The Radical Left Will Never Tolerate a Messiah Who Actually Arrives
The worldview of the radical left offers many dizzying contradictions and fantasies. One of the strangest is the extent of indifference and even hostility with which radical leftists treat those who deliver on the very vision they so tirelessly advocate.
There are myriad examples, some so obvious that articulating them seems like shaking the foundation of the postmodern reality (or anti-reality) in which we live.
The most diverse societies in the word are those most often condemned for lack of diversity.
The cultures and groups who've been most welcoming to outsiders — perhaps the most welcoming in all of human history — are also condemned as the most hateful and intolerant.
Environmentalism, a noble cause that often rubs elbows with the radical left, will elevate to celebrity status a sixteen-year-old sophist for criticizing and denouncing but give almost no attention to successful initiatives and projects to clean oceans or conserve nature. When zoologist Susan Crockford found that polar bears were in fact thriving, and not vanishing from global warming, she lost her job at the University of Victoria.
This is what radical leftists do to messiahs who have the gall to actually arrive and ruin their fanatical churches. They crucify them.
The most flagrant example is at the center of Marxism. It bears repeating that the original goal of Marxism was the creation of wealth and elimination of poverty. The early Marxists all believed that communism created more wealth that capitalism and was therefore superior to it. Over a hundred million people died in pursuit of this goal. Writers, artists, priests, university professors, entire families, entire villages, entire nations were annihilated.
They tried to make it true by pretending it was true, resulting in countless absurdities, the "Ryazan miracle" being one of the most outrageous. And if you didn't pretend then, as they say today, "silence was violence." You were either killed or relegated to poverty for not participating in the collective illusion.
By the mid-1950s, the poverty and deprivation of communism were impossible to ignore. So what did they do, these people who had slaughtered scores of millions in pursuit of a better wealth-generating socio-economic system when they saw that in fact capitalism created more wealth and ended more poverty? They abandoned their raison d'être as if it had never existed and doubled down on their condemnation of capitalism by rewriting the script (again). Forget wealth. Forget ending poverty. Capitalism was evil because it created inequality.
Equality is perhaps a better messiah for the left, because it's the kind that will never show up and spoil all the radical, civilization-destroying fun.
Remember the words of Bolshevik Yurii Piatakov from 1928: "ordinary people in general, cannot make an instant change, a turn, amputating their own convictions. ... We are not like other people. We are a party who make the impossible possible. ... And if the party demands it, if it is necessary or important for the party, we will be able by an act of will to expel from our brains in twenty-four hours ideas we have held for years. ... Yes, I will see black where I thought I saw white, or may still see it, because for me there is no life outside the party or apart from agreement with it."
At the far left fringes, which have grown frighteningly influential, it seems they are not interested in solution, but in power, and for that, problems are infinitely superior to solutions.
When communists win and get the policies they scream for, or seize control of the institutions they covet, there never seems to be a period when they just get on with life and demonstrate the superiority (much less the viability) of their system. Faced with the consequences of their policies, they seem to revert to their core competency: revolution and liquidation of heretics.
Before the Communist Revolution, tsarist minister of internal affairs Pyotr Arkadyevich Stolypin was assassinated in the Kiev Opera House. As described in The Soviet Tragedy, he was a reformer who would have instituted at least some of the policies for which the communists agitated. For that, they killed him. They did not want their demands met. They wanted revolution.
After the disaster of what Lenin's generation of Bolsheviks called "communism" (full stop), they renamed it "war communism," and establish the NEP, which resembled an oligarchic market economy. Trotsky then attempted to focus the party on a policy of "Permanent Revolution," exporting the revolution (and mass murder) to other countries. Stalin, by contrast, focused on identifying and liquidating internal enemies, saboteurs, and ideological "deviationists," and for all its history, the Soviet Union was grinding poverty and successive "revolutions from above," each promising the final redemption and paradise of communism.
The Kronstadt rebellion was an insurrection at a naval base in the Bolshevik government in 1921, carried out by loyal communists who had fought with the Red Army during the revolution. Their demands included democratic appointment of local officials, freedom of speech, the right to use one's own land, and some semblance of equality — all promises of communist propaganda. The Red Army, led by Trotsky, crushed the uprising, negotiated a surrender, and then betrayed the terms and executed hundreds of sailors. The term "Kronstadt moment" is still used to describe the moment of someone's disillusionment with a leftist cause.
One the most fascinating stories of the early Soviet Union is that of anarcho-communist Nestor Makhno and his "Black Army." Makhno was a loyal and fanatical communist who'd been imprisoned from an early age for violent communist agitation, barely escaping the death penalty. He fought an effective and creative asymmetric war against the forces of the Russian tsar.
Lenin is rumored, albeit by Makhno's own account, to have said that he'd rather the tsarist white forces take all of Ukraine than let Makhno expand his territory by a single step. Makhno ideologically subverted Bolshevik efforts by being a truer to Marxism and actually delivering on some of their promises, like local, democratically elected "Soviets."
Many of the Bolshevik soldiers sent to crush Makhno would instead convert to his cause. Later, under the guise of negotiating cooperation against tsarist forces, Leon Trotsky invited Makhno's forces to a planning session, and there, on the 25th or 26th of November 1920, all of Makhno's commanders were arrested and executed. Nestor escaped. Trotsky then ordered the assassinations of thousands of Ukrainian villagers who were loyal to the "Makhnovists" and mustered overwhelming force — a force of 350,000 men equipped with heavy artillery to crush the remaining Makhnovists, whose numbers had dwindled to only 10,000. There is no live and let live among communists, nor can there be.
Lenin is rumored to have said that if they tried their revolution in a small country, it would have been over in months. They have to build the Tower of Babel to keep their illusion going. They fear the contrast of side-by-side societies.
And this seems to be one of several good strategies for dealing with the radical left. Keep things decentralized and local. Let contrasts emerge between their society and ours. The arrival of their messiah will completely spoil their fanaticism.