by Plinio Correa de Oliveira
It is certainly true that when the Iron Curtain fell a wave of optimism swept the West. Countless were those who imagined communism to be truly and swiftly declining, and that – so they expected – the Communist parties still existent in the Western countries would soon shut down; Fidel Castro would rapidly flee from Cuba in order to avoid the vengeance of popular fury; while in the extinct USSR, the status of personal rights, private property, and free enterprise would soon be reborn; and this good example would quickly infect Communist China, Vietnam, and Cambodia, as well as Angola, Rhodesia, Mozambique, and so on.
All of this was expected in great part because once the borders of the Iron Curtain were opened, the inhabitants of Russia and the other captive nations, having established continuous contact with Western civilization, would clearly see the immense superiority of living conditions that Western civilization provided to people in the places where it flourished.
The most characteristic representatives of this wave of optimism augured that this process of universal “decommunization” would soon be irreversibly underway in all corners of the world still under the communist yoke.
Some years went by. The “irreversible” embarkation of such countries on the road to Western civilization turned out to be nothing but an immense and intricate bluff.
The peoples of the former USSR continue their slothful sleep, squatting in their own misery, not feeling the formidable élan towards the West that was expected of them. The gold sent in torrents by the Free World to put an end to that lethargy had been eagerly lapped up by the former communist authorities, and no one knows exactly what use was made of it. In a great number of countries “freed” from communism, the former communists occupy key posts in the government, armed forces, and administration. Fidel Castro did not flee. On the contrary, he has been fêted and honored in most of the international gatherings of heads of state. In the West, communist parties have changed their label but not their ideological content or rosters of militants. An ecological epidemic contaminates every corner of the world, frequently playing in favor of communism.
If the optimists had foreseen this ambiguous outcome for the world, “devilish” and full of danger, would they have been so certain that today’s communism is something other than a nightmare out of the past?
Dear reader, let us not line up with the small minority of these obstinate optimists, who see things through the faulty and soiled prisms of the optimism that presents itself to us as a future loaded with unknowns and threats.
Did communism die? Or is it just going through a crafty metamorphosis, from which anything can be expected?
Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, some of our contemporaries have stretched out on comfortable beds of improvidence and optimism, and they have gone to sleep...to dream. Behold the outcome of such dreams!
Imagine a man who has gone to bed for the night and then, being roused from sleep by a strange noise, wonders whether or not he locked the front door. He finds himself faced with a choice: either he gets up and checks the lock, or he sinks again into his slumber...and his dreams. The second alternative is far more comfortable and agreeable... But, what if the door has been left unlocked? In a short while, the restless shadow of a thief will come within two steps of his bed and will reach out to snatch the wallet the man left inside his suit jacket hanging nearby.
And then? Will he continue to sleep and to dream until the morning light streams through the shutters into his bedroom, letting him see that everything has been stolen?
Reader! Don’t be one of these. Help the foresighted effort of the TFP with your moral support, with your concrete action, and with the cooperation of your donations.
We warn you: Beware, friend, your door may be unlocked!
(TFP Magazine, Mar-Apr 1993)