Each generation of man has faced its own particular problems. At times these issues have been of such tremendous importance that their solution has affected all subsequent events. Such is the case with our generation. We stand at the crossroads of history. Mutually incompatible paths of evolutionary development beckon. One leads us back six thousand years to the dawn of history, to the suppression of individuality and freedom. The other leads to continued development of the character and spirituality of man in accordance with the ideals of the Christian religion. If our people, particularly the members of the Armed Forces, understand the basic principles involved in these issues, they will realize the necessity for the sacrifice and dedication which must be written into the history of this generation, if civilization is to survive.
The people of the United States maintain the Armed Services for the purpose of accomplishing a number of vital tasks, of which the principal one is the defense of the nation. Basically these services consist of men. To enable these men to accomplish their missions, they are supplied with vast quantities of food, clothing, guns, transportation equipment, tanks, airplanes, ships, and other items countless beyond the possibility of enumeration. The nature, quantity, and quality of these arms and supplies are of great importance; but in the final analysis, successful completion of missions depends upon the manner in which this equipment is used by the personnel.
Good workmen with poor tools produce better results than poor workmen with good tools. Our fighting men should, must, and shall be supplied with the finest equipment. But of even greater importance is the solution to the problem, not of making our men better than those of possible enemies, but of achieving a state of efficiency as high as they, themselves, are capable of attaining.
The factors affecting the efficiency of personnel are many and varied. One of the most important of these is the will to be efficient.
Modern psychology teaches that actions are a response to a complex composite of needs. Man takes that action which is most likely to satisfy the pattern of needs that are dominant at the moment.
A basic need, which is always present and exercising its influence, is the one which psychologists call ego enhancement. This need is illustrated by the spoiled brat who cries because he wants attention. As the individual attains mental maturity, this need undergoes a healthy transformation. Instead of mere attention, he wants to feel that he and what he is doing are important. Though the cynical may deny it, deep within each normal human being is the vision of himself doing battle, against tremendous odds, in behalf of a great principle, in the tradition of St. George and the dragon.
Leadership is the ability to take that action which, in a given situation, is best calculated to influence the other human beings involved, so as to facilitate the accomplishment of the mission. The leadership involved in the training process and in actual operations, will be easier if the personnel are shown that each step is necessary to the achievement of success in a great and worthy cause. Such a demonstration will enable the individual to feel that deep sense of dedication, which is the most sublime height to which the human soul can rise.
The cause to which we are dedicated is the greatest in human history.
It concerns the whole future of mankind. To understand these issues, it is necessary to know something of the background and the philosophies which motivate our enemies, as well as those upon which democratic civilization is founded.
The grossly over-simplified statement of communist philosophy is “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” This has a delightfully idealistic sound and possesses a seemingly irresistible fascination for the pseudo-intellectual, who is either incapable of following a line of thought through to its logical conclusion, or else is mentally too lazy to do so. Communism inevitably leads to economic chaos, or to dictatorship and slavery. The reason why this is necessarily true is founded in the very nature of man.
Modern psychologists believe that heredity and environment influence character formation in about equal amounts. Hence approximately half of the determining factors in each man’s life are settled by lines of ancestors reaching back beyond the dawn of recorded history.
Man has existed as man for a period that may be conservatively estimated as three hundred thousand years. Recorded history extends back a mere six thousand years. Hence, it is obvious that instincts evolved in the pre-history epoch have not, to any great extent, been displaced by instincts which have been, and are now being, created under the influence of civilization.
For at least two hundred thousand years, man lived by hunting. He chased, caught, killed and ate animals weaker than himself. He was chased, caught, overcome and devoured by those stronger; or he escaped by flight. The questions of eating, and of not being eaten, were both answered by enormous bursts of energy involved in the chase, and in the inevitable conflict with which the chase terminated.
A tired man was obviously handicapped in the chase. If he failed too often to make his catch, he became weakened from hunger. He failed to escape only once. The hereditary strains of losers died; the hereditary strains of victors were passed along to form part of the instinctive heritage of the race. Successful primitive man expended his energy without stint when necessity demanded it. When not necessary to secure food, or to escape from imminent danger, he rested. Willingness to expend energy for immediate survival benefits, and unwillingness to do so otherwise, thus became a part of the hereditary instinct of the race.
