When debating communism, I often encounter those who do not know exactly what it is. My answer is the one known by millions and millions: arrest, purge, gulag, and death. That’s communism.

But the knowledge of communism gained by those who live under it (that is, those whom communism has not murdered) is vastly different from the communist fantasies of Western intellectuals. While millions under communism’s icy hand starve and die, Western intellectuals tout it as a laudable alternative to the system under which they now exist and flourish–as if Lenin, Stalin, and all who follow in their train did not hate intellectuals; as if nothing horrible ever happened to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn–whom Western intellectuals despise as often as do their communist idols.

Intellectuals are not valued by communism even though some intellectuals ridiculously and inexplicably value it. “Intellectuals,” Lenin said in a letter to Maxim Gorky, are not the nation’s brains, “They’re its shit.” For that reason, Lenin drew up lists of intellectuals who were suitable only for deportation, internal exile, or death. To lose them, Lenin deduced, was to lose almost nothing at all. Despite all their boot-licking toadyism, the intellectuals fared no better under communism than the kulaks and the Cossacks, who perished for no better reason than that they simply fell afoul of the sinister policy called “death by quota.” Communism dealt death so often that one of Stalin’s most stunning and disgusting achievements might be called “the necropolis,” or city of death, meaning mass graves for 100,000 to 200,000 persons all at once. As Stalin himself said on so many occasions: “Death solves all problems.”

Intellectuals are not held in high esteem by communism because communism knows that, by and large, intellectuals are what Lenin called “useful idiots.” Those “idiots” are “useful” because they seem never to notice that communism everywhere and always must be a conspiracy to violence. From its historical record, we know that communism is gangsterism imposed by the power of the state. We know that it requires repression to survive. Communism is a derelict and destructive delusion. Not co-existence or tolerance, but victory over this evil must always be our unwavering intention. Communism is a wicked idea leading to a miserable existence. It deserves no quarter. Like trying to make peace with cancer rather than eliminating it, co-existence with communism is worse than surrender; it is death. You cannot live with communism; you can live only without it.

Yet, even caught as we are in this on-going life or death struggle with communism, Americans (both the intellectuals and others) remain addicted to half-way measures–and halfway measures cannot keep communism from re-emerging. As often as we kill the monster, it must be killed again. Communism does not stay dead. Even when no one else is, Western intellectuals themselves keep conjuring it back to life. Those intellectuals are proof that evil ideas do not die simply because those ideas have been conclusively and repeatedly refuted. Refutation and truth are not the friends either of communism or of the intellectuals who fawn over it.

Lenin publicly declared that communism, to survive, must be a dictatorship. Dictatorship, he said, was not an organization for order, much less for freedom–but for war. Where freedom reigns, communism cannot survive. Communism is at war. Communism sees free human beings as the enemy. Know this: If you are a free human being, communism wants you dead. It wants to add your name to the more than 50 million other names it has enrolled on the rosters of extermination. If you think that halfway measures are the order of the day, you will die. Indeed, you are half-dead already.

Interestingly and ironically, communists today also employ half-way measures. They know that their bizarre economic system cannot possibly produce the goods and services necessary for prosperity, so they permit capitalism a foothold, a half-way entrance into their jurisdiction. Even under those half-way measures, capitalism works better than communism. Half-way capitalism in communist countries like China provides the prosperity not otherwise available. That prosperity feeds the expansionistic fervor native to communism. By means of their half-way capitalistic policies, the Chinese communists make enough to fuel their diabolical engines of destruction.

In other words, to free persons, half-way measures are the very definition of danger, whether we ourselves employ them or the communists do. Because communism’s objectives are limitless, our opposition to it must never be half-way.

When faced by colossal evil, indifference and half-way measures are never a suitable response. Yet judging from American apathy and compromise, one would think Ronald Reagan never lived. Communism is theft. It steals property; it steals livelihoods; it steals lives; it even steals nations. Communism is synonymous with theft because communism is anti-God. It is atheism applied to political ethics, the inevitable result of which is nihilism and tyranny. Communism is the enemy of God, and because it is, the enemy of humanity too.

Anything that will not submit to truth is the enemy of God and of us. Truth, you will recall, is a He, not an it (John 14: 6). Communism will not submit, either to Him or to it. Communism wants truth to submit, so it tries to steal the past too. Every time a new communist regime comes to power, those new powers require their historian lackeys–ostensible intellectuals–to re-write the history books, removing the old heroes and replacing them with a coterie more amenable to the regime. Communists know that whoever controls the past controls the present; so they set about to control the past, no matter what the truth of the past really says. We have it on the Highest Authority that the truth sets us free (John 8: 32). Truth is liberating. For that reason, communism hates truth and will not tolerate it. Truth has few more resolute enemies than communism and its sycophantic Western intellectuals, under whose insidious influence every academic discipline is now in hopeless confusion. Of that confusion and its consequent famine of truth, communism has absolutely no fear.

Here is my point: With the death of learning and of truth comes the death of all things else, first to those persons and things not useful to the regime. Therefore, whenever a human institution or movement actively resists the truth, intellectuals–of all persons–ought to beware, ought to sound the alarm with clarity, purpose and courage. They must do so because, where there is a famine of truth, famines of other sorts soon follow: famines of food, famines of freedom, and famines of life.

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