December, 1844. — The men who create History have not time to write it — I at least had none.
I have called the period between the years 1810 and 1815 the most important, because it includes the epoch in which Napoleon’s attempt to establish a new order of things was overthrown; through which overthrow Europe fell under the natural consequences of the French Revolution — consequences which are only now beginning to develop themselves.
September 9, 1819. — I never come to Prague without thinking I hear midnight strike. Six years ago, at that hour, I dipped my pen to declare war with the man of the century — the Man of St. Helena — to kindle the beacon which was the signal for 100,000 men of the allied troops to cross the frontier.
August 29, 1823. — There was but one single man in France who understood how to master the Revolution, and that man was Bonaparte. The King’s Government inherited from him, not the Revolution, but the counter-Revolution, and they have not known how to make use of this inheritance.
His heroes were Alexander, Caesar, and, above all, Charlemagne. He was singularly occupied with his claim to be the successor of Charlemagne by right and title.
August 27, 1830. — ‘ It appears to me,’ said I to the General, ‘ that you have not grasped the nature and real meaning of my words : I will proceed to make them more clear.
‘ I have known you as one of the most zealous adherents of the man who was, beyond all question, the prototype of power. Of two alternatives I can only admit one ; either the character of Mgr. le Duc d’ Orleans comes up to that of Napoleon in strength, or else falls below it, for to exceed it seems to me beyond the bounds of nature. Now, intimately acquainted as you were with Napoleon, do you believe that, placed in the position of the present Government, he would have considered himself in possession of the requisite means for governing, or, what comes to the same thing, would have considered himself in a condition to assure his throne and the maintenance of internal tranquillity in France? Can that which Napoleon would not have recognised as sufficient be justly looked upon by the new Government as capable of affording it secure pledges of existence?’
To this question General Belliard made the only reply open to him. He was silent, and after a moment’s reflection said to me : ‘ Things are changed, Prince ; France is no longer the France of the past, and she, must be governed by new methods.’
Beyond the confines of France, Governments had no other care than to withstand the political encroachments of the conqueror who had placed the Imperial crown on his head. The conflict between the different systems of government really existed only in France. Raised by the Revolution to the summit of power, Napoleon endeavoured to prop up by monarchical institutions the throne he had made for himself. The destructive parties, having to do with a man equally great as a statesman and as a general, who knew his country and the spirit of the nation better than any who ever guided the destinies of France, were above all anxious to save from the wreck of their works all they could secure from the encroachments of the Imperial power. These efforts were impotent ; but they were not the less worthy of observation.
February 11, 1828. — The crisis has arrived, and as I am an old practitioner in the maladies of the social body, I am not more alarmed than is necessary. What I cannot do is to know or predict how things will go: Certain it is that the crisis may turn against the folly of the age which has caused it; and the country that is most seriously ill is France, and France is also the country whose future is the least promising. A country where all the moral elements are extinct cannot help itself, and Providence alone knows what will become of this Babylon.
March 23, 1823 . — Now, to recognise a Government one must know first of all know what it is; and to enter into negotiations with it one must have recognised it. It is, therefore, necessary that we should know first of all what the Government will be.
The 20th century has been the century of scientific dictatorship. In that century three scientific ideologies contested each other for domination. On the extreme right scientific despotism was embodied by the Nazi Party of Adolf Hitler, Communism was embodied by Josef Stalin. But the third, which would emerge victorious after the Cold War and which is the only surviving ideology of the three, was Leftist, but not Communist. It goes by the name of Progressivism in America, Fabian Socialism in Britain, and Suprationalism in Continental Europe.
Between Nazism, Communism, and Progressivism, the bureaucratic dictatorship of the latter is the last remaining but least understood. The history and nature of Communism is very well documented however much this vast documentation is ignored or downplayed. Nazism could not be more infamous. But Progressivism is barely understood; we will remove the fog that surrounds it and expose it as a Liberal political entity very distinct from Communism.
To deal with Progressivism one must first of all know what it is.
This goal has proven surprisingly elusive. Its elusiveness is no minor reason behind the failure of the Right to contest a Left whose characteristics are poorly defined.
To a considerable extent this confusion arises from uncertainty over whether Western Leftists are, or not, classic Soviet Communists. An affirmative or negative answer will suggest what they are; and what they are will determine what approach should be taken to counter them. A negative conclusion would be particularly significant. In that case current assumptions that Progressives are Communists must change: If we are being tyrannized by something that is not Communist, what is it?