Possibly the greatest step toward civilization was the discovery that man had a share in generation. Once father was established as a member of the family, after a few thousand years he took over its management. After millenniums, the custom grew of sons and grandsons remaining with the father. And thus developed a system of social organization known as the patriarchate, which persisted well into historic times. While father saved his strength for the hunt and gave to the family an uncertain supply of meat, mother had learned to till the soil and produced a steady stream of less desirable, but life-giving, grains. When man learned to store food for later consumption, he had invented property.
Early in the hunting age, man discovered that it was more profitable to hunt in packs. Kills must be devoured quickly or they became spoiled. A large animal furnished more than enough meat for all. Under these conditions, a communistic form of social structure was natural. At the dawn of the agricultural age, man inherited this social organization. All things, except some purely personal items, were shared. No one went hungry unless everyone did, and land was held in common by the tribe.
Before the dawn of history, man discovered that the yield from the soil is roughly proportional to the effort expended in tillage. If the crops, when gathered, are placed into a tribal storehouse and distributed to all members equally, it is obvious that the hardest working member, who had produced the greatest yield, received no benefit commensurate with his extra effort. Remembering the propensity of primitive man to conserve his energy for moments when its expenditure would yield survival rewards, it can readily be seen that he did not look with favor upon the proposition of putting forth more than his share of toil. Individually, the large producers cut down their effort, and, collectively, the tribe had less food each successive year. Some of our North-East Indian tribes present us with a picture of society in this stage of development. Loskiel says of them “ ... so lazy that they plant nothing themselves, but rely entirely upon the expectation that others will not refuse to share their produce with them. Since the industrious thus enjoy no more fruit of their labor than the idle, they plant less each year.”
The obvious solution was to make each man do his fair share. Within the clan the patriarch took over this job. The story of Jacob, in the Old Testament, well illustrates the organization of society in this period. Jacob owned the property; he allocated the work; he distributed the supplies; he held all power of punishment and award; and he was personally responsible, to those outside the clan, for the actions of each individual comprising it. “Ye maketh my name to stink,” he told Simeon and Levi, in the course of a reprimand. How completely he regarded himself as the personification of the clan is shown in the rest of the passage: “. . . and I being few in numbers, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house.”
In this society we see the essential elements of communism. Property is owned by the state. Goods are distributed as the central power directs. Each man is assigned his allotted task by the state. The police power is used to insure that he performs that task.
Naturally the simple structure of primitive communistic society is greatly complicated when the size of the state is expanded. Especially is this true in a modern communistic state, when the added complications of manufacturing and trade relationships are considered. The planning function must be delegated to a bureau, which, after the time honored manner of bureaus, become ever expanding. Likewise, the other functions of the communist state—the allocation of tasks, the control of workmen, the delivery of raw materials, the collection of finished products, and the distribution for final consumption—all are the work of bureaus. A communist state is a vast bureaucracy.
Except in a few primitive sections, communism had long been outmoded as a system of social organization, when, in the middle of the nineteenth century, Karl Marx revived it. The opening gun, the call to world revolution, was the Communist Manifesto, co-authored by Frederick Engels and issued in 1847.
The Manifesto is addressed to the bourgeoisie or middle class. It opens with an acknowledgement of their accomplishments. They have created, it says, wonders surpassing Egyptian pyramids, Roman aqueducts, and Gothic cathedrals. Through the production of cheap goods, they are giving a cosmopolitan character to production and consumption whereby a nation no longer produces only from indigenous raw materials and no longer consumes local products alone. The sources for raw materials and the markets for products are both world wide, thus rendering national prejudices and intolerances more and more impossible.
The result of these operations has been the production of profits which, when reinvested, have produced even more profits, leading to an ever-expanding need for markets. Periodically the development of productive facilities outstrips the markets, thus producing the absurdity of an epidemic of over-production. These crises are overcome by the destruction of some of the productive facilities, the more thorough exploitation of old markets and the conquest of new markets.
The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. In this case the struggle is between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, between capital and labor.
