Victims of Communism Memorial

IMG_1659, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

This is a relatively new memorial dedicated in 2007. From their Web site:

“The Victims of Communism Memorial was dedicated by President George W. Bush on June 12, 2007. The dedication ceremony featured the unveiling of the “Goddess of Democracy,” a bronze replica of a statue erected by Chinese students in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China in the spring of 1989. Many world leaders have already visited the memorial site to pay their respects and lay wreaths. It is located at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and New Jersey Avenue, NW on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.”

31 Comment

  • I’ve passed this many times on the bus, and the statue just doesn’t seem to have much “impact.”

    Though it has direct relevance to victims of Chinese communist oppression, I somehow imagine we could do better at conveying just how bad things were or are for victims of communism.

  • I bet if you turn it over it has a “Made in China” sticker on it.

  • The much larger “Victims of Capitalism” memorial is located at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW.

  • Jim – good one!

  • Jim beat me to it, the victims of Capitalism memorial should go right next to this one, since both systems have been responsible for the pain, torture, and death of millions.

  • Haha I was wondering how long it would take voice of “reason” to pounce on this thread.

  • at least the victims of capitalism died as a result of market forces, not manipulated fake death markets.

  • Bush dedicating a memorial to victims of war and totalitarianism is like Kanye West teaching a etiquette class.

  • That last comment makes no sense.

  • (i meant TonyS’s comment; network lag is a terrible thing)

  • More died under the communist regimes of the 20th century than in every war, combined. The literal millions who starved to death in China, USSR, Cambodia, etc., shouldn’t be a punchline. That’s my 2 cents.

  • Actually 2b3s…

    The most people died under the control of the US government between the extermination of the American Indians (80 million dead estimated) and the slave trade. The funny thing is that the Nazis, USSR and Cambodian governments that committed these acts are now gone but the US government is intact in exactly the same form as when these crimes were committed.

    Of course that is a convenient thing to overlook and easy since there are not many Indians to complain about it.

  • 2b3s, they’re not a punchline, they’re a somber reminder of the worst humanity can be. Add the hundreds of millions of victims of communist regimes to the roughly 150 million that capitalist regimes have killed over human history and you’ve got a *very* somber reminder that unchecked power, in any form, is deadly.

  • As of 2007-Capitalist nation deaths:

    * Draft of the blacks with 17th and 18th centuries: 10 000 000
    * Liquidation of the Indians of America of 1500 to 1860: 70 000 000
    * Crimean War: 252 000
    * (Fr and GB counter Russia) in 1854 of which
    Russians: 100 000
    French: 93 000
    English: 22 000
    Tricks: 35 000
    Piedmontese: 2 000
    * American American Civil War 1860-1865: 617 000
    * War of 1870 (France against Germans): 220 000
    * Crushing of the Commune of Paris in 1871: 20 000
    * Colonization of Algeria, by the france in 1840: 10 000
    * Colonization of Africa, by France at the 19th century: 112 000
    * Colonization of Congo, by the Belgians at the 19th century: 1 000 000
    * War the United States – Spain in 1898: 100 000
    * War of Boers in South Africa in 1900: 57 000
    of which Boers: 35 000
    English: 22 000
    * War 1914-1918: 10 000 000
    * War of Spain 1936-1939: 410 000
    * War 1939-1945: 50 000 000
    * Repression of the army Fr, in Madagascar in 1948: 80 000
    * War of Algeria: 380 000
    Of which Algerian: 350 000
    Fr: 30 000
    * War of independence of Vietnam: 3 107 000
    of which
    o against Fr
    Vietminh: 500 000
    Fr: 100 000
    Civil: 1 000 000
    o against American
    Vietnamese Vietcong and north: 750 000
    Americans: 57 000
    Southerners: 200 000
    Civil: 500 000
    * Repression anticommunist in Indonesia in 1965: 500 000
    * Repression May 68 in France: 4
    * Massacre of student in Mexico City avt J.O. of 1968: 400
    * War of Biafra 1966-1969: 1 000 000
    * Dictatorship in Chile 1973-1990: 3167
    * Dictatorship in Argentina 1976-1982: 30 000
    * Escadrond of the dead one: 50 000
    * Guatemala and Salvador 1975 – 2000
    * war of the Falklands: 1005
    England-Argentina in 1982
    * Industrial accident in Bhopal (India) in 1984: 2900
    * War of the Gulf in 1991: 160 022
    o of which Iraqi: 160 000
    o Allies: 22

