on Communism

COMMUNISM
1. Cleon Skousen, The Naked Communist.
The Naked Communist is a 1958 book by an ex FBI agentconservative United States author and faith-based political theorist Cleon Skousen.[1]
2. Beating the Unbeatable Foe: One Man’s Victory Over Communism, Leviathan, and the Last Enemy, Fred Schwarz.
3. Marx’s Religion of Revolution: Regeneration Through Chaos, Gary North.
4. Dedication and Leadership, Douglas Hyde, 1962.

Someone else had known: Douglas Hyde. He had been a major figure in Great Britain’s Communist Party in the 1930s and 1940s. He converted to Catholicism in the late 1940s. He wrote a classic account of his years in the Party: Dedication and Leadership, which Notre Dame University Press published in 1956, the year that I heard Schwarz’s lecture.

In the mid-1980s, I was given a copy of his limited-printing book, Dedication and Leadership Techniques (1962). I wanted to publish it. I wrote him for permission. He said no. Why? Because the Communist Party no longer resembled the dedicated Party of his youth. He said that the book would give a false opinion of the Party as of 1985.

I publish a modified version of it on this site. You should read it — not for what it says about Communism today — or in 1985 — but in earlier generations.

1962 seminar held by the Missions Secretariat of the Roman Catholic Church (USA).  It’s titled Dedication and Leadership Techniques, Douglas Hyde, 1962.  

5. Egalitarian Envy: The Political Foundations of Social Justice, Gonzalo Fernandez de la Mora.  Gary North explains that

One of the most curious of the suppressed manuscripts that I personally have seen is the 4-volume typewritten book by Margaret Patricia McCarran, which she titled “The Fabian Transmission Belt.” She was the daughter of Sen. Pat McCarran, who was the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and also of the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee in the early 1950’s.

Because she had access to all of her father’s papers and files, she was able to survey the development of Fabian socialism as no other Americans conservative ever had. She was a serious student. Her Ph.D. dissertation was Fabianism in the Political Life of Britain, 1919-1931 (1954). It is available as a PDF document from the Mises Institute. For anybody who is serious about understanding the Fabian movement, this is the book to begin your detailed study.

Her Ph.D. dissertation was the tip of the iceberg in her research. She went on to document the development of the Fabian movement in the United States as well as Great Britain. She provided the extracts from primary source documents. She offered footnotes.

She wrote “The Fabian Transmission Belt” in four volumes on legal size paper. She had them bound. I don’t know how many sets she produced, but I know where one set is. I saw it in 1964, and at one stage I began reading it. My father-in-law. R. J. Rushdoony, had a copy, which she had given to him. He had great respect for her, although he disagreed with her adulation of John F. Kennedy.

It was around 1964 that her superiors in the Catholic Church found out about the manuscript. She was a nun. Her bishop intervened and demanded that she return all copies of the manuscript to him. She had already given a copy to my father-in-law, and the bishop never got his hands on it. He confiscated the ones she had. Where those copies exist, I don’t know. Maybe they were burned. But the hierarchy did their best to see that this manuscript never saw the light of day.

6.  The Lost Literature of Socialism, George Watson, 1998.  Charles Burris cites the back of the book, 

As the publishers explain on the back of this book: “In this hard-hitting and controversial new book, the author examines the foundation texts of socialism to find out what they really say… and the result is blasphemy against its canon of saints. This study, the first review of socialist literature since 1945, reveals how closely socialism was linked to conservative, racist, and genocidal ideas. As a literary critic the author’s concern is to pay a due respect to the works of the founding fathers of socialism, to attend to what they say rather than to what their modern disciples wish they had said. The book forces the reader to abandon long-standing assumptions in political thought, enabling a genuine debate to be revived.”

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McCARTHY ERA
1. McCarthy and His Enemies: The Record and Its Meaning, William F. Buckley, Jr. & L. Brent Bozell, Jr., 1954.
2. Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America’s Enemies, M. Stanton Evans (1934-2015), 2007.  Gary North writes that “Evans was a first-rate journalist, a first-rate historian, and one of the best writers in the conservative movement.”
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THE DEATHS BY NUMBERS
1.  Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression, Jean-Louis Panné (Author), Andrzej Paczkowski (Author), Karel Bartosek (Author), Jean-Louis Margolin (Author), Nicolas Werth (Author), Stéphane Courtois (Author), Mark Kramer (Editor, Translator), Jonathan Murphy (Translator), 1999.
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CRIMES OF COMMUNISM: O, AD INFINITUM!

Woods quotes and reads liberally from an article by Marxist Eugene Genovese, called “The Question,” Summer 1974.  And that question is “What did you know, and when did you know it?” referring, of course, to Democratic, liberal, and communist support and advocacy for communism here and abroad while knowing about communism’s atrocities.  It is a self-reflection, an attempt at restitution for his blindness as a participating member of an ideology that called for mass murder and despotism.  Woods picks poignant paragraphs from the essay to read, and they are good ones.  What follows is my transcription of what Woods read. 

The horrors of communism came from our ideology, not from a perversion of it.  Especially amusing has been the spectacle of those who pronounce themselves anti-Stalinists and denounced the socialist countries at every turn and yet even today applaud each new revolution although any damn fool has to know most of them will end up in the same place.  For that matter, how could we have survived politically were it not for the countless liberals who to one extent or another supported us apparently under the comforting delusion that we were social reformers in rather too much of a hurry, a delusion we ourselves never suffered from.  The horrors did not arise from perversions of radical ideology but from the ideology itself.  We were led into complicity with mass murder and the desecration of our professed ideals not by Stalinists or other corruptions of high ideals much less by unfortunate twists in some presumably objective course of historical development but by a deep flaw in our very understanding of human nature, its frailty and its possibilities and by our in ability to replace the moral and ethical baseline long provided by the religion we have dismissed with indifference not to say contempt. 