With the development of industry, labor not only increases in size but becomes more concentrated. The natural differences in the abilities of these laborers is equalized by the machine, which, by becoming more and more complicated, requires less and less intelligence and skill in the worker, and hence pays lower and lower wages. The proletariat, all suffering from the same adverse conditions, aggravated by the periodic depressions, are forced into combinations. As the ability to procure wage-labor cheaply rests exclusively on competition between the laborers, the combinations into which the proletariat is forced by the conditions of bourgeoisie society, by eliminating competition, are cutting from under its feet the very foundation on which the bourgeoisie produces and appropriates products.
Communists are reproached with desiring to abolish the right to personally acquire property, the fruit of a man’s own labor. There is no need to do that! The wage laborer receives only that quantum of the means of subsistence which is absolutely requisite to keep him in bare existence; hence, he acquires no property to abolish.
You (the bourgeoisie) are horrified at our intent to do away with private property. But the conditions of your society have done away with property for nine-tenths of the population; and its existence for the few is solely due to its non-existence for the many. You reproach us, therefore, with intending to do away with a form of property, the necessary condition for whose existence is the non-existence of any property for the immense majority of society.
In one word, you reproach us with intending to do away with your property. Precisely so; that is just what we intend. The ends of communism can be attained only by forceable overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.
The Manifesto is not the whole of the Marxist system, it is only the basic economic argument underlying the call to world revolution. Capital, Marx claimed, through the power of wealth, controlled and operated the governments of the world. The police functions of states were employed for the protection of the interests of the bourgeoisie and against the interests of the proletariat. The worker, therefore, owed no allegiance to government; his only duty was to his fellow workers. The only way for the workers to obtain justice was to overthrow the state.
Marx was a profound student of history and he probably realized that every previous communist society had resulted either in dictatorship or failure. The revolution was to be followed by a dictatorship of the proletariat. This does not mean that the proletarians were to dictate to their former masters. It means what it says. Marx was proposing that the workers revolt against the alleged dictatorship by the bourgeoisie, in favor of dictatorship by the communist party.
He explained that this was necessary because the capitalists left in the nation would become counter-revolutionists and would entice the remaining capitalistic countries to attack the new state. These latter, in order to prevent the spread of the proletarian revolution, would be willing to come to the aid of the counter-revolutionists. He undoubtedly derived these theories from his studies of the French Revolution. As further arguments for this proposed abnegation of freedom, he advanced the inevitable economic chaos that would necessarily be engendered by the revolution, and the need for educating the proletarians in communism.
The principles upon which the state would be operated, and in which the masses would have to be indoctrinated, were: Common ownership and collective control of all means of production, transportation, and exchange; state planning of industrial operations, employment of personnel, and distribution of produce; there would be no income except wages; each person would receive consumer goods according to his needs, but there would be no private property; atheism would be the state religion; and moral values would be changed so that right would be defined as that which would contribute to the success of the Communist Party.
Whether or not, in the face of all human history proving the contrary, Marx actually believed that a dictatorship would voluntarily surrender its power, he taught that, once the external and internal enemies were neutralized, and the proletariat had been taught the communistic theories, the government would wither away, leaving only a vestigial remnant to serve as a planning board. Humanity would thereafter live in complete peace, friendship, and equality.
Today there are a number of communist governments in the world. The first was the result of the treacherous abuse of amnesty and trust granted to the Bolsheviks by the truly democratic government, which had overthrown the Tsarist regime in Russia. The others came about as the result of internal disorder, and the imminent threat of invasion by the Red Army. No modern Communist Government has come into power in response to public demand. No modern nation has ever voted for communism.
During World War I, the corruptness and inefficiency of the Tsarist government had revolted nobility and commoner alike. This public disgust had reached its height in a series of riots, following the murder, for patriotic reasons, of Rasputin. Tsar Nicholas, realizing that public opinion had been so outraged that he could no longer remain, abdicated in favor of his brother Michael. The next day, March 16, 1917, Michael abdicated in favor of the Provisional Committee of the Duma, which thus became the Provisional Government. The first act of this new government, Decree Number One, abolished all social, religious, and racial discrimination, guaranteed civil liberty, and granted amnesty to political refugees who wished to return to Russia. It also called for an election, based on universal suffrage, of a constituent assembly to draft a constitution for Russia.
