The Most Important Lesson of the 20th Century:
The most important lesson of the 20th Century was that we cannot allow socialism or communism to fester. Throughout the 20th Century, we made accommodations to socialism. For example, we backed down in Russia after the Revolution and let the communists win. Similarly, Neville Chamberlain let National Socialism fester and grow powerful in Germany. That led to national socialism and international socialism forming an alliance- the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Next, America let socialism fester in North Korea and China. Rather than striking it down, as MacArthur wanted to do, Truman let it remain and solidify across East Asia. Finally, we let China off the hook for the Tiananmen Square Protests. Instead of forcing liberalization, HW Bush gave in and kept normal relations with China. None of those accommodations have ended well for America or the Western world. Instead, they have led to many casualties of communism.
This week marks the 75th Anniversary of D-Day and the 30th Anniversary of Tiananmen Square. Because of that, and the rise of socialism in America, I thought it would be good to look back on America’s history with socialism. Both of those events could have been avoided had we pushed back earlier. But, our government didn’t. Throughout the 20th Century, it tried to accommodate the evils of both national socialism and international socialism. As a result, many people died.
The History of Trying to Accommodate or Negotiate with Socialism:
In this section I will explore America’s history with accommodating socialism and what those accommodations led to.
The Russian Civil War:
The first chance the West had to defeat communism and socialism was after World War 1. Once Germany had been defeated, the West turned its eyes towards Russia and sent troops to defeat the communist threat. But it was all for naught. Instead of actually fighting alongside the “White” Russian forces against the socialist “Red” forces, American and British troops remained bottled up at Murmansk and Arkhangelsk. The Bolshevik forces were able to easily bottle up and defeat our troops.
Our leaders hadn’t drummed up enough political support to continue the intervention, nor did they even give the troops already in Russia enough supplies. Instead, they made their first accommodations with socialism. Despite knowing the evil ideology that the Bolshevik forces represented, our leaders withdrew our troops and allowed socialism to win in Russia. Had they kept fighting the good fight against the Reds, perhaps future wars could have been averted. But they gave in and made accommodations with evil in 1920 and withdrew. The Bolsheviks then won the war and dominated Russia and much of Eastern Europe for the next 80 years.
The National Socialists:
After the intervention fiasco, socialists around the world saw that the West wasn’t serious about combating their ideology. So they started to rise up. In Germany two types of socialists, Nazis and communists, battled it out in the streets. Many died, and the Nazis won. The West could have intervened. Western nations could have saved the Wiemar Republic and prevented the spread of socialism from Russia to Germany. But instead, the West compromised.
Our leaders, especially Neville Chamberlain, wanted to accommodate the national socialists. So he did. Time after time, Chamberlain and his allies backed down in the face of socialist aggression. They let the socialists take Czechoslovakia, Austria, and other territories before finally standing up to Hitler. By then it was too late. The socialists had grown strong enough to start World War II.
World War II:
World War II would probably have not started when it did had the national socialists in Germany and international socialists in Russia not been cooperating. First, they banded together to develop military technology and tactics. German socialists were the tech experts, and the USSR had the land in which those experts could develop their weapons of war. Then, the socialists banded together in the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. That pact divided up Poland and was directly responsible for the start of World War II.
The next 6 years were full of horrendous suffering and bloodshed. Millions died in the fields of Europe as we tried to beat back socialism. Eventually, after costly operations such as D-Day, we succeeded and liberated half of Europe from socialism. France, Greece, Austria, the Benelux, and half of Germany were freed from the evil grip of socialism and its horrors. But even after all of that, we hadn’t learned our lesson. Instead of pushing past Berlin and liberating the rest of Europe from socialism, our leaders again compromised with evil. Despite there having been multiple lessons already that cooperating with socialism was a bad decision, our leaders decided to. That decision haunted us for the next half of the 20th Century.
After World War II:
Shortly after World War II was golden opportunity for the US and Britain to reverse policy mistakes from the past 30 years and finally defeat Russian socialism. The US was mobilized and its economy was thriving. Additionally, it had suffered relatively few casualties during the war, and almost not damage to its homeland. The US was ready to continue the war against the socialists. General Patton and Winston Churchill, two men who recognized the dangers of socialism and the problem with cooperating with it, were ready to invade the Soviet Union and destroy it.
On the other hand, the Soviet Union was on the brink of collapse. Its homeland had been ravaged by the national socialists. Its military, while powerful, was out of reserves; for the last few months of the war, it had to replenish its ranks with teenagers. Finally, the Soviet Union could not survive another war if it didn’t have Lend-Lease aid. Had we not given them that aid during World War II, they certainly would have lost. We had saved our enemy, but if we fought them in 1945 we could have finally destroyed them. Yet again, our politicians gave in. Like after World War I, they lacked the will power to carry the fight to the end. An invasion would have been bloody, but it would have saved the countless millions oppressed, imprisoned, and killed by Soviet-style socialism over the next 50 years. Compromise was not the right solution.
The Korean War:
Soon enough, another opportunity to defeat socialism arose. This time it was in East Asia. Truman had allowed the communists to win in mainland China, but the civil war and Mao’s reforms had weakened the country. The socialists’ grip on power was still tenuous when the Korean War began in 1950. That war was our chance to roll back socialism in Asia. The Soviets had recovered due to our aid and inaction, so Europe would remain socialist for the time being. But China and North Korea were weak, surely the full might of the West could defeat them.
