You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Communism’ tag.
In researching the Vietnam War, I ran across an article that British-American journalist Robert Elegant, born in 1928, wrote for the magazine Encounter.
Elegant — what a marvellous name — was born in New York City and spent most of his journalistic career in Asia. He covered the Korean and Vietnam Wars and has a keen knowledge of China and its culture, supplemented earlier by a Masters in Far Eastern Studies from Columbia University. He has won several awards during his career. He currently divides his time between London and Italy and still travels to the Far East.
Elegant’s article is entitled ‘How to Lose A War: The Press and Viet Nam’ (Encounter (London), vol. LVII, No. 2, August 1981, pp. 73-90). Below are excerpts; reading the article in full is highly recommended for his insight into the media spin, borne of ignorance, on this war.
If you read only one post in my Vietnam series, this is it. This is especially important for parents and guardians to pass along to children. I also recommend it to teachers and lecturers, provided they can position it such that they do not incur the wrath of their notional superiors.
Emphases mine below.
The Vietnam War was unique:
For the first time in modern history, the outcome of a war was determined not on the battlefield but on the printed page and, above all, on the television screen.
Looking back coolly, I believe it can be said (surprising as it may still sound) that South Vietnamese and American forces actually won the limited military struggle. They virtually crushed the Viet Cong in the South, the “native” guerrillas who were directed, reinforced, and equipped from Hanoi; and thereafter they threw back the invasion by regular North Vietnamese divisions. Nonetheless, the war was finally lost to the invaders after the U.S. disengagement because the political pressures built up by the media had made it quite impossible for Washington to maintain even the minimal material and moral support that would have enabled the Saigon regime to continue effective resistance.
As for knock-on effects to the 1981 — when Elegant wrote the article — we can probably safely add on later conflicts to the present day:
It is, however, interesting to wonder whether Angola, Afghanistan, and Iran would have occurred if Saigon had not fallen amid nearly universal odium—that is to say, if the “Viet Nam Syndrome,” for which the press (in my view) was largely responsible, had not afflicted the Carter Administration and paralyzed American will. On the credit side, largely despite the press, the People’s Republic of China would almost certainly not have purged itself of the Maoist doctrine of “worldwide liberation through people’s war” and, later, would not have come to blows with Hanoi if the defense of South Viet Nam had not been maintained for so long.
The media reporting on Vietnam were a ‘brotherhood’ which had already chosen which side they were on. Their reporting was also for their fellow journalists:
In my own personal experience most correspondents wanted to talk chiefly to other correspondents to confirm their own mythical vision of the war. Even newcomers were precommitted, as the American jargon has it, to the collective position most of their colleagues had already taken. What I can only call surrealistic reporting constantly fed on itself, and did not diminish thereby, but swelled into ever more grotesque shapes. I found the process equally reprehensible for being in no small part unwitting.
In part, this was because:
Most correspondents were isolated from the Vietnamese by ignorance of their language and culture, as well as by a measure of race estrangement. Most were isolated from the quixotic American Army establishment, itself often as confused as they themselves were, by their moralistic attitudes and their political prejudices.
However, the journalists also wanted to protect their jobs and wrote accordingly:
After each other, correspondents wrote to win the approbation of their editors, who controlled their professional lives and who were closely linked with the intellectual community at home. The consensus of that third circle, the domestic intelligentsia, derived largely from correspondents’ reports and in turn served to determine the nature of those reports. If dispatches did not accord with that consensus, approbation was withheld. Only in the last instance did correspondents address themselves to the general public, the mass of lay readers and viewers.
Ironically, given this state of affairs, journalists, Elegant contends, could be compared to the soldiers whom they were criticising:
A tour in Viet Nam was almost essential to promotion for a U.S. Regular Army officer, and a combat command was the best road to rapid advancement. Covering the biggest continuing story in the world was not absolutely essential to a correspondent’s rise, but it was an invaluable cachet. Quick careers were made by spectacular reporting of the obvious fact that men, women, and children were being killed; fame or at least notoriety rewarded the correspondent who became part of the action—rather than a mere observer—by influencing events directly.
Journalists, particularly those serving in television, were therefore, like soldiers, “rotated” to Viet Nam. Few were given time to develop the knowledge, and indeed the intellectual instincts, necessary to report the war in the round. Only a few remained “in country” for years, though the experienced Far Eastern correspondents visited regularly from Hong Kong, Singapore, and Tokyo. Not surprisingly, one found that most reporting veered farther and farther from the fundamental political, economic, and military realities of the war, for these were usually not spectacular. Reporting Viet Nam became a closed, self-generating system sustained largely by the acclaim the participants lavished on each other in almost equal measure to the opprobrium they heaped on “the Establishment,” a fashionable and very vulnerable target.
Ignorance and spin were not germane only to American journalists:
For some journalists, perhaps most, a moment of truth through self-examination was never to come. The farther they were from the real conflict, the more smugly self-approving they now remain as commentators who led the public to expect a brave new world when the North Vietnamese finally “liberated” South Viet Nam. Even those correspondents who today gingerly confess to some errors or distortions usually insist that the true fault was not theirs at all, but Washington’s. The enormity of having helped in one way or another to bring tens of millions under grinding totalitarian rule—and having tilted the global balance of power—appears too great to acknowledge. It is easier to absolve one’s self by blaming exclusively Johnson, Nixon, and Kissinger.
I found few American correspondents to be as tough-minded as one Briton I knew who was very close to the action for many years in the employ of an American wire-news service. “I’m ashamed of most of what I wrote in Viet Nam,” he told me recently. “But I was a new boy, and I took my lead from the Americans, who were afire with the crusading spirit of ’60s journalism—the involvement, man, in the good fight. When I look at what’s happened now, I’m ashamed of my ignorance—and what I helped to do to the Vietnamese….”
Only journalists who knew recent history of Southeast Asia could see through Hanoi’s (North Vietnam’s capital) propaganda:
We knew that, in 1956, close to 50,000 peasants were executed in North Viet Nam. We knew that after the division of the country nearly one million North Vietnamese had fled to the South. Many of us have seen the tortured and carved-up bodies of men, women, and children executed by the Viet Cong in the early phases of the war. And many of us saw, in 1968, the mass graves of Hue, saw the corpses of thousands of civilians still festively dressed for Tet, the Vietnamese New Year.
Why, for heaven’s sake, did we not report about these expressions of deliberate North Vietnamese strategy at least as extensively as of the My Lai massacre and other such isolated incidents that were definitely not part of the U.S. policy in Viet Nam?
I think at least a little humility would be in order for us old Viet Nam hands. . . .
And let us not confuse coyness on their part with humility:
the media have been rather coy; they have not declared that they played a key role in the conflict. They have not proudly trumpeted Hanoi’s repeated expressions of gratitude to the mass media of the non-Communist world, although Hanoi has indeed affirmed that it could not have won “without the Western press.” The Western press appears either unaware of the direct connection between cause (its reporting) and effect (the Western defeat in Viet Nam), or strangely reluctant to proclaim that the pen and the camera proved decisively mightier than the bayonet and ultra-modern weapons …
Any searching analysis of fundamental premises has remained as unthinkable to “the critics” as it was during the fighting. They have remained committed to the proposition that the American role in Indochina was totally reprehensible and inexcusable, while the North Vietnamese role—and, by extension, the roles of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia and the Pathet Lao in Laos—was righteous, magnanimous, and just. Even the growing number who finally deplored the repressive consequences of the totalitarian victory could not bring themselves to re-examine the premises that led them to contribute so decisively to those victories.
Television reinforced the media’s perspective:
At any given moment, a million images were available to the camera’s lens in Saigon alone—and hundreds of million throughout Indochina. But TV crews naturally preferred the most dramatic. That, after all, was their business—show business. It was not news to film farmers peacefully tilling their rice fields, though it might have been argued that nothing happening was news when the American public had been led to believe that almost every Vietnamese farmer was regularly threatened by the Viet Cong, constantly imperiled by battle, and rarely safe from indiscriminate U.S. bombing.
If I might interject here, this is exactly what I thought as a child. My parents tried to explain otherwise, but there it was on the news every night. Television couldn’t lie. Could it?
But television could “prove” either a negative or a positive proposition—depending on where the camera pointed and upon the correspondent’s inclination.
