In Rome to address a conference sponsored by the Dignitatis Humanae Institute (Institute for Human Dignity) on June 29, Russian pro-life campaigner Alexey Komov expressed amazement for the support that socialism gets in some quarters in the West even though it has “never worked in world history.” In an interview with the Zenit news service, Komov pointed to how this ideology had caused such great pain and suffering “all in the name of social reform, progress and improvement.” His criticism was also leveled at the “softer version of socialism” of administrations in the West led by President Barack Obama and recently José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the former prime minister of Spain.

Komov believes that if you “dig deep enough into the ideological roots of these socialist movements, you end up finding satanic roots in them.” And although only a softer version is prevalent now, “it is still very dangerous,” he says. “I would warn all those people fascinated by socialist ideas that they have never worked in human history — never worked.”

The traditional nuclear family is a particular enemy of socialism, he says, because it is the basic institution that preserves values and passes them on to the next generation. “The state, if it wants to dominate life and the individual from birth to death, needs to destroy the family, because the family is independent of the state,” he argues. “As Marx and Engels said, the family is a repressive, bourgeois institution that needs to be destroyed; they need to get rid of its patriarchal power and that of Christianity because they are the main obstacles of the social revolution.”

Komov’s witness against socialism is all the more timely because of a growing fascination with Marxism in the West. That’s especially true of young people who seem not to have heard a thing about the gulags and the oceans of blood shed by communist regimes (their parents may be willfully ignorant). Of course, few schools teach lessons about the Gulag or add writers such as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn to required reading lists, which should also include selections from The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression. The Guardian, a UK paper, examines this new enthusiasm in an article titled, “Why Marxism is on the rise again.” The article links to the Marxism Festival 2012, now underway in London.

The Zenit article also quotes Rocco Buttiglione, recipient of the 2004 Acton Institute Faith & Freedom Award, on “the importance of truth and authentic tolerance in politics.” Buttiglione …

… noted that the meaning of tolerance has subtly changed over the years, so subtly, in fact, that it has escaped people’ s notice. “‘Don’t be judgemental,’ people say, but you can translate that as ‘Don’t think’ because to think means to pass judgement,” he said.

He said that to think means to create hierarchies, to put things in order, to make distinctions between good and bad, truth and falsehood. “If you do this, you are considered intolerant,” he said, “That’s bad, because it destroys real participation.”

Read “Dangerous Flirting: Russian Wonders Why West Is Enamored With Socialism — What Christians Should Do in the Public Square” on Zenit.

Download the AU 2012 lecture “The Unknown Solzhenitsyn” by Dr. Edward Ericson (Day two; only 99 cents).