Introduction: How the Specter of Communism Is Ruling Our World (UPDATED)

The specter of communism did not disappear with the disintegration of the Communist Party in Eastern Europe
June 28, 2018 Updated: September 14, 2020

The Epoch Times here serializes an adaptation from Chinese of the book How the Specter of Communism Is Ruling Our World, by the editorial team of Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party.

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Table of Contents

1. Communism: A Devil Bent on the Destruction of Humanity

2. The Devil’s Ways and Means

3. Communism: The Devil’s Ideology

4. A Metaphysical Understanding of the Devil

5. The Devil’s Many Faces

6. Socialism: The Preliminary Stage of Communism

7. Romantic Notions About Communism

8. The Destruction of Culture and Morality

9. Returning to the Divine and Tradition

Introduction

The collapse of the communist regimes in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe marked the end of a half-century-long Cold War between the capitalist and communist camps in the West and the East. At the time, many were optimistic, believing that communism had become a relic of the past.

The sad truth, however, is that a transmogrified communist ideology has taken hold and entrenched itself around the world. In China, North Korea, Cuba, and Vietnam, there are outright communist regimes; in Eastern European countries, communist ideology and customs still exert a significant influence; and in African and South American countries, socialism is practiced under the banner of democracy and republicanism. Then there are the nations of Western Europe and North America, which have become host to communist influences without people even realizing it.

Communism breeds war, famine, slaughter, and tyranny. These in themselves are terrifying enough, but the damage dealt by communism goes far beyond this. It has become increasingly clear that, unlike any other system in history, communism declares war on humanity itself — including human values and human dignity.

After establishing massive dictatorships in the Soviet Union and China, communism came to rule billions of people and caused more than one hundred million unnatural deaths in less than a century. In its overt attempts at world revolution, the communist bloc brought the world to the brink of nuclear war; meanwhile, leftist thinkers and activists have promoted the deliberate and widespread destruction of the family, social order, and traditional morality.

What is the nature of communism? What is its objective? Why does it take mankind as its enemy? How can we escape it?

1. Communism: A Devil Bent on the Destruction of Humanity

The Communist Manifesto begins with the sentence “A specter is haunting Europe — the specter of communism.” The use of the term “specter” was not a whim on the part of Karl Marx. As we argue in this book, communism should not be understood as an ideological movement, a political doctrine, or a failed attempt at a new way of ordering human affairs. Instead, it should be understood as a devil — an evil specter forged by hate, degeneracy, and other elemental forces in the universe.

Following the Cold War, the poison of communism not only continued to harm formerly communist countries, but also spread throughout the world. Since then, the ideological infiltration of communism has enabled the specter to influence human society on a global scale. Under the influence of communist ideas, countless people have lost their ability to discern right from wrong, to differentiate good from evil. The devil’s conspiracy has been carried out to an advanced stage of completion.

2. The Devil’s Ways and Means

Man was created by the divine, and divine compassion has long protected man. The devil knew this, and so it set about severing this connection, in order to corrupt man and ensure that the divine would no longer take care of him. The devil’s approach has been to subvert the culture given to mankind by the divine, in order to undermine human morality and thus warp man, making him unworthy of salvation.

Both good and evil, the divine and the devil, reside in the heart of every person. A life can sink into immoral decadence or elevate through moral cultivation. Those who believe in the divine know that by striving for moral conduct and thought, one’s righteous thoughts can be strengthened by the divine, and the divine then will allow miracles to happen. The divine will also help one’s morality rise in level so as to help one become a nobler person, in the end allowing one to return to heaven.

A person of low morality, however, is filled with selfishness: desire, greed, ignorance, and hubris. While the divine will never recognize such thoughts and actions, the devil will magnify them, intensifying his selfishness and wickedness. Manipulated to commit wrongdoing, he thus creates more karma and causes further moral decay, until, in the end, only Hell awaits him.

If the moral standards of human society as a whole decline, the devil will hasten this trend with the goal of causing more sins, more karma, and humanity’s eventual destruction. The turbulence of Europe beginning in the eighteenth century and the attendant moral decline gave the devil such an opportunity. It set about subverting, step by step, the criteria of discernment between good and evil. It promoted atheism, materialism, Darwinism, and the philosophy of struggle.

