That fascism was and is an inherently evil ideology is accepted without much serious debate in the West. In fact, we have been instructed to believe that fascism, and its nationalist-socialist offspring, are the greatest evils that have ever plagued the Earth. You will not get much objection from me on this point - I agree, fascism and nazism are inherently evil ideologies that have wreaked great harm upon humanity, and care should be taken to ensure this ideology does not rear its ugly head again in the future.
The horrors of fascism and nazism are well-known in the West, but when it comes to fully acknowledging the horrors of communism, a massive blind spot exists. Unlike fascism, communism is not anathema in most Western countries. Despite the efforts of writers like Solzhenitsyn and others, despite extensive historical records and documents, despite countless eye witness accounts and terrifying personal testimony, the terrible legacy of communism has not ignited the same levels of condemnation in the West as fascism has.
On the contrary, many celebrated intellectuals and thinkers were or are professed communists and either enjoyed or continue to enjoy rewarding careers in academia or in the media despite their admiration or support for the Marxist cause. Some have built an entire careers on the foundations of Marxist apologetics and obtuse French Marxist psychoanalysis. You can talk about communism as a viable political option at any Starbucks in the West without drawing too much objection from anyone sitting at nearby tables. The name Stalin does not inspire great same depths of scorn on the facial expressions of most when his name is mentioned. And of course, no hipster wardrobe would be complete without at least a few items of clothing featuring Comrade Lenin, a red star, hammers-and-sickles, or Che Guevara.
This has always bothered me and it continues to bother me, especially now when the West is seized by a collective paranoia over the rise of fascism.
Don't misunderstand. I am no supporter of fascism; I have no crooked cross in my head. The ideology is evil and loathesome. I criticize it roundly in my novel The City of Earthly Desire. However, what separates me from many others is my conviction that communism / Marxism is just as evil and loathesome. I firmly believe that communism deserves to be addressed and treated with the same contempt fascism inspires.
But for the most part it isn't, and it does not seem like it will ever be. A tremendous shortcoming.