For reasons I can’t identify, the last couple of weeks have seen an uptick in one of liberals’ favorite hobbies: dishonestly rewriting the rise and fall of global communism and their role in it. A couple weeks ago, Foreign Policy provided a platform for communist William Blum to rewrite the entire history of the Berlin Wall, blaming its very existence on America. My colleague streiff justly excoriated this transparent apologia for mass murderers here, and his effort is worth a read. Now the clowns at Foreign Policy are at it again, this time rejecting the place that America and Western Europe – and specifically capitalism – played in the fall of the Berlin Wall.
I have always been fascinated with the blasé attitude liberals have displayed towards factual accuracy in history. It has in fact led me to wonder whether there are perhaps genetic differences between the way conservative and liberal brains work. Whenever I am recounting a historical event, I am compelled to note as accurate a recitation of the actual facts as possible. To liberals, this aspect of a narrative is absolutely optional and always has been. Orwell (himself a socialist) noted the communist duty to rewrite history to fit the political facts of the present. To see the truth of this statement, one need only examine the cottage industry of various “critical theories” of history, comprised entirely of liberals and communists, which treat actual facts as unimportant except to the extent that they contribute to a narrative that fits the author’s “correct” viewpoint.
This dichotomy explains why most of America laughed in frank disbelief at Dan Rather’s explanation that his story about Bush and the TANG was “fake but accurate,” whereas Rather and his cronies were in frank disbelief that America rejected their explanation.
Foreign Policy’s latest piece treats the fall of the Berlin Wall as one of those weird historical accidents that just, you know, happens sometimes – offering as possible explanations a number of completely insufficient possible causes (such as the activity of completely toothless eastern European NGOs) and ultimately suggesting that a bad couple days from an organizational standpoint doomed the Berlin Wall to fall. These explanations of course fail to account for the reason people were clamoring to cross the wall in the first place, and thus Foreign Policy is forced to concede that people wanted social freedom, while arguing that economic freedom was completely beside the point.
A thinking person would rightly interject here that Foreign Policy’s entire argument is a gigantic exercise in question-begging, since the lesson of the 20th century communist experiment – at least to people who are interested in actual facts as they existed – is that social freedom cannot exist in the absence of economic freedom. Reasonable believers in capitalism can disagree about issues that exist at the margins of economic policy, such as the proper level of regulation for derivative securities and appropriate controls on monetary policy. But over and over again, communism demonstrated that wholesale government control of economic production went hand in hand with wholesale government control over the freedom of its citizens. It is not a historical accident that totalitarianism followed communism everywhere it went (or, more accurately, vice versa), it was a necessary element of communist doctrine.
This, sadly, is exactly the lesson that modern liberals hope will be forgotten, along with their complicity with worldwide communist expansion, which resulted in the political and economic enslavement of hundreds of millions of people. This mission is important enough to liberals that no fact is too important to sacrifice on its altar.
The writing and teaching of history is a field that is disturbingly dominated by liberals in this country, and without our constant vigilance to correct the record on this vital point, they may well succeed. For the sake of future generations who might fall under the yoke of socialism, we dare not allow this to happen.