First the good news. The New York Times has repudiated Walter Duranty’s 1930s-era “journalism” for whitewashing — “underestimating” — the murderousness of Soviet Communism.
So that’s done, right?
Whatever its failings today, the paper will certainly no longer allow writers to use its august pages to discount blatant systematic evil.
But Helen Raleigh, a writer for The Federalist who is an immigrant from China, finds that the Times does indeed persist in glossing over the sins of Communism. In commemorating the centenary of the Bolshevik Revolution, the paper is “once again proving itself Communism’s greatest apologist” through articles variously arguing that “women had better sex under socialism to now claiming China’s Communist revolution taught Chinese women to ‘dream big’…”
As if, suggests Raleigh, Duranty’s ghost were still calling the shots.
In rebuttal, she recounts what so many people suffered under Communism, as exemplified by the fate of her Aunt San.
At age 15, her aunt was forced by Mao’s government to leave the city and work in the countryside, separately from her siblings, who were forced to do the same but in different villages. Cutting family ties was important “so people could devote themselves 100 percent to the Communist Party’s causes.”
Primitive farming, mandatory singing of gruesomely cheerful revolutionary songs, food rations, malnutrition, ritual humiliation, derailed education, derailed or extinguished lives.
Just a few of the standard ingredients of the totalitarianism that, according to the Times of 2017, taught women to “dream big.”
Which should remind us: despite only a few countries’ close ties to the doctrine — Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea — Communism’s threat to world peace, prosperity, and freedom remains big.
The Times must change.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.