October 8, 1999


While the United States and its Western allies pose as the great champions of "democracy" and "human rights" worldwide, the reality is the exact opposite: these great liberators are really the great enslavers of nations. Explicitly devoted to destroying the idea of national sovereignty, and enforcing "human rights" as defined in Washington London and Paris on a world scale, the builders of a New World Order have criminalized all opposition to their global diktat. The whole mechanism and style of this international order, with its War Crimes Tribunals, its solemn international conclaves, its pompous propaganda, all backed up by the implicit (and often explicit) threat of force, strikes a note of déjà vu: where have we seen all this before?


Communism as an ideology is supposed to be dead: Marxism, we are told, has been totally discredited, intellectually as well as politically, but this is another one of those bromides passed off as received wisdom that is utterly false. While the Leninist tradition may be moribund, for the moment, the Bolsheviks were never really anything but a schismatic sect that broke away from mainstream Marxist orthodoxy, a random mutation that took root in Russia and metastasized into the international Communist movement. But Bolshevism was never the thickest and oldest branch of the Marxist family tree. The Third International of Lenin and Stalin may be gone, but the Second International, the Social Democracy, is alive and well, thank you.


The original name of the Russian Communist Party was the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party, and the party split, before the 1917 Revolution, between the Bolsheviks (Russian for majority) and the Mensheviks (or minority) over the question of Leninism: who was really a member of the Party? The Bolsheviks favored the tightly-organized activist concept, that limited Party membership to the cadre or hard core. The Mensheviks had a more liberal concept of Party membership, one that included sympathizers, part-timers, and fellow-travelers, and so the two factions split into rival parties. In Russia, the Bolsheviks won out, established a dictatorship, and jailed their Menshevik former comrades. Today, however, in the West, the heirs of the Mensheviks, the contemporary social democrats of the European Blairite-socialist-Clintonian parties, are triumphant. The body of Lenin is being buried, disinterred from its mausoleum, and his old rival Martov is having the last laugh.


And more than that: in its social democratic incarnation, the spirit of Karl Marx not only lives on, but is poised to take power on a world scale. In Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy, and throughout Eastern Europe, the parties of the Second (or Socialist) International, founded by Karl Marx's most orthodox disciples, are already in power – and they mean to extend it. The conservative Marxists of the German and French social democratic parties long ago explicitly rejected the necessity of a revolutionary upheaval: the imposition of socialism would come about, they theorized, as the end result of a natural evolutionary process. Now this process, although inevitable, can be hurried along quite a bit by human intervention – and especially by means of war, which is, in a sense, a revolution, in that it is organized violence that results in considerable social upheaval. In lieu of a revolution, the socialists of the new millennium have discovered, a war is just as good – if not better.


In a free society, the State is small and shrunken, perpetually starved for funds and begging for an authority it is nearly always denied. But in wartime, the position of the State in relation to the people is reversed: the State is bloated beyond all recognition, as it feeds gluttonously at the public trough – and it is the private citizen, and not his government, who has that starved look about him. In wartime, the State does not beg for authority, but simply usurps power – and, as the history of the U.S. since at least the Civil War shows, the State retains this newly-acquired power long after the wartime "emergency" is passed.


In wartime, the State takes what it wants, and does what it wants – and this is an operational definition of socialism. And so please don't anyone tell me how "surprising" it is that the "peace movement" of yesteryear – the Tod Gitlins of this world – have turned into the most rabid advocates of US military intervention from East Timor to Kosovo. They were all socialists, after all, Marxists of one sort or another eager to enforce their egalitarian visions with the mailed fist of the Proletariat. But as socialist parties have come to power, in nation after nation in the developed West, this has translated into the mailed fist of NATO. And while the style and spirit of the Second International has certain differences with the dead-and-buried Third, these turn out to be mostly rhetorical: in reality, the same totalitarian mindset is at work, spinning its web of propaganda and waiting for the right moment to strike.


In a political and military alliance with their American co-thinkers, these prophets of the Third Way have seized power in the West – and they mean to extend that power internationally. Kosovo was their war, a test case, an incubator of the new totalitarianism that is the legacy of Marx's heirs – not Mikhail Gobachev, Deng Xiaoping, and the remnants of Russia's Communist party, but the "New Labour" of Tony Blair, Jospin in France, Germany's Schroeder, and, last but hardly least, our very own Bill Clinton.


