The Meme War Continues

Former Soviet Dissident
Warns For EU Dictatorship.
Sound like a crazy premise? Wait. It gets
better. Vladimir Bukovsky, a leading dissident of the Soviet era whom was
invited to testify at the Russian government’s inquiry into whether the
Soviet Communist Party had been a criminal institution. got to see more
of the KGB’s secret reports to its masters than perhaps anyone else since
the old Soviet Union fell. He says:

In 1992 I had unprecedented access to Politburo and Central
Committee secret documents which have been classified, and still are
even now, for 30 years. These documents show very clearly that the
whole idea of turning the European common market into a federal state
was agreed between the left-wing parties of Europe and Moscow as a
joint project [...] the structures of the European Union were initially
built with the purpose of fitting into the Soviet structure.

That’s right. The European Left cooperated with a Soviet project
to make Europe amenable to totalitarian control from Moscow, and not
way back in the 1950s, either; the key agreements were made around
1985! Read the whole article; I can’t do justice to Bukovsky’s report
in a summary.

To anyone who read my essay on Gramscian Damage and scoffed
at the idea that the western Left operated as instruments of Soviet
ideological subversion intended to wreck the West, wake up! This is
not a phenomenon of the far past. Bukovsky draws a straight line from
Western “political correctness” back to the Soviet meme war.

“[T]hat is one field in which I am an expert,” Bukovsky (who spent twelve
years in Soviet labor camps) says, “I know how Gulags spring up.”

23 thoughts on “The Meme War Continues

  1. I’ve been reading a lot of John Lewis Gaddis lately, for a course.
    I’m not sure if there is any practical difference between ideology and religious zeal. It seems that the overarching gaff of the West may have been to mistake Communism for a simple political system, with which we could have more or less reasonable disagreement. Capitalism is a better model for the human spirit, and should win the day based on that alone, right?

  2. 1985… That’s around the time the left in Britain went from opposing membership of the EU on the grounds it was a pro-business plot, to supporting it.

    In 1983 Labour fought the general election on a policy of leaving the EEC (as it then was). After catastrophic defeat, the leader Michael Foot was replaced with Neil Kinnock, who later went on to “serve” 9 years as a European Commissioner (the European Commission is the unelected Politburo which runs the EU). Kinnock reversed the policy.

    Compared to the threat to security and freedom posed by the EU, and to EU-like reforms to Britain’s constitution, Islamic terrorism is a minor sideshow.

  3. Always thought it was an interesting “coincidence” that the accident at the Three Mile Island reactor happened at the same time as the release of the film The China Syndrome.
    That the whole anti-nuke “movement” did a radical change of target just a few weeks later, switching from protesting against civilian nuclear power to a “ban the bomb” agenda, just could not have happened spontaneously.
    My guess is that this was all a part of the same Gramscian war.

  4. I really wanted to believe what this guy has to say, but when he mentioned the Trilateral Commission and a “conspiracy” to create the EU, I started losing hope.

  5. > I really wanted to believe what this guy has to say, but when he mentioned the Trilateral Commission and a “conspiracy” to create the EU, I started losing hope.

    If you re-read carefully you’ll discover that Bukovsky isn’t claiming the Trilateral Commission was involved in the conspiracy as a body. So at least that trope has been avoided here.

    Besides, at this point I’ll say we’ll be getting off very lightly if only one more right-wing-nut conspiracy theory turns out to be true. That is, after the Communists-under-the-bed one. It’s disturbing how close to correct that one is turning out to have been.

  6. Let’s consider the hypothesis that Soviet Union, through overt or covert operations, was the primary driving force behind the meme war; that the tilting of the western public opinion toward socialism was the product of concerted soviet effort. If it is true then the dissolution of the Soviet Union would cause similar process among western left. As we know, it hasn’t happened that way; the later fact disproves the hypothesis.

  7. >If it is true then the dissolution of the Soviet Union would cause similar process among western left.

    I think you’re proposing that if the meme-war hypothesis is true, the Western left should have turned away from socialism when the S.U. collapsed.

    Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple. The meme war created a sort of subculture of Westerners whose entire lives and identities were wrapped around suicidalist ideology. They’ve kept pushing it. The Chomskys and Moores and Sontags and Fisks of the world switched to being apologists for Islamic terrorism without a hitch. That’s the point, really. Stalin and Munzenberg tried to bootstrap a culture of self-hatred in the West. And they succeeded.

  8. Joseph, the problem is that your refutation assumes that the Left didn’t start believing the Soviet lies. They did. They don’t need the Soviets to prop up their hatred any more; they’re doing it on their own.

