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Sun Tzu explains in The Art of War that “if you know others and know yourself, you will not be in danger in a hundred battles; if you do not know others, but know yourself, you will lose one battle and win another; if you do not know others and do not know yourself, you will be in danger in every battle.”
The truth is that very few of those who play the role of political and intellectual leaders in the West today really know either their greatest internal and external totalitarian enemy –revolutionary socialism– or the spontaneous order from which this capitalist civilization emerges, which depends as much on the free market of goods and services as on the free, open and tolerant discussion of all ideas. As the dubious elite of the West, they neither know themselves -they ignore what Western civilization really is and insist on imagining it as what it is not- nor do they know others, starting with their worst enemies, internal and external.
The greatest internal enemies of the West today are two great neo-Marxist totalitarian agendas that grew up in the freest and most prosperous societies the world has ever known. Terrible paradox. These internal enemies have managed to understand what Western civilization really is -as a spontaneous order, the product of the action but not of the will of an infinite number of people- better than most of those who should be defending it. The main external enemy, which with few but notable exceptions they do not really know either, is the recent totalitarian superpower that has become the People’s Republic of China, through its readjustment of Marxist totalitarianism on an economy that employs capitalist tools, but is still far from the real free market.
I will limit myself to the totalitarian agenda that, through the culture of cancellation, the neo-Marxist ultra-left, which has become the mainstream -although not a majority- of the new Democratic Party in power, is trying to impose on the United States of America. The close relationship -and mutual influences- between this American totalitarian agenda and the international totalitarian agenda that is usually called globalist -something confusing, because it is the opposite of the globalization on which it is trying to impose itself- is such that at times they seem to be a single agenda.
But there is a key difference, the part of socialism in the broad sense of the United States that actually adopted the globalist agenda, does seek for the country to cease to be a superpower. The internal totalitarian agenda does not want that, but to impose socialist totalitarianism, step by step – and with a medium and long term vision – on the American superpower, in order to impose its specific socialism on the world, from the first power. This is not a minor difference, although it is difficult to determine who is really on which side in this regard.
To understand the way of thinking of the Marxists, the one shared by all the various tendencies and schools of that thought -which is more a totalitarian religion of fanatical dogmatism in permanent worship of death and destruction, than an ideology or political philosophy – it is interesting to review certain key moments in the long history of communism, which begins long before Marx.
Although Marx is the most important figure in the history of communist thought, because he reintroduced into a socialism that was becoming atheistic and rationalist the transcendence and totalitarian prophetic dogmatism of the great millenarian heresies through a pseudo-science of history. And a particularly interesting one was the early Soviet Union of 1919. It is often said that the Bolsheviks actually tried to establish what they meant by socialism and the failure was of such proportions that they had to retreat from what they themselves later falsely called “war communism” to the concessions of the New Economic Policy, eventually abandoned but never again reaching the madness of the time. And it is true. For them, however, it was not a failure in every sense. In fact, it was a success in what mattered most to them at the time. It failed, even by their peculiar standards, in others that forced them to retreat. On certain points it was, for them, a success.
Bukharin and Preobrazhenski then wrote their famous ABC of communism, a catechism for the masses of the program of the VIII Congress of the Communist Party in the early Soviet Union of 1919. And if the colossal hyperinflation unleashed together with the never completed “elimination of money” would seem to all of us one of the keys to the failure -and abandonment by its authors- of that, the truth is that Preobrazhenski explained then that inflation could not only be a financing mechanism of the new communist state in formation, but a powerful tool to destroy the enemy classes, the bourgeoisie in particular, which indeed it was. In that sense, the enormous impoverishment, the complete disarticulation of the economy, the rupture of all supply chains and the abysmal fall in production was for the communists a success. It wasn’t economic, no doubt -or they were idiots if not evil, and that is why they backed away from it when the collapse they created threatened to wipe them off the map – but socio-political.
And that, my conservative friend, is the true criminal nature of Marxist thought. What must be understood about that enemy is that material and moral destruction is not for them a failure, but a means to destroy “the enemy classes”. Today, they are not bourgeois and kulaks, but those whom the critical theory of race and gender designates. Then there is Marcuse, who in Repressive Tolerance restated this for the neo-Marxism of the United States. Before understanding how they do what they do, we must understand why they do it. What is their real objective -which has little or nothing to do with what they publicly proclaim today- and how far they are willing to go to achieve it. No more, no less.
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