Once again, I want to clarify the analogy I draw between the USSR and the system that is coming into existence in free, prosperous Western countries.
First of all, let’s clarify out terminology. Communism never existed anywhere on this planet. The USSR was a socialist country.
The US is a capitalist country. Sweden is a capitalist country. Canada is a capitalist country. There’s no chance these countries will be anything other than capitalist in the foreseeable future.
But the economy isn’t the most important thing like Marx thought. Soft totalitarianism in a neoliberal capitalist state looks very similar to the soft totalitarianism of the post-Stalin USSR.
Truly, the similarities are eerie. And we are absolutely nowhere near yet in the West to what the USSR really was. But we are going in that direction very fast. And what’s most disturbing, nobody is making us. We aren’t being terrorized or coerced by a repressive state. We are freely choosing to do to ourselves what the Soviet authorities had to bully people into. That’s what makes it scary.
So once again, I’m not worried that the US will become Communist. Even the USSR never managed that or claimed to do so.
Neither am I worried that the US will become socialist.
The fear of a repressive state dragging people to the Gulag is completely ridiculous, and I don’t experience it at all.
What I’m fearing is the formation in the West of a totalitarian regime imposed not by the state or a dictator. This regime will be encouraged and supported by the corporate world. Its strictures will be freely chosen by all of us either through open collaboration or through inertia and lack of energy to resist.
Totalitarianism isn’t about economic systems. It isn’t even about governments. It’s a state of mind. It’s a way to relate to each other and to ourselves. It’s the complete subjection of our inner lives and every aspect of our behavior to “the common good.” It’s the destruction of human individuality and the substitution of it with dogma imposed through fear and terror. It’s the stamping out of everything that makes us human because that’s the price of admission into society.
Almost nobody on this blog has experienced it, and I know it’s very hard to understand if you haven’t. It sounds like weird, overwrought verbiage. And I agree that it does. But I don’t know how to explain it better.
In the USSR that I lived in we weren’t afraid of physical death at the hands of the state. The true danger was dying inside. And many people, probably most, didn’t survive. It’s such a sad thing, you have no idea. That’s what’s coming here and it terrified me.