added by K. Maureen Heaton to
DUANE THORIN’S POLITICAL WARFARE
A. “First – Define Your Terms”
That centuries-old advice fits especially well our circumstance today. Perhaps “everyone knows” that the Cold War is a political war – at least in part. But who knows the real meaning of “political war?”
Our enemies know. Marx, in the first instance, and Lenin in a more practical way, spelled it out clearly for their followers. Marx defined the goal – total government power, worldwide – implicitly in his Communist Manifesto. Lenin provided details of strategy and tactics toward that political goal. Anyone who seeks to impose a socialist system will use some Marxist and Leninist tactics; even if they disclaim any accord with Marxism or Leninism, and even if they can truthfully deny any Communist affiliations.
This booklet attempts simply to define the nature of political warfare, particularly as it may be applied against our American political concept. Subsequent works may offer ideas as to what We, the People of the United States can do to preserve that concept in force, and toward fulfillment of its earned greater destiny.
For the moment it may be said that we cannot hope to preserve it in the present circumstance if we have no greater goal than its preservation. One of Clausewitz’ principles of war applies very directly on this point: “If our aim is low, while that of the enemy is high, we will naturally get the worst of it.”
In terms of warfare – our enemies’ aims are high, in that they intend to destroy our political system and impose their own. While it is true that we could not set as our own high aim to impose our political concepts on others, we nonetheless could set a higher aim than mere self-preservation.
That aim should be to extend the Influence of this great Nation – as a nation – and forthrightly to promote throughout the world the political concepts which made our nation great.
It is not imposition to demonstrate abroad a love of one’s own country, loyalty to its moral-political concepts, and pride in its noble achievements. But it would be a service to less-privileged persons than we to acquaint them with political concepts, which could lead them out of bondage or poverty or both.
Good concepts, well displayed, will impose themselves.
B. “Discriminary” of Terms
The use of double-talk and the misuse of certain ordinary words by Communists to mislead non-communists is quite widely known, it seems to be generally understood, for example, that when a Communist uses the word “peace” he means something quite different by it than do non-Marxists. Much less known are the Marxist stratagems of substitution of terms and erosion of word values in the language of a target society. The object of such semantic warfare is to make accustomed terms so vague or ambiguous in meaning that they can be used to cover very real changes in principles or practices of government.
Specious ideologies can be most readily promoted in minds which fail to discriminate accurately the shades of difference in certain word meanings. Hence, this “discriminary” of terms, to call attention to just a few of the many instances wherein a continued failure to insist upon proper and specific language, or to distinguish between terms of similar but importantly different meanings, can help pave the way for our society 's entrapment by one or another manner of totalitarian ideology.
No attempt is made in this “discriminary” to provide ultimate and final definitions or contrasts of meaning of the terms examined; but only to call attention to the fact that discrimination is essential when such terms are used by either friend or foe in the Cold or Political War.
Self-government refers to both a political and moral principle; applies to individuals as well as to our original American political concept; implies certain included qualities such as self-reliance, individual initiative and enterprise, abidance by established and commonly accepted moral principles, etc.; once used extensively with reference to U. S. political system and in study of “civics;” now appears to have been generally displaced in political dialogue by the term self-determination.
Self-determination is referred to as a principle in the Charter of the United Nations Organization, and seems to have gained much of its present popularity following its appearance in that document; does not appear to qualify as a political principle, in any case not as a promise or basis for governmental structure; seems to represent a pluralistic right of choice, rather than an individual quality or prerogative (e.g. “the right of peoples to determine for themselves which system of government they prefer … etc.”); widely used in official proclamations of both sides in the Cold War, including sometimes in joint statements and agreements.
(Ed note: Without debating the propriety of United Nations actions in the Cong with regard to Katanga, the “principle” of “self-determination of peoples” mentioned in the
United Nations Charter (Article 1, paragraph 2) appears from that issue to indicate that outside arbiters must decide what and whom constitute a “people” entitled to self-determination.)
