Strangely, a set of strategies devised by Russia’s most successful revolutionary; Vladimir I. Lenin, can explain modern American conservatism. Bizarrely, some of America’s most influential conservatives borrowed the tactics Lenin used to build Communism.
To clarify, Lenin crafted a set of strategies and a philosophy about historical events that had little to do with Communism. Therefore, capitalists and conservatives often use Lenin’s tactics, even though they hate his economics.
For example, the Communist Parties of China and Vietnam still utilize Lenin’s political system even though those countries are now capitalist. In addition, Leninism heavily influenced the leadership of America’s modern conservative movement.
The Leninist Roots of American Conservatism
Lenin’s basic theory of politics and revolution is that historical events; left to themselves, will not bring about a desired outcome. Consequently, it is up to the revolutionaries to make the revolution.
Note: in this belief, Lenin repudiates Marx who thought all human civilization was evolving into a Communist utopia.
This Leninist belief motivates conservative groups like The Federalist Society that work hard to shape the political process and society to achieve the outcomes they want. The Federalist Society, for instance, works hard to get the federal judges it wants on the Federal Courts to shape federal law.
Some of the Leninist Ideas behind American Conservatism
Lenin’s other theory is that you cannot trust the people. Instead, a tiny educated elite of committed revolutionaries must think for the people.
In fact, Lenin believed most people would never understand Communism, so the Communists would have to force Communism on them. Therefore, Lenin built up a cadre of highly committed revolutionaries who would run everything.
Likewise, many American libertarians believe average people will never grasp the benefits of liberty. Therefore, some extreme libertarians think they have a duty to force liberty on the people, whether or not the people want it. Much as Lenin thought he had a duty to force Communism on the people.
Moreover, Lenin believed revolution justified to use any means necessary including torture, murder, slavery, and brute force to build his dictatorship. In Russia, Lenin seized power through terrorism; and his kept power, thorough terror.
Notably, historians credit Lenin with creating the first modern totalitarian state the Soviet Union. Author R.J. Rummel estimates the Soviet Union killed 61.911 million people between 1917 and 1987. In particular, over 3.2 million of those deaths occurred while Lenin was in power.
America’s Conservative Leninists
In comparison, America’s extreme conservatives feel justified to use any means necessary to achieve their goals and seize power. Those methods include voter suppression and the promotion of racism.
Moreover, Lenin felt justified in forming alliances with anybody who could be politically useful. For instance, in 1917, Lenin turned to Imperial Germany for help into returning to Russia and financing his Revolution. Since Russia and Germany were at war, Lenin betrayed his own nation to achieve his political goals.
Notably, American conservatives support the blatantly corrupt; and openly racist, President Donald J. Trump (R-New York). Conservatives back Trump because the Donald tries to implement much of their political program.
For example, Trump pledged to appoint only U.S. Supreme Court justices from a list written by the Federalist Society. In addition, Trump bases policies on extreme conservative notions like Climate Change Denial.
American Leninism in the Name of Freedom
Critics like authors Jane Mayer and Nancy MacLean make a strong circumstantial case that a small network of wealthy ideologues dominates the Republican Party by carefully manipulating money.
In addition, author Nancy MacLean, claims James McGill Buchanan set out to build up a network of conservative intellectuals that functions like Lenin’s revolutionary cadre. Guardian writer Monbiot calls Buchanan’s philosophy “totalitarian capitalism.”
Notably, Buchanan set out to build a counter intelligentsia tied to a network of political power that could become the new political establishment, Monbiot claims. The basis of that intelligentsia is a network of think tanks the Koch brothers financed. In addition, Mayer’s book Dark Money alleges the libertarian Koch brothers, financed that network.
Notably, Monbiot writes of Charles Koch; “Murray Rothbard; at the Cato Institute that Koch founded, had urged the billionaire to study Lenin’s techniques and apply them to the libertarian cause. Between them, they began to develop a programme for changing the rules.”
Like Lenin, Buchanan and Koch cloak their plans for what they called a “constitutional revolution” in the name of freedom. Buchanan claimed he was freeing the American people from the evil bureaucrats. Lenin claimed he was freeing the Russian people from the evil Czar.
The Catastrophe of America’s Conservative Leninism
The embrace of Leninist tactics, methods, and strategies by some American conservatives is potentially catastrophic.