The Leftists of our time were once referred to by Metternich as Boutique Liberalés; in America they are now referred to as limousine liberals; in Europe, champagne socialists. These labels describe their class well enough, but say nothing about their ideology nor how their ideology relates to Marxism. Are American Progressives – and their analogues, British Fabian Socialists and European Union Supranationalists – equivalent to Mao, Stalin, the Kim dynasty, Kruschev, and Lenin?
Of the terms proposed to mark the ideological boundary separating the Progressive West from the Cold War East, e.g, Globalism and Cultural Marxism, none are satisfactory.
‘Globalism’ cannot be the correct term because the scope of revolution sought by Soviet Russia was as global in nature as are the ambitions of Western “Globalists”.
Cultural Marxism fails in its role of distinguisher by failing to distinguish: If Western Leftists are Cultural Marxists and Eastern bloc leftists were not Cultural Marxists, then what to make of Eastern bloc projects such as Mao’s Cultural Revolution? Was cultural Maoism cultural conservatism? Cultural libertarianism? If it was anything besides radical cultural Leftism it would come as news to Chairman Mao. It would be met with such incredulity that anyone who suggested his cultural initiatives were conservative in any way would have guaranteed for themselves a ticket to a Maoist “re-education center” where they would be taught Mao is not in fact Chiang Kaishek.
Soviet era Communists were also “Cultural Marxists”; as a definition it is useless because it defines nothing.
But if the difference has not been adequately expressed, there lingers the sense of a qualitative divide between Western and Eastern Liberalism.
Is what is suggested by intuition real or a false signal?
By any standard Mao was a “Cultural Marxist”. And yet he would be as amazed – perhaps more amazed – by a Progressive of today who insisted there are at least 52 genders as he would if he met a space alien.
And that surprise would be far from the only one. Western Progressives have brought on catastrophes of an unprecedented nature, unheard of in Communist states, or any other kind of pre-New Deal state; this despite history having no shortage of disasters. There was once the catastrophe known to the Romans as Galba. He was a primordial Barracks Emperor who was doomed the moment he forget the first rule of all Barrack Emperors no matter how primitive or advanced – the barracks are to be paid on time, in full, with interest.
Though his demise was gruesome, the mutiny of his soldiers was not without historical parallels. In the annals of governmental failures, however, the record of Western Liberalism is strewn with failures without parallel.
When a fish begins walking on land with legs and breathes in air the time has probably come for that fish to be classified as something other than a fish. Likewise, we political taxonomers must be open to reclassification whenever we encounter an exotic political organism one can make neither Clade nor Genera of; and no political organism was ever as peculiar and exotic as Progressivism.
What is it that separates the Communist from the Progressive?
We find a clue to the answer in an excerpt from George Orwell’s 1937 work The Road to Wigan Pier:
The fact is that Socialism, in the form in which it is now presented, appeals chiefly to unsatisfactory or even inhuman types. On the one hand you have the warm-hearted un-thinking Socialist, the typical working-class Socialist, who only wants to abolish poverty and does not always grasp what this implies. On the other hand, you have the intellectual, book-trained Socialist, who understands that it is necessary to throw our present civilization down the sink and is quite willing to do so. And this type is drawn, to begin with, entirely from the middle class, and from a rootless town-bred section of the middle class at that. Still more unfortunately, it includes–so much so that to an outsider it even appears to be composed of–the kind of people I have been discussing; the foaming denouncers of the bourgeoisie, and the more-water-iri-your-beer reformers of whom Shaw is the prototype, and the astute young social-literary climbers who are Communists now, as they will be Fascists five years hence, because it is all the go, and all that dreary tribe of high-minded’ women and sandal-wearers and bearded fruit-juice drinkers who come nocking towards the smell of ‘progress’ like bluebottles to a dead cat. The ordinary decent person, who is in sympathy with the essential aims of Socialism, is given the impression that there is no room for his kind in any Socialist party that means business. Worse, he is driven to the cynical conclusion that Socialism is a kind of doom which is probably coming but must be staved off as long as possible. Of course, as I have suggested already, it is not strictly fair to judge a movement by its adherents; but the point is that people invariably do so, and that the popular conception of Socialism is coloured by the conception of a Socialist as a dull or disagreeable person. ‘Socialism’ is pictured as a state of affairs in which our more vocal Socialists would feel thoroughly at home. This does great harm to the cause. The ordinary man may not flinch from a dictatorship of the proletariat, if you offer it tactfully; offer him a dictatorship of the prigs, and he gets ready to fight.
In this attempt by Orwell to understand why the working class (and, as he as a sympathizer of Socialism admits, himself) had misgivings about what he terms ‘prig’ Socialism, Orwell, perhaps without then realizing it, identifies the characteristic that above all qualifies ‘prig’ Socialism as an entirely different category of Leftism from ‘prole’ Socialism – Class.
