A study of the long history of revolutionary socialism leads us to discover that for centuries, the quest for power for socialists was rarely anything other than agitation, terrorism, organized crime, conspiracy, and coups. When it was something different, it was simple tactics, short-term or long-term, disguising the terror and violence that their blind belief ultimately demands of them. When the socialists are in power, nearly everyone suffers its repression, genocide, moral and material destruction, impoverishment and indoctrination, isolation, and dependence. The high-class nomenclature enjoys limitless luxury and power. It is always the same, from the ephemeral revolutions of 1410 and 1534 to eight decades of Soviet control. And what remained of that after the collapse.
The resentful aristocrat Ulyanov (alias Lenin) did not invent the party cadres or the professional revolutionary, but he brought them to fruition like never before. They emerged from centuries of underground conspiracy and revolutionary agitation by enemies of property and commerce, which Lenin attributed to himself in the best pamphlet ever written. It was theorized by Philippe Buonarroti, in a socialism in the process of upsetting the heretical Christian millenarianism in atheistic religion, the last survivor of the conspiracy of the equals of Babeuf, the professional revolutionary of the late 18th century and early 19th century, . But Lenin elevated that mafia of fanatics without conscience to the “art stage,” and with them, he took a State that he transformed into a model of modern totalitarianism. To his surprise, his Petrograd soviet was not another ephemeral “commune of Paris” but the seed of the first totalitarian superpower in history, a superpower doomed to collapse because of the unfeasibility of the socialist economy -but after 80 years of death and destruction.
He explains what was left behind the Soviet empire, which was limited to the fragile dominion of Petrograd and was pretending to govern Russia without fully controlling its own city. Soviet power was less concerned with organizing its own army or fighting organized crime – the real government of the cities. It was more concerned with the two commissions -submitted only to Politburo- one in charge of the extermination of enemy classes and the repression of political adversaries, the Cheka, the genesis of the Soviet intelligence apparatus; and another in charge of subduing to Soviet power all the revolutionary socialist parties of the world. He intended to extend agitation and propaganda to his external enemies, which in his fanatically religious understanding of politics, meant: the whole world. That’s where the Comintern came from.
This situation exponentially increased the Marxist influence on the intellectual community, education, and press in the West. It achieved the multiplication of useful fools, eventually causing an unexpected self-sustained intellectual “ecosystem”: the spontaneous order of the destruction of the spontaneous order, paradox of a social evolution marked by radical human subjectivity. Envy is universal – emotionally powerful instinctive atavism – and by making its legitimacy its moral axiom, revolutionary socialism initiated what would spontaneously surpass the objectives and control of its agenda. The beast took on a life of its own, but it followed – and continues to follow – functional centers of socialist power.
The Bolsheviks imposed totalitarianism as they confronted isolation, the advancing forces of Kolchak and Denikin, threatened by workers’ strikes against their dictatorship “of the proletariat,” plundering the peasantry to scarcely supply hungry cities, cling to brutal repression and in the midst of the economic collapse by hyperinflation, nationalization, and socialist planning of production. None of this was accidental. Many years before taking power, Ulyanov refused aid to drought victims because it would delaye the objective conditions of the revolution- vast resources necessary for the population under his government-subject to epidemics and hunger -which mattered nothing to Soviet power- and for the fronts of war against the whites and guerrilla warfare against the greens -which did matter- were decisively diverted to agenda in the West. The Soviets, no matter how desperate their situation – nor the human cost – invested early and massively on the agenda around the world.
- The party cadres.
- The professional revolutionary.
- The committed intellectual.
- The useful fool.
They supported the few Soviet satellites that survived the collapse and any anti-western forces they could find. The irrecoverable wept for the fallen empire but went on with business as usual. They do not know, nor do they want to know anything different. If Gramsci had been Soviet, he would have ended up in a gulag. But his ideas would have served the KGB and the Comintern alike. Gramsci gave them what. The sophisticated intellectuals of the radical wing of Scandinavian social democracy, the how, and what by combining them set them in motion survived them. Remarkable irony.
The world is watching how computing, artificial intelligence, and biotechnology (products of capitalism) are the tools of the new totalitarianism. Meanwhile, the capitalist solutions – private corporations, markets, productivity, and competition – are emulated – under the political and ideological control of another nomenclature more astute than the Soviet – to serve a new totalitarian superpower sustained by an economy much larger than the Soviet. In Latin America, we are so far behind that we still have Comintern with a center in Havana, satellites in Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Bolivia, and decades of overwhelming propaganda of old and new kind. Without any response from a timorous right-wing, that lacks ideas of its own -except for Brazil’s still fragile but remarkable response. There is, moreover, liberalism incapable of deluding disoriented masses. It is a mistake to overestimate the enemy, especially as an excuse for one’s own failures. But it is a worse mistake to ignore what exists only to demoralize and indoctrinate, create or take advantage of crises, seize power, and impose totalitarianism. They think of nothing else. They only live for that. That is why they think and act, kill, and die. That is why their weakness can be their strength. And as poisonous ophidians they are, they change their skin regularly. Recently to Sao Paulo Forum and Grupo de Puebla.