Godless Commies

Open  Blogger over at Ace’s wrote the other day that:

Mark Levin recently focused on the American Left’s love of communism, and how the media props it up. He began with an article from City Journal by Harry Stein, The Red Decade, Redux: 

It may be that the best book that will ever be written about today’s progressive mind-set was published in 1941. That in The Red Decade author Eugene Lyons was, in fact, describing the Communist-dominated American Left of the Depression-wracked 1930s and 1940s makes his observations even more meaningful, for it is sobering to be confronted with how little has been gained by hard experience. . .

Do read that link, yes, it is long, but I learned much from it, I suspect you will as well.

R.S. McCain picks up the story yesterday, as well.

Ed Driscoll last week called attention to an essay by Harry Stein about the continuing relevance of Eugene Lyons’s 1941 book The Red Decadebecause of its eerie parallels to the Stalinist tendencies of the 21st-century Left. A complete and cynical dishonesty was one of the hallmarks of Stalin-era Communism, as the Soviet regime engaged in grossly false propaganda to defend its power and conceal its bloody crimes.

One of the reasons younger people — and by “younger,” I mean, under 40— are so vulnerable to leftist “progressive” propaganda is because they aren’t old enough to remember the Cold War. Today’s 35-year-old was in kindergarten when the Berlin Wall fell, and thus has no personal memory of what it was like to live during the decades when we were faced with the possibility of annihilation by Soviet aggression. The permanent sense of terror inspired by the menace of Communism, a godless creed of murderous hatred, was so deeply embedded into American culture during my youth that my children (the oldest of which was born some six months before the fall of the Berlin Wall) can scarcely understand what it was like. When my oldest was a teenager, I was driving her and her friend to a Christian music festival and, to pass the time, began talking about politics and history. I tried to explain to them how, growing up in a Baptist church in Georgia, I was horrified by stories of how Christians were persecuted in the Soviet Union, in Red China and wherever else Communist regimes came to power. The worldview of Communism — “historical materialism,” or “dialectical materialism” — was based explicitly in atheism, and Communists everywhere were determined to destroy Christianity. Imagine what it would be like to live in a dictatorship where you could go to prison for possessing a Bible!

He goes on from there. and it, like Open Blogger’s, and Ed Driscoll’s, is very good and adds something to the story, to the point that there is little for me to say.

But there is this, McCain makes the point that for those of us who grew up during the cold war, the fear of annihilation was never far away. When from the time you’re six years old and practicing ‘Duck and Cover’ more often than fire drills and tornado warnings, it goes very deep in you. You don’t forget, ever.

Sure you laugh and you smile, and you live a pretty normal life, but always in the back of your mind is the fact that you and your country itself are 30 minutes from destruction. You think of it as you go into the city and see the anti-aircraft missiles around Chicago, you think of it sometimes when you see contrails overhead. You really think of it when you happen to see a wing of B-52s taking off at 15-second intervals. “Probably only a drill,” you think and carry on. Same thing as when you watch another B-52 come over your worksite at about 500 ft at full speed. You think about it as your friends join the navy and a few end up on boomers, or when you drive through Great Falls and see the security police in their armored cars patrolling the Minutemen sites.

It’s a way of life, and once learned never forgotten. We too are veterans of the home front, in a sense. Some of us remember when most of the Air Force and a few Army divisions were prepared to take out Cuba.

But, hey, all that ended in 1990, even history did or so said Fukuyama. Yeah, well, play stupid games and win stupid prizes. History goes on, until either we or God, end it. And bad ideas do too, and so, much ink has been spilled over the weekend on a book written in the 1930s that is the best description going of America in 2019. Funny how that works!

How bad is it? Well, I read last week that the CPUSA is proposing a merger with the Democrat Party since they have the same goals.

If you’re interested, here is another link for the book, a different edition and somewhat cheaper.

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28 Responses to Godless Commies

  1. Scoop says:

    This brings to mind the irony of the situation. We have gone from a period in our history where Christianity and the Western Secular World fought the ideas of Socialism, Marxism and Communism where today Socialism, Marxism and Communism fight against Christianity. And as rare as it was for someone in my youth to admit to being a Socialist, Marxist or Communist, we find that Christians are now hiding their faith and that it is rare to find a Christian that professes such faith not to be maligned and badgered by the press, politicians, educators and atheists of all walks of life. The orderliness of thought has been turned on its head and the inmates are now in charge of the asylum. Hollywood is a great reflection of how far we have fallen . . . or is it a matter of Stockholm Syndrome?

    Liked by 2 people

    • NEO says:

      Some of each, I warrant. Lyons book as these gentlemen tell it, I haven’t read it, says Hollywood, and the book trade, and such was very similar in the 30s. No answer from me, I see it much as you do. ButI think this is good for directing our thinking.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Scoop says:

        Yes, not having lived through the great depression of the 30’s is a disadvantage in understanding the beginnings of such things. When people are stripped of their livelihoods due to things like the dust bowl disaster and the stock market crash leads people to grasp at something they otherwise would never have even considered previously. One can almost forgive their grasping at straws so to speak.

