Is Communism really dead? The Saker & Jimmie Moglia tackle the subject

horiz-long grey


First published on The Saker flagship site

This article was written for the Unz Review

The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 did mark the end of the longest experiment in Communism in recent history. Many saw this event as the proof that Communism (or Marxism-Leninism, I use these interchangeably here) was not a viable ideology. After all, in Russia Communism was formally ended in 1991, and the Chinese quietly shifted away from it too, replacing it with a uniquely Chinese brand of capitalism. Finally, none of the ex-Soviet “allies” chose to stick to the Communist ideology as soon as they recovered their freedom. Even Chavez’ brand of Communism resulted in a completely bankrupt Venezuela. So what’s there to argue about?

Actually, a great deal, beginning with every single word in the paragraph above.

Communism – the past:

For one thing, the Soviet Union never collapsed. It was dismantled from above by the CPSU party leaders who decided that the Soviet nomenklatura would split up the Soviet “pie” into 15 smaller slices. What happened after that was nothing more than the result of infighting between these factions. Since nobody ever empowered these gangs of Party apparatchiks to dissolve the USSR or, in fact, to reform it in any way, their actions can only be qualified as a totally illegal coup. All of them, beginning with the Gorbachev and Yeltsin gangs were traitors to their Party, to their people and to their country. As for the people, they were only given the right to speak their opinion once, on March 17, 1991, when a whopping 77.85% voted to preserve the “the USSR as a renewed federation of equal sovereign republics in which the rights and freedom of an individual of any nationality will be fully guaranteed” (see here for a good discussion of this now long-forgotten vote). There was no collapse. There was a coup or, even more accurately, a series of coups, all executed by traitors from the Party apparatus in total illegality and against the will of the people. Some will object to the fact the Communist Party was full of traitors. But unless one can explain and prove that Communism systematically and somehow uniquely breeds traitors this accusation has no merit (as if Christians did not betray Christianity, Democrats democracy or Fascists Fascism).

Second, is Communism a viable ideology? Well, for one thing, there are two schools of thought on that topic inside Marxists ideology. One says that Communism can be achieved in one country, the other says that no, for Communism to become possible a world revolution is necessary. Let’s first set aside the first school of thought for a while and just look at the second one. This will be tricky anyway since all we have to judge its empirical correctness is a relatively short list of countries. I already hear the objection “what? Ain’t Soviet Russia, Maoist China, PolPot’s Kampuchea and, say, Kim Il-sung’s DPRK not enough?”. Actually, no. For one thing, according to the official Soviet ideology, Communism as such was never achieved in the USSR, only Socialism. This is why the country was called the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Communism was seen as a goal, Socialism as an unavoidable, intermediate, transitional phase. To say that Communism failed in the USSR is just about as logical as to say that a half-built building failed to provide a comfortable shelter. China, of course, has not “failed” to begin with, while Pol Pot’s Kampuchea is probably an (horrific) attempt at building a truly Communist society almost overnight, but that by itself contradicts the Historical/Dialectical Materialist Theory of Marxism which states the need for a transitional Socialist phase. As for the DPRK, its ideology is not [officially] Marxism or Communism, but Juche, nationalist self-sufficiency in accord with communist principles, at most a distant relative. So no, these few examples are hardly representative of anything, if only because they form a sample too small to be relevant and because none of them qualify as a true “test case”.

Now coming back to “Communism cannot be achieved in one country” argument, let’s look at it from a pure red-white-n-blue kind of ‘Merican ideological position and remember that the proponents of US-style capitalism like to remind us that Reagan’s arms race is what bankrupted the Soviet Union which could not keep up with it. Other proud American patriots also like to say that, well, the USA brought down the price of oil, making it impossible for the Soviets to continue spending and that this fall in prices is what made the Soviet economy collapse. Personally, I find these arguments both stupid and ignorant, but let’s accept them as self-evidently true. Does that not show that the USSR collapsed due to external factors and not due to some inherent internal flaw?

Modern training (I don’t call it “education”) does not really emphasize logic, so I will rhetorically ask the following question: if we accept that Capitalism defeated Communism, prove that Communism was not viable or that Capitalism is superior? To the many (alas) who will answer “yes” I would suggest that if you lock a hyena and a human being in a cage and force them to fight for resources, the human is most unlikely to win. Does that prove that the human is not viable or the hyena “superior”?

