What follows is more than mere speculation.
My opinions here are based on many years of face-to-face experiences with Marxist totalitarianism, but as known by its victims and not its camp followers.
This analysis is also based on almost 50 years of gauging Marxist systems as applied to a variety of national landscapes, going back to the events preceding the October Revolution in Russia in 1917. I used to read a lot about things like village life in Russian mirs. I even saw “Fiddler on the Roof” on stage.
But mine is still only an opinion. If for hire it would be commingled along with other opinions to be weighed by whoever the boss was that commissioned them. Still, this is more than mere speculation, and certainly more than the kind of political analyses offered today that rely on clairvoyance to weld a smattering of anonymous sources and suspicions into circumstantial evidence.
The hope for Communism in America was for many years based on the Soviet model, an industrially-managed society. Almost no consideration was shown to Mao’s agrarian model until the 1990s, when it was no longer agrarian. When I saw the depths to which the USSR had fallen by 1991, alongside some of their satellite states, I wondered out loud if any of the old Commies in America had noticed this too, for the signs of cancer had been unmistakable since Brezhnev. But while their citizens largely hated the “imperial communists” (their term) they were no longer afraid of them. In the 80s and 90s they played a popular “game” (sometimes risky) called “tricking the government”, sometimes for profit, but other times for sport. I learned a lot by how they did these things.
I knew a few low-level ministry employees who had been introduced to and married American professionals through one of those “dating services” common to the Soviet bloc since the late 80s. I knew one lawyer who went twice a year, two weeks each trip, but with no intention of finding a wife. He said he preferred their women to Americans because “they had no store-bought parts.”.
One young woman, the Bulgarian wife of an engineer in Cincinnati, once detailed her daily workday at a ministry in Sofia…subway trip in at 9, out for lunch at 11, back to work at 2, then some days sneak out to shop at 4, and home by 7 for dinner. Their favorite pastime was to window-shop, but there was never anything they could afford to buy in those early days. That would all change after the ’98 Kosovo War, when there would be hundreds of small businesses, no longer showcasing impossible-to-afford European wares but local and regional manufacture. Knock-offs, but a beehive of buying and selling.
And there was the fingerprints of local mafia in just about every transaction, from store rental, to “property insurance”, delivery services, to the final transaction. When I was last there in 2009, every small business transaction was still in cash, and every business kept two sets of book.
Just like New York City since 1900.
Over tea my friend’s wife scolded me because Americans worked too hard and never seemed to have the fun she did when she was on the state payroll in Sofia. Shaking my head I hoped her children would someday be able to connect that one simple dot, Work = Disposable Income. But I’m not sure it would ever sink in among young professionals where the only game in town had always been “tricking the state.”
Bernie Sanders visited the USSR at about this time,1988, but he was a city mayor by then, so I doubt he was able to gain any insights into the things that a “man of the people” would find important to know. But Bernie never identified publically as a “communist” although I suspect, in his heart he very much is, for he seems to believe in the out-of-fashion “state owning the means of production” dogma, which alongside “There is no god but the State” (strong- arm atheism) are cornerstones of originalist Marxist communism.
In the 1990s, Gerald Nadler, congressman from New York also identified as a Communist, as did Van Jones, a snappy dressing activist who proclaimed communism in the 90s, wrote a book, and on that that cachet joined Obama’s staff as White House Counsel on Environmental Quality. Van knew as much about the science of the environment as he did about Karl Marx. (Old World Marxists would have shamed 90% of the American professoriate with their command of the Dialectic.) But Van Jones didn’t draw attention for all the things he didn’t know about Marxism, but more for his appreciation for the finer things in life (which Soviet bosses went to great lengths to keep from public view). He signaled that conspicuous wealth and looking good was no longer anathema to the goals of communism.
Embracing this the American Left acknowledged that the Soviets had gone rust-belt, like Ohio, and therefore was declasse. I recommend the TV drama “Chernobyl” for a sense of how shallow Soviet communism had become below their top leadership, which was protected like a papacy. The rest of their system was flagrantly indifferent to turning the entire nation into a rust-belt, a clear sign of bureaucratic metastasis.
To the American Left, more simply, they were no longer hip.
But alongside this giant fail of the Soviet brand of communism, there arose the New China, culturally and historically inveterate lovers and displayers of power and wealth for centuries, only kept under wraps for 50 years. Even better for American leftists, they lied and cheated right in their victims’ faces, and then had the gall to make their victims publicly suck it up. Hutzpah. Canada was particularly easy, kowtowing at every bruise.
It wasn’t that Chinese leadership was so suave and debonair, for no one in world leadership, not even the French, could be as suave and debonair as the American Left sees itself. But they were so distant and removed, even mysterious, so offending them was what most people feared.
China represented an authoritarian style the American Left had always wanted to exude. Be afraid and don’t ask questions. And stay on your side of the curtain.
So in the 1990s there began a quiet trend of burying that old nasty word “Communist” and replacing it with “Socialist”, a term so respected in Europe it outranks being “Christian” today. New books began to proliferate as quickly as new NGO institutes could be organized to publish them. I’ve had a few. And American college professors, eager to dump their Fords and buy new Volvo’s, eagerly met the challenge.
So today, virtually no biography will mention that Gerald Nadler once was a communist. Nor Van Jones.
But a better cut of business suit does not alter what the American Left was always willing to do to achieve power.
