After the end of World War II, the West unilaterally denounced Nazism as an ideology. According to Alan Kors, who spoke at the Penn College Republicans Annual Keynote Address Monday, the West should have responded in the same manner to communism.
“The West accepts a monstrous, unforgivable double standard. We bear witness to every victim of the Holocaust, but we are almost silent on the victims of communism,” said Kors, who is a Penn professor of History.
“The Marxists always asked that different forms of society be judged not by their ideals, but by their living incarnations,” he said. Kors stated that the intent for his talk was to use this Marxist standard to judge Communist governments of the 20th century, and particularly the brutality which they exhibited.
Citing sources which he said had access to official archives, the victims of what Kors called the “Communist Holocaust” included some 60 million people deliberately slain in Soviet Russia, 70 million in China under Mao Zedong and millions of innocents in Cambodia at the hands of the Khmer Rouge. Kors blamed the lack of acknowledgement of these casualties to the “relative sympathies” of Western intellectuals in favor of central planning and Socialism.
The talk in Huntsman Hall attracted an audience of about 20. Attendees who describe themselves as having different political views from Kors, such as College and Wharton sophomore Youssouf Camara, described the address as “refreshing.”
“[Kors has a] perspective which one doesn’t hear often,” Camara said.
Austin Jones, a sophomore in the College, came to the event with high expectations because of a recommendation from one of Kors’ current students, but said that his expectations were surpassed.
“He was able to explain with systematic reasoning why certain types of government always attract a certain type of political demagogue,” Jones said.
Kors’ talk marked the first event actualized under the newly elected board of the College Republicans. The event was a “perfectly fitting way for the new board to start,” said College and Wharton junior Charles Gray, who is the new president of the College Republicans and a Daily Pennsylvanian columnist.
“It was great to start with a speaker who could give a very academic, yet very thought-provoking talk,” Gray said.Comments powered by Disqus
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