Bending truth in the name of truth
Here’s yet another conservative meme I see constantly:
Language about getting the young “interested in sex” and focusing their attention on “sexy books” and fretting about the “registration of all firearms” sounds out of place for 1919, and not surprisingly, nobody has ever managed to turn up the mysterious issue of Examiner-Enterprise that supposedly printed this list.
When columnist Bob Greene checked out this piece with Russian specialists at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University in the mid-1980s, they said the list was “a total fraud,” “an obvious fabrication,” and “an implausible concoction of *American fears and phobias*.”
When Montana senator Lee Metcalf looked into the issue back then, he checked with the FBI, CIA, and the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee; he found that “exhaustive research” had proved the rules to be “completely spurious,” and he declared that “the extreme right also follows rules, one of which is to make maximum use of false, misleading and fear-inspiring quotations.”
The earliest known publication of these rules dates from February 1946, and it’s significant to note that publication coincided with events such as Winston Churchill’s famous “Iron Curtain” speech, in which he issued a warning to citizens of the United States that “Communist parties constitute a growing challenge and peril to Christian civilization.” The timing suggests it’s far more likely this list was compiled by Americans in 1946 than by Russians in 1919.
Even though the Soviet Union has long since ceased to be, and the number of Communist countries remaining in the world can be counted on the fingers of one hand, the “Communist Rules for Revolution” are still anachronistically cited as evidence that America is experiencing moral and political decay fostered by outside forces. As folklorist Jan Harold Brunvand wrote of this piece back in 1986:
The rules have to do with dividing people into hostile groups, encouraging government extravagance, and fomenting “unnecessary” strikes in vital industries. What we have lost, the list suggests, is a world without dissent, budget deficits, inflation and labor unrest.
I just can’t remember any such Golden Age.
Some old commentary on a forum on this:
No [Lenin] didn’t [say this]. The quotation was fabricated by Christian conspiracy theorists who are very concerned with ‘family values’ in attempt to prove that the degeneracy of modern popular culture is the result of ongoing communist infiltration etc. etc.
Yeah, I’d have to agree that this sounds like “christian” propaganda to me. You can usually tell who’s pushing the bull____ by it’s smell.
Oh, and the other way to guess that this is bull____ is that sex is a normal part of russian culture (it lacking the puritanical influence Americans live with as a result of our history) and that most Russian young people in Lenin’s time couldn’t read. “Sexy books” are a kind of bs way to get young people interested in sex if they’re illiterate. And, by the way, aren’t young people NATURALLY interested in sex? This is clever propaganda as it allows the church to claim that a young person’s natural feelings are part of a communist plot- therefore they can make their own, unnatural plot (to suppress sexuality) seem like It is natural– which it’s not.
Hold on, those are the words of Lenin and can be found in his writings on the destruction of family values among the working class by the dictatorship of the bourgeois class. He was describing how the bourgeoisie undermine the workers so that they will become docile and fodder in accepting the need to sell their labor ability to the capitalists. It is astounding how well his words fit the actual state of affairs of workers in the current bourgeois societies of our time.
Okay, but I do remember reading it very much out of context, then, in an article written by a Christian conspiracy theorist.
It wouldn’t surprise me, also I am familiar with Nazis who used it as a “battle plan” in their Ministry of Propaganda and Enlightenment. They tried to make it a two-edged sword to use against the communists. It also shows that Lenin hit the nail on the head in writing this in a letter to his wife (don’t quote me on this as it is as memory serves) who was very interested in the education of the Youth in order to farther the cause of communism. It also demonstrates that the Nazis were on the extreme right and actually supported the bourgeoise, although the Nazis called themselves National Socialists.
That the religionist lackeys of the bourgeoisie also would use it out of context does not surprise me either.
It definitely works for yankees, because, like most people, yankees believe what they want to believe. Us yankees are worse than most people in that respect, as American Exceptionalism, the idea of America as the Christ-nation, is rampant, which leads to a very narrow mindset.
Of course, it reflects the belief in one’s group as having the monopoly on that ever so familiar mix of Biblical and American values: “honesty, sobriety, self-restraint, faith in the pledged word, ruggedness”. Why would Lenin or anyone else attack those when they believe they possess these character traits as well? It’s like the cartoon portrayal of supervillains, who are so evil they actually own their evil and openly boast of it, as much as the “good” take pride in being “good”. (I think of Him and Mojo Jojo in the Powerpuff Girls fighting over who is more evil as to claim parental custody of the Rowdyruff Boys, who were created to do evil. Also, Mojo fighting for the title of “most evil in the universe” against an invading robot, only to unwittingly end up as the greatest hero of the world for finally defeating him —in order to be the most evil!
In real life, everyone doing evil turns it around so that they are the good guys, and the victims of the true evil, their opponents! Exactly what people who put out memes like this are doing!)
So this PRIDE, of trying to boast of one’s character, against opponents, leads them to fabricate total lies. (Another one was that Proctor & Gamble was going to add a Satanic symbol to its product labels in 2000). And they don’t see how this actually makes them look to the world. Their “testimony”! But in that case, the people in “the world” are so deceived, they are the ones “calling evil good, and good evil”, anyway, no matter what the self-professed “children of light” may do!