Today is May 1st, or “May Day,” a traditional holiday of socialists and labor unions that was taken over by communist regimes and used as an excuse for parades to show off the military hardware that they used to intimidate their neighbors and oppress their own people. November 7th and August 23rd are both observed as remembrance days for the victims of communism, but Georgetown law Prof. Ilya Somin has long advocated for making May 1st the international “Victims of Communism Day,” for reasons he explains here.
It is conservatively estimated that over the course of the 20th century, the USSR, China and other communist regimes killed between 80 and 100 million people. That number could be much higher, since communist regimes don’t like to let outsiders know just how many people are dead because of their policies, as we’ve just been reminded by the way Beijing dealt with the Wuhan virus (that’s right, I called it by its proper name. That isn’t racist, but calling it by a name that serves Beijing’s propaganda interests by whitewashing its origin is immensely disrespectful to the Chinese people who suffered and died because of their own government’s self-serving dishonesty.)
You probably won’t hear much from media talking heads today about the massive human slaughter caused by communism. They’re too busy blaming President Trump for 55,000 deaths caused by a virus that was actually unleashed by communists. But we need a regular reminder of the staggering death toll of communism, which, as Prof. Somin points out, is greater than that of Nazism and all other 20th century tyrannies combined. That’s because Western apologists for this horrendous blight on humanity (aptly referred to by communist leaders as “useful idiots”) are constantly polishing it up and trying to sell it to new generations of naïve suckers, like a lemon used car.
Just this week, writers in the Atlantic magazine actually argued that the Chinese system of censoring the Internet is superior to American free speech because it’s dangerous to let “misinformation” from non-experts taint public discourse. In this case, “misinformation” is loosely defined as “things I disagree with” and “experts” as “people who smugly believe they know everything, despite having been wrong over and over again.” This is so stunningly ludicrous that even Rolling Stone political writer Matt Taibbi, hardly a conservative or Trump supporter, wrote an excellent article dismantling it.
Despite the best efforts of certain social media giants to censor free speech, we don’t yet have a Chinese-style system. If we did, I assume we would all now believe the “true information” that came from Beijing-approved sources and was repeated by “experts” like the W.H.O. For instance, that China has the coronavirus completely under control, there’s no evidence it can be transmitted from person to person, and there’s no need to shut off travel from China or cancel crowded public events. That’s just the tip of the iceberg of recent “expert” wisdom. Looking back, the “crazy, misinformed Internet conspiracy theorists” had a better batting average than the self-proclaimed “experts.”
Of course, that’s not to say that we should believe any crackpot with a Twitter account. But the genius of the American right to free speech is that it creates a free marketplace of ideas, where everyone is free to make a case, and everyone else is free to challenge it. Eventually, through open debate and honest inquiry, the truth emerges. Or at least, we get a lot closer to the truth than we’d ever get if we relied on a monumentally failed death cult to police what we are allowed to say.
Always remember, it’s no coincidence that May Day, the holiday celebrating communism, is also the phrase used to warn of plane crashes and other imminent deadly disasters.