Opinion by Allan McNew
While the pre-1960 old left, loose knit structure of communists, socialists and progressives in America may have openly denounced, physically fought and even waged offensives against one another (1919, 1920 Progressive Democrat Palmer raids vs violent communist anarchists, for example), they currently do about the same things. There is practically no difference between the groups except for those who abstain from from the electoral process and go from one ginned up disturbance to another in an effort to provoke violent revolution (Revolutionary Communist Party, Antifa terrorists) and those who work within the Democratic Party (Social Democrats of America, Communist Party USA). The main difference otherwise is merely semantics and whether old guard words cliches like “bourgeoisie”, “proletariat” and “shake off your chains” are still used. “Progressive” is now just a label for communists/socialists to hide behind which doesn’t sound so bad to moderate voters.
The relationships between all these numerous groups with their members crossing paths since 1904 is so promiscuous as to defy comprehension. It can be likened to studying an isolated population where a brother could also be an uncle and a cousin – while it has a lot of leaves the family tree goes straight up, it has no branches.
And, there is no effectual difference between an established communist/socialist government and fascism except that one is international in scope, the other is nationalistic; one takes over the means of production, the other has an iron grip on management personnel of privately held means of production. Generally they use the same means to seize power and oligarchies wielding that power name their autocratic national fiefdom with cynical cliches like “”Democratic Republic of…”, “Peoples Republic of…” or “Republic of Unified Citizen’s Councils.”
After the Bolshevik triumph in Russia, Vladimir Lenin tried to let workers direct the means of production, human nature prevailed and the experiment became an absolute shambles. So, instead of the “Dictatorship of the Proletariat” (communist) or, in other words meaning the same thing, “workers owning the means of production” (socialist), it became the “Dictatorship of the Oligarchy” which owned and directed the means of production as well as all the workers and allowed just enough small scale capitalism to grease the skids. Lenin then admitted there was scarcely a mention in all the available socialist literature about managing an economy. That’s still true.
While it is an exaggeration, it does seem that there are more communists in Congress than in the entire former Soviet Bloc, the reason being that those under the heavy hand of Soviet Socialism since the Bolshevik triumph know exactly what socialism is all about. Americans don’t.
There are those, who know better, who engage in the myth of “Scandinavian socialism.” Those countries are highly free market, heavily taxed welfare states. Some experimented with socialism some decades ago but pragmatically backed off when the failures became evident.
With the Obama election of 2008, socialist/communist ideologues saw a green light to complete their agenda of dismantling our representative republic, but the election of Trump threw a monkey wrench into it. So, the CPUSA and the DSA ratcheted up pressure on their members in Congress, while the DSA in conjunction with the Justice Democrats successfully ran four activists who ignore the welfare of their home districts while pushing the national agenda of taking over the Democratic Party. There is the DSA enforced demand for its endorsed politicians to follow to the letter the DSA line combined with the unveiled promise to primary out any Democratic politician who does not comply with its dictates.
Witness the career political whores that comprise the Democratic presidential candidates who trample each other in their collective stampede to get to the left of Karl Marx. They’ve been warned and they acknowledge the message that it’s the DSA that pulls the strings, not the DNC.
Sometimes the right is so busy fighting among itself and being an echo chamber to certain cliches while only hearing what it wants to hear it ignores why the enemy does what it does. The right would do well to research the Democratic Socialists of America (they are far more entrenched and influential than imagined), Justice Democrats (they are the muscle) and the 1960’s student group Students for a Democratic Society (nearly everything the left now says and endorses was said and endorsed then.) – with the understanding the ideology has been promulgated by former Maoist SDS members taking over the American educational system, a dangerous thing that needs to be neutralized.