faith in communism is like my faith in religion: it is a promise of salvation
If I have to lay my life down that it may succeed, I would do so
without hesitation"; Andre Gide, before his visit to the Soviet Union.
is impermissible under any circumstances for morals to sink as low as
communism has done.
No one can begin to imagine the tragedy of humanity, of morality, of
religion and of freedoms in the land of communism, where man has been debased
beyond belief"; Andre Gide, after his return from the Soviet Union.
two contradictory statements graphically illustrate the enormous gap between
the image of Soviet society as projected by communist propaganda and the
reality of the situation.
We shall try in this chapter to shed some light on the subject of
communist propaganda and invite other writers to address it in greater detail.
It is by no means an exhaustive study of the issue, which is too vast
and intricate to be covered in one or two chapters.
reason we are drawing attention to this issue is that propaganda is the
strongest and most dangerous of the communist weapons.
The communists use propaganda like a mine-sweeper that clears the way
for the communist hordes to sow their seeds, unhindered, in a soil that has
been ploughed for them.
The systematic use of propaganda as a weapon dates from the early days
It was Marx himself who initiated this policy and passed it on to his
disciples, who have since developed it further.
Its two main characteristics are, one, the use of relentless repetition
to instill communist slogans in people's minds, and, two, its unscrupulous use
of false or incomplete facts and figures, both about itself and about its
propaganda is ruthless when it comes to attacking the enemies of communism,
and does not hesitate to twist the facts in order to distort their image,
sully their reputations and destroy their lives.
first characteristic -endless repetition- appears clearly in the flood of
Soviet and other communist publications, all containing the same ideas and
slogans under various headings, which are printed in tens of millons of copies
in all languages.
This technique is bound to ensure a high degree of exposure for any
works and speeches of Lenin have been published in all the languages of the
world, in hundreds of editions and millions of copies, and sold for a token
price that does not even cover the cost of paper and ink.
No other author or philosopher before or since has had access to such a
widespread distribution of Lenin's works can in no way be ascribed to their
No-one can claim that his works are more valuable than those of
Aristotle, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Voltaire, Diderot, Kant, Hegel, Shakespeare,
Ricardo or John Maynard Keynes.
Quite the contrary, in comparison with these intellectual giants,
Vladimir Ilich Lenin is a dwarf.
He was nothing more than a politician whose stature was blown up out of
all proportion by a superpower which has been willing to spend tens of
millions of roubles to propagate his works, translating them and distributing
them at token prices.
And, had it not smacked of party prapaganda, they would have been
distributed free of charge.
the works of Karl Marx himself, for all that they have been widely printed by
the Soviet Union, have not had such a high profile as those of Lenin.
Does this mean that in Marxist eyes the works of Lenin, who was never
more than an interpreter of Marxist dogma, are more important than those of
Marx and Engels? Obviously not.
The real explanation for this inordinate promotion of Lenin, in terms
of the sheer number of volumes of his works printed, lies in his nationality:
it is Russian
chauvinism which has placed this Russian Marxist way above other, non-Russian,
But what applies to Lenin's works, in terms of countless reprints and
extensive dissemination, applies also, on a lesser scale, to the works of
Marx, Engels, Stalin, Khrushchev and Brezhnev.
extremely high turnover of the Soviet publishing industry is one example of
the first characteristic of communist propaganda, namely, persuasion through
constant repetition. As to its second characteristic, namely, the unabashed
use of any facts and figures, regardless of truth or accuracy, to promote
communism and project a rosy picture of life in communist countries, numerous
examples can be found in any one of the
Soviet reviews which are distributed all over the
issue of the magazine,
"The Soviet Union", is crammed with facts and figures
attesting to the wonderful life of the Soviet citizen, whose government
provides him with the highest level of nutrition, clothing, health care and
social security of any country in the world.
We are told that Soviet children are raised under the best possible
living conditions and that Soviet citizens enjoy a life of stability and
happiness, free from worry, struggle, injustice and exploitation.
by side with the statistics and figures glorifying life in the socialist
countries, Soviet magazines publish statistics and figures to prove that the
quality of life in non-communist societies, particularly in the developed
capitalist countries, is very poor and that the citizens of these societies
face severe hardships and endless problems in all spheres of life.
