Who Really Won the Cold War?

There is an old adage that states, “The more things change, the more they remain the same.” This is especially evident in the world of politics, where old idea’s and systems previously discarded, are re-hashed, re-named, tweaked, and presented to an unsuspecting public as something entirely new. A quarter of a century ago, the world witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of Communism; events which countless millions thought would herald the establishment of a New World Order. Unfortunately, those hopes and aspirations have failed to materialize, as new threats to global amity have arisen.

The election of Barack Obama in 2008, brought about a brief period of euphoria, as Americans eagerly embraced his promise of “hope and change.” Something “entirely new” was going to be tried, and at last, the country was going to be put on the right track. But listen very carefully to the words and policies that emanate from Washington and then go back and re-read those old college textbooks on Marxist ideology. Phrases such as “class struggle,” “income redistribution,” and “social justice” are textbook Marxism; as is the huge expansion of the federal government into almost every aspect of American life. In classical Marxist societies, the state regulates and controls just about everything, from what health care you receive to what information you read and see in the media. Of course, this is done for the public good. Jonathon Gruber recently stated that the average American is too dumb to make an intelligent informed decision. He or she must be gently “coaxed” into doing the right thing and if that involves misrepresenting the facts, that is how it has to be; it is ultimately for the greater good of all. There will be some pain and hardship and some people will have to suffer. These are the birth pangs of a truly utopian society; for the end will justify the means.

One of the great myths about Marxist systems is that they produce “equality.” The historical record shows something quite different. What these regimes do succeed in doing is lowering the standard of living for most of their citizenry, while creating an entirely new class of elites and privileged, usually based on party affiliation and loyalty. Any opposition that arises is usually dealt with the harshest terms. It is an old story. In the 1920’s the Soviet Union instituted a policy of “collectivization,” a system that decades later they admitted cost them more lives than WWII. The cultural revolution in China, which Mao instituted in the late 1950’s resulted in an estimated 60 million deaths, and of course Pol Pot did not “intend” to cause the deaths of an estimated one-quarter of the population of Cambodia. That millions had to die was unfortunate, but this was not cruelty or sadism for its own sake. The purging of all anti-revolutionary, reactionary, Capitalist and Bourgeoisie elements from society are seen as necessary steps in the establishment of a New World Order, and anyone who stands in the way must be eliminated. The Soviets accomplished this by either a one-way trip to Lubianka prison in Moscow or exile to the Gulag Archipelago. Asian Communists at least made an attempt to “redeem” certain individuals, by sending them for re-training and re-education, where they would be taught to think and act in the “politically correct” manner. In the aftermath of the Korean War, Americans created another phrase for this form of re-indoctrination called “brainwashing.” This is the historic reality of the Communist “experiment.” Every place it has been tried it has been an abject failure. Fidel Castro, the world’s longest serving Marxist ruler stated in a casual interview with US journalist Jeffrey Goldberg on September 9, 2010 that, “The Cuban model doesn’t even work for us any more.” His brother and successor Raul, has candidly echoed the same sentiments, attributing Cuba’s economic woes to central planning, state-run cooperatives, and excessive micro-managing. In other words, extreme governmental regulation has led to a near collapse of the Cuban economy. Does the radical left here in the US know more than the world’s longest serving Marxist ruler?

Today, only a few of the old time Communist states are left; Cuba and North Korea among them. China, Vietnam, and Cambodia are moving towards a free market economic system; a decision that has seen their economies improve considerably in recent years. Yet, Marxist ideology continues to hold an attraction to many in the third world and especially in the West. Here in the US, our college campuses are rife with far left ideologues, while in Europe, Thomas Piketty’s book “Capital,” which set forth the case for wealth redistribution, was number one on the best seller list. Latin America has seen the establishment of a number of regimes that can be described as Neo-Marxist: Venezuela, Brazil, and Bolivia among them. Known alternatively as “Chavezmo” (after the late Hugo Chavez) or the Bolivarian revolution; it is an extremely appealing ideology to the South American underclass. Heavily permeated with anti-Americanism and cozying up to our potential enemies such as Iran and North Korea, these regimes could constitute an existential threat at some point in the future because of their close proximity to the US mainland.