In the century of scientific dictatorship there have been two types of Left: One was Communism; the second was and is Technocracy; and the treatment of class in their respective ideological end states is why Communism and Technocracy are not the same.
Communism and Technocracy are both Liberal but different types of Liberalism just as Metternich and Coolidge were both Conservative but different types of Conservative. Both Technocracy and Communism meet the broad definition of Liberalism Metternich in 1820 put before Tsar Alexander I which defines liberal man as presumptive man:
Religion, morality, legislation, economy, politics, administration, all have become common and accessible to everyone. Knowledge seems to come by inspiration ; experience has no value for the presumptuous man ; faith is nothing to him ; he substitutes for it a pretended individual conviction, and to arrive at this conviction dispenses with all inquiry and with all study ; for these means appear too trivial to a mind which believes itself strong enough to embrace at one glance all questions and all facts. Laws have no value for him, because he has not contributed to make them, and it would be beneath a man of his parts to recognise the limits traced by rude and ignorant generations. Power resides in himself; why should he submit himself to that which was only useful for the man deprived of light and knowledge ? That which, according to him, was required in an age of weakness cannot be suitable in an age of reason and vigour, amounting to universal perfection, which the German innovators designate by the idea, absurd in itself, of the Emancipation of the People ! Morality itself he does not attack openly, for without it he could not be sure for a single instant of his own existence ; but he interprets its essence after his own fashion, and allows every other person to do so likewise, provided that other person neither kills nor robs him.
In thus tracing the character of the presumptuous man, we believe we have traced that of the society of the day, composed of like elements, if the denomination of society is applicable to an order of things which only tends in principle towards individualising all the elements of which society is composed. Presumption makes every man the guide of his own belief, the arbiter of laws according to which he is pleased to govern himself, or to allow some one else to govern him and his neighbours ; it makes him, in short, the sole judge of his own faith, his own actions, and the principles according to which he guides them.
Is it necessary to give a proof of this last fact ? We think we have furnished it in remarking that one of the sentiments most natural to man, that of nationality, is erased from the Liberal catechism, and that where the word is still employed, it is used by the heads of the party as a pretext to enchain Governments, or as a lever to bring about destruction. The real aim of the idealists of the party is religious and political fusion, and this being analysed is nothing else but creating in favour of each individual an existence entirely independent of all authority, or of any other will than his own, an idea absurd and contrary to the nature of man, and incompatible with the needs of human society.
In Communism the end of history is reached when the dictatorship of the proletariat brings about a worker’s paradise devoid of class, at which point the state withers and is then finally abolished.
In Technocracy – which is synonymous with Dictatorial Bureaucracy, Sociology, and Progressivism – the prole is faced with anything but paradise. For Technocracy the final state of civilization is a “scientific” government ruled by an unaccountable Brahmin class of priestly bureaucrats, sociologists, and scientists assembled from the middle and upper classes. Far from abolishing class, liberating the proletariat, and dissolving the state; Technocracy constructs a highly class stratified society with the sociology class at the pinnacle and all else, proles especially, nothing more than “conditioned” guinea pigs good only for social engineering experiments and to be disposed of on the pettiest of whims. The proles are not let anywhere near power; the state, which micromanages every detail of life for the citizenry, is preserved for eternity.
Because Communism raises the proles and Technocracy lowers them, they are not just different but fundamentally incompatible.
Indeed, eight decades since Orwell wrote about ‘prig’ Socialism it has now become obvious what was not obvious in Orwell’s time: The prigs wish to abolish the proletariat. Among the means to accomplish their abolition are the major prig initiatives of Third World immigration and trade.
While Marx did hope the Capitalist powers would adopt free trade he did so only because he wanted those powers to discredit themselves further in the eyes of the workers when free trade failed.
For Liberal Progressives, who position themselves as the champions of the working class, to adopt free trade would be an entirely different matter to Marx. Because of their affection for Communism, as well as frequent use of working class rhetoric and Communist symbols, Marx would fear that the proles would instead become disillusioned with real Communist revolution thanks to the free trade deals of this imposter “Communism” calling itself Progressive. Instead of embracing worker revolution against Capitalism the workers would join forces with the bourgeois.
Certainly, when Communism once controlled a number of nation states industry was not allowed to be hollowed out by trade deals no matter how inefficient those industries were. Following Stalin’s example of industrial Autarky they strove to become self-sufficient and economically independent of Capitalist powers. The Communist view of trade is quite opposed to the view of Progressives, and Marx would be the first person to point this out.
