Tuesday was Victims of Communism Day

Tuesday was Victims of Communism Day
Mao Zedong, communist dictator of China

On Tuesday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced that November 7, 2023, was the second annual “Victims of Communism Day” in the state.

Florida established the day through House Bill 395 in 2022, which requires high school students to learn about suffering under communist regimes.

Law professor Ilya Somin explains the case for a Victims of Communism Day:

November 7 … is the anniversary of the day that the very first communist regime was established in Russia. All subsequent communist regimes were at least in large part inspired by it, and based many of their institutions and policies on the Soviet model.

The Soviet Union did not have the highest death toll of any communist regime. That dubious distinction belongs to the People’s Republic of China. North Korea has probably surpassed the USSR in the sheer extent of totalitarian control over everyday life. Pol Pot’s Cambodia may have surpassed it in terms of the degree of sadistic cruelty and torture practiced by the regime, though this is admittedly very difficult to measure. But all of these tyrannies—and more—were at least to a large extent variations on the Soviet original…..

The Black Book of Communism estimates the total number of victims of communist regimes at 80 to 100 million dead, greater than that caused by all other twentieth century tyrannies combined. We appropriately have a Holocaust Memorial Day. It is equally appropriate to commemorate the victims of the twentieth century’s other great totalitarian tyranny.

Our comparative neglect of communist crimes has serious costs. Victims of Communism Day can serve the dual purpose of appropriately commemorating the millions of victims, and diminishing the likelihood that such atrocities will recur. Just as Holocaust Memorial Day and other similar events promote awareness of the dangers of racism, anti-Semitism, and radical nationalism, so Victims of Communism Day can increase awareness of the dangers of left-wing forms of totalitarianism, and government domination of the economy and civil society.

While communism is most closely associated with Russia, where the first communist regime was established, it had equally horrendous effects in other nations around the world. The highest death toll for a communist regime was not in Russia, but in China. Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward was likely the biggest episode of mass murder in the entire history of the world.

In Washington, DC,  Black Lives Matter protesters defaced the memorial to victims of communism, in 2020. As Intellectual Takeout notes:

Marion Smith, the executive director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation tweeted images of the vandalism Tuesday. Photos show “BLM” and what looks to be part of another word spray painted on the statue.

In interesting, if perhaps coincidental timing, this vandalism of a tribute to the dead occurs the same week as the anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) brutal suppression of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, resulting in an estimated death toll of thousands of protesters as the full weight of China’s military descended upon its citizenry.

The Victims of Communism memorial statue is a duplicate of the “Goddess of Democracy” statue which was a 10-meter tall construct assembled during the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests in China. Work began on May 27 in the Central Academy of Fine Arts, before students there surreptitiously moved the statue in pieces, avoiding state security, and assembled it in Tiananmen Square on May 30.

Communist regimes did not believe that the lives of their black citizens mattered. Communists murdered hundreds of thousands of people in black African countries like Ethiopia. Up to 750,000 people died in Ethiopia’s Red Terror, and an even larger number of Ethiopians died in famines that resulted from destructive communist agricultural polices. Hundreds of thousands more people were killed by communist regimes in Mozambique and Angola.

LU Staff

LU Staff

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