I would have thought that among the strongest truisms in our North American culture, the denigration of “communism” has to be absolutely unquestionable. The Conservatives are tagging along; they are planning a multi-million dollar monument to the “victims of Communism” in Ottawa.
Basic beliefs, such as ours in the evils of communism, change only slowly, but rarely do they change through dramatic or violent action. Heavy-handedness seems counter-productive; it strengthens the
victim in the long run – witness the Middle East /Africa.
As for this near-primal belief, that communism is both evil and a failure -- there still seems to be a war of words underway or a war within our culture (e.g., monuments). Everywhere, almost, there are “attacks on communism”. I don’t mean only Mr Harper and the Sun newspapers or the American Know-Nothings —we expect this from them. They all claim to feel under attack, and so go on the counter-offensive. In the US, there are a lot of sociological forces pushing against racism and class exploitation – consequently there are now warriors defending these social ills in disguised ways, “anti-communist” ways.
Communism? Who is pushing communism -- in Canada or the US? Whose pro-Red views are being opposed?
The strongest “communist” country in the world, China, rarely talks about communism at international meetings or events. China sends us everything (even wood flooring and salmon), except threats of “communism”. Cuba? Vietnam? Very funny. The unions? Ha, ha!
Yes, there used to be sympathizers and fellow-travellers promoting communism, just as there are now sleeper cells and lone-wolf terrorists promoting religious fundamentalisms. But none of these are sources of threats; they, at best, might deliver on a threat.
So who is threatening us with communism?
If there’s no threat and yet there’s a steady offensive against this non-threat... what the heck is going on?
Certainly, manipulation of voters is one reason. But why do even quality media like The Economist still rail against “communism”. They cannot review a show of Diego Rivera without a third of the review harping on Rivera’s “communism”. Followed by stories on the oppression and colourlessness of communist regimes, the perfidy of communist leaders, and so on (issue of March 21, 2015). This isn’t Fox News, or talk-radio. The messaging we are getting is surprisingly strong, wide and continual – but why against a non-threat?
What’s going on?
One conclusion is to suspect that the threat actually is real – someone, somewhere knows something. Could it be that “communism” of one form or another is not evil, nor a failure?
That’s what violence does: it bolsters its victim. Even intellectual violence like media and cultural campaigns. They secretly suggest there’s something we’re overlooking.
Does the persuasiveness of the campaign against “communism” in the West demonstrates in some way that “communism” has something going for it, after all? And we regular working people just haven’t noticed it, yet?