Marxism-Leninism clearly states that Capitalism is built on the oppression of the weak and that imperialism is the highest stage of Capitalism. We don’t have to agree with this argument (though I personally very much do), but neither can it be dismissed simply because we don’t like it. In fact, I would argue that disproving it should be a key element of any serious refutation of Communism. But to keep things short, all I will say is this: any person who has actually traveled in Asia, Africa or South America will attest that the Communists (USSR, China, Cuba) actually sent immense amounts of aid including raw materials, technologies, specialists, doctors, military advisors, agronomists, water-sanitation engineers, etc., to those lands. In contrast, ask anybody in these continents what Capitalism brings, and you will get the same answer: violence, exploitation and support for a local comprador ruling gang. To anybody arguing with this I could only recommend one thing: begin traveling the world.

[Sidebar: So yes, using the hyena as a symbol of Capitalism in my allegory above is fair. As for the ‘cage’ – it is simply our planet. What I do think is wrong is equating Communism with a human being. But that at this point of our conversation is my own private opinion and not an argument at all. I have been an anti-Communist my entire life, and I still remain one, but that is hardly a reason for me to accept logically flawed and counter-factual anti-Communist arguments].

At this point in the conversation my typical Capitalist interlocutor would bombard me with a full or short slogan like “dude, in every Communist society people vote with their feet, have you forgotten the Boat-People, the Marielitos or the folks jumping over the Berlin Wall?” or “every single country in Eastern Europe rejected Communism as soon as the Soviet tanks left – does that not tell you something about Communism?”. Usually the person delivering these slogans gets a special glee in the eye, a sense of inevitable triumph so it is especially rewarding to observe these before debunking all this nonsense.

Let’s begin with the feet-voting argument. It is utter nonsense. Yes, true, some people did run away from Communist societies. The vast majority did not. And please don’t give me the “their families were held hostage” or “the secret police was everywhere to prevent that”. The truth is much simpler:

On the “push side”: All the famous waves of people emigrating from Communist societies are linked to profound crises inside these countries, crises which have had many causes, including mostly external ones.

On the “pull side”: In each case, a powerful Western propaganda system was used to convince these people to emigrate promising them “milk and honey” if they ran.

I am sorry if I have to burst somebody’s naïve illusions, as somebody who has worked for several years as an interpreter-translator interviewing applicants for the status of political refugee I can attest that the vast majority of political refugees are nothing of the sort: they mostly are economic refugees and a few are social refugees, meaning that some personal circumstances made them decide that emigrating is better than staying. I have interviewed hundred of refugees from the Soviet Union and all their stories of political repression were laughable, especially to a person like me who knew how (the very real) political repression in the Soviet Union actually worked. To those who would claim that, well, Communism inevitably results in economic crises I would just refer to the discussion above about what, if anything, we can conclude from the few examples of Marxist societies in history.

[Sidebar: Unlike 99.99% of the folks reading these words, I actually spent many years of my life as an well-known anti-Soviet activist. I traveled to various ports where Soviet ships were anchored to distribute anti-Soviet literature, I made list of buildings where Soviet diplomats used to live to deliver anti-Soviet documents into their mailboxes, I helped send money to the families of Orthodox Christians jailed in Soviet prisons and labor camps, I arranged illegal contacts with Soviet citizens traveling abroad (truckers, artists, naval engineers, clergy, circuses – you name it). And there are things which I did which I still cannot publicly discuss. And while I never took part in any violent action, but I sure did everything I could in the domain of ideological warfare to bring down Communism in Russia. As a result, the (now-defunct) KGB had me listed as a dangerous provocateur and posted my photo in the offices of specific Soviet offices abroad (like the Sovhispan in Spain) to warn them about me. And let me tell you the truth – most of those Soviet citizens who disliked the Soviet system never even tried to emigrate. The issue here is not hostage families or the “almighty KGB’ but the fact that you love your country even when you hate the regime in power. Worse, most of those who did defect (and I personally helped quite a few of them) were mostly miserable once they came to the West, their illusions shattered in less than a year, and all they were left with was a ever-present nostalgia. For that reason, I personally always advised them not to emigrate. If they insisted, some did, I would help. But I always advised against it. Now, many years later, I still think that I did the right thing].

