As a student at the New School for Social Research in New York City in the early 1960’s, I studied with some pretty high powered teachers. The classes were very difficult. The professors had started a graduate faculty when many of them left Germany when Hitler came into power.
They were old time guys (all of them were guys) who brooked no interference from others. Many of them were consultants to the nascent Kennedy administration. They were beyond anything I had ever run across before or since.
One of the courses that I took from one of these people was a study of the history and government of Russia and later the Soviet Union. The readings were mostly difficult for me. I have never been a fan of Marx and Engels. Their basic premises about humanity appeared flawed. Yes, you could argue with the professors, but you could never expect to win.
I did read “State and Revolution,” by Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (Lenin). He was a follower of Marx and Engels, but went much further with his philosophy of creating a reason to “deconstruct the state and its apparatus” (my paraphrase).
If that term seems kind of familiar, it should be. Steve Bannon, former everything said that he was a Leninist in an interview in 2013 and that if he were in charge, he would “deconstruct the state.” Guess what, that is exactly what is happening. The individual thing that is going on right now, the Muslim Ban, the elimination of certain governmental procedures by the stroke of an executive pen is absolutely the kind of thing that smacks of deconstructions.
I believe that there are about 540 positions in the executive branch that presidents have the right to fill. They are not to be approved by the senate. I believe at this time 34 have been filled. I know this is early, but that is surely a small number. Does it strike you that if you want to centralize power in the hands of a few, you would not fill those positions.
You would also not allow the cabinet appointees to hire their own staffs without the permission of the President and his immediate consigliaris- Bannon, Miller, Kushner and a few others.
Lenin said in his tome that bureaucracy is the tool of the middle class and the enemy of the proletariat. Wouldn’t that be interesting? You must also understand that the Russian Revolution was started by the Mensheviks (the majority), who were overthrown by the Bolsheviks (the minority). What say you to the fact that the majority of the people who voted in the presidential election were not for the person who won the electoral vote.
The only real example of the Marxist-Leninist state was the Paris Commune of 1871. There the Marxists were in charge and they began to dismantle the former government. They did not last too long to see what would have happened.
One of the bases of the Marx-Engels-Lenin view of government was the “withering away” of the state. They differed with each other, but said that it would take some time to overthrow capitalism and the state at the same time. In actuality, the Soviet Union never followed these strictures. They became a totalitarian society, that they said was classless, but were exactly the opposite. The classes were two- the workers and the elite members of the Communist Party.
I guess that I have a powerful person who agrees with what I just wrote. Dan Schneider, executive director of the American Conservative Union (the organization that set up CPAC conference). Alt-right is ‘garden-variety left-wing fascists’. “There is a sinister organization that is trying to worm its way into our ranks, and we must not be duped. We must not be deceived. This is serious business.”
Wonder what Steve Bannon thinks of that?
“The rage felt by the president’s critics is real, and understandable, but it also plays into Trump’s broader agenda. His chief strategist Steve Bannon outlined that strategy this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference, describing it as nothing less than the “deconstruction of the administrative state.” Bannon’s comments this week suggest a darker, more nefarious purpose to the nascent Trump administration’s dysfunction. It may be the case that the Trump team is deliberately failing to staff, manage, and provide resources for federal agencies so as to sabotage and slowly dismantle them. To make matters worse, the Trump team might be leveraging the controversies regarding its disastrous national security moves to obscure and conceal that slow and steady demolition of the bureaucracy.” Phillip Carter of Slate.com
Sound Familiar? Couldn’t resist putting this in.