For those who have yet to follow the link, it is the forward to the book, “Letter to My Children” by Whittaker Chambers, who was a chief witness in the Alger Hiss Trial during the House un-American Activities Committee hearings in 1948. It was the trial that ultimately gave a huge boost to Richard Nixon’s political career.
The Chambers book is also what, according to the former President, led to Ronald Reagan’s transformation from a New Deal Democrat to a conservative Republican. Reagan said Chambers sparked “the counterrevolution of the intellectuals” and that Chambers’s story “represents a generation’s disenchantment with statism and its return to eternal truths and fundamental values.” On March 26, 1984, Whittaker Chambers posthumously received from President Reagan the nation’s highest honor, the Medal of Freedom.
Everyone should, at the very least, read the forward to the book that This Modern Age has provided. Chambers, a former communist-turned-Quaker, provides terrific insight into what it really means to be a Communist in the forward. Many of the proposals that are part of Barack Obama’s politicaI platform are Socialist at best and Communist at worst. I wholeheartedly recommend it as required reading for anyone who is unclear about who they should be voting for in the upcoming presidential election. Some of the more thought-provoking quotes are provided, below:
- “It was that death of the will which Communism, with great cunning, always tries to induce in its victims.”
- “The crisis of Communism exists to the degree in which it has failed to free the peoples that it rules from God. Nobody knows this better than the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The crisis of the Western world exists to the degree in which it is indifferent to God. It exists to the degree in which the Western world ‘actually shares Communism’s materialist vision, is so dazzled by the logic of the materialist interpretation of history, politics and economics, that it fails to grasp that, for it, the only possible answer to the Communist challenge: Faith in God or Faith in Man? is the challenge: Faith in God.”
- “A Communist breaks because he must choose at last between irreconcilable opposites-God or Man, Soul or Mind, Freedom or Communism….”
- “Religion and freedom are indivisible. Without freedom the soul dies. Without the soul there is no justification for freedom.”
- “That is why Communism is the central experience of the first half of the 20th century, and may be its final experience-will be, unless the free world, in the agony of its struggle with Communism, overcomes its crisis by discovering, in suffering and pain, a power of faith which will provide man’s mind, at the same intensity, with the same two certainties: a reason to live and a reason to die. If it fails, this will be the century of the great social wars. If it succeeds, this will be the century of the great wars of faith….”
- “Copernicus and his successors displaced man as the central fact of the universe by proving that the earth was not the central star of the universe. Communism restores man to his sovereignty by the simple method of denying God….”
- “The Communist vision is the vision of Man without God.”
- “The revolutionary heart of Communism is not the theatrical appeal: ‘Workers of the world, unite. You have nothing to lose but your chains. You have a world to gain.’ It is a simple statement of Karl Marx, further simplified for handy use: ‘Philosophers have explained the world; it is necessary to change the world.'”
- “The world has reached that turning point by the steep stages of a crisis mounting for generations. The turning point is the next to the last step. It was reached in blood, sweat, tears, havoc and death in World War II. The chief fruit of the First World War was the Russian Revolution and the rise of Communism as a national power. The chief fruit of the Second World War was our arrival at the next to the last step of the crisis with the rise of Communism as a world power. History is likely to say that these were the only decisive results of the world wars. The last war simplified the balance of political forces in the world by reducing them to two. For the first time, it made the power of the Communist sector of mankind (embodied in the Soviet Union) roughly equal to the power of the free sector of mankind (embodied in the United States). It made the collision of these powers all but inevitable. For the world wars did not end the crisis. They raised its tensions to a new pitch. They raised the crisis to a new stage. All the politics of our time, including the politics of war, will be the politics of this crisis. Few men are so dull that they do not know that the crisis exists and that it threatens their lives at every point. It is popular to call it a social crisis. It is in fact a total crisis-religious, moral, intellectual, social, political, economic. It is popular to call it a crisis of the Western world. It is in fact a crisis of the whole world. Communism, which claims to be a solution of the crisis, is itself a symptom and an irritant of the crisis.”