  9. Smitty1e says:
    >>I’m not sure if there is any practical difference between ideology and religious zeal.

    Ideology in and of itself is not a bad thing – anyone who possesses a carefully considered set of related ideas or values could be said to have an ideology.

    From Wikipedia:

    An ideology is an organized collection of ideas. The word ideology was coined by Count Destutt de Tracy in the late 18th century to define a “science of ideas.” An ideology can be thought of as a comprehensive vision, as a way of looking at things (compare Weltanschauung), as in common sense …

    Related word:

    Ideal: principles or values that one actively pursues as goals.

    More likely, it seems, you may be referring to ideology, ideals and idealism (in its general sense rather than any specific philosophical context) as Thomas Sowell does here:

    “Virtually no idea is too ridiculous to be accepted, even by very intelligent and highly educated people, if it provides a way for them to feel special and important. Some confuse that feeling with idealism.”
    – Thomas Sowell

    In other words, you seem to reference what passes for ideology today among the “useful idiots”, the bleating sheeple of the Western Left and compare it to religious zeal – be it zeal in the American Religious Right or Islamofascism on the streets of Jihadistan.

    Yes, they all do strive for redemption, be it at the alter of a church, a mosque, or through multiculturism, moral relativism, or that you shall have no god before Mother Earth, and so on.

    They all do have one dangerous common thread that binds them closely together philosophically: They all adhere to the notion of elitist rule. They all believe that they know better than you do how you should live your life. They all agree that they should use the power of government to coercively dictate your conformity to their particular pet beliefs. They know better than you do how best to spend your money, how best to utilize property owned by you, who you may have intimate relations with and in what manner, how your children should be cared for and raised from before the time they are even born, what items or materials you may or may not buy, grow, sell, manufacture, own, keep, or carry on your person, and so on.

    Excerpts discussing leftism as a religion from:
    http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=15316

    What is it about the left that causes it to hate America and Israel, two multi-ethnic democracies which in the practical environment of international politics are arguably the most decent societies on the face of the earth? The first part of my answer is that the left is a religious rather than a strictly political formation and that its organizing principle is a redemption myth. This myth is rooted in a psychological need that is common to all individuals who make up the left and is so powerful as to render them impervious to the historical experience that refutes all such utopian aspirations.

    And:

    …Hobsbawm’s post-9/11 account of how he became a Communist: “It was in Berlin in the 1930s that the young Hobsbawm joined the Communist Party and embraced a faith which has never left him. ‘The months in Berlin made me a lifelong Communist, or at least a man whose life would lose its nature and its significance without the political project to which he committed himself as a schoolboy, even though that project has demonstrably failed, and as I know now, was bound to fail. The dream of the October Revolution is still there somewhere inside me.’ [2]

    And here is my commentary: “Hobsbawm’s reflection is striking in a way that provides profound insight into the mind-set of the radical left. Even though he now ‘knows’ that the Communist project ‘was bound to fail,’ the dream of Communism still lives inside him. In other words, the belief in an alternate world to replace the one into which he has been born is not really connected to any reality. Even worse, the belief in the utopian future is impervious to its failure in practice, even at the cost of a hundred million lives. This is to acknowledge, in effect, the religious dimension of radical belief. In Hobsbawm’s own words, his life would ‘lose its nature and its significance’ without the revolutionary project. Without, that is, the project of first destroying the world he has been born into.” [3]

    And:

    As I have pointed out in all of my works, the left is really a crypto-religion; it is a collective delusion. It is based on the inability of its adherents to come to terms with the real world, the actually existing world, with their own mortality, with human limits. Leftists — as I show in this book through analyses of the self-revealing memoirs of Eric Hobsbawm and Gerda Lerner — leftists who are honest with themselves– admit that they cannot live without the illusion of a social redemption, even if it is not anchored in any reality. They need to believe in a future redemption that will bring socialist world (or a world of social justice) to pass. This fantasy is as necessary to them as the air they breathe. But it is this fantasy of a redeemed world that also creates their hatred for the one they live in.

    End of excerpts

    Here’s a good article on environmentalism as religion:
    http://www.crichton-official.com/speeches/speeches_quote05.html

  10. This reminds me of the Pacific island Cargo Cults, only with ideology. There’s also evidence floating around that Arafat had been a tool of Soviet influence… Where moles, plants and beneficiaries maintain the beliefs long after their proponents are disproved and discarded…

  11. In Europe we believe than European Union was an idea of United state and a banana republic (search the term on google). Because the capitalism and money (king families) are the most protected features, more than people…
    Sure that’s E.U. is capitalist, and European people reject more and more this view of the world, more for money than people. Money is only abstract thing, peoples are reallity. For most european, the fact than we are going to dictatorship is growing. coming from west or east does not matter. From captitalist dictatorship or bolchevist (that means second, because they was secondary movment during russian revolution, and confiscated power) dicatorship does not matter.

