From Bondage to the Desert – 1.2 Marxist Propaganda as Brainwashing – 5

1.2.5 Private Property – Key Point of Resistance

A top secret document intended to outline the strategy for the Russian Red Army’s enslavement of newly occupied countries, NKVD Instruction NK/003/1947, strongly recommends (point 12): ‘We should influence the local authorities in such a way that all purchases of land, lots and real estate are arranged so that the new owners do not receive title but only permits for use’.

The main purpose of these instructions from the Russian secret police, directed at the countries occupied shortly after the Second World War, was to undermine private ownership of land, considered the source of all evils. This was achieved either through abusive (and often violent) confiscation of land or through the (supposedly voluntary) creation of communal farms.

However, this was not possible in every case, particularly in mountainous areas with their scattered plots of farm land. It has been observed beyond any doubt that, precisely because they were able retain private ownership of their land and so of some of the means of production, people in these areas were able to resist the impact of communist propaganda more effectively and were the first to adapt to the new conditions of freedom.

The same is true at the macro level. Those countries, such as Poland and Hungary, that had preserved a limited private sector were much more successful in their transition to a free market economy in the post-communist period.

What this means is that, strangely enough, although the basic Marxist premise of the incompatibility of private property and communism was proved to be true, that same truth was able to produce the relative defeat of this ideology.

It is because of the undeniable ineffectiveness of pure communist economies that the remaining communist regimes, such as those in China and Vietnam, are now being forced to permit an increasingly strong private sector. It remains to be seen to what extent these regimes will be able to survive in their competition with free market economies. If what we have argued above is correct, we may legitimately expect that, sooner or later, in spite of their efforts to adapt, these communist regimes will collapse too, like those which fell in 1989.

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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