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The Spanish philosopher Antonio Escohotado recently delivered a monumental work: the product of fifteen years of research. “The Enemies of Commerce” is a three-volume work that would be impossible to review seriously in a column due to the enormous breadth and depth of its long journey, which combines historical facts with the ideas that determined them
However, when I finished reading the third volume, I remembered an interview in which Escohotado announced, with only the first and second volumes on sale, some of the topics he would deal with in the third and last one.
The philosopher spoke of the fear of freedom and the profound ignorance of history as closely related phenomena, wondering why we do not learn the most important aspects of our history in school, high school or university.
Escohotado addressed the problem of education and citizenship in Western democracies, that part of the world which, only by contrast with the barbarism and totalitarianism prevailing in the rest of the world, we continue to call — with justified doubts — the free world. But can societies that ignore their history and willfully ignore the present reality of the totalitarianism that surrounds them continue to be free?
The author is often concerned about the growing sympathy for Marxism in the freest and most prosperous societies the world has ever known. Ignoring history is not the only reason for this intellectual and moral aberration of our times, but knowing it, and knowing it thoroughly, should be more than enough of an antidote.
Marxism is a criminal ideology with more than one hundred million deaths in less than a century. It is the most powerful genocidal force that has emerged in civilization itself. However, Escohotado explains, it has always had and continues to have “very good publicity.”
Under the dictatorship of Lenin, an aristocrat who never worked a day in his life and always lived like a prince — thanks to remittances from his wealthy mother and other ladies of his family, plus additional income from bank robberies and extortion carried out by his party of professional revolutionaries — about one and a half million people died as a result of the civil war, while hunger and cold killed thirty million impoverished and persecuted “class enemies.” The overwhelming majority were poor peasants and even poorer workers.
The business of the socialist revolution, Escohotado explains, is the business of “señoritos”, rich children with enormous pretensions and no productive capacity, brimming with hatred and resentment on behalf of the poor and helpless for whom they were the scourge of self-proclaimed redeemers.
Lenin, Mao, Polpot or Fidel Castro, to make the list short, like almost every other Marxist intellectual or politician of any importance, were rich kids playing at revolution with bloody results.
There are no proletarians among the communist leaders, from Marx onwards
In the end, the dreadful genocide, the terrible material and moral destruction, the starvation, torture and death of millions of innocents, the brutal and slave-like exploitation in the name of a false and impossible “liberation” — a word that in Marxist revelry ends up meaning the opposite of freedom (how well Orwell understood his former comrades with the manipulation of language!) — were executed in the name of Karl Marx’s peculiar ideas. In school, they tell us nonsense and falsehoods about this individual, if they tell us anything at all.
According to Escohotado, the communist affirms that he wants a classless society, which sounds very good when we do not take into account that he is not talking about castes or estates of those ancient societies in which the individual was born and died in the same condition: high or low, free or slave. From generation to generation without any hope of change or progress.
Marx is speaking of societies born of the triumph of commerce, capital and science, of freedom and private property in which the positions that the philosopher wishes to call “classes” are the product of talent, success and luck. In the face of these concepts, Marxism reveals itself and its militants.
Escohotado concludes that Marx speaks of a proletariat pushed to the brink of starvation and extinction by the very structure of a system of merciless exploitation from which it could only free itself by exterminating the rest of the social classes.
As at that time the workers already aspired to prosperity, property, better working conditions, higher wages and a consumption of which the very nature of capitalism was beginning to give them signs — and would give them more and more in the future —, no one ever met that mythical proletariat of Marx because it never existed.
Marx’s only personal relationship with the proletariat was to father an illegitimate child in the servant girl “inherited” by his wife from his aristocratic father-in-law, the Male von Westphalen. But Marx was outraged, Escohotado explains, not so much by what he invented as by the sad reality that he was a scoundrel who, having at his disposal a well-paid job in a friend’s publishing house a few blocks from his home, preferred not to work, to pawn his son’s shoes and send him barefoot in winter to beg for food and coal on credit until he starved and froze to death. All the while writing — warm and well fed — against the exploitative cruelty of capitalism.
Since its founder, Marxism was and remains an ideology of scoundrel overlords, who when they take power perpetrate the greatest genocides in history.
Guillermo Rodríguez is a professor of Political Economy in the extension area of the Faculty of Economic and Administrative Sciences at Universidad Monteávila, in Caracas. A researcher at the Juan de Mariana Center and author of several books // Guillermo es profesor de Economía Política en el área de extensión de la Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Administrativas de la Universidad Monteávila, en Caracas, investigador en el Centro Juan de Mariana y autor de varios libros