June 30, 2019

STACY MCCAIN: ‘Godless Commies!’

One of the reasons younger people — and by “younger,” I mean, under 40 — are so vulnerable to leftist “progressive” propaganda is because they aren’t old enough to remember the Cold War. Today’s 35-year-old was in kindergarten when the Berlin Wall fell, and thus has no personal memory of what it was like to live during the decades when we were faced with the possibility of annihilation by Soviet aggression. The permanent sense of terror inspired by the menace of Communism, a godless creed of murderous hatred, was so deeply embedded into American culture during my youth that my children (the oldest of which was born some six months before the fall of the Berlin Wall) can scarcely understand what it was like. When my oldest was a teenager, I was driving her and her friend to a Christian music festival and, to pass the time, began talking about politics and history. I tried to explain to them how, growing up in a Baptist church in Georgia, I was horrified by stories of how Christians were persecuted in the Soviet Union, in Red China and wherever else Communist regimes came to power. The worldview of Communism — “historical materialism,” or “dialectical materialism” — was based explicitly in atheism, and Communists everywhere were determined to destroy Christianity. Imagine what it would be like to live in a dictatorship where you could go to prison for possessing a Bible!

“Godless commies!” I yelled, as we rolled along the highway, and the vehemence of my expression rather startled my daughter and her friend.

To deny the existence of God is, as Nietzsche foresaw, to deny that there is any eternal law. The categories of “good” and “evil” are meaningless to the atheist, so that the most basic of moral maxims — “Thou shalt not steal,” “Thou shalt not kill,” etc. — meant nothing to the godless Commies, whose only ideas of right and wrong were summarized by Lenin’s frightening question: “Who? Whom?” Anything that advanced the “dictatorship of the proletariat” was justified, including deliberate deceit and cold-blooded murder, so that the Communists claimed unquestioned authority to lie, steal and kill on behalf of their revolution, and none of their victims had any claim to justice.

As Tom Wolfe wrote of Nietzsche in his essay, “In the Land of the Rococo Marxists,” part of his 2000 collection of his then-recent non-fiction articles, Hooking Up:

But if there was decadence, what was decaying? Religious faith and moral codes that had been in place since time was, said Nietzsche, who in 1882 made the most famous statement in modern philosophy—“God is dead”—and three startlingly accurate predictions for the twentieth century. He even estimated when they would begin to come true: about 1915. (1) The faith men formerly invested in God they would now invest in barbaric “brotherhoods with the aim of the robbery and exploitation of the non-brothers.” Their names turned out, in due course, to be the German Nazis and the Russian Communists. (2) There would be “wars such as have never been waged on earth.” Their names turned out to be World War I and World War II. (3) There no longer would be Truth but, rather, “truth” in quotation marks, depending upon which concoction of eternal verities the modern barbarian found most useful at any given moment.

Flash-forward to the College Fix last week: Cornell summer seminar asks: Should we still use concepts like ‘rationality’ and ‘reason’?

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