Socialism will usher in a new era in this country. The great wealth of the United States will for the first time be for the benefit of all the people.Program of the Communist Party USA
Twenty-one years ago I was having coffee in Washington, DC, with former British MP John Browne, Newsmax chief editor Missy Kelly, and Col. Stanislav Lunev, a GRU defector to the United States. John was waxing eloquent on the idea that Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan had saved the West from socialism. As Missy showed interest in John’s thesis, Lunev leaned over and whispered in my ear, “I don’t understand this.” Lunev then added, “America is the Marxist paradise. Russia is dog-eat-dog capitalism.”
Along the same lines, Clare Berlinski recently made the point that the USSR “could be” defined as a “far-right, authoritarian regime.” But that’s going too far. In my Origins of the Fourth World War, I suggested there is no political right whatsoever; that everyone is now on the left.
How can I justify this?
The leading ideal of our time, embraced from east to west, is leftist. It doesn’t matter if this ideal finds expression in an authoritarian government or a democracy. America is on the left because everything here is done in the name of “the people.”
Who are “the people,” in this context? They are those who are portrayed as “less than equal,” who must be given a leg up, who must be made equal. And why must they be made equal? Because socialism is the coming religion — a secular religion — where man’s salvation is accomplished by political leveling.
Look at what children are being taught in school. Egalitarian indoctrination is everywhere. Socialism has hijacked the education system. As a result, you cannot talk about the weather without risking an earful on climate change from a college student.
Our taxes cannot begin to cover the expenses resulting from socialism’s growing list of demands. We are gradually going broke, and with the economic panic resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, financial collapse is now inevitable.
The free market is only free for the moment. Once the markets flatline, the usual suspects will blame capitalism for “failing.” It takes very little imagination to envision what follows. Disastrous government intervention, followed by shortages, followed by rationing, followed by worse shortages. The United States military won’t be funded after our leftists take power. Once America is disarmed, everyone will see the nuclear missiles in Russia and China as supporting the socialist agenda. Given the irresistible power of those missiles, how could Socialism be repealed? How could the United States regain its sovereignty?
As a side note: Perhaps it is an exaggeration to say “everyone” is on the left. I’m not on the left. I assume that my readers aren’t on the left. But practically speaking, what can we do? We are stuck with a society where the leading institutions are dominated by leftists.
Socialism is a religion. It is not a pretense because people do believe in it. Even if all leftist regimes turn out, in practice, to create an authoritarian order, it does not make leftists into “right wingers.” They are still worshippers of a leftist ideal: Namely, that all men should be brothers; that the world should be as one; that there is no heaven, so we must try and build a perfect world here on earth. These are the ideals that make the left dangerous, that lead to “the immanentizing of the gnostic eschaton.”
Socialism is a dangerous creed because the socialists are obliged to fill God’s office. They must rescue man from the destitution of his condition in the capitalist “state of nature.” It is a grandiose mission that requires real power. And the greatest power available to man is state power. Thus, the socialists have amended their egalitarianism in principle — preferring the formula, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” This ideological refinement avoids the paradox of a left-wing hierarchy. Inequality may be allowed for the greater good.
It is a mistake to say that authoritarianism is strictly a right-wing phenomenon. Clare Berlinski is confusing herself when she suggests that the USSR was a right wing polity. The Soviet ideal was leftist. Whatever hierarchy they built, in practice, turned out to be an inversion of aristocracy — with the worst criminals and psychopaths in the highest offices. This is Russia’s ruling principle to this day.
In fact, some theorists have claimed that fascism is also a phenomenon of the left. It is collectivist in the same sense as communism. It is revolutionary, guaranteeing that envious mediocrities — like Himmler or Goebbels — will govern in the shadow of a Hitler. Look how closely this follows the Soviet model, where Stalin, with his freakish retinue of dwarves and misfits, carried on a paranoid campaign against society itself. In contrast to this, Aristocracy is an ideal — in principle — where the very best people ought to hold rank, where the good and the noble are asked to lead, protect and defend the community. However poorly this ideal has been practiced, it never sank to the level of Lenin’s dictatorship of the lumpen proletariat, or the gangland police state of Kang Sheng.
The noble man allows freedom to others because he is noble. The ignoble man lives in fear that others, discovering his wicked intentions, will denounce him — because he is, indeed, a villain.
Freedom is also about checks and balances, which the left and the fascists abhor. The inferior man can govern only by criminal means. He could not survive in a proper constitutional setting. He who is sinister by nature opposes checks and balances out of paranoia. He opposes the aristocratic veto on envy, on the mob, on the lower instincts. He suspects a plot against himself and will not stand for it.
