Editors Note: This is the fourth in a multipart series by guest contributor Robert Patrick Lewis.
Control the Media
Since Lenin was the first tyrant to bring murderous Marxism to the greater world through misery and millions of deaths, perhaps we should start with him on the historical trek of these death-dealing dictators using media to espouse their Marxist ideologies and propagandize the public.
If you’re a fan of Dan Bongino, you’ll note that he often refers to our current US mainstream media as Pravda-esque. And while Pravda was an influential Marxist and propagandizing paper that was led by Lenin & Stalin and which inspired the likes of Mao, Castro, and even Mussolini, it wasn’t the first paper that Lenin used to propagandize the public.
As a true intellectual, Lenin spent most of his youth focused on both participating in & influencing violent revolution and writing Marxist books such as What the “Friends of the People" Are and How They Fight the Social-Democrats and The Development of Capitalism in Russia.
He made his first move from books and pamphlets to newspapers after returning from a trip abroad to Switzerland and Paris to meet with other Marxist agitators, after which he traveled the country distributing illegal publications and began working on a news pamphlet of his own; Rabochee delo ("Workers' Cause"). He was among 40 workers caught in St. Petersburg and tried for sedition for his work there, but unfortunately, all that his subsequent exile in Siberia did was give him more time to write and plot his next move.
Upon returning from exile, Lenin not only published the books he had been working on in Siberia, as well as English language socialist literature that he and his wife had translated to Russian, but he also began raising funds and publishing his next newspaper, Iskra (The Spark), which was the country’s most successful underground publication for 50 years.
He next began using the pen name “N. Lenin” and published his most influential book to date, What is to be Done? which included his thoughts on the need for a vanguard of intelligentsia to lead the proletariat into revolution.
During the rest of his time as a revolutionary (pre-despot), Lenin published multiple books, pamphlets, and continued writing and serving on editorial boards for Vpered (Forward) and Novaya Zhizn (New Life) before he came to power and began his role at the infamous Pravda.
Aside from fascism, Mussolini was perhaps best known for his wide use of propaganda, mainly centered around the cult of personality that he created for himself. He became known as the “most photographed man in the world” for the widely circulated pictures of himself engaging in various activities that he required Italian newspapers to carry.
Before his rise to power and faux popularity, Mussolini was both a fascist politician and journalist. He left Italy in 1909 to work for the socialist party in the city of Trento (which was in Austria-Hungary but is now part of Italy) and edited the party’s L'Avvenire del Lavoratore (The Future of the Worker).
In 1910 he returned to his hometown of Forli, where he edited Lotta di classe (The Class Struggle). During this time he also published "Il Trentino veduto da un Socialista" ("Trentino as seen by a Socialist") in the radical periodical La Voce.
In 1914 Mussolini participated in a riot led by socialists protesting the war in Libya (a nation he would later command his troops to commit massive atrocities and near-genocidal actions in), for which he was jailed. After his release, he ejected two socialists from the party who had supported the war in Libya, for which he was rewarded the editorship of the Italian socialist newspaper Avanti!, of which he rose circulation from 20,000 to 100,000 and was called, “the greatest journalist alive” by Jon Gunther in 1940.
Although not a journalist, it is interesting that Hitler was a military intelligence agent before he became Der Fuhrer, given a mission in Munich to influence other soldiers as well as to infiltrate the DAP (German Workers Party).
While it’s important to note this in his later wide use of propaganda via his oratory skills, pioneering use of movie reels, and domination of the media in Germany, it’s also interesting to note that the very party he was ordered to infiltrate ended up being the one that took him to power and led to tens of millions of murders.
People often love to play the, “what if” game, or “if you had a time machine would you go back to kill Hitler,” but imagine if the cards had been dealt just slightly differently and Hitler had not received that mission to infiltrate the DAP, just how different our world would be.
Before he was a guerilla leader, warlord, or murderous Marxist dictator, Mao was an educator and journalist.
Around 1917 he moved to Beijing and secured a job as the assistant to the librarian at Peking University via his mentor, Li Dazhao, who was a fervently Marxist intellectual and early communist who wrote a series of articles on Marxism for New Youth on the October Revolution in Lenin’s Russia.
Around 1919 Mao moved to Changsha and began teaching history at the Xiuye Primary school and organizing protests in his off time. There he co-founded the Hunanese Student Association and began publishing the weekly radical magazine Xiang River Review (Xiangjiang pinglun).
The student association was banned, but Mao continued publishing the weekly magazine, took on the editorship of New Hunan (Xin Hunan), and offered articles in the popular local newspaper, Justice (Ta Kung Po).
Fun fact: many of the articles published under Mao’s editorship espoused feminist views, which were influenced by the arranged marriage his parents had tried to force him into before he refused and left home.
Despite the desire for the left to label Mao “pro-woman” like Ted Kennedy or Bill Clinton, there is a famous discussion between Mao and Stalin where he asked Stalin to take as many Chinese women as he could back to Russia to relieve Mao of their headache.
Tying it into Today
As noted previously, it’s difficult (and a little humorous) to think of any of our current media flunkies to be seen as murderous tyrants whose policies would lead to deaths in the tens of millions - but that’s how many of these dictators were seen before their rise to power.
Many of us are called crackpot conspiracy theorists when we talk about how corrupt, complicit, and destructive our media are today, but this is not a new problem. Most of these murderous tyrants used their state-controlled media to brainwash and propagandize their populations because their first-hand experience in media had taught them just how effective a controlled media can be.
I frequently find myself listening to other people talk in public (especially here in Los Angeles) and reeling at the absolute disinformation or lack of knowledge they have. But it’s not their fault - they’ve just been listening intently to the media, the people who they were told to turn to for accurate news & information.
In doing research for my latest book I came across a whitepaper written by a military intelligence officer - Colonel Aquino - about an idea called “MindWar,” developed after the Vietnam war as a new evolution in psychological operations.
I believe MindWar has evolved into Information Operations and many other tactics that have been used against our populace for at least the past decade and I would encourage you to read the whitepaper to understand just how powerful a tool the media and social media can be when you’re trying to brainwash or propagandize a population.
Even if you don’t believe in it, it should be proof enough that most of these murderous Marxist dictators got their start in media, and with all of the revelations we’ve had about lies and disinformation propagated by our media today, it would behoove you to look into it and understand our current environment.
Now that we’ve spent so much time focusing on the “how” - how these murderous tyrants seized power, it’s time that we focus on the “what” - what happens if we allow the lunatic Marxist leftists to gain control over the United States of America.
The sheer numbers of death tolls brought about by these Marxist dictatorial despots - greater than many of our greatest wars combined - is terrifying enough.
But the way these deaths occurred, by sheer ignorance, arrogance, and fear inherent in a bureaucratic system based on hair-brained Marxist ideals should be enough to turn every American with any common sense into a pro-capitalism & anti-Marxism activist.
As you learn just how these regimes racked up tens of millions of deaths of their own people, you’ll soon begin to learn why the only people today who support Marxist ideas are power-hungry bureaucrats and ideological intellectuals: as our friend Carlos Osweda on Twitter loves to point out often, “they don’t know how anything works.”
Robert Patrick Lewis is a Green Beret OIF/OEF combat veteran with 10th SFG(A), CMO of Heroes Media Group, entrepreneur, MBA and award-winning author of Love Me When I'm Gone: The True Story of Life, Love and Loss for A Green Beret In Post-9/11 War, The Pact and The Pact Book II: Battle Hymn of the Republic. @RobertPLewis on Twitter