Fidel Castro is dead. His half a century rule over Cubans has taught humanity a lesson, but not in the way he believed it would.
Not only did nearly fifty years of state socialism fail to solve the extreme wealth inequality caused by previous fascistic dictatorships that corrupted capitalism, but it lowered everyone’s standard of living (everyone except Castro and his cronies, of course, who enjoyed lavish lifestyles) and rendered them equally poor by almost completely paralysing capitalism.
Through his inevitable failure to improve the lives of all Cubans by removing their economic freedoms, Castro is yet another authoritarian to show humanity that only human suffering and regression results from believing men granted with state power – whatever their colour, creed or intelligence and however revolutionary or heroic their beginnings – can manage society to everyone’s betterment.
What some of the world’s leaders and prominent political figures have said about Castro since the news broke of the communist dictator’s death has been nothing short of mind-boggling.
Ireland’s President, Michael Higgins, said in a statement that Castro would be remembered as a “giant among world leaders” who provided “freedom for his people.”
Jeremy Corbyn called Castro a “champion of social justice.”
Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, said Castro was a “remarkable leader” who “served his people for almost half a century…”
Welcome to the parallel intellectual universe that is the minds of the kind of men who head nations, lead political parties and lead governments in the 21st century. It is the mindset of economic and moral relativism where logic and truth are denied; a morally perverse world where anything goes; where words mean nothing or anything; where up is down and black is white; where violence is virtue.
It is a world of Orwellian doublespeak where ‘freedom’ means being forced to live according to the plans of authoritarian rulers; where ‘social justice’ means oppressing and killing minorities and those who disagree with the government and where masters ‘serve’ their slaves.
Castro once famously said, “history will absolve me.” Considering that today’s intellectuals will be writing the history books that future generations will read, this may turn out to be literally true. Historians may absolve Castro by viewing him through the lens of western relativism, but the truth won’t.
In reality, Castro was wrong. His confidence was entirely misplaced. The results of his communist dictatorship have not vindicated his undemocratic, oppressive and illiberal rule and nothing can absolve any dictator from the ethical guilt of his actions.
If many of today’s political leaders and intellectuals won’t condemn Castro for his crimes against humanity, then we must do so. And set the record straight for future generations.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that humanity progresses when a dictator dies, but they are a symptom of the problem and not the problem itself. All dictators die, but ideas can live across the ages. This is always the problem facing humanity. Fidel Castro the man is dead, but the political ideology of socialism, which he wrongly believed was economically and ethically superior to any other, is still alive. And that is why condemning Castro is morally and intellectually crucial.