Image: The Glienicke Bridge across the Havel River in Germany, where it formed the border between West Berlin and East Germany. (Source)
While reflecting on how to write with integrity this article on the current neo-Hegelian and neo-communist (“dialectical materialist”) revolution going on in our beloved country, my husband’s and my dear friend, Brother Andre Marie, M.I.C.M., posted his own excellent reflections in light of Our Lady of Fatima. In his article, Brother Andre Marie states the following:
So many of our current problems are a fulfillment of the Virgin’s prophesy that “If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions against the Church.” The Cultural Marxism that plagues us is one of these many errors of Russia. Even the continued civil strife we see before our eyes right now — when some are even talking about the possibility of a second Civil War in these United States — can be blamed on a failure of Catholics to fulfill Our Lady’s request. For She did promise peace. And that blame falls on Catholics of low station and high, clerics and lay.
My own article wishes to explore a little more the question of whether or not we are dealing today, in part, with a neo-communist or ongoing neo-Marxist revolution. I wish not to limit this discussion to the question of confederate statues, but would like to include the larger moral revolution we are in. The basis for this article may be glimpsed from my own biography. Having grown up in Germany, a country which was torn apart by communism and where many Germans were subject to the cruelty and falseness of communist leaders, it always stirs me when I now again see certain phenomena that remind me of that time. I was also blessed to have met in person people who fought communism from the Western German side, such as the prominent journalist Gerhard Löwenthal or the Social Democrat who had fled to the West, Helmut Bärwald. Their stories and experiences have deeply imprinted themselves upon my soul. I will never forget sitting one evening with Gerhard Löwenthal and a politician from East Germany – it was not long after the 1989 fall of the wall – and listening to that politician’s description of how his own father had to watch as his farm was taken away from him by the communists. I will never forget the tears in that man’s eyes.
So, why am I now again stirred to see the specific parallels between “then in Germany” and today? This politician’s story already tells it: injustice. Injustice – often an arbitrary and seemingly random injustice – done to people out of prejudice and a particular ideology, and often for mere political-power reasons. Revolutions are cruel because they take away all differentiations, they take away humanity and they take away truth in proportion. You are either with the revolutionaries or against them. If you are against them, you are to be branded as an inhuman counter-revolutionary. That is, no matter what one is then resisting about the revolution at that point!
The communist revolutions starting with the October Revolution in 1917 – now one hundred years ago – have one thing in common: the construction and manipulation of dialectics between certain parts of society, which are being led into acute opposition against each other in order to foster chaos and confusion. The original Marxist idea was that the proletariat was suppressed and disadvantaged and that it had to be freed from its oppression. Only a proletarian revolution would free these people from their fate, and thus could a just society purportedly be established where everybody was given just wages and managed equality. Similar to the earlier French Revolution, calls for equality seem always lead to the effective extinction of those who had previously been privileged, thus basing their “progress” on an enormous amount of cruelty and inhumanity. One common aspect is that one panders to the selfishness of man: by first impressing on some groups the thought that they have been inordinately suppressed and humiliated, one increasingly fosters thereby their sense of outrage and a sense of now claiming more rights for oneself – even if it is at the expense of others.
In normal conditions, such unjust situations can be solved peacefully, by a gradual adjustment of those elements in society that are not just. This is what actually happened, more or less, in Germany in the late 19th and early 20th century with regard to the protection of the workers; the process had been started back in the 19th century by Otto von Bismarck and his social welfare reforms. This gradual rectification of unjust conditions was the reason why the German worker was not so easily led into revolutions in the 20th century, which was one reason why the neo-Marxists had to find other discontented groups in society, such as students and marginalized minorities or races. (Notice that the Communist Revolution did not take place in Karl Marx’ own country, Germany, but in Russia, where the living conditions were, at the time, much worse. The German soldiers and workers revolted in 1918, but that was mostly due to the terrible conditions of World War I.)
The neo-Marxists such as the thinkers of the Frankfurt School developed further theories about people and groups which are minorities and which feel suppressed and thus could become an element with “revolutionary potential.” In German, we call it the “Minderheitentheorie” (minority theory), or Herbert Marcuse’s “Randgruppenstrategie” (strategy of minorities). It is simply a replacing of the workers as a suppressed group by other groups in that society that are marginalized or otherwise disadvantaged. The idea remains the same: to push those groups that feel (or are, in fact) unjustly treated or suppressed into an organized and ardent form of resistance. As we all remember, it was Barack Obama himself who had learned such a communist-cultural strategy from the radical doctrines of Saul Alinsky. Such minority groups could be just about anyone who could be talked into feeling disrespected: women, children, the unemployed, different ethnic minorities, the handicapped, the workers, and so on.
