Earlier today, Liberty Hangout declared the month of May as Communism Awareness Month. We wish to help raise an awareness about the ideology responsible for killing 100 million, as well as shine light on the dangerous influences it permeates over our American culture today.
Whilst perusing Twitter, I came across a rather peculiar piece published on the New York Times that made me do a double take.
The official Twitter account for the New York Times Opinion section published the following tweet, with a caption that reads, “Communism once gave ordinary Americans a sense of their humanity.”
— NYT Opinion (@nytopinion) May 1, 2017
The author, Vivian Gornick, who is a self-described daughter of two “working-class socialists”, opens up her piece with the following quote from former liberal journalist Murray Kempton:
“I have known many Communists in my life. I have not known them as criminals. I knew them once as activists — and we had our quarrels. But while this country has not been kind to you, it has been fortunate in having you. You have been arrested, you have been followed, you have had your phones bugged, you have had your children fired. Throughout this, I can think of numbers of you I have known who have remained gallant and pleasant and unbroken. I salute you and I hope for times to be better.”
Gornick goes on to tell the story of her socialist parents, quoting her mother who once said, “America was fortunate to have had the Communists here. They, more than most, prodded the country into becoming the democracy it always said it was.”
Throughout the remainder of the article, Gornick takes readers through her childhood, describing growing up with socialist parents and attending May Day rallies during the height of the Cold War. However instead of drawing ire towards the communists, the author appears to draw sympathy instead.
“It is perhaps hard to understand now, but at that time, in this place, the Marxist vision of world solidarity as translated by the Communist Party induced in the most ordinary of men and women a sense of one’s own humanity that ran deep, made life feel large; large and clarified. It was to this clarity of inner being that so many became not only attached, but addicted. No reward of life, no love nor fame nor wealth, could compete with the experience. It was this all-in-allness of world and self that, all too often, made of the Communists true believers who could not face up to the police state corruption at the heart of their faith, even when a 3-year-old could see that it was eating itself alive.”
She briefly mentions the tyranny of Joseph Stalin, and how it enraged many communists when they learned of his horrors, but she quickly returns back to sympathizing with the communists. Gornick closes out her article by stating,
“Hundreds of thousands of Americans were Communists at one time or another during those 40 years. Many of these people endured social isolation, financial and professional ruin, and even imprisonment. They were two generations of Americans whose lives were formed by political history as were no other American lives save those of the original Revolutionists. History is in them — and they are in history.”