Finally, as to the Soviet “allies” in Eastern Europe their rejection of Communism is as logical and predictable as their embrace of Capitalism, NATO, the EU and the rest of it. For decades they were told that the West was living in peace and prosperity while they were living in oppression and misery, and that the evil Russians were the cause of all their unhappiness. The fact that, when given the chance, they then rushed to embrace the American Empire was as predictable as it was naïve. Remember, history is written by victors and only time will really tell us what legacy Communism and Capitalism will leave in Eastern Europe. What we do know is that even though the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan resulted in a horrible and vicious war [in reality engineered by the Americans and their allies of the moment for this nefarious enterprise—Eds.], and even though the [more reactionary segments of the] people of Afghanistan also appeared to fully embrace the “kind patronage” of the USA and its allies, things are now already beginning to change and the years of secular rule and even the Soviet occupation are now being re-visited by an increasing number of historians and Afghan commentators who now see it in a much more nuanced way than they would have in the past. Just a simple comparison of the daily life of Afghans before and after the Soviet invasion or a comparative list of what the Soviets and the Americans actually built in the country tells a very different story (even the Americans today are still using Soviet-built facilities, including the now infamous Bagram air base). Careful for the logically-challenged here: I am not making an apology for the Soviet invasion here, all I am saying is that the wisdom of “embracing the other side” cannot be judged in the immediate aftermath of a “switch” in allegiance – sometimes several decades or more are needed to make a balanced assessment of what really took place.

My point in all of the above is simple: the official imperial propaganda machine (aka “the media” and “the educational system”) has tried to present a simple narrative about Communism when, in reality, even a small dig a tad deeper than the superficial slogans immediately shows that things are much, much, more complicated than the crude and comprehensibly false narrative we are being presented with.

Communism – the future:

Here I will immediately lay down my cards on the table and state that I believe, and even hope, that Communism is not dead and that, in fact, I think that it still have a long and most interesting future. Here are a few reasons why.

First, the Communist ideology, as such, has never been comprehensibly defeated, if only because no other ideology comparable in scope and depth has emerged to challenge, nevermind refute or replace, capitalism. For one thing, Communism is a *huge* intellectual building and just destroying some of its “top floors” hardly bring the entire edifice down. Let’s take a simple example: the Marxist slogan “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”. Marx did not really invent it, he just popularized it. Some sources say that the original author was August Becker in 1844, Louis Blanc in 1851 or Étienne-Gabriel Morelly 1775. Other say that it was Pierre-Joseph Proudhon but with slightly different version “From each according to his ability, to each according to his work”. This was the version accepted in the USSR as being applicable to the socialist transitional phase on the path to the full realization of Communism. Then, of course, there is the famous New Testament quote by Saint Paul “if any would not work, neither should he eat” (Thess 3:10) and the words of Christ Himself about “to every man according to his ability” (Matt 25:15). This all gets very complex very fast, but yet this is hardly an excuse to ignore what is one of the basic tenets of Marxism-Leninism. And there are many such key tenets because Communism cannot be understood, nevermind evaluated, outside a much broader discussion of Dialectical Materialism, itself an adaptation of Hegelian dialectics to historiography, all of which serve as a foundation for Historical Materialism which, in turn, offers a comprehensive critique of the nature of Capitalism. There is a reason why a good library on Marxism-Leninism could easily include a full floor dedicated solely to the teaching and criticism of Marxism-Leninism: this body of teaching is huge, and incorporates history, sociology, economics, philosophy and many other disciplines. Just Materialism itself includes a huge corpus of writings ranging from the Pre-Socratic philosophers to Nietzsche’s “God is dead” to, alas, Dawkins sophomoric writings. If we honestly look carefully inside Marxism-Leninism we will see that there are such philosophical pearls (or challenges, depending on how you look at them) on most levels of the Marxist-Leninist building. Before we can declare that “Communism is dead” we have to deal with every “floor” of the Marxist-Leninist building and bring down at the very least all the crucial ones lest we be (justly) accused of willful ignorance.

