The Myth of Communism
At A Glance
For some reason America seems to have not been able to shake the Cold War from its subconscious. This phobia has only been amplified since Obama took office. A common rally cry has been that the country has been handed over to the "Red Faction" and its only a matter of time before Joseph Stalin rises from his grave to enslave all of mankind. This "anti-redistribution" of wealth movement has not only allowed for the extremely ugly side of the United States to be shown but it also leaves one asking who are the real entitled people in the country? The more of this propaganda that you hear the more you wonder if that sad excuse of a cult that followed Ayn Rand has made a move for power or if one side of the table just happens to be a bunch of greedy assholes.
Whenever one of the cult followers try to prove a point it tend to almost be a textbook response. Socialism is bad, Obama isn't American, and taxes are a form of Communism. These people see the system as this demon from some pit of hell that is out to steal the souls that they once owned but traded it for the ability to buy shit that adds to their image of being a douchebag. The truth is government is nothing more than a tool and should be handled by a professional not your drinking buddy from the bar (unless they happen to be a skilled policy maker), but the trend has gone in the direction of who every may be the craziest of the candidates.
Do You Fear the Ghost of Stalin?
The line of reasoning that steams from this movement comes from individuals who either don't understand how politics work or they are looking to cash in causing unrest in one way shape or form. The world that they tend to paint is either a gross misrepresentation of the world and history, or it’s a fantasy that is on par with believing that mermaids are real. Sure it might be fun to imagine you are some noble crusader fighting against the forces of evil, but the sad truth is life is never a clear cut black and white issue. Things happen the way they do based on cause and effect, not due to some interstellar space war between super natural deities.
So before going into why Communism is never going to take over America it is important to first understand where this fear steams from first; McCarthyism. McCarthyism is the term used to describe the communist witch hunts that took place in the United States. Anyone who was slightly believed to have any affiliation with a socialist group was arrested and forced to partake in a tribunal. These kangaroo courts while not proving there was a massive conspiracy like they had first claimed, did in fact serve one purpose, it was the perfect outlet for people to get revenge on one another. Many of the people who had to take part in this where sold out by their friends and neighbors and ended up losing their livelihood because of the scandal these kind of events had caused.
Czar Worship turns to Stalinism
Sung Ils Seen as Supreme Gods
Mao rebrands ancestor worship giving him self the title of Founding Father
Orthodox Dogma replaced by State Dogma
Everything revoles around ruling family
Mao is the spirit of China
The witch hunt and propaganda that is generally associated with McCarthyism was brought to a whole new level when a group known as the John Birch Society set out to destroy the reputation of than President Eisenhower. Eisenhower was a decorated general and was in charge of the European campaign in Europe during World War II. When the war was over he took the position of president not because he wanted to but due to the fact that he had more support from the American people than any of the other candidates at the time. With the amount of support Ike had why that would a group set out to destroy him? If America had entered into a golden age what American would set out to undo the means that keep it going?
The Ike Years
Whenever you hear someone talk about the greatness of America during the 1950s the image that they are thinking of is one that was created using the policies that Ike had put into play. He had raised the taxes that big business had to pay while also lower taxes for the middle class and giving out assistance that allowed for cheaper homes with lower costs for a college education. This actions gave the foundation for a middle class to grow on and allow for that golden age to come. Normally when you look at civilizations you will be hard-pressed to find one that consists of a middle class. Most of the time it tends to be those in power and those who work for the people in power. Feudalism for the most part.
While the people may have like these policies the owners who had to pay more taxes didn't. They started recycling the tired out propaganda from the McCarthy era and radicalized a few generations of people in a similar fashion to what Jim Jones did. This delusional mentality is not only alive and well today but it is also gaining momentum, with the number of "militia" groups on the rise. One of the most common grounds this radical factions hold is that the Reds are coming for their home. Proof or facts hold no power when it comes to these theories. When these ideas become challenged in any way there is almost always an intense defense mechanism that demonizes anyone who sees it otherwise. These fears have been engraved so deeply into the fabric of our thinking that the only way to describe the response is to remember that it is exactly what Plato described in his narrative The Cave.
