Fantasy, Fraud, and Socialism
In a book titled How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed, Slavenka Drakulić wrote, "in the West today 'the end of communism' has become a stock phrase, a truism, a common expression ... to indicate the current state of things in Eastern Europe." We mustn't be naive about the fall of communism, she says. "It sounds marvelous when you hear it in political speeches or read it in the newspapers," Drakulić admits. "The reality is that communism persists in the way people behave, in the looks on their faces, in the way they think." An observant American might add, with more than a little irony, that "the end of communism" doesn't even apply in the West. It positively flourishes in the thousand ways we have compromised our economic freedom, in the leftist indoctrination of college students, in subversive Hollywood movies, in our declared multiculturalism, in Congress, in the White House, in the Supreme Court. Who is so blind, deaf and stupid as to believe that communism has "ended"?
More than 25 years ago a KGB defector named Yuri Bezmenov gave an interview to G. Edward Griffin in which he explained how the Soviet communists were advancing their cause. For many decades, he said, the KGB had been compiling information on publishers, editors, journalists, actors, educators, legislators and businessmen around the world. "This was my instruction," said Bezmenov: "Try to get into large circulation established conservative media. Reach movie makers, intellectuals, so-called academic circles...." And what purpose was served? To subtly dominate the machinery of mass suggestion, mass consciousness and popular culture; to assassinate the character of anti-Soviet personalities in the media and the press; to advance the careers of those who agreed to cooperate; to stupefy and confuse, to manage perceptions and foster desirable outcomes.
"Ideological subversion," said Bezmenov, "is a process which is legitimate, overt and open. You can see it with your own eyes.... There is no mystery. It has nothing to do with espionage." It has more to do with provocation. Here the victim of subversion is recruited to facilitate his own undoing. Half a century ago the Polish anti-communist writer, Jozef Mackiewicz, described the method of communist provocation as "a double game" in which the target is lured into collaboration through insidious inducements to action, which are intended to bring about specific results. This "double game" is organized around civil rights groups, the peace movement, anti-nuclear activists, environmentalists, national liberation fighters, disarmament negotiators, and conspiracy theorists. For example, an environment crisis (like global warming) is used to provoke citizens to support an environmental program that is, in reality, a communist front for sabotage against the American economy. Or, a terrorist attack is used to provoke a misguided foreign policy that will make America unpopular in Europe. Through provocation an environmentalists can be tricked into damaging the environment. A nationalist can be tricked into serving internationalism. A clergymen can be tricked into advancing the cause of atheism. Humanitarians can be tricked into supporting mass murderers. And last, but not least, capitalists can be tricked into advancing the cause of socialism.
Ideological subversion, said Bezmenov, "is a slow process.... Marxism-Leninism ideology is being pumped into the soft heads of at least three generations of American students without being challenged or counter-balanced by the basic values of American patriotism." Ignorant and confused on basic issues, public opinion cannot help but choose socialism. "Most of the people who graduated in the 60s," noted Bezmenov, "are now occupying positions of power in the government, civil service, business, mass media, educational system. You are stuck with them. You cannot get rid of them." And now, almost anything becomes possible -- especially in a shopping mall regime mediated by television. We are not merely living in the Age of Television, but in the Age of the Television Viewer. Here is an enormous mass of people: -- credulous, suggestible, stupid and irritable. Imagine what it means that they can vote. Democracy's most conspicuous merit, explained H.L. Mencken, is that of being "the most charming form of government ever devised by man." How is that? Because democracy is based upon propositions, said Mencken, "that are palpably not true and what is not true, as everyone knows, is always immensely more fascinating and satisfying to the vast majority of men than what is true."
Imagine where democracy must take us, in the end. The French social psychologist, Gustave Le Bon, once explained, "As is the case with all persons under the influence of a suggestion, the idea which has entered the brain tends to transform itself into an act. Whether the act is that of setting fire to the palace, or involves self-sacrifice, a crowd lends itself to it with equal facility." The Age of the Television Viewer is the Age of the Ultimate Mob, the ultimate psychological crowd, consisting of millions upon millions of credulous and suggestible voters. Nothing can stop them from getting what they want. There is no aristocracy to restrain them, no conscript fathers, no monarch, no veto from the House of Lords, no clergy, no switch from behind the door. Long before the advent of television, Le Bon wrote: "Universal symptoms, visible in all nations, show us the rapid growth and power of crowds.... Whatever fate it may reserve for us, we shall have to submit to it." The process has been unfolding for over 120 years. We fall more and more under the spell of our own madness. "Up to now," wrote Le Bon," these thoroughgoing destructions of a worn-out civilization have constituted the most obvious task of the masses." The moment a civilization's moral structures begin to crumble, "the final dissolution is brought about by those unconscious and brutal crowds known, justifiably enough, as barbarians."
Civilizations, noted Le Bon, are created and sustained "by a small intellectual aristocracy, never by crowds. Crowds are only powerful for destruction. Their rule is always tantamount to a barbarian phase." And so it happens that in the shift from aristocratic values to democratic values, from high culture to pop culture, we have made the transition - metaphysically and intellectually - to barbarism. What you see around you today is an advanced technological civilization that has been reduced to a state of inward barbarity, where the barbarian has taken ultimate control. "When a civilization is rotten," wrote Le Bon, "it is always the masses that bring about its downfall. " Or in the words of Yuri Bezmenov:
They are contaminated. They are programmed to think and react to certain stimuli in a certain pattern. Exposure to true information does not matter anymore. A person who was demoralized [by subversion] is unable to assess true information. The facts tell nothing to him. Even if I shower him with information, with authentic truth, with documents, with pictures, even if I take him by force ... and show him a concentration camp, he will refuse to believe it until he receives a kick in his fat bottom. When a military boot crashes on him then he will understand. But not before that, and that's the tragedy....
Over 120 years ago Friedrich Nietzsche predicted that the earth would become small, and on it there would hop the last man who would make everything small. "We have discovered happiness" - say the last men, and blink thereby. "They have left the regions where it is hard to live," said Nietzsche, "for they need warmth." In his essay, "Last Words," H.L. Mencken wrote of American Democracy, "All these forms of happiness ... are illusory. They don't last. The democrat, leaping into the air to flap his wings and praise God, is forever coming down with a thump."
The crowd craves fantasy, said Le Bon, and hates reality. "Tell them what they want to hear," said Lenin, who died in 1924 and remains unburied by Russian authorities. As Drakulić said, "...communism persists in the way people behave, in the looks on their faces, in the way they think." And also, in who they refuse to bury.
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