What do you think or say when someone tells you they are a neo-Nazi? I assume that you at least check to see if they are just being shocking, but you probably distance yourself from them quickly. And why shouldn't you? The Nazi Party engaged in horrible atrocities and were responsible for a system of oppression that resulted in the deaths of millions of innocent men, women, and children. The swastika, the symbol of the Nazis, is banned in some places and is shunned as a symbol of death and evil. Mein Kampf, the book written by the leader of the Nazis is likewise banned in some nations and it can be difficult to find or purchase because of who wrote it.
Now - what do you do when someone tells you they are a Communist?
I assume that most people reading this know at least a few people, personally or professionally, that define themselves as Communist, Marxist, Trotskyite, etc. Are they shunned? Can they lose their jobs or end their careers by making their sympathies plain? They are not and they do not, not unless they are in very specific circumstances.
Yet Communist and Communism-directed Socialist parties and states have resulted in more tyrannies, more oppression, and far more deaths than Nazis themselves ever dreamt of.
We will avoid a discussion of if the the National Socialists were socialist since we are contrasting them more directly with Communism.
I have long held that if I meet someone who is: of legal age; mentally capable of caring for themselves, and; educated enough to be able to read silently to themselves - and they are an outspokenly Communist, one of 4 things is true about that person:
1) They are abysmally ignorant
2) They are fools in the traditional meaning of the word
3) They are morally bankrupt
4) Some combination of 1, 2, and 3.
At this time, and for decades, the West is in the interesting position of holding one ideology, which effectively ceased to have any political power over half a century ago, as unacceptable because it was responsible for oppression, tyranny, and the murder of over 8 million people while AT THE SAME TIME accepting another ideology which is responsible for the murder of no less than 80 million people and is oppressing over a billion people with various tyrannical regimes at the current time.
This cognitive dissonance is stunning, yet so commonplace as to be unremarked upon in the mainstream.
Let us look at a small microcosm of this intellectual disconnect.
Within the world of science fiction and fantasy writers and aficionados passions can run high. For example, two well-established writers are currently under fire for referring to pioneering female writers and editors of science fiction in the early days of the genre as 'ladies' in an article praising them for defying stereotypes and overcoming prejudice. In this milieu the writer Orson Scott Card is, currently, considered Quite Controversial. An openly devout Mormon he is guilty of publicly espousing his religious views and opposing gay marriage. For his actions in promoting his own religious beliefs a vocal section of science fiction and fantasy aficionados - and writers! - are openly advocating that Mr. Card be forevermore denied an opportunity to make a living as a writer by not just boycotting all of his works but by agitating with his employers to fire him.
China Mieville is one of the most prominent science fiction and fantasy writers of the last decade. He is often interviewed has received plaudits and awards from several groups, and has even been given plum assignments as writer in residence or lecturer on writing. He is also openly and proudly Marxist going so far as to run for office as a member of a Communist/Far Left party and to write a number of articles and books clearly stating his support for Marxist Communism.
To be clear, this is a situation where members of a relatively diverse group call for the total ostracism and exile of one successful writer, including an attempt to deny him a livelihood, for stating and publicly supporting his religious beliefs as a Mormon while concurrently lauding and praising another writer who is openly and actively Marxist.
Card doesn't want laws on marriage changed because of his religious beliefs = monster. Mieville advocates the overthrow of all democracies via armed revolution and the imposition of a dictatorship of the proletariat in imitation of a regime that was more oppressive, violent, and murderous than Hitler's Nazis = a nice job and critical acclaim.
And Mieville is far from alone! Other prominent science fiction and fantasy authors are also openly Communist (Steven Brust an, for example); none of them are ostracized in any way for supporting the ideology that has caused more suffering and death than any other of the last 2 centuries. But if you opposes gay marriage or call a female author a 'Lady Writer' and, well, your career is in danger!
Don't think that I am isolating a certain genre of fiction unfairly, it is just an illustration of the issues at hand.
Just as I do not tolerate Nazis, I do not tolerate Communists. Both have proven themselves false in core premises and each has demonstrated itself capable of producing nothing more in the long run than wrecked nations and mass graves.We should abhor the followers of both ideologies with equal fervor and denounce them publicly for their embrace of violence, oppression, and death.