On May 1, Remember That Socialism is Slavery
One year ago today, an activist named Daniel Llorente interrupted the Workers’ Day march in Havana, Cuba. Wearing the Cuban flag T-shirt, Llorente unfurled an American flag over his head and ran in front of the procession replete with photos of Fidel Castro. He was tackled by undercover agents of the state. But for a brief moment, a Cuban dissident flew the American flag in Havana during the official celebration of The Socialist Revolution.
The Cuban regime tries to take credit for the improvement of their people’s lives. It staked its legitimacy on the supposed emancipation and well-being of the working class. But the Cuban regime showed its colors by silencing Llorente and thousands of Cuban dissidents. Socialist regimes denigrate the very workers they claim to represent.
When the International Socialist Conference declared May 1 International Worker’s Day in 1898, it advocated for child labor laws, improvements in pay and safety regulations, and for the rights of workers to form independent organizations to advocate on their behalf. But by embracing Karl Marx’s theories of human nature and violent action, the early Socialists undermined their own aspirations.
Far from ushering in a more equitable society, socialist movements that subscribed to Marxist ideology engendered a new form of slavery in the modern world. In the USSR, unenthusiastic work was considered a treasonous offense, “counter-revolutionary sabotage” that resulted in prison or death. Whenever a factory or harvest underperformed arbitrary regime quotas, the laborers were blamed for sabotaging the revolution. When the 1932 Ukrainian harvest underperformed after Stalin collectivized farms, he blamed the farmers and workers and forced them to starve en masse. Millions perished.
At the time of publishing, Marion Smith was executive director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.
Originally published in the New Hampshire Union Leader.