“Organizing revolution” and “organizing resistance” means – in all of these cases – that there is an elite, or oligarchy, who makes those groups aware of their “dispossessed” status and organizes them for resistance. None of these revolutions happened naturally or spontaneously; they were instead organized by a small elite: the “agents of revolution,” “agents of change” or “chaos managers.” And such an elite always needs money in order to be able to reach and influence those marginal or unjustly treated and discontented groups. Thus, every revolution has discreetly in its background the financial men. Karl Marx’ companion, Friedrich Engels, used up his father’s fortune in order to support the author of Capital (Das Kapital). The Frankfort School had the multi-millionaire Felix Weil as its financial supporter. Today the name of George Soros will also likely be known to many of us. He is a great supporter of PICO (People Improving Communities through Organizing) and of Black Lives Matter, which has been in the middle of many of the anti-Trump protests. (In discussing Soros’ ally Jeffrey Sachs and his new role at the Vatican, I once pointed out how much Soros himself had influenced and profited financially from the general misery and impoverishment of former communist countries in Eastern Europe in the 1990s.) Thus, from the very inception of these largely left-wing revolutions, they have to deal with the paradox that they are heavily relying on financial (or “capitalist”) forces that are, in principle, a contradiction in themselves to what these restive and discontented movements stand for. (We remind our readers once more of the recently published 1918 historic letter from the Secret Vatican Archives which speaks about the connection between High Finance and Revolution.)
As my husband, Dr. Robert Hickson, recently discussed in an article, these communist revolutionary elites had studied carefully methods of mass manipulation in order to organize their revolution. He often quotes James Burnham – himself a former Trotskyite – who explains:
The Bolshevik approach to mobs, riots and “command of the streets” is rather more serious. In his design for the revolutionary party – the conflict apparatus – Lenin, like Bakunin and Nechayev before him, incorporated the ideas of Louis Auguste Blanqui, a French revolutionist who lived from 1805-1881….He [Blanqui] believed that the key to successful revolt was the development of a small secret “cadre” organization. Normally the cadres would remain underground, abstaining from political affairs…. The trained cadres could, however, deploy through the mass and take leadership. [my emphasis]
My husband, after presenting some of James Burnham’s own writings on this matter, raises a set of important questions in light of current events in our country:
Even in his three 1960 essays, James Burnham has certainly prepared us always to ask such questions – and even certain discerning classes of questions with which to interrogate every situation – in order to help us detect the presence of certain forms of modern warfare and their agents, to include those who conduct “strategic deception and diversion operations” and subtle “false-flag operations.” Lest we be too rash and self-destructively peremptory, we must, minimally, also always ask (and try to answer) these kinds of perceptive questions “Cui prodest?” and “Cui bono?” To whose benefit, for whose interests, and, finally, for whose actual good?
In any of these violent approaches that supposedly aim at “improving” society, it is not the majority of the people who is either interested in, or willing to fight and sacrifice for, such revolutions. The normal man is just being swept over. “My generation has been hit by a freight train,” said the courageous former Communist, Whitaker Chambers. The example of East Germany shows the same. The normal citizen was just trying to make a living and to raise a family. They were frightened by the violence and subsequent terror, and by the ongoing unjust persecution of the purported “counter-revolutionaries.” Does this not sound familiar today? How many of the people whom our readers know now identify with, and commit themselves to, either of the two violent clashing parties or factions right now? Many of our readers might agree with us when we say – quoting once more Brother Andre Marie here – that that these two groups are two bad alternatives, neither of which represent an appropriate Christian response to such revolutionary challenges in our time:
As with so much of our national discourse, the discussion surrounding this incident misses the point. The “alt-right” neo-pagans and white supremacists on one side, and the “antifa” and “BLM” progressivists on the other are really flip sides of the same bad coin: a vision of society that asserts man’s rights (as perceived by the warring ideologies) while ignoring the rights of God. It is a domestic American version of what happened to the Continent in World War II: German Socialists and the Russian Socialists attempting to divide Europe between them, with the populace forced to take one godless side or the other.
Professional provocateurs on both sides of this current false dialectic show up at these events to make a scene, to get attention, and (if they get lucky) to punch a hated rival in the face or cause senseless property damage. Nothing good could actually get accomplished, for both parties have false principles.
As Brother Andre Marie here implies, what is being eroded between these two secularist or neo-Pagan groups is everything that is essentially and openly Christian: charity, family bonds, the respect for human life (from its inception unto the natural end!); but also: friendship, civility, and a dignified discourse.
Since the 1917 Russian Revolution, what has most suffered under all these different varieties of revolution is Christianity itself – a Christianity that also seeks to alleviate the suffering of the poor and of the sick, that seeks to educate and protect the young – from whatever social class they come – and to christianize and civilize society so that mankind may have a peaceful life on earth and might even gain – amidst the risks – eternal happiness thereafter.
I remember from my own family history how, under the twelve-year German National Socialist reign, Christians had a difficult life. And just as we see now, their virtues and attitudes were consistently under assault. For it must be understood that National-Socialist ideas of race and supremacy are not the principles of Christ. People (during those twelve years 1933-1945) had to investigate their racial backgrounds in order to justify their positions in society. On a more personal note: my own grandparents could not marry until the end of World War II and the end of the Third Reich because my grandfather – a prisoner of war in Germany – had come from Yugoslavia. He was forbidden to marry my German grandmother due to his ethnic Slavic background.