The military was unhappy with the nature of the reporting. It seemed as if Vietnam were two wars — one which the armed forces were fighting and the second on which the journalists reported:
Sgt. John Ashe (brother of the world-famous tennis player) was a Marine assigned to public relations duties. He delivered a biting indictment of the young wire-service correspondents and the “war freaks” who frequented Da Nang (which was a remote outpost to the media, though not to the military). They would, he recalled, rarely go into the field and never spend the night when they did; would deport themselves as if they had never heard a shot fired with intent to kill before that moment—to their own and the Marines’ peril; and then file stories that “bore little or no relation” to what he—and they—had seen. They didn’t want to know, Ashe added, what was really happening in the First Corps Area, where the Marines had winkled out the Viet Cong by stationing squads in villages.
The media’s opposition to the Establishment — government, principally — was so strong that anything the administration or military said was thought to be a lie. Only the Communists were seen to be honest:
A faulty syllogism was unconsciously accepted: Washington was lying consistently; Hanoi contradicted Washington; therefore Hanoi was telling the truth.
Communists, not surprisingly, had set up this faulty syllogism:
The initial inclination to look upon Hanoi as a fount of pure truth was intelligently fostered by the Communists, who selectively rewarded “critics of the American war” with visas to North Viet Nam.
These famous ‘critics’ included celebrities, among them Jane Fonda:
A number of influential journalists and public figures (ranging from former cabinet officers to film actresses) were feted in North Viet Nam. They were flattered not only by the attention and the presumed inside information proffered by the North Vietnamese but by their access to a land closed to most Americans.
Running like lemmings, they were — and what Elegant writes in the next paragraph is especially true; you can still read it from readers of left-wing sites such as the Daily Kos:
The favored few—and the aspiring many—helped establish a climate in which it was not only fashionable but, somehow, an act of courage to follow the critical crowd in Saigon and Washington while praising Hanoi. The skeptical correspondent risked ostracism by his peers and conflicts with his editors if he did not run with “the herd of independent minds,” if he did not support the consensus.
Historically — and even among the left-wing peace proponents, there was a respect for war, especially the Great War and the Second World War. The Korean War was seen as just about acceptable, including from a media perspective.
Just not the Vietnam War. This is why I say that the Communist and Marxist propaganda machine worked very well during that time:
World War II was generally considered a crusade against evil …
The Korean War was not a universal crusade … Moved neither by basic antagonism towards official aims nor by unthinking commitment to those aims, a surprisingly youthful press corps offered surprisingly objective reports. Aside from a marked weakness in covering internal politics in both the South and the North—a weakness that presaged a disastrous disability in Indochina—Korea was, in my view, the best-covered American war of modern times. Besides, the conflict was, by and large, straightforward and simple to understand.
Elegant states that, as far as the Vietnam War was concerned, this part of the world, its history and its place in the Cold War were difficult to understand, ‘arcane’ at times, especially for the general public. However, he observes that the media did not help lift that cloud of ignorance for them.
Getting back to journalistic ignorance, the glaring lack of knowledge about the nature of war (somehow — didn’t any of these people learn world history at school?) manifested itself in coverage of Vietnam:
Most, as I have noted, knew little about war in general from either experience or study—and less about the theory or practice of guerrilla war.
And, let’s not forget Marxist theory:
Since so many were also untroubled by acquaintance with Marxist theory or practice and were hazy about the international balance of power, they were incapable of covering effectively a conflict involving all those elements.
As long as the “Viet Nam Syndrome” afflicts the media, it seems to me that it will be virtually impossible for the West to conduct an effective foreign policy.
And this, I believe, is what James Higham was saying recently at Orphans of Liberty in his post on Vietnam (which I cited yesterday), which alluded to the United Nations and the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).
Unfortunately, and I believe Elegant is correct:
It is possible that the “Viet Nam Syndrome” will recur; it is not unlikely that Western foreign policy, with the United States as its faltering—or even resurgent—leader, will again be forced to operate in an environment dominated by a hostile press.
This is yet another reason why it is so important to understand history, even — perhaps especially — ‘difficult’ conflicts such as the Vietnam War.
Whilst researching the post on the Browder family, I ran across an issue of Solanka, the publication of the old United Communist Party (UCP) in the US.
In fact, this issue would have appeared around the same time the late, one-time party chief Earl Browder received his membership.
If anyone thinks Communism is a ‘nice’ and ‘compassionate’ way of thinking or governing, ask them how they would like to receive the following, typical of the rest of Solanka.
The following excerpted meeting minutes are dated August 14, 1920 (pp. 5 and 6). Note the focus on money, organisation and seeming disregard for Party members as people.
Also observe how much it sounds like a hostile office memo one might receive today. It could have been subtitled ‘Pull a finger out, idiots’.
Did we get our love of corporate acronyms (see last line of memo) from the Commies? I wonder.
In any case, I found this so absolutely frightful I couldn’t resist sharing it with you.
Emphases mine below except for words in caps and italics:
TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE UCP.
Your CEC has just had a meeting. Here’s an account of its decisions and actions.
Information of this character will no longer be published in the Official Organ [The Communist], but will be sent you in Bulletins like this. After reading to the group members, destroy the Bulletin.
VERY special information will not even be published in Bulletins, but conveyed verbally through organizers. Unless you attend EVERY group meeting you may miss something important. Moral: BE THERE.
Still more important is it for your organizers and committeemen to attend all committee meetings. If any refuse to do this, fire them, and put comrades on the job who’ll attend to business.
Here are several specific matters for your action:—
Soviet Russia Resolution. The last page of this Bulletin contains a resolution for support of Soviet Russia. Bring it before your unions.
Raise Defense Funds.The Party has accepted proposition from the National Defense Committee. Dispose of as many Defense stamps as you can to outsiders. Push collection of Defense Fund among non-members in every way you can think of, so that regular receipts can be used for organization work. Forward all funds collected BY MEMBERS through the regular Party channels, whether from stamps or lists.
$50,000 Organization Fund.The tremendous campaign mapped out by your CEC is based on expectation that you will raise the $50,000 Fund necessary to carry it through. Remember that EVERY group should raise $50, or $5 per member, by September 1st .
Intensive Propaganda. There are in this country at least 100,00 Left Wing Socialists and IWWs whom it is perfectly safe for you to approach with Communist message.Your CEC can not do this. Neither can your organizers. This is a task that You Yourselves must do. For this purpose every member is requested to take 5 copies of each issue of the Official Organ in English or some other language. If possible pay for them in advance. Then sell or give them away. The Party can not afford to distribute this free, except 1 copy to every member. But by this plan you can start a vast propaganda campaign at once. Surely there is not a single member who can not do this: Pick out 5 people to whom it is safe for you to talk. Keep after them with each issue until they are ready for membership in the UCP.
Reports and Orders.Your group organizer must make financial reports at least twice a month. Ours can be “a party of action” only if YOU act. See to it that he has something to report from you each time. Tell him exactly how many copies of each language organ to order for you on the requisition blank that he has for this purpose. Only if your group does this systematically can your District Organizer make proper orders and reports to the National Office.
Kicks. If papers you order do not reach you, please KICK to the higher party units until they come through. If we do not hear you holler we take it for granted that all papers and literature reach you OK.
Remember, Comrades: Our Communist Movement is just what YOU make it. Up and AT IT.
Yours in Revolt,
The CEC of the UCP.
Some of my newer or occasional readers might not recognise the name Bella Dodd.
Dodd was a member of the Communist Party in New York City during the middle of the 20th century, before they expelled her. She later returned to the Roman Catholic Church of her youth in the 1950s and became a conservative before her death in 1969.
Soon after returning to the Catholic Church, she wrote a book called School of Darkness, which I excerpted in 2011. You can find links to both the excerpts and Dodd’s full text on my Marxism/Communism page.
At the time I ran my posts on School of Darkness, someone said to me, ‘Gosh, this seems to be going down the rabbit hole of conspiracy theory’.
Yet, as Dodd details in her autobiographical book, she was an active part of weaving Communist ideology and propaganda into the fabric of America. The same techniques continue to this day in education, politics and social reform. It’s no conspiracy theory — it was and is a conspiracy to subvert liberty at all levels of the United States.