Headquartered in the US and Great Britain, a new totalitarianism is slowly incubating, one that is far more dangerous than any that have afflicted the earth in the past, including Stalinism and National Socialism. More dangerous, and monstrous, precisely because the internal regime is – relatively – free. But externally, out in the provinces, it is quite a different story. On the frontiers of the Empire, and especially in the Balkans, we have a glimpse of what our rulers have in store for us: here is where the nature and ideology of the NATO-crats comes to the fore, and the masks come off. The naked face of NATO was revealed in a recent New York Times story about a "media conference" sponsored by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, held at a resort in Montenegro – and for one moment, at least, it was possible to see the totalitarian reality behind the "democratic" and "multiethnic" façade.


The purpose of the conference, according to the Times, was meant as a forum for Serbian, Montenegrin, and Albanian journalists to "discuss their coverage of NATO's bombing war over Kosovo, its causes and aftermath." The account of the conference given by Serbian journalists quoted in the story is horrifying: far from being given a forum to discuss coverage of the war in general, including the conduct of the Western press, the Serbians, it was made plain, were being summoned by a judge and jury, with only one possibility open to them – confess!


You might ask: confess what? After all, Serbian media were subjected to government censorship, but the independent media continued to report the news during the Kosovo war as best it could – which was in many cases far better than the lockstep pro-NATO rah-rah war propaganda churned out by the "free" media of the West, whose typical stories consisted of a Pentagon "briefing" spiced up with KLA press releases printed verbatim.


Instead of skeptical reporters challenging the official line, as in the Vietnam war, the Kosovo war saw the English-speaking media (at least) as the instrument and enforcer of the official government line that this was a war for "justice" and "human rights." Indeed, instead of questioning the morality of a war in which innocent civilians were bombed from 30,000 feet, journalists were the vanguard of the War Party and often its most militant and persistent spokesman. They cheered when their Serbian fellow journalists were bombed repeatedly, and at press conferences they pestered the Pentagon continually about the question of ground troops: when, they wanted to know, were we going to get serious and send in the troops on the ground?


In style and spirit, this OSCE media conference resembled nothing so much as the propagandistic gatherings of Stalin's Comintern, where heretics were upbraided and bombastic rhetoric permeated the political atmosphere. "The organizers wanted to waken our consciences," said Veselin Simonovic, editor of Blic, an independent Serbian newspaper, "and force us to question ourselves about our conduct and morality. And this was put to us pretty directly, they made it clear we should be proclaimed as accomplices in crime, with ready-made slogans and clichés, and they tried to force us to justify ourselves and say that we weren't quite as criminal as they said." The Serbs were put on trial, in effect, and to their credit they walked out. But perhaps, some day, they will not be allowed to walk out. . . .


Like the Stalinists of old, who forced their victims to denounce themselves and sign confessions before they put them up against a wall and shot them, the NATO-crats demand a similar ritualized self-abasement. This is a foretaste of what they have in mind for the entire Serbian people – and they have the nerve to speak of "war crimes"! What hypocrisy! What a brazen perversion of justice!


The ideological veneer of the "jurors" was stripped away, for a moment, when one of the conference organizers, Natasa Kandic, said: "They pay you and have the right to question your conduct during the war." Simonovic, who accepts no money or editorial control from any government entity, walked out of the conference, along with several others, in protest. That this Quisling Kandic should demand obeisance to her Western paymasters so openly was meant as a deadly insult to the Serbian attendees, and deliberately compromised them in the eyes of their readers. For the clear implication is that they are all in the pay of Serbia's avowed enemies – surely an accusation that has ominous implications for their ability to live, let alone continue as journalists.


Kandic is the director of Belgrade's Humanitarian Law Center, which, according to the Times, is a recipient of Western financial aid: she is the chief theoretician and publicist of the Serbian "collective war guilt" theory, pushed by The New Republic and the more rabid wing of the War Party, which equates the Kosovo war with the Holocaust, and, even more incredibly, demands the "de-Nazification" of the Serbian people and society – starting, apparently, with the media.


Rather than publish newspapers like Blic and Vreme, two leading independent media centers, Ms. Kandic demanded to know why the editors didn't do the "moral" thing – and simply close up shop! This is naturally the position that a paid shill and foreign agent like Kandic would take: given that the NATO-crats aim at the conquest of what is left of Yugoslavia and the "reeducation" of its population, there can be no room for an indigenous independent media. Since all Serbian society, according to this demented and sinister theory of "collective guilt," is responsible for the excesses of paramilitaries in Kosovo, the Serbian media is especially tainted and must expiate itself – preferably on its knees in front of Ms. Kandic, the designated dominatrix of NATO's "humanitarian" mission..