Second, the Communist ideology offers us the most comprehensive critique of the globalist-capitalist society we live in today. Considering that by now only the most deliberately blind person could still continue to deny that our society is undergoing a deep crisis, possibly leading to what is often referred to as “TEOTWAWKI” (The end of the world as we know it) I would question the wisdom of declaring Communism dead and forgetting about it. After all, informing ourselves about the Communist critique of Capitalism does not imply the adoption of the Communist solutions to the ills of Capitalism any more than paying attention to a doctor’s diagnosis implies a consent to one single course of treatment. And yet what our society has done is to completely reject the diagnosis on the basis that the treatment has failed in several cases. How stupid is that?

Third, the corpus of Communist and Marxist-Leninist teachings is not only immense, it is also very diverse. Leninism itself is, by the way, a further development of Marxist ideas. It would be simply illogical to only focus on the founding fathers of this ideology and ignore or, worse, dismiss their modern followers. Let’s take a simple example: religion.

It is a well-known fact that Marx declared that “religion is the opium of the people”. And it is true that Lenin and Trotsky engaged in what can only be described as a genocidal and satanic amok run against religion in general, and Orthodox Christianity especially, while they were in power. For decades rabid atheism was a cornerstone of the Marxist-Leninist ideology. And yet, if you look at the various Marxist regimes in Latin America (including Cuba and Venezuela) you rapidly see that they replaced that rabid atheism with an endorsement of a specific type of Christianity one could loosely describe as “Liberation Theology”. Now, for a hardcore Orthodox traditionalist like myself, Liberation Theology is not exactly my cup of tea (full disclosure: politically, I would describe myself as a “People’s Monarchist” (народный монархист) in the tradition of Lev Tikhomirov, Feodor Dostoevsky, Ivan Solonevich and Ivan Ilyin). But the point here are not the inherent qualities of the Liberation Theology (or lack thereof) but the fact that Latin American Marxists have clearly ditched atheism. And whether they did that out of a deep sense of spiritual rebirth and renewal or out of cynical power political considerations is irrelevant: even if they had to cave under pressure, they still did something which their predecessors would never have done under any circumstances. So now instead of denouncing religion as reactionary, we have leaders like Hugo Chavez declaring that “Jesus Christ was an authentic Communist, anti-imperialist and enemy of the oligarchy”. Sincere? Possibly. Important? Most definitely. I submit that if such a central, crucial, tenet as militant atheism could be dropped by modern Marxists they are probably willing to drop any other of its parts they would conclude are wrong (for whatever reason). To conflate 21st century Communists with their 19thcentury predecessors is unforgivably stupid and ignorant.

Ali Shariati

Fourth, modern Communism comes in many original and even surprising flavors. One of the most interesting one would be the in the form of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Of course, modern Iran is hardly a copy of the old German Democratic Republic. Ramin Mazaheri, the Paris correspondent for Press TV put it best when he wrote “Europe came to socialism through industrialization, theory and war, but Iran came to socialism through its religious and moral beliefs”. And make no mistake, when Mazaheri compliments Iran on its “socialist” achievements, he does not oppose the notion of socialism to the one of communism (Mazaheri is a proud and self-avowed Communist) nor does he refer to the “caviar Socialism” of the French Left. Instead he refers to “socialism” as a set of underlying values and principles common to the Marxist and Islamic worldviews. It is often forgotten that one of the main ideologues of the Iranian Revolution, Ali Shariati, was clearly influenced by Socialist and even Marxist ideas.

Iran, by the way, is not unique in the Muslim world. For example, the writings of Sayyid Qutb 1906-1966 contain plenty of ideas which one could describe as Marxist. I would even argue that Islam, Christianity and Confucianism all include strong elements of both universalism and collectivism which are typically associated with Marxist ideas, especially in contrast to the kind of bloated hyper-individualism underlying the Capitalist worldview (which I personally call “the worldview of me, myself and I”). Sure, the modern doxa wants to label all forms of Islam as retrograde, medieval and otherwise reactionary, but in truth it would be far more fair to describe Islam as revolutionary, social and progressive. But let’s not confuse the nonsense spewed by the Zionist propaganda machine at those poor folks still paying attention to it with reality, shall we? Surely we can agree that the worst possible way to try to learn anything about Islam would be to pay attention to the US Ziomedia!

