Communism- How did it happen?
By the 80's new things started to happen with the arrival of President Ronald Reagan. As Churchill might have said, "This is either the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning", for it marked the arrival of a political leader, trained in economics and political science, who understood that to win the cold war was better than to perpetuate it with a policy of M.A.D. (mutually assured destruction) if we failed to maintain 'detente', as was euphemistically stated by eloquent state department types.
The story is more than interesting...
By the 80's new things started to happen with the arrival of President Ronald Reagan.
History shows that the years of President Ronald Reagan achieved the kind of turn around that William Pawley would have understood and encouraged. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 was partially a direct result of our rebuilding the military and threatening the ‘Star Wars’ concepts to contain the idea of a Soviet preemptive strike. The broader economic failure forced Gorbachev to seek ways to restructure the economy (Perestroika). He wanted to think that he could reform the communist system and to encourage new ideas. He allowed ‘Glasnost’ to permit open discussion of ways to make it happen. He realized too late that he had opened ‘Pandora’s box’ and the flood of criticism made everyone discover the magnitude of the big lie! Yeltsin figured it out. Gorby is still not wanting to admit that perfect communism can’t happen! Man can’t surrender his freedom and personal responsibility and ownership of property and be a ‘slave’ of the Godless state and still expect to live a moral and comfortable life. Or prepare for a hereafter.
The Soviet collapse in 1991 allowed the Persian Gulf War to happen, with Russian approval of the allied response, rather than a jump to support Saddam- something the Russians could not do any longer- even if they had wanted to do so. Their Afghanistan adventure showed all of Russia, as well as the rest of the world, that the Russian army could not beat anyone! President George Bush took direct action upon the Iraqi attack on tiny, defenseless, Kuwait.
His response, thanks to his great accumulation of global friends to help, fit the classic Pawley approach. But, it failed to win the main war, when it allowed Saddam Hussein to survive in power in Iraq. But it did show signs of having managed to contain both Iraq and Iran in a way that has not allowed either to do great global mischief since. Each is the mortal enemy of the other and they may yet come back to war again as they did for ten years, while the U.N. inspectors continue to monitor and limit Saddam’s efforts to ignore the agreements that let the cease fire happen. Kuwait is free and a global lesson was learned. Continued vigilance and U.N. support are necessary if renewal of tragic events is to be avoided in this part of the world.
It is still unfortunate that the Iraqis and Iranians (as well as all others that benefit from the oil cartel) sit on so much of the world’s oil and are able to sell it for prices far in excess of cost. We have come to accept that tyranny as one for which we can pay. William Pawley would be more inclined, I believe, to have wanted the U.N. forces to have captured all of Iraq and taken Iran while the forces were in the area to do it. How he would have justified it in the name of democracy, I don’t know; how he would have administered justice in a pair of Muslim states that are divided in their own thinking, I don’t know either; and this represents the kind of question that his detractors would pose and shrink from the decision and hope that the problem would ‘go-away’.
The current U.S. administration is not beset with the same set of global problems as have been so common for these past fifty years. We are afforded the seemingly comfortable luxury of having a president ,who lives under a cloud of suspicion, in a land of people who seem not to care- they are eating well, the economy is up. The president, for no apparent reason, gets credit for creating jobs and sounding like he is the champion of the common man.
Introduction of an improved religion into the global socio-economic-political equation..
The ‘bottom line’ of all of this relates well to my father’s writing, which is far more philosophical. In “You Can’t Escape God” or “God and Man in a Modern World”. He builds a model of the ideal world based upon the same sense of individual responsibility that Pawley would endorse. However, his arguments are based upon a a careful study of all religions and political philosophies and they give a set of hints as to how we can scientifically see why and how God has played a hand in this evolution of mankind. If all could understand and accept God’s direction to encourage individualism as the essential way to prepare for immortality, the world could be a lot more peaceful. To do so, all religions will have to come to understand a new set of Revelations that transcend the established ways which make us so divisive.
It is my conviction that both books deserve to be more widely published. Pawley’s because he documents the perfidy of the leaders of U.S. and other political systems; my father’s because he may be able to help some people reach an understanding of God partly through science rather than via simple faith. Both can help us learn to avoid the type of future mistakes that Pawley documents, from studies of those of the past.
It is painful to realize that a man of such great stature as Pawley has been ignored by history such a long time. His words may be valuable to historians, but they may still be crucial to those who confront the next global tyrants who encourage us to surrender our freedoms-with us supplying the resources needed to make it happen. We really don’t need to keep on repeating our mistakes, and that is Pawley’s main point.
This summary brings the Pawley story up to date and reflects the history since his writing and his life ended. I hope that readers will appreciate what a giant was William D. Pawley- a true patriot. While it is always true that 'hindsight is 20-20', American courage has never tried to lead us in any evil way when we truly understand the nature of the enemies of peace and freedom.
