One perversity of modern American culture is the propensity of some to treat totalitarian mass murderers as “cool” kitsch.
Recently, when I attended the conference of the Association of Private Enterprise Education, other participants noticed with disgust that Harrah’s, the Las Vegas hotel that hosted the conference, also houses a burger joint called KGB, a name that refers both to “Kerry’s Gourmet Burgers” and to the Soviet’s version of the Gestapo. The restaurant is adorned with Soviet paraphernalia. But nobody would dream of opening a restaurant called “Gestapo” and adorning the walls with Nazi swastikas; indeed, such an establishment would draw immediate and universal condemnation. Why the double standard?
The character of Joseph Stalin himself shows up on a poker app by Candywriter I purchased for my iPod. The game features a variety of historical and fictitious characters, ranging from Genghis Khan to the Tooth Fairy to Barack Obama. Among the group is Stalin, who even by conservative estimates slaughtered around ten million people. Why is it culturally acceptable to include Joseph Stalin as a potential poker partner but not Adolf Hitler?
Soviet-style socialism is every bit as evil as Nazi-style socialism. To treat either lightly is not only to disrespect the memories of the millions murdered under those regimes, but to pretend that murder for the “common good” is somehow better than murder for the “superior race.” How obscene.
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Image: Wikimedia Commons