This goal now made clear by the passage of time, Dictatorial Bureaucracy could well be defined as “Communism” for “Communists” who want to destroy the proletariat and govern a highly class stratified society led by high-priest sociologists.
Like Communism, the origins of Technocracy lie in the 19th century. As systems of government Technocracy like Proletarian Socialism has always been attractive to unsatisfactory and inhuman types; but those types attracted to Technocracy were especially more unsatisfactory and inhuman than others.
The Marx of the Bureaucrats was Auguste Comte. Comte was the founder of Sociology, the professional Bureaucracy, Positivism (which later in the 19th century became Progressivism), and Utopian Socialism. In the early 19th century he originally called Technocracy Positivism. His Positivism gradually evolved into the three major regional branches of Technocracy; what are today more commonly known as American Progressivism, British Fabian Socialism (or, as Orwell called it, ‘prig’ Socialism), and European Supranationalism. It was Comte’s Leftism that survived its two great scientific competitors, Nazism and Communism, and is today the ruling ideology of the West.
(We will note for the reader that some ideas attributed to Comte may have originated with his early mentor, the political theorist Saint-Simon. However there is a good deal of dispute and confusion about which ideas originated with Comte or Saint-Simon. Because of this doubt and because Comte greatly expanded on ideas often associated with Saint-Simon, this article assumes that all of the ideas attributed to Saint-Simon’s Utopian Socialism were Comte’s. None of this article’s arguments substantively change if Saint-Simon did play an important role in Comte’s early philosophy.)
Just as their planned historical end stages distinguish Technocracy from Communism, they also indicate what other non-Communist forms of Leftism belong in the same category with Communism; those are any Liberal ideologies that end with proletarian domination, Proletarian Socialism. Some of the numerous non-Communist Proletarian Socialist movements of Marx’s time include the Anarchism of Kropotkin and Bakunin, the Mutualism of Proudhon, and other radical Socialist politics such as those espoused by Josef Dietzgen.
They, like Communism, all qualify as Proletarian Socialism because their end states are proletarian.
The difference between them and Communism lay in their preferred means of bringing the proles to power. Kropotkin and Bakunin’s Anarchists had as their first step the destruction of the state before capitalism was abolished, whereas Communists wanted to first seize the means of production under the control of Capitalism.
As Engels described the difference in methods between Anarchism and Communism (Bolded excerpts mine) –
Engels argued that the ruling classes had build up the state for one reason and one reason alone: “for the maintenance of its external conditions of production, and, therefore, especially, for the purpose of forcibly keeping the exploited classes in the condition of oppression corresponding with the given mode of production (slavery, serfdom, wage labor).” Ibid., 267. Reformists were wrong to believe that the state could be turned to any other purpose; the anarchists were even more wrong to believe that it could simply be abolished. The state was not the problem, capitalism was. A revolution in the mode of production would render the state obsolete.
These Proletarian Socialists fit the ideal “conception of a Socialist” in the minds of English proles. Proletarian Socialism was led either by proles, those who were a generation or two from proledom, or former aristocrats who joined the proletarian cause.
They were proles who looked like Josef Stalin, Leon Trotsky, Vladimir Lenin, Alexander Schliapnakov, Pyotr Kropotkin, Viktor Nogin, “The Iron Felix” Dzerzhinsky, Nestor Makhno, Alexei Rykov, Nikolai Krylenko, Lazar Kaganovich, Leon Kamenev, Nikolai Gorbunov, Mikhail Bakunin, Pavel Dybenko, Nikolai Bukharin, Ivan Teodorovich, Georgy Chicherin, and Lavrenti Beria.
These Proletarian radicals were ferocious in appearance and action, meat eating, often bearded, cis-gendered, white male, tobacco using, vodka drinking, and heavily armed proles or prole sympathizers; robust proles as capable of chopping down trees to build a hideout cabin as they were breaking rocks in Siberian labor camps.
By itself the physical difference between the Technocrats and Proletarian Socialists is so striking that one may also phrase their difference as – Eastern Bloc Communists were Proletarians who would inspire fear in a bar fight; Progressive Bureaucrats are “Communists” who would inspire laughter at their expense in a bar fight .
Comrades, Stalin was a prole.
His Progressive admirers in the West were not proles and therefore were never Communists; they were the weak characters Orwell as early as the 1930s already had trained his political radar on and who have only become weaker since.
If anyone still holds to the argument Progressivism is Communism they must show how Progressive “Communists” can be both anti-proletarian, and in favor of class stratification.
