Editors Note: This is the fifth in a multipart series by guest contributor Robert Patrick Lewis
One of the most infamous aspects of communist regimes is the gulag, that dark, remote prison located in Siberia to which undesirables who aren’t murdered in the street are sent to be “disappeared” forever or re-educated, only released if the regime can be certain they have neither the strength nor the desire to speak any ill word toward the party.
Although the gulag system was created under Lenin in 1919, it was Stalin who got the most use out of them, with their final prisoner count being around 18 million people between their creation and their end at Stalin’s death in 1953.
So, who were the “danger to society” prisoners at a compound known for intense savagery, starvation, and political re-education?
Murderers? Rapists? Pedophiles?
Nope. The largest prisoner population came from Stalin’s “Great Purge” to cleanse the Communist party of dissenting members, anyone who would challenge the leader, as well as common criminals and the “kulaks,” prosperous peasants who we’ll discuss more in the next section.
At the end of “The Great Purge,” over a million people were imprisoned and an estimated 700,000 were executed between 1934 and 1939.
Aside from mass imprisonments, the Red Terror campaign, authorized by Lenin to be orchestrated by his CHEKA (who also ran the gulags), was an operation that should strike fear into anyone who has doubts about what happens when Marxists rule a land.
Used as a way to purge the nation of anyone deemed to have a desire of return to the Czarist rule, the CHEKA claimed the right to both sentence and execute anyone whom they deemed to be an enemy of the government, waging mass terror against all real or imagined enemies of the state across Russia.
Because of the absolute control the state had over the land there are no official records of the terror campaign, with total deaths at the hands of the CHEKA in the Red Terror alone estimated between 10,000 and 140,000 deaths.
Pol Pot was quite keen on party purges and mass imprisonment, himself. The Cambodian’s version of the Gulag was S-21, a high security prison created by his Khmer Rouge. Of the 1.5 - 2 million people killed under Pol Pot’s regime (approximately 25% of Cambodia’s population at the time), between 4-5000 members of his own party were “purged” and 15-20,000 others were killed at S-21 alone (with at least a dozen westerners in that group).
Taking notes from Marxism, Lenin and Mao, Pol Pot would frequently create false stories of attempted kidnapping of party members or that the accused members were spies for the CIA, KGB or Vietnamese military.
In 1978 Pol Pot initiated another purge with the slogan, “Purify the Party, Purify the Army, Purify the Cadres,” in which he accused tens of thousands of innocent civilians of being Vietnamese sympathizers and ordered them all executed. Along with having a murderous tyrant in charge of the nation, many of Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge had mental defects, as he had put his entire focus on elevating the status of the poorest of the poor throughout his nation.
This led not only to people being put in charge of national issues of which they had no education, experience, or mental faculties for but also led to vicious and violent campaigns against Cambodia’s people, the likes of which the world has not often seen.
Pol Pot’s cadres would often use their leader’s directives to go after people they didn’t like, using them as an excuse to murder and torture innocent civilians indiscriminately, performing disgusting and ritualistic acts like eating their victim’s livers or tearing fetuses from women they’d killed and wearing them as talismans.
The Khmer Rouge followed the doctrine that it was always, “better to go too far than to not go far enough,” which is yet another iron-fisted trend that we see repeated throughout history whenever Marxists are given control.
Not to be outdone, Mao had a very interesting way of explaining his mass execution quotas, which in his words were, “necessary for securing power.” Mao himself claimed that at least 700,000 were killed in attacks on “counter-revolutionaries,” but when looking into who he believed defined this class and what his actual policies were, we find the numbers to be much, much higher.
He required that at least one landlord, but typically several, in every village be publicly executed, as he set a policy that owning too much land or too many goods deemed one “counter-revolutionary.”
Think about that - AT LEAST one public execution in every village in China merely for owning land.
This led to as few as two million or as many as five million being publicly executed, with as many as four to six million being sent to “reform through labor” camps where they perished through either starvation or violence.
Here’s an interesting fun fact: during Mao’s regime, many people in large cities as Shanghai and Beijing refrained from walking on the sidewalks, because suicide was so common that people didn’t want to be crushed from a jumper.
Why would this be? Part of Mao’s preferred policy was to drive people to suicide rather than wasting a bullet on them.
Like any other Marxist leader, Mao’s total death counts can be difficult to track, because the regime doesn’t want to be held accountable for their crimes (many learned from Hitler’s mistake of keeping copious notes of their crimes, and created policies to ensure the world would never be given as comprehensive a record of their crimes as was left in Germany).
Deaths in Mao’s Cultural Revolution are no different, and all historians agree that at least 400,000 is a minimum death toll. Other historians assert that in rural China alone at least 36 million were persecuted, of which 750,000 to 1.5 million were killed, with roughly the same number being permanently injured.
Tying it into Today
It may seem difficult to see how these sins of past Marxist regimes can be applied to today, but their beginnings can be seen merely by looking at the events of Spygate, Russiagate, the General Flynn case, the IRS targeting conservatives scandal and the McKloskey’s in St. Louis.
These events may not have led to tens of millions of deaths or imprisonment (yet), but they have perfectly outlined the willingness of the current Democrat party to use the full weight and force of the federal government, law enforcement, judiciary, and intelligence community against anyone, they deem to be political enemies.
These events have all taken place long before the Democrats had full, iron-gripped control over the nation, which makes it very scary at how brazen they are.
The fact millions of Americans know the truths and have seen the hoaxes for what they are, yet the Democrat party is still willing to use the “trial by media/public opinion” power of their propaganda to go forward with their hoaxes and narratives anyway should be downright terrifying.
For the past several decades, the left has at least tried to keep it hidden, having the “mask on” as you would say, explaining anyone who called them out as Marxists as conspiracy theorists.
