How far is communism from us? Depending on how one sees it, it could be as distant as across the ocean in communist China, or it could be around the street corner.
In Seattle earlier this year, a protest organizer was interviewed. “I’m not here to peacefully protest,” he declared, “You cannot rebuild until you break it all the way down.”
What kind of ideology is this? The closest one is what Karl Marx coined in the Communist Manifesto. “The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims,” Marx wrote, “They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions.”
The Manifesto, as we know, was the driving force behind the French Revolution (Paris Revolution), Soviet Union, East European Communism, and Communist China. So, where will this lead us to?
“If we add to this list the deaths caused by communist regimes that the Soviet Union created and supported—including those in Eastern Europe, China, Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam, and Cambodia—the total number of victims is closer to 100 million. That makes communism the greatest catastrophe in human history,” wrote a November 2016 Wall Street Journal article titled “100 Years of Communism—and 100 Million Dead.”
The Boiling Frog Phenomenon
While historians and scholars have reviewed what can be learned from history, many have failed to detect the emerging communism in the new era, including that on American soil.
“No, China and the U.S. aren’t locked in an ideological battle. Not even close,” declared Washington Post in the title of a May 2019 article.
“China’s Economic Success Proves the Power of Capitalism,” announced Forbes in the title of another article two months later.
Now let us check what Marx said about this. In the Manifesto, he wrote, “A spectre is haunting Europe — the spectre of communism.” That implies at least two things. First, as a specter communism could attach and occupy whoever fits its ideology. Secondly, it could disguise itself – wherever needed and whenever possible – to adapt to the environment, especially when running at large such as in Asia and the Americas.
History has proven this. From the Paris Commune to the Gulag Archipelago, from the Cultural Revolution to the totalitarian regime in Pyongyang, each has its own characteristics. And yet, their ideology, terror, and damage – socially and culturally – are largely the same.
So, how about socialism? Some people confuse it with communism and are not aware they are essentially the same thing. Sergey Nechayev, Russian’s socialism pioneer, was a loyal follower of Marx. Vladimir Lenin referred to him as “titan of the revolution” and required all communists to read Nechayev’s writings such as “Catechism of a Revolutionist.”
Nechayev listed 26 aspects in this piece. In the 14th item, he wrote, “Aiming at implacable revolution, the revolutionist may and frequently must live within society while pretending to be completely different from what he really is, for he must penetrate everywhere, into all the higher and middle-level social formations, into the merchant’s commercial establishment, into the church, the gentry estate, and the world of the bureaucrat and military, into literature…”
With these approaches, he would achieve the goal as described in the 26th, and last item, “To weld this world into one single unconquerable and all-destructive force – this is our organization, our conspiracy, our task.”
During the Cold War era, Western society was weary of the communism influence and maintained a political division. But the communism ideology’s infiltration had never stopped since John Reed in 1917 and Edgar Snow in the 1930s. After Western society loosened its guard on the communism and nurtured its growth, China quickly grew to become the second largest economic entity in the world, all the while actively pushing the communism ideology worldwide. This includes the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), high technologies such as Huawei, and a goal of Community of Common Destiny for All Mankind (a term from the CCP which was later called Community of Shared Future for Mankind).
Although the current U.S. administration has taken actions to counter the CCP through trade talks, ban of Huawei technologies, closing of Confucius Institutes and so on, the Boiling Frog phenomenon caused by the decades-long infiltration was already deep and wide. As the coronavirus epidemic broke out in China in late 2019, hardly any country or organization was able to safeguard against the CCP’s massive disinformation and continued cover-up.
By the end of November 2020, over 60 million people in nearly 200 countries have been infected with coronavirus with a death toll of more than 1.4 million. This is the price of our trust in communism.
And it is only the tip of the iceberg.
Shadows of Communism
Defending the free world is not easy. In addition to external challenges from the CCP, the communist elements also surfaced inside the U.S. as shown in the past few months, especially during the presidential election.
Violence and Hatred
In the name of fighting racial discrimination, riots occurred across the U.S. in a few months earlier this year. Instead of calling for peace, left-leaning news media and officials redirected the conflicts to President Trump.
