Socialism Has Written Its Name in Blood

Daily Mail (London), September 5, 2012 | Go to article overview
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Socialism Has Written Its Name in Blood


Byline: Dr Mark Dooley

WRITING in this newspaper yesterday, my colleague Brenda Power said that if former Socialist Party TD Clare Daly 'had even a shred of political integrity', she'd 'resign her Dail seat and clear the way for a candidate with a true, heartfelt conviction who might just make a difference'. I agree, except for the bit about socialists possessing 'heartfelt' convictions.

It is one of the great historical ironies that the word 'socialist' is still associated with moral convictions.

Indeed, I consider it a moral abomination that, in contemporary Europe, we still have socialist and communist parties. It is even worse that people are happy to propel them into positions of power.

Given its blood-soaked history, socialism should be regarded with the same moral revulsion as Nazism. For beneath all the sloganeering about freedom, equality and social justice, there is the horror suffered by those forced to exist under socialism. Wherever it took up residence, socialism brought neither utopia nor liberty but murder and enslavement.

And yet, despite the mass graves of Central and Eastern Europe, the killing fields of Cambodia, Russia and China, we continue to tolerate those who, with an air of moral superiority, call themselves 'socialists'.

Of course, the most self-righteous of them will say that the examples I have just cited were deviations from real socialism. To which I say: if those were the deviant versions, I'd hate to see the real deal.

For years, I had to stomach university professors extolling the virtues of Marx, Lenin and Chairman Mao. To nods of approval from their leftist students, they would openly describe themselves as Stalinists. On one occasion, I witnessed a talk in the course of which a professor seemed to excuse the murderous regime of Pol Pot, on the basis that we 'ought to respect cultural differences'.

Still, there is only so much damage academic ideologues can do. Usually, maturity is enough to rid their students of socialist delusions. What is morally damaging, however, is the presence of socialists in a modern democratic parliament.

How, in other words, can we elect people who espouse the same ideology as those who turned half our continent into a concentration camp? How can we take seriously those who still regard Karl Marx as a secular saviour? And how can we do so when we now know that there is no virtue in a system which leads naturally to the gulag? Contrary to what Marx claimed, there is nothing 'scientific' in socialism. After all, you can only judge a theory on the basis of how it works in practice.

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