International communism and Nicaragua -- an administration view
IT is often unpleasant to resurrect what many think are the unpleasant ghosts of the past. Unfortunately, that is what we do when we talk frankly about the forces of ``international communism'' at work in our hemisphere. It has long been politically the safe thing to do to ridicule any mention of this alleged phenomenon. Professors and pundits have assured us for years that ``international communism'' as such no longer really exists -- which is why it is ridiculed as a ``phantom,'' the object of irrational phobias of extremists, know-nothings, or people living in the past. It has been explained to us that we can no longer clinically and accurately use this loaded expression because of the Sino-Soviet split, the Yugoslav-Soviet split, the Albanian-Soviet split, and other manifestations of polycentrism. Perhaps communism is no longer a monolithic force subsuming all Marxist-Leninist states under the Soviet banner. Nevertheless, how can one label the presence today in Nicaragua of Cubans, Bulgarians, Libyans, Czechs, North Koreans, East Germans, Vietnamese, Soviets, and communist elements of the Palestine Liberation Organization? If this is not some facsimile of international communism, then we are at a loss at how to explain the common thread that binds these forces together. If we must pay our dues to the gods of poly-centrism, then perhaps we might refine our terminology by calling this phenomenon ``Soviet international communism,'' since neither Maoist, Titoist, or Albanian brands of communism are at work.Skip to next paragraph
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Since we so rarely discuss the facts about international communism, here are a few that should be remembered in the context of the debate on Nicaragua:
The people do not want communism. Never in history has a majority of a free electorate democratically chosen a communist form of government. (There is only one exception: the minuscule state of San Marino.)
Communists have always come to power through violent takeovers. These takeovers have always involved the seizure of power by a well-organized and externally assisted minority over an unorganized and unwitting majority. Such takeovers consistently entail the use of a ``popular front'' of communist and noncommunist elements; the establishment of a communist party that uses an ideological party line to enforce internal conformity and identify and eliminate deviationists; the use of camouflage to disguise the party's true intentions and full political program; the use of propaganda and disinformation to manipulate the international news media; the use of violent and ruthless methods to eliminate all organized opposition; and finally, the use of gradualism in the process of eliminating opposition and applying internal security -- so that the people do not realize what is happening to them until it is too late.
No communist regime that has consolidated its power has ever been overthrown and replaced by a noncommunist order. (The only exception is Grenada.) Every other form of government offers people the chance to retain a system of trial and error. It is easy to overthrow a Shah or a Somoza after trial has been granted and error perceived. But once communism is firmly in place, the possibility of trial and error is no more. A vote against aid to the ``freedom fighters'' is a vote to consign Nicaragua to an indefinite period of no freedom of choice.