But President Trump has forced the masks off, and they are no longer even trying to hide it anymore.
What do you think they’ll do when all pretenses are dropped if they manage to seize power in this nation again?
Land Redistribution Leads to Death via Death Squads and Mass Starvation
I briefly mentioned “the kulaks” before, and their persecution by murderous Marxist dictators have perhaps led to the largest death tolls among all of these tyrannical regimes, purely because they began a slipping slope of troubles that none of these leaders - or any Marxist principles - could fix.
Since Mao’s “Great Leap Forward” is attributed to at least 40 million premature deaths in China resulting from the massive famine and starvation caused by idiotic Marxist policies, perhaps it’s best to focus there.
A “kulak” is simply a wealthy peasant or farmer, someone who has learned their trade and prospered as a result of either business acumen or skills that others do not possess.
It should also be remembered that both Mao and Pol Pot’s parents would be considered kulaks based on their ability to work their families out of poverty, which makes these actions even more despicable.
But please keep in mind, each of the murderous Marxist dictators on this list have tried their own version of this, attacking the same classes of people in their societies, having the same exact results each time.
Because the root of Marxism is the false claim to “return power to the people,” (when in reality every Marxist dictatorship simply gives any and all power to the state), each of these depots made land seizures and redistribution a hallmark of their regime’s policies.
They each enacted these policies in a different way, with Mao being the worst as he created the public execution quotas for wealthy landowners in each village, then redistributing those parcels of land among the rest of the population.
Having a sound mind and being raised in a capitalist society, can you guess what the problems inherent in those policies would be?
If you guessed that a “brain drain” would follow these policies, which weeded the best, hardest working and highest performing agriculturalists out of their societies, you would have guessed correctly.
Imagine for a moment that you are a farmer, and instead of taking the seeds from the best-performing crops each year to replant the next year, you took those best performing seeds and threw them away, choosing instead to plant the worst or average performing seeds.
Do you think you’d have a bumper crop the following years, or that it would turn into a race to mediocrity and poor performance?
The 40 million starvation deaths from “The Great Leap Forward” answered that question for us all.
If you have eight minutes to spare, I highly suggest you watch this short video that explains “The Great Leap Forward” in more detail than I can cover in this article alone.
Compounding the problems with killing off the best performers in society, Mao moved people from the city out to the farms, people from farms out to the city, forced farm equipment to be melted down to be used on equipment in industrial centers, and required that China still keep up exports abroad to save face with the world, even as his people starved to death.
On top of that, there is one other major issue inherent in each of these regimes that turns them into a maelstrom of troubles that aren’t recognized until it’s far too late to fix (see: Chernobyl, China Virus, etc.).
In these Marxist-based socialist or communist societies, the dictators rule with such an iron fist and are so quick to send dissenters to the gulag or firing squad that lower-level party members are too terrified to give their higher-ups any bad news.
Even as millions of kulaks were dying off in the beginning of “The Great Leap Forward,” the party members in each village were too afraid to report the bad news up the chain of command, many even lying and saying that the harvest had reached their quota despite
being far, far off (many made up for this by reducing the food rations of the farmers themselves, leading to malnourishment, death, and even lower productivity).
During a strategy class in my MBA course, we studied the Russian “central plan” in great detail to understand exactly how it went so wrong, and it all boils down to two simple factors: first, the Marxists never put human nature into the equation, always believing that fear and party loyalty will cause people to do what’s asked of them, which never quite works out when people begin watching their families starve to death.
Second, intellectuals who’ve never run anything before don’t have experience with “Murphy’s Law:” if something can go wrong, it will.
Their fear-based motivation and asinine Marxist policies cause a downstream effect of lower production and inefficiencies with every passing year, and the upstream effect of the leadership never having good information because their subordinates are too afraid to give bad news.
So, when Carlos Osweda says that, “leftists don’t know how anything works,” he is 100% correct.
Tying it into Today
As a man with an enormous amount of experience in running, consuming and studying business, it sickens me anytime I see a snot-nosed and idealistic college student today talking about “power to the workers,” or how the business managers, founders, investors, and owners should all be thrown out and the workers should be put in charge.
Really take a moment to understand the insanity of that idea.
Pol Pot, Mao, Lenin, and the rest each showed just how disastrous this idea is when putting into policy, and we even had to learn the lesson again in Iraq when we fired anyone loyal to Saddam, whether they were military loyalists or people running critical infrastructure like power systems.
There are millions of jobs out there which are quite simple to do as a job, and people often have a hard time understanding how some single companies take thousands of those simple jobs, done together, to form a single enterprise that provides anything from logistics to groceries to power to running water.
To think that you could take a random person who makes widgets and put them in charge of an entire company shows just how little any person putting that idea forward knows about the world or how it works.
Especially when the only prerequisite to earning the title of running the company is “loyalty to party.”
But this is what happens in Marxist regimes, every time.
We’ve come to a point in time when people are so ignorant of history that they have no idea that the very ideas they’re proposing have been tried many times before, and when it comes to Marxism or any of the political paradigms created by Marxism they’ve always had extremely deadly and disastrous results.
Every. Single. Time.
Yet we continue to give these pseudo-intellectuals who are completely ignorant of history but willing to propagandize our people with a platform to speak, a lectern to teach from or a book deal to spread their terrible ideas.
If we want to save the country from repeating each of the deadly results listed above, we need to nip that in the bud, now.
Robert Patrick Lewis is a Green Beret OIF/OEF combat veteran with 10th SFG(A), CMO of Heroes Media Group, entrepreneur, MBA, and award-winning author of Love Me When I’m Gone: The True Story of Life, Love and Loss for A Green Beret In Post-9/11 War, The Pact and The Pact Book II: Battle Hymn of the Republic. @RobertPLewis on Twitter