Like The Gulag Archipelago, the Planned Parenthood Videos Show Us the Victims of a Utopian Dream
Millions of highly-educated Americans still defend Planned Parenthood. Forty years ago, the same kind of people defended Communism. They might have regretted its excesses, and cringed at some of its methods, but its astronomically high ideals inspired them, especially next to the gritty reality of free competition under law.
The Bolsheviks in Russia, then Mao’s cadres in China, and Castro’s in Cuba, were striving to free men of 10,000 years of historical baggage, to rip up the structures of exploitation that had encrusted us over the centuries, to tear out selfishness from its root in the human heart and replace the squabbling, grasping consumers in the marketplace with a stark and ascetical species: Socialist Man. The Party would use its absolute power for good, and not for evil. It would fill the earth with mandatory Franciscans, men and women forged in the blast furnace of struggle until they were happily poor, proudly chaste and perfectly obedient. They would dwell in the happy paradise that Marx had sketched out for them, free of shortage and strife, dabbling at work in the morning, then writing poetry or hunting as the sun went down. There are colorful icons depicting this heaven on earth which Stalin commissioned, in the style he named “Socialist Realism.”
Like Marx and Lenin, Margaret Sanger had a dream. She had grown up in a large family, and seen her mother die shortly after childbirth. Sanger chafed at the grim, biological fact that the ecstasy of sex was chained to pregnancy, to medical risk and physical pain, to squalling brats and stinking diapers. Why should the best, most exciting moments in life be yoked by a pulsing, pink umbilical cord to years of sacrifice and self-denial? Just as Marx looked at how men interact economically and saw a dark conspiracy, Sanger stared at the facts of mammalian reproduction, and found them a crime against women. An unplanned pregnancy was a biological injustice, and this “Woman Rebel” (the title of Sanger’s first magazine) would lead a revolution to correct it.
Revolutions have victims, of course. It takes some heavy lifting to build utopia on earth. As Lenin said, you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. “Some of them even fertilized,” Sanger might add with a snicker, from her seat beside him in Hell.
The Western Left lived for decades in denial of Communism’s victims. Just as neo-Nazis today seek to deny, minimize or explain away the Holocaust, Marxists throughout the world colluded with Soviet propaganda to hide the brutalities of the Soviet regime, its savage abuses of power that began in 1917 and continued (sometimes worsening, sometimes abating) until its collapse in 1990.
For every truth-teller like Malcolm Muggeridge and Robert Conquest, there were at least a hundred wistful Western Marxists to wave away the reports of Bolshevik murder squads shooting priests; stealing land from Ukrainian peasants and leaving them to starve by the millions; hammering on doors at 3 a.m. to arrest innocent citizens in the tens of millions, and haul them off to freeze or be worked to death in the icy camps of the Gulag. It’s impressive, really, when you think about it — the largely successful effort by partisans of Marx to hide one of the greatest crime waves in history. According to democide scholar R.J. Rummel, the Soviet regime murdered some 62 million people. And yet for decades, Western Marxists were able to sweep those people’s ashes under the rug.
A courageous veteran of the World War II Red Army and once a believing Marxist, Alexander Solzhenitsyn was sent to a Gulag camp for penning a letter that cracked a joke about Stalin. For years he worked, and froze, and nearly starved in those sub-Arctic camps. It was in them that he found God and first learned to pray. But he also learned something else: That most of the “convicts” (zeks) who languished there were innocent like him. They weren’t “saboteurs,” “wreckers,” or Nazi spies, as his schools and the Party newspapers had drilled him into thinking. They were ordinary people, who had tried to lead regular lives, and thus run afoul of a system that denied human nature in service of a fantasy. A daydream, really: Marx’s irresponsible musings about the shape of a perfect future, the kind of rot that nowadays might appear at the Daily Kos.
But this wish-fulfillment fantasy had captured the brains of intellectuals, and helped them to channel their characteristic emotions — hubris, envy and impotent rage. Then the Dream got control of a country, of hundreds of millions of flesh and blood experimental subjects whom those intellectuals could run through their mazes, could shock or starve, then kill.
Solzhenitsyn met the victims of the Dream, and asked them to tell their stories. He scrawled their accounts of cruelty, courage, and conversion on tiny scraps of paper, and hid them wherever he could. When he was finally released, he smuggled them out of prison, and spent long years collecting and editing those narratives. He wove them together into a literary and historical masterpiece, The Gulag Archipelago, which he spirited into the West, where it was published in 1973. The nattily tailored Communists of Paris and London scoffed at the book as CIA propaganda, or furiously denounced him. But the truth was out. Each day, it seemed, another longtime Communist would come out and admit that he’d read the book, and was resigning from the Party. The Soviet Union’s foreign legion of collaborators began to melt away and defect. The first cracks appeared in the Berlin Wall — down at its foundations, in the minds of intellectuals. They saw at last the faces of the victims, and began to doubt the Dream.
The newest video from the Center for Medical Progress is not a literary masterpiece, but surely Solzhenitsyn is smiling. Men like David Daleiden are carrying on his mission, driven by the same love for concrete, individual human beings who were made in the image of God. Abortion in America has not racked up as many victims as Communism did in Russia: We have killed 57,762,169 as of January, 2015. So we are still some 4 million short of the Soviet total. And Margaret Sanger cannot take sole blame for the death toll, any more than Marx or Lenin can. Each could claim many thousands of accomplices.
But it is Sanger’s dream of absolute, unfettered sexual indulgence that keeps the butchers in business. Marx and Lenin knew that you cannot build socialism unless you are willing to kill and imprison people who cling to their freedom and private property. And Sanger knew that if you were absolutely determined to cut the link between orgasm and childbirth, you would need to use a scalpel. When we look at the tiny face of the baby whom we see dead in the latest CMP video, we need to realize that Sanger could picture it just as well. Like Marx, she knew that her dream would come at a price. She thought it was worth it. As she wrote in 1922, in Woman and the New Race, “The most merciful thing that the large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.”
Warning: The latest video released by the Center for Medical Progress contains graphic and disturbing testimony and imagery.