We see no way to reconcile tendencies so antithetical with Marxism; we doubt anyone can since Marx himself would rightly call Progressivism incompatible with Communism on class grounds.
We therefore proceed with this correct definition of Dictatorial Bureaucracy at hand to assess this ideology; its relationship to Communism without mistaking it for Communism; and chart the history of how August Comte overthrew Karl Marx.
The history of Technocracy and Proletarian Socialism begins with the aftermath of the French Revolution. At that time the immediate question before the Left was what course to take after the failures of that event.
Two answers to this question were offered. The first was the course of the Proletarian Socialists. As mentioned, in Proletarian Dictatorship the proletarians are the dictators; the most famous version of this type of dictatorship was that of Marx and Engels, and their end state was shared with all other non-Communist Proletarian Socialist movements.
But the direction Technocracy went in – a dictatorship of the bureaucrats – was very novel. We will address it after we first consider the relationship of the Jacobins t0 the radical proletarians who followed them.
Jacobin ideology was much like Proletarian Socialist ideology, the latter of which reached its culmination with the Russian Revolution. Just as Proletarian Socialist theory resembled Jacobin theory the path of the Russian Revolution closely followed that of its French predecessor, but for two exceptions: Industrial policy and class.
Industrial economics was ignored by the French Revolutionaries simply because heavy industry either did not exist in late 18th century France, or whatever industry there was did so in only a very embryonic form compared to what it would be by the second half of the 19th century. In the absence of factories to nationalize, the Jacobins instead nationalized the wealth of the Church and aristocracy with the instrument of l’Assignants. But if industry had existed, French radicals would have been sure to prelude the Bolsheviks by bringing those valuable assets into their hands.
Likewise, the class war tenets of the Jacobins and their allies in 1789 were not developed to the extent they would be by the Russian Revolution. In the then quasi-Medieval organization of French society the middle class was grouped with the working class under the Third Estate. It was because both the middle and working classes felt their rights were denied to them by the clergy and nobility that the middle class joined the proletariat in radicalism. The participation of the French middle class is one of the facets of the Revolution making it unique among all others because it is the only one that won the broad favor of the middle class.
After the middle class had been awarded greater property rights it never again as a class became radicalized. Correctly anticipating the middle class was pacified for good, Marx, Engels, and other Proletarian theorists like Kroptokin, Dzietgen and Proudhon specifically defined their Socialist movements as proletarian.
But for industrial and class theory, the First French Republic was very much the Soviet Union of the 18th century. This is true to such a degree that the French Revolution deserves to be labeled pre-Industrial Communism; its initiatives and subsequent consequences confirm this conclusion –
- The declaration of war by the First French Republic against all Monarchies and even against those nations with the most established histories of Republican government (Hamilton).
France professing eternal hatred to kings was to be the tutelary Genius of Republics—Holland, Genoa, Venice, the Swiss Cantons and the United States, are agonizing witnesses of her sincerity.
Of undone Holland no more need be said; nothing remains for us but to exercise tender sympathy in the unfortunate fate of a country which generosity lent its aid to establish our independence, and to deduce from her melancholy example an instructive lesson to repel with determined vigor, the mortal embrace of her seducer and destroyer.
Genoa, a speck on the Globe, for having at every hazard resisted the efforts of the enemies of France to force her from a neutral station, is recompensed with the subversion of her government, and the pillage of her wealth by compulsory and burthensome contributions.
Venice, is no more! In vain had she preserved a faithful neutrality, when perhaps her interposition might have inclined the scale of victory in Italy against France.
- The seizure of French farmland was naturally followed by food shortages echoing Stalin and Mao’s regimes.
- Economic mismanagement spurring Hyper-inflation worthy of Soviet Russia.
- Stalinistic show trials with accusations of different radicals being ‘counter-revolutionaries’.
- As described by Hamilton, from the beginning the French Revolutionaries, like the Russian Revolutionaries a century later, sought the violent elimination of Christianity.
Equal pains have been taken to deprave the morals as to extinguish the religion of the country, if indeed morality in a community can be separated from religion. It is among the singular and fantastic vagaries of the French revolution, that while the Duke of Brunswick was marching to Paris, a new law of divorce was passed; which makes it as easy for a husband to get rid of his wife, and a wife of her husband, as to discard a worn out habit. To complete the dissolution of those ties, which are the chief links of domestic and ultimately of social attachment, the Journals of the Convention record with guilty applause accusations preferred by children against the lives of their parents.
It is not necessary to heighten the picture by sketching the horrid groupe of proscriptions and murders which have made of France a den of pillage and slaughter; blackening with eternal opprobrium the very name of man.