If you find yourself at a loose end during the Christmas holidays, spending a few hours reading School of Darkness will enlighten you on many aspects of Communist ideology and practice.
I’ve thought a lot about the book since I read it last year and revisited it this year — 2012 — as various world events unfolded.
Dodd’s activity took place during the 1930s and 1940s. How familiar are the tactics today? Think of Occupy, education reforms, Agenda 21, political hate, the French and US elections — and more.
Here are a few excerpts which I’ve divided by topic. Much more can be found at the links provided below (emphases mine).
Education and creating a new society (1):  The Communists, who are unerring in attaching themselves to an explosive situation, had their answers for … troubled young teachers. Their chief answer was that we had reached the “breakdown of the capitalist system.” To those who were self-conscious on race or religion they said that “religious or racial discrimination” was the cause. When individual instances of bigotry and discrimination arose, the Communists were quick to note them and to exaggerate them. So a cleavage was established between the older teachers, who were largely Protestants, Catholics, and conservative Jews, and the new teachers who were increasingly freethinkers, atheists, or agnostics, and sometimes called themselves “humanists.”
I now began consciously to build new Party leadership in the Union. I surrounded myself with younger Party members who were more alert to new situations and did not think in rigid Marxist patterns …
The Communist Party had been quick to … avert the attack on the communist teachers, a thing which might lead to the heart of the Party … we organized a committee called “Friends of the Free Public Schools.” Under its aegis we collected funds, more than $150,000 the first year. We published attractive booklets which we sent to teacher organizations, to trade unions, to women’s clubs, to public officials.
We organized “Save Our Schools” community clubs, made up of teachers, parents, trade unionists, students, and young people. We were a well-trained army …
Education and creating a new society (2): [Early 1940s, New York City] I had now become an elder statesman of the Teachers Union. I retained my membership as an honorary member and at the direction of the Party I remained on the top communist committee …
I continued to move in a world of men who were determined to create new types of human beings who would conform to the blueprint of the world they confidently expected to control ...
I was amazed at the lack of files of material on social questions such as housing and welfare. When I complained about this, Gil said: “Bella, we are a revolutionary party, not a reform group. We aren’t trying to patch up this bourgeois structure.”
Education and creating a new society (3): In June 1944 I was assigned to speak at a meeting of more than five hundred communist teachers and their friends at the Jefferson School [a Marxist training school for adults] on the new communist perspectives as applied to education. I held out the prospect of a new approach to education soon to be disclosed by American leaders who controlled the purse strings of the nation. I urged the communist teachers to exercise their influence for unity on all teachers’ and citizens’ groups.
I pointed out that the NAM had established a tie with the NEA and had pledged itself to help build education and to support a nationwide school-building program; that this would grow into a program of continued co-operation on all educational subjects. To those who questioned this perspective I said that the progressive businessmen were playing a revolutionary role ...
Creating a new society: This is the peculiar paradox of modern totalitarianism. This is the key to the mental enslavement of mankind: that the individual is made into nothing, that he operates as the physical part of what is considered a higher group intelligence and acts at the will of that higher intelligence, that he has no awareness of the plans the higher intelligence has for utilizing him. When a person conditioned by a totalitarian group talks about the right not to incriminate himself, he really means the right not to incriminate the communist group of which he is only a nerve end. When he talks of freedom of speech, he means freedom for the communist group to speak as a group through the mouth of the individual who has been selected by the higher intelligence.
The Bill of Rights of the American Constitution was written to protect individuals against centralized power. The Communists pervert this safeguard by first enslaving the individual so that he becomes the marionette of the centralized power.
This kind of conditioning had something to do with my decision to become a card-carrying Communist.
Getting out the vote: I found plenty of work to do in East Harlem, but I soon learned that the Labor Party and its activees, the Communists, were concerned mainly about getting out the vote. Certainly they were not concerned about the welfare of the people. This was a new type of political machine, attracting not only the voters but the actual precinct workers by vague promises of future social betterment.
Infiltrating the Democrats: [1944 - F D Roosevelt's re-election campaign] In that campaign the Communists were everywhere. We did not trust the district leaders of the Democratic Party to deliver the votes, so we sent bright young left-wingers into the Democratic clubhouses to jog the old fellows into action, and it was amusing to see them in that rough-and tumble atmosphere.
To gather in the votes which the Labor Party could not win and which the Democratic organizations might fail to reach, we set up a National Citizens Political Action Committee. This loose organization held local rallies and collected funds. Its executive committee had many glittering names. The real work was done by the same dedicated little people, the ones who were looking for no personal reward save the right of participation in the building of a new world.
It was fascinating to see how easily the Party personnel acclimated itself to its new role of pulling all forces together. They rubbed elbows with district leaders, with underworld characters, and with old-line political bosses whom they really regarded as caretakers of a disintegrating political apparatus.
Attacking Republicans: [1939, when conflict arose in New York City over substitute teachers and a special committee was appointed to investigate]
By fall of 1939 the Rapp-Coudert Committee had settled down to work with a score of investigators. On the committee were men I could not dislike …
Assemblyman Rapp was an up-stater concerned chiefly with educational finance and administration. So he played a negligible role in the investigation.
That left one person on whom to turn our combined fury. Senator Coudert was a Republican, cold and patrician in appearance. Because of his international law firm with an office in Paris and the fact that it acted for many White Russians, we looked on him as an agent of imperialism. From the Communist Party and from the men who represented the Soviet interests in this country we got the go-ahead signal to make him our target …
Sometimes the campaign is on the offensive. Some angle is found to explain the evil motives of those who are conducting the investigation, perhaps to show that the investigation is itself a blind for some ulterior motive and that the result will deprive people of certain rights. In the teacher fight we steadfastly kept before the public the idea that the investigation was intended to rob the public schools of financial support and to promote religious and racial bigotry.
Little by little we won the campaign, at least in the opinion of many people; and we distracted the attention of the public from the specific work of the Committee. Support for the teachers, which at first had come only from the Communist Party, increased and included liberals, left trade unions, national group organizations, religious organizations, then political parties of the left, then leftwing Democrats, then so-called Progressive Republicans. All the support, however, was for tangential issues and not the basic issue. It did not matter to us …
Infiltrating the Republicans: [mid-1940s] Party economic researchers, accountants, and lawyers got jobs with various conservative planning groups in Republican and Democratic Party setups and in nonpartisan organizations.
The role of hate: In everything except name I was a Communist …
Even more significant was the fact that I had made their hates my hates. This was what established me as a full-fledged Communist. In the long ago I had been unable to hate anyone; I suffered desperately when someone was mistreated; I was regarded as a peacemaker. Now, little by little, I had acquired a whole mass of people to hate: the groups and individuals who fought the Party. How it came about I cannot tell. All I know as I look back to that time is that my mind had responded to Marxist conditioning. For it is a fact, true and terrible, that the Party establishes such authority over its members that it can swing their emotions now for and now against the same person or issue. It claims such sovereignty even over conscience as to dictate when it shall hate.
Women and minorities: Late in 1945 word had come … that it was important that American women be organized into an international movement, ostensibly for peace. An international federation was to be established with Russian and French Party women as leaders. So during the next months I helped organize the United States branch. A combination of wealthy women and Party members established and maintained what was called the Congress of American Women.
Since it was supposedly a movement for peace, it attracted many women. But it was really only a renewed offensive to control American women, a matter of deep importance to the communist movement, for American women do 80 per cent of the family spending. In the upper brackets they own a preponderance of capital stock and bonds. They are important in the making of political decisions. Like youth and minority groups, they are regarded as a reserve force of the revolution because they are more easily moved by emotional appeals. So the Soviet campaign for peace was especially geared to gain support of the women.
American blacks: The sessions of the December National Committee [mid-1940s] were notable for their long-winded, long-spun-out, and fantastic justification of the line of “self-determination of the Negro in the black belt.” Only the intelligence and patience of Negro leaders in America have made possible resistance to this mischievous theory which was contrived by Stalin and was now unleashed by Foster. Briefly told, it is the theory that the Negroes in the South form a nation, a subjugated nation with the desire to become a free one, and that the Communists are to give them all assistance. The Party proposed to develop the national aspirations of the Negro people so they would rise up and establish themselves as a nation with the right to secede from the United States. It was a theory not for the benefit of the Negroes but to spur strife, and to use the American Negro in the world communist propaganda campaign to win over the colored people of the world. Ultimately, the Communists proposed to use them as instruments in the revolution to come in the United States …
Other disaffected groups:  When the Progressive Party was finally launched it represented not the farmers and workers of America but the same kind of synthetic coalition which had become a pattern of communist participation in national politics. There were large numbers of disillusioned middle-class professionals in it; there were women of wealth, moved by humanitarian motives; and there were Communists and fellow travelers. All these elements were welded together by flashy professional publicity agents, glib of tongue and facile of pen …
A limited and controlled Progressive Party would be a cover organization and a substitute for the Communist Party if the latter were outlawed.
