It reminds me of a lesson I learned studying the life and works of Nikolai Bukharin. Nikolai Bukharin is one of the leading Bolshevik theorists you never heard of. There’s a reason for that. He believed he had a personal exemption from the boomerang effect.
In the days leading up up to the Russian Communist Revolution, Nikolai Bukharin was busy promising every comrade that would listen to or read his words that a virtual heaven on earth, even a Utopia, was coming to Mother Russia, when he knew, when he knew for a fact that if he and his fellow Bolsheviks succeeded there would no Heaven at all, only hell, hell, and then more hell.
It was in 1917, right after the communists violently took control when theorist Bukharin decided to unload the brutal truth buried beneath all his benevolent theory to the Russian people:
We asked for freedom of the press, thought, and civil liberties in the past because we were in the opposition and needed these liberties to conquer. Now that we have conquered, there is no longer any need for such civil liberties.
Can you see it in your mind, can you feel it in your gut, the horror on the faces, the knots in the stomachs, the sleepless nights of all the gullible gulls who really thought they were on to something liberating, something empowering, something wonderful? How many comrades would soon die in this Utopia? 50, 60, 70, maybe 110 million? I’m not sure anyone has yet come up with an accurate count. How many would be enslaved? Hundreds of millions in Russia alone. Impoverished? Hundreds of millions in Russia alone.
No big deal for Bukharin, however. After all he was one of the “theorists” in charge. And to the victors go the spoils and the guarantees of security from the wrath which was to come! Right? Besides, his Communist credentials were impeccable.
Born Oct. 9, 1888 to two primary teachers, 18-year-old smart guy Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin knew a path to power when he saw it. So he hitched a ride on that hot head of steam — the Bolshevik Express — and quickly learned everything he needed to know about communism including the craft of cloaking a criminal conspiracy as a cure-all for every human ill. So adept was he at learning this craft that a year later he co-organized the National Youth Conference (the predecessor of the All-Union Leninist Young Communist League or Komsomol) where 14-28-year-olds were indoctrinated in Communist dogma and politics. By age 20, he was a member of the Moscow Committee of the Bolshevik Party. By age twenty-three his efforts came to the attention of the authorities and he was arrested and exiled for putting theory into practice.
However, this setback didn’t hinder Bukharin’s meteoric rise as a theorist. In exile, he penned several books, edited the newspaper Novy Mir (New World) with Leon Trotsky and Alexandra Kollontai, and during World War I published a book on imperialism that won Vladimir Lenin’s praise. It was so well done that Lenin later incorporated it into his more famous “Imperialism — The Highest Stage of Capitalism.”
With the violent overthrow of the Tsar a done deal in 1917, twenty-nine year old Nikolai Bukharin now returned home and launched into a decade that would see him “elected” to the Central Committee of the Communist Party, “elected” to the Politburo, and made editor of its official newspaper, Pravda (The Truth). During this period he also co-authored the 138 chapter tomb, “The ABC of Communism” (in 1920), authored “Socialism In One Country” (in 1924), a theory that became Stalin’s theme – and topped it off by being appointed as President of the Communist International (Comintern), that is, Conspirator-in-Chief of the worldwide communist revolution in 1926. He was only 38.
Again, Nikolai Bukharin is probably the most famous Communist you never heard of. Here’s why: Consider again Bukharin’s 1917 confession, “We asked for freedom of the press, thought, and civil liberties in the past because we were in the opposition and needed these liberties to conquer. Now that we have conquered, there is no longer any need for such civil liberties.” In 1928, Bukharin turned a deaf ear to his own stark warning, one that an intelligent, reasonable man would have realized applied not only to every exploited fool among the masses who thought political and economic victory was theirs on the back of their fellows, but to every victor, even the big shots.
For it was in 1928 that his old chum, “liberator” Joseph Stalin, proposed to more fully collectivize the economy and put away Lenin’s National Economic Plan, a more fascist/”middle-ground” approach to socialism. Bukharin believed full collectivization would impoverish the peasants, inspire resentment, and lower productivity. He freely pressed his views in the Politburo, the party Congress, and among a small circle of friends. Surely his objections would be viewed, as they always had been, in defense of the Revolution.
He was wrong. Uncle Joe Stalin accused him of being a capitalist, compelled him to renounce his views, forced him to resign as President of the Comintern, and ordered him to get out of the Politburo. In March of 1938 Bukharin was tried in The Trial of The Twenty-One, executed, and had his name and honor expunged from the books of the revolution he helped pen. They buried him, and the other twenty-one, in an unmarked grave
This is not the exception but the rule for the revolution-left. It stands as a warning to all who look to butchers, bullies, and bandits, or in other words, socialist-leaning presidents, congressmen, and judges, for rights, liberties, and privileges that can only be acquired by tyrannizing your neighbor to beware the end game, to beware the boomerang effect! And that goes for the presidents, congressmen and judges as well!
Socialist change a victory? I think not. I call it an illusion, a fraud, a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Just ask Nikholai Bukharin. Just ask those who bought into his liberating scheme only to have him confirm later by pamphlet that every liberty promised was terminated now that he and his fellow madmen were in charge of the asylum. He and they will tell you, if only they could, “What goes around comes around!” I’m sure of it.
Steve Farrell is one of the original pundits at Silver Eddy Award Winner, NewsMax.com (1999–2008), associate professor of political economy at George Wythe University, the author of the highly praised inspirational novel “Dark Rose,” and editor in chief of The Moral Liberal.