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Denis Tsarev and Inna Platonova

Is communism, the deadliest ideology of the 20th century, becoming trendy in Canada?

The Memorial to the Victims of Communism project garnered much support across Canada. That is not surprising since over 8 million Canadians can trace their origins to the countries that have been or are being brutalized by communism. However, the politicizing of the Memorial brought to light longstanding attitudes of leniency towards communism and denial of its crimes in the country. Comments such as, “This whole concept of ‘victims of communism’ is absolutely absurd. Trying to vilify communism by equating it with tyranny is called a straw man argument”, are made all too often both online and offline, and even politicians and officials who are part of the Memorial process question its merit. This demonstrates serious levels of ignorance among many Canadians about the nature of communism, a fact which in turn marginalizes and disrespects the victims. What is more, communism may becoming trendy. Searching for a Christmas gift? How about a Stalin T-shirt that features “What Would Stalin Do” or “Keep Calm and Love Stalin”? These are examples of online merchandise sold in Canada that openly glorify Stalin and other Communist leaders or Communist symbols. For instance, the US-based online store Zazzle offers you over 12,000 options for “Stalin gifts”, including baby clothes with a Stalin portrait, and red robots holding USSR flags. In striking comparison, a search for Hitler gifts returned zero options available. Poor understanding of communism leads to false associations, especially among young people, with fighting for social justice, equality, higher wages, human rights, minority group rights, and other important causes. Canadian universities abound with communist clubs that openly worship Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao and other communist leaders and promote communist symbols. For example, The Revolutionary Student Movement at the University of Toronto “aims to promote a revolutionary communist politics among students and youth and fight… Read More