Communism will never die

This post is the continuation of the arguments presented in my previous posts: “Where did it go wrong?” and in “Where did it go wrong #2.

I grew up with the idea of political permanence.  I was listening to and singing songs about Lenin, the hero who “sacrificed his faithful life” for us. The heroes of the communist revolution were always pictured and talked of as mythical, heroic demi-Gods. The cult of Stalin was nothing short of the worship of an Egyptian pharaoh-god.
We had the heroes and the villains, the Kains and Abels, credos and rituals, heaven and hell.
Just look at that beautiful example of a Pietà above. It is a perfect balance of Christian and communist iconography. The oppressed classes catching the Christ-like body of Lenin.

We grew up with the slogan of Mayakovski: “Lenin lived, Lenin lives, Lenin will live forever”
We did not, of course,  have primitive superstitions about him being taken off the cross or flying to heaven on a winged unicorn; we meant it, of course, in an educated, intelligent, transcendental way, but still, Lenin was mummified and it was instilled in us that just like he, the idea of communism is forever. The ideology is forever, the ideas and concepts of its creators, the glorious achievements of their prophets and heroes can never be forgotten. Communism is eternal.  Being eternal also and obviously meant that it should not be questioned. Questioning its absoluteness meant questioning its very essence. Communism was the original End of History (….and I don’t think Fukuyama ever saw the irony).

Faith

Communists don’t like it when it is pointed out to them that communism is a religion. The more evidence you present, the angrier they get. Can’t you understand that communism is based on science? That it is diametrically opposed to religion? Marx himself said that “Religion is the opium of the people!” The three branches of his philosophy are called dialectic materialism, historic materialism and scientific socialism. They have NOTHING to do with faith. Can’t you understand that? They are all based on scientific analysis of the nature and history of the real world.

But faith is a funny thing. I was an ‘auditor’ of a course, “The psychology of religion”, in the 80s at the University of Toronto. One of the students was a devout Christian who at some point stood up to the professor objecting to the use of the word ‘belief’ describing his relationship to God. He does not ‘believe’ that God exists, he said, he KNOWS he does. He knew it in his heart.
And so do the communists: they KNOW, that communism will be victorious. Just ask Slavoj Zizek.

One cannot prove that communism is bad or unworkable, because just like any other faith, it is based on wishes, desires and a mystical vision, a mystical understanding of reality. Beyond a few ludicrous quotes about being a farmer in the morning, a brain surgeon in the afternoon and a concert pianist in the evening, Marx never really defined what communism will look like. How will it be organized? How will goods be produced, distributed and consumed? How will it be decided who does what? Which farmer will perform the brain-surgery on the concert pianist?

Trying to convince a believer that his beliefs are erroneous is pointless. No evidence can convert a Christian or a Muslim. The miserable history of communism will not influence the faith of a neo-com either. When presented with evidence, his response is not to abandon faith but to double it.
Any neo-communist can tell you that communism never failed because it has never been tried. All those atrocities were committed by communists in name only. If they were true communists, the bad things would not have happened. The sins and mistakes of communists past cannot possibly affect the faith of true believers today.

The essence of communism

People often make the mistake of taking communist propaganda and its moral claims at face value. Marxist class theory isn’t particularly intelligent, but it has a certain moral appeal. Who wouldn’t be for the help and support of the downtrodden? Who wouldn’t support the end of exploitation? Who would oppose equality? Except these things have very little to do with communism.
The world of unlimited availability of everything anyone may need, the place of boundless happiness and social harmony, the society where everybody is equal, where everybody is unique just like everybody else is a religious, fairy tale fantasy. Just like heaven. The Catholic church is not about heaven, but about helping people to get there. Telling the people what to think, how to behave, how to conduct their lives to be worthy of God’s grace.
Communism is not about the end-goal, but about the way to get there. Lenin defined the way in a pamphlet written in 1902: “What is to be done?