The devil chose Marx as its envoy among men. In The Communist Manifesto, published in 1848, Marx and his associate Friedrich Engels advocated the violent destruction of private enterprise, social classes, nations, religions, and the family. The destructive Paris Commune of 1871 was the communist specter’s first direct attempt at seizing power.

Marx’s followers argue that political power is the central question of Marxian political science. This is both true and not true. When we clearly see communism’s ultimate aims, we can recognize that political power is both important and unimportant to the communist project. It’s important in that access to political power allows for a rapid means of corrupting humankind. With control over the levers of power, communists can promote their ideology with violence and eradicate a traditional culture in mere decades or less. Yet it’s also unimportant, in that even without the apparatus of the state, the devil has other means of exploiting the weaknesses and shortcomings of man: even when communists do not hold political power, the specter’s earthly agents can deceive, co-opt, coerce, and confuse society, subverting order and creating upheaval to overturn traditional thought. Communism uses such “divide and conquer” tactics in its efforts to gain global control.

3. Communism: The Devil’s Ideology

The divine established a rich culture for human society based on universal values, paving the way for humans to return to heaven. Communism and the traditional culture of the divine are irreconcilable.

At the core of the evil specter are atheism and materialism — a confluence of elements from German philosophy, French social revolution, and British political economics, assembled as a secular religion meant to replace the position previously occupied by the divine and orthodox beliefs.

Communism turns the world into its church, bringing all aspects of social life under its purview. The devil occupies people’s thoughts, causing them to revolt against the divine and discard tradition. This is how the devil leads man to his own destruction.

The devil chose Marx and others as its agents to oppose and destroy the principles laid down by the divine for human society. In the East, it launched a violent revolution and established a totalitarian state that united politics and secular religion. In the West, it establishes progressive, nonviolent communism through high levels of taxation and wealth redistribution. On a global scale, it seeks to spread communist ideology to political systems everywhere, with the goal of undermining nation-states and establishing a global ruling body. This is the “paradise on earth” promised in communism, a supposed collective society without classes, nations, or government, based on the principle of “from each according to his ability and to each according to his need.”

Communism uses its program of creating a “paradise” on earth to promote an atheistic conception of “social progress.” It uses materialism to undermine the spiritual pursuits of mankind in order to enable communist ideology to spread to every sphere, including not only social studies and philosophy but even natural sciences and religious teaching. Like a malignant tumor, communism metastasizes, eliminating other beliefs — including the belief in the divine — as it spreads. In turn, it destroys national sovereignty and identity, and humanity’s moral and cultural traditions, thus leading man to destruction. In The Communist Manifesto, Marx proclaimed, “The communist revolution is the most radical rupture with traditional property relations; no wonder that its development involves the most radical rupture with traditional ideas.” Marx thus accurately summarized the practice of communism over the past two centuries.

The divine is the source of moral order, and the divine’s morality is eternal and unchanging. Moral standards are not for man to determine for himself, nor can they be changed by man. Communism sentences morality to death and attempts to have the communist New Man establish a fake revolutionary morality. It uses negative methods to expel all the positive factors from human traditions, with the goal of having negative factors occupy the world.

Traditional laws come from morality and are intended to uphold it. Communism tries to separate morality from the law, then destroy morality by concocting malicious new laws and subjecting existing law to twisted interpretations.

The divine calls upon man to be kind; communism incites class struggle and advocates violence and killing.

The divine established the family as the basic social unit; communism believes that the family is a manifestation of private property and capitalism, and aims to eliminate it.

The divine gives man the freedom to obtain wealth and the right to improve his lot in life; communism seeks to control all aspects of economic life by eliminating private property, expropriating assets, raising taxes, and monopolizing credit and capital.

The divine established the forms that morality, government, law, society, and culture should take; communism seeks the violent overthrow of existing social structures.

The divine transmitted to man the unique form of traditional art as a means of passing on the divine image. Traditional art recalls to mankind the beauty of heaven, reinforces faith, elevates morality, and nurtures virtue. Communism, on the other hand, would have man worship warped modern creations — artistic productions that stifle our divine nature, give full rein to the demonic impulse toward chaos and disorder, and manipulate the art world by spreading base, ugly, malformed, evil, and decadent ideas.

