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realclearworld

The Dirty Little Secret

A good friend called me earlier to comment on an ongoing discussion he was following here in our blog.

The topic was who was, and who wasn't a Communist; I have ideas on that subject which challenge long-standing Cuban exile orthodoxy.

I don't know that I believe that Fidel Castro was ever truly a Communist.

I know...everyone reading this is now thinking that George should reconsider my status as a contributor..."Oye George, ese Rana está tostá!"

Well, now you are going to think that I am absolutely out of my mind.

I am going to make the argument that Socialism's and Communism's dirty little secret is that they DON'T REALLY EXIST!

My friend called me to let me know that I was not crazy, and that none other than Alexandr Solzhenitsyn had proposed the idea in "Lenin in Zurich"

20080717101856

I found a great article on the subject, a bit dated (August, 2011) but well worth the read.

Here is an excerpt:

What is socialism, whether Bolshevik, Menshevik, national, Maoist, social democrat, liberal, or whatever flavor you can name? A set of economic principles? Political values? An attitude? Don't head off to a dictionary or Google-land for this.

I commend to you Solzhenitsyn's "Lenin In Zurich", a book I read years ago. It is fiction, yet invaluable to the understanding of the last century, and the next. I am about to share with you a secret known to few: Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Mao, Deng, Pol Pot, Castro, and Solzhenitsyn himself. And me. And now you.

Socialism does not exist except in the imagination of the true believer and the useful idiot. None of the names I listed believed there was such a thing as socialism. They knew it for what it was: a means of fooling mass numbers of people into following them, and thus achieving power. Political power. Military power. Economic power. Absolute power.

Then again, maybe I am crazy, and so is Solzhenitsyn.

16 comments to The Dirty Little Secret

  • asombra

    Makes sense to me. Perfect sense.

  • asombra

    This is why the endless back-and-forth about when Fidel Castro embraced communism is essentially moot. He was always a totalitarian waiting for his chance. He found it and ran with it. The rest is details.

  • raddoc

    Every communist I've personally had the non pleasure to personally meet (well, fact check: only two finally admitted they were communists, the rest called themselves socialist and now frequently progressive) believes we've ever achieved or perfected a socialist state. And I certainly agree that all are defacto strong man dictatorships- or at best very small committee dictatorships. I don't believe there will be a communist state ever a la pure Marx. But I do believe many start out as true believers and from what I have been told via a first hand witness (my dad), at least starting with Castro's first day of law school he was one of them. I believe Obama is also.

  • All the "isms" developed in the 19th and "perfected" in the 20th centuries were nothing more than vehicles for "cults of personalities." Socialism, communism, fascism, Nazism, all of them.

    Look at the history of the 20th century: Lenin, Stalin, Mussolini, Hitler, Mao, Castro, Kim Il Sung, Ho Chi Minh, Pol Pot. All of them cults of personalities. The "proletariat" (sometimes) and "apparatchiks" (always) are the true believers in a grand theory that, while absurd on its face, has a lot to offer to losers all over the world.

    Hence, modern liberalism...

  • raddoc...

    File Obama under the "useful idiot" category.

  • Jorge Ponce

    Fired is too harsh of a punishment. Thus, to embrace the progressive discipline dictates, I recommend placing you on a "Performance Improvement Plan (PIP)."

  • Jorge... are you the Performance Improvement Plan Implementer (PIPI)?
    :-P

  • Lazaro

    I think castro was raised with a pathological hatred of the U.S. (and other pathologies) by his father, who was on the losing end of the Spanish-American War and never got over it. It is all about psychology and none of it is about economics. I think communism and the U.S.S.R. were a convenient vehicle for castro to practice his hatred of the U.S.

  • raddoc

    Well, that is an interesting thought I think makes sense-perhaps many of those Spaniards were pissed at the US for helping our indepence (of course the last (absurd!) textbook my family saw in Cuba in the early 1960's said Russia helped Cuba; US tried to keep us a Spanish colony, but never mind). I think Castro due to his upbringing and initially being a bast*rd shaped him in his other views; all the money daddy later sent, and the great position he might have achieved within the confines of that society probably could not wipe out the stigma he felt from his earlier years. But that's just me pop psychologizing; which when you are dealing with someone with a serious personally disorder, such as a narcissist (Castro) it is probably silly to do.

  • CountNomis

    Fidel is a psychotic, pure and simple, all you have to do is listen to him to realize that you're hearing a psychotic. Having said that, most people forget that he went to the USA to try out for a baseball team and was rejected. He never forgot or forgave this "insult," hence his pathological hatred of Americans.

    I disagree about his not being a Commie. In the 1930s and 1940s with the fall of Machado and the rise of the "student leaders," Nazi, Communist, and Fascist ideology were being seriously considered (as was here in the US). Proof of what I'm saying is the title of his speech, History Will Absolve Me. That alone should have been a red flag (pun intended) for anyone. In Marxist ideology, History replaces God, and Marxists are always talking about the judgment of history on questions of politics, art, science, etc. If anyone had had any brains, he would have had that sob's head on a platter after that speech.

  • FreedomForCuba

    "Fidel is a psychotic, pure and simple"

    No doubt, he wanted to plunge the world into a nuclear war back in 1962.

    "If anyone had had any brains, he would have had that sob's head on a platter after that speech."

    Fidel Castro was an agitator, a thug and a murderer since his university days and yet no one eliminated him from the picture. This reality is further proof of the corruption existing upon the governments of Grau and Prio and the fact that most Cubans (including Fulgencio Batista) underestimated what Fidel Castro wanted to implement in Cuba.

    The rest is history...