The proletariat did not develop class-consciousness as Marx predicted, the movement therefore needed professional revolutionaries, a ‘vanguard elite’ that will lead the masses to the promised land.
That vanguard elite is the communist party. Any time and any place communism is victorious, this ideological elite turn into a ruling elite mercilessly subjugating the rest of society.

The essence of communism is delusional, righteous arrogance. The beliefs of communists that their faith in the dogmas of communism will make them infallible; that their righteousness will make them moral; that their goals will justify any means.
The essence of communism is the belief that our ability to shape reality is limitless because reality does not really matter. That all we need are the right ideas, the right attitude and the will to act on them.

My wife’s grandmother used to tell her that communism cannot be defeated until the whole world had a chance to experience it. While I can definitely see her point, I am even more pessimistic. I do not believe that communism can be defeated. She believed that only once everybody had a chance to experience it will we be able to move beyond it. I’m afraid she underestimated our collective amnesia, our ability to forget our history beyond one generation. Communism is not dead in the former communist countries. The ideology is alive and well, both here and there.

The signs of the attitude, the arrogance of the politics is all around us. Our social democracies are moving with an ever-increasing speed toward ever more insane displays of the belief that reality is what we make it to be. That history is what we interpret it to be. That human society is what we wish it to be. That science does not matter, that biology does not matter, that statistics does not matter, that any aspect of our existence can be subject to the political will of the righteous, the Social Justice Warriors, the bureaucrats, the believers in the omnipotence of politics in solving problems.

Communism will never die

Lenin said, the goal of socialism is communism. Communism authoritarian and socialism is manipulative, but they are both based in the same set of religious beliefs: not that there is an omnipotent God somewhere but that the belief in the right ideas can give us God-like powers. Communism will never die because this idea is just way too seductive.

Any attempt of its implementation will inevitably turn into a miserable dictatorship and eventually, predictably will collapse. It may conquer the whole world, it may destroy the planet completely, but it will never die. It may metastasize into another mental disease such as Islam, but it will never die. Religions may come and go, but the basic need for ideologies that give us power is an essential part of humanity. Lenin is just the latest reincarnation of Jesus Christ, and just like Jesus, Lenin can never die.

And to answer the original question one more time: How did we get here?

We are where we are because the communists are winning.

 

If you wish to understand better how, watch again The architects of Western Decline: A Study on the Frankfurt School and Cultural Marxism .

Song of Lenin

A rablánc a lábon nehéz volt
De széttörte büszkén a nép
Hát éljen a hős, aki értünk
Feláldozta hű életét,
Lenin!
Hát éljen Lenin és a nép!
The chains on the feet were heavy
But proudly the people broke it
So forever live the hero
who sacrificed his life for us,Lenin!
Forever live Lenin and the people!
A béklyó a porba lehullott
S az ember a napfénybe néz
A zászlót emeld fel az égig
S Ő járjon előtted, míg élsz
Lenin!
Ő járjon előtted míg élsz
The shackle fell into the dust
and man can look into the light
raise the flag to the sky as
he will lead you as long as you live
Lenin!
he will lead you as long as you live
És gyúlnak a lángok, a földön,
Már árad a fény szerteszét,
Így mindenhol, északon, s délen,
Szabad lesz és boldog a nép,
Lenin!
Szabad lesz és boldog a nép.
The flames flare up on earth
and light is spreading around
Everywhere North and South
the people will be happy and free
Lenin!
the people will be happy and free
Ma milljóknak ajkán egy név zeng,
E név oly nagy és oly dicső,
Nem hervasztja el semmi ármány,
Nem hervasztja el az idő
Lenin!
Nem hervasztja el az idő!
The name is on the lips of millions,
the name that is great and glorious
won’t be destroyed by intrigue
won’t be destroyed by time
Lenin!
won’t be destroyed by time
Csak jól fogd a fegyvert a kézbe
Te harcos, te hős nemzedék
Hisz példád Lenin aki érted
Feláldozta hű életét
Lenin!
Feláldozta hű életét!
Hold steadfast the weapon
You fighter, you heroic generation
Your example is Lenin, who sacrificed his faithful life for you
Lenin!
sacrificed his faithful life

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