The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘Godless Commies!’

Posted on | June 30, 2019 | 2 Comments


Ed Driscoll last week called attention to an essay by Harry Stein about the continuing relevance of Eugene Lyons’s 1941 book The Red Decade because of its eerie parallels to the Stalinist tendencies of the 21st-century Left. A complete and cynical dishonesty was one of the hallmarks of Stalin-era Communism, as the Soviet regime engaged in grossly false propaganda to defend its power and conceal its bloody crimes.

One of the reasons younger people — and by “younger,” I mean, under 40 — are so vulnerable to leftist “progressive” propaganda is because they aren’t old enough to remember the Cold War. Today’s 35-year-old was in kindergarten when the Berlin Wall fell, and thus has no personal memory of what it was like to live during the decades when we were faced with the possibility of annihilation by Soviet aggression. The permanent sense of terror inspired by the menace of Communism, a godless creed of murderous hatred, was so deeply embedded into American culture during my youth that my children (the oldest of which was born some six months before the fall of the Berlin Wall) can scarcely understand what it was like. When my oldest was a teenager, I was driving her and her friend to a Christian music festival and, to pass the time, began talking about politics and history. I tried to explain to them how, growing up in a Baptist church in Georgia, I was horrified by stories of how Christians were persecuted in the Soviet Union, in Red China and wherever else Communist regimes came to power. The worldview of Communism — “historical materialism,” or “dialectical materialism” — was based explicitly in atheism, and Communists everywhere were determined to destroy Christianity. Imagine what it would be like to live in a dictatorship where you could go to prison for possessing a Bible!

“Godless commies!” I yelled, as we rolled along the highway, and the vehemence of my expression rather startled my daughter and her friend.

To deny the existence of God is, as Nietzsche foresaw, to deny that there is any eternal law. The categories of “good” and “evil” are meaningless to the atheist, so that the most basic of moral maxims — “Thou shalt not steal,” “Thou shalt not kill,” etc. — meant nothing to the godless Commies, whose only ideas of right and wrong were summarized by Lenin’s frightening question: “Who? Whom?” Anything that advanced the “dictatorship of the proletariat” was justified, including deliberate deceit and cold-blooded murder, so that the Communists claimed unquestioned authority to lie, steal and kill on behalf of their revolution, and none of their victims had any claim to justice.

Eugene Lyons’s book The Red Decade has a subtitle: “The Stalinist Penetration Of America.” And this was perhaps the most frightening aspect of the Communist menace, that there were many thousands of Americans who supported that wicked ideology, including so-called “fellow travelers” who worked to undermine our resistance to Communism. Not only had Soviet spies and agents of influence found their way into positions within our government, but pro-Soviet subversives were also employed in academia, in Hollywood, and in journalism, promoting deadly Marxist-Leninist ideas. Because their ideology justified deception, Communists were dishonest about who they were, what they did and what they believed. The Rosenbergs, for example, denied being either members of the Communist Party or Soviet spies, and instead falsely claimed to be victims of anti-Semitism, thus defaming those who investigated and prosecuted them for their crimes. These lies were then promoted by pro-Soviet propagandists in the media who lied about their own Communist sympathies, pretending instead to be “liberals” concerned with “civil rights.” The fact that there were no “civil rights” under Soviet rule — anyone could be arrested and executed at the whim of Beria’s secret police — exposed the hypocrisy of “liberal” apologists for Communism who, of course, made a great show of pretending that they weren’t actually Stalinist stooges, instead blaming anti-Communist “hysteria” for any suspicion directed against them.

The habitual dishonesty of Communists contributed to a climate of paranoia. When eminent public officials like Alger Hiss and Harry Dexter White were exposed as part of the Communist conspiracy against our country, having long concealed their betrayal, this raised the obvious question of how many more secret Communists might still be hidden within the government. And when these Communist agents proclaimed their innocence, and “liberal” journalists argued in their defense, despite all evidence of their guilt, this raised the question of whether any liberal could be trusted to honestly protect the national interest.

Bob Belvedere at The Camp of the Saints explores Harry Stein’s essay, making several useful points, including the fact that the education system is now controlled by socialists who indoctrinate children with crypto-Marxist ideology, teaching them to hate God and to hate America, too.

UPDATE: Welcome, Instapundit readers!



2 Responses to “‘Godless Commies!’”

  1. Daybook. – Dark Brightness
    July 1st, 2019 @ 12:00 am

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    July 1st, 2019 @ 9:01 am

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