The United States recognized the Provisional Government as the legal government of Russia less than a week after it assumed power, on March 22, 1917.
The role of the Bolsheviks in the revolution had been completely inconsequential, but, under the terms of the amnesty they flocked in—Stalin on the twenty-fifth of March and Lenin on the sixteenth of April. They immediately began plotting to overthrow the Provisional Government.
After one abortive attempt to seize power in July, the Bolshevik leaders fled the country. However, General Kornilov, entrusted with extraordinary power by the government, proved to be a traitor and attempted a Tsarist coup. The public revulsion against this was so marked that the remaining Bolsheviks were able to obtain control of the Petrograd and Moscow Soviets. On October 8, 1917, Trotsky was elected President of the Petrograd Soviet. On October 20, Lenin returned, and three days later, at a meeting of the Party Central Committee, forced a decision to attempt another seizure by force. This successful attempt took place on November 7-8. On the latter day, a Bolshevik government was formed with Lenin as president of the Council of People’s Commissars.
The Provisional Government had arranged for the election of a Constituent Assembly on November 25, 1917. In view of their successful seizure of power, the Bolsheviks assumed they would win the election and hence permitted it to be held. When but few Bolsheviks were elected, they first postponed the meeting of the assembly; and then, when it did convene, on January 18, 1918, it was presented with an ultimatum demanding ratification of the Bolshevik seizure of power. The assembly refused. The following morning the Red Guard invaded the meeting and dispersed the members. Thus ended the career of the only assembly ever freely elected in Russia.
At the time of the Bolshevik revolution there were about 240,000 communists in Russia. Today, there are about six million, still less than four percent of the population.
To become a member, one must be sponsored by three members, who assume responsibility for the actions of those candidates whom they recommend. After a year’s probation it is decided whether the candidate merits admission to the party, should be given a longer probationary period, or should be dropped. Even after admission, he may be disenrolled if a party member in a higher echelon feels that he is not as productive as he should be.
In theory, the party members elect an All-Union Party Congress every three years. This is supposed to meet every three years, but neither election nor meeting were held between 1939 and 1952. Again, in theory, this Congress elects a Central Committee which meets every four months. The Committee theoretically appoints the three governing bodies of the Soviet Union. It also approves the acts of these bodies; presumably, it has the power to disapprove them, but no known living delegate has ever voted against approval.
The Political Bureau (POLITBURO) is the most powerful of the three governing bodies. It determines policy for both the Communist Party and the Soviet state.
The Organizational Bureau (ORGBURO), as its name implies, is charged with the planning and administrative work of the party and state. It has departments for administering and directing personnel, propaganda, industry, agriculture, foreign affairs, etc.
The third top Soviet governing body is the General Secretariat. It was created in 1919 to assist the ORGBURO in administering the party. Today it appoints and controls the secretaries of the lower party echelons. Through the Commission of Party Control, it maintains party discipline, ascertains that members adhere to the party line, and directs purges. It enforces the guiding principle of communism, which was designated by Lenin, “The Principle of Democratic Centralism.” This means that all decisions of higher party echelons are completely and absolutely binding on all members of lower echelons.
Control of the state is maintained through control of the electoral procedure, the nation’s economy, the media of communication and publication, the educational systems, the armed forces, and the intelligence and police organizations. However, it has been found necessary to change the basic Marxist concept “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need” to read “from each according to his ability, to each according to his work.”
The Constitution of 1936 guarantees the Soviet citizens a number of rights, including the right to work, which current Soviet propaganda claims to be so basic, that not only will the state protect the citizen in his right to work, but it will insure that he does so by punishing him if he fails to accomplish his allotted share of the work. Other rights parallel those of the citizens of free nations. However, no provision is made for an independent judiciary empowered to enforce rights against government.
In contrast to the present day Communist governments of the world, all of which were imposed by force or threat of force, upon exhausted, frightened, and apathetic populations, freedom and democracy are the end products of governmental evolution. The lever which applied the evolutionary pressure resulting in freedom was private property.