The long lasting effect that these years ended up creating can be viewed as to one of the reasons why this country seems to be coming apart at the seams. Mixed into this fear the Red mentality there also developed this strong sense of us against them. Neighbors began to look at each other in an entirely different light. The person who at one point you viewed as your friend suddenly became your enemy all because they held a different political theory than you. The extreme left aspects of Communism made it so that anyone who was viewed as to having left leaning or socialist views as a turncoat.
When we look at the extreme hatred that the hard right has for the left, it’s not hard to see that this comes from a period in time when common sense had been robbed from the American people. The Golden society had made every comfortable enough that they were able to just go with the flow of the propaganda. McCarthy knew how to make people believe what he had to say and is paranoid fantasies are still in existence to this day. A quick glimpse at a Tea Party rally shows almost the same exact messages used during the Red Scare but with an updated twist.
It would be unfair to put all of the blame of this current commie phobia on the work of McCarthy alone. His messages mixed up with two wars that the United States didn’t win against communist forces (Vietnam and Korea) had left many, both soldiers and civilians a like, with a bitter taste in their mouth. The anti-war movement in the United States while being a strong force in ending the conflict, also added as one more support in the division of the country. The hostiles that each side had towards one another seems to have been passed down to today’s current generation.
Communism and Religion
Communism as we know it, is not really a new idea. It is a very old concept that got rebranded using a critic of Capitalism. Karl Marx was a philosopher and part of the job of a philosopher is to come up with ideas that challenge what we feel is true (watch Sam Harris for a few minutes to get a better picture of this). Lenin may have tried to build a state off of Marx but once Stalin took over he took the cult of the Czar, and made himself the Czar. Instead of using the normal set up you find with religions, supernatural beings ended up being replaced with the ideas found within the Communist Manifesto. The phrase that is often misquoted and taken out of context: "Religion is the opiate of the masses" comes from a different book that Marx wrote. They often get lumped together because of the belief that communist have no religion there for they are godless, a left over notion from the days of the witch hunts.
The cult of the Czar that I am referring to is an archetypical line of reasoning as to why kings and queens have a right to rule. Rulers in medieval times claimed to be descended from mythical beings or gods. From the Blue Bloods of Europe to the emperor of Japan, the story is the same. We must follow this person because they have powers that we don't. While Russia right now has an identity crisis going on, one just has to look at North Korea: a communist, conservative country that also happens to be one of the most religious places on the planet. The just follow their own belief system than the rest of the world.
In order for communism to take over there has to be an extreme level of faith and loyalty in the inner circles while also being able to instill fear in the masses around you. This is the medieval system of governance that Nickola Machiavelli described in his book The Prince. The easiest way to ensure this level of dedication is s to use a religious approach to recruitment. During the time of the Czar the Orthodox Church acted like an extension off of the royal family. When Stalin took over he couldn't get the same level of support which in turn lead to the religion becoming outlawed.
The Face of Danger
While Americans as a whole don't have the mentality need for a Communist style state to take over that doesn't mean that there are no threats out there. By focusing time and energy on enemies that are made up we allow for real threats to grow in strength and numbers. The greatest threat to any form of freedom doesn't normally come from an outside force but normally it comes from within. America with its strong Christian base and the ability of corporations to flood government with money, sets the stage for a new form of fascism to come into play. Part of this has to do with the very definition of fascism which is the merger of government and corporations, but it also has to do with the History of the Christian faith and fascist governments.
The group in America that happens to be the most anti-communist also happens to be made up of some of the most religious people in the country. Mixed in with propaganda of the John Birch Society is the undertone of privatization and giving major corporations more wiggle room when it comes to maximizing their profits. They also give their support to politicians who clearly are just there to give support to major companies and to buy laws they want passed. The more power these groups get the more the scale tips in favor of the people losing their voice in government. Profits and faith now guide the views of a minority who are arming themselves to the teeth for a war that may very well be considered made up. While the say they want less government, the truth is they really want a large one to impose their views onto others. In a similar fashion to how Stalin rebranded the cult of the Czar, so too has the belief in fascism rebranded itself as being the answer to freedom.
This current Great Fear that we find ourselves living in mixed with the economic turmoil and overall dissatisfaction with the current government is the ideal breeding ground for extremist views to take root and manifest itself in dangerous means. The more afraid these groups becomes the more they will prepare themselves for a fight that is similar to a wild animal being backed into a corner. While the fade may die down it seems to really only be growing stronger despite the amount of evidence that disproves most of these claims.
© 2015 Jon Peloquin