Independence denotes not only freedom, but self-reliance, maturity and perhaps the capacity for self-government, whether referring to individuals or to societies; (it may be used, of course, to denote the removal of external controls, but such would seen to be incorrect to some extent if there remained on the part of those thus “freed” a dependency upon outside help or support); implies the ability to stand alone, yet does not preclude alliance, cooperation or commerce with others.
Interdependence denotes, first of all, a dependent status; i.e., lack of the necessary resources, maturity or general self-sufficiency for an individual or a society to stand alone; therefore of necessity part of a group, unable or fearful of standing apart or alone. An “inter-dependent” group, whether of individuals or nations) would appear generally less strong and secure than independent persons or societies joined together by mutual consent in either an alliance or a union.
Alliance denotes a voluntary cooperation between two or more persons or nations, on matters of mutual interest and concern; allows retention of Sovereignty by each party; i.e., does not preclude diversity in political, economic, social or cultural systems and customs among the allies.
Union denotes a more all-inclusive bond or agreement; including a general identity of political and economic systems, and probably resulting in a general sameness of social and cultural developments.
An alliance of nations is an international arrangement; a union of nations is internationalist.
International means, basically, between nations, with little or no prejudice to national boundaries or sovereignties.
Internationalist denotes, perhaps in variable degrees, an over-riding of national interests, sovereignties and jurisdictions by a supra-national government or controlling group.
Thus, international relations or policies ordinarily mean simply affairs between nations which either could change or discontinue at will; an international organization might denote a more formal tie, including mutual obligations specifically pledged, yet with national sovereignties still intact; an internationalist organization denotes some subordination of national sovereignty to a supra-national governing body.
For example, the Organization of American States is an international organization, whereas the United Nations Organization is, by design, internationalist.
The Soviet Union (USSR) is also internationalist; its Presidium and the Supreme Soviet are a supra-national governing group.
Both terms are labels for a form of Totalitarianism; the political and economic systems of communist and fascist governments are essentially the same in form; one of the differences between the two totalitarian forms is that a Fascist regime may be content with power over a single nation or society, whereas Communism is fundamentally internationalist in design as well as aims. Hence, Communists and other Marxists may be sincere in the claim that they are “anti-Fascist,” but this is not because of any disagreement with either the principles or practices of Fascism. Marxists are anti-Fascist simply because Fascists are seen as contenders for the power which the Marxists wish themselves to wield.
politics & political:
To a Marxist, the terms “politics” and “political” refer to the form of a government, rather than, as has long been their application in the U.S. A., to partisan ideas on how best to run an established and popular (representative) political system.
No political system - no form of government - is acceptable to a Communist except the Marxist (socialist) form. Since power and control of people are the real Marxist objectives, their political structure must necessarily include control over economic activities (and properties) in order to make their power complete and secure.
Once in complete power, a Marxist political faction will allow no other political party to exist (except in some cases a contrived “opposition” party to give an appearance of competition, etc., yet with no real threat to the system). Neither is any real criticism of Party policies allowed outside the deliberations of the inner ruling elite (yet, again apparent disagreements on certain matters may be given wide publicity, if by so doing some pressing purpose of the Party might better be served). In other words, while top members of the ruling faction might argue bitterly among themselves at times over Party and Policy decisions, once a decision is reached the Party - which is also the “Govern ment” speaks, as the saying goes, “with one voice.” An atmosphere then prevails wherein the functionaries of the system are given to understand that, unless they speak with the same voice, they had best not speak at all.
“When all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall he drawn to Washington, as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another, and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated….
If the States look with apathy on this silent descent of their government into the gulf which is to swallow all, we have only to weep over the human character formed uncontrollable but by a rod of iron, and the blasphemers of man, as incapable of self-government, become his true historians.”
-- Thomas Jefferson (in a letter to C. Hammond, 1821)
“We cannot balance the budget, reduce taxes, check creeping socialism, tell what is muscle or fat in our sprawling armament programs and purge subversives from our State Department unless we first come to grips with our foreign policy, upon which all other policies depend.”
-- the late Senator Robert A. Taft
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