A delegate from Virginia to the Continental Congress sat in a small two room apartment in Philadelphia each evening from the eleventh until the twenty-eighth of June, 1776, laboriously wording and rewording a document which he had been commissioned to write. Therein, Thomas Jefferson, in a few short sentences, gave the philosophical justification of the American Revolution, and of free government everywhere. Those sentences were the epitome of the ideas developed through twenty-five centuries of study by the great philosophers of government.
The first step, in the path toward Philadelphia, was taken by the Greeks in their attempts to explain the phenomena of nature, which they saw about them. They realized that the pagan myths explained nothing, and, that to understand nature, they must abandon traditional “truths” and rely upon observation and reasoning. Thus the concept of freedom of thought became part of the human heritage.
The great Roman contribution to the cause of freedom was the principle of equality of all persons, before the law. This was firmly established under the republic and was carried by the conquering legions to all of the civilized world.
The Roman Empire was succeeded, in western Europe, by the feudal system. Here, the land was owned, in theory at least, by the chief feudal lord or king. He granted large fiefs, or tracts of land, to the greater nobles, who in turn sub-divided their holdings and granted fiefs to lesser lords. This system of grants extended down to the lowest peasant, the serf. The relations of serf to lord and noble to greater noble were contractual, calling for the observance of certain conditions by each of the contracting parties. The liege was bound to protect his man in exchange for specified payments and services.
In certain sections of western Europe, this feudal system evolved into free government. One of the nations in which this occurred was England. As chief feudal lord, the king obtained certain goods and services for war from the chief nobles. Otherwise, these lords governed their holdings as autonomous autocrats. The story of feudalism was one of struggle for ascendency between king and nobility.
In England, by the thirteenth century, the king had so gained ascendency that John of England felt himself strong enough to dispense with his council of lords. The nobility revolted, and, in 1215, at Runnymede, forced the signing of the Magna Carta. This is not, as is sometimes supposed, a democratic document, but rather it is a restatement of the feudal rights of the lords, by which his majesty agreed to abide.
The nobility were rich in land but poor in cash. A middle class, mainly merchants, controlled most of the cash. When the feudal dues proved insufficient to meet the expenses of government, King Henry III decided to include this class in a conference (Parliament —means, “a talking”) about government finances. Edward I used Parliaments regularly to obtain extra cash. Little by little the commoners in Parliament began to bargain for concessions before they made the requested grants.
In 1629, Parliament refused to grant the requests of Charles I and was dissolved. The king ruled without Parliament until 1640, when recurrent governmental financial crises forced him to recall it. This Parliament challenged royal arbitrariness and appealed to the nation, asserting that Parliament had both the right and the duty to protect the nation against a despotic king. As a result of the civil war which followed Charles was executed in 1649. For eleven years England was a commonwealth.
In 1660 Charles II was offered the throne. He took care to observe the prerogatives of Parliament, but James II, upon his succession in 1685, attempted to restore legislative power to the crown. This, of course, led to trouble with Parliament, and, in 1688, that body offered the crown to Mary, the daughter of James, and her husband, William of Orange. When William and Mary accepted this offer to reign as dual monarchs, the acceptance was acknowledgement by the crown that Parliament had the right to bestow the crown.
In 1714 a Hanoverian prince succeeded to the throne as George I. Reared in Germany, he spoke no English and had to delegate the executive power to a minister, the very able Sir Robert Walpole.
Lacking the tremendous prestige of majesty, Walpole was forced to explain and defend necessary legislation before the Parliament, otherwise funds would not be forthcoming. During this period it became recognized that a prime minister who failed to obtain support for his significant measures would be forced to resign.
When George III became king in 1760, he made a determined and, for a time, successful effort to regain the power of the executive for the crown. However, when his policies brought on the American Revolution, opposition grew, and when the war went disastrously against the king, the death-knell of royal power had been sounded in England.
Thus when Jefferson sat in his rooms in Philadelphia pondering the wording of the declaration, he was at the same time writing finis to oppression in England. Many of the Englishmen of that day realized that the American struggle for independence was also the British struggle for freedom. Without a large body of English sympathizers, the American patriots would have been faced with even greater odds than they were. Then, as now, freedom loving Britons and Americans worked together, toward the goal of human freedom.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” Surely these are the most momentous words ever written by man, for not only are they a succinct statement of the philosophical justification of democracy, they likewise embody the political expression of the purposes of the Christian religion.