The pious and the moral weep over these scenes as a sepulchre destined to entomb all they revere and esteem. The politician, who loves liberty, sees them with regret as a gulph that may swallow up the liberty to which he is devoted. He knows that morality overthrown (and morality must fall with religion) the terrors of despotism can alone curb the impetuous passions of man, and confine him within the bounds of social duty.
- Robespierre mused that at least 10 million French citizens out of a French population of 25 million would have to be executed to bring about his Utopia (Gentz)- we now know from the examples of Stalin and Mao that 10 million is just the opening bid.
In the year 1793 the thirst for destruction had gone so far, that it was at a loss for an object. The well known saying, that Robespierre meant to reduce the population of France by one half, had its foundation in the lively sense of the impossibility of satisfying the hitherto insatiate revolution, with any thing less, than such a hecatomb.
When there was nothing more left in the country to attack, the offensive frenzy turned itself against the neighbouring states, and finally declared war in solemn decrees against all civil society. It was certainly not the want of will in those, who then conducted this war, if Europe preserved any thing, besides “bread and iron.” Fortunately, no strength was great enough long to support such a will. The unavoidable exhaustion of the assailants, and not the power or the merit of the resistance made, saved society; and, finally, brought the work shops themselves, where the weapons for its destruction were forged, within its beneficent bonds again.
- In the wake of the Revolution, Metternich mentioned in 1834 there was a “dialectical school” already in existence.
Neither did he approve of man’s energies being wasted in attempts to penetrate the ultimate causes of things, since all that man can do, he said, is to observe and note phenomena. It was absurd to puzzle ourselves about the why and because (‘ das Wie und Warum’). I mentioned to him the difficulty I had experienced in arguing with professed disciples of the dialectical school. He said it was perfectly useless to dispute with such and that the only way was to silence them at once by some clinching method.
- Sexual libertinism – Hamilton above mentions easy divorce, Metternich records the rise of illegitimacy and out of wedlock births in Paris where the imposition of forcible de-Chistrianization was most thoroughly implemented. This all seems quaint by today’s standards (or lack thereof), but it was quite socially disruptive not just for the 18th century but up to the first half of 20th century.
The population of Paris may be roughly stated at 800,000. Of these 80,000 women and 10,000 men have no religion whatever.
More than a third of the population is unbaptised. The proper business for the religious at the present moment is to introduce religion. In the Quartier de St. Genevieve — where the lowest classes of the people live — it may be said that out of twenty households one consists of married people. At least half of them are not even to be found in any civil register. The only thing that can have any effect here is a religious mission like those sent among savages.
- Metternich states the ultimate source of The French Revolution was the Reformation. For the purposes of this article we will be focusing on the French Revolution since, if we look back to the Reformation, I suspect what we will see are simply Christian Jacobins.
My proposals are confined to the discipline of the universities, and do not at all touch the studies themselves—two questions which are very closely related, but yet in the present discussion necessarily separated. If we meddle with the latter, nothing at all will be done, and a letter from Müller sufficiently points this out to me, in which in speaking of this affair he observes ‘ that the disorder in the universities proceeds from the Reformation and that it can only be really set right by the recall of the Reformation.’ I deny neither the assertion nor its justice. But here on the Quirinal I cannot meddle with Dr. Martin Luther, and I hope that nevertheless some good will come of it without even touching its source— Protestantism. The last very excellent letter of Müller’s reminded me involuntarily of Golowkin’s proposition for the investigation of ‘ Causes primitives de la révolution française.’
Robespierre would have surely killed 10 million French if he, unlike Stalin, hadn’t hesitated to seize absolute power while he brooded over philosophy.
It was fortunate Napoleon turned out to be a White Tsar who disguised himself as a Red Tsar until his position was secure enough to overthrow the Directorate.
In order to judge of this extraordinary man, we must follow him upon the grand theatre for which he was born. Fortune had no doubt done much for Napoleon; but by the force of his character, the activity and lucidity of his mind, and by his genius for the great combinations of military science, he had risen to the level of the position which she had destined for him. Having but one passion, that of power, he never lost either his time or his means on those objects which might have diverted him from his aim. Master of himself, he soon became master of men and events. In whatever time he had appeared he would have played a prominent part. But the epoch when he first entered on his career was particularly fitted to facilitate his elevation. Surrounded by individuals who, in the midst of a world in ruins, walked at random without any fixed guidance, given up to all kinds of ambition and greed, he alone was able to form a plan, hold it fast, and conduct it to its conclusion. It was in the course of the second campaign in Italy that he conceived the one which was to carry him to the summit of power. ‘ When I was young,’ he said to me ; ‘ I was revolutionary from ignorance and ambition. At the age of reason, I have followed its counsels and my own instinct, and I crushed the Revolution.’