Finding the useful conclusion to this study is not self evident. One could note that the communist system collapsed of its own dead weight and that it will not happen again. Unfortunately history shows that we never learn! The Jewish people regard themselves as God's "chosen people" although one wonders what they were chosen to represent? They have fallen into slavery several times since they were originally anointed in the time of Abraham. Even today they live either as citizens of Israel where they fight each other as well as their neighbors; or they live elsewhere in the Diaspora, sometimes at peace with their neighbors and other times under clouds of suspicion of suspected tendencies viewed with fear or anger by those who wonder if the area can tolerate such diversity.
The Russian people have watched most of the Soviet empire disappear. The disparate languages, nationalities and peoples are still struggling for freedom from the Russians in such places as Chetnya and Dagistan as well as areas closer to Japan than to Moscow. The Russian people, victims of seventy years of slavery to the state were raised without God in their lives but with bureaucrats to tell them what to do and when. They did not like that slavery, but they now wallow in a nation torn by criminals into disparate groups of greater or lesser advantage. The rest of the world either helps or distrusts the leaders of the day and nobody knows what will happen when the current leadership dies or is replaced.
Yeltsin may have been willing and even able at one time in his life to lead and to organize a new Russia. Failing health and a ragged economy give him no chance of success. We wonder if the inability to make a viable economy out of the mess in Russia will drive the people back to another system- the one they escaped in 1991!
Without a God that pervades the minds of the people in ways that helps them transcend the limits of humanism, the world is destined to cycle itself back into slavery.
Modern Christianity, if it exists, and if it can spread, can give the world a better chance for a working democracy that avoids the automatic results of a choice for any system of political leadership that allows such leaders to control the lives of the individual in the name of the state. In America we think we are free of communism, or socialism, yet we clamor for the state to always find a way to provide more economic benefits for all, but especially the poor. In the name of humanism, we insist that no child should go hungry, be cold, or allowed to be sick without wonderful medical care. But, we will not do much to limit the ability of the poor to multiply! That is one of their civil rights!
The sense of individual responsibility for our well-being has been replaced by an intrusive state that is needed to care for us and to save us from ourselves! This cancer grows and feeds upon itself. A parallel demand from the intellectual left is that we must provide education in a sterile environment that is free of any possible suggestion that the state may pay allegiance to God. This doctrine of separation of Church and State is an imperative goal of all communists or socialists because they think that they know that only man can lead- not God.
Well, at one time these intellectuals tried to tell us that God was dead! Well, God is not dead, but we suffer a lot from a failure to want to learn why God is not dead. Even those of us that regularly attend the church of our choice in any of the many Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, or Islamic faiths fail to come to grips with the hard questions that keep the majority of people away from the institutional church. We even work hard to find ways to promote the humanistic parts of life in the church- ranging from fellowship to programs of outreach; but, ignore the chance to come to grips with the theological questions that keep the majority both within and without the church from understanding how God wants us to live in preparation for an eternity with Him.
The dilemma is caused by the fact that we know so little about the big questions in life and the masses will not accept a simple statement that with God, "all things are possible". There are too many people that need a better answer in order to believe and to see a secular world driven by forces and ideas that are consistent with the will of God.
It has been possible here to enumerate the experiences of people in history that tried to make communism work and came to see why it must fail. We have examined the work of several like William D. Pawley, that knew how to recognize the problem and how to resist its many 'siren-songs' that lead to such suffering as we let the dictators thrive and kill millions and put many more into slavery. Where do we find the way to convince all of the world that a better way exists?
The role of art and music in developing cultural ways that fit into acceptable philosophical and religious morals.
While we have examined the writings of several who have been part of the ideological concepts of socialism or communism as evidences of how such leaders as Djilas and Horowitz came to realize that the concepts that they so fervently espoused can not work, we have not looked at the contributions to the problem that came from the Godless or atheistic approach that came to us via the world of art and music. It has been a study by John W.Whitehead, of the Rutherford Institute, that produced a video series entitled "Grasping for the Wind" that eloquently traces a 200 year span of history and its effect upon the art and music generated to reflect the philosophical changes of the period put forth by, for the most part, by the so-called liberal left.
A review of John Whitehead’s 7 part series “Grasping for the Wind” shows very well that the culture of the Western world has evolved in the last 200 years away from the faith of our fathers to acceptance of a quest for personal freedom in terms of the “New Left”. It is a form of life that was accepted in many ways by the former utopians of the communist era. Those who found in Marx the roots of a new order may have conceded that they killed several hundred millions trying to make it work, but that is no reason to abandon the quest for greater power for the freedom of the individual.
Starting with Rembrandt’s “Adoration of the Shepherds” and ancient music of the masters, Whitehead traces the evolution to our present extreme. We have witnessed the trial and apparent collapse of the Marxist experiments in many countries, most notably Russia, and we have seen the rise of the “new left” bring us, in the name of individual freedom, enormous excesses. The waste and wonton behavior of this period began with the French Revolution and is now found in the radically different approach to all sorts of life styles.