But just what do these words mean? What is meant by this natural “equality” of which Jefferson wrote? Are there “unalienable” rights other than “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”? Why, if property be essential to human dignity, was it not also mentioned?
We can gain an insight into the meaning which Jefferson gave to these words from a study of those philosophers who were his constant intellectual companions, John Locke, Rousseau, and, above all, Montesquieu.
Man, in his natural state, enjoyed complete freedom. However, the exercise of this complete freedom by a strong individual, often resulted in an invasion of the rights of weaker persons. In order to protect the weak from domination by the strong, governments were instituted. The function of government, then, is to insure that each man enjoys, to the fullest extent commensurate with the rights of others to do likewise, the opportunity to develop himself to the maximum extent of his individual capabilities. To accomplish this objective, it is necessary that society guarantee, to the individual, certain prerogatives free from unwarranted interference by other persons or by society itself. These fundamental prerogatives constitute the “unalienable” rights of man; and equal freedom to their enjoyment constitutes the state of “equality” into which man is created.
Each man has the right to determine the conditions of his employment, to choose his own occupation in a locality which pleases him. He has the right to protection in that occupation, free from unwarranted interference by government or other individuals. He is entitled to a fair return for his labor, commensurate with the effort, skill, and ingenuity with which his occupation is pursued, and commensurate with its over-all value to mankind.
He has the right to enjoy the fruits of his labor, to use those fruits for the acquisition of property, and to the use and enjoyment of that property, and the income thereof, without unnecessary or unnatural restrictions.
Each man may think about any subject in which he may be interested. He has the right to gather information on that subject and to perform reasonable experiments. He is entitled to deduce or induce conclusions from all information which he can gather.
He has the right to disseminate his opinions by speech or press; and to hear, analyze, and pass upon the ideas of others, without unnecessary or unreasonable restrictions.
He is entitled to call or attend any assembly, which is conducted in a peaceful and orderly manner, and which is not provocative of riot. He may do this without unwarranted interference, and without fear of reprisal.
He has the right to petition government for a redress of grievances, and to criticize or to oppose, in an orderly manner, any acts of government, which he deems to be prejudicial to his interests.
He has the right to worship God in the manner of his choice.
Above all, he is entitled to have maintained and available for his use, a strong and impartial judicial system, free from influence by the other branches of government, in which his wrongs can be righted and his rights maintained against other individuals, or against the state itself.
Had Jefferson been asked why he did not deem it necessary to include the possession and enjoyment of property among the rights to be specifically mentioned in the declaration, he undoubtedly would have replied that property rights are so fundamental to the pursuit of human happiness, and that the concept of communal ownership is so archaic, that it would have been anachronistic, in an enlightened age, to make an issue of the rights of individuals to own property. But that was three-quarters of a century before the Communist Manifesto.
Before proceeding to a comparison of the issues existing between the communists and ourselves, it would be germane to point out a few of the obvious errors which history has disclosed in the Manifesto and the Marxist theories generally.
Had the communist theories been valid, today, more than a hundred years after the Manifesto, the progressive deterioration in the condition of the workers, which Marx proclaimed as inherent in the capitalistic system, would have rendered them miserable indeed. For at the time Marx wrote, the industrial revolution had created the maximum dislocation and breakdown of old social habits, without having as yet introduced the new. Hours of labor were long and the pay was low; hence, living conditions for the working class were very bad.
Marx assumed that the communist revolution would originate in the most highly industrialized nations and would spread spontaneously throughout the world. Instead, it came to the most backward of Western nations, and was entirely political in character. It has spread only as the result of the direct threat of military invasion; and far from showing a tendency to spread spontaneously, the masters of the Soviet have found it necessary to erect an artificial barrier to trade and communication, in order to prevent their peoples from comparing their living standards with those of the peoples of the free nations.
