Once again, socialism had failed. While the demarcation, to the extent one really exists, is arguable; understanding the process of failure is just as important as knowing the necessary end state. As you might expect, I cannot help but see the similarities between the book and the history we are currently living…
The Party as Supreme
“A long time ago we made history; now you make politics. That’s the whole difference.” (1)
As the Revolution was quickly exposed as the fraud that it was, all lines between government and politics were blurred…and eventually removed altogether. Behind the grand façade…with different doors for the Organizational Bureau, the Political Bureau, the Legislative Bureau, the Judicial Bureau, the Information Distribution Bureau and, finally, the Organize for Action Bureau…all hallways converged to a single entity, the Party…the Ruling Class Party.
Party survival relied on control…and controlling the masses meant controlling information. Ultimately, this necessitated the uncontrolled collection of all information about the masses and ultimate control of all information to the masses.
In the book, upon elevation to the position of High Commissar for Security in conjunction with Commissar for the People for Internal Affairs our current government bureaucrat is provided government compiled dossiers of thousands of citizens and given his reporting orders:
“…the Political Bureau cannot possibly review every sentence! It is up to you.” (pg. 40)
And here we now sit, at the intersection of Homeland Security, Congressional oversight responsibilities, and the President’s campaign organization. All sharing and coordinating for the betterment of the collective, I’m sure. The author does not specify but I suspect the ranking official at that intersection was none other than V. Jarrettedev. Fortunately, dossiers of this type later prove useful in fabricating a rather damning indictment to link an “innocent” person to an unsolvable murder. Lots of cherry-picked associations and innuendo devolves into mere suspicions:
“… Suspected of having read the criminal document drawn up by [a known or confessed staff member of a Conservative publication] … Suspected of having attended a clandestine meeting [of a Tea Party organization - tax exempt status pending] … Suspected of helping [Scooter Libby via his legal defense fund] … Suspected of having translated a German article by Trotsky, which was found when the premises of his former pupil…were searched. …” (pg.55)
OK, I should have updated that last one but I took a chance that even Trotsky might be considered a radical right-wing, racist, obstructionist by this current progressive Ruling Class Party.
In the book, the media is clearly an arm of the Party. Our current character ends a meeting and takes time to peruse the daily newspaper:
“Four minutes to run through Pravda. What’s this? – The front page picture: Erchov should be in it – second from the left from the Chief, among the members of Government; the photograph had been taken two afternoons ago in the Kremlin, at the reception for Elite women textile workers . . . He unfolded the paper: instead of one picture there were two, and they had been trimmed in such a way that the High Commissar for Security appeared in neither … the pictures were supplied by the General Secretariat…” (pg. 47)
Hmmm. Part of the story just disappears between the event and the reporting. It never existed. Such power…to actively disappear or simply just ignore inconvenient stories, events, and scandals out of existence. Surely Mr. Serge exaggerates…or was prone to conspiracy theories. At least we can rest assured that such things cannot happen in a modern, liberty-based representative Republic with a guaranteed free press.
Again, from decades in the past, Mr. Serge nails my view of five years of Obama-Pelosi-Reid-McConnell-Boehner and all of the inside-the-beltway debt ceiling / budget negotiation charades that have accompanied that perfect storm:
“…’Our Party can have no Opposition, it is monolithic because we reconcile thought and actions for the sake of higher efficiency. Rather than settle which of us is right and which wrong we prefer to be wrong together because in that way we are stronger for the proletariat. And it was an old mistake of bourgeois individualism to seek truth for the sake of conscience, one conscience, my conscience. We say: To hell with my and me, to hell with self, to hell with truth, if the Party can be strong!’” (pg. 86)
Not to mention, the desire to maintain the very profitable insider-trading racket the Party boldly exploits without the hint of shame. (2)
The Process of Failure Continues
As for the total disregard for truth, Mr. Serge introduces Jay Carney:
“…a fine administrative animal who could glibly recite the four hundred current ideological phrases that obviated thinking, seeing, feeling, and even remembering, even suffering the least remorse when [he voices] the vilest [absurdities]! …” (pg. 107)
Such administrative tools and the bureaucrats they enable eventually see the failures…and train wrecks, disasters, bankruptcies, and (gasp) liquidations…ahead. One such admission, probably about an Obamacare-like program:
“…’Our plans are 50 to 60 percent impossible to carry out. To carry them out to the extent of the remaining 40 percent, the real wages of the working class will have to be reduced below the level they reached under the Imperial Government – far below the present level even in backward capitalist countries… Shortage of industrial goods, plus depreciation of the [dollar] – or, to put it frankly, hidden inflation … Have you considered the consequences?’ (pg. 108)
And maybe even a conscience (or at least a parasite that realized the abyss beyond the death of the host):
“…’But that this criminal stupidity should be continued for the pleasure of a hundred thousand bureaucrats too lazy to realize that they are headed for their own destruction and are dragging the Revolution with them…is not all the same to me…’…” (pg. 108)
But the implementation of Obamacare went forward and:
“The situation [became] serious: insufficient reserves, insufficient receipts, the certainty of a reduction in [services], an illicit rise in market prices, a wave of speculation. The [Independent Payment Advisory Board] announced draconian measures to be applied ‘with an iron hand.’ … So began the black years.” (pg. 110-111)
Amid the following collapse of society, food shortages led to the rabbit calamity:
“…Fields lay fallow, cattle disappeared, … there was no more sugar or gasoline, leather or shoes, cloth or cloths, everywhere there was hunger … everywhere pilfering, collusion, sickness; in vain did [Homeland] Security decimate the bureaus of animal husbandry, agriculture, transport, food control, sugar production, distribution . . . The [President] recommended raising rabbits. … [the local administrator] had placards posted: ‘The rabbit shall be the cornerstone of proletarian diet.’ And the [government] rabbits – his own – were the only ones…which did not die at the outset, because they were the only ones which were fed. ‘Even rabbits have to eat before they are eaten,’ [the administrator] observed ironically. … “ (pg. 111)
But the typical true-believer government functionary goes on in his bliss as he visits the Central Plan Commission inside the beltway:
“He found no difficulty in obtaining what he wanted: materials, additional credits, the return of a dossier to the Projects department, authority to build an additional road. How could he have known that the materials did not exist…” (pg. 123)
All is very reminiscent of a similar book:
“As a man’s hair and nails continue to grow after his death, so movement still occurred in individual cells, muscles, and limbs of the dead Party” (3)
In whatever form it takes, living through the “dead Party” phase will not be pleasant. It may be worth stockpiling some rabbit food now.
I suspect my ramblings here really do not do it justice; this is a very good book.
Proud Redstate Member since April 2006…?
(1) Darkness at Noon, A. Koestler, pg. 85
(3) Darkness at Noon, A. Koestler, pg. 31
Previously in this series:
Volume 2 – Truth Has No Place in the Kind of Tyranny the Republic Has Become
Volume 2.1 – “Clean the ax…now we have nothing.”