Packaged in the age of Civil Liberties, all such ideas as the Gay and Lesbian causes, black separatism, multi-culturalism fit into the mosaic of MTV for art and music combined into a mindless background of ‘noise’ for the eyes and ears to replace the so-called art that graces the Guggenheim and other prestigious museums or the output of the recording industry. Political correctness has followed in an effort to keep pace with the demands of every radical group’s narrowly perceived needs.
With the age of the internet, all of this is now going into a new mode- to cost little or nothing to those who want to consume its vast product. Meanwhile, the idealists will still have an avenue for furthering their cause of ‘saving us from ourselves’. They have managed to go a long ways towards building a nation of laws- built by man to replace those given to us by God.
According to Whitehead, an enormous search is now underway by millions who are trying to find something better than anarchy and chaos to replace the lawlessness and meaningless milieu of strange behavior. As a result, TV evangelism, the occult, and even interest in UFOs all relate to the desire to find something better than the bureaucracy that thinks it can take care of us and “save us from ourselves”; and that we want it that way. Religious politics are now the rage as each special interest group invents new ‘litmus’ tests with which to judge all political candidates. As though we do not need to judge what kind of characteristics will give us the right leader- only what kind of test results will avoid giving us the wrong one!
We are searching for a way to success without work, for happy endings as in the movie “Forrest Gump”, so that we too may enjoy self-fulfillment without good genes, good education or hard work. We do not want denial or discipline, just a life that is like a ‘bowl of cherries’.
Some may find that Whitehead has chosen bad examples of modern art and music to make his point and that all of the artists involved would make convincing arguments that they do not represent any political or philosophical agenda. They are merely hard working individualists trying to get attention in a crowded marketplace and that they are forced to use 'shocking' illustrations to get attention. If this is true then we can only blame the stupidity of the market that craves hedonistic pleasure via shock or other craven images and has the money to pay for it.
We could place a lot of explanation on the failure of our educational system and/or our willingness as parents to dedicate time to the raising of the young when we are so busy making money to pay for material wealth. Much has been written about these two problems. Unfortunately, most of it tries to treat the problems of education as if they are simple problems that can be solved by spending money on more buildings, teachers and special education. Few, if any, of these proposed solutions deal with such problems in a way that relates to what people are really needing.
If we can return to the time when our mainstream thinking and daily actions were controlled by a faith in God as a Heavenly being to whom we want to give our allegiance and faith, our children would want to perform actions of learning that would make teaching become again a profession. Today, far too many teachers are high priced baby-sitters, dealing with children that do not want to learn. They want to be left alone in the back of the room with their 'boom boxes' plugged into their ears so that their bodies can vibrate to the rhythms and their minds get in sync with the outlandish lyrics of the 'Siren Songs' of the current age.
Unfortunately, we live in the age of civil liberties and the philosophy of the 60's has left us with a White House where the FBI no longer is present to perform security clearances for those employed by the elected administration. Therefore, we have no reason to expect these people to be disturbed when key leaders sell secrets and perks to those that will pay to keep themselves employed! One advantage is clear with this approach. Nobody in the White House can be blackmailed for any personal perversion or abrasion from anyone's ideas of standard conduct. Such efforts are easy to ignore. Exposure is not a threat to employment. If you doubt this, just ask the president!
What can be done to achieve a restoration of the importance of human beings as they relate to a higher order of intelligence than our own in a world that denies that God ever existed?
Obviously, the old established ‘main-line’ churches of the past are going to die if they expect the fractious splitting of the faithful into multiple bands of disparate theological confusions to appeal to the younger generations. A new idea has to be found that will help these people move from an age of scientific discovery to a moral and theological discovery that provides reasons for faith. There has to be a way to get the attention of young minds as well as old to find the way to enjoying a reasoned sense of faith in a higher Being- a God that knows what we do not. A Deity that has a plan for our souls in the hereafter.
But, how can these would be converts become enamored with moral absolutes when they have been raised in an era of philosophical existentialism where morality is always relative to the subject consideration by the individual thinking about any question? Somehow these people need to be exposed to a new type of media, a new type of education and a new understanding of the meaning and purpose of life.
The ancient middle age notion of giving all wealth to the Church to use to build Cathedrals and gold covered Icons is not appealing, even though those who gave were happy with their ability to die with nothing but the hope that the high priests knew more than they did about the hereafter. This type of faith is not likely to be restored. Why? First, because we have not yet taken our educational lack of success back to the time when only the Monks could read and in spite of our modern communication failures, it is hard to be as ignorant of the world today as it was 200 or 2,000 years ago.
Whitehead offers no answers. Only the weak suggestion that only time will tell. He sees the problem and is obviously anguished over the sense of direction he has observed. But, he offers no insight as to how the trend can change so as to reflect a shift towards a future in which moral values are based upon some absolutes that in turn cause us to know when and what art, music, and political nonsense we need to reject and not support either publicly or privately.
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