Why Democratic Socialists Support Totalitarian Regimes

When it comes to understanding the crisis in Venezuela, the new self-proclaimed democratic socialists revert to the old trope of Stalinist era lefties. In the old days of the Cold War, the horror that emerged after the Soviet takeover of Eastern Europe—discussed in great depth in Anne Applebaum’s Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe—was “explained” in this manner by the fellow-travelers of the Old Left: The purge trials, arrests of dissidents, their torture and years of imprisonment may have been harsh, but were all necessary to preserve socialism and prevent a “fascist” takeover from occurring. And if people they knew to be innocent were caught up in the net, they told everyone they were guilty because the “people’s democracies” only arrested the guilty.