Police cars were burned with stores ransacked or ruined. Twenty-five cities in 16 states were forced to impose curfews. This includes almost all the largest cities in the U.S. such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, and Seattle. Many of these cities were paralyzed with large numbers of injuries or even deaths.
Experts familiar with communism activities saw similar traits in these riots. This includes Dan Powell of the Victims of Communism. “When you see the violence, you’re seeing the people who are anarchist, Antifa and communist,” he said on June 1 in an article titled “Local anti-communist leader says some among protesters want ‘destruction, chaos’” on KMOX Radio.
“They’ll take advantage of this situation to create chaos,” he added, “They want death to the police. They want to abolish the police, we saw that in Ferguson where someone had a sign with an anarchy symbol that said, ‘Abolish the police.’ They want destruction, they want to break things because they want chaos.”
This is similar to the situation in China, when communism stirred up chaos in the early days. The slogan “You cannot rebuild until you break it all the way down” mentioned above is not only part of the Manifesto from Marx, but also has similar phrases in CCP doctrine, “Only by smashing the Old World, can you build a new world.”
Strangely enough, few city governments in the U.S. challenged this situation and some even blocked law enforcement by police. This highlights that the acquiescence of communism goes beyond those looters.
Misinformation by News Media
While the Trump administration intended to correct the appeasement policy towards the CCP, the resistance he has been facing is huge. Since he became president in 2017, the Left has constantly launched activities against him, including the Russia investigation and impeachment.
The situation deteriorated during the 2020 election season. Statistics show that over 90% of reports about Trump from the three major news networks (ABC, NBC, CBS) were negative. On the other hand, these media hardly covered the laptop scandal of Biden and the election fraudulence.
Most other major media have also played a similar role. From New York Times to CNN, none of them questioned the fairness of the election or followed up with investigations.
On November 14, hundreds of thousands of American citizens gathered in Washington D.C. for a large rally to support Trump and call for an investigation of election fraud. But the Washington Post and CNN decreased the estimated number to thousands and depicted the peaceful event as one with potential danger to the public.
What kind of news media has done something similar in the past?
After the coronavirus epidemic broke out, the CCP officials suppressed information, punished whistleblowers, and openly denied the human-to-human transmission.
But this was not the first time the CCP has done so. After the Tiananmen Square Massacre, CCP officials also denied the slaughter despite a large amount of evidence and video footage. Similarly, after 45 million people died in the Great Chinese Famine between 1959 and 1961, CCP officials also denied it and treated it as taboo for scholars.
Vladimir Lenin said, “A lie told often enough becomes the truth.” How far are we from the threshold of communism?
By now, many people may have realized the seriousness of political correctness in the West. But few people understand its deep connection with communism.
“Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small,” wrote Theodore Dalrymple, journalist and psychiatrist, “In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better.”
“When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity,” he continued, “To assent to obvious lies is in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed.”
But rectifying this issue is very difficult. Once Trump announced his intention to do so, he has been under attack almost all the time. Under the umbrella of political correctness, however, same-sex marriage became a norm, legalization of marijuana faced minimal resistance, unisex restrooms are considered an improvement, and law enforcement by police is treated like a criminal activity.
In the name of equal rights or progressiveness, culture is ruined, moral values have deteriorated, and the free world is on the verge of collapse.
Scholars have found that all these had happened in the past in communist nations and every time it has brought dire consequences. As the CCP suppressed the landlords to take over their lands, it labeled them enemies of the state; what happened next was the confiscation of property from business owners, and mistreatment of intellectuals – until all the traditional values and human dignity were wiped out just like that in the Cultural Revolution.
The manifestation of communism mentioned above requires our diligence and joint efforts to resolve. On the positive side, the Berlin Wall has already come down, the Soviet Union has dissolved, and communism in East Europe has also ended. Inside China, over 360 million people have announced to quit the CCP organizations after the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party was published in 2004.
As long as we can follow our conscience and act uprightly, we will be able to drive away the specter of communism, for it to die out under the sunlight. At that point, what waits for us is a brighter tomorrow.