The Denial of Evil: The Case of Communism
One of the most highly regarded books of the 20th century was Ernest Becker's "The Denial of Death." Winner of the 1974 Pulitzer Prize, the book is regarded as a classic for its analysis of how human beings deny their mortality.
But there is something people deny more than mortality: evil. Someone should write a book on the denial of evil; that would be much more important because while we cannot prevent death, we can prevent evil.
The most glaring example of the denial of evil is communism, an ideology that, within a period of only 60 years, created modern totalitarianism and deprived of human rights, tortured, starved and killed more people than any other ideology in history.
Why people ignore, or even deny, communist evil is the subject of a previous column as well as a Prager University video, "Why Isn't Communism as Hated as Nazism?" I will, therefore, not address that question here.
I will simply lay out the facts.
But before I do, I need to address another question: Why is it important that everyone know what communism did?
Here are three reasons:
First, we have a moral obligation to the victims not to forget them. Just as Americans have a moral obligation to remember the victims of American slavery, we have the same obligation to the billion victims of communism, especially the 100 million who were murdered.
Second, the best way to prevent an evil from reoccurring is to confront it in all its horror. The fact that many people today, especially young people, believe communism is a viable -- even morally superior -- option for modern societies proves they know nothing about communism's moral record. Therefore, they do not properly fear communism -- which means this evil could happen again.
And why could it happen again?