This word is hardly ever applied to socialists in general or the Labour party in particular. In fact, most people, even many of those who aren’t themselves socialists, wince whenever this word is used.
However, it’s not only appropriate but sufficiently explanatory. The word is evil.
Once you realise that both the philosophy of socialism and, more important, its psychological inspiration, are evil, everything falls into place. The trouble is that most people refuse to acknowledge this simple and amply demonstrable fact.
Socialism has somehow acquired a warm glow, whose spectrum includes shades of fairness, equality, love, caring, sharing – all those things people used to associate with Christianity, but don’t any longer.
In fact, the shifting of such commendable things into the domain of socialism represents the greatest larceny of modernity. For, stripped of its phony sloganeering, socialism emerges as what it really is: a secular religion of envy, hate, state tyranny and general enslavement, both physical and spiritual.
However, the image that socialism projects isn’t like that, is it? That’s why even its opponents express dismay at the never-ending string of anti-Semitic scandals within the ranks of the Labour party. And so many are amazed at the open manifestations of this sentiment at the on-going Labour conference.
The list of such manifestations is long.
Following a deluge of disgusting threats, the BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg had to be given a full-time bodyguard.
Andrew Percy, a former government minister, has been targeted for anti-Semitic abuse.
Vile anti-Semitic rants ex cathedra have been wildly applauded, including a comparison of Israelis with Nazis and an invitation to a debate on whether or not the Holocaust happened.
Ken Livingstone, who equated Zionism with Nazism, has been defended.
A leaflet has been circulated quoting (approvingly) Reinhard Heidrich as saying that “National Socialists had no intention of attacking Jewish people”. The leaflet doesn’t specify whether Heidrich said this before or after he chaired the ‘Final Solution’ Wannsee Conference.
Numerous calls to kick Jewish and pro-Israel groups out of the party have been made.
I must say I’m surprised – that so many people are surprised. For example, why shouldn’t socialists insist that the Holocaust never happened when they were the ones who perpetrated it?
Oops, sorry, I forgot: we aren’t allowed to associate Nazism with socialism. Nazism is evil sui generis, while socialists are, as Chris Williamson explained at the conference, “caring individuals”.
However, Hitler disagreed. He readily acknowledged his indebtedness to Marxism in private, even as he attacked it in public. In his memoir Hitler Speaks Hermann Rauschning quotes the führer as saying that “the whole of National Socialism” was based on Marx. “I have learned a great deal from Marx,” conceded Hitler, “as I do not hesitate to admit.”
One thing he could have learned from Marx – not that he needed any tuition – was virulent anti-Semitism, going hand in hand with anti-capitalism. “What is the secular basis of Judaism?” asks Marx in his anti-Semitic pamphlet Zur Judenfrage. “Practical need, self-interest. What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money.”
Since Marx himself was a secular Jew, one detects an element of self-refutation in that statement, but we aren’t going to demand logical rigour from socialists, are we?
This founding sentiment of socialism explains why its international branch was no different in that respect from the national variety. State anti-Semitism was rife in the Soviet Union and, when Stalin died, he was weeks away from implementing his own Final Solution by deporting all Jews to the Far East.
Since Judaism is doctrinally associated in the socialist mind with capitalism, rather than, say, with classical music or nuclear physics, where Jews are represented more widely than among the capitalists, anti-Semitism is as germane to socialism as anti-capitalism is.
The Labour conference reminds us of this symbiosis by declaring that its aim when in government is to create a command economy by nationalising, well, just about everything they can lay their hands on.
Economists, along with everyone blessed with basic literacy and knowledge of history, are screaming bloody murder. Command economy, they say, has been proved disastrous everywhere it has been tried. Its cost is measured not only in the billions of pounds it’ll wipe out instantly, but also in several generations of unremitting human misery.
That’s like telling a murderer that his victim’s mother will be upset. He doesn’t care – if he did, he wouldn’t be a murderer.
Because it’s a factor of freedom, money in private hands is an affront to socialism, which is all about state power. An independently wealthy person doesn’t depend on the state as much as a welfare recipient does. Hence the socialist ideal is putting the whole population on the welfare rolls, the way it was in effect done in the Soviet Union.
That ideal may not be fully attainable in a country like England, where the memory of civil liberties and secure property is still alive. But any reasonable approximation would be welcome, which is exactly the message Labour are flogging.
It takes malignant myopia not to discern the animus behind such desiderata: envy, hatred, powerlust – everything that collectively can be covered by a single word, evil. The same word that explains Labour’s toxic anti-Semitism.
This isn’t an aberration. It’s the nature of the beast, and I wish more people realised this before putting Jeremy Corbyn into 10 Downing Street.