Co-opting wealthy businessmen (1): In 1945 several corporations were established for trade with China in one of which was Frederick V. Field … such corporations hired and maintained a different type of communist, better-dressed, better-fed, more sophisticated, and much more venomous.
… today the communist agent engaged in international trade is far more effective than the old-type political agitator ...
I realized more than ever how many major financial operations were touched by the Party. In one office we visited a Party concern that bought pig iron in Minnesota and shipped it to northern Italy where, with the help of Italian Communist Party leaders, it was allocated to communist-led plants and there processed into steel and shipped to Argentina.
After I had introduced my young Italian associate to a number of people who professed themselves willing to help, he decided to establish a permanent committee in the United States for cultural ties with Italy. Thus was born the American Committee for Cultural Relations with Italy. John Crane, whose family fortune was made in bathroom fixtures, was made chairman.
Co-opting wealthy businessmen (2): I had regarded the Communist Party as a poor man’s party, and thought the presence of certain men of wealth within it accidental. I now saw this was no accident … Now I saw this was only a facade placed there by the movement to create the illusion of the poor man’s party; it was in reality a device to control the “common man” they so raucously championed.
Rewriting history: I thought of the systematic rewriting of Soviet history, the revaluation, and in some cases the blotting out of any mention of such persons as Trotsky. I thought of the successive purges.
The Army and Communists (1):  The campaign for universal military training, the nostrike postwar pledge which the Communists were ballyhooing, and the labor-management charter were all straws in the wind and pointed to one thing: ultimate state control of the people.
The Army and Communists (2): “Well, if we keep our members from the Army, then where will our boys learn to use weapons with which to seize power?”
I realized how the Soviets had utilized Spain['s Civil War] as a preview of the revolution to come.
What now became clear to me was the collusion of these two forces: the Communists with their timetable for world control, and certain mercenary forces in the free world bent on making profit from blood.
The UN: When the Yalta conference had ended, the Communists prepared to support the United Nations Charter which was to be adopted at the San Francisco conference to be held in May and June, 1945. For this I organized a corps of speakers and we took to the street corners and held open-air meetings in the millinery and clothing sections of New York where thousands of people congregate at the lunch hour. We spoke of the need for world unity and in support of the Yalta decisions. Yet at the same time the youth division of the Communists was circulating petitions for universal military training.
The two seemed contradictory. But Communists do not cross wires in careless fashion. The truth was that the two campaigns were geared to different purposes: the need to control the people in the postwar period, and the need to build a world-wide machine to preserve peace …
Propagandistic attack (1): They must add something really unforgivable to make me an outcast in the eyes of the simple people of the Party. They did this by spreading the story that in my court appearances I had made remarks against the Puerto Rican tenants, that I had slandered them, and showed myself a racist, almost a fascist. And last of all, a charge of anti-Negro, anti-Semitism, and anti-working class was thrown in for good measure ...
I found myself with only a few shabby men and women, inconsequential Party functionaries, drained of all mercy, with no humanity in their eyes, with no good will of the kind that works justice. Had they been armed I know they would have pulled the trigger against me …
On June 17, 1949, my telephone rang. “This is the Associated Press,” said a voice. “We have received a statement from the Communist Party announcing your expulsion from membership. It says here that you are anti-Negro, anti-Puerto Rican, anti-Semitic, anti-labor, and the defender of a landlord. Have you any statement to make?”
Propagandistic attack (2): All the canards against the Catholic Church which I had heard and tolerated, which even by my silence I had approved, were threatening the tiny flame of longing for faith within me. I thought of many things on that ride, of the word “fascist,” used over and over by the communist press in describing the role of the Church in the Spanish Civil War. I also thought of the word “Inquisition” so skillfully used on all occasions. Other terms came to me — reactionary, totalitarian, dogmatic, old-fashioned. For years they had been used to engender fear and hatred in people like me …
Communism morphs as necessary (1):  Earl Browder’s speech calling for the dissolution of the Communist Party was … the most surprising event ...
But the Party machine worked with planned precision. The American Communist Party dissolved itself and then by another resolution the delegates re-established it under the name of the Communist Political Association, with the same leaders, same organization, same friends …
The new change of name puzzled many both in and out of the Party. I had listened closely during the convention and it was not at all clear to me. I knew, of course, that one immediate reason was to lay the basis for leadership of the Communists for the re-election of Roosevelt, since Earl Browder was the first to call publicly for his re-election to a fourth term …
… the current line in world communism was now based on the Roosevelt pledge to the Soviet Union of mutual co-existence and continued postwar Soviet-American unity. If that pledge were kept and if the march to world communist control could be achieved by a diplomatic unity arising out of official Soviet-American relations, then there would be no need of a militant class-struggle party. In that case the Communist Political Association would become a sort of Fabian Society, doing research and engaging in promoting social, economic, and political ideas to direct America’s development into a full-fledged socialist nation.
Communism morphs as necessary (2): Earl Browder and the national leadership were busy striving to give the Communist Party the appearance of a native American party to prepare it for its new role in the war and in the postwar period when it was expected to play an even greater role …
His slogan, “Communism Is Twentieth Century Americanism,” had irked both the foreign-minded Communists and the native Americans who had felt it was an attempt to sell a bogus article. But with the war Browder could work with impunity to convert the Party into an acceptable American social and political organization.
Marxism trumps all: [Party official] Foster put an end to dissent by saying flatly, “A communist leader does not need newspaper experience to be an editor. It is more important that he be a sound Marxist.”
Total Party control: The next day Bill Norman, the state secretary, who served as a balance wheel to the explosive and unpredictable Thompson, called me to his office. He talked to me in his quiet and reasonable way and I told him frankly that I wanted to get out of the Party. His expression changed. He fixed his eyes on me and said, almost harshly, “Dodd, no one gets out of the Party. You die or you are thrown out. But no one gets out.” Then he became his mild self again.
Communists can be from any walk of life: That spring I worked at my law practice and tried to build a private life for myself. I outwitted a number of well-laid plans to injure me. I learned during those months that some of the agents of the International Communist movement look and talk like your next-door neighbor.
Conditioning and confusion: I had joined as an idealist. Now I was beginning to stay because of the sense of power it gave me, and the chance of participation in significant events …
I became sharp and critical of those who did not pour themselves as completely into the Party. I still based activity on my own standards of goodness, of honesty, and of loyalty. I failed to understand that the Party in making alliances had nothing whatever to do with these qualities, that it was not out to reform the world, but was bent on making a revolution to control the world. I did not know then that to do so it was ready to use cutthroats, liars, and thieves as well as saints and ascetics.
Meaninglessness without God and faith (1): “Red,” as his friends called him, proved a fine addition to the party for he talked well and had many stories to tell. He came from Minnesota …
We talked late into the night … Dubiously, he asked, “Are you sure that is what you want?” and as I looked surprised, he continued:
“You see, I don’t think they have the answer. I simply can’t make myself believe that we are only clods of earth and that when we die, we die and that’s all. I’ve seen bad conditions in lots of places, on ships, in jails, and in foreign ports in China and India and Africa and South America. I’ve fought against these conditions. There’s no doubt that out of it all revolution may come — the way the Communists want it to — but what will come after that? What will this crowd do when they’ve got their revolution? I hate to think about it. But I’m pretty sure they haven’t got the answer.”
Meaninglessness without God and faith (2): Meaningless and empty I learned are such phrases as “the brotherhood of man” unless they have the solid foundation of belief in God’s Fatherhood …
This, then, is the story of emotional people who do not feel they fit into society — even professionals and teachers. The Communist Party leadership turns them into dupes and useful idiots to carry out their bidding. Think of the Democratic National Convention’s (unsuccessful) attempt this year to eradicate God and Jerusalem from their platform.
