Blame the Predecessor, Not the Ideology: A Historical Leftist Tactic
I witnessed this strategy in the Soviet Union, and now I see it at Occupy Wall Street. It always fails.
October 31, 2011 - 12:00 am
The chaotic Occupy Wall Street movement is the result of the Democratic Party’s chaotic efforts to find villains for its chaotic economic policy, which has put 14 million Americans out of a job. The U.S. debt has now reached an unprecedented $15 trillion — greater than the total debt accured by all 41 presidents from George Washington to George H.W. Bush combined. That means a debt of $35,835 for every American household. The GDP fell from 4.5% growth in the first quarter of 2011 to 1.3% in the second quarter of 2011.
Instead of pulling up their socks and encouraging the production — not redistribution — of wealth, the leaders of the Democrat-run White House and U.S. Senate blamed former president George W. Bush for the current economic calamity. No American really bought it. So then the Democrats blamed the Japanese tsunami. No more luck. Blaming the Arab Spring and the European economic crisis did not do the trick either. Now the Democrats are blaming Wall Street — whatever that means — and America’s rich. They are the real evil. They are sucking the people’s blood, wrecking America.
In the sanctum sanctorum of the former Soviet empire, to which I once belonged, finding a scapegoat for the mistakes of a country’s leader was called “political necrophagy.” Although Marxism proclaimed the deciding role in history to be played by “the people,” the Marxists sitting on the Kremlin throne believed that only the leader counted. From the lips of Khrushchev himself, I used to hear over and over: “Change the public image of the leader, and you change history.”
The Kremlin’s secret “science” of political necrophagy was launched into the world on February 26, 1956. On that day, Khrushchev exposed “Stalin’s crimes” in a four-hour “secret speech” delivered at midnight under a cloud of mystery during the highly publicized XXth Congress of the Soviet Communist Party, to emphasize its importance.
New York Times journalist Harry Schwartz wrote: “Mr. Khrushchev opened the doors and windows of a petrified structure. He let in fresh air and fresh ideas, producing changes which time already has shown are irreversible and fundamental.”
In actuality, Khrushchev’s “secret speech” was just a show intended to distract attention away from the brutality of Soviet Marxism and from his own image as “butcher of the Ukraine.” It was not Marxism’s fault that 20 million people had been barbarically killed in the Soviet Union in order to make Marxism the country’s only religion — it was all Stalin’s fault. It was not Marxism’s fault that hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians had been executed during the years Khrushchev was the Kremlin’s viceroy in Kiev — that too was all Stalin’s fault.
A few days after Khrushchev had delivered his “secret speech,” his brand new spy chief, General Aleksandr Sakharovsky (the former chief Soviet intelligence adviser to Romania) slipped the text of it to my Romanian foreign intelligence service, the DIE. “This is the most secret document I have ever held in my hand,” Sakharovsky told us — with a wink.
He asked us to pass the “secret speech” to the Israeli Mossad, which had just begun discussing a secret barter arrangement with the DIE to allow Romanian Jews to emigrate to Israel in exchange for U.S. dollars. The DIE obediently leaked the secret speech to the Mossad, which at that time was closely cooperating with the American CIA.
In June 1956, Khrushchev’s “secret speech” was published by the New York Times, which acknowledged that it had gotten it from the CIA. There are many public versions about how that speech ended up at the New York Times — the Mossad is famous for obfuscating its operations. A few months later, however, Sakharovsky thanked DIE management for having helped him to introduce Khrushchev’s new “Communism with a human face” to the world.
Soon after that, Khrushchev’s “secret speech” was debated in all Communist Party organizations and media throughout the Soviet bloc. Marxism was rehabilitated.
Romania’s first Communist ruler, Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, died only a few months after Khrushchev was overthrown, and political necrophagy moved to Romania as well. As one might expect in the Balkans, Romania’s political necrophagy took on a gloriously Byzantine coloration. “We do not need idols,” the new ruler, Nicolae Ceausescu, told the plebs. Then Ceausescu “unmasked” his predecessor’s “unprecedented” cult of personality, and allowed the plebs to cast its eyes on the opulence of Gheorghiu-Dej’s palace. It was not long, however, before Ceausescu was proclaiming himself a “lay god,” and boasting that “a man like me is born only once every five hundred years.” A few years later, Ceausescu founded the first Communist dynasty and began alternately residing in 21 lavishly furnished palaces, 41 “residential villas” and 20 hunting lodges.
After Khrushchev, political necrophagy became the rule in the Kremlin. Brezhnev accused Khrushchev of having destroyed the unity of the Communist world. When Gorbachev came along, he accused Brezhnev of having devastating the Soviet economy. Gorbachev even had some of Brezhnev’s relatives arrested, in an obvious attempt to prove that the Soviet economy had been devastated by corrupt individuals, not by Marxism. For his part, Yeltsin accused Gorbachev’s perestroika of “leading the country to ruin,” and then Putin blamed Yeltsin for the “demise of the Soviet Union, the greatest catastrophe of the century.”
In 2004, when our war in Iraq encountered its first difficulties, the Democratic Party smuggled the Kremlin’s poltical necrophagy into the United States. Although that war was authorized by 296 House members and 76 senators, the leaders of the Democratic Party called it Bush’s war. “Bush lied, people died,” became the slogan of the Democratic Party, whose leaders suddenly forgot that they had also voted for that war.