A useful introduction to the horrors of Communism,
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This review is from: Koba the Dread: Laughter and the Twenty Million (Hardcover)
This book has its faults, but Amis has done a good job. It's a short introduction to the horrors of Communism. And those horrors were real. What's more they've happened in every country where Communists seized power. There was something wrong with the system - it was fundamentaly flawed. And the problem, as Amis accurately tells us, started not with Stalin. It began with Lenin. He employed mass terror, clamped down on opposition and introduced ludicrous economic and agricultural policies that failed in every country where they've been tried. As Amis shows Stalin followed in Lenin's footsteps.
Time was when intellectuals and the hard Left could make excuses for Communism. Not any more, though I was appalled to hear Eric Hogsbawn - as late as 2012 - still claiming the experiment was worthwhile. That busted flush E.H. Carr did the same a few years back. Worldwide Communists have slaughtered at least 100 million people and the killing still goes on. In every case they failed to provide a better standard of living, let alone a better society, and the old fools still claimed it was worthwhile! It never was. It was irrelevant.
If you want a civilised welfare state there's no need for Communism. Go and live in Denmark. Apparently the Danish are the happiest people in the world. They pay the highest taxes, but are prepared to do so for the benefits they receive. And the Danes live in a free society. They have never introduced mass terror, torture, death camps, or slaughtered millions to do it. They've never introduced censorship and destroyed all artistic and intellectual freedom. There's plenty to eat and masses of consumer goods - a civilised life.
So a suggestion to those on the hard Left who still advocate Communism. Go and live in North Korea for a time. There you'll find this murderous system in operation. Then go and live in Denmark and ask yourself why the Danes are so much more successful at producing the good society.
In the meantime, I suggest Amis's book gives a good introduction to the subject.