Backed up by US tax dollars and government officials, Ms. Kandic conducted her trial of the Serbian media – a dress rehearsal for the show trials to come, should the NATO-crats resume their war on Serbia and, one day, march down the streets of Belgrade. "The West failed to create a multiethnic Kosovo, creating anti-American feeling in Serbia instead. Westerners now need someone to blame," says Simonovic. "The civic sector, the Serbs, the press – everyone, to them, is a collaborator."


If anyone in this picture fits the description of a collaborator, then surely it is Ms. Kandic who is auditioning for the role of Grand Inquisitor, the Quisling bureaucrat to be placed in charge of the media, with her edicts enforced by NATO soldiers carrying out the "de-Nazification" process.


In style and spirit, the strategy and tactics of the militant Mensheviks are not much different from their Bolshevik brothers-in-spirit: ideological browbeating, public confessions, show trials, Tribunals, talk of "war criminals," the need for "reeducation," and the ugly irrationality of a concept such as "collective guilt," the obsession with maintaining control of the media under the guise "democracy" and "diversity" – it is as if the old Comintern was never disbanded by Stalin after World War II, but lives on at NATO headquarters. It is the same preening dogmatism, with its shrill self-righteousness and arrogant indifference to the fate of individuals in the name of some Gnostic concept, be it egalitarianism, multiculturalism, or whatever demonic dogma happens to possess the new masters of the civilized world at any given moment.


If the style of the neo-Marxists is quite similar in some respects that of their late and unlamented Leninist cousins, it would be simplistic to simply equate them with old-style Communists and be done with it. While they are, indeed, the only surviving heirs of Marx, these Mensheviks of the second mobilization emphasize the evolutionary aspect of Marxist doctrine, which sees capitalism as progressive in the sense that it bears within it the seeds of its own undoing. Thus they have no trouble with ideological anomalies such as "market socialism." Marx and Engels both applauded the victories of the capitalist nation-builders over the feudal and monarchist parties of Europe, because they saw the motor of capitalism as the driving force of a movement that would eventually result in the overthrow of the market economy and the ultimate triumph of socialism on a world scale. So, too, the New Labourites and their European and American imitators see contemporary capitalism, i.e. state capitalism, as the motor of a new rebirth of socialism internationally. And the spark that sets this motor to running, the impetus for the growth of the State at home and the extension of its power abroad, is the new policy of global intervention by an alliance of those states in which the party of the Third Way has come to power.


How is it that Communism is "dead" – but the age-old Marxist dream of a one-world socialist government is not that far from becoming a reality? Think about it: Virtually the entire Western world is, today, ruled by socialist or social democratic parties: the foreign policy of these nations, as exemplified in their accelerating wars of conquest from Kosovo to East Timor to Iraq, is militantly interventionist. It might even be said that the spirit of socialist internationalism, far from expiring with the death agony of the old USSR, was not only preserved but also to a large extent fulfilled by the international social democracy. Newly aggressive, and scenting the final victory, the new totalitarians are on the march, and they are not shy about their sinister blueprint for the future.


In the brave new world of the NATO-crat's dreams, all the conquered peoples will have their Natasa Kandics, fanatic traitors whose obsessive devotion to the destruction and ritual humiliation of their own people is more psychopathological than political. But in the inverted moral universe of the NATO-crats, where bombing civilians is an act of "humanitarianism," madness reigns supreme, and the Kandics are on the top of the pyramid. Can a more nightmarish dystopia be imagined, even by Orwell in one of his blackest moods?


This is the world your tax dollars will pay for, and your children may die for – this is the future the NATO-crats have planned not only for the Serbs but also for their own people. A world where opposition to racial collectivism and racial preferences is a "hate crime," and any attempt to organize against the new order is "hate speech" and therefore banned. A world where "free trade" unites an international confederation of socialist nations, with one currency, one army, and one international directorate that runs it all – in the name of "social justice," of course. Communism is dead – yeah, sure, but the age-old dream of Marx and his sidekick and sugar daddy Engels is more monstrously alive than ever. Go figure.

Check out Justin Raimondo's article, “China and the New Cold War”

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Justin Raimondo is the editorial director of Antiwar.com. He is also the author of Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement (with an Introduction by Patrick J. Buchanan), (1993), and Into the Bosnian Quagmire: The Case Against US Intervention in the Balkans (1996). He is an Adjunct Scholar with the Ludwig von Mises Institute, in Auburn, Alabama, a Senior Fellow at the Center for Libertarian Studies, and writes frequently for Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. He is the author of An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard (forthcoming from Prometheus Books).

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