Undead Communist Morality
Roberts, Paul Craig, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
Communism has failed, but its morality has prevailed. As an economic, social and political system, Soviet communism fell of its own weight without a missile fired. The same collapse is under way in China, where a communist government is peacefully dismantling its own socialist handiwork and substituting successful capitalist institutions.
But while our institutions are supplanting communist ones, communist morality is supplanting our own.
Communist morality is issue-driven. As the end justifies the means, it is permissible to lie, cheat, steal and murder in pursuit of an ultimate goal.
The communist notion of morality differs profoundly from the Judeo-Christian view. Respect for truth, and for the lives and property of others, are enshrined in the Ten Commandants. It is not permissible to lie, cheat, steal and murder in behalf of a cause.
Until recently, political democracies were governed by a consensus that the end does not justify the means. But this consensus has broken down. Increasingly in Western democracies, the political left decides a person's morality on the basis of his or her position on social issues.
This politicization of morality has turned people of upright moral character in the traditional sense into moral pariahs for having the wrong views on social issues. For example, class warfare against "the rich" has become such an obligatory position for a "moral," "caring" politician that Republicans are hesitant to propose tax cuts that might benefit the rich.
A scandal surrounding a Nobel Prize illustrates the growing influence of issue-determined morality. On Dec. 15, the New York Times revealed that Guatemalan Rigoberta Menchu won the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize for an autobiography that has turned out to be a false account of her life.
Miss Menchu inflamed class warfare with her made-up story of her Indian family pitted in a struggle for land and survival against wealthy landowners of European descent, who allegedly manipulated government agencies to drive the Indians off their land.
In one of the most emotionally moving parts of the book, Miss Menchu describes the death of her younger brother, Nicolas, from malnutrition while her family worked for slave wages on a coffee plantation. In another wrenching episode, she describes the murder of another brother by army troops who allegedly poured gasoline on him and set him afire.
She tells how the effect of these injustices drove her into the guerrilla underground where she became a political organizer. …