Chapter 2 – Marxism-Leninism Communist Roots of the Cold War to the Eve of the Second World War—1848 to 1939

abdication in March 1917 and set Russia on a democratic path. Lenin’s coup in October 1917 (November in new calendar) was thus not a revolution against Czar Nicholas II, but a retrograde reactionary move to close the door to the Provisional Government’s progressive plans for early competitive elections, rights reforms, and a forward-looking constitution while also seeking to rally the Russian people against the German invaders.
The Soviet Totalitarian Template. Lenin followed his coup by immediately ordering Russian troops to stop fighting. In March 1918, at Brest Litovsk, he made a separate peace that surrendered large Russian territories and millions of Russian subjects to the Germans. Thus, by enabling most of the German forces to shift to the War’s Western Front, he betrayed Russia’s democratic allies fighting there—France, the U.K. and the United States—which, by continuing to fight, defeated Germany and ironically assured Soviet survival. Lenin became a Red Czar as he established the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) as an absolutist Communist regime totally “owned” and controlled by his party as a new ruling class of power and privilege. He nullified the Provisional Government’s December 1917 elections and launched a permanent civil war against “enemies” and anyone and anything that would limit the party-state’s supreme government power, support democratic pluralism or seek to protect individual human value, rights, and freedoms. Far from the state “withering away” as Lenin had claimed, its Marxist-Leninist blueprint sanctified the Party’s centralized ownership and control of the state in the world’s first totalitarian regime, preceding those later created in Imperial Japan and Hitler’s National Socialist Germany. The Soviet Union’s state apparatus/bureaucracy soon became a political-military-industrial-financial-cultural complex more absolutist than any conceivable in the most authoritarian czarist or “capitalist” society. The Communist Party and state marked an overlapping totalitarian monopoly of power, property ownership, planning, privilege and profiteering. The monopoly was enforced by state deception, secret police, and a gulag system of concentration camps, ethnic cleansing, and mass murders. Marxism-Leninism meant a state of permanent civil war at home and permanent subversion and warfare abroad.
Soviet Imperialism. Lenin’s and his successors’ comparable actions abroad included Soviet imperialist subversion and invasions of neighbors. Lenin, then Stalin collaborated with both Imperial and post-Imperial Germany and Stalin collaborated with Adolf Hitler in intensified warfare against peace and democracy. With the United States, a Soviet Cold War continued after the 1917 coup (which led to the U.S. breaking diplomatic relations), through Lenin’s separate peace with Germany, and Lenin’s opposition to America’s “Hoover Commission’s” civilian assistance programs. In the 1930s, the Cold War intensified with Stalin’s many violations of his pledges to President Roosevelt’s in exchange for U.S. diplomatic recognition in 1933. These included promises to stop his subversive activities in the U.S., but Stalin, in fact, intensified pro-Communist Soviet “active measures” including espionage, propaganda, and influence operations against U.S. democracy that continued as he moved toward his 1939 pact with Hitler that launched the Second World War.
1. “Left” and “Right” Totalitarian Blueprints
Existing histories and academic courses on the Cold War generally ignore the Communist ideology (revered by its followers as Marxism-Leninism) as a core element of the Cold War. Yet this absolutist ideology became a revolutionary doctrine and state religion used to impose its false founding prophecies and totalitarian model throughout the world. In this faith and mission, Marxism-Leninism shares a fundamentally anti-humanitarian and anti-democratic totalitarian approach with two twentieth-century ideologies that developed totalitarian forms of extreme dictatorship and empire. The first of the century’s totalitarian faiths and regimes was that of the Marxist-Leninist Soviet Union, beginning in 1917. The second was that of Imperial Japan, beginning around 1930. Third, beginning in 1933, was Adolf Hitler’s “National Socialist German Workers’ Party” (contracted as “Nazi”) German “Reich” (i.e., empire). All three operated at roughly the same point on the circle (rather than a straight line spectrum) of political philosophy where “Left” and “Right” overlap and stand diametrically opposite to the principles and institutions of freedom and democracy.
A Note on “Fascism.” Any serious review of Cold War history should note that the Soviet Union, its followers, and much of the Left invariably referred to anti-Communist individuals and parties, including democratic socialists, as “fascists,” no matter how democratic, anti-fascist, and anti-Nazi the critics were. Yet the differences between “Fascism” and the three totalitarian faiths discussed above were substantial. “Fascism” was established by the radical Italian socialist, Benito Mussolini (il Duce, the “leader”) who seized power in Rome in 1922, and was autocratic in the style of “caudillo” dictators and their “corporate” state. However, Italy lacked the totalitarian ideology and regime of Adolf Hitler’s “National Socialist” Germany. Only the im-
[Book pg. 20]