We find many related lessons in the history of the ancient Roman Republic, with plebeians vying against patricians. Only we find the plebeians had more sense than today’s “Democrats.” What evolved in Rome was a relatively balanced constitution, generally thought to be one of the most effective and unique forms of government in all history. By no means was it utopian, or something above reproach. It was something far more significant. It was durable and sensible, and produced a competent collective leadership — in the conscript fathers of the Roman Senate. This was a governing body that united Italy and conquered the Mediterranean. Harking back to the Rape of Lucretia, it’s ideal was liberty (that is, aristocratic liberty, not proletarian liberty).
One might similarly praise the British system of government after the Glorious Revolution — despite its corruption and venality and all the wickedness of its imperialism. But again, there was an aristocracy back then. It allowed for the steady moral improvement of society. It also evolved toward liberty.
There was never a perfect time — an ideal yesterday. But there were centuries of improvement and growth. Now we’ve had a century of decadence and decline. You ask when this began? One should give a different date for Britain than for America. Would 1911 suffice for Britain? (If my memory can be trusted, in 1911 the House of Lords lost its veto power).
When we get to the theory that “all men are created equal,” we are removing the mainspring of constitutional government. The door is open to leveling. How can you have a real system of checks and balances when you have eliminated the classical Aristocratic basis for it? If all men belong to one order of society, what happens to our concept of rank? — of conscript fathers? — of motherhood and fatherhood? — of family? — of authority itself? One is left with a bureaucrat — a nobody invested with absolute power, enviously disposed toward his superiors.
The leveling wind of egalitarianism leads to other pathologies as well. It not only takes away class. It attempts to do away with tribe. It attempts to do away with sexual differences. This may be suitable to individualists — who freakishly persevere in developing their unique individuality outside the limitations of tribe. But most people cannot exist as atoms — that is, as solitary individuals. They find it to be an unbearable burden. Alas, thinking is the most dreadful drudgery!
And then, under the egalitarian flag, you have the problem of parties competing to give “the people” more and more “things,” basing their power on an unchecked welfare state consumerism. Bankruptcy is only a matter of a war, a market collapse, or a pandemic.
When I say the political right no longer exists, that everyone is on the left, I am saying that the representative class of the right — the iron spine of every organic constitution — is gone. The very idea of a proper ruling class has been delegitimized. The political right is now an ersatz right. It is a self-misunderstood collective whose conservatism is underlaid with leftist presuppositions. That is why they inevitably give in to the far left. If you share the premises of the left, you will not be able to hold out against the left’s arguments. And this is what we are routinely treated to. This is what we have all witnessed.
It’s important to add that a system of checks and balances, within a constitution, entirely depends on real class distinctions. Once you do away with aristocracy as a construct, you will be stuck with an egalitarian oligarchy — the most degenerate form of oligarchy. It is a regime where “all men are created equal,” with no social standpoint from which to check the licentious urges of the people — with no argument for stopping the people from devouring their own seed corn.
To make this case to an educated person is not so difficult. Given a materialist plebeianism, with all its misunderstandings, a clever person keeps quiet. As H.L. Mencken once wrote, “Democracy is the system where the people get what they want, and get it good and hard.”
What we call the “right” (today) is merely a mix of nationalist/traditionalist/Christian sentiments standing on principles of plebeian supremacy. What we call the left is also built on plebeian supremacy, but opposed to tribal and religious folkways. One might say our traditional folkways are in an advanced state of decay and/or disintegration.
After this long explanation many readers will disagree, clinging to the idea that there really is a political right, because common usage acknowledges there is. But I would offer one more argument, if I may. Language is important, and we must always fight to preserve it from the machinations of political subversives. As an example of such corruption, the word “marriage” was recently redefined by the Supreme Court; whereas through all history heretofore marriage meant the union of man and woman, it now has no such meaning. If a supposedly conservative Supreme Court can redefine marriage, and nobody hangs them as traitors to God and country, then the right has no real existence at all. The scandal is laid bare, though almost no one is scandalized.
When language is politically debauched, especially by the left, it makes the rotting carcass of the body politic smell ever riper. What then, if the so-called political right, does exactly the same thing as the left? — Debauching language by accepting the redefinition an essential word, without a peep!
The communist party has a saying: “Today’s left is tomorrow’s center, today’s center is tomorrow’s right, etc.” And this goes to the heart of it. The political spectrum has been steadily moving to the left for a hundred years. This was aptly demonstrated by Tim Groseclose in a book titled Left Turn. He proves — with remarkable dexterity — that the majority Democrat congress in 1980 was considerably to the right of the Republican Congress of 1999. He uses objective criteria, so there can be no arguing the point.
Of course, rank order has not entirely disappeared. It fades by inches, more senile and decrepit, decade after decade. The leveling is steady and continuous. Socialism holds us in a death-grip. It can be slowed but never stopped. Trump is not to the right of Ronald Reagan. He is to the left of Reagan. The same is true of all Tory PMs after Thatcher. Leftward, leftward, always leftward. All enemies to the right. The outstanding individual who appears, against all odds, to slow the march leftward, is an exception to the rule. One person can momentarily stop the process, but one person does not an aristocracy make.