There would be no such luck with future Red Tsars. How many millions of lives might have been saved if only Stalin had declared himself Tsar after a surprise “discovery” of extant Romanov ancestry in his family tree? Sadly, that Red Tsar remained Red.
The short nature of its existence is the chief reason the French Revolution can be portrayed by “historians” as defensible. Because Napoleon brought that experiment to an end in its first decade it was too brief to build a criminal record as extensive as Soviet Russia would build over seven decades. It is particularly subject to romantic interpretations because its enthusiasm excites the imagination of the Liberal (who always prefers feeling to facts and logic) while its swift conclusion masks to untrained observers the indefensible consequences its actions would have certainly led to.
And had the Russian Revolution expired in one decade and then been replaced by a conservative regime as was the French Revolutionary regime the Russian Revolution would have many more defenders than it does.
If the alterations to Jacobinism made by Marx and other Proletarian Socialists were modest, the answer of Auguste Comte to the failure of the Revolution was highly original.
Like Marx and Engels, Comte too saw no future for established governing institutions. To Comte the Bourbons were toppled because their governance was ‘arbitrary’; by arbitrary he meant the governance of the Church and Nobility was justified on a mystical, romantic, hence “arbitrary” mythology surrounding the powers of Royalism instead of scientific principles set down by men trained in science. Because their rule was not scientific Monarchism was doomed to collapse. To save government and advance humanity into its utopian future, social scientists would have to overturn the arbitrary mysticism around government with the adoption of Comte’s “scientific” Sociology just as the equally arbitrary mysticism of alchemy and astrology were overturned by the sciences of chemistry and astronomy.
Crucially, and unlike Proletarian Socialists, Comte saw nothing gained by the overthrow of the Ancien Régime if its replacement was a regime of commoners. Rule of the proletariat, or masses of any sort, was no less arbitrary because the common man had less training in scientific principles than the aristocracy. In Sociological Government proles had no place in leadership and barely any freedoms.
Only a priestly class of Sociologists willing to apply science to create a perfect society were fit for power in Comte’s New Order which has become today’s Progressive order.
Because a state was necessarily required to implement his complex political science, Comte’s state would be permanent. This end state of Comte’s is very different from that of Communism. Proletarian Socialists assumed that once the state was abolished the proletariat would naturally learn on their own how to collectively control production and master the few remaining administrative tasks.
As Engels described it:
When, at last, it becomes the real representative of the whole of society, it renders itself unnecessary. As soon as there is no longer any social class to be held in subjection; as soon as class rule, and the individual struggle for existence based upon our present anarchy in production, with the collisions and excesses arising from these, are removed, nothing more remains to be repressed, and a special repressive force, a State, is no longer necessary. The first act by virtue of which the State really constitutes itself the representative of the whole of society—the taking possession of the means of production in the name of society—this is, at the same time, its last independent act as a State. State interference in social relations becomes, in one domain after another, superfluous, and then dies out of itself; the government of persons is replaced by the administration of things, and by the conduct of processes of production. The State is not “abolished”. It dies out.
Or, as Lenin simply put it, after the state is dissolved administration would become so simple that “even a cook could take charge of it”.
Of course Stalin did not abolish the Soviet State. But he could at least plausibly justify retaining it as a temporary condition until Communism conquered the world. In the meantime the Soviet Union did stay true to its proletarian roots and, despite its many flaws, never become the complex bureaucratic mess that Western Progressive governance has become.
“Is this proposition of Engels’s correct?” he asked, citing the passage above. The answer was yes but only if we assumed a world revolution. “What if Socialism has been victorious only in one country. . . . what then? Engels’s formula does not furnish an answer to this question. As a matter of fact, Engels did not set himself this question, and therefore could not have given an answer to it.” For Stalin, Engels’s phrase was not so much obsolete as inapplicable to the current conjuncture: “A country which is surrounded by a capitalist world, is subject to the menace of foreign military attack, cannot therefore abstract itself from the international situation, and must have at its disposal a well-trained army, well-organized punitive organs, and a strong intelligence service consequently, must have its own state.” “Report on the Work of the Central Committee to the Eighteenth Congress of the C.P.S.U.(B.),” delivered March 10, 1939, in Joseph Stalin, Works (London: Red Star, 1978), 14:415–416.
But for Comte the retention of the state was both its ideal and necessary condition.
