My daughter Zoe once got in trouble at school for defining the difference between communism and socialism. Not surprisingly, she repeated the short answer that I had taught her: "The difference between a communist and socialist is that a socialist is a communist who has not found his AK-47 and the will to use it, and a communist is a socialist with an AK-47 who IS ready to use it."
I was called by the "social studies" teacher on that one and went into the school for a visit. What, I asked was wrong with that answer? As he sputtered, I asked a second question. "Have YOU ever been a socialist or a communist?" "Well, no," he answered. "Let me tell you something then -- I have been BOTH a socialist AND a communist and believe me I know what I'm talking about and you most definitely do not." My daughter was not disciplined.
Today is the 45th Anniversary of the liberation of Hue City. Even before the city was reclaimed from the Communists, reports circulated of massacres committed by the Reds.From Wikipedia:
During the months and years that followed the Battle of Huế, which began on January 31, 1968, and lasted a total of 28 days, dozens of mass graves were discovered in and around Huế. The estimated death toll was between 2,800 to 6,000 civilians and prisoners of war. Victims were found bound, tortured, and sometimes apparently buried alive. . .A first summary was published for the U.S. Mission in Vietnam by Douglas Pike, then working as a Foreign Service Officer for the U.S. Information Agency in 1970. Pike identified three distinct phases for the executions in Huế. Phase one was a series of kangaroo court trials of local ARVN officials. The highly publicized trials lasted anywhere from five to ten minutes and the accused were always found guilty of “crimes against the people”.Phase two was implemented when the communists thought that they could hold the city long-term, and consisted of a campaign of “social reconstruction” along Maoist dogmatic lines. Those who the communists believed to be counterrevolutionaries were singled out in this phase. Catholics, intellectuals, prominent businessmen, and other “imperialist lackeys” were targeted in order to “build a new social order”.The last phase began when it became evident that the communists could not hold the city and was designed to “leave no witnesses”. Anyone who could identify individual VC members who participated in the occupation was to be killed and their bodies hidden. . .Captured Viet Cong documents boasted that they had "eliminated" thousands of people and "annihilated members of various reactionary political parties, henchmen, and wicked tyrants" in Hue. One regiment reported that its units alone killed 1,000 victims. Another report mentioned 2,867 killed. Yet another document boasted of over 3,000 killed. A further document listed 2,748 executions.
Always remember that this is the true face of collectivism. Behind the lying smiles and soothing words, the only definition of "peace" that collectivists of any stripe agree upon is when all their political enemies are dead or in prison. Remember the victims of Hue, 1968. And never, ever, believe that collectivism is anything other than a death cult.