Joe Stalin is Alive and Living on Pennslyvania Avenue
By Danny Schechter
Clearing House" -- -- Think of it this way. You are a former cold
warrior who spent your youth studying every aspect of the old
Soviet Union. Even though you hated their policies publicly, you
began privately, first grudgingly and then, with time,
enthusiastically, admire the way they operated.
They were so organized and adept at imposing their agenda with
top -down control. They were, in words used at the time,
'masters of deception" and pursued secretive strategies of
infiltrating ideologues and mole-like operatives -- known as
apparatchiks-into government agencies and military organs.
Their KGB danced circles around our CIA and when their
often-innocent "suspects" were interrogated, they were tortured
with no restraints. The KGB made sure of that. Now the CIA does
our dirty work and the President is crusading to lift any and
all restraints from their extreme electrode units. They killed
their anti-communist "enemies" outright after convicting them in
kangaroo courts. We just detain ours indefinitely while
demonizing them as terrorists beyond the protection of the law.
Their Party imposed "message control" and ran media with carrots
and sticks. Our Republican Guard uses perception management
techniques to achieve the same results.
They marveled at how controlled everything was. And so they
built a machine just like the one they "hated" even as the old
order of the CCCP went down the tubes of history.
They invaded Afghanistan. We invaded Afghanistan. They
wiretapped. We wiretapped. They had secret police. We have
secret police in the form of contractors and companies like
They used propaganda. We made ours better. They had a party
line. We have a party line. Theirs was blatant; ours is less
They were said to want to conquer the world. Now, most of the
world says that about us. In the old days, today's neo-cons
denounced Communist plans for world domination. Now they have
In the same way that cops often make the best criminals with
many believing that many who joined the police would have just
as comfortably have signed up with the mafia (and some did both)
-- many of the professional anti-communists were just as
authoritarian and dogmatic in their instincts.
Back, there were studies of "authoritarian personalities." Among
their alleged traits:
1. They travel in tight circles of like-minded people.
2. Their thinking is more likely based on what authorities have
told them rather than on their own critical judgment, which
results in their beliefs being filled with inconsistencies.
3. They harbor numerous double standards and hypocrisies.
4. They see the world as a dangerous place, with society
teetering on the brink of self-destruction from evil and
violence, and when their fear conflates with their
self-righteousness, they appoint themselves guardians of public
morality, or God's Designated Hitters.
5. They think of themselves as far more moral and upstanding
A Description of Stalinists? Perhaps. But Former Nixon lawyer
John W. Dean uses these very categorizations to describe today's
"conservatives" in his book, "Conservatives Without Conscience'
Which brings us to our modern day Busheviks, today's Bolshevik
wannabes with a more sophisticated rap and deadly impact. Some
are former leftists turned rightists who are now as comfortable
in defending torture and abuse as the agencies they used to
denounce. What went around is back again under a different name.
Just as the Neo-Nazis are back as newly elected respectable
members of governments in Eastern Germany, abandoning the
skinhead look for suits and ties and softer rhetoric, our Neo
Cons have moved from left to hard right wrapped in burkas made
of the American flag.
They have borrowed the techniques of their old enemies as Cheryl
Seal wrote back in 2001: "Joseph Stalin was successful in
seizing and retaining power primarily because he was able to
stack the Politburo with politicians as extreme as himself and
to dictate their actions and their votes on every issue. Party
dissenters were harassed mercilessly by the Politburo members
who remained blindly loyal to Stalin. With a block of supporters
who did not think for themselves, Stalin was able to completely
reverse Russia's policy on a number of key issues, right across
the board. For example, in 1936, he completely reversed the
liberal communist doctrines pertaining to family, divorce, and
abortion. He made divorce difficult, made abortion illegal, and
stressed "family values" [do we see a 'dictator pattern' here?].
Stalin's propagandists used a three-point strategy to convince
the Russian people that things in Stalin's policy that were in
fact extremely bad for the country (including the systematic
round up and extermination of all "enemies of the state") were
in fact "good." Point One: Create arguments that how the
negative thing is actually NOT bad, but is actually good.
[Present day ex: convincing people that greenhouse gases will
give us lush green plants, not fry the planet]. Point Two: Show
how the negative thing is actually not true. [Present-day ex:
Global warming does not exist].
Point Three: Show that the negative thing is actually being
caused by "enemies of the state" - most likely liberals.
[Present-day example: We can't sign Kyoto because it is really a
plot to ruin our economy]."
And so the parallels continue to surface -never exact but
certainly suggestive -- as recently as today when we learned
that unelected professional "cadre" of the hard right-not merely
members of the GOP -- enjoyed unique access to the White House
as AP reports:
"Republican activists Grover Norquist and Ralph Reed landed more
than 100 meetings inside the Bush White House, according to
documents released Wednesday that provide the first official
accounting of the access and influence the two presidential
allies have enjoyed.' Finally, ponder the words of Nikita
Khrushchev who first exposed the crimes of Stalin back in l956:
""Everyone can err, but Stalin considered that he never erred,
that he was always right. He never acknowledged to anyone that
he made any mistake, large or small, despite the fact that he
made not a few mistakes in the matter of theory and in his
Who today will take off their shoes to bang on a table at the UN
about the crimes of our Busheviks?
Dissector Danny Schechter is blogger in chief of
Mediachannel.org. His latest film is "In Debt We Trust" (Indebtwetrust.com)
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