Category Archives: Lenin

Sweden joining NATO? More fuel on the fire?

The Ukrainian conflict has given the Swedish reactionaries a God-send opportunity to revive the dear old Cold War, demand more money to the military and insist on Sweden joining NATO. Russia has finally become a threat to our existence again; we’re back in the good old days! Never mind that Russia hasn’t the conventional military resources necessary to harm Sweden in any way and of course nor the slightest intention or motivation to do so. It doesn’t even want any part of Ukraine (except the thoroughly Russian Crimea, where a large military base threatened to be captured by NATO).

There is still a slight majority of Swedes not wanting a NATO membership, but the propaganda machinery works on all cylinders to change that. After a public debate recently on the subject one propagandist (in Dagens Nyheter) dismissed his opponents with the ironic sentence: “There is obviously a kinder universe where there is no need for NATO. I wish I had a visa that allowed me in there”.

That self-delusion is breath-taking; most universes must be kinder than NATO’s, as we learn from scanning just briefly over the records achieved by this military alliance. During its relatively short existence one or more members of this organization has accomplished a number of things, such as:

  • waging numerous illegal, immoral and horrible wars with millions of innocent people killed
  • overthrowing a large number of democratically elected governments, usually because they wanted to implement some social reforms to help ordinary people and the poor
  • replacing these overthrown governments with dictators, often military ones, sometimes of more or less Nazi character
  • supporting other dictators economically, militarily and politically – as long as they obeyed orders, not bothering if they tortured and harassed their populations
  • subjecting a country like Cuba to more terrorist attacks than any other country has suffered
  • training and equipping death squads in vassal states to kill politicians, union leaders, priests and anyone else with the wrong kind of ideas

Let’s save some space and halt there. If this happens to be the flip side of the coin, what about the positive achievements by NATO that this journalist considered self-evident?

We learned already in school that NATO was established to counter the “Soviet empire” and its ambition to conquer the whole world. We have had some scholars trawling through Lenin’s voluminous writings to find a sentence revealing the Communist goal of spreading over the entire globe. (There was of course no need to distinguish between Soviet foreign policy and Lenin’s speculations in the philosophy of history.)

“The Russians are coming!” vindicated all the horrible actions that NATO countries undertook. The fact that the Russian crimes against other nations, at least before the attack on Afghanistan, were completely insignificant compared to NATO’s was easily concealed.

During the first Cold War every sane person realized that the Soviet Union had no interest whatsoever to move beyond the borders of the Warsaw Pact, and no capability to do so. The threat faced by the whole world was that of nuclear obliteration, a horror that sooner was enhanced by NATO expanding its power. That “the Russians are coming” was a fake pretext for the existence of NATO was bluntly revealed by its own leaders when the Soviet Union disappeared. Instead of then dissolving NATO, it was enlarged and expanded!

NATO-countries once created the mujaheddin that later procreated into even tougher Muslim groups who like Frankenstein’s monster turned against their creators. Then with a couple of meticulously brainless wars the whole Middle East was set on fire and we got the ultimate terrorists, IS (and subsequently today’s flood of refugees over Europe).

For every terrorist killed ten more are enrolled, nowadays from every corner of the world. It means that there is no permanent solution to the problems to be achieved by violent means (Russia is wrong there too). A giant reconciliation is the only way out. The way to get there is nowhere in sight today. Probably we will have to await a totally intolerable situation before anything can turn around. But the human capability to use the brain has historically achieved the most unbelievable things, and everything is possible!

If Communist atrocities are ideological, what about ours?

“Communism” was a word and a concept that in many ways formed the basis for the Cold War as it was fought by the West. In that function the word meant oppression, Gulag, torture, executions and most other horrors one could think of. From a very specific semantic perspective that’s of course true.

For a more precise definition of communism as an ideology one should rather consult Marx and the other founders of the doctrine. Then one immediately finds the central creed: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need”. One also finds that communism was an emancipatory movement aimed at freeing workers from wage slavery. Solidarity, righteousness and equality were moral cornerstones of the ideology.

In real life it turned out to become something completely different. Lenin put an end to the Worker’s Councils as one of his first actions; then he installed the dictatorship of the Proletariat, thus sending anything that resembled real communism down the drain. He may have had his reasons; for instance that his regime otherwise may not have survived the civil war in which the reactionary side was strongly backed by large troops from western powers. But anyway: real communism disappeared in Russia before it had even started.

Still both East and West kept on using the false concept “communism”, but for contradictory reasons. Soviet used the word to benefit from the positive connotation it had been given by Marx and the Communist Internationals among others; the capitalist world used it to make people connect solidarity, righteousness and equality with the horrors taking place in the “communist” states.

And this way of using the word still goes on. I was provoked to write this postcard by a younger editorial writer – Erik Helmerson – in Sweden’s most important paper, Dagens Nyheter. Although he was barely more than a downy young man when “communism” disappeared from most of the world he is still obsessed with this phenomenon. With a gun pointed at his head, he writes, he would admit that Nazism was worse than Communism but he rejects both. This is a skewed and supposedly deliberate way to defame egalitarianism by equating it with an ideology whose very essence and core was the extermination of Jews, communists, mentally ill and other human beings they deemed to be inferior.

Some literate conservatives have realized the discrepancy in comparing Nazism and Communism on these grounds (maybe because they have read some books and thought for a while). Some of them have then chosen another line of defense, namely that a really Communist society cannot be achieved by other means than violence and coercion (“the road to Hell is paved with good intentions” is one popular excuse). The reason would be the conservative tendency to think that humans are born somewhat evil, and has to be coerced to become altruistic (which anyway, according to their world view, isn’t necessary at all).

Hopefully this tells us more about conservatives than about humanity as a whole. The idea that no noble ends could be accomplished without people being forced by a dictatorial power is not just utterly defeatist, but truly stupid. People in general wouldn’t say that such bad ethics apply to themselves, and the absolutism of the thesis is refuted daily by human activities around the world.

There is another corollary to Helmerson’s poor thinking that never appears in mainstream contexts. If Communism as an ideology has proven intolerable because of what dictators have made in its name, what about Capitalism, Christianity and other ones of our own doctrines?

During more than half the last century most of the atrocities in the world have been carried out by us in the white, capitalist and Christian world, lead by the United States. Our illegal and immoral wars have left millions of murdered human beings behind and devastated whole countries. We have supported dictators who have murdered further millions of their citizens; we have overthrown dozens of democratically elected politicians and installed vicious dictators, just to mention some the most obvious misdeeds comparable to those in the “Communist” world. If Helmerson’s logic and practice had any value the conclusion would have been that Capitalism and Christianity are criminal ideologies.

But luckily that’s not the case. The key to the question is that our anti-Communists also are anti-intellectuals to an appropriate degree.