Sep 10, 2020
Some years ago, Lee Edwards, a veteran conservative writer and a friend of mine, launched an organization, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, dedicated to “commemorating the more than 100 million victims of communism around the world and pursuing the freedom of those still living under totalitarian regimes.”
Today Victims of Communism is going great guns, with a small but capable staff and a number of programs and projects designed to make people aware that Marxist communism not only was but still is a really nasty piece of work.
It’s a message that needs frequent repeating. Especially now, when Marxism is alive and well on many college campuses and a disturbing presence in the movement protesting--with good cause, to be sure--serious abuses that have festered too long in America.
Lately in the pages of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars Quarterly I came across an article that sheds interesting light on these matters. The work of Father Joseph Koterski, S.J., a former president of the Fellowship and a philosophy professor at Fordham University, it analyzes the “worrisome phenomenon” of what he calls “cultural Marxism.”
Noting that even to speak critically of Marxism is today regarded as “illiberal” in some academic circles, Father Koterski reports having used some of his pandemic-induced leisure to read Witness. For people with short memories, the book, a recognized classic, is the 1952 autobiography of Whittaker Chambers, the ex-communist whistleblower who caused a sensation in the late 1940s by disclosing that State Department official Alger Hiss was a Soviet spy. Controversial at the time, Hiss’s guilt is now recognized as established fact.