Red and dead

Yesterday was the anniversary of the fall of the USSR. I wasn’t aware of this, and it’s a good day to remember. The Volokh Conspiracy links to Reagan’s famous speech at Westminister which also has something to remember:

At the same time there is a threat posed to human freedom by the enormous power of the modern state. History teaches the dangers of government that overreaches — political control taking precedence over free economic growth, secret police, mindless bureaucracy, all combining to stifle individual excellence and personal freedom.

Now, I’m aware that among us here and throughout Europe there is legitimate disagreement over the extent to which the public sector should play a role in a nation’s economy and life. But on one point all of us are united — our abhorrence of dictatorship in all its forms, but most particularly totalitarianism and the terrible inhumanities it has caused in our time — the great purge, Auschwitz and Dachau, the Gulag, and Cambodia.

In this speech, Reagan also gave the famous line, “What I am describing now is a plan and a hope for the long term — the march of freedom and democracy which will leave Marxism-Leninism on the ash-heap of history as it has left other tyrannies which stifle the freedom and muzzle the self-expression of the people.” Thankfully, the great Red Menace died before it was able to flex it’s power. Now, it is up to us to remember and learn from history.

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