The radical left of today is different from that which we saw during the height of the Cold War. Today, a broad coalition of groups has taken to the streets to protest the perceived injustices of the existing system. They include radical feminists, LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender), undocumented workers, Black and Latino activists, the occupy Wall Streeters, progressive liberals, anarchists, religious leaders, social activists, environmentalists, and even Islamic fundamentalists. While they may have some differences of opinion on theory, all share a common hatred for the existing American political and economic system. What they fail to understand is that ultimate victory in the revolution will go to that segment of the revolutionary body that is the best organized, best financed, and most ideologically dedicated. Many years ago, the great Chinese military theorist Sun Tzu, put forth the premise that “all warfare is based on deception.” The radical left of today would tend to agree. Nowhere do you hear the phrases, “Communist” or “Marxist-Leninist” mentioned. These Cold War terms might get people thinking. They prefer to use subversion and the tried and true tactics of divide and conquer. Just a few choice phrases from recent headlines should suffice to illustrate this point: “The War on Women,” “The War on Gays,” “Income Inequality,” and “Social Justice.” It is a historic fact that both the far left and far right function best during times of extreme economic, political, and social unrest. We are beginning to see all of these elements come into play. In what might be described as an act of hubris, the radical left hopes to establish their “Utopian paradise” over the corpse of the old American political and economic system. After all, Marx himself said that the revolution must take place in the most industrially advanced country in the world. Put bluntly, Russia in 1917 was the wrong country at the wrong time and in the wrong place. But they took what they could get. The fact that this type of system has failed everywhere is irrelevant because now they have the chance to “get it right.”

There is no doubt that our country is beset by a plethora of problems. But even with all our woes, America is still a beacon of light to the rest of the world. Probably half the world’s population would come here right now if they had the means to do so. The radical left would have everyone believe that the US is the source of most of the world’s problems, but the reality is, we have done more to address these problems than the rest of the world combined. America has been the most generous country in history and Americans have given more proportionally than any other people, yet we are often maligned and castigated for our efforts; sometimes by the very people who benefit from our largesse. We have succeeded in creating a decent standard of living for most of our population. We have made mistakes but we usually admit them and try to rectify them. Even when we fight our wars, we usually rebuild the economies of our former enemies. We did this with Germany and Japan after WWII and most recently with Iraq where we rebuilt the infrastructure, restored oil production and laid the groundwork for the first democratic election in that country’s history. We then turned the whole kit and kaboodle over to the new Iraqi government and walked away after spending over a trillion dollars of our own money and suffering the loss of tens of thousands of dead and wounded. NO other nation in the history of the world has EVER done this. Yet, the radical left discrediting our achievements, continues to ferment discord and disunity, hoping to eventually collapse the existing system and replace it with their vision of a new utopian paradise. Adopting someone else’s failed system is definitely NOT the answer. The late historian and philosopher Will Durant, in his scholarly work, “Caesar and Christ” made the observation that “a great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within.” The radical left is doing everything in their power to bring this about. This raises some interesting questions: Would Islamic extremism proliferate in American society to the degree that it has without the direct acquiescence of the far left? Given the historical fact that Communism and Capitalism turned against each other after the defeat of their common enemy Nazi Germany, after WWII, is it not inconceivable that the radical left and the Islamic fundamentalists would turn against each other and who then will emerge victorious? Assuming that the Neo-Marxists are successful and we then adopt the failed system of our former Cold War adversary, the question must arise; who then really won the Cold War?

by Caren Besner who has written articles published by Sun-Sentinel, Jerusalem Post, Jewish Journal, IsraPost, The Algemeiner, The Jewish Voice, Jewish Press, Independent Sentinel, San Diego Jewish World, and American Thinker