Present Danger Is Not Different
On August 14th, 1980 the shipyard workers together with colleagues from other state companies began their famous strike in Gdansk, Poland that gave birth for the Solidarnosc movement.
The strike was a unique school of democracy for workers whose dignity and honor was attacked by the Communist organization of the work in the shipyard. Men and women read the samizdat newspapers and books published by the underground publishers.
An underground newsletter published in December of 1980 by Poland’s opposition, contains a report from the Gdansk strikes about Piotr, a young worker. As other workers he sits on the grass and spends his time on discussions and readings. He has with him a pile of books that were prohibited by the regime. Among those books there is an also copy of three chapters of Obnazony komunista [Naked Communist]. Piotr says to reporter: “Yes, they [Communists – ed.] are waging war with God, but we want God for our children and our grandchildren.” He says: “We need more of such books, and more of such authors”.
“The great tragedy of Communism is the fact that its founders did not stop at the so-called “harmless speculation” of Dialectical Materialism.”
W. CLEON SKOUSEN
It could not have been an accident that the shipyard worker read W. Cleon Skousen’s Naked Communist during those critical times. The shipyard workers experienced evils of the Communist system that Skousen brilliantly exposed: defective culture based on an unstable foundation of atheism and materialism.
“They would reverse the Judaic-Christian approach which endeavors to improve humanity in order to improve society”; Skousen brilliantly summarized the goal of Marxism and Leninism that led to the biggest tragedy of the twentieth century.
Cleon Skousen graduated from George Washington University Law School and served at the FBI for 16 years. Skousen’s closest colleagues were involved in investigation of infamous Communist spies including Alger Hiss, and Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. He was principal ghostwriter for A Study of Communism, which was published under the name of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. In 1951 Skousen left FBI and joined the faculty of the Brigham Young University founded by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “I guess you’re going from the defensive team to the offensive team”, Mr. Hoover said in his last talk to Skousen.
Shelves of libraries are filled up with numerous analyses, reviews and criticism of the Soviet communism. Authors define subversive policies of Lenin’s State as the only threat to peace and prosperity of the West. What is difficult to understand is that almost all of Western analysts missed the factor that made the Cold War unique among struggles: it focused on the war of ideas. Lenin’s ideology offered radically different political philosophy. The conflict between two concepts of human nature was the essence of Cold War.
Until Lenin and its philosophical fathers including Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels a common belief was informed by the Bible, which says that man has a moral nature capable of committing evil and good. His actions are always result of the choice.
The Bolsheviks claimed that human person’s actions are determined entirely by his or her environment. The environment through social engineering – creation of a “new man”, can control his choice. If human person does not have internal moral law written in his or her conscience, then the community or society as a majority is a source of such law that can be a foundation of any institution from family to state. In absence of moral higher law the voice of any majority provides an ultimate verdict.
Unlike these Western analysts Skousen not only acknowledges the fact that an ideological conflict was essential during a Cold War but from the first page of his meticulous study he is explaining Communism as a confrontation of two different views of God, man and morality.
“Communism undertakes to replace Judaic-Christian morals with a complete absence of morals”, Skousen observed.
“Marx required two things [to create his dreamed “perfect society” – ed]: First, the total annihilation of all opposition, the downfall of all existing governments, all economies and all societies. “Then,” he wrote, “I shall stride through the wreckage a creator!” The second thing he needed was a new kind of human being.”
W. CLEON SKOUSEN
The Bolsheviks planned to conquer the world and create a new kind of human being, a “new man” that would build a paradise on earth without God (“what they hoped would be a promised land of man-made godliness”).
Skousen correctly observes that Bolshevik “new man”, whom he calls a Homo-Marxian poses equal threat for people, who are enslaved behind the Iron Curtain and for free nations outside of the Soviet sphere of influence.
“Homo-Marxian is frightening and puzzling to the rest of humanity because a criminally conditioned mind does not respond the way normal people expect”, Skousen observed. This Lenin’s new man thinking is contradictory and ephemeral. “Homo Marxian puzzles all those who work with him because he seems irrational and therefore unpredictable.” This man’s moral situation is tragic since he “lives exclusively by the jungle law of selfish survival”.