        We should have no such illusions today, however, since we have the outcomes of these other ideologies as part of our living memory. The savagery, loss of basic freedoms and the inevitable enslavement and shared poverty that never ends well ought to let us know that if you are suffering (easily imagined today in this age of victimhood and blame) your choices are limited. Why would you choose an ideology that leaves you worse off that you are at present? Total insanity.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Nicholas says:

          Christianity is trapped by its own ethics in these matters, which are fundamentally spiritual. It would be wrong of us to use force to suppress everyone who held these beliefs, so they grow in number and vote for people who pass laws that hinder Christians. But suppose for the sake of argument that we were permitted to drive away the communists and rule over society ourselves – this would not prevent a new generation from developing the rot (even if the Christians ruled well) and then the problem would repeat itself. Indeed, the Bible depicts people who fall for Satan’s schemes when he is released from the Abyss, despite having enjoyed 1000 years of Christ’s beneficent rule.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Scoop says:

          I think the problems are almost automatically reflexive when individuals or societies are put under distress. There is a tendency for people to either luxuriate in immoral pleasures (drugs, alcohol, sex, political activism leading to violence against one’s perceived enemies etc.) or to at least seek momentary relief. Then comes the unraveling of the moral walls of a society; the breeching of taboos in natural law as well.

          Christianity was at least in Western Society teaching that we were to be in the world but not of the world. Today Christianity wants its cake and to eat it too by being in the world and of the world whilst remaining in the Christian camp. Have we, as a whole become CNR’s (Christians in Name Only)?

          Liked by 2 people

        • Nicholas says:

          There is a lot of truth in that. It is common for people to say that the Nazis would not have received as much support in Germany, were it not for the economic conditions and confusion created by Weimar culture and the treatment of Germany by the victors of WWI. It is unfortunate that much of society today languishes in the grip of a chain of liberal indoctrination via schools, universities, and the MSM, of which the 60s may be called a root (or even the root). Thus, when times get bad, the background corruption receives fertile soil in which to spread. These institutions were not purged, and now people must be “redpilled” in order to return to normality. A false gospel of compromise, created by the admixture of socialism and Christianity has poisoned both Christian and Gentile.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Scoop says:

          It has indeed.

          And as a young man of the 60’s there was an undercurrent in America which sprung out almost as a rebellion against the angst of the Cold War but especially against the drafting of kids into what was considered a fool’s war in Vietnam. So then the music became reflexive as did the drugs and promiscuity and the social and political activism which has spread . . . though interestingly enough, most of the ‘hippies’ came back to values they were raised with once they got married and found careers. Sadly their children were already infected and this infestation has now sent its spores around the globe infecting both hemispheres.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Nicholas says:

          This insistence on compromise of which so many speak is already hurting Christianity and will continue to do so. Christianity is radical, not compromising.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Scoop says:

          It should be . . . as the world is considered the enemy of the faith. As Catholics like to put our enemies in order: the world, the flesh and the devil.

          I often reflect on what happened to us and I see it as largely a U.S. led existentialist movement that began with our loss of trust in the status quo: with the assassination of Kennedy being a watershed moment. Before that occurred it was the “beat” generation of those in the 50’s who were pushing the boundaries in art, music and dabbling in the occult and eastern religions. By the mid-60’s we had morphed into the beginnings of what we see today . . . a lack of trust in nearly everyone and every institution. We are consuming ourselves.

          The Catholic Church did Christianity no favors with their Vatican II Council (61-65) which tried to make friends with the world (similar to vision seen in Isaiah 11:6): and is now perpetuating the errors of the 60’s into our own day. And this too shall pass.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Nicholas says:

          In the West, as the Christian veneer of our civilisation is chipped away, and the civilisation itself decays, faithful Christians are realising just how alone we are: like Israel, of which we are a part, we are a “peculiar people” (I forget which thinker / preacher came up with or popularised that term). We are beginning to realise that Church is our community as the bonds between us and the world are strained and severed.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Scoop says:

          James Banyard’s Peculiar People.

          You are more an optimist than I; as I see the ranks shrinking between those who are awake and those who still have their heads under the sand. Our Church communities are are becoming like nations undergoing a civil war: brother against brother, father against son. But eventually you are right; the right shall win out and the infiltrators and worldly will be driven out like the tax collectors from our midst.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Nicholas says:

          The world as a whole needs the iron rod of Christ’s government. While the Church makes progress in pockets around the world, we will continue to have problems as corrupt governments rule. The interconnectedness of the nations these days makes it very hard for us to hive ourselves off. I do not hold out hope for the governmental level of most nations: I expect there to be great punishment meted out to the Gentiles when Christ returns, and I expect those Christians who are still alive (barring perhaps America and Europe) to be living in wilderness hideouts etc.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Scoop says:

          The speculation good go in a number of directions. It may be far worse than you imagine because of the global interconnectedness. The Church’s too may be divided and subdivided or driven to near extinction. That we will eventually prevail (as is guaranteed by Scripture) still will come at a price not much different than the price of being a first century Christian; which usually ended up in martyrdom.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Scoop says:

