Juncker should have lived in URSS under Stalin
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker offered a somewhat generous appraisal of Marx: “Today he stands for things which is he not responsible for and which he didn’t cause, because many of the things he wrote down were redrafted into the opposite.”
It is not entirely clear what Juncker meant by this. Marxism, after all, has inflicted untold misery on tens of millions of people who have been forced to live under regimes waving its banner. For much of the twentieth century, 40% of humanity suffered famines, gulags, censorship, and other forms of repression at the hands of self-proclaimed Marxists.
In his speech, Juncker seemed to be alluding to the standard counterargument: that communist atrocities throughout the twentieth century were due to some sort of distortion of Marx’s thought, for which the man himself can scarcely be held responsible.
Of course, it is all rubbish, and Marx’s theory of history – dialectical materialism – has since been proved wrong and dangerous in practically every respect. And, if more evidence were needed, the countries that embraced capitalism in the twentieth century went on to become democratic, open, and prosperous societies.
By contrast, every regime that has rejected capitalism in the name of Marxism has failed – and not by coincidence or as a result of some unfortunate doctrinal misunderstanding on the part of Marx’s followers. By abolishing private ownership and establishing state control of the economy, one not only deprives society of the entrepreneurship needed to propel it forward; one also abolishes freedom itself.
Carl Bildt - Sweden’s foreign minister from 2006 to October 2014 and Prime Minister from 1991 to 1994