Saturday, March 31, 2012

Twenty-First Century Leninists

The republicans are a bunch of moronic idiots!
                                                          Bill Maher
The man who took Communism from theoretical enchantment into gruesome reality for millions of people entered the world in 1871 in a backwater providence of the Russian empire as Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov.  Before 1917 he was little known outside of professional revolutionary circles and the Okhrana, the Russian Imperial Police. When he died in 1924, he was famous world-wide as Lenin, the number one Bolshevik, master-mind of the October Revolution and architect of the first Socialist society.  His party had toppled the Provisional Government, in place nine months after the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II.  Lenin personally ordered the defenseless captive Tsar to be murdered along with his entire family. The savage killing of the royal family was a foretelling of Bolshevik humanity for all those whose “backgrounds” would make them unfit to participate in the new order.
In death, Lenin left for his revolutionary posterity, Leninism, a fearsome ideological assault arsenal used to frame the enemy, stalwarts of the old corrupt order in the most violent, scurrilous fashion and render them as fully dehumanized objects of loathing and contempt.  From the verbal violence then proceeded the physical abuse and destruction. 
It was, Lenin, a master of scorn and vituperation who invented a raging disputation style that would become the twentieth-century prototype of Communist polemical abuse for vanquishing rivals.  Stalin would perfect it. In order to grasp the full import of Leninist polemics and why it seems to be a permanent fixture in contemporary Left-wing discourse one must first grasp the Leninist view of the political universe.
Lenin was an anti- modernist  in politics, if one understands by “modern” in politics a willingness to vie for power within a framework  of mutually agreed upon rules (formal and informal) of competition, procedural protocol and power sharing.  The emergence of the concept and practice of “loyal opposition” found in constitutional governments embodied a set of norms, including mutual respect, civil disagreement and political compromise, that permitted vigorous political competition and orderly and non-violent transfers of power within a stable political and legal system.   
This kind of modernism was an anathema to Lenin and his followers.   Politics for them was and is total war.  When they possess power no opposition is permitted, loyal or otherwise; when they have to compete for it they seek to destroy the opposition.  Politics-as-total-war was derived from the absolute certainty Lenin held for his ideological convictions.   His intellectual arrogance rendered him incapable of imagining that he might be mistaken and that his opponents might have something to offer.  Lenin’s opposition was not just wrong; it was morally debased, fit only to be purged.   Lenin did not debate, argue or converse with his opponents.  He harangued and insulted them.  Language for him was not an instrument of persuasion.  It was a weapon used to malign and dismiss.   He possessed an expansive lexicon of abuse:  “scum”, “insects”, “cockroaches”, “bedbugs” and “vermin” were some of his favorite designations for those who resisted his plans or were insufficiently enthusiastic.  Lenin was particularly loathing of religion and when in power sought to exterminate every vestige of it.
Lenin as a theorist, however, was very modern, if one understands by “modern” in theory, a recondite etiology of systemic oppression that is couched in a ponderous language of rarified abstractions by our contemporary post-modern illuminati who occupy the scholarly chairs in our universities.  “Theory” for our post-modern practitioners is always about identifying, “unmasking” as it is usually said, a class of exploiters and oppressors who hide behind a façade of conventional morality that justifies their privilege.
When we move nearly one hundred years forward from the Bolshevik Revolution and their consolidation of power, the Leninist-style of political discourse is enthusiastically embraced in many quarters, but is especially a staple of contemporary Leftist polemics.  The blue collar, robustly anti-Communist Democrat Party of the 1950s and early 1960s has moved far to Left and is now comprised of trial lawyers, teacher union activists, angry feminists, preening Hollywood celebrities and the Ivy League professoriate.  They combine self-righteous moral indignation with abuse and scorn for those whose social and political views differ from their own.  Convinced of their own vast intellectual and moral superiority they are all about sneering, mockery and vituperation. They do not comprehend how anyone could possibly disagree with their ideas, oppose their programs or resist their policies.  And so those who do must fall into one or more of the following categories: they can only be stupid, greedy or bigoted.  There is no need to debate, argue or converse.  Insults and abuse are the order of the day.  They, of course, exude compassion for the less fortunate, care about “the planet” and evince a complete grasp of the complexities of the modern world.
Their Republican adversaries look out only for the very rich, do not care if they pollute the water and the air, force women into back allies for abortions and know nothing about science or art.  They are routinely denounced as Nazis, as racist bigots and as ignorant, stupid Neanderthals. Those who embrace traditional Christianity are regarded as particularly offensive and are targets of mockery and disdain.  Special vitriol is reserved for politically conservative women by the influential media-entertainment impresarios. Recently one of the Democrats prominent pundits, Bill Maher, whose abusive and foul routines pass for his many followers as witty and enlightened commentary, referred Sarah Palin as a “cunt” and a “dumb twat.”     
          The Democrat Party has become Leninist in its attitude and style, especially in the undisguised contempt its leaders and spokesmen routinely show for their fellow citizens who hold different political views.  Politics for them is indeed total war. This is evident from their language, their relentless ad hominem attacks, the complete absence of any sense on their part of fair play and loyal opposition.  It is not difficult to envision what Maher and his followers would like to do to the “scum” who displease them if they were able.   

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