It could have. General Douglas MacArthur, if given the opportunity, could have defeated socialism in Asia through the use of more troops and nuclear weapons. But instead, Truman followed the mistakes of his predecessors and compromised with socialism. Once China entered the war, he began looking for an exit. He lacked the political willpower to send troops to defeat socialism, he made the immoral decision to only try to contain it.
The Cost of not Finishing the Korean War:
Make no mistake, that decision was incredibly immoral. Yes, many would have died in the resulting war with China. But we were strong and they were weak. We had a practical nuclear monopoly at the time and were vastly superior militarily to the Chinese armed forces. Had we destroyed the Chinese communist government, we could have saved millions across Asia by preventing future wars and massacres.
Mao killed tens of millions in his Great Leap forward. The Vietnam War killed over a million people. Pol Pot murdered half of his country. Red China, Vietnam, and North Korea are still oppressive, authoritarian states. Had Truman summoned the courage to defeat socialism in Asia then, then all of that suffering could have been avoided. Instead, he showed the most important lesson of the 20th Century and tried to cooperate with socialism by not invading China. The tens of millions dead because of socialism have his decision to fire MacArthur to thank for that.
Since Truman, America has continued to try to accommodate socialism. Our leaders never learned the most important lesson of the 20th Century, and it kept coming back to bite them. The final example of that that I would like to discuss is our post-Nixon treatment of Red China. Instead of forcing it to liberalize to join the international system, we have simply allowed it to keep acting however it wants, no matter how oppressive.
For example, HW Bush’s treatment of China after Tiananmen Square was shameful. At Tiananmen Square 30 years ago, the Chinese government used machine guns, tanks, and infantry fighting vehicles to massacre thousands of student protesters. Since then, it has tried to completely cover up the massacre. It has succeeded in doing so in China. After that massacre, HW Bush refused to pressure China.
A strong leader that valued democracy and wanted to rid the world of socialism would have stood up to China and used economic forces to make China liberalize. At that time China was very weak; it wasn’t the mighty nation it is today. Simple but strict sanctions could have forced the government to conceded and liberalize, saving us from having to deal with a strong and socialist China today and the Chinese people from living in a tyrannical, socialist state.
But, like all the other leaders (except for Churchill) that I’ve mentioned, Bush gave in. He let China off the hook and now it is a major threat to democracy around the world. We might even find ourselves in a new Cold War with China because of him.
A Continual Refusal to Learn:
The world was given many opportunities throughout the 20th Century to rid itself of socialism. We could have stopped it during the Russian Revolution, before Hitler became too powerful, by preventing the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, by crushing the Soviets after World War II, by taking out China and North Korea during the Korean War, or by pressuring China to liberalize after the Tiananmen Square massacre. But our leaders failed us in all of those situations. They allowed socialism to solidify. Read MacArthur’s Reminiscences and Max Hasting’s Inferno to see how all of that happened.
Time after time our leaders disregarded the lessons of the past in the hope that they wouldn’t hold true again. But every time those lessons were disregarded, they held true. However, a few leaders were able to see those lessons and act upon them. Those leaders were Ronald Reagan and Winston Churchill.
Leaders Who did Learn from Past Mistakes:
Both Reagan and Churchill realized that socialism as an ideology could not be bargained with. Its very goal was to cover Earth. So instead of bargaining with socialists, they fought them. Churchill was one of the few British politicians who supported sending troops to crush the Bolsheviks after the Russian revolution. He also campaigned voraciously to fight national socialism instead of bargaining with its adherents, and he tried to start a campaign against the Soviets after World War II. That operation was called “Operation Unthinkable.” Its very name shows that the so called policy experts hadn’t learned their lesson. Defeating socialism should not have been “unthinkable.” It should have been planned and acted upon.
Similarly to Churchill, Reagan understood that socialism had to be defeated. Not contained or bargained with. So he tried to defeat it. He send troops to make sure it didn’t spread to Grenada. He fought it in Central and South America. And he ramped up pressures on the USSR. But like Churchill, he was held back by weak politicians. They didn’t understand the most important lesson of the 20th Century, so they didn’t understand why sending weapons to the Contras was the right call. He and his policies were held back by their weakness.
Had we elected more leaders like Churchill and Reagan, socialism could have been defeated. Instead, we had weak leaders who refused to stand up to socialism effectively. They pursued a policy of accommodation, détente, and half-measures. Predictably, they failed. The result of that failure was 100 million (and counting) killed by socialism, suffering and oppression around the globe, and a 50 year Cold War with a new one with China beginning as you read this. Socialism can’t be bargained with; its existence leads to suffering.
Hopefully, those historical examples all show why the most important lesson of the 20th Century is that we can’t negotiate with socialist countries. Every time our leaders have tried to accommodate socialism, it has backfired. Instead of producing a better world, those efforts have produced a world full of socialist tyrants that murder their countrymen and start wars around the globe.
As I mentioned in a post about AOC, “Socialism Kills.” If we let it take root here, then soon we will be no better off than any of the other socialist states. Rather than being a land of wealth and plenty, like we currently are, we would be a land of vast lines for bread and rising unemployment. That is why we cannot debate with people like the incompetent AOC or the commie Bernie Sanders. They are socialists. And the most important lesson of the 20th Century is that you can’t negotiate with socialists, just as you can’t negotiate with terrorists. We have to make sure their ideology doesn’t rule us.