Think of the way young leftists — paid or unpaid Democrat shills — are still flooding conservative American sites with all sorts of lies. Some are couched under rhetoric such as ‘I am retired military and used to be conservative — now I support President Obama’. Do not believe a word of it. I’ve read this dozens of times over the past few months.
The same happened in France last Spring, but relied more on denouncing the demographics of conservative UMP voters. ‘We’re so much more intelligent than you,’ leftists wrote. ‘We live in cities and have university degrees. We’ll make the countryside extinct.’ Shades of the Kulaks there.
Then there were the smears on Sarkozy and Romney. From the time of Sarkozy’s election in May 2007, the French Left continuously harrassed him for his celebratory dinner at Fouquet’s in Paris that evening. That harrassment lasted in print and on the air for five years. We still don’t even know who paid for it — only partially by the taxpayer, most certainly. In the United States, in addition to the abortion ‘rights’ messaging, the Left warned women that Romney would ban tampons and that women should ‘vote as if their lady parts depended on it’. (It’s hard to imagine a more absurd lie, yet some female Obama supporters were ready to start stockpiling feminine hygiene supplies.) Romney, because he was a self-made, successful venture capitalist — and rather white — was automatically a racist and misogynist. How could he be otherwise?
Of course, as we know, millions of students in Western countries are learning revisionism, whether it concerns society, history or — paradoxically — the future. All whites are, by definition, racist, as were America’s Founding Fathers for the same reason. Whites cannot help but be racist; it’s what they do. Any minority who joins the Republican Party, therefore, must also be racist and a race traitor. (Sarcasm alert!)
But, hey, above all, let’s not allow our youngsters to finish secondary school or university with marketable skills. Do you ever wonder why so many skills ‘must’ come to our nations from immigrants in developing countries? Any chance that they probably receive a superior — traditional — education compared to Westerners?
I realise that many readers will find this hard to believe. So many people since the end of the Second World War have been brought up to believe that the Left loves them and has their interests at heart. We’ve never heard or seen a greater pile of rubbish before or since, yet we still continue to believe it.
Tomorrow: Notes from the 1940s on the source of education reform
As many readers know, particularly in the US, the Occupy (as in Occupy Wall Street) protests have been taking place over the past three weeks.
They have spread across the nation and are planned for other cities in the world this coming weekend, from Hong Kong to Paris to London.
At the weekend, I read the following on MSNBC’s World Blog, ‘Occupy Wall Street-style protests spread to Britain’ (emphases mine):
LONDON — A young woman spray-paints the final letter on a floral-patterned sheet. Unfurled it reads: “Occupy London, 15 Oct, occupylsx.org” …
Inspired by the Occupy Wall Street protests on the other side of the Atlantic, demonstrators plan to establish a tent city in London’s City financial district next weekend.
“The Wall Street protests sort of inspired everything,” said Kai Wargalla, who co-created the Occupy London Facebook group. “It was just time to start here. We need people to step up and speak out.”
This movement aims to unite the United Kingdom’s far-flung activist communities in addressing “the inequality of the financial system,” Wargalla said.
A ‘General Assembly’ — a meeting of the groups involved — took place on Sunday, October 9 at Westminster Bridge in London, near the Houses of Parliament.
Next Saturday, the group’s ‘occupation’ of the Stock Exchange in the City of London (financial district) will begin at noon:
On October 15th we will be Occupying the London Stock Exchange. At the same time thousands continue to occupy Wall Street and hundreds of cities from Paris and Madrid to Buenos Aires and Caracas are staging actions and occupations together for a global day of action …
By reclaiming space in the face of the economic systems that have caused terrible injustices across the world, we can open up and engage our communities into public discussions. These assemblies will allow people to voice their ideas for how we can work towards a better future and help us create concrete demands to be met. A future free from austerity within a context of growing inequality, unemployment, tax injustice and a political elite who ignores its citizens. So it’s time for citizens to represent themselves. To work together to resist the government’s plans and to do this in solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of others around the world on the same day …
October 15th will be a global day of action calling for global change.
‘O-15: Unite for Global Change’ has been called by the ‘indignants’ movement in Spain, where thousands camped out in the squares for weeks, building massive popular pressure on the government. It inspired the current Wall Street occupation in New York, providing a space for the majority to resist the wishes of the greedy minority.
This makes the link to Spain, about which I wondered after the Madrid protests started earlier this year.
Yes, a lot of people — myself included — are hacked off. However, are these the colours we should be fixing to our mast?
This is a list of organisations involved with Occupy Wall Street (OWS). Have a good look at it. Code Pink, CAIR and US Uncut (no doubt related to UK Uncut) are there along with a variety of ‘peace’ and ‘justice’ groups.
Those organising a pecking order of speakers operate what they call a ‘progressive stack’: the mic goes to women and underprivileged. Just a bit of reverse discrimination to redress the status quo:
… A normal “stack” means those who wish to speak get in line. A progressive stack encourages women and traditionally marginalized groups speak before men, especially white men. This is something that has been in place since the beginning, it is necessary, and it is important.
“Step up, step back” was a common phrase of the first week, encouraging white men to acknowledge the privilege they have lived in their entire lives and to step back from continually speaking. This progressive stack has been inspiring and mind-boggling in its effectiveness …
… I had heard the “Declaration of the Occupation” read at the General Assembly the night before but I didn’t realize that it was going to be finalized as THE declaration of the movement right then and there …
Which is how after the meeting ended we ended up finding the man who had written the document and telling him that he needed to take out the part about us all being “one race, the human race.” But its “scientifically true” he told us. He thought that maybe we were advocating for there being different races? No we needed to tell him about privilege and racism and oppression and how these things still existed, both in the world and someplace like Occupy Wall Street …
The following video features an organiser associated with the Working Family Party (see around the 2:20 mark):
The interview reinforces the involvement of the SEIU (purple shirt unionists, whose UK counterparts Unison were active in the March demonstration in London) and ACORN. The video, as its description states:
How They All Tie To The Obama Administration, DNC, Democratic Socialists of America, Tides, and George Soros.
Indeed, Nancy Pelosi has endorsed OWS, which should tell us something:
And some blasts from the past are also involved, including Frances Fox Piven of the Cloward-Piven Strategy of the late 1960s. Here she describes the varied nature of people who have participated in marches and demonstrations from the Civil Rights movement which started in the 1950s. An interesting review of history from 1955 (around the 2:00 mark):
However, let us recall that Piven has been pushing for worldwide demonstrations since January 2011.
A number of readers no doubt wondered why I devoted my summer posts to Marxism and Communism. Having read the above, we can perhaps better understand what Bella Dodd detailed in her 1954 book, School of Darkness.
In chapter 9, she described how the Communist Party USA, of which she had been a member for many years, turned legitimate concerns to their advantage. Here, she describes the work the Party did with regard to state schools in New York in the 1930s:
In a move to … bring people other than teachers into the fight, we organized a committee called “Friends of the Free Public Schools.” Under its aegis we collected funds, more than $150,000 the first year. We published attractive booklets which we sent to teacher organizations, to trade unions, to women’s clubs, to public officials …
We got free time on dozens of radio programs. We put on interesting programs over a radio station in New York. We organized “Save Our Schools” community clubs, made up of teachers, parents, trade unionists, students, and young people. We were a well-trained army and by our well-organized action we gave people a feeling that in the long run we would win.
In Chapter 14, she describes the Party’s activities in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War:
Late in 1945 word had come … that it was important that American women be organized into an international movement, ostensibly for peace. An international federation was to be established with Russian and French Party women as leaders. So during the next months I helped organize the United States branch. A combination of wealthy women and Party members established and maintained what was called the Congress of American Women.
Since it was supposedly a movement for peace, it attracted many women. But it was really only a renewed offensive to control American women, a matter of deep importance to the communist movement, for American women do 80 per cent of the family spending. In the upper brackets they own a preponderance of capital stock and bonds. They are important in the making of political decisions. Like youth and minority groups, they are regarded as a reserve force of the revolution because they are more easily moved by emotional appeals. So the Soviet campaign for peace was especially geared to gain support of the women.