          When you get down to it: religiously and politically we have lost our reverence for the gift of our inheritance: not much different than Esau selling his inheritance for a bowl of pottage.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Nicholas says:

          Both as Gentile nations and as the Church: tradition – we could learn a thing or two from the Jews.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Scoop says:

          Indeed we could. Even the secular Jews mostly hold to their timeless traditions . . . including, of course, their language of worship reserved for God. The Eastern Churches do the same and the Western Churches (now including Catholicism) has abandoned our heritage and special way to both unite us in our worship. It used to be a way to escape the confusion of tongues after Babel. Now we willingly have built a new tower of Babel; not to God but to man and his needs.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Nicholas says:

          I have mixed feelings about that particular issue. In the Second Temple period, synagogue services had an interpreter to translate the Hebrew of the Bible into the local Aramaic. I am not sure if something similar was done for the liturgy in the Temple: I suspect not, given that the Psalms are songs, not prose.

          There are various considerations with the vernacular vs Hebrew/Greek/Latin issue. Since the liturgy itself is essentially a re-ordering of Scripture, I am less concerned about freezing it at a moment in time, but I would not like to be stuck, for example, with particular sermons from various Late Antique authors, some of whose methods of interpretation are rather suspect.

          Timing is one of the issues that bothers me. If you have a Latin service, then much will need to be explained outside of it, which indeed is done at catechism classes for example. But that does not work well for people who only turn up on Sundays and not at mid-week classes. One could argue that for the sake of these people, it might be better to provide a Sunday vernacular service they can attend, while leaving the old Mass for the others. This mistake of the post-VII mob was in taking the Latin Mass away, rather than leaving for anyone to avail himself of as of right.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Scoop says:

          The Latin was begun as children in Catechism Classes before they were adults and Confirmed. Servers especially were taught the Church Latin they needed to serve Mass. In addition the Church informed education in the secular world. Until VII, it was common to have compulsory Latin class in Junior High School and advanced courses in High School. That has all but disappeared in our era.

          For the people not well educated, there were missals in every conceivable language with Latin on one page and the vernacular on the facing page. Sermons/homilies were always in the country’s vernacular. But remember that the height of the Mass is the Representation of the Sacrifice of our Lord and the forgiveness of sins. In that way the Catholic worship was a fusion between the Synagogue and the Temple Sacrifice. In Protestant Churches the services were a reflection (generally) of simply the Synogogue.

          If Jesus (the Truth) is the same today, yesterday for ever, then it depends on how preaching is done. It seems to me that where a Catholic expects teachings to be reaffirmed in the homily and Bible Studies would be separate from Mass . . . perhaps on some evening during the week. And even then, the Bible is available in the vernacular as our sermons and Bible studies and commentaries as well.

          So I see no problem in a stagnation of Biblical studies unless one chooses to simply keep their eyes on the timeless objective truths of the faith. Depends on what you are seeking in your faith: usually among Catholics, I would say I am more interested in the timeless Truths of the Faith (sufficient to order one’s life and by accepting these Truths) to find redemption for your soul by trying to obey these teachings and therefore, trying to advance in one’s imitation of Christ.

          Translations, of course, always leads to an added layer of possible errors creeping into our beliefs as well.

          How do you handle, in Protestant parishes, in this new era, those people whose vernacular is not your own? Do you say sermons in every language under the sun or is up to the visitor from another language to learn your language? For that is becoming a huge problem in the U.S. Catholic Church at this moment. And wouldn’t you know that this problem comes when we have fewer priests per laymen than we’ve seen in modern times.

          I would like to be able to go to Mass with all these visitors from other countries and show that solidarity of faith rather than have to try to find somebody who can give them a Mass in their own vernacular. I also would like to be able to walk into any Church in the world and know what is happening during Mass (save for the homily . . . of secondary importance) than to simply be oblivious to what is going on except on a macro sense.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Nicholas says:

          Of course, there are Eastern Rite Catholics – I assume that they never used Latin; I’m not sure what their liturgical status is post-VII.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Scoop says:

          Correct. Their liturgy has been and remains Greek. Their status depends on the group. Some are in full communion and others are not. They were not affected by the liturgical changes from Vatican II . . . although there are signs that Bergoglio may want to change that. Such a change will jeopardize that communion with the Pope and the vatican.

          Liked by 2 people

        • NEO says:

          And now they try to spin Cardinal Newman into a liberal. 🤨

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Hard times create strong men,
          Strong men create good times,
          Good times create weak men,
          Weak men create hard times.

          Pretty much the cycle of life.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Nicholas says:

          Very true that.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. the unit says:

    I just read that Stalin had studied for the priesthood (Wiki). Don’t know what denomination or faith. Read years ago the Fidel Castro did too.
    Y’all know we gonna be declared a “wrecker”.[11] one day. (See Stalin on Wiki)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wrecking_(Soviet_Union)

    Liked by 2 people

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