YESTERDAY I wrote in The Conservative Woman that shadow chancellor John McDonnell was once asked in an interview with the ultra Left-wing group Alliance for Workers’ Liberty: ‘Who has been most significant in terms of your thinking?’ He replied: ‘The fundamental Marxist writers: Marx, Lenin and Trotsky.’
Here are a few quotes from the writings of McDonnell’s ideological heroes. As you read them, ask yourselves whether it would be wise to entrust the economic governance of Britain to a man, however well intentioned, who views these architects of totalitarian socialism in such a positive light.
The commitment of Marx and Engels to violent revolution, the abolition of private property and the total collectivisation of society, with all its totalitarian implications, was clearly set out in their 1848 Communist Manifesto, but it is in their correspondence that one finds the clearest and most shocking statements revealing their contempt for democracy and freedom, and their willingness to use coercion and violence to advance their Communist goals. Here are just a few examples of this:
‘Democracy is more to be feared than monarchy and aristocracy’ (1st Soviet Edition of the writings of Marx & Engels, 1929, Vol 2, p369).
‘Political liberty is a false liberty, worse than the most abject slavery’ (ibid, p394).
‘It will be necessary to repeat the year 1793 [the beginning of the “Reign of Terror” of the French Revolution]. After achieving power, we’ll be considered monsters, but we couldn’t care less’ (op cit, Vol 25, p187).
Here are similar statements by Lenin,the architect of Soviet totalitarianism.
‘We do not believe in an eternal morality, and we expose the falseness of all the fables about morality’ (speech to the Third All-Russia Congress of the Russian Young Communist League, 2 October 1920).
‘The scientific concept, dictatorship, means neither more nor less than unlimited power, resting directly on force, not limited by anything, not restricted by any laws or any absolute rules. Nothing else but that’ (A Contribution to the History of the Question of Dictatorship, 1920).
‘The courts must not ban terror . . . but must formulate the motives underlying it, legalise it as a principle, plainly without make-believe or embellishment. It is necessary to formulate it as widely as possible’ (Lenin’s Collected Works, 4th Soviet Edition, Vol 33, p321).
In 1908 Lenin wrote of the need for ‘real, nationwide terror, which reinvigorates the country and through which the Great French Revolution achieved glory’ (Lenin’s Collected Works, 4th Soviet Edition, Vol 13, p435).
With Lenin, Trotsky was one of the architects of Communist totalitarianism within the Soviet Union, and one of the principal instigators of the Red Terror that followed the Bolshevik seizure of power in October 1917. Here are two quotes from a pamphlet he wrote in 1922 justifying the physical extermination of Communism’s political and class enemies.
‘The Red Terror is a weapon utilised against a class, doomed to destruction, which does not wish to perish’ (Trotsky, Dictatorship versus Democracy, Terrorism and Communism: A Reply to Karl Kautsky (New York, Workers Party of America, 1922) p64).
‘As for us, we were never concerned with the Kantian-priestly and vegetarian-Quaker prattle about the ‘sacredness of human life’ (op cit, p63).