History shows Leninism led to tyranny, oppression, massive human rights violations, poverty, and mass murder everywhere it came to power. For instance, Communist (actually Leninist) parties in countries as diverse as China, Cuba, Vietnam, and Ethiopia behaved the same way in power.
The party suppressed all dissent and imprisoned or murdered any opponent not driven into exile. Once in office the party centralized all power in the state, while corrupting all culture with propaganda. Eventually, the state wasted its resources on vicious security forces and massive military-industrial complexes.
The Corruption of Communism
Lenin’s hope was that his reign of terror could create utopia. In practice, Leninism always leads to massive corruption.
Notably, former Communist countries like Afghanistan are now among the world’s most corrupt. Tellingly, the world’s last true Communist state, North Korea is eighth on the World Population Review’s list of the world’s most corrupt countries.
In addition, the Communist states practiced some evils Lenin himself hated. In life, Lenin was a staunch foe of imperialism and colonialism. However, the Soviet Union was the word’s biggest practitioner of colonialism and imperialism.
Tellingly, the USSR kept its “colonies” in Eastern Europe and Cuba, long after all the capitalist states had freed all their major colonies. Moreover, one reason the USSR collapsed was the huge amount of resources the party wasted to preserve its “empire.”
Conversely, the United States; under the guidance of the Leninist neoconservative, is one of the world’s last and largest practitioners of military intervention.
Notably, America’s neoconservatives; like Russia’s Communists, embarked on colonial adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan. Predictably, the neoconservatives support other nations’ colonial adventures like Saudi Arabia’s bloodbath in Yemen.
Like the Koch networks, the neoconservatives are a small network of extremists who use Leninist tactics to force their views on others. In particular, neoconservatives like John Bolton will ingratiate themselves with any leader; including Donald J. Trump to get power.
Bizarrely, Charles Koch opposes the neoconservatives. Koch has even joined forces with his leftist rival; hedge fund master George Soros, to fund a think tank called the Quincy Institute. They intend the Quincy Institute to promote a more realistic foreign policy in the United States.
The Neoconservative Utopia
Finally, all Leninists whether they be Communists, neoconservatives, or extreme libertarians believe they can build utopia through ruthless means. For example, the neoconservatives thought they could create a utopia in Iraq through US military power.
Meanwhile, Federalist Society members think they can create utopia by putting their people on the federal bench. Plus, the Koch crowd think they can build utopia by cutting taxes and regulations.
Those utopias, like Lenin’s Communist utopia, are fantasies. However, utopia provides the Leninists with an excuse for employing ruthless, unethical, and criminal tactics. For instance, Leninists can ignore any objections to their wrongdoing because of the nobility of their final goal.
Leninist Corruption in Washington
Ultimately, history shows that Leninism only leads to corruption. Notably, the American conservative movement and the Republican Party have become corrupt.
Tellingly, only a few fringe figures in the GOP are criticizing the blatant corruption of Donald J. Trump’s (R-New York) administration. Specifically, the U.S. Department of Justice exempted Trump-owned hotels from federal anti corruption rules against accepting foreign payments, The Guardian claims.
In addition, a lawsuit by 200 members of Congress alleges the Trump Organization has conflicts of interest in 25 counties. This corruption is spreading to other Republicans. Vox alleges, U.S. Attorney General William Barr spent over $30,000 for a holiday party at a Trump hotel in Washington.
Can American Conservationism overcome Leninist Corruption?
Thus, America’s conservatives are becoming as corrupt as the Communists they claim to hate. By betraying their ideals and adopting the tactics of their greatest enemy, American conservatives are selling their souls for power.
America’s conservative Leninism is in its most corrupt and degenerate phase. All the delusions of utopia are dead. Now all that is left the brazen battle for power, influence, and the fast buck.
Meanwhile, Kimberly Ross labels today’s young conservatives a group of “grifters with no ideals.” Instead, like the Russian Communists who turned Lenin’s dead body into an idol to worship, against Lenin’s own wife’s wishes, today’s young cons replace ideas with mindless hero worship.
Hopefully, American Conservatism can recover its ideals before it joins Communism in the ash heap of history. America needs real conservatives dedicated to fighting for American values, not corrupt fanatics who employ the sleazy tactics of a long-dead and discredited Russian dictator.