The irony reaches a peak when they compare the comfort and security
enjoyed by Soviet citizens to the lack of comfort and security suffered by
propaganda will stoop to anything to disparage opponents and glorify communism
as an ideology and a way of life, including slander and defamation of
fact, one of its favourite methods is to launch personal attacks against
political opponents, rather than limit itself to an objective criticism of the
trends they represent.
characteristic has been noted by many authorities on communism, including the
noted British writer, Carew Hunt, who says in the introduction to his book,
"The Theory and Practice of Communism", that the flood of communist
propaganda is such that a researcher seeking to disprove the false allegations
and claims with which it is riddled would not know where to begin.
For, he says, communist propaganda, the strongest weapon of communism,
will use all means, honourable or otherwise, and say anything, true or false,
that will serve the cause of communism in any sphere.
Because of the sheer volume of statements, claims, allegations and
facts that are constantly spewed out by the communist propaganda machine, it
would take specialized research centres years to wade through this vast sea of
material and prove that most of the facts and data it contains are pure
if such centres were to be set up by individual states, the results of their
research would not reach the people to whom this propaganda is addressed.
Most of them are disinclined to read serious scientific studies that
will make them think, preferring the simplified
pamphlets that distort reality and defy logic.
How many Marxists in the Arab world or in any Third World country have
read even one
of the hundreds of serious books published by the various research centres
specialized in Marxist and Soviet studies in such leading universities as
Manchester University, the University of Paris or John Hopkins?
surprisingly, communist propaganda is directed mainly at the younger
generations, particularly students, whose natural rebelliousness and emotional
instability make them particularly vulnerable to the apocalyptic vision of the
world served up by the communist propaganda machine with a total disregard for
is not to say, however, that someone with a sound understanding of communist
ideology and practice cannot stand up to the avalanche of communist propaganda
and prove that it is a tissue of lies.
Any sensible man subjected to the absurd claims of the communists and
their denigration of all other systems can only ask:
If what you say is true, if life in non-socialist countries is indeed
unbearable and life in the socialist countries so wonderful, why do you
surround your peoples with walls?
Why do you prevent them from travelling abroad?
If they are so happy under socialism, why do you not let them visit
non-socialist countries to see for themselves the misery in which others live
and so count their own blessings?
what you say is true, why do we hear daily of people defecting from the
paradise of socialist countries to the hell of the other side?
Since when have people chosen misery and pain over happiness?
If, as you say, they are encouraged to defect by bourgeois propaganda,
how is it that your own propaganda has failed to convince one person to defect
from the non-socialist hell in which he is living to the paradise awaiting him
of Germans have fled from the socialist East to the capitalist West; not one
has fled in the opposite direction.
Perhaps it is because they did not hear the eloquent call of the Iraqi
communist poet who could not wait to reach the East: "O, you train of the
far North/Hasten our arrival to East Berlin!"
How can they explain this one-way exodus from East to West?
How can they explain the fact that the citizens of capitalist
countries, who are free to travel where they wish when they wish, do not seize
the opportunity to escape to the paradise of socialist countries but
invariably return to the hell from which they came?
of the deprived and destitute citizens of the socialist countries, who follow
foreign tourists around for scraps of food or a cigarette?
We have seen many of them in Egypt, Algeria and Morocco, where their
frenzied shopping sprees attest to the privation they suffer at home.
Why is it that every time a sports team or artistic troupe travels to
the West to represent a socialist state, more often than not one or more of
their members choose to stay behind?
is true that there are enormous class disparities in the capitalist countries,
yet the lowest classes enjoy a standard of living undreamed of by any citizen
in a socialist country, other than privileged party members.
writers in all parts of the world, not least in the Arab Islamic world, who
are driven by a love of freedom and a belief in lofty human values, have a
sacred duty to stand up to and expose communist propaganda.
For, if socialist, then communist, world society ever becomes a
reality, these values would be trampled underfoot and a depraved species of
humanity, closer to the level of cattle and beasts, would replace humanity as
we know it.
Every decent person who is determined to fight the scourge of communism must
direct his efforts at breaking the arrows of communist propaganda.
This would leave the communists naked, their ugliness revealed for all
to see. And
then people would realize that the proper place to study communism is not in
the institutes where true knowledge is imparted, but in the institutions for
the psychologically warped and the mentally sick.