Communism – the challenge:

Obama communist, a la Che: “Socialism or Death!” Complete rightwing ignorant lunacy or intentional bad faith—or both. There are literally thousands of idiotic images like these circulating on the web, and this is not a new phenomenon. The Birchers in the 1950s accused the Rockefellers of financing Lenin.
It is not really surprising that the Americans, who have not defeated anybody or anything in a very long time, might be strongly inclined to adopt the notion of having won the Cold War and/or having defeated Communism. In a country where adult and presumably educated people can declare with a serious face that Obama is a Socialist (or even a Communist) such nonsense will very rarely be challenged. This is a reflection of the poor state of education of a nation which fancies itself as “indispensable”, but which has no real interest in understanding the rest of the world, nevermind its history. We can now make fun of the putatively dumb Commies, their “scientific Communism” and their university chairs of Marxism and Leninism, but it remains undeniable that in order to understand the Communist propaganda you needed to have a minimal level of education and that this propaganda exposes you to topics which are now practically dead in western societies (such as philosophy or history). When I see the kind of nonsense nowadays which passes for political science or philosophy I can only conclude that the once proud western world now lacks the basic level of education needed to understand, nevermind refute, Marxist ideologues. And that is a crying shame because I also believe that Marxism and Communism are inherently both very attractive and very toxic ideologies which must be challenged and refuted.

[Sidebar: What I personally think about Marxism is not really the topic today, so I will limit myself to saying that like all utopian ideologies, Marxism promises a future which cannot ever happen. True, this is hardly a sin unique to Marxism. Amongst modern ideologues Hitler should be commended for his relative modesty – he “only” promised a 1000 year long Reich. In contrast Francis Fukuyama promised a communism-like “end of history”. This is all par for the course coming from atheists who are trying to simultaneously reject God while (unsuccessfully) imitating Him: a utopian society is what Satan offered to Christ during the temptation of Christ in the desert (Matt 4:1-11) and also the reason why some Jews rejected Him for offering them a spiritual kingdom rather than then worldly kingdom they were hoping for. Right there there is plenty enough, at least for me, to reject this and any other ideology promising some kind of “heaven on earth”. In my opinion all utopian ideologies are inherently and by definition Satanic].

Can the huge corpus of the Marxist/Communist ideological building be convincingly refuted? I think that it can and, assuming mankind does not destroy itself in the near future, that it eventually will. But that will require an effort of a completely different nature and magnitude then the collection of primitive slogans which are currently hurled at Marxism today. In fact, I also believe that Orthodox Christianity already has refuted Marxism by preemption, many centuries before the birth of Karl Marx, by denouncing all its underlying assumptions in the Scripture, the writings of the Church Fathers, the sayings of the Desert Fathers, the Lives of the Saints, its liturgical texts and icons, but in our post-Chrstian society that refutation is accessible only to the tiny minority of those who are exposed to it and who are educated enough to understand it (a good example of such a person would be Fedor Dostoevskii).

In a country where adult and presumably educated people can declare with a serious face that Obama is a Socialist (or even a Communist) such nonsense will very rarely be challenged. This is a reflection of the poor state of education of a nation which fancies itself as “indispensable”, but which has no real interest in understanding the rest of the world, nevermind its history.

For the foreseeable future Communism has a very bright and long future, especially with the ongoing collapse of the Anglo-Zionist Empire and the subsequent debate on the causes of this collapse. Living in the United States one might be forgiven for not seeing much of a future for Communism, but from Southeast Asia to the Indian subcontinent and from Africa to Latin America the ideals, values and arguments of Communism continue to have an immense appeal on millions of people. When Donald Trump, during his recent UN speech, presumed to have the authority to lecture the world on Socialism he really only showed that ignorance is no impediment to arrogance and that they really usually go hand in hand. If his intention was to speak to the domestic audience, then he probably made a few folks feel good about themselves and the political system they live in. If he truly was addressing a foreign audience, then the only thing he achieved was to reinforce the worst anti-American clichés.