The American Left probably knows American (cultural) history better than most Patriots do today, for the simple reasons they look for weaknesses they can exploit. One of my mistakes in the 90s was assuming that our side had think tanks that analyzed the Left in the same way, including war-gaming things that could be done to blight their path. It seems they never got past musing. Yelling “ouch” has become an art form of the American Right.
This is why the Left knows they simply cannot easily morph into a socialist system in America as the Europeans have done.
The European people were never fully in charge of any level of their governments. Theirs were always top down, and have been adding tiers of authority since the European Union was formed in 1993. So, it will be interesting to see if the people of England will be able to prevail with a Brexit they voted for two years ago, for all they have, much like the people of Hong Kong, is to be able to take to the streets, get tons of press and some sympathy in America, and even gain some temporary pause, as the Chinese have just extended to the Hong Kongese. But they haven’t the physical means to force the issue to a final conclusion. This goes for the rest of western Europeans who’d like to kick the EU out of their lives as well.
And that those people even get this consideration is the single fact that America is still alive and strong. Were it not for the United States half a million Hong King residents and British citizens would already be in some gulag somewhere, or perhaps, especially in China, pushing up daisies.
The American Left knows exactly what the American Constitution granted to the People of this country. There is no ambiguity…it is full ownership of the Nation…a thing no European has ever been taught about his own country; in school, in church, or at their parents’ knee.
And that musket still hanging over virtually every American fireplace secures our Peoples’ right to exercise the prerogatives of that ownership.
The Left knows this, even if 50% of the Republican Party pretend they don’t.
So when Barack Obama assumed office in Feb, 2009, with majorities in both chambers of Congress, he and his inner circle must have discussed this in these kinds of terms.
But they didn’t leap.
Should Obama have suspended the Constitution in those first two years? Could he and gotten away with it? They all knew what might happen; an armed uprising when (not if) they attempted to confiscate the people’s muskets. Did Obama have the courage? And was it even entirely his decision to make?
Democrats had almost absolute power for two years, until Feb, 2011, when the American people rose up to take the House of Representative away from them. All they had to show for those two years was Obamacare, which, nine short years later has all but been written out of existence. Worse, almost all the Obama executive achievements have been reversed; half a million jobs returned, regulatory agencies de-fanged and Obama’s (promised…to somebody?) destruction of the private sector middle class well on its way to full recovery.
My guess is that they chose a different path to getting those guns, a path that was more in keeping with the classy high opinion they have of themselves (“Lawyers wives and reformed whores”, not Bedouin princes). One wing of the Democrat party wants to project this image, as Xi has been able to convey in his police state, of giving the outward appearance of sophistication, but ruthless control behind the curtain (with the aid of a fawning media and complicit international tech sector who can hide these ugly truths with mirrors).
Still, they have to get those guns.
How violent would/could a confiscation be? After the 2010 election they got a good idea, sealed by the citizens doubling down in 2014 and 2016.
So, will there ever be an easy time to take those guns?
My view: From the Obama (team’s) view, the reality of a shooting civil war is a bitter pill, especially since there was no clear indication how the American military and several police agencies would turn. They could actually lose militarily. That there would be massive casualties would be only a secondary consideration. Their “hater wing” thinks 30% casualties would be just fine. But losing and going to jail (being hung?) is unthinkable in the worldview of the un-spanked.
If it weren’t for those “goddamn muskets” (not my thoughts, but Booker’s, Warren’s, certainly Beto’s, Swalwell’s, and several more.)…”this would be easy.”
Their Party really is split. The “Hater-wing” wants to inflict pain, and in a way they can watch and cheer. Instant gratification. That’s what floats their boat, getting even, and not some new, brighter tomorrow singing Koombaya. These make up a sizeable wing of their party, especially the young radicals (think Bolshevikis). They have been pushing re-education camps (a la Gulag) for recalcitrant Patriots and Christians (and now, apparently religious Jews) since Obama’s first term.
But the older Party’s thinking probably is that it would be better to ease into that kind of power demographically, which would entail the replacement of each passing generation with a newer more indoctrinated one. Maybe in 30 years a gun confiscation would be more practical. Or maybe 50. They’ve been moving progressively in this direction for years, with their one prevailing belief that with each generation the Patriot gene is diluted, as the older patriot blood dies out.
This would lead to a passing of power to cleaner “unbloodied” hands, which looks good in a new world order where everyone curtseys, nods and smiles and speaks French. Fops. They argue that it is better to dispatch us quietly over time, and design the means to erase us clinically, in every medium, from the family Bible to the history books. Poof, the old America will be gone, in say, 60-80 years.
All they needed is one election, and Hillary was supposed to be it. They miscalculated. So now the Bolshevik wing of the party is more in play. (Recommend the 1985 translated book by Roy Medvedev, The October Revolution, to get some sense of how quickly things can shift.)
So the Democratic side of this 2020 election could be one for the books.
This is modern Democrats’ crucible, What to, What to do?
For they are chasing a product that will always fail because it always has failed. And by natural law, has to fail. What starts out as gentle velvet glove-socialism will always have to turn iron fist totalitarian because of a list of natural laws, from institutional (bureaucratic) to human (gluttony, greed, etc., same old list) predicable weaknesses. Their wellspring of nice-guy ideas will simply run dry, and they will have to unleash the dogs of pain to quell first the quarrelsome then eventually the hungry masses until finally they Pol Pot people to death in camps and are eventually invaded by another power that is just a little meaner and more hungry for territory.
World history redux. Just like Satan first drew it up in 3500 BC.
And America will have simply become its latest victim.
God wipes tear. Back to the drawing board,