And what about the very real plight of blacks in the American South? The Party also turned that to its advantage. Dodd writes:
It was a theory not for the benefit of the Negroes but to spur strife, and to use the American Negro in the world communist propaganda campaign to win over the colored people of the world. Ultimately, the Communists proposed to use them as instruments in the revolution to come in the United States …
Now, relate this back to the rhetoric used upthread from the Occupy participants.
Notice that, even today, people who would like to lend a voice and a hand aren’t always sure of the objective. This from one of my Obamacare posts citing an article in California Catholic Daily about a meeting among PICO — a Saul Alinsky offshoot — and Catholics in the Alliance for the Common Good:
In 2000, my parish signed up with the Bay Area Organizing Committee. They are an affiliate of the Industrial Areas Foundation, another Alinskyite umbrella organization. We held some meetings. Some other more active parishioners and I were invited. At the first meeting I asked the Bay Area Organizing Committee representative what we were going to try to accomplish. The answer was that we were going to join together for common action. But for what aim? I asked…
I received no answer … because the technique of Alinskyite organizations is to avoid concrete issues whenever possible. Issues such as abortion or same sex-marriage are to be avoided because they are ‘divisive’, and divisiveness would inhibit the growth of the organization. For the Alinskyite organizer, as for any political organizer, growth equals power…
If this protest still speaks to you — and I fully realise that we are all affected by machinations by the elite and the high financiers — then, by all means, sign up.
However, if you can get past the emotion and rhetoric used here (e.g. oppression, solidarity, global change, injustice), you might just think differently.
In closing, let’s recall what a commenter at the Guardian’s Comment is Free (CiF) wrote back in March:
panpies 27 March 2011 10:10PM: Only 1% of the working population earn more than £150,000. Yet even before the 50% rate came in they contributed 24% of all income tax revenues (source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8417205.stm), while owning 21% of the wealth (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_in_the_United_Kingdom) …
Government spending in the UK is £700 billion. About 50% of that is raised through income tax and NI. That’s equivalent to £12,000 for every working person in the country. In other words, if you are earning less than £45,000 per year, you are being subsidised by someone else …
If nobody in the country earned over £50,000 (and there are always a lot of posts on CiF suggesting that no-one needs to earn any more), tax rates would have to soar if government spending as to be maintained …
So to all those who say good riddance to bankers…remember that if they do go, you’ll be paying for it for the rest of your lives …
A final word from Yuri Bezmenov, a Soviet expert in propaganda who later defected to the US:
Actually, there are no grassroots revolutions, period. Any revolution is a byproduct of a highly organized group of conscientious and professional organizers but there’s nothing to do with grassroots.
You might have noticed that I have added additional pages to Churchmouse Campanologist.
One of these concerns Marxism and Communism. This page has a collection of all my posts on this subject. Seeing all of them in one place is a bit shocking, particularly when you see how many concern the Church!
I hope that you will learn as much from them as I did when writing them. It’s especially important that young people are aware of what has been going on in Western society and politics over the past century.
And for adults? As I read recently online, ‘You might not be interested in politics, but politics is interested in you!’
Yes, there are two kingdoms, but if you are voting in 2012, please use these resources to make an informed choice.
In 2009, I featured a few revealing posts about Soviet propagandist and defector Yuri Bezmenov. I am certain that a few readers will say, ‘Well, yes, but how exaggerated is all this?’ That is something only you can decide, but based on what he, Bella Dodd and Richard Wurmbrand say, it seems to be pretty true, especially in today’s climate. Are we so in thrall to the Left that we’ve blinded ourselves to reality?
At any rate, it’s always good to see Bezmenov’s writings on other sites. His message bears repeating again and again. In May 2010, James Higham of Nourishing Obscurity (see blogroll) featured this truth-teller. In the second part of his series, Higham gives us Bezmenov’s observations on defecting, ultimately to the West (emphases mine below):
No one wanted to know, I would use all kinds of tricks. I would leak letters or lost documents to get people to understand what we were doing and still the message was not published, even in the conservative mass media of India.
The immediate impulse to defect was Bangladesh, which was described by American correspondent as Islamic grassroots revolution, which is absolute baloney – there was nothing to do with Islam and there was no grassroots revolution.
Actually, there are no grassroots revolutions, period. Any revolution is a byproduct of a highly organized group of conscientious and professional organizers but there’s nothing to do with grassroots.
In part 3 of his series ‘Obstacles to perception’, Higham reveals names behind a notional resolution or, perhaps a diabolical perpetration, of Europe’s financial crisis.
Have you heard of Peter Dittus, Stephen Cecchetti or Günter Pleines? Yet these are three people orchestrating what is happening in Europe. These are three men having a great say in what happens to the Euro or to Greece. You see, we’re operating in a vacuum, believing that national politics still matter, which they do in our hearts but not in the daily machinations of these people who are not subject to any sovereign government and yet these three men are pulling the strings.
Even if you nail them, there are all the others with key influence as well. It’s a hydra and I gave up after the 1000th or so name came up. I was meant to give up. It can’t be penetrated because, like an EU committee which forms, advises legislation then disbands, none of these can be nailed.
Sounds similar to the management consulting firm where I worked for 11 years. Lots of smaller sub-departments, if you will, operating internationally, some for a few months, others for a year or two. No one minded when they were dissolved. Everyone was on the lookout for the next assignment and most had other irons in the fire lined up, anyway. So for anyone interested in a long-lasting positive outcome on a project-by-project basis, this line of business would not be suitable for them, as I eventually found out. But I digress.
Back on topic. In the 1990s, Higham reveals that an EU plan for education was at the top of the agenda. The EU stated that their motives in this regard were ‘a social responsibility’. Higham explains:
If that was the process, then the formal organization was in Erasmus Mundus programmes and the Mundus should make you shudder for a start. Naturally, these are now being expanded into the greater Mediterranean area under the Union for the Mediterranean banner [H/T IPJ]. The goal is the harmonization of political thought within the area of EU influence and the movement of “sound” academics within its programmes to any part of the empire.
And he explores, if not answers, the same question I have about the West, which is ‘Why do we all have the same problems?‘ He directs us back to Bezmenov:
These were my instructions – try to get into large circulation established conservative media – reach filthy rich moviemakers, intellectuals, so-called academic circles, cynical, ego-centric people who can look into your eyes with angelic expression and tell you a lie.
These are the most recruitable people who lack moral principles, who are either too greedy or suffer from self-importance – they feel that they matter a lot – these are the people KGB wanted very much to recruit.
So, over a period of years, conditioning takes root and no one much cares if this emanates from the cynical ancient Roman concept of ‘bread and circuses’. Higham reasons:
It explains why a large section of the community is shown all these things, yet still comes out and says it prefers to live in such a system. It explains how, once it is laid out in detail, that part of the community still comes out and said “that’s as maybe but you still haven’t given me any good reason to change my mind” …
When you are drawn into certain beliefs, certain ways of thinking, as Yuri Bezmenov pointed out, from cradle to grave, it is impossible to break out of them until a very great shock occurs to you.
It’s the aim of the politicians to keep us from those shocks until the very last moment. Right up till that point, those of a more sanguine temperament will smile benignly and move on …
That’s the current state of play and most of us are so far behind in perception that we’re only starting to understand the nature of the EU but the EU is only a manifestation of the real game, the financial reorganization on a massive scale which will dwarf the hedge fund scams, the sub-prime crises and so on …
We can rush onto the street in anger but whom do we target?
Over a year later and those of us who find the changed goalposts of the EU project mystifying still have no answers. But, like the proverbial, leftists will always be with us. In a post for Orphans of Liberty, ‘Leftists and falsehood’, Higham unpacks how they work today, which isn’t much different than before, it’s just that we’re beginning to encounter more of them, upfront and personal.
Where’s the best starting place, as I’ve mentioned before? School and university. Higham writes:
I grew up neither left nor right but once in university, I became a Fabian because, as a politically unquestioning kid, I bought the whole “professor must be correct” guff and as the only material we were steered towards was leftist – Ayn Rand was never mentioned beyond negative stereotyping and sound thinkers such as Adam Smith were never even mentioned …
This is how it’s done – the leftist argues that the banksters are capitalist, they’re ripping off the public, therefore they are fascists and need to be overthrown in a revolution “along with all the other rightwingers” who don’t care about “the people”. He knows no different, the leftist, because he’s been brainwashed into thinking that because he himself is kind and compassionate towards little creatures, towards the earth and towards fairness and equality, then the people championing his causes are also kind and compassionate …
All these groups we’ve grown up to believe are fighting for us are actually something completely different. The leftist cannot see it.