For the time being, the “spectre” of Communism will continue to haunt much of our planet, especially in those parts where education and poverty are high. In the basically [politically] illiterate but wealthy world Communism will remain pretty much as it is today: universally ignored and therefore unknown. But when the grand edifice of Capitalism finally comes tumbling down and its victims rediscover the difference between propaganda and education – then a credible modern challenge to the Communist ideology will possibly arise. But for the time being and the foreseeable future Communism will remain not only alive, but also quite undefeated.

“Is Communism Really dead?” – an Answer

by Jimmie Moglia

After reading the Saker’s article, I had to walk back and forth for some time, partly to digest its content, and partly to determine why I found it so persuasive. My conclusion, however humble, is that the article is accurate because it tells us very clearly all we need to know on the subject, while leaving the reader to draw his/her conclusion. And I maintain that accurate inconclusiveness is vastly preferable to ideological certainty, especially when certainty is based on prejudice or, worse, speculation.

Of course the Saker brings to the subject his knowledge of the Russian language, which enabled him to see and measure better than others the fears, the motivations, the hopes or the disillusions of those who moved from the East to the West.

I contend that in these matters, the personal, experience-based perspective outweighs in interest, value and insight any theoretical, economic or academic treatment of the same issue. Especially considering the wildly conflicting assertions we hear today, in the US and Europe, about political systems, sociology and general philosophy of life. Assertions influenced and arising from the evolution, the convulsion, and almost the inversion of traditional meanings of what was once the socialist “Left” (theoretically friendly to socialism and communism) and what was once the conservative “Right.”

All major Communist leaders, including Mao, have been subjected to sustained vilification by the huge machinery of capitalist propaganda, in alliance with the churches and other anticommunist ideological props.

For the Left appears to have become an expression of the Cultural Marxism, promoted by the US intelligentsia at first, and by Hollywood later, a degenerate radical egalitarianism that has little if nothing to do with the Communism I observed in Europe, or Russia during my travels and my youth.

As we know, according to Cultural Marxism, third world migrants should we welcome by the millions, ignoring the effects on the host country and its citizens (especially the poor); blacks can never be racists; affirmative action is the only moral thing to do, Islam is a religion of peace, regardless of the crimes and the ghettoization they produce in the countries that host them, national borders are inherently racist, children should decide whether they are male or female, transgenderism and homosexuality are symbols of emancipation, a mother rearing her children at home is a failed woman (especially if she is white), and white men at large are the only social group that can justifiably be targeted as the oppressor.

The new Right, on the other hand, glibly brands all Leftists as Bolsheviks. And since Cultural Marxism was a mostly Jewish phenomenon of the 1960s, all Jews are Bolsheviks and all Bolsheviks were Jews. It is true that many original Bolsheviks were actually Jews, but, depending on the standards applied, the first Bolshevik was probably Peter the Great. After all, in his zeal for complete and dramatic reforms, he even had his son tortured and killed, following a failed rebellion.

It is hard to say if we are dealing with absurd perverseness by the new “Left” or witless dogmatism by the new “Right.” The phenomenon is akin to superstition, about which it is almost vain to conjecture, for what reason did not dictate, reason cannot explain.

And now to my views on whether “Communism is really dead,” filtered through the mesh of personal experience. Which is a way of claiming the discovery of warm water – namely it is our life to shape our view of the world, rather than the world shaping our view of our life.

My first recollection of communism was indirect, dramatic and bad. My family in Turin, Italy moved out of the city, during WW2, to a town in the country where my great uncle was town commissioner. When the mayor of the town sensed that the war was lost he defected and disappeared, which left my great uncle the de facto mayor. He had to keep a very delicate balance on an extremely thin line. On one side of which there was the German army stationed in town, and on the other the Communist partisans whom today I would call terrorists. To each terrorist attack the Germans responded by taking hostages. The family of the hostages then pleaded with my uncle to intercede with the Germans to save the hostages from execution.

At the end of the war, the Communists arrested my uncle and wanted to execute him as a “collaborator.”. It took the effort of many parties, including the families of the many saved hostages to prevent his murder. He was later fully reinstated with honors, but the experience gravely harmed his health and he died quite young.