    Total: 147,387,051 and counting

  • We’re really gonna blame the Civil War on capitalism? Okey dokey…

  • dcdude well most of the deaths attributed to communism actually occurred because of famine. Yet they are considered the result of communism because this government created the conditions for these deaths indirectly. Why can it not be the same to say that a capitalist / democratic system created the conditions for the civil war indirectly?

  • Remember the Tricks and the Piedmontese!!!

  • Those damn Tricks were very tricky indeed.

  • wrong,

    Ultimately, I think playing the “blame by the numbers” game is an exercise in futility. Was the famine the direct result of communist policies? And if so, was it because those policies were carried out faithfully, or because of corruption within that system? Same goes for capitalism. In my opinion, people, regardless of ideology, are capable of pretty horrible things. But to say that capitalism is responsible for the Civil War just doesn’t stike me as historically accurate. I think most historians would agree that the Civil War resulted from a failure of politics, not economics.

  • I bet the Chinese government was thrilled when Bush put this stupid monument up. Good thing we don’t need the Chinese for anything…

  • K St.: Considering it’s located along a part of Mass Ave where only tranny prostitutes hang out, I’m not sure anyone much notices it. But I’d sure like to read that memo to Beijing: “Dear Comrade Secretary, While innocently discussing the plight of service workers with independent social contractors, I noticed this monument… “

  • Wasn’t the civil war partly about the north being pissed off that the south could cheat the capitalist system by using free, slave labor to work the crops? Seems very much a result of capitalism to me.

  • The North wasn’t fighting the South in order to defend the integrity of the free enterprise system, I assure you. That’s not to say that economic interests weren’t involved, but let’s not rewrite history for the sake of winning the argument.

  • The many Western European countries that have active and quite mainstream Communist parties will no doubt be amused.

    Americans would be surprised to learn that “Communism” isn’t considered a pejorative boogey-man scare word everywhere, or even most places.

    A monument to the victims of “Totalitarianism” or “Fascism” might make sense to international ears. But this “Victims of Communism” thing sounds quaintly provincial to a European.

  • Similarly, one could argue that “communist” China is hardly communist at all. Totalitarian? Yes, but communist? Hardly. It has one of the largest free market economies in the world, with income inequality that surpasses our own.

  • You’re misinformed if you think the civil war wasn’t fought in part because the north didn’t want the south to have the economic advantages in a market system of free labor.

  • Really? Because when Lincoln entered office he said he had no interest in ending slavery where it already existed and had no intention of taking military action against the South. War only started after southern states began ceceding en masse and attacking Federal military installations. It was a war to save a political union in the face of southern fears that the addition of free States in the western territories was creating a shifting balance of power in Washington to the North’s advantage. Of course the preservation of slavery was foremost on the South’s mind. This is well known. But please explain how our capitalistic system NECESSITATED the existance of slavery, thereby directly causing the Civil War.

  • I didn’t say that capitalism directly caused the Civil War. I said it was fought in part because the North was worried about the South’s ability to leverage free labor in a way to game the market. Same reason the U.S. fights wars today, to maintain economic advantage in a capital marketplace.

  • Good, then we agree. Civil War deaths cannot be attributed to capitalism.

  • There were quite a few elaborate flower arrangements and messages on the anniversary on Tienanmen this year.

  • No, I don’t think we agree. The Civil War deaths can be attributed to capitalism, but only in part, significant part.

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