He cites the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) as an example:
Indeed, few leftist organizations in existence today can compete with the ACLU in terms of demonstrated hostility toward what the Declaration of Independence describes as “certain unalienable rights” with which Americans are “endowed by their Creator.”
Consider the doublespeak inherent throughout the “progressive” Goliath’s flowery self-representation:
“The ACLU is our nation’s guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.”
Now contrast that depiction with ACLU founder Roger Baldwin’s candid vision:
“I am for socialism, disarmament, and, ultimately, for abolishing the state itself… I seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class, and the sole control of those who produce wealth. Communism is the goal.”
Note how the ACLU only takes on certain cases, among them the removal of Ten Commandments displays in courthouses (completed work) and nativity scenes in public parks (ongoing). All it takes is one complaint.
It’s easy to be taken in by the ACLU’s perversion of language, which is common to all leftist front organisations and spokespersons around the world. This is why the Left has so many followers and useful idiots to serve as mouthpieces.
The leftist is not a bad person … The problem is the disconnect in their thinking – it stops at a certain point and doesn’t look at the wider issues, except through a narrow focus.
And unfortunately, the leftist, by his voting, by his beliefs, is inadvertently in most cases, supporting oppression and restriction of the ordinary freedoms of people, not to mention facilitating the very people in parliament who are hellbound on doing this to us.
You can’t reason with a leftist and that’s why the country is in the state it is today.
This is why it is essential for libertarians and true conservatives to explain this to their children before they get into secondary school. Yes, before, because the drip-drip feeding will have started at primary school.
If I may, I would like to close with a few observations made in the comments to Higham’s Orphans of Liberty post. These come from Robert Edwards:
I think a chief characteristic of ‘Leftism’ is a need to agitate in order to provoke. And, as Gen. Fuller points out, this characteristic can often be camouflaged by calling hard line Bolshevism Social Democracy, for example, as happened in Russia before the second revolution.
Another characteristic is ‘Internationalism’ which is nothing to do with Global Fraternity, but rather to do with eliminating threats, because a global lefty world is unsustainable, or if it is, it starts – quickly – to look very much like the worst type of Feudal Society, so the whole thing kicks off again.
A third characteristic is a dumb acceptance of Marxism as being in some sense ‘true’ as opposed to a selective and derivative rip-off of other third-raters like Hegel.
A fourth characteristic is the preparedness to use terrorism, before, during and after any revolution. The suppression of dissidence by acts of deliberate murder, to cleanse society of the intelligent, the educated, the courageous, the awkward and the cynical. This will take place constantly.
A complete refusal to undertake any debate on the demerits of what is essentially a system designed to crush the human spirit. This, finally, is accomplished by education.
Many of these characteristics can be seen in Western Europe at present. The EU is rapidly becoming essentially Feudal in its outlook and will be ‘Imperial’ soon. The suppression of the Kulaks in the USSR has a direct correlation with NuLabour’s dismissive attitude to the countryside. The preparedness to use terrorism can be seen in the coercive nature of state surveillance under which we now live. The dumb acceptance of ‘Fabianism’ by so-called moderates is another case in point – a tabloid Marxism.
I’m always careful to point out … the extent to which organisations like the Peace Pledge Union, The Left Book Club, Mass Observation and many, many more, were penetrated, Gramsci-like, by the Comintern. Obviously, the influence is still there at the BBC, (even particularly, perhaps, in Comedy) and the CofE. My late Mother was a member of the Peace Pledge Union and when I reported this, she was horrified …
None of this … has gone away; I used to come across ‘plants’ everywhere and in the most surprising places. It was only when I learned – really learned – the Language Of The Left that I became able to spot ‘em a mile off…
There you have it. I shall start a separate page of all these resources as a convenient reference point. And, yes, look — the C of E is under the influence. So, for anyone whingeing about doctrine and services being watered down, look no further for the reason why. England could be taking in Egyptian Copts or other North African converts to Christianity — some of today’s martyrs for the Faith. Do we? No. Instead, Rowan Williams sets a narrative for the future: ‘Sharia law is inevitable’.
In a January 2010 article, ‘Silent Holocaust of Christian Martyrs — a Warning of Things to Come?’ he provides us with a selection of Christian persecutions around the world in Marxist and other totalitarian countries. Excerpts follow, emphases mine.
A silent holocaust of Christian martyrs is taking place around the world. While individual instances of murder and mayhem are sometimes reported, the general pattern of violence is ignored by the media, the United Nations, and most national governments. The perpetrators belong primarily to one of two groups: fundamentalist Islamists or Communist-controlled governments.
Despite ideological differences, Islamic militants and Communist ideologues share a characteristic hostility to Christianity. Muslim fundamentalists cannot abide any worship of God but their own, and the various brands of Communists, reformed and otherwise, recognize the threat posed by Christians who profess God as the center of their lives, not a totalitarian police state.
The burning of several Catholic Churches in Malaysia, the deaths of Coptic Christians shot following midnight Mass outside their church, police raids in Saudi Arabia against private prayer groups, all testify to the type of “toleration” employed by Muslim fundamentalists.
The stated cause in each of the instances noted above was different, but every attack had the same result: death and mayhem …
The Coptic Church traces its roots back to St. Mark, and the word Coptic goes back to the Greek term for Egyptian. The Coptic Christians are the remnant of the original population of Egypt before the Arab Muslim conquest in 641 A.D. Egypt was once a Christian nation with a large population served by 50 bishops spread across the nation.
The Copts are acknowledged to be a small percent of Egypt’s present population, but the exact number is unknown. Political pressure from fundamentalist Muslims prevents the Egyptian government accurately counting the Copts, a tactic which assures that Egypt’s Christians will continue to have little influence in that nation.
The Egyptian government also actively assists in spreading anti-Christian propaganda. A recently released “scientific report” issued by a state-owned corporation described Christianity as “idolatry” and “a religion of polytheism” …
In Saudi Arabia, a nation where no Christian church is allowed, the country’s religious police are ever on the alert for non-Muslim religious activity, including private expressions of prayer. Private group Bible readings and praying run afoul of strict religious edicts …
While instances of Muslim persecution of Christian believers are documented from Nigeria to Indonesia, no where is Christian martyrdom more tragic and ironic than in post-Saddam Iraq …
Unrelenting attacks on Iraqi Christians have caused between 400,000 and 500,000 Iraqi Christians to flee Iraq, and many of those remaining are internal refugees – displaced citizens in their own nation, fearful of returning to their homes …
Politically inspired oppression of Christians remains a constant feature of the Communist world, despite the “reforms” reported in the centralized media following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The most significant crime of Christians is that they deny the right of the state to dominate all aspects of human life …
In … Laos, Communist government officials have described Christianity as a “foreign religion to be abhorred,” and threatened a group of Christians with death if they persisted in their beliefs…
In the neo-Marxist state of Venezuela, virtual dictator Hugo Chavez has lashed out at Church criticism of his Communist regime and proclaimed the Catholic Church a “tumor” in Venezuelan society. Chavez has also described the Catholic clergy as “mental retards.”
In 2006, former Communist guerrilla Daniel Ortega returned to power in the Central American nation of Nicaragua. Once a target of U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s anti-Communist strategy, Ortega claims that he has renounced violence, but remains a fervent Marxist. True to recent Communist practice, Ortega is now attempting to put the Christianity at the service of government, and deny the Church any independence in respect to any political and social issue …
Catholic bishops are facing similar struggles in Ecuador and Bolivia …
It is time for the U.S. mass media to acknowledge the persecution of Christians around the world, and to identify those who commit these crimes. We must recognize that the persecution of vulnerable Christian populations by militant Islamists and Communists is a herald of things to come for the remainder of humanity.
When persecution is mentioned, many unbelievers and leftists downplay it or say that such attacks would go against official policy for that nation. I read often in the press that Malaysia is a country where all faiths live together in perfect harmony. Yet, the facts belie this, as Mr Westerman and many other online columnists have stated over recent years. By law in a Muslim country, Christians must obtain council permission to make even rudimentary repairs to their churches. It is not unusual for this permission to be pushed to the bottom of the pile or refused.
