Doc Z explains why Zombie Communism won’t ever just lie down and stay dead.
Conservatives of my generation made the terrible mistake of believing Marxism was fatally discredited with the fall of the Soviet Union, and only a few aging freaks in campus faculty still took it seriously. We weren’t ready for the next wave of the mind-virus and its variants.
It was an easy mistake to make. How could people cling to an ideology that spread death, poverty, and failure around the world, once its primary nation-state supporter lay in ruins – its claims of success across the decades exposed as lies, its victims celebrating their freedom?
How could so many people ignore the hideous history of Marxism and continue to believe THIS time it will work, THIS time all the bugs have been ironed out, THIS time the right people are finally in charge? Forgive my generation for thinking the horror was finally over.
Marxism persists because it IS a virus. It was designed that way – give the old devil and his disciples credit for being ahead of the curve in realizing that an ideology could be custom-tailored to propagate itself endlessly, without needing any nourishment from success.
Every single aspect of Marxist theory is designed to protect and perpetuate the ideology no matter how badly it fails, most notably including the elements of every Marxist ideology that justify the use of violence against those who threaten it, or refuse to submit to its demands.
An ideology that asserts dissent from its principles in good faith is impossible – making dissent a sin punishable by loss of rights, confiscation of property, imprisonment, torture, or death – is well on its way to insulating itself against any degree of objective failure.
The most viral element of Marxism, the DNA that carries over into all its mutations, is the elimination of individual responsibility – the promise of “justice” and “entitlement” achieved through collective power. Every strain of Marxism tells adherents they have been exploited.
This is reflected in the core economic assumption of Marxism: capitalism “exploits” workers and “steals” the value of their labor. All of Marxism’s misery and bloody horror, all of the failure and brutal civil warfare it spreads through societies it infects, flows from this idea.
Never again should any defender of freedom underestimate the seductive viral appeal of these ideas, especially to young minds. Marxism is a vision of society run like a big family. It appeals to kids from good families…and those who desperately WISH they had good families.
Marxism flatters envy and transforms it into a virtue. It offers a regimented vision of society that appears logical once its (entirely false) basic premises are accepted. It claims to makes sense of a senseless and unjust world – very appealing to the young and alienated.
Most importantly, Marxism lifts the burden of individual responsibility from its acolytes. “Socializing” costs and consequences, classifying all misfortune as “exploitation,” dividing people into static classes at war with each other – it all says nothing is YOUR fault.
Every strain of Marxism tells its victims that they can never hope to find success, fairness, justice, equity – whatever euphemism becomes fashionable after the old ones wear out – on their own.
Gee, sounds exactly like what Democrat-Socialists have told American Nigras for years and years now, so as to keep them forever on the Donk plantation, almost word for word. Pure coinkydink, I’m guessing.
But I must remind one and all that, contra the general assumption, Marxism has NOT “failed every time it’s been tried.” Sure, it hasn’t worked—CANNOT work—according to the usual definition for the word. But as Hayward’s essay tacitly confirms, that’s predicated on a premise that is false. As I argued the other night, our metric for what constitutes success and failure must be recalibrated, putting ourselves back in line with the stark reality that Marxism has enjoyed an unbroken string of successes when it comes to realizing the true goals of the despots who implement and then rule under it. I repeat: it all depends on what the meaning of “success” is.