Sunday, August 06, 2017

Useful Idiots

Both communism and fascism have destroyed the lives of millions of people and turned entire countries into giant prison camps.

In a free society we are entitled to hold, and express within the law, any opinions we wish, but anyone who uses the liberty of a free society to express support for authoritarian tyrannies whether of right or left casts doubt on their judgement.

The vast majority of people would have no truck with fascism or nazism and would regard support for either as putting the person who expresses such support outside the pale. Yet a surprisingly large proportion of those who - rightly - condemn fascist or Nazi regimes and their sympathisers do not express the same condemnation of Marxism or communism.

This is astonishing given that avowedly communist or Marxist regimes have been responsible for crimes which have destroyed even more millions of innocent lives than Nazi and fascist regimes.

Lenin is reported to have described those in the West who supported the propaganda of his regime as "useful idiots" and there have been a long history of people who have allowed themselves to be duped by far-left regimes, governments which claimed to follow idealistic policies but which left a string of ruined countries, shattered lives and murdered opponents.

Oliver Kamm on CAPEX has an excellent article at

which chronicles the story of some of these "useful idiots" and notes that Jeremy Corbyn's support for the disastrous regime in Venezuela is the latest in a long line of people who have given uncritical support to dire hard-left governments our of a wish to believe that hard-left policies can succeed.

The corruption and incompetence of previous governments in Venezuela had previously been very damaging but the history of the Chavez and Madura regimes demonstrates that hard-left policies were no solution and that in the medium and longer term only made matters much worse. Chavez is still popular with some people in Venezuela because he managed to die before most of his chickens came home to roost. Maduro is continuing the same economic policies which have manifestly failed while effectively trying to abolish democracy to cling to power.

History will not be kind to either. Nor will the wise be impressed by those who held up Venezuelan socialism as a model for Britain to follow.

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