The divine wants man to be humble and full of reverence and wonder at heavenly creation. Communism connives at the demonic and arrogant side in man, encouraging him to revolt against the divine. By amplifying the evil inherent and inescapable in human nature, it exploits the idea of “freedom” to encourage conduct that is unrestrained by morality and unfettered by a sense of duty or honor. The slogan of “equality” is used to stir up envy and vanity, stoking man’s desire for fame and material interests.

After World War II, the communists expanded their military and economic empire, and the communist bloc and the free world contended for decades. In countries ruled by overt communist regimes, its doctrine became a secular religion — an unchallengeable dogma written into textbooks. But elsewhere, communism took root under other guises.

4. A Metaphysical Understanding of the Devil

The idea of the devil referred to in this text is that of a supernatural power. To understand the chaos sown by the devil throughout the world, one must come to fully grasp the true nature of communism.

Simply put, the specter of communism is composed of hate; it draws its energy from the hatred that wells up in the human heart.

The communist specter is tied to Satan. Often the two are indistinguishable, thus we will not make an effort to consider them separately.

The devil’s arrangements are present in both the East and the West, in every profession, and in every walk of life. Sometimes its power is divided, sometimes integrated; sometimes it uses this tactic, sometimes that. It follows no simple pattern. The communist specter is the initiator of an unrestricted war on mankind that has created battlefields out of every conceivable sphere, from academia to popular culture, from social affairs to international relations.

The specter’s dark energy can migrate at will from one vehicle to the next. For instance, after the anti-war movement faded in the West in the 1970s, the devil manipulated rebellious adolescents to channel their energies into agitating for feminism, environmentalism, and the legalization of homosexuality. The devil then used these efforts to subvert Western civilization from within.

The devil recruits those of villainous character to serve as its agents and representatives in the human world. Under the specter’s power, they use deceptive appeals to humanity and other fallacious narratives to draw compassionate and innocent people into the fold. Their sense of justice and morality hijacked by communism, they become some of the specter’s most loyal apologists.

The devil’s agents — most of whom are unaware of their role — are everywhere in society, from the elite, to the middle class, to the lower classes. Thus, its activities manifest sometimes as bottom-up revolutions, sometimes as top-down conspiracies, and sometimes as reforms from the center.

The devil can change forms and exist in multiple places at once. It uses lowly beings and specters in other dimensions to do its work. These beings feed on man’s negative energies, including hate, fear, despair, arrogance, rebelliousness, jealousy, lust, rage, frenzy, idleness, and more. Pornography and drug addiction are tools the devil uses.

The devil is secretive and full of guile. It uses man’s avarice, wickedness, and darkness to achieve its ends, and as long as a person’s thoughts align with these qualities, the devil can control that person. Many times, people think they are acting according to their own thoughts, failing to realize they are being manipulated.

5. The Devil’s Many Faces

Just as the devil goes by many names, communism manifests in many ways. The demon uses contradictory positions to deceive: a totalitarian regime or a democracy, a planned economy or a market economy, control of the press or no restraints whatsoever on speech, opposition to homosexuality in some countries or legalization of homosexuality in other countries, wanton environmental destruction or clamor for environmental protection, and so on.

It can advocate violent revolution or embrace peaceful transition. It may manifest as a political and economic system or as an ideological trend in art and culture. It may take the form of pure idealism or cold-blooded scheming. Communist totalitarian regimes are just one of the demon’s manifestations. Marxism-Leninism and Maoism form just one aspect of the devil’s pernicious deceit.

Since utopian socialism developed in the eighteenth century, the world has seen the emergence of numerous ideological currents: scientific socialism, Fabian socialism, syndicalism, Christian socialism, democratic socialism, humanitarianism, eco-socialism, welfare capitalism, Marxism-Leninism, and Maoism. These ideologies are of two broad and sometimes overlapping types: violent communism or nonviolent communism. The nonviolent strains take the approach of infiltrating and gradually eroding the status quo.

