April 7, 2014

When Conservatives Go Wrong

Commentary for 7 April 2014

Blaise Pascal wrote that man was full of error. “This error is natural,” he explained, “without grace, ineffaceable. Nothing shows him the truth; everything deceives him.” Along similar lines, Frederick the Great said, “Man is made for error; it enters his mind naturally, and he discovers a few truths only with the greatest effort.” Conservatives are especially guilty in this regard when it comes to the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics, Russia, and Communism. To understand the complex underlying realities, one must first discover the deceptive quality of the thing itself. A Communist is a human being with the power of a person. Like other political humans, he does not change his beliefs at the drop of a hat. He does not give up and become a capitalist. On the other hand, it is entirely natural for a Communist to become a pretend capitalist. Lenin did so in the 1920s, while Stalin joined with capitalism in the early 1940s. There was “peaceful coexistence” in the 1950s under Khrushchev, Détente under Brezhnev, and perestroika under Gorbachev. And today, in Moscow, Vladimir Putin pretends to be a Christian. Who is simple enough to believe in this latest deception? Of all people, Patrick J. Buchanan, who has written a column titled, IS GOD NOW ON RUSSIA’S SIDE?
In this column Buchanan quotes from a speech given by President Putin. “Many Euro-Atlantic countries have moved away from their roots, including Christian values,” the Russian dictator wrote. “Policies are being pursued that place on the same level a multi-child family and a same-sex partnership, a faith in God and a belief in Satan. This is the path to degradation.” Buchanan then asks if we have heard any Western leader “talk like that lately?” Of course, we have not. Buchanan then concludes, “In the culture war for the future of mankind, Putin is planting Russia’s flag firmly on the side of traditional Christianity.” Alas! This would certainly be the case, if words were always used to signify reality. But Russian dictators lie so promiscuously, so profusely, that we cannot take their utterances at face value. 

Buchanan appears ignorant of all this, and of the post-Soviet reality. Like nearly all pundits, he has not read much or thought deeply on the subject of Russia. Like many famous names from earlier decades, Buchanan has become a fellow traveler and “useful idiot.” The “useful idiot” is someone who unwittingly promotes Russian propaganda under the naïve assumption that Moscow is a force for good. But Moscow is not a force for good. Russia is a regime based upon lies, and Buchanan has fallen for those lies. How is this possible? Buchanan belongs to the conservatives, a group that has fragmented and degenerated over the years. William F. Buckley may have been the representative figure for this fragmenting and degenerating tendency. It was Buckley who initiated a split along the lines of conservatives versus conservative anti-Semites, where Buchanan (among others) figured as an anti-Semite in Buckley’s reckoning. Perhaps Buckley detected Buchanan’s ambivalence with regard to Hitlerism; for Buchanan later expressed the view that America provoked Japan prior to Pearl Harbor, and that the war against Hitler was tragic and futile. This same analysis is now applied, by Buchanan, to Putin and Russia. Buchanan believes the West is pushing Russia toward World War III. He does not see Russia’s side of the game at all.  Russia is defending Christendom, he says. Russia is defending all those values that America has left behind, like marriage and the sanctity of family. Buchanan forgets that Putin himself is recently divorced, that Russia was the first country in history to allow abortion under all circumstances, having the highest number of abortions per female of child-bearing age as of 2010. Buchanan also forgets that Russia is a major center of international organized crime, prostitution and drug trafficking. As reported by CNN, child porn is legal in Russia, which has served as a haven for pedophiles. Moscow is not some shining City of God, as Buchanan implies. It is the metropolis of deception. Moscow supports Communist revolutionaries in Africa and Latin America to this very day. 

