. My mother's family and entire neighbourhood in Philadelphia, comprised of Slovaks, Poles, Hunarians and Ukranians certainly knew what was going on under the Communists. Even though my own great grand-parents came here in 1895, they maintained connections with the old country until contact was lost during WWII.

While the Left in the US denied the Ukranian famines of the '30's, or at least denied their causes and significance, this mass murder was not unknown, else there would have been no need for Soviet apologists to deny it. Was the West unaware of the fact that as Nazi Germany fell, entire masses of people fled Westward in order to be on the Allied versus the Soviet side of the front? Was the 1956 Hungarian uprising and its brutal repression unknown? Was the Korean War and the difference between the North and South unknown to the world? Was the Cold War about U.S. Colonization of Europe? Did we lose? Need I continue?

And now you say that this is the real issue: "Well, at least you guys realized that what we have been arguing is not whether Communism is evil, but the awareness of the magnitude of that evil by the Western society..." Have you read your own posts? There sheer cynicism of this statement is incredible. Earlier you were saying that there was no moral difference between the Reds and the Whites, the Nationalists and the Communists, and that the Germans (okay - maybe) and that the Russians (absolutely not) chose their dictators.

And now you use the ignorance of the present generation to save face, to bolster the only claim left that you want to defend? You ask how many people have read the Gulag Archipelago? How many people know the survivors of Communist atrocities?

What sort of epistemology is this?

What does the ignorance of the general populace of the West prove or matter? You might as well assert that the ignorance of the present generation proves that the Moon-landing was a hoax.

Do you maintain or withdraw your claims of moral equivalence between the Communists and there foes?

Do you maintain or withdraw your claims that the atrocities of the Communists were unknown in the 40's, 50's and 60's?

Do you maintain that what matters about mass murder is not whether it happened, or who fought to contain and prevent it, but whether ignorant Americans knew about it?

"Outraged,"

Ted Keer




Sanction: 16, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 16, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 16, No Sanction: 0
Post 36

Tuesday, June 5, 2007 - 9:24amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Ted,
Your inability to read and to understand is incredible. And your insistence on demonstrating your mental deficiency again and again verges on lunacy or just sheer stupidity. Your repeated idiotic attacks on me do not merit a single line of response. Please do everyone here including yourself a favor to have a doctor come over and check you out. Have a good life. 




Post 37

Tuesday, June 5, 2007 - 12:45pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

As usual, Hong Zhang’s observations are very discerning. However, it’s not so much a question of what the “West” did, or did not know, but rather, why they opt to ignore what they know, or pretend it is otherwise.

 

The link I have provided below is to an article that perfectly captures my own view as to they “why” the West does not react, or has chosen to ignore - Communist genocide.

 

http://www.liberty.li/forum/archive/index.php/t-294.html

 

BTW, the people of a nation always choose their governments,either through direct support, but more commonly, by the degree of ambivalence they show towards those that presume to govern in their name. And this is not only true of Western democracies, but includes the tyrannies created by small minorities of fanatics or military coups.  Whether it is Russia in 1917, China in 1949, Germany in 1933, or Cuba in 1959 … it is the dominant philosophy that underlies a nation’s predominant culture that determines its form of government. Ultimately, a people always get the type of government they deserve.

 

George

(Edited by George W. Cordero on 6/05, 1:08pm)




Sanction: 19, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 19, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 19, No Sanction: 0
Post 38

Tuesday, June 5, 2007 - 1:06pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
In post 2, Hong started this argument with this sentence:

"It is way too simplistic to say that at that particular historic moment, that one side was moral and the other was immoral."

I can read this in a few ways.
1.) Ethically, the two sides were roughly equivalent.
2.) There might indeed be a difference, but epistemologically, there was no way of know it at the time.
3.) Neither side was 100% moral.

Ignoring 3, since nothing has been said about it, and John wasn't arguing that, it leaves 1 and 2.

The only evidence for interpreting her comment as 1 was that she argued that the people "chose" these governments. And as she said it, she used it to try to reinforce her position that there was no way to know. Of course, if she was arguing for moral equivalency in other threads, it would be reasonable to read it this way.

But interpretation 2 has the most evidence, as her further arguments hinged on the epistemological question. She argued there was no way to know. John, Ted, and Michael Dickey have thoroughly proven that it was not only possible, but was indeed known by many people.

Hong retreated to the position that not everyone in the country knew the truth, which I personally find irrelevant. What evidence did she present? None. She relies again on an epistemological question of whether we can know now whether it was commonly known then. In terms of debate strategy, she's going for a stalemate since her own position was untenable.

"It is way too simplistic to say that at that particular historic moment, that one side was moral and the other was immoral."

Turns out that this is not too simplistic at all. The facts were clear and available even then. One side was moral and one was immoral.

I'm personally disappointed with Hong's ad hominem attacks. Instead of attacking the content of the arguments, she attacked the people. I'm also disappointed with whoever sanction her post 36, which is just an infantile and baseless attack.

Hong, please keep in mind that you are a guest on this site. I built this place for Objectivists, which you are not. You've been a welcome guest in the past because you've been mostly civil and some people find your contributions beneficial. This insulting approach of yours is not acceptable.

Ted, John, and Michael Dickey, thank you for keeping focused on the arguments and presenting your cases well.






Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Post 39

Tuesday, June 5, 2007 - 1:20pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
George,
Thank you very much for the understanding and the link. It certainly eloquently stated how West has chosen to ignore communist genocide, but it is still not clear to me why. 




Post to this threadBack one pagePage 0Page 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Forward one pageLast Page
[an error occurred while processing this directive]


User ID Password or create a free account.