By Janey Whitney
Socialists in congress and “democratic” socialists across the US often talk about how great socialism is for the poor, while we actively continue to see individuals fleeing from socialist countries. Over time, communism has been responsible for the death of over 100 million people. 1 Socialists prey on the weak, or the poor, in order to rise to power through promising a better life and promising economic equality, leaving individuals dependent on that government to sustain their income, and other essentials such as food and shelter that are crucial to their survival. These socialists promise a better life, yet never provide this “better life.” The Black Book of Communism, published by the Harvard University Press, goes through the deaths that were forced through communist-run governments. Vladimir Lenin of the Soviet Union, Mao Zedong in China, and Fidel Castro of Cuba are all primary examples of many deaths at the hands of socialist practices and communist dictatorships.
The Great Leap Forward policy, or the Great Chinese Famine, which took place under Mao Zedong’s leadership, is responsible for the starvation and death of over 40 million people. 2 This is known as the “biggest mass murder in the history of the world,” and in some cases the death toll is reported to be between 30 million to 45 million people. 3 Although the Chinese Communist Party, or CCP, founded by Mao Zedong might be the largest mass murder at the hands of communism, the deaths unfortunately do not end here.
Vladimir Lenin of the Soviet Union is one of the most notable faces of communism, and it is estimated that the Soviet Union possibly had 1.3 million deaths under the Red Terror. The Bolshevik regime was responsible for the Red Terror, otherwise known as a movement encompassing state-sanctioned mass killings and detainments. 4 This movement came after a push for protection of basic civil rights, growing food shortages, and overall upset within the nation. 5 This led an opening for the Bolsheviks to rise to power through promising “peace, land and bread” to the people. 6 However, to maintain their power, the Bolsheviks began the Red Terror which punished, and even killed many of their enemies.
Similar to the Soviet Union, state-sponsored killings were also evident in Cuba. 7 Fidel Castro, a self-proclaimed Marxist-Leninist himself, 8 has estimates of around 35,000 to 141,000 deaths under his regime according to research from the University of Hawaii. 9 Many of these deaths were due to those trying to escape the poor living conditions of Cuba by sea. Other deaths can be attributed to dying in prisons or mysterious disappearances. Political prisoners accounted for thousands of those in prisons in Cuba subject to harsh and inhumane treatment, although the state prefers the term “counterrevolutionary prisoners.” 10
If you haven’t noticed a common theme yet, these movements both started out with an offering for the poor but, with a heavy government presence, have ultimately come to intimidate and harm the vast population of these nations. Many tried to flee these countries and come to another country, such as the United States, to escape these cruel and unfair regimes. These socialists might claim the United States is an unfair country, but even at our worst we could never match these communist governments at their best.
LinkedIn: Janey Whitney
Janey Whitney is a 2019 graduate of Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Law, Politics and Society. Janey has volunteered, interned, and worked in several different political settings: including law firms, think tanks, and political campaigns. She hopes to run for office one day, in hopes to combat socialist ideals and to fight to keep America the same great country we all love.