You Can Trust the Communists (to be Communists)
Chapter 7 - Consolidation of Power
Consolidation of Power - The Dictatorship of the Proletariat
When once the Communists have come to power, whether it be in Russia, China, Czechoslovakia, or America, the next step is to establish the dictatorship of the proletariat. Lenin defined this as "the rule-unrestricted by law and based on force-of the proletariat over the bourgeoisie, a rule enjoying the sympathy and support of the laboring and exploited masses." (1) This rule is theoretically exercised by the proletariat, or, in other words, by the toiling masses of the people. But since the Communist Party considers itself the executive of the proletariat, this rule is exercised in practice by the Communist Party. The definition of the dictatorship of the proletariat, then, is "the rule, based on force and unrestricted by law, of the Communist Party over everybody else." Since this rule is based on force, the first act of Communist power is invariably to disarm the people as was done in China. Since this rule is based on force, and since force inevitably generates revolt, a second precaution taken by the Communists is to destroy the potential leadership of a counter revolution before such a revolution can occur. Any individual with qualities of leadership who is not subject to Communist discipline is arrested and executed. Whether he is pro-Communist or anti-Communist is immaterial. If he has qualities of leadership which may be used when the people awaken and desire to end Communist rule, he is a danger and must be destroyed.
The dictatorship of the proletariat is accompanied by a monopoly of the means of communication by the Communist Party. Every medium of mass communication is taken over. Every newspaper is a Communist newspaper. Every radio station,every television channel, every publishing house, every book, every magazine, every school class is completely controlled by the Communist Party.
Under the dictatorship of the proletariat, an economic monopoly is gradually established whereby the Communist Party becomes the sole employer. A man then has but one choice-he works for the Communist Party where he is told to work, or he starves to death. He may not leave his job and go to another, for there is only one employer-the Communist Party.
Yet another feature of the dictatorship of the proletariat is the establishment of a vast, internal espionage network. This espionage system is patterned on the human body. The body is made up of billions of cells. The body preserves itself against the external forces which threaten it by a vast grouping of espionage agents. Certain cells become informers. Physiologically, they are called sensory receptors and are to be found in the skin, muscles and various organs. These sensory receptors perceive heat, cold, pain, and contact with other objects. In other words, they collect information from their environment and send it to the brain. The brain assembles this information and sends orders down another nerve pathway to the executive authority, the muscles, whereupon muscular reaction is taken in relation to the information collected by those sensory nerve cells in the environment. The simple act of blinking which closes the eyelids to protect the sensitive eye against an advancing foreign body is a good example of such a mechanism.
The Communists see the State, not as a mass of individuals, but as an organic unity, a higher form of being. Just as the body has sensory receptors, so throughout the State there are informers who collect information in their environment and send it back to the central nervous system-the secret police. Children are set to spy on their parents, wives on their husbands, employees on employers, pastors on their congregations, parishioners on their pastors. Every group, large or small, would have in its midst a number of informers. None of these informers would know who the others were. In one informed and the others did not, those failing to report would automatically be discovered. Thus a stream of information from every segment of the community flows back to the central authority.
With such a system in existence, it is inevitable that a revolt that has any organization whatsoever will be discovered at birth and strangled in infancy.
In the days of the Czar, a thousand men armed with sticks and stones were quite a formidable force. If revolution broke out somewhere in Siberia, it took three months for the news to reach Moscow and six months for troops to get there and quell the uprising. With modern methods of communication, however, the news is back in seconds, and an air force detachment is there in minutes to deal with the trouble. The people are helpless against machine guns and bombs. The question is frequently asked: "Is it likely that the people of Russia will revolt?" Of course they will. They have already revolted a thousand times! But the revolts are spasmodic and unorganized, and they are wiped out almost casually. Ten miles away it is not even known that the revolt has taken place because of the power of the Communist dictatorship.
The steps by which the dictatorship of the proletariat was established in China show the situation very clearly. The Communists came to power in China behind the seductive promises of land ownership and debt abolition. Immediately after seizing power, they kept these promises. The landlords were wiped out and their land was divided and given to the peasants whose debts were simultaneously canceled. For a brief period happiness flooded the land. The peasants set to work to till the land which was now theirs.
Meanwhile, the Communists consolidated their power in anticipation of the day when they could take away the land from the peasants. They knew that when they did this, resistance would develop, and that such resistance would require leadership. They surveyed the community to discover those with potentials of leadership. If these people were not subject to Communist discipline, they were arrested on some pretext or another and destroyed.
The Communists set about to disarm the people completely. Great rewards were given to those who could tell where weapons were hidden, and the rush to deliver concealed weapons began. They introduced a system of universal espionage in which everyone spied on everyone else. This had special reference to the children who were encouraged to spy and report on their own parents.
They stopped freedom of movement and introduced internal passports. No one could travel from village to village without official permission. Upon arriving at the village, the visitor was not free to go and stay with friends, but had to stay at an inn set aside by the Communists and closely scrutinized by them. They stopped freedom of association. No group could gather except under official Communist sponsorship and control.
Every individual was compelled to write or give a life confession detailing all the crimes committed throughout his entire life and naming all other persons implicated in these crimes. This provided the Communist government with a vast hoard of information to be used against any individual as they desired.
A major assault was made on the child mind. They were filled with pride. Their affections were turned from their parents towards the State. They were given guns and appointed sentries with orders to challenge and, if necessary, to shoot adults. The school children would be marched out and given the task of searching all shops in an area for weapons and currency, and of accosting and searching all adults in the area.
Finally there came the day of the mass trials and executions. A band would march through the streets of the city. Behind the band a group of prisoners would march with hands bound behind their backs. Into the bonds of each prisoner a stick would be stuck with a placard on top telling the crimes of which he was allegedly guilty. Behind the prisoners the school children would march to observe the execution. Then came the general populace. Mothers were compelled to take their babies in arms to observe the hideous spectacle. Eye witness reports abound concerning these things. Multitudes of missionaries of impeccable character testify that these things really happened.
Harvest day arrived and the peasants who had been so thrilled to become owners of their land were now forbidden to thresh their own grain except in the presence of an armed soldier. When the harvest was reaped, the government took far more than the landlords had ever taken.
At this point hatred of Communism was the dominant emotion amongst the people, but they were so leaderless, so weaponless, so immobilized, so disassociated, so spied upon and so cowed that organized revolt appeared unattainable. The Communists had imposed their total tyranny.
The period of peasant land ownership was brief indeed. Soon came the period of collective farms and then the great communes, which have attacked the very fabric of the Chinese nation, the Chinese family and the character of the Chinese people. No Chinese individual now owns one acre of ground. He has been betrayed to a new serfdom more terrible than that of the past, a serfdom in which he is the helpless slave of the gargantuan Communist State.
The dictatorship becomes ever more intense. The powers in the hands of the top few become greater and greater until finally there emerges the man of all power, the Joseph Stalin, who sits in the seat of the mighty while millions of slaves rush to and fro to do his bidding. Such is the reign of brutality, violence and tyranny which inevitably comes behind the beautiful promise with which Communism deceives its way to power. Only knowledge can enable us to stand against the intermediate seductive phase of limitless deception practised by those whom J. Edgar Hoover defines as "Master of Deceit."
- Quoted by Joseph Stalin, Problems of Leninism (Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1953), p. 51.