At the first post-war Italian elections there was the real possibility of a Communist victory. The Church – and of course the Americans – were instrumental in securing a victory of the Christian Democrats. However, the real threat of Italy crossing over to the Communist camp convinced what today we call the deep state to loosen the purse. The enacted subsequent reforms benefited me and million others, by ensuring free education at the highest level, health care and several other positive social and labor initiatives.

We were Catholics, though my grandfather was a pacifist socialist, an agnostic whose generosity towards the poor suggested a character out of a Russian novel.

Though my family voted for the Christian Democracy, they had, as a whole, a friendly positive attitude towards the USSR, as embodied by Stalin. I vaguely recall discussions around the table where it was held that things may have been tough in the USSR, but what else could Stalin have done to keep together such an immense territory. When things would settle, after reconstruction, things would be better for all.

Furthermore, Stalin, in Italy familiarly called “baffone” (big moustache), projected an image of astute benevolence, which endeared him to many Italians. Later, when I studied his biography there are elements that support the view, irrespective of whatever other cruelties the system may have committed.

As a brief aside, in time, I formed the conviction that it was a good thing that the Stalinist idea of “Communism in one Nation” prevailed over the Trotskyite idea of globalized Communism. For in general it is the character of a nation that shapes the expression of a new ideology, and not a new ideology that shapes the character of a nation.

In the instance of Italy, the Communists, by and large, adapted themselves to the local mores and lived mostly peacefully and even amicably with their political or religious opponents. A witty anti-communist Italian writer said, “The Italian Communists know very well that in a Communist regime it’s like living in a convent or a prison. But if they were to take over in Italy, they would quickly convert the convent into a brothel and the prison into a discotheque.”

At the end of my teens I had an opportunity to travel to the USSR as a musician, (in Ukraine and the Black Sea), which means that I saw the USSR before the US. I knew little other than what I saw, but, even then, I was impressed by the friendliness of the people and by the lack of the glitter associated with the sea resorts of the West. Maybe because of my nature – and I say this because our nature more than facts influence our generalized conceptions, including Communism – I found myself at home in Russia, except of course, for my ignorance of the language. It seemed to me that Russians were not expected to “compete with the Joneses” – though I probably did not formulate the thought in those terms.

When I completed my studies I wished to see life in the country that set itself up as a beacon of prosperity and democracy. Until then propaganda and movies had shaped my ideas of America and of the “American dream.” The few large American cars, absurdly oversized for the narrow Italian roads, gave, however, the impression of a widespread American plenty, unreachable anywhere else.

Arrived in America, I did not find Hollywood in the cities and towns I visited or resided in. I found indeed many nice people, but little suggesting the ideas previously shaped by movies or TV. I was horrified by the foreign wars and the violence, and puzzled by a certain widespread sense of resentment based on a fear of not being sufficiently competitive, or adequate to compete.

But I could not decide whether the resentment and violence were due to unfulfilled expectations of the “American Dream” by those who felt they did not or could not reach it. Or was I projecting onto the environment around me fears that I did not admit to myself? Besides, at what point does established custom calls poverty the lack of superfluities? etc.

Still, closer to the topic at hand, I could not find a reason for the hatred of the USSR on the grounds of Communism.

As for the “American Dream,” it was only much later, when the web suddenly opened so many avenues of information that I learned more about it. I quote here from the American documentary, based on the book “An empire of their own – How the Jews invented Hollywood,” written by the Jewish author Neil Gabler.

Where the documentarist says, “They (the Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe) created their own America, an America which is not the real America. But ultimately, this shadow America becomes so popular, so wildly disseminated, that its images and its values come to devour the real America.” And so the grand irony of all is that Americans come to define themselves by the shadow of America created by Eastern European Jewish immigrants. Hollywood Jews became almost godlike in their power and set up a system to raise their prestige in the eyes of normal Americans. Where there are new Gods, there must be new idols. The studio heads set up a movie guild, called “The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.” It was Meyer’s (originally Laszo Gelbfish) brilliant idea to create the Oscars where the movie moguls’ honor themselves by giving each other awards. In this way they went from being a group of immigrant Jews to award winning American producers.”

Like, I assume, the majority of Americans before the Internet, I was only vaguely aware of Jewish influence on American culture and, as I said, I could still not justify the actively promoted hatred towards the Soviet Union, which, after all, had completely adhered to the agreements of Potsdam and Yalta, at the end of WW2, on the respective areas of influence of East and West.

