improvement upon uncorrupted, idealistic communism.nThat is why a conventional method of historical analogiesnbetween communism and various despotic regimes in thenpast, whether in Russia or elsewhere, yields shallow results.nCommunists or Nazis may seem to be not much differentnfrom past tyrants, or even from Chicago gangsters of then1930’s for that matter, but this does not explain a crucialndifference neglected by all theoreticians of continuity withnthe past: the old despots’ business was robbery, not murder.nViolence was only the means of securing submission fromnthe next in line to be robbed. Institutionalized robbery is annextreme form of taxation. As good businessmen, despotsnmake sure that their benefits exceed their costs, and thusnthey do not want to waste their taxpayers. Ideologues in anhurry to build a new economic system opt for mass murderneven if they destroy their sources of robbery. They allow thencosts to exceed benefits and forgo future gains because theirnmain benefits are nontangible and nonmonetary ones.nTheir business is imposition of ideologies, not taxes. Unlikeneven most conservatives, let alone liberals, Solzhenitsynninsists that communism is not about power. Power forncommunists is only a means of imposing ideologies onnpeople.nIntellectuals habitually blame communist massacres onndespotic precedents that they can easily find in the historicalnrecords of any country. But Solzhenitsyn points out thatnRussia makes an especially difficult case for these theoreticiansnof historical continuity. Russia was for all practicalnpurposes a capitalist country, although most peasants did notnown their land until the Stolypin agrarian reform ofn1906-1910. However, most economic and social relationsnwere based on laissez-faire individual transactions, and thengeneral trend of the development of the country was towardnuniversal freedom.nLike leading neoclassical liberal economists, Solzhenitsynnargued for the preeminence of economic freedom andneconomic development over the political freedoms of interestedngroups (compare Solzhenitsyn’s preface tonLeontowitch with George J. Stigler’s “Wealth, and PossiblynLiberty,” in The Journal of Legal Studies, June 1978).nExactly this approach is at the center of Solzhenitsyn’snanalysis of the economic and social policies of the Tsaristngovernment versus those of the liberal-socialist Provisionalngovernment of 1917.nSolzhenitsyn suggests that scholars who ignore facts ofnthe history of Russian free market economy, including itsndestruction under the liberal-socialist government, and derivencommunism from Tsarism and oppressive Russianninstitutions, are actually searching for a scapegoat. Theynwant to salvage the general right of well-meaning intellectualsnto impose their preferences on ordinary people—thenright they confuse with the freedom of expression. In this,nintellectuals ignore the costs of ideologies to ordinary peoplenon whom social designs are imposed. Here we are at thenheart of the matter. Intellectuals perceive Solzhenitsyn’sncase against ideology, socialism, and Marxism as a generalnassault on intellectual freedom. It is a horrifying idea, asnRichard Pipes put it, to take a German scribbler to task fornAs goes lh€ American l^mily,nso ^oes our naflon.nThe strength and resilience of the American as, each month, its editors grapple with funda-nFamily is quite simply the single greatest asset mental issues affecting your family’s future,nour nation possesses. , , „, ,nlong battered, neglected, maligned, and Each month. 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