    Don’t forget than the US revolutions as European revolutions (from west to east), come from the same ideas, getback king’s power to people, on the more or less basis of greek democracy and socialist theories from the 18e century. In both case this power was confiscated by an elite coming from former noblesse and didn’t really come to people, national election are only to choose which one dictator will be elected…

    In france for example, we often call socialist party, « the caviar left » as they speak about defending people, eating caviar and drinking champagne, and removing one by one every right acquired by people from French revolution. They come too from former nobless (A candidate for the socialist party for next elections names, Segoléne-Royal (meaning ‘Kingness Segolen’) and is more near true conservative party and catholic partisan than atheist as 18e century revolutions write in rules. Blair that is from ‘workers party’ is very conservative too, getting people debt superior from the GDP from UK.

    Some facts about left :
    * Orignnaly left=people, right = king and church.
    * both revolution coming back power to people was atheist because church is mostly used as a tool of power. (in god we trust is really recent in U.S. democratic history, a big step back to king power).
    * Socialism is the idea of revolution, meaning giving everyone the same chance to live.
    * communism, cooperativism, anarchism and so one are branch of the socialism tree, with different system of share of goods.
    * Dictatorship is unrelated with words of mouth of the dictator using fear of unknow and foreign as Wilhelm II and Hitler in Germany, Staline in URSS, Bush (dictatorship to protect ‘liberty’ was the most funny view of liberty) in US, Blair in UK or Napoleon and Sarkozy in France are doing to establish dictatorships.

    For example : Nazi means national socialism, but they was mostly financed by US and European big companies against people revolutions in Europe. That the same for every right wing dictatorships in Europe during 30′ and after (Spain, Portugal, Italy….) or in South America with U.S fruit, oil and gas companies and CIA help until few years (Chili, Honduras, Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia…).

  12. Popolon said: “In Europe we believe than European Union was an idea of United state and a banana republic (search the term on google). Because the capitalism and money (king families) are the most protected features, more than people…”

    I think the EU has always been a small-c conservative institution. When the most likely change to the economic structures in Europe was the spread of communism, the EU was seen as basically anti-communist and therefore right wing, and was encouraged by the US for that reason, and opposed by left-wingers as a right-wing US-backed plot, which it essentially was.

    By the mid 1980s, the main pressure for change in Europe was towards the Thatcher-Reagan market-oriented model, and the EU was as much a barrier to that kind of change as it had been to outright socialism. The actual “ideology” of the EU had not changed – it was a 1950s mixed-economy “post-war consensus” model, but the the challenge to it was now from the right not from the left. If anything, the position of the EU has moved slightly rightwards since the 1950s, but much less so than the rest of the world (including individual EU nations)

    The US has been very slow to grasp that the EU as an institution is no longer its ally, but has been, for 20 years, its enemy. The rhetorical support given by successive US administrations to further European integration has been inexplicable and heartbreaking to those of us in Europe that are in any way pro-American.

    Why did the EU ever look like a good idea

    Superpower Europe?

  13. esr – I’ve found your recent blogs on this, and related subjects, thought-provoking with exellent referencial material. I’m almost sold on your hypothesis at large, except for one thing: Could the Soviet Union (or whomever in the USSR was collectively responsible for the political strategy) really have been THAT clever? How could they have had such a clear strategic vision of western politics and missed the fact that they were living in a system that was unsustainable. I laugh when pundits chide the US intelligence community for not having seen the collapse of the Soviet Union before it happened. The Soviet Union coasted on fumes the last ten years, at least. The only peplexing thing was why it didn’t happen sooner.

  14. >Could the Soviet Union (or whomever in the USSR was collectively responsible for the political strategy) really have been THAT clever?

    We know that they sustained a disinformation and agitprop campaign for over fifty years. We know that the methods and style of the campaign were as prescribed by some important variants of Marxist theory. Given those pieces of information, whether they were “clever” or not is kind of a moot point. They acted observably in ways that were natural, even predictable, given their belief system.

  15. Both camp sustained disinformation, but US has more power thant Soviet Union, as they invaded most part of western Europe. URSS do propaganda in Eastern Europe, but this propaganda was not finaly followed by this countries as they go more on capitalist side. Two of the best proof are the pure capitalist vision of Europe countries gvts and EU today and the overload of US industry made TV and theater programs over other countries cinema. Even if every county (including U.S.) on the world do good films, stupid pure action, fx and violence film, and any other kind of cinema… I can’t see another thing than pure propaganda.

