Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Fall of the Wall: Communists Change Management

What strikes me about the fall of the Berlin Wall twenty years later (roughly the span of one generation) is that it removed a much-needed ideological enemy for the West. When the iron curtain was pulled back, the West was yanked into an invisible brick wall in a supreme act of political jujitsu.

Obama's self-promotional infomercial on the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall can thus easily be explained away by the fact that he doesn't even acknowledge the collapse of communism to have happened. Since his university training taught him that reality is all in his mind, if he doesn't believe it, then it isn't true. If you look closely at the video, you can see tiny breaks and electronic hiccups characteristic of Johnny Mnemonic-like disruption. This suggests to me that it wasn't even Obama on the tape but his CGI body double uploaded via the insidious TOTUS. I smell yakuza.

On a slighly less serious note, some comments on the fall of the wall. What does it mean and can we put it back up? We could really use a supervillain right about now for the right to get back in business. Obama's 14 carat smile is just too polished to typecast him as the Blofeld of international communism. Can someone shave his head and put a giant splotch on it? That would be great.

I suppose I need to do an obligatory analysis, or my three fans will be disappointed. So why was the fall of the Berlin Wall bad? Well, because it means that communists could ideologically subvert the United States unimpeded.

Mutually Assured Destruction ensured that the communists could not conquer the West through direct military force and the USSR and China learned that they could not overwhelm the United States in an arms race, even when they ran their military complexes at maximum capacity.

The greatest strategy available to communists was to subvert the West from within; and there was a huge opening - freedom and tolerance for ideas. The Achilles heel of the West was not so much that it is free and tolerant of dissent, but that the intellectual leadership was unwilling to assert Western values in defiance of tyranny.

This left the intellectual leadership open to ideological subversion. It is well-known now that the universities are so morally bankrupt that academics will support the enemies of their country, even if it against their self-interest to do so. And this is the crux: When you make people feel guilty for acting in their self-interest, you have begun to erode their self-confidence as a nation. As Ayn Rand clearly points out throughout her works, altruism, and its political form communism, is a philosophy of civilizational suicide.

So when the wall fell, the work of the communists was done. Then the jujitsu maneuver could do its magic. What were the keys to "pulling the rug out" from under the West?

First, as we all know from watching The Usual Suspects, "the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he didn't exist." The West ceased being ideologically assertive because the enemy was vanquished.

Second, the West (as could be predicted from Stephen Walt's Balance of Threat theory) broke up into several rival coalitions. The EU and NAFTA emerged, and NATO lost cohesion and commitment. The invisible enemy of communism became less threatening, and this resulted in the dissolution of strong alliances.

Third, and most importantly, the communist left rebranded as the environmental left. This is in accordance with the Frankfurt School concept of "Critical Theory" - which packages the economic destruction of capitalism in as many different cultural movements as possible. This ploy diffuses the perception of threat emerging from the left. The key was to make the sundry leftist movements as seemingly noble, if not innocuous, as possible. The environmental movement is the crown jewel of critical theory-type movements. One could convincingly argue that the reds re-united under the banner of the greens.

What happened in Berlin in 1989 was not a revolution. It was a reorganization under new management. And why would the CEO of international communism celebrate that?

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