In closing, the Gaia worship which is rapidly becoming flavour of the month among Catholic nuns and priests in South America is no doubt part of the Marxist propaganda drive to destroy Christianity. Christian religious who follow along unwittingly serve as useful idiots. Increasingly, they speak of incorporating South America’s ancient religions, which are animist and pagan, thereby producing a syncretic Christianity. Christianity has nothing to do with Marxism or Gaia.
The other day I featured excerpts from an article by Toby Westerman, editor-in-chief and publisher of International News Analysis (INA) Today.
In another column, ‘Weapons of Thought Destruction’ dated February 23, 2010, Westerman describes how leftist propaganda works and why conservative counterpoints are denounced. Emphases mine below.
The tools which the Moscow elite use are as current as the Internet and YouTube, and their goal is as old as Lenin and the Bolsheviks …
Most “experts” continue to approach Moscow as a work in progress, a regime needing only the right words to produce a responsible, peaceful actor on the world stage.
Yet, blind eyes are being turned toward a series of threatening developments to which the “experts” pay little public attention and discuss even less. These include the Moscow-Beijing military/political alliance; Moscow’s aid to not only Iran but also to Syria and North Korea; and the support – even inside Russia as well as in Latin America — for the Venezuelan Marxist dictator, Hugo Chavez.
The blindness toward the Moscow ruling elite is no accident, but is carefully orchestrated and cultivated within the Kremlin itself.
Westerman then describes the tactics the Kremlin uses around the world, particularly in the West. When you read it, does it remind you of the BBC or the major networks in the US and other Western countries? Interestingly, the propaganda still runs in much the same way as Yuri Bezmenov described it in the 1980s. Westerman explains:
As in the Soviet era, the Moscow elite are employing a multi-layered approach to internal and external political manipulation.
Coordinating these efforts is the Main Department of Domestic Politics, an “independent subunit” of Russia’s presidential administration, which oversees a vast and intricate web of local governments, political parties, and think tanks.
From the Main Department, Russia’s elite can both form opinion and then poll it, i.e., analyze what they have created.
These analyses of concocted public opinion, based upon manufactured information in a controlled news environment, are then fed to Western, and especially American, “experts” who then form their own assessments based upon Moscow’s predetermined strategies.
These “experts” publish in learned periodicals, which are then cited by a host of journalists and pundits in front page articles and editorials across the nation.
In this way, alternative views are quickly dismissed as extreme or uninformed.
Just as Lenin in the early 20th century embraced the emerging film industry, today’s Kremlin elite attempt to use the Internet (liberty.ru, and others) and You Tube to spread their propaganda.
Certain journalists have been offered money to reprint articles, and English-language websites occasionally appear which spread the targeted message of the Russian elite.
Those deemed as “experts,” or who are recognized as opinion makers, receive special attention.
The Valdai Discussion Club, founded in 2004 by then-president Vladimir Putin, hosts annual meetings with Russian experts around the world, especially from the United States and Europe. Former ambassadors, editors and journalists from influential news organizations, and top personnel from influential think tanks, speak directly with top Russian government and business leaders and gain unique insights from these exclusive contacts.
These insights, however, are contoured to the priorities of the Moscow elite.
Propaganda and the self-loathing American
In another of Westerman’s articles, ‘Birth of the Anti-American American’, he traces the history and impact of Soviet propaganda techniques in the United States.
America did not always produce citizens who loathed the nation and identified with mass murders and dictators. The America-hating elite of the Obama administration is part of an ongoing process to turn America against itself.
It is a process which also produces a nexus of propaganda and espionage. The two are never far apart …
Until around 1920, the United States of America was the universally acknowledged land of opportunity and beacon of freedom to the world. While certainly not perfect, America stood out proudly from the social chaos and dictatorial regimes which held sway over much of the earth.
While the promise of America made life more difficult for oppressive political elites around the world, only one dictatorial leader decided to take action …
Shortly after the communist seizure of power in Russia in 1917, Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin commissioned a tough fellow revolutionary, Willi Münzenberg, to establish a propaganda network in the West, with the United States as one of its prime targets.
… the “masses” must be led by those who demonstrate correct thinking, and, in 1902, he published What is to be Done?, in which he advocated revolution led by an uncompromising elite. Lenin had implicitly broken with Marx’s idea of inevitable class insurrection …
The uninformed “masses” must be guided …
Along with political elitism, Lenin demanded that religion, if it was allowed to exist, would serve the state. Today’s socialists/communists around the world similarly seek religious submission to the demands of government. In the United States, the attack on personal conscience regarding abortion is one example of socialism demanding primacy over belief …
Both Lenin and Münzenberg were keenly aware of the power of the emerging media, especially the development of film presentations. Münzenberg’s network quickly grew and spread into the United States. Lenin’s revolution and policies were presented in the best light possible – mass murders and imprisonments were ignored – and anti-communist governments were assailed.
In the United States, Münzenberg’s network worked to attack every social defect. The admittedly flawed 1920 murder trial of two Italian born anarchists, Fernando Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, became the vehicle for the first truly world-wide anti-American propaganda campaign …
The Münzenberg network worked unceasingly to tarnish the image of the United States around the world, and when Sacco and Vanzetti were execution in 1927, riots erupted from London to Tokyo. America’s beacon of freedom now shone less brightly.
Münzenberg’s propaganda empire made him the “Red Millionaire.” His financial success and influential communist propaganda, however, earned him enemies in western Europe and Josef Stalin’s Soviet Union. Münzenberg was murdered by person or persons unknown in France in 1940. The propaganda machine founded by Münzenberg, however, outlived him, and took on a life of its own …
The most damaging aspect of Lenin’s attack on the United States is what is referred to a as “The Politics of Self-Loathing,” in Lies, Terror, and the Rise of the Neo-Communist Empire: Origins and Direction. In many ways Lenin’s anti-American propaganda has become part of American life.
Generations of literary, film, and theater artists, as well as academics, school teachers, and journalists have accepted and propagated the line of hostility to America which extends back to Lenin and his revolutionary elitism.
This anti-American campaign also produced individuals willing to injure the security of the United States in favor of Communist powers …
More recently, anti-American propaganda enabled Communist Cuban recruiters to obtain the services of Ana Belen Montes, an influential Defense Department Analyst, who admitted in 2001 that she was spying for Cuba, and Walter Kendall Myers, a State Department veteran, and his wife, Gwendolyn, who plead guilty in 2009 to serving Cuban intelligence for thirty years.
The similarity of the anti-American theme is striking: the U.S. is the source of the world’s problems, society must be transformed with wealth spread more equitably, all opposition must be silenced, and God must be banished from the market place of ideas. It began with Lenin, initially propagated by Münzenberg, and continues to this day.
The theme of America, a land of racism and greed, as the perpetrator of evil around the world is an accepted secular gospel to many Americans. To protect the world, some “liberals” advocate the surrender of American sovereignty to an all-powerful world Socialist/Communist government.
God, the necessary author of all “human rights,” has been ejected from nearly all political discussion, and all reference to social morality, which underpins everything we do as a nation.
Because most private and public schools are more interested in advocating “politically correct” modes of thinking than teaching even an elementary knowledge of America and its past , many young adults share “liberal” misconceptions about our nation, its institutions, and history …
The necessary truth is that all “human rights” come from the God who loves us — what the state gives, the state can take away. Absolute “rights” can come only from an absolute authority – God. The state is a necessary evil which must be kept within strict bounds.
Think of it. Every time your children watch television or go to the cinema, they receive a (sometimes benign — even worse) dose of anti-Americanism. Every time they sit down in a classroom, they learn more about America’s failings than successes.
I know a number of teachers in primary and secondary schools — state as well as church-affiliated — in the US and England who are ashamed to be European and believe that the Left is correct on all these points. They learn this at university as well as at teacher-training days. They read ‘important’ left-leaning publications (e.g. New York Times, The Economist), which also help to shape their thinking.
However, we cannot leave the blame exclusively with teachers and the media. As you know, we are all affected by these influences from news, books and film. As my better half says, ‘Take it in but don’t be taken in by it.’
That said, please ensure you spread the word about the manipulative and false media messages we receive. Most people are unaware of their history.