Like a Cold War Leftist, Buchanan has no strategic foresight, no sense of how the KGB actually operates, how “active measures” work, or how deeply the West has been penetrated by Russian agent networks. He does not know that the Cold War never ended, and that many defectors have publicly said as much. He has somehow forgotten that Russia is the only country that can destroy the United States in less than an hour. Why has it retained this capability, and why has it allied itself with Red China? He does not think to question. In believing the reality of Soviet collapse, he has confused presentation with fact, appearance with essence. A name is not a thing, but a tag. Removing the Soviet tag was not a collapse. It was a switch. One name was put in place of another, but the underlying reality remained the same. How did he miss this? Here, in terms of Buchanan’s analysis, we are confronted with a surprisingly materialistic understanding of the world. As Buchanan envisions it, there is no ghost in the machine -- no teleology or ideology in the Great Beast. He does not consider the soul of the thing, but concentrates his attention on the outward appearances. For him, discernment has become impossible because he doesn’t know how to detect the telltales of spirit. It is all the madness of Newtonian clockwork with Buchanan, whose Christian faith has not interpenetrated his secular intellect. The inward reality of Communism, the religious meaning of the thing, was always beyond his reckoning. For him the Communist tag was all – a tag without an underlying reality. Therefore, when the tag was removed he was unable to track the further machinations of the thing itself. For Buchanan, there was never a Communist heart or soul to consider. Communism, as a belief system, was mere epiphenomena. Real Communism was an outward appearance, with no inward significance. Having no spiritual discernment he could not visualize the unrepentant heart of the Soviet elite. He could not and cannot see that Moscow’s lies have evolved in order to swallow the Right as well as the Left. He cannot see that evil is always of the inward parts and not a function of outward expressions. Therefore, Buchanan has been sucked in by Putin’s rhetoric. He has fallen for new lies which have replaced the old ones.

As for our internal corruption, does anyone remember that the homosexual and radical feminist movements were led by Communists who were allied with Moscow? But no, it is impossible that anyone intended the sexual revolution. It is impossible that some enemy was attempting to weaken our morals for some strategic purpose. Thanks to Freud we have come to believe in the unconscious to such an extent we have ceased believing in conscious intentions altogether – especially Communist or Russian intentions. Although numerous defectors have attempted to warn us of Moscow’s long-range design, and recent defectors continue to warn us, we are unready to believe that we have such an enemy; that is to say, an enemy with a long-range plan of murderous intent. An actual long-range plan would signify political continuity. Such continuity is unimaginable to people who haven't read history. Again, I say, Buchanan doesn't realize there is a soul in the Russian machine. And souls are possessed of intentionality. Therefore, if we were paying attention to the signals which actions represent, we would see that Lenin remains unburied. We would see that Russia and China were arming when America was shifting to a "war against terror." We would see that Russia is still supporting Communist regimes and insurgencies in Africa and Latin America. A purely nationalist Russia would have had no reason to do any if these things. Only if the Soviet core had remained beneath a "change of signposts" could the observed behaviors be explained. Buchanan has forgotten that the Soviet Strategic Rocket Forces remain in place, only with "Russian Federation" affixed in place of Soviet Union. The exchange of one tag for another was superficial; the Communists had performed this trick before, under Lenin’s New Economic Policy, in the 1920s. Now history repeats itself. We have documents from Soviet archives (in the hands of Vladimir Bukovsky) showing that the "collapse" of Communism was part of a plan (exactly as KGB Major Anatoliy Golitsyn had said). We have testimony from other former KGB officers like Victor Kalashnikov and Konstantin Preobrazhensky and Sergei Tretyakov, who have warned of continued Russian subversion. Preobrazhensky not only has warned that conservative religion has become a key vehicle for Russian subversion, but he also insists that Russia’s capitalist "oligarchs" were KGB stooges who were simply elevated to billionaire status by State Security. Furthermore, whatever extent the fake collapse went awry, we learn that the hidden Communist core has continued to adhere to their old objectives. That is absolutely certain from what we see today. The Russian policy has been a Soviet policy from day one. Subversion and revolution, war preparations and anti-American propaganda have continued even while Putin was shaking George Bush's hand and trying to be helpful after 9/11. Even George W. Bush no longer believes in Putin's sincerity or honesty, as evidenced in Bush's memoirs where he recounts his own naïveté in dealing with the Russian dictator. But as someone once said, “A sucker is born every minute.” Today Patrick Buchanan is the sucker. I only hope he will awaken to the truth in time to lend a hand. 


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