On February 25, 1956 Nikita Khrushchev, the Leader of the USSR, began the process of destroying the Soviet Union by giving a speech, in secret, to the 20th Congress of the Communist Party in which he did the one thing that no totalitarian state can withstand: He told the truth. While it took almost 40 years for the Soviet "Evil Empire" to finally fall, Khrushchev's speech removed the first brick from the wall.
Here is how the BBC describes the "secret speech", as it came to be know:
In a sensational speech to the 20th Congress of the Communist Party Mr Khrushchev painted a graphic picture of a regime of "suspicion, fear, and terror" built up under the former dictator who died three years ago.
He said he wanted to break the "Stalin cult" that has held Soviet citizens in its thrall for 30 years.
The prime minister described the purges during the period of 1936-38.
He implied that one of Stalin's most trusted aides Kirov had been assassinated in 1934 at the leader's behest.
Stalin then initiated a series of trials of members of the politburo and had some executed for Kirov's murder, including Zinoviev, Kamenev and Rykov.
Stalin meted out humiliation and persecution to those officers and members of the Politburo who fell from favour, said Mr Khrushchev.
He revealed that in 1937 and 1938, 98 out of the 139 members of the Central Committee were shot on Stalin's orders.
The leader also criticised Stalin's foreign policy during World War II. As an ally of Adolf Hitler, Stalin refused to believe Germany would invade Russia - despite warnings from Winston Churchill and Sir Stafford Cripps, the British Ambassador in Moscow, amongst others.
When the attack was launched, Stalin ordered the Red Army not to retaliate saying the raid was merely "indiscipline" on the part of some of Hitler's units.
Excerpts from the speech, from the Modern History Sourcebook at the Fordham University website, includes these revealing paragraphs: [Emphasis added-SW]
Stalin originated the concept enemy of the people. This term automatically rendered it unnecessary that the ideological errors of a man or men engaged in a controversy be proven; this term made possible the usage of the most cruel repression, violating all norms of revolutionary legality, against anyone who in any way disagreed with Stalin, against those who were only suspected of hostile intent, against those who had bad reputations. This concept, enemy of the people, actually eliminated the possibility of any kind of ideological fight or the making of one's views known on this or that issue, even those of a practical character.... The only proof of guilt used, against all norms of current legal science, was the confession of the accused himself; and, as subsequent probing proved, confessions were acquired through physical pressures against the accused.
Stalin, on the other hand, used extreme methods and mass repression at a time when the revolution was already victorious, when the Soviet state was strengthened, when the exploiting classes were already liquidated and Socialist relations were rooted solidly in all phases of national economy, when our Party was politically consolidated and had strengthened itself both numerically and ideologically. It is clear that here Stalin showed in a whole series of cases his intolerance, his brutality and his abuse of power. Instead of proving his political correctness and mobilizing the masses, he often chose the path of repression and physical annihilation, not only against actual enemies, but also against individuals who had not committed any crimes against the Party and the Soviet government....
Remember, this was a speech given by a committed communist who supported the Soviet system. And notice as well, the nascent genetic parent of "identity politics". Once you have divided the world between those who are guilty only by virtue of deviating from the party line, you have established guilt and innocence based on one's group identification, rather than on any objective measure of right and wrong. Substitute "enemy of Islam", aka "Islamophobic", or "enemy of minorities", aka "racist", for "enemy of the people", and you have the argument so many Muslims, and so many on the left, use for everyone and anyone they disagree with.
Within weeks, transcripts and recordings of the speech had been leaked. Khrushchev, who probably leaked the speech himself, was not prepared for the reaction. The speech was understood to provide a rationale to support liberalization. Nine months after the speech, the citizens of Hungary took to the streets, not unlike the recent Orange Revolution in the Ukraine, to rise up against the Soviet empire:
On 23 October 1956 hundreds of thousands of Hungarians rose up against the government. Within days, millions of Hungarians were participating in or supporting the revolt. The revolt achieved control over a large number of social institutions and a large amount of territory. The participants began to implement their own policies. Executions of pro-Soviet communists, and ÁVH members started, especially by ultra-nationalist groups like József Dudás'. The Hungarian Communist Party made Imre Nagy Prime Minister. After negotiating a ceasefire with Soviet forces in Hungary, Nagy declared his intention to withdraw Hungary from the Warsaw Pact.
At the point the Soviet Red Army marched into Budapest and the revolution was over. However, Soviet Communism was dead; all that was left was waiting for the body to collapse.
What destroyed Communism was the revelation that the system was based on lies and compulsion. All the glorious revolutionary rhetoric proclaiming victory for the workers, and equality for all, was shown to be a lie. The people living in the "workers paradises" of Eastern Europe were being held in thrall, as hostages, by the Russia army; walls were built to keep people from fleeing. Few were clamoring to enter.
The analogy with Islamofascism is clear. It is a totalitarian system that depends on controlling the thinking of its subjects; truth is dangerous to such a system. The Imams who spread hate and deceit are the spiritual heirs of Stalin and Hitler, men who used lies to destroy people's ability to think. Their crimes did not only involve destroying their opponents; they also destroyed the ability of their allies and their countrymen to think and perceive.
Today we see a mighty confluence of haters who justify murder in the name of their intolerant and insecure God, along with weak minded and duplicitous allies in the West who seek to consciously or unconsciously undermine their own social order and support the totalitarian system of the Islamofascists, just as so many once supported the lies of the old Soviet Union.
This raises a number of questions that I will try to address in the coming days.