Was it really possible, as I read, that much of the media-inspired hatred reflected the lingering desire for revenge by the Jewish element in America? Revenge for the difficulty they had had in living together with the Russians in Russia during the last 200 years, as documented by many writers of worldwide fame? Nor could I explain why the good relations established by Nixon with Brezhnev soon turned into the distrust, animosity and contempt by Reagan towards the Soviet Union.

What satisfaction could there be in pushing so heavily the dismantling of the Soviet Union, followed by the actual rape of Russia, and then by so many wars where millions died?

What was Reagan’s ‘peace dividend’ other than a fraud? If Communism was so bad, why the same attitude towards the subsequent non-communist Russia? How can the American opinion-making machine claim American superiority and exceptionalism when 1% of the US population controls 45% of the wealth?

All these questions and more make it impossible for me to hazard a guess about the future of Communism. As I said, my initial perceptions of Communist Russia were positive but limited and scanty. Most of what I subsequently learned about it comes from books, and the books are dramatically contradictory in their content and assessments.

If I attempt to pull a thread out of a tangled web of conflicting ideas I would say this. The basic notions of egalitarianism are not dead. Perhaps egalitarianism will issue into an ideology that, for lack of a name still to be officially assigned, may be called Humanism.

On the other hand, I believe that any prediction on the future cannot disregard two problems for which no one sees or dares suggest a solution.

One is that the world population cannot continue to increase at the rate of 100 million humans per year.

The other is equally unanswerable. As we know, there is a small sect or tribe that exerts an unimaginable influence on the future of the world, via what we can call for quick simplification the Usrael Zionist ideology.

It seems to me and many others that this influence has dramatically increased, after the Zionist establishment concluded that America would not or could not compel Israel to give up the lands stolen in the Middle East, after the military aggression of 1967.

Since then the Zionist occupation of the power centers and cultural hubs of the host country (the US) has spread metastatically. I may be wrong, but a sect claiming, for at least 2000 years, to be chosen by God to rule over all others, is incompatible with an equitable administration of any nation and, today, of the world.

Still, let’s assume for a moment that the controversial idea of Communism may evolve into a commonly acceptable Humanistic ideology. I don’t see how Humanism can overcome the two seemingly insurmountable challenges of Zionism with its nefarious implications, and of the population explosion.

Hence, in the end, whatever knowledge or notions I may have acquired on Communism, Capitalism and the ways of the world, make me feel almost more ignorant than I would feel without them. Much as the man without legal training, who, when dealing with the law, feels no wiser than a daw.

NOTE: The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect in part or in toto the viewpoints of the editors of the Greanville Post.


About the Author
The Saker, a former military analyst, is the founding editor (and chief editor) of the Saker network of sites. Jimmie Moglia, a contributing editor to several leading progressive sites (including The Greanville Post and The Saker), maintains his own blog, Your Daily Shakespeare. 
THE SAKER—Modern Communism comes in many original and even surprising flavors. One of the most interesting one would be the in the form of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Of course, modern Iran is hardly a copy of the old German Democratic Republic.


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Parting shot—a word from the editors
The Best Definition of Donald Trump We Have Found

In his zeal to prove to his antagonists in the War Party that he is as bloodthirsty as their champion, Hillary Clinton, and more manly than Barack Obama, Trump seems to have gone “play-crazy” — acting like an unpredictable maniac in order to terrorize the Russians into forcing some kind of dramatic concessions from their Syrian allies, or risk Armageddon.However, the “play-crazy” gambit can only work when the leader is, in real life, a disciplined and intelligent actor, who knows precisely what actual boundaries must not be crossed. That ain’t Donald Trump — a pitifully shallow and ill-disciplined man, emotionally handicapped by obscene privilege and cognitively crippled by white American chauvinism. By pushing Trump into a corner and demanding that he display his most bellicose self, or be ceaselessly mocked as a “puppet” and minion of Russia, a lesser power, the War Party and its media and clandestine services have created a perfect storm of mayhem that may consume us all. Glen Ford, Editor in Chief, Black Agenda Report 

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