You could, of course, stop reading here. After all, who cares what Welch had to say? Welch was – as it turns out – wrong about a lot of things. He probably thought the Communists were much more in control of the US government than they actually were (though it’s only fair to him to note that he used the term “Communist” more broadly than to refer only to Soviet agents). On the other hand, everyone that writes the official history made and continues to make(!) the same error in the other direction, which is much worse. Maybe then Welch deserves the next 10 minutes of your time?
Seven thousand more human beings, just like you and me, have been brought under the incredibly brutal rule a Communist police state, every hour, twenty-four hours of every day, 365 days of every year, for the past thirteen years.
[Millions of Americans] have accepted and believed so much Communist propaganda in the past that they must now defend it as their own.
[The Communists] have beguiled Chinese into fighting Chinese, Koreans into fighting Koreans, Vietnamese into fighting the French and each other, the Israelis, British and French into fighting Egyptians, and the Algerians into fighting the French. They have even maneuvered the Americans into fighting Chinese Communists in Korea, with the Americans’ hands tied behind their backs. But not one Russian regiment has ever taken part in any of this imperialistic advance.
A long review would be ridiculous, given the book is so short, however, indulge your humble blogger in a brief discussion of three areas that he finds interesting: 1) Welch’s view of the decline of Western civilization (his biggest concern, and the real cause of the rise of Communism in Welch’s telling); 2) Welch’s thoughts on the role Christian churches played in spreading Communism; and 3) some forgotten events that Welch mentions.
Much of the seminar is devoted to Welch’s interpretation of Spengler’s theory of civilizations as organisms. Here’s Welch on various societies:
<blockquoteThe Greek civilization was at least many centuries old – that is, many centuries removed from its pioneer days – before Pericles started it on the road to death, at the very height of its glory, through making the government increasingly responsible for its citizens, instead of its citizens being responsible for, and watchdogs over, their government.
. . .
The Roman Empire of the West, for instance, started dying from the cancer of collectivism from the time Diocletian imposed on it his New Deal.
. . .
The Western Europe whose parts were so intertwined that Napoleon of France could marry the daughter of the Emperor of Austria to help one of his brothers to rule Spain and another brother to rule Holland; the Western Europe which could spare the strength to spread its pioneers to colonize the uninhabited lands, and its pukka sahibs to bring civilized rule to the settled natives, on all the continents of earth – that Western Europe of the nineteenth century can never come back. It is either dying before our eyes or it is already dead. For the vigor of its muscles and the strength of its whole body have been sapped beyond recovery by the cancer of collectivism.
It’s wrong to understand Welch as simply a strident fighter of Communism. He was instead primarily concerned with the demise of Western civilization. Communism seems to be a symptom of this disease – not the destroyer itself.
Welch holds out hope that Western civilization can be saved, but after reading his analysis of how civilizations die, one has doubts that a revival is possible. Perhaps civilizations just do burn out. Nevertheless, Welch remains optimistic:
At least ninety-five percent of all the human beings, on both sides of the Iron Curtain, do not want Communism. The job is not to unsell a majority from something they want or think is good for them, but to enable a preponderant majority to resist and refuse something they do not want.
There is a split in dark enlightenment crowd among the religious and the un-religious. Consider me a supporter of the religious in all matters except one: mass-Christianity is not the route toward ending progressivism. Welch would appear to agree with me. A few samples:
This octopus [i.e. Communism] is so large that its tentacles now reach into all of the legislative halls, all of the union labor meetings, a majority of the religious gatherings, and most of the schools of the whole world.
. . .
What is far worse, fully one-third of the services in at least the Protestant churches of America are helping that trend. For the ministers themselves are not true believers in the Divine Names or the Divine History and Divine Teachings to which they give lip service, as they go through their conventional motions on Sunday morning. Some have already watered down the faith of our fathers, and of theirs, into an innocuous philosophy instead of an evangelistic religion. Some have converted Christianity into a so-called “social gospel,” that bypasses all questions of dogma with an indifference which is comfortable to both themselves and their parishioners; and which “social gospel” becomes in fact indistinguishable from advocacy of the welfare state by socialist politicians. And some actually use their pulpits to preach outright Communism.
. . .
For a vast majority of those who proclaim themselves Christians today, and attend church services, do not really and literally believe in either the punishments, the rewards, or even in the physical and biological existence of a Divine Father with any interest in their personal lives and actions. The momentum of a former belief, and the customs which grew out of it, still have great value. But the fabric is worn too thin to have its old effectiveness.
Finally, as is generally the case when one reads something like this, it’s worth discussing a few interesting historical asides:
Here’s Harry Bridges:
Aiming at deportation once more, in 1948, the federal government tried Bridges for fraud and perjury for denying when applying for naturalization that he had ever been a member of the Communist Party. The jury convicted Bridges and two co-defendants. He was sentenced to five years in prison and his citizenship was revoked.The Supreme Court in a 5-3 decision overturned the conviction in 1953 because the indictment on fraud and perjury charges did not occur within the three years set by the statute of limitations. The government dropped the criminal charges and pursued a case in civil court in June and July 1955, hoping to overturn Bridges’ naturalization because it had been obtained by fraud. The trial judge ruled in Bridges’ favor and the government did not appeal.
And Richard Sorge:
Sorge supplied the Soviet Red Army with information about the Anti-Comintern Pact, the German-Japanese Pact and warned of the Pearl Harbor attack. In 1941, Sorge is said to have informed them of the exact launch date of Operation Barbarossa. Moscow answered with thanks but Joseph Stalin largely ignored it, as was also the case with information supplied by the other networks, including Leiba Domb’s Red Orchestra spy network on the German Borders. Stalin was reportedly so angry with Domb’s information that he ordered that Domb be ‘punished for spreading such lies’. (The order was not followed).
. . .
Sorge transmitted information toward the end of September 1941 that Japan was not going to attack the Soviet Union in the East.
“This information made possible the transfer of Soviet divisions from the Far East, although the presence of the Kwantung Army in Manchuria necessitated the Soviet Union’s keeping a large number of troops on the eastern borders…”
Various writers have speculated that this information allowed the release of Siberian divisions for the Battle of Moscow, where the German army suffered its first tactical defeat in the war. To this end, Sorge’s information might have been the most important spy work in World War II. At Khimki, a place at the Moscow city border en route to Sheremetyevo International Airport, there is still a memorial plaque reminding visitors of this defining point of modern history.
The second most important piece of information he allegedly passed along concerned the Battle of Stalingrad – the turning point in the war which is considered one of the bloodiest and largest battles in history. Richard Sorge alerted Moscow that Japan would attack the Soviet Union from the East as soon as the German army captured any city on the Volga, thus effectively disrupting oil supplies from Baku and also ammunition and food supplies sent by the allies from the Persian Gulf through Iran, Soviet Azerbaijan and up the Volga river.