The Truth - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The Truth

So. Another breathtakingly hot day here in Rancho Mirage. It just sucks the life right out of you. I swam twice and paid a visit to some friends, and then I came home to read the newspapers.

Usually, I read the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Sometimes I also read he Desert Sun. Tonight, I was jolted by a long, raving review in the Times — well written as their reviews always are — of a play about the horrors of apartheid in what was then called the Union of South Africa. Apparently, it’s mostly a series of scenes of an insightful, articulate black psychologist and journalist channeling Hannah Arendt and interviewing a former torturer and killer/bureaucrat for the white supremacist apartheid regime. He’s in prison for at least two life sentences plus a century or two. He doesn’t have enough remorse.

Apartheid was a horrible story. Just something thoroughly wicked. I am not sure how completely different it was than conditions in 1948 Alabama or Louisiana, but it was very bad. I am happy that there is a fine stage play about it and I want to see it.

But there have been many plays and movies about apartheid — and there should be. But may I point out that the white South African regime was a staunch ally of the UK in World War II. Some of the bravest soldiers and airmen fighting against the Führer were South Africans. This does not excuse apartheid but it’s worth noting. These people, Afrikaners and Brits, were not all monsters. Some were heroes. Many.

Naturally, as far as I can tell from the review, there is no mention of the apartheid era horror of “necklacing” of non-white persons in one rebel group by other groups. “Necklacing” was tying a man’s hands behind his back and then putting a burning tire around hi

s neck. No mention of wholesale murders by either the ANC or the Zulus. Those killed a lot of people and they are never recalled. (Maybe it’s in that play but not in the review.)

Much more interesting to me is that while Broadway and Hollywood are interested in the horrors of apartheid, which led to hundreds, probably thousands, of deaths of the innocent, I have never, not once seen a play or a movie about the astounding horrors of Soviet Communism. Lenin, Stalin, and their heirs killed at least 25 million of their citizens by forced starvation, working to death, exile in inhospitable and unlivable areas, and shooting. Stalin killed far, far more than Hitler.

And the people he killed had souls, too, and families and fears and hopes.

As far as I know, there has never been a wide circulation theatrical movie about that or a major TV movie on a major network. There was a fine smaller one on Stalin on Bravo.

Yes, Hitler was a monster from hell. He was evil beyond imagining to my fellow Jews. He deserves every possible condemnation, along with his henchmen.

But there is nearly universal silence about Lenin and Stalin. Why? Can it be that the media is so controlled by the left that criticism of a Communist super murderer is still verboten?

And then there is the matter of Mao Tse-tung. In my days at Yale, where we lived like princes, many of us had the Little Red Book of Mao. It had cute, clichéd phrases in it. We thought he was the coolest.

He killed eighty million of his own people. EIGHTY MILLION. By starvation, by exile to unlivable zones, by mass shootings, by being buried alive. In my lifetime, the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution killed tens of millions. That was only about forty five-years ago.

Have you ever seen a movie about the horrors of Maoism? Have you ever seen a movie about Mao’s being carried in a sedan chair and serviced by young girls while his soldiers froze and starved in snow and mud? No, and you never will.

Instead, you get stories about how evil the United States is by its use of the wicked thing known as a corporation. Yes, some corporations are soulless and cruel. And they may pay their lower level employees too little. But they don’t commit mass murder against their people. They don’t deport their people to deserts and drop them off to die of thirst.

Even when it’s bad — and it can be bad — American life is paradise compared with what “utopian” Communist countries do and have done. Yes, corporations committed atrocities in Africa, especially in the Belgian Congo. But those were not GM or Exxon. They were Belgian corporations. American life, with most working people employed by businesses of large and medium and small size, is the most benign form of social organization ever used in a large nation. It gets no praise in the media.

Is there any textbook — even for home schooling — that makes these non-PC points about how great life in the USA is?

If there isn’t, we need one.

Go back in time. This was once a nation drenched in evil in the form of slavery in the Southern and border states. It was unmixed wickedness. The suffering of innocent black men and women was deeply shameful.

But one people have enslaved another people before. What is unique about the USA is that we are the only nation where mass numbers of black humans were freed by the sacrifice of the lives of over 330,000 white soldiers’ lives. Where else did one race go to war, and die in immense numbers to free men and women of another race?

Is this ever taught or even mentioned?

I wonder if the time has come for a textbook that tells the truth about America, about the free market, about race, about free minds and free markets….

Probably not.

Ben Stein
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Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer living in Beverly Hills and Malibu. He writes “Ben Stein’s Diary” for every issue of The American Spectator.
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