One of the many ways the devil deceives is by making arrangements in the two opposing camps of the East and the West. As it carried out a vast invasion of the East, it also took on a new guise and stole into the West. The Fabian Society of Britain, the Social Democratic Party of Germany, the Second International of France, the Socialist Party in the United States, and many other socialist parties and organizations spread the seeds of destruction throughout Western Europe and North America.

During the Cold War, the concentration camps, slaughter, famines, and purges in the Soviet Union and China made some Westerners count themselves lucky that they still lived in luxury and freedom. Some socialists publicly condemned the violence of the Soviet Union on humanitarian grounds, which led many to let down their guard around them.

The demon of communism inhabits a variety of complex guises in the West and operates under many banners, making it almost impossible to counter. The following schools or movements were either derived from communism or used by communism to reach its ends: liberalism, progressivism, the Frankfurt School, Neo-Marxism, critical theory, the counterculture of the 1960s, the anti-war movement, sexual liberation, legalization of homosexuality, feminism, environmentalism, social justice, political correctness, Keynesian economics, avant-garde art, and multiculturalism.

6. Socialism: The Preliminary Stage of Communism

In the West, many view socialism and communism as being separate, which provides fertile ground for socialism to flourish. In fact, according to Marxist-Leninist theory, socialism is simply communism’s preliminary stage.

In 1875, in Critique of the Gotha Programme, Marx put forward the idea that there is an initial phase of communism, which is followed by a “higher” phase. Friedrich Engels, compelled by changes in the international situation in his later years, also proposed “democratic socialism,” in which votes were used to obtain political power. Democratic socialism was adopted by social democratic party leaders and theorists of the Second International and led to the left-wing parties in many capitalist countries around the world today. Later, Lenin set down clear definitions of socialism and communism: He considered socialism to be the preliminary phase of communism, and communism to be developed on the basis of socialism. The state ownership and planned economy of socialism are part of the initial preparation for communism.

Socialism has always been part of Marxism and the international communist movement. While branches of socialism or left-wing doctrines popular in the West seem superficially unrelated to communism, they are nonviolent forms of the same root ideology. Left-wing parties come to power in Western countries through elections, rather than violent revolution. High taxation serves the same role as the outright state ownership seen under communist regimes, and excessive social welfare is used in place of planned economics. Creating a welfare state is an important aspect of realizing socialism in Western countries.

It is thus impossible to understand the dangers of communism or socialism by focusing solely on the violence and slaughter committed by regimes that espouse those ideologies. Totalitarian communism and seemingly nonviolent forms of socialism go hand in hand, as communism requires this preliminary phase of development, just as a living organism needs a period of gradual maturation. If a free country turned into a totalitarian regime overnight, the drastic contrast between propaganda and reality would leave most people shocked. Many would rebel or at least passively resist. This would lead to high costs for totalitarian rule, and the regime would likely need to commit mass slaughter to eliminate the resistance, as happened in the Soviet Union and China.

Unlike under totalitarian rule, socialism in democratic states slowly eats away at people’s freedoms through legislation, without their notice — like the metaphor of the boiling frog. The process of establishing a socialist system takes decades or generations, leaving people gradually numb, oblivious, and accustomed to socialism, all of which enhance the deceit. The endgame of socialist movements implemented gradually and through “legal” means is no different from that of their violent counterparts.

Some left-leaning states in the West today use the idea of the “common good” to convince the populace to sacrifice their individual freedoms. Citizens in these countries retain what appears to be a high degree of political liberties only because socialism has yet to become a strong political system. But socialism is not a static concept. Socialist countries set equality of outcome as the primary goal and thus are bound to deprive people of their freedom in the name of progress. Socialism inevitably undergoes a transition to communism, with people continually stripped of their rights until what remains is a tyrannical authoritarian regime.

Socialism uses the idea of guaranteeing equality of outcome through legislation, while in actuality, it drags down moral values and deprives people of the freedom to incline toward goodness. Under normal circumstances, people of all kinds naturally vary in their religious beliefs, moral standards, cultural literacy, educational backgrounds, intelligence, fortitude, diligence, sense of responsibility, aggressiveness, innovation, entrepreneurship, and more. Of course, it’s impossible to enforce equality by suddenly elevating those at lower levels, so instead, socialism artificially restrains those at higher levels. Especially in terms of moral values, the socialism of the West uses pretexts like “anti-discrimination,” “value-neutrality,” or “political correctness” to attack basic moral discernment. This is equivalent to an attempt to eliminate morality as such. This has come along with the legalization and normalization of all manner of anti-theist and profane speech, sexual perversions, demonic art, pornography, gambling, and drug use. The result is a kind of reverse discrimination against those who believe in God and aspire to moral elevation, with the goal of marginalizing and eventually getting rid of them.

