The Left: People with a Mission to Destroy Capitalism
P.S. September 2018: This article was first published on February 16, 2002.
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In the recent history, just like Islamism of today, the Communism was equally after the destruction of capitalism and its spearhead, the United States. Karl Popper in his “Lessons of this Century”, published in 1997 (1), has a good expose of this topic. Popper notes that the main argument of Marx’s Capital’s was that “capitalism cannot be reformed, but can only be destroyed; if one wishes to have a better society, it must be destroyed” [P.19]. Regardless of all the reforms in capitalism, this tenet of Marxism, remained part of the ideology of leaders of Soviet Union, till the end of Soviet Empire. Popper notes that the Cuban Crisis of 1962 and Soviet’s possession of the H-bomb was the “first time Soviet Union had ever the possibility of destroying the United States” [P.23].
But the Soviets backed down in the 1962 Cuban crisis and Popper notes that “the Soviet Union lost the Cold War at that point, when there was an attempt to destroy America. That was when the only remaining idea of the Marxist regime failed; it was the beginning of the decline that led to the general collapse”. [P.23] “But after 1962, they went on producing bombs, all the time knowing that they couldn’t use them. That was the absolute intellectual zero point”[P.28].
It is interesting that this whole concept of depicting the West as an evil, and the perspective to destroy the West, became such an integral part of the Soviet brainwash of its population. Gorbachev noted this phenomena when he saw the need to make the Soviet people *normal*. Here is what Popper observes of this last episode of collapse of Soviet Communism:
“Only with Gorbachev do we find a man who realizes that he has to change the fundamental assumption of the whole of Russian politics, that they are the people whose mission it is to destroy capitalism- that is, America. Gorbachev has actually been several times to America and seen the reality there; he wants to show his understanding of a free people which is not aggressive towards Russia but hopes that Russia will come to her senses. And Gorbachev made an important statement when he said ‘I want to make the people of the Soviet Union a normal people’ …You see, Gorbachev’s merit was to have understood that his people was not ‘normal’ whereas the American people was. The attitude is really quite different in America; they do not all the time have this horrible game in their mind.”
I think this is a very important observation that Karl Popper has made about the left. Leftists in their indoctrination call the opponents of the left as apologists of capitalism and the US, as bourgeoisie and Israel supporters. The attempt of Soviet and Eastern Bloc communist governments, parties, and their leaders, for decades after decades, was to create an abnormal attitude, to brainwash their people, to have a mission in their mind all the time, to destroy America. I think this is the same kind of phenomena we have been seeing among the Islamic fanatic governments, parties, and leaders. They have been repeating “Death to America” for over 20 years, every week at their Friday sermons. Instilling this mission in mind of their followers is not any different from cult indoctrinations of Islamic Fundamentalists pointed at the whole population of Afghanistan, Iran, and many other Middle Eastern countries. In view of this author, this is the perspective and attitude that was responsible for the tragedy of Sept 11, 2001 in New York (2).
I have already written that attempts to "fix" the Left are useless and just waste of time. It is just like trying to fix Islam. Marxism is simply obsolete (3) and one should go beyond it (4). Although I believe those Leftists or Islamists who have stood up for democracy and have opposed the Islamist regime in Iran, should be supported in their democratic action, but I do not support their ideologies. One has a Leftist Religion and the other has an Abrahamic religion. Their battle is a religious battle and is *not* science, as I noted above about lack of *normal* perception in former Soviet Union and a cultish anti-West viewpoint calling every opponent bourgeois or capitalist supporter. I highly recommend reading Karl Popper’s "Lessons of this Century" which is one of his last works and explains this phenomena the best. I think their ideologies ends up in a lobbyist view of supporting Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI), although many of them are not necessarily IRI functionaries and are just IRI apologists. The same way that I think Islamist ideology ends up supporting IRI although many Islamists do not support IRI in practical experience. In fact, as I noted in another article, if Marx was alive and had seen the position of the left against the global economy, he would have been the first to call the Marxists as reactionary (5).
In view of this author, the issue of *normal* people noted in one of the last works of Popper, and noted by me above, is the key to understanding the mentality and mindset of both the Left and the Islamists, and I highly recommend to everyone to read this and to think about it as to how this anti-West attitude is not a *normal* mindset, and is like a cultish percept that distorts the reality (6). The reality that all these leftists choose to live in the West when leaving Iran, and do not choose the many results of their ideology in Vietnam, North Korea, China, Old Soviet Union and Eastern Block, Cuba; but it is really unbelievable that they still want the people of Iran to try the path of the left again trusting their new version, after the failure of so many trials in the last 100 years. This is the fault of publications like Monthly Review. But in the US, these publications are like the books of Hare Krishna, and nobody reads or cares for Monthly Review in the US, but in Iran, they still get audience again and again from the Iranian intellectuals. It is just like Khomeini who said all the past experiences of Islamic state are not good but asked the people to try his version of Islamic State, this time after 1400 years, and we see the result.
Let me also mention a great book that helps one to see the leftist brainwash better. The book "The True Believer," which is an excellent book written in 1951 by Eric Hoffer. Eric Hoffer shows the issue of *normal* people that I am discussing here, in his own way. Here is a passage from it
"... Dostoyevsky puts the following
words in Bishop Tihon's mouth: Outright atheism is more to be respected than
worldly indifference ... the complete atheist stands on the penultimate step to
most perfect faith ... but the indifferent person has no faith whatever except a
bad fear. All the true believers [fanatics] of our time-whether Communist, Nazi,
Fascist, Japanese or Catholic-declaimed volubly (and the Communists still do)
[i.e.. 1951] on the decadence of the Western democracies. The burden of their
talk is that in the democracies people are too soft, too pleasure-loving and too
selfish to die for a nation, a God or a holy cause. This lack of a readiness to
die, we are told, is indicative of an inner rot- a moral and biological decay.
The democracies are old, corrupt and decadent. They are no match for the virile
congregations of the faithful who are about to inherit the Earth" (7).
Hoping for a democratic and secular futurist republic in Iran,
February 16, 2002
* The above article was first posted on Jebhe BB on February 16, 2002
1. Karl Popper, Lessons of this Century, 1997
2. From Salman Rushdie to WTC
3. Marxist Thought & Monism -Second
اندیشه مارکسیستی و مونیسم -یکتا گرائی
4. New Paradigms
5. Globalization and Iranian Intellectual Circles
6. Beginning of the End of IRI, Second
آغازِ پایان جمهوری اسلامی، ویرایش دوم
7. Eric Hoffer, The True Believer, 1951, P.147
For a Secular Democratic & Futurist Republican Party in Iran