But the revolutionary socialist ideas of Eastern Germany that followed the war were not Christian either. Everyone had to dig down into his family history to try to discover whether he could find among his ancestors some kind of proletarian association that would help him boost his standing with the communist state.
And under both systems, let us not forget the prisons and the tortures and the deaths.
When will we here in the U.S. face a mandate to start digging down into our family history in order to show some percentage of this or that ethnic background? In some ways, we are doing that already with our quota systems. Our system is no longer merit-based, but rather based on whether we belong to a certain group, sex, or preferred ethnicity. My husband remembers a friend of his whose duty it was in the 1980s to escort high-level Soviet visitors through the U.S. Whenever he asked the visitors what they thought reminded them the most of their own country under communism, they very often, and very promptly, answered: “Your quota system. And it will kill you.” Because it is another form of coagulated injustice.
I have some close German friends who grew up in the Communist part of Germany, and they have imparted to me down the years many insights that are valuable for us in our current situation. In general, they say that the present situation now feels to them again like communist times, except that it is perhaps today even worse, because the enemy is much more diffuse and permeating, and also because the Cultural Marxists now aim at changing one’s mentality, rather than merely one’s mere external compliance with the reigning ideology. But fear abounds today again, the fear, for example, to be rashly judged to be a “racist” or a “bigot.” Where intimidating violence abounds, fear also abounds.
How many Americans know that in Germany right now, a person who publicly opposes Muslim immigration into the country – and who publicly speaks about the increase of crimes committed since 2015 by many of these same immigrants – would be accused of being “right-wing,” “pro-Nazi,” or even “un-Christian”? Girls and women are no longer safe on German streets, but no German man may say anything against this lawless, loveless, and barbaric development. How is a man to protect his family any more in Germany? Are there not to be found parallels to communist times in Germany where one was not allowed to criticize the proffered policy of one’s own government? Is it an accident that Germany is being ruled – for 12 years now – by a woman who had made her own academic (and political) career in the communist part of Germany?
Who, finally, is the real target of all these fast-path and slow-path revolutionary movements, to include the Soros-supported Muslim mass immigrations into Europe? What are some of the criteria today that make a person a member of a “hate group”? Are we not “counter-revolutionaries” today when we oppose both violent parties of the current conflict, or also the killing of the babies in the womb; or when we insist that a marriage is between a man and a woman? (It is worth mentioning here that only recently, the traditionalist Catholic newspaper, The Remnant, has come already under such accusations!)
Let us remember in this context two important sentences expressed by wise and experienced men. One comes from Father Vincent Peter Miceli, S.J. While still writing his own book The Roots of Violence, Father Miceli promptly answered my husband’s brief question to him as to what the very roots of violence are: “The roots of violence is the hatred of the truth!” And Hilaire Belloc himself was haunted by the wisdom of Cardinal Edward Manning’s stunning words of insight to him as a youth: “All human conflict is ultimately theological.”
I think that we may come closer to an understanding of our own current situation if we deeply reflect upon these two terse and trenchant sentences. Then we might come to see that, ultimately, these conflicts that are currently being built up and exacerbated are finally a targeting of the remnants of loyal Christianity in the United States. Moreover, Dialectical Materialism (“DIAMAT”) itself – and the even more subtle Hegelian-Gnostic “Dialectical Idealism” – are, indeed, both formidable foes and erosive subversive processes. Also currently manifesting themselves in the Catholic Church.
Sister Lucia of Fatima herself told the historian William Thomas Walsh in 1946 that the United States would one day be overcome by communism. As Father John A. Hardon, S.J, often used to say to my husband, with much earnestness and insistence: “Robert, the days of America are numbered.” Let us then also remember that it was Father Hardon (d. 30 December 2000) who said, at the end of the 20th century, the following:
This is the mission of the Holy Spirit as we approach the twenty-first century. It is nothing less than producing saints among Christians in every state of life. Ordinary bishops, ordinary priests, ordinary religious, ordinary fathers and mothers, ordinary Catholics will not even survive the massive revolution through which the Church is going in our day. We need heroic Catholics, sanctified by the Holy Spirit, to restore even sanity in the modern world.
In one way, we all are called to become martyrs. (“The final test is martyrdom,” Dr. Samuel Johnson the Lexicographer often used to say.) Martyrs are witnesses to the truth. And speaking the truth is also an act of charity, because God is Truth and God is Love, and He wishes us to help as many souls as possible to get into heaven. By speaking the truth about the Faith, we invite people to enter upon the steep path toward salvation, unto eternal life and happiness. If that means that we encounter and must resist the new “solvent” revolutionaries of our time and their hatred, then we had better prepare for that – with the indispensable help of Grace. Nature is not enough.