Why Were Communists So Brutal?

Why Were Communists So Brutal?

Soviet delegates.

Soviet delegates.

Why were communists so brutal? This was Niel’s question. We had been reading The Black Book of Communism, 757 pages of bloodcurdling, gut-wrenching, horrifying details of communism’s crimes from Angola to Yugoslavia, with emphasis on China, Russia, North Korea, Cambodia, and Poland. The death toll from worldwide communism “approaches 100 million people killed”[i].

Why did communism kill 100 million? Why did “anyone who deviated from the Party line suffer punishment?[ii] Why was there an “orgy of killing by all sides, with people crucified, impaled, cut into pieces and burned alive?”[iii] Why control all activity in society?

The book’s conclusion provides answers. That chapter is titled “Why?” Soviet Russia is where it started. Lenin and Stalin’s communism was what was eventually exported worldwide. Russians “have a unique sense of particular cruelty in the same way that the English have a unique sense of humor”[iv], said Maksim Gorky. Russians appreciated “human suffering as collective entertainment.”

Fear is the only way to contain people in a system as poor and discouraging as socialism.

“Lenin’s primary objective was to maintain his hold on power for as long as possible. Why should maintaining power have been so important that it justified all means and led to the abandonment of the most elementary moral principles? The answer must be that it was the only way for Lenin to put his ideas into practice and ‘build socialism’”[v].

Marxist axioms were employed:

  • The class struggle
  • The necessity of violence in history
  • The proletariat is the class that brings meaning to history

(What is the proletariat? Unionized workers, the labor class, the “exploited”, toiling people.)

Violence is basic to communism.

Between 1930 and 1953 was Russia’s third revolutionary phase. “It was characterized by widespread terror, which found its strongest expression in the great Purge of 1937 and 1938. Thereafter Stalin found ever more groups to eliminate, targeting not only society as a whole, but also the state and Party apparatus. In fourteen months, 1.8 million people were arrested. Nearly 690,000 of them were killed.”[vi] The Union of Socialist Soviet Republics’s total death toll is about 20 million.[vii]

“Stalin added mystery to the pedagogy of hatred; total secrecy shrouded the arrests, sentences, and fates of the victims. Mystery and secrecy, closely linked to terror, brought terrible anguish to the entire population.”[viii]

Communism was mean because:

  • Marx’s ideas for the triumph of socialism considered violence to be a necessity.
  • Russians, naturally brutal, “invented” communism’s ways, then exported them.
  • People do not accept communism and socialism voluntarily. It must be forced by violence.

That is why.


[i] The Black Book of Communism, page 4

[ii] Ibid. page 745

[iii] Ibid. page 743

[iv] Ibid. page 732

[v] Ibid. page 737

[vi] Ibid. page 745

[vii] Ibid page 4

[viii] Ibid. page 746

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