Yes, just like that. For socialists, the rest of humankind is mere mud waiting to be turned into “art”.
Even though the actual death toll will never be known with certainty, a statement endorsed at the United Nations by both Ukraine and the Russian Federation itself (as well as dozens of other countries) explains that the famine “took from 7 million to 10 million innocent lives and became a national tragedy for the Ukrainian people.”
Now, of course, diplomatic language is incapable of fully conveying the horror of what happened in Ukraine: the desperation of millions of people who escaped from their villages in search of some crumb of bread in the cities, where eventually the hunger became even worse; the despair of the peasants forced to deliver to communist government warehouses the grain they had harvested and then vanished from their plates; the agony of the mothers who saw their children crying and languishing in hunger before their eyes.
Worse still, the anguish of those who resorted to cannibalism in a last attempt to stay alive. And those Ukrainians were not the first cannibals forced by the Soviet delirium. Since the beginning and for decades, even in the Russian territory itself, there were so many confirmed cases that eventually the government had to launch a graphic campaign “against” cannibalism.
Famine, death, mud
The gallery of horrors extends throughout the world, from the Russian famine of 1921 and the already mentioned Holodomor to the millions of deaths caused by the failed “Great Leap Forward” and the “Cultural Revolution” in China. And also, there were those massive Soviet “purges” and the Gulag network of concentration camps. Elsewhere, the Khmer Rouge killed more than 20% of Cambodia’s population in less than five years (1975-1979), while the 1990s famine in North Korea killed up to 15% of that country’s population.
Even yet, you’d still have to add the thousands of murders and millions of deaths caused by socialists and their governments in Vietnam, Cuba, Venezuela, and much of post-colonial Africa.
In the face of Ukraine’s Great Famine, as with all those terrible crimes committed under the mantle of socialism, the left has reacted first by denying the facts, and then, when it no longer has any other option, by presenting them as an unfortunate and isolated error. They are lying. These are not mistakes.
These atrocious crimes are not a gaffe, an unforeseen coincidence or defect, but a fundamental part of the socialists’ design, which perceives human beings as “little more than mud or clay,” available to the whim of the enlightened ones who will then shape the perfect society out of it.
Already in 1850, Fréderic Bastiat denounced this phenomenon, explaining that “as a gardener according to his caprice shapes his trees into pyramids, parasols, cubes, cones, vases, espaliers, distaffs, or fans; so the Socialist, following his chimera, shapes poor humanity into groups, series, circles, subcircles, honeycombs, or social workshops, with all kinds of variations.” “To all these persons, the relations between mankind and the legislator appear to be the same as those that exist between the clay and the potter.”
As socialism came to power, that cruel arrogance (which Bastiat had brilliantly diagnosed among intellectuals) multiplied and spread to politicians, the military, and the activists. In “Red Famine,” Anne Applebaum gathers the chilling testimony of a communist named Lev Kopelev: “Our great goal was the universal triumph of Communism, and for the sake of the goal everything was permissible—to lie, to steal, to destroy hundreds of thousands and even millions of people, all those who were hindering our work or could hinder it, everyone who stood in the way.”
With identical sadism, Walter Duranty, the infamous New York Times correspondent in the Soviet Union, who helped hide the gravity of the Holodomor from the world, explained that: “It may be objected that the vivisection of living animals is a sad and dreadful thing, and it is true that a lot of kulaks and others who have opposed the Soviet experiment is not a happy one. But in both cases, the suffering inflicted is done with a noble purpose.”
“Scientific” socialism, an export of death to the whole world
Deep down, socialists, including those who pose as social democrats, liberals, or “unbiased” intellectuals, still share Duranty’s wicked confidence. That is why communism has not received the deserved academic condemnation that Nazism did. Under a thick layer of pretenses, the modern left shares the arrogance of the socialists of old about how the “noble” end of their particular utopias justifies the means of destroying the lives of others.
In his penultimate book, Jean-François Revel wrote that “to the West dishonor, the Berlin Wall was finally torn down not by the democracies in 1961, as they could easily have done, but by the subjugated people themselves nearly thirty years later”.
He is right, and I would add that this dishonor goes much further. The “scientific” socialism that emerged from the idle intellectual bourgeoisie of Europe dabbled in the blood, life, and hopes of hundreds of millions of people. Those human beings that for socialism are worth the same as the mud burned in a poorly made pot and thrown in pieces at the bottom of the workshop, while the “new intellectuals” are looking for “new clay” to give shape to the “new” utopia. You can guess how the rest of the story goes from here.