“If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church.” (Second Secret of Our Lay of Fatima)
The Merchants of Death — Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
October 1917 was a momentous month in the history of the twentieth century. On the thirteenth of the month, the Blessed Virgin Mary visited the three Portugese peasant children at Fatima, Portugal. On that momentous day seventy thousand people of all stripes and beliefs witnessed what came to be called “the miracle of the Sun.”
And on October 24, 1917, (on the old style Julian calendar used by Russia) the Bolshevik or October Revolution occurred in Russia. This revolution ushered in one of the most repressive and murderous regimes in history.
Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known as Lenin, came into power at the head of the Communist Bolsheviks and the Soviet Union was born. Lenin and his revolutionary comrades attempted to put into practice the ideology of Karl Marx, not as a natural evolution from the ranks of the proletariat but rather by dragging a peasant society brutally into the industrial age.
Ideas Have Consequences
As the calendar turned over from 2015 to 2016, I began to reflect on the fact that we are a little less than two years from the one hundredth anniversary of both the Miracle at Fatima and the October Revolution. While I trust that the consecration of Russia was finally done by Pope St. John Paul II, it is plain to see that it came late and we are living the results.
The Spread of Communist Russia’s Errors
The errors of Communist Russia (the U.S.S.R.) can be clearly seen in the West. There are three that I wish to examine here.
- The cornerstone of communism is materialistic atheism. For Lenin, as it was for Marx, God does not exist and religion is simply an opiate to keep the people subservient to the bourgeoisie owners of the means of production. The West, too, has become rooted in materialistic atheism. Belief in God has plummeted, especially in Europe, and even here in North America the ruling elite only pay it lip service when it suits their needs. God is no longer the foundation of Western Civilization and whatever impetus that the Christian faith once had on social mores is now long gone.
- Connected to this atheism is the belief that there is no kingdom of heaven while conversely believing that a communist or socialist utopia can be achieved here on earth. Since this utopia is so grand and wonderful any opposition to it must be crushed. In Russia it meant progroms and gulags. In the West it was done with more subtlety. The laws were used to impose new realities and if one happened to dissent then the judicial system would be brought to bear so that one could lose their job or be financially punished with burdensome fines.
- This leads us to the final error. History marches inevitably to this utopia. There is nothing wrong, then, with helping this process along. All one needs to do is to listen to politicians of all stripes on both sides of the Atlantic and one will soon discover that the driving motive of politics now is “management of the economy.” All else pales in light of this driving need. The proletariat utopia has transformed into the economic utopia but it is rooted in the same ideology.
Vladimir Lenin wrote in 1917:
“The proletariat needs state power, the centralized organization of force, the organization of violence, for the purpose of crushing the resistance of the exploiters and for the purpose of leading the great mass of the population — the peasantry, the petty bourgeoisie, the semi-proletarians — in the work of organizing socialist economy.”
In the words of former President William Jefferson Clinton: “It’s the economy, stupid!”
Vladimir Lenin, his regime and those that followed him — Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro, etc — are responsible for the loss of nearly one hundred million lives. In the West it is not so much the physical lives that are being lost as it is the souls.
May the Immaculate Heart of Mary triumph … and soon!
Note: Dennis Buonafede’s Ideas Have Consequences is a regular feature of Integrated Catholic Life™ and usually appear every other Wednesday.