Fidel Castro is a very busy man. Over the past few weeks, he has imprisoned more than 75 dissidents, journalists and librarians, some to terms of 27 years. He executed three men who hijacked a ferry boat to flee to the U.S. mainland. He opened lots of angry mail from around the world from friends and former defenders. He made sure that a compliant United Nations re-elected Cuba to the United Nations Human Rights Commission.
But even Susan Sontag, homegrown leftist "intellectual," stamped her foot and shook her index finger, berating Nobel Prize-winning novelist Garcia Marquez of Colombia for not speaking out against the dictator's perfidy.
What's most amazing is that left-wing intellectuals can continue to be surprised at the repetitive pattern of any communist dictator's evil. Every time they may feel compelled to take off their blinkers, as some of them have recently done, it's only a matter of time before the backsliding begins. They make the same old mistakes our homegrown Marxists always make, naively judging communism as the way to utopian impossibility. They just can't see the inherent evil in the roots of socialist ideology.
In a provocative essay building on F.A. Hayek, in the current journal of the Social Philosophy and Policy Foundation, Alan Kors, professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania, compares Marxism and socialism to Nazism and fascism.
The concentration of power over all life in a centrally planned society, he writes, always attracts and rewards those who are the "morally worst," the most ruthless and the most submissive. Communist leaders don't come to power as a "necessary evil" in a transitional process toward an ideal goal. They exert absolute power for personal gain. Those who rebel are inevitably treated as Castro treats his dissenters.
"No cause, ever, in the history of all mankind," writes Prof. Kors, "has produced more cold-blooded tyrants, more slaughtered innocents, and more orphans than socialism with power."
Socialism in action, as opposed to an abstract utopian ideology, created a string of inhuman despots - Lenin, Stalin, Mao Tse-tung, Kim-Il Sung, Ho Chi Minh, Pol Pot, Castro. All trampled on intellectual and artistic independence. Alexander Solzhenitsyn was no aberration. Yet leftist intellectuals not only ignore the facts, they act surprised when Stalin, Ho Chi Minh or Castro shows just how horrible a Marxist tyrant can be.