Marx’s greatest error was in his assumption that civilization and progress are based on class antagonism. It is true that history records a sad story of civilizations wrecked by class warfare. These are the tragedies, not the triumphs of civilization. When we have a record of cooperation by all citizens, acting in accordance with the Christian ideal, we see periods of tremendous national accomplishment. It is no more logical to assume that, because the wages of labor and the profits of investment cannot both have the same dollar, they are necessarily antagonistic, than it is to assume that the interests of husband and wife are necessarily antagonistic, because they cannot both spend the same dollar of the family income. The best interests of labor and investment, as of husband and wife, are inextricably intertwined. Through mutual cooperation the over-all family income is increased; labor receives its higher wage, and investment receives larger profits. It is elementary that the laboring man profits by being employed in a sound company, and that industry profits by having loyal workers.
However, Marx was right in one of his tenets. The communist state has a dictatorship of the proletariat, reinforced by extensive bureaucracy, secret police, informers, and all of the other trappings of tyranny. The communist party dominates the state and all other parties are proscribed. Within the party itself, instead of the complete democracy anticipated by Marx, we see control by “democratic” centralism. After more than a third of a century, when a whole new generation has been raised and educated in the principles of socialism, and both internal and external threats have disappeared, except for purposes of internal propaganda, that withering away of the state, which Marx promised, has yet to make its appearance. By contrast, in a democracy, the government is conducted in accordance with the will of the majority of its citizens, but with due regards to the right of opposition by minorities.
Socialization of productive property in the Soviet Union is so far advanced that it may be considered as completed. But the anticipated utopia has failed to materialize. This is due as much to the large proportion of industry which is diverted to war material production as to the inherent inefficiency of the productive system. Of all the nations of the world, only the U.S.S.R. has a state operated black market. If a family has any money available after purchasing the goods for which they have been issued ration coupons, they may spend their extra rubles at these black market stores. A quantity of fair quality goods is available, but at outrageous prices. The land has been taken from the peasant-farmers, and converted into large scale collective farms. The peasant workers are paid a share of the produce, depending on the importance of their job. However, the state takes such a large portion of the crops, that the share-cropper peasants receive a bare subsistence quantum. The democratic ideal is to have all productive property in the hands of the people. To a large extent, this is realized except in cases involving investment of such great amounts that they cannot be undertaken by private industry.
The management of Soviet industry is vested in a planning bureau, which decides what will be produced, where it will be produced, and who will produce it. Labor relations are quite simple; the workman is told where he will work, what he will do, and how much he will produce each day. Under democracy, demand determines what is to be produced. Competition causes each producer to strive to make his products more attractive, better, or cheaper. The worker works where he will, at the work of his choice. He joins with his fellows in collective bargaining and if he is not satisfied with his conditions of employment, reimbursement or prospects, he quits and goes elsewhere.
In the 1936 constitution of the U.S.S.R., the Soviet citizen is guaranteed freedom of thought, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of worship. However, no independent judiciary is provided which is capable of enforcing these rights. In the democracies, these rights are living realities, protected by strong and independent judicial systems.
The most significant difference between communism and democracy is the difference in moral climate. Under Marxism, there is an absence of those religions and moral values which form the background of democratic society. To replace traditional virtues, right is redefined as that which will advance the interests of the communist party.
The ultimate goal of communism is a society in which each person performs, willingly and with a spirit of cooperation and friendliness, those tasks which are allocated to him by the state planning board. The state has no police function because man has progressed beyond the necessity for regulation by police. The democratic ideal envisions man as having evolved to a point where he will accept his natural rights without abusing the privilege by infringing upon the rights of his fellows. There are those who say that under the communist ideal man would be reduced to an automaton. However, we will assume that both systems seek the evolution of man to an ideal state. Let us see which system might accomplish it.
The great English historian, Arnold J. Toynbee, has completed several volumes of a monumental Study of History. In the first volumes, Toynbee makes an excellent case for the thesis that civilization develops as the result of response to challenge.
In order to evoke response, the challenge must be real, and, up to a certain point, the greater the challenge, the greater the civilizing response. But this is a limited truth. Beyond that certain point, the mere struggle to sustain life absorbs so much of the energies of society that civilization fails to develop. Of course, in the face of even sterner challenge, man ceases to exist.
