From Russian Bolsheviks to American Socialists
In December 1991, the world watched in amazement and trepidation as the communist empire spectacularly collapsed. The jubilation proved to be premature. Marxism adapted to a new reality and, in one of the most dramatic reversals of history, comfortably relocated to the United States, where it acquired a new life and malignancy within the Democratic Party.
In 2008 this ferment culminated in the election of Barack Obama who by 2016 had successfully transformed the Democratic Party into the de facto Social Democratic Party.
For those who are not familiar with the terminology:
Social democracy is a political ideology that has as its goal the establishment of socialism through implementation of a policy regime that includes, but is not limited to, high taxation, government regulation of private enterprises, and establishment of a universal welfare state.
Had Obama been succeeded by Hillary Clinton, America would have continued the smooth transition into socialism as planned. But as it often happens with the best-laid plans, life arranged some unexpected detours. What was near-universally seen as foreordained was preempted by the election of Donald Trump.
The collapse of high expectations did not shatter the socialists’ capacity to shape posterity. As the aspirations of the Bolshevik Revolution were being reincarnated in Vermont and exported to New York and California, the country inured to the world of unsustainable populist demands. The barrier separating utopia and reason is crumbling; growing embrace of free education, free health care, and a guaranteed minimum income by young people is an obvious indication of the rise of the socialist movement.
Yet, despite socialism’s increasing appeal, the Democrats are aware that “socialism” is still a dirty word in the political vocabulary and the population at large. Indeed, using the term socialism would be too forward leaning. So, they mask Marxist ideology by not mentioning the word “socialism” without the prefix “democratic.”
The “democratic” cannot conceal a commonality of the ideological vocabulary of the Democratic Party’s leadership with Marxism. Visceral hatred of capitalism and seductive promises of miraculous fulfilment of egalitarian dreams leave little doubt about the Party becoming a plagiarizing scum of Lenin’s faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (RSDLP) or Bolsheviks. Coincidentally they also had “democratic” in the party name.
Therefore, we shall not be confused by the ideological taxonomy. Democratic socialism promulgated by Bernie Sanders and his disciples is a socialist trojan horse disguised as an alternative to Marxism. Unlike the Bolshevik’s strategy of taking power via violent revolution, this one emulates the strategy of the Russian Mensheviks Julius Martov and Pavel Axelrod designed to enact socialism gradually and make it more palatable by installing the Hugo Chavezes of this world through the democratic process.
This slow-roll strategy designed to do to the United States incrementally what Russian Bolshevism did to Russia in 1917 abruptly. The Democratic Party’s socialism is nothing less than its Marxist inheritance implemented by other means. Notwithstanding its heavy Russian accent, Democratic socialism is bringing under one roof all the true believers and intellectuals disheartened and disillusioned by the ugliness of Stalinism, Maoism, and other socialist “isms” but still yearning for equality, fairness, and righteousness. It is also intended to ascertain ideological cohesion among pseudo-patriot advocates of strong governmental authority and left-wing lunatics, to whom capitalism is a common enemy.
Regardless of how the socialists come to power and what variants between political flavors of Christian democratic socialism, Soviet-style revolutionary socialism, social democratic socialism or any other kind of socialism are, they all trace their origins to Karl Marx’s "scientific socialism" and share the common mantra -- “fair and equitable” distribution of wealth. Hence, the differences are superficial. The ultimate goal of socialism is economic equality.
If the uneducated graduates of American universities and supporters of socialism absorb human history, they may realize that the only historical datum that points to economic equality goes back to the era of primitive communism. There were no property and no wealth, resulting in total economic equality -- in poverty. Ironically, this is the only way economic equality can be achieved; there is no equality in wealth. The critics of socialism who point out that socialism fails to create wealth are missing the point. Socialism is not about wealth creation, it is about wealth distribution. In this context, socialism works, it works as it supposed to. Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, etc. are not socialism’s failures; they are actually a fulfillment.
Nevertheless, we have to be mindful that every ism -- communism, socialism, fascism, etc. -- has its supporters and benefactors. Those who imagine themselves on the receiving end, have every reason to think they will be better off with socialism. But those, whose naiveté never melts away, must understand that socialism is the philosophy of poverty.
Thanks to the fatuity of the American public, there has not been any effective comprehension of the totality of the assault nor its enervating effect upon national vigilance. We may surmise that the socialist dragon has come of age and poses the existential threat to our way of life.
Alex Markovsky is a scholar of Marxism/ Leninism and a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research. He is an author of Anatomy of a Bolshevik and Liberal Bolshevism: America Did Not Defeat Communism, She Adopted It.