Our whole project of human liberation has rested on a series of gigantic illusions the catastrophic consequences of our failure during this century, not merely the body account but the monotonous recurrence of despotism and wanton cruelty cannot be dismissed as aberrations.  Slimmed down to a technologically appropriate scale, they have followed in the wake of victories by radical egalitarian movements throughout history.  We have yet to answer our right-wing critic’s claims which are regrettably well-documented.  That throughout history from ancient times to the peasant wars of the 16th century to the Reign of Terror and beyond, social movements that have espoused radical egalitarianism and participatory democracy have begun with mass murder and ended in despotism.  Let’s us give ourselves some credit through it all we have preserved a rich sense of humor.  The destruction of hierarchies, elites and authority is to be affected through the concentration of power in a leviathan state miraculously free from all such reactionary encumbrances. 

MAO ZEDONG
1.  Wenzel’s recommended book list on the horrors of Mao Zedong.
2.  Mao’s Great Famine: The History of China’s Most Devastating Catastrophe, 1958-1962, Frank Dikotter, 2011.
3.  Baptized in the Fire of Revolution: The American Social Gospel and the YMCA in China, 1919-1937, Chun Hsing, 1996.  Gary North had this to say

Western missionaries set up schools They introduced a segment of the lower classes to Western ideas. This took place from the mid-1800’s on. In the late 19th centurry, social gospel moderninsts began arriving. They undermined the older missionaries. They taught social reform rather than personal salvation. Here is a book on this.

In the 1920’s and 1930’s, conservative missionaries began warning American mission socoieties. Nothing was done about this. In the 1930’s, the Northern Presbyterian Church split over this issue. On this, see my book, Crossed Fingers.

Protestant moderninsm and literacy helped produce a generation of Communist activists, 1900-1930.

There was no Marxism in China prior to Western missionaries.

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SOCIAL CONTRACT
1. Liberty, the God That Failed: Policing the Sacred and Constructing the Myths of the Secular State from Locke to Obama, Christopher A. Ferrara and Patrick McKinnley Brennan, 2012.

On the topic of a social contract in society, Dr. North explains that

There is no such thing as a social contract. It is mythical. 

There were two major promoters of the idea: John Locke and Jean Jacques Rousseau. Rousseau was honest about it. “Let us begin then by laying facts aside, as they do not affect the question. The investigations we may enter into, in treating this subject, must not be considered as historical truths, but only as mere conditional and hypothetical reasonings, rather calculated to explain the nature of things, than to ascertain their actual origin; just like the hypotheses which our physicists daily form respecting the formation of the world.” He wrote this early in his essay on the origin of inequality (1754), but since he traced the social contract in 1762 back to inequality/private property, the critique holds. It was all hypothetical. There was no such event in history. There was no such binding agreement.

If you want the lowdown on Locke, read the sections on Locke in Christopher Ferrara’s book, Liberty: The God That Failed.

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THE SOVIET UNION
1.  Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror Famine, Robert Conquest, 1987.
2.  Stalin: Breaker of Nations, Robert Conquest, 1992
3.  The Gulag Archipelago, Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, 2007.
4.  The Russian Revolution, 1917-1918, Vol 1: from the Overthrow of the Tsar to the Assumption of Power of the Bolsheviks, William Henry Chamberlain, 1987.
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STALIN
1. Stalin: Breaker of Nations, Robert Conquest, 1992

In this book, the first to draw from recently released archives, Robert Conquest gives us Stalin as a child and student; as a revolutionary and communist theoretician; as a political animal skilled in amassing power and absolutely ruthless in maintaining it. He presents the landmarks of Stalin’s rule: the class with Lenin; collectivization; the Great Terror; the Nazi-Soviet pact and the Nazi-Soviet war; the anti-Semitic campaign that preceded his death; and the legacy he left behind. 

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THE GREAT PURGES
1. The Great Terror: A Reassessment, Robert Conquest, 1968.

The definitive work on Stalin’s purges, Robert Conquest’s The Great Terror was universally acclaimed when it first appeared in 1968. Harrison Salisbury called it “brilliant…not only an odyssey of madness, tragedy, and sadism, but a work of scholarship and literary craftsmanship.” And in recent years it has received equally high praise in the former Soviet Union, where it is now considered the definitive account of the period.

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SURVIVORS & WITNESSES
1.  The Gulag Archipelago, Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, 2007.
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This interview is indispensable if you want to learn how a government works to destroy a man and yet the man prevails.

Here are the show notes.  Though it sounds like a cliche, this really is a must-listen. 

Charley Reese said this about Solzhenitsyn . . .

Solzhenitsyn can be best appreciated in context. He was born in 1918. His father died before he was born, and his mother raised him in Rostov-on-Don, an industrial city in southwest Russia. He graduated with a degree in mathematics and went into the Army when the Germans invaded in 1941. He was a captain in the artillery. Stalin’s secret police snatched him out of the front lines and arrested him for having written some unflattering things about the dictator in a private letter to a friend. He was sentenced to eight years in the labor camps.

The key to understanding Solzhenitsyn is that he was a devout Christian. That never got much play in the American press, but he never played the part of a professional Christian. Nevertheless, his Christian beliefs were deep and are at the root of his thinking.

He was an admirer of Vladimir Putin, as I am, because he recognized that Putin was saving Russia from disintegration. Solzhenitsyn believed in a moral and spiritual regeneration. Read some of his books, and I think you will see that he well deserved the Nobel Prize that he received.

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