Society is composed of individuals; if the laws regarding civilization evoking responses apply to society, it is only because they apply to the members of that society as individuals. Man responds with progress to a challenge which is real but not overwhelming.
Under communism, his livelihood guaranteed by the state, the challenge to the individual is very slight. On the other hand, if despite the weak challenge, the individual develops a progressive idea, he immediately comes into basic conflict with the intrenched bureaucracy involved in planning. Thus communism, as an evolution evoking system, suffers from the dual faults of too little challenge to encourage initiative and overwhelming challenge if initiative be displayed. The very system, then, is inimical to the goal it purports to seek.
In a democracy, the economic system offers great opportunity for intelligence, application, ingenuity, and initiative. This is the challenge, which is delivered by free enterprise. At the same time, the individual sees all about him concrete evidence that others have succeeded. He is encouraged to make the effort; the challenge is sufficient to evoke response, but not overwhelming. Thus democracy, by its nature, does tend to accomplish its evolutionary goal.
Unnecessary harm has been done to our cause by irresponsible arguments, made to secure appropriations for foreign aid. Statements that hungry men are not interested in democracy may be true, but they carry the subtle implication that, if we do not bribe countries with depressed economies, they will go communistic.
This idea is absolutely false!
Every nation that has fallen prey to communism, since World War II, has done so under threat of imminent invasion by the Red Army, and not under pressure from the internal proletariat.
Communism is an ideology, a group of related ideas. These ideas are false. The way to combat false ideas is through truth, and not through bribery. Where attempts are made to introduce communism by force, the threat must be met by force, not bribery.
Fundamentally, the United States has been extending economic assistance to our allies because they are our friends and they need help. This help does enable them to become strong enough to offer effective resistance to external aggression. Therefore, it encourages them to resist communization through intimidation.
The leaders of the Soviet State realize, by now, that their system cannot compete with free enterprise in the living standards created for their people. They know that if their citizens are able to make comparisons of their lot with the welfare of the peoples of free nations, it will breed discontent. Therefore, they have drawn an “iron curtain” between our worlds, not to prevent our seeing in, but to prevent their people from seeing out. Despite prohibitions of travel and censorship of news, they know that knowledge of the outside world cannot be withheld forever from the people. They know that this knowledge will breed discontent and rebellion. Time is running out for them. The hour of decision must come soon. As Hitler blue-printed his intentions in Mein Kampf, so Lenin and Stalin have blue-printed Soviet intentions. Lenin says that it is inconceivable that communism and democracy can exist side by side in this world. Inevitably one must perish.
Whether hot or cold, economic or military, we are engaged in war to the death. They will it so. These are the issues which that war will decide:
Are men with ability and ingenuity to be permitted to make inventions, improve industrial processes, and develop businesses, or are all phases of national economic life to become functions of bureaucracy?
Is man to be permitted to acquire property and accumulate savings, or is all property to be owned by the state?
Is man to be free to choose his own work; or will he be told what to do, and where to do it, by a government bureau?
Is man to be free to quit a job he does not like; or is he to fulfill a work quota, under threat of punishment?
Is man to have a judicial system capable of enforcing his rights of free thought, free speech, free press, and free assemblage, or are these rights to go by default?
Is man to live under a government which derives its just powers from the consent of the governed, or is he to live under a dictatorship of the proletariat?
Is man to be taught that he should do right, because doing right coincides with the Divine will, or is he to be taught that right is that which contributes to the interest of the Communist Party?
Is society to continue its path of evolution toward the betterment of man, or is it to be set back six thousand years to the dawn of civilization?
Is man to live under the philosophy of Jesus Christ; or is he to live under the ranting of Karl Marx?
Is man to be free, or is he to be a slave?
Ours is a generation of destiny. Either we shall be the last free men in the world, or posterity shall look to us, with gratitude, as the generation which saved civilization. Our officers and men must realize that theirs may well be a determinative part, in this struggle for freedom. They will achieve that sense of dedication, which is essential to the creation of an invincible fighting force if they can be made to understand the tremendous importance of these issues, which depend upon their efficiency, if they realize how right is our cause, and how wrong is that of our enemy. To paraphrase words spoken two thousand years ago in Galilee: These issues we must teach, for they are truth; and the truth shall make us free!