7. Romantic Notions About Communism

To this day, there are numerous Westerners who harbor romantic fantasies about communism, yet have never lived in a communist country and borne the suffering there, and thus have no understanding of what communism actually means in practice. During the Cold War, many intellectuals, artists, journalists, politicians, and young students from the free world went to Russia, China, or Cuba as tourists and travelers. What they saw — or, rather, were allowed to see — was completely different from the lived reality of the people of those countries.

Communist countries have perfected their ability to deceive foreigners: Everything the foreign visitors were shown was carefully crafted to their tastes, including the model villages, factories, schools, hospitals, daycare centers, and prisons. The receptionists and guides they encountered were members of the Communist Party or others considered politically reliable. The tours were rehearsed. The visitors were greeted with flowers, wine, dancing and singing, banquets, and smiling young children and officials. Then they were taken to see people who appeared to be hard at work yet able to talk freely and as equals, students studying hard, and lovely weddings.

What they did not get to see were the sham trials, mass sentencings, mob lynchings, struggle sessions, kidnappings, brainwashing, solitary confinement, forced labor camps, massacres, theft of land and property, famines, shortages of public services, lack of privacy, eavesdropping, surveillance, monitoring by neighbors and informants everywhere, brutal political struggles in the leadership, and extravagant luxuries of the elite. They especially were not allowed to see the suffering of ordinary people.

The visitors mistook what had been staged for them as the norm in communist countries. They then promoted communism in the West through books, articles, and speeches, and many of them didn’t know they had been deceived. A small number did see cracks in the edifice, but then fell into another trap: They saw themselves as “fellow travelers” and adopted the Chinese attitude of “not airing dirty laundry in front of outsiders.” They reasoned that the slaughter, famine, and suppression in communist countries were simply part of the cost of transitioning to communism. They were confident that while the path to communism was crooked, the future was bright. They refused to tell the truth because that would be blackening the name of the “socialist project.” Lacking the courage to tell the truth, they chose a shameful silence.

According to the communist fantasy, everyone is free and equal, there’s no oppression or expropriation, there’s great material abundance, and everyone gives according to his ability and receives according to his need — a heaven on earth, where every individual is able to develop freely. A human society of this sort is only a fantasy, one that the devil has used as bait to deceive man.

In reality, power falls into the hands of a small elite. Real communism is a totalitarian apparatus controlled by a small group of leaders, who use their monopoly on power to suppress, tyrannize, and deprive the majority. The time has not yet arrived for this in some socialist countries, and so they appear to be moderate. When the conditions are ripe, all of that will change, and the naïve supporters of a socialist utopia will find it’s too late for regret.

8. The Destruction of Culture and Morality

The devil’s placement of its agents into every field and nation has led the ignorant and credulous to hasten their journey toward destruction.

Communism teaches people to oppose belief in God and to cast out the divine. It simultaneously launches attacks on religions from the outside while manipulating people to corrupt religion from the inside. Religions have been politicized, commercialized, and turned into entertainment. Numerous morally corrupt clergymen put forward fallacious interpretations of religious texts, misleading their followers and going so far as to commit adultery with their lay members or even engage in pedophilia.

This chaos has left sincere religious believers bewildered and bereft of hope. Just a century ago, an unwavering belief in the divine was a sign of moral decency. Now, religious believers are considered foolish and superstitious. They keep their beliefs to themselves, not even discussing their faith among friends for fear of being mocked.

Another important goal of communism is the destruction of the family through ideas like gender equality and “sharing wealth and wife.” The twentieth century, in particular, was host to modern feminist movements that promoted sexual liberation, the blurring of gender differences, attacks against “patriarchy,” and the weakening of the father’s role in the family.