As Whittaker Chambers in his “Witness” Skousen is diagnosing moral crisis of West but unlike former Communist spy he makes an assessment, which encourages optimism. Chapter by chapter he is trying to persuade reader to believe again the power of good, truth and liberty can disarm any lie and demolish the fortresses in mind. Skousen does not doubt that Marxism-Leninism can be stopped: “if free men move in time, this can be done without a major war!”
“Deep spiritual convictions stand like a wall of resistance to challenge the teachings and practices of Communism”, Skousen emphasized.
“The principles of socialism which Lenin had forced upon the people had not brought increased production as Marx had promised, but had reduced production to a point where even in normal times it would not adequately clothe nor feed half the people.”
W. CLEON SKOUSEN
When after decades of failure of appeasement and détente between the United States and the Soviet Union the new US President Ronald Reagan made of thoughtful addresses and speeches a strategic weapon the world began to change. The deep spiritual convictions, that Skousen rightly perceived as means to challenge the Kremlin’s impertinence of power informed US public diplomacy utilized by the American Houses, and most importantly broadcasting of Radio Free Europe and Voice of America which role in strengthening of morale behind the Iron Curtain is still under-appreciated.
Although none of American politicians including President Reagan would openly promote Christianity their view of God, man and the world informed by the Bible was foundation of American counter-Soviet policies. The evidence is not only famous Evil Empire speech or Address to British Parliament but also the set of Presidential Directives, including on the role of public diplomacy, which formulated successful strategy that led to the disassembling of the Soviet Empire. Anyone however, who thinks that Skousen’s brilliant analysis has only historic value should think about preoccupation of our thinking with an idea once expressed as “it’s the economy, stupid!” or economy über alles. Is it liberating truth or rather a poverty of ideas and fear of confrontation or both? How different is this concept from the Bolshevik’s claim that the only goal of man is production and his life is determined by the material needs of society? A man of twenty-first century should be also troubled with a recent rush of world leaders to act according to purely Bolshevik maxim: “might makes right”.
Cleon Skousen might not have reason to be concerned for our economic system but from perspective of prolong economic crisis it is clear that there is indeed systemic failure. But Skousen provides convincing argument that Marx solution to the concentration of productive capital a ban of private property must be rejected as well as militant atheism. The progress of secularization of our society requires a new, creative methods to communicate timeless truths and values to our fellow man.
W. Cleon Skousen’s book on the ideas that changed one-third of the world preceded by an elegant introduction by Paul Skousen reads like a novel. His exposition of the Kremlin’s holy trinity: Marx, Engels and Lenin is packed with facts that are omitted by other authors. It is impossible to fully understand what happened behind the Iron Curtain without these facts. He points at the falsities of the assumptions that led Communist ideologues to horribly wrong conclusions.
Thus a reflection on this insightful and revealing study of the distorted worldview, which underlies the Communist system, including the confusing and contradictory ideology of Putin’s Russia and Red China, should be ambition of everyone, who aspires to be informed and responsible citizen.
Those in the West, who call Russia and China an authoritarian regime closed eyes on the fact that whether KGB in Moscow or the Communist Party (sic!) in Beijing never rejected Leninist ideologies.
The forty-five goals of Communism are perhaps relevant even more today when it appears that west lost its will and vigor to fight back ideological invasion.
As a watchman on the wall Skousen sends his warning to Western citizens to take a moral courage to defend their liberties. President Reagan who valued this exceptional book said: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
Whenever the Western academia and politicians would diminish superior value of Judeo-Christian moral infrastructure, Evil Empire would win more battles. As soon as west recovered its self-realization of an indispensable role of Christianity with truth and liberties for stability and prosperity of every individual, the most strategic weapons of fear and lies unleashed by Moscow became non operational. And indeed the Communist got naked before eyes of that generation.
The present danger is not different from the one that faced generations of the early decades of Cold War. However in our century the Communist not only is wearing clothes again but concealed is parading often as only remedy for our economic, political and social problems. The present danger as the past one can be defeated since timeless conclusions, which W. Cleon Skousen is sharing with his reader can become once again a solid foundation for the successful policies of the state, programs of non-governmental organizations and the education of every freedom loving human person.
“The “excessive demonization” of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin “is one means of attacking the Soviet Union and Russia.””