Corruption, Communism, and Catholicism in Vietnam

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Communism’s defeat in Central-East Europe. As many remember the tumbling of Communist regimes in countries such as Poland, East Germany, and Hungary, others will recall Marxism’s terrible legacy: millions of dead and tortured, “reeducation” and labor camps, show-trials, unparalleled economic destruction, and the worst environmental devastation in history. As the recently deceased ex-Marxist philosopher Leszek Kolakowski concluded in his magisterial multi-volume Main Currents of Marxism, this was not accidental. It was Marxist philosophy’s logical outcome. By definition, no political program built upon an explicitly materialist viewpoint can consider itself limited by the idea of an innate human dignity, or anything suggesting a more-than-flesh-and-blood dimension to human life. This is one reason why Marxist regimes are invariably hostile to religious belief.