    Believe the communism propagate its idea in Europe is a false statement, as communism come first from England (Karl Marx) inspirated in great part by french social-anarchist revolution (La Commune de Paris) and Proudhon cooperativism (that inspirated in great part the international workers movment. The french revolution is itself inspirated by idea during 17th and 18th century from England or other places in Europe or U.S. independance too. Russia as part of Europe, put some anti-tsar philosopher too.

    The URSS communist dictatorship is finally more inspirated by Tzar (or any king/emperor), even if they do more for people thant Tzar done.

    Andrew McGuinness => Sure that Reegan/Thatcher help greatly to go one step behind geting back money from poorest to richest, but (as French again), in France, Giscard d’Estaing (that is at the origin of the European constitution treaty rejected by France and Netherland population as too economical, not enough social) doing a lot in the same direction.
    Most of European revolution since 18th century are fighted by Emperor/Kings around the Europe, by inter-country war or civil war. Today is more administrative, political, economical and remains by media propaganda as ever.

  16. I find it hard to believe that the EU federal superstate project *as such* was a Soviet/Leftist conspiracy/idea. After all, proposals for a European superstate had been floating around for nearly a century, and even such rightists as Winston Churchill endorsed it.

    No, the only way this works is if a *particular image* of the Union were being pushed, to the exclusion of all other ideas. Now *that’s* a hypothesis I could support, especially considering the incredibly closed-door method by which the proposed and now rejected Constitution.

    Of course, Mr. Bukovsky is absolutely correct about the “vote until you get the right answer” syndrome. The current European elite most definitely believe that they can just keep asking the same question over and over again until they get the answer they want, instead of renegotiating or bringing the opposing parties in for consultation. Likewise, there is indeed insufficient accountability in the European governmental structure.

    Nonetheless, as with biology, analogous structures are insufficient to convince me of common descent — although they ARE enough to convince me of convergent evolution. That the elites of Europe wish to make themselves a new aristocracy doesn’t surprise me in the least. They don’t have to spring from the same source as the Soviet nomenklatura in order to use the same tools to do so.

  17. And I would rather be VERY suspicious of everything the Fidesz produces. Everything these left-wing-disguised-as-right-wing populist assholes do or say have a greater chance of being a hoax than not. Better ask some Russian bloggers about the authencity of this Bukovsky guy…

  18. The concept of a unified Europe is rooted in the Roman Empire. The closest to achieve this dream, prior to the current situation, was Charlemaign. The most recent revival occurred immediately after the end of the Second World War. The Soviets had their plan, so did France, based in and dominated by Paris. A former german military intelligence officer was also aware of not only the Soviet plan, but also the French plan. Right or wrong, he made the decision to pursue the establishment of an alliance to block Soviet expansion and curtail French asperations. The result was the establishment of NATO, dominated by the United States. The US was percieved as not having an interest in ruling Europe(this is true). France continued to pursue the idea of a unified Europe, but was put in the position of having to treat Germany as an equal partner. The French left had been collaborating with Moscow prior to Hitler’s rise, and continues to this day. As to the Russian leadership, most of the positions are held by former communists. I personally believe that changing titles, party affiliations and uniforms was merely the opportunists instinct for survival. Adolf Hitler once said that Joseph Stalin was no more a communist than he(Hitler).

    The current EU leadership is trying to consolidate power. It is already evident that they are willing to circumvent elections and the desires of the majority of member nations, in order to promote the agenda of a few. If the perception can be maintained that this is some sort of plot by the US, then people will not be able to identify the true problem and take measures to protect themselves. It is actually to the detriment of the US to have a unified Europe that will eventually include Russia. Russia cannot become a member until NATO is dismantled. Unified Europe wishes to dismantle NATO, most of the individual member nations do not. Without the establishment of NATO, Europe would have been united by an entity based in Paris and dominated by Moscow.

    Put away the political blinders and research the available archives and you will find much evidence that points to current objectives of the European Elites.

  19. to Popolon,

    Kaiser Wilham II, personally paid for and guarranteed the safe transportation of Lenin to Russia. The agreed purpose was to overthrow the interum government and establish one that would end the war on Germany’s eastern front. This he did! In other words, Lenin was the Kaiser’s weapon and he performed better than any soldier.

    Karl Marx was German and fled to England for safety, His ideas were developed in Germany, that why he had to leave.

    I do agree with you on the issue of the media being mostly propaganda, but that can be traces directly back to the begining of recorded history. Expose youself, with an open mind, to as many different viewpoints as possible and you may be able to extract a more balanced perception of the issue.

  20. Hello webmaster I like your post “The Meme War Continues” so well that I like to ask you whether I should translate into German and linking back. Answer welcome. Greetings Schlauchboot

  21. >Hello webmaster I like your post “The Meme War Continues” so well that I like to ask you whether I should translate into German and linking back.

    Go right ahead.

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