These movements changed the definition of marriage, promoted the legalization and legitimization of homosexuality, promoted the “rights” to divorce and abortion, and used social welfare policies to effectively encourage and subsidize single parenthood. All of this resulted in the collapse of families and led to higher incidences of poverty and crime. This has been one of the more startling transformations of society over the last several decades.

In the political sphere, while communist regimes have continued with their rigid dictatorships, party politics in free societies have come to a point of crisis. Communism has exploited loopholes in the legal and political systems of democratic nations by manipulating major political parties. To secure electoral victory, politicians have resorted to dirty tricks and made promises that they could never fulfill. The result of communist influence in democratic countries is that political parties around the world today tend to fall on the left of the political spectrum, advocating higher taxes, higher social welfare expenditures, bigger government, and economic interventionism. The government plays an enormous role in molding society; a left-leaning government allows variants of Marxism to spread throughout society, indoctrinating the youth to elect progressively more left-wing candidates.

Higher education, which is supposed to play the role of transmitting the essence of the wisdom and culture of the ages, has also been subverted. In the first half of the twentieth century, the communist specter arranged for the systematic destruction of the education system. China, famous for its profound ancient civilization, was subjected to the New Culture Movement even before the Chinese Communist Party was formally established. This was part of the effort to disconnect the Chinese people from their traditions. After the communists seized power, they nationalized the education system and filled the textbooks with Party ideology, transforming generations of young Chinese into ferocious “wolf cubs,” a Chinese term for those who grow up under communism and are indoctrinated to hate and kill class enemies.

In the West, the specter launched the progressive education movement, using the banner of “science and progress” to gain control of philosophy, psychology, pedagogy, and eventually the entire education system, thus indoctrinating teachers and school administrators. High school education began excluding orthodox ideas and traditional morality. Academic standards were lowered to make students less literate and numerate, and less able to form their own judgments or use common sense. Atheism, the theory of evolution, materialism, and the philosophy of struggle were all instilled in students.

Following the counterculture movement of the 1960s, advocates of political correctness have become thought police, forcing teachers to indoctrinate students with all manner of twisted ideas. Students now graduate from school without a strong moral compass, with no foundation in their own culture, and with little common sense or sense of responsibility. They are left to blindly follow the crowd, thus joining society’s downward trend.

Out in society, there is widespread drug abuse, rising rates of crime, a media sphere full of sex and violence, an art world that treats grotesquerie as beauty, and all manner of evil cults and occult groups. Young people blindly adore film and television stars, waste their time on online games and social media, and end up dispirited and demoralized. People worry desperately about the security of the world and what the future holds, in the face of senseless violence and terrorism.

9. Returning to the Divine and Tradition

Human civilization was transmitted to man by the divine. Chinese civilization has seen the prosperity of the Han and Tang dynasties, and Western civilization reached its peak during the Renaissance. If human beings can maintain the civilization given to them by the divine, then man will be able to maintain his divine connections and understand the Law taught when divinity returns to the human realm. If humans destroy their culture and tradition, and if the morality of society collapses, then they will fail to understand the divine teachings because their karma and sins will be too great and their thinking will have departed too far from the instructions of the divine. This is dangerous for mankind.

This is an era of both despair and hope. Those who don’t believe in the divine pass lives of sensuous pleasure. Those who believe await the return of the divine in confusion and disquiet.

Communism is a scourge on humanity. Its goal is the destruction of mankind, and its arrangements are meticulous and specific. The conspiracy has been so successful that it has almost been carried out to completion, and now the devil is ruling our world.

The ancient wisdom of mankind tells us this: One righteous thought can conquer one hundred evils, and when a person’s Buddha-nature emerges, it shakes the world of ten directions. The devil seems powerful but is nothing before the divine. If human beings can maintain their sincerity, kindness, compassion, tolerance, and patience, they will be protected by the divine, and the devil will have no dominion over them.

The mercy of the Creator is limitless, and every life has a chance to escape catastrophe. If humankind can restore tradition, elevate morality, and hear the compassionate call of the Creator and the Heavenly Law that provides salvation, man will be able to break through the devil’s attempt at destruction, embark on the road to salvation, and move toward the future.

Read Next: Chapter One

Updated September 8, 2020

Read the series here: How the Specter of Communism Is Ruling Our World