Because scientific rulers in Comte’s mold could neither be adherents of the discredited aristocracy nor proles, Comte would have to first train this new civil service royalty and then assign them to new Technocratic institutions after the old order was crushed in his Sociology Revolution. His aristocracy would then employ a new social engineering bureaucracy to severely restrict the freedoms of the ordinary, ignorant, citizen for their own good and with no mercy shown to the proletariat.
This article accurately summarizes Comte’s system (Bolded excerpts mine) :
His positivist ideology, rather than celebrating the rationality of the individual and wanting to protect people from state interference, fetishised the scientific method, proposing that a new ruling class of technocrats should decide how society should be run and how people should behave. This idea has its seeds in Saint-Simons thought but finds its expression in a much more developed authoritarian form in Comte.
In July 1819 Comte wrote an article which was destined not to be published until 1854, when he appended it to his Système de Politique Positive (System of Positive Polity) as a demonstration of the continuity of his thinking from youth to old age. Entitled General Separation Between Views and Desires, and later referred to as the First Opuscule, it revealed a new attitude on Comtes part towards democracy and his increasing disdain for the opinion of the people. Developing his previous suggestion that only enlightened men should take part in journalism or government, he argued that only those specifically trained in political science should play an active role in politics. Clearly aware that he was in danger of sounding like the present administration he emphasised that, despite their lack of knowledge, the people had legitimate desires for freedom, peace, industrial prosperity, economical public expenditure, and good use of taxes. They should thus contribute to deciding on the overall aims of society, but should leave the means of achieving them to those who knew what they are talking about, that is, the social scientists. Revealing his authoritarian and elitist tendencies, he proclaimed that social scientists should rule, and that the liberty of everyone else should be restricted accordingly.
He contended that sovereignty of the people would put power in the hands of those unfit to rule both morally and intellectually, replacing the arbitrariness of kings by the arbitrariness of people, or rather, by that of individuals. What was needed was a new organic doctrine that would be supported by all, kings and ordinary people alike. Rather than limiting the power of the state to protect people from arbitrary authority, Comte now argued that the government should be made the head of society, uniting people and focusing everyones activities on common goals. He was also highly critical of the notion of freedom of conscience: there is no liberty of conscience in astronomy, physics, chemistry, physiology, in the sense that everyone would find it absurd not to believe with confidence in the principles established in these sciences by competent men. Thus even the right to question science on the basis of ones own rationality that Comte had retained to some degree in the First Opuscule seems to have gone out of the window. In a similar vein, he argued that only an educated elite should be entitled to freedom more generally:
Liberty in a reasonable proportion is useful to people who have attained a certain degree of instruction and have acquired some habits of foresight [but] is very harmful to those who have not fulfilled these two conditions and have the indispensable need, for themselves as much as for others, to be kept in tutelage.
With his newly discovered law of three stages, Comte was convinced that politics could now be raised to the rank of the sciences of observation. This would enable the scientists to create the spiritual doctrine needed to replace religion. These scientists would be generalists trained in all of the sciences this idea, first proposed in the Plan, was to become a key theme in his later work. Political science, based on a historical understanding of the past (and future) would ultimately provide a blueprint, or at least some clear ideas, for what a new society would look like.
Comte at this time was clarifying and expanding his account of the three stages of historical development. Six of these articles were later republished as his fourth and fifth opuscules. In these works we see Comtes ideas about the structure of his positivist society solidifying. Gone is any remnant of his old libertarian and egalitarian principles. In place of the existing institutions Comte now envisaged a fixed social hierarchy strictly controlled by a positivist elite. Expressing an admiration for primitive societies because of the absolute power held by the spiritual leaders, he proposed a form of theocracy with a clergy made up of his social scientists. The spiritual authority would have an explicitly repressive function, playing the role that the Catholic Church had played in the Mediaeval period, but more powerful. His positive clergy would be moral and political philosophers, men with general knowledge of all the sciences backing their social science. Control over ideas would be an essential element of the state. Thus education would be a key tool, helping to link theory and practice, and teaching people to know their place in the social order.
In particular, his presentation of history in terms of ordinary people as opposed to the rich and powerful is still influential today. However, despite this, and despite his extensive knowledge of Enlightenment thought, his vision is peculiarly devoid of a sense of agency. He was convinced from an early stage that theory had to precede practice and really believed that the social scientists, the generalists trained by his Cours, would provide a blueprint for a perfect society. It is this that led Karl Marx to be so disparaging of Comtes ideas, who denied ever trying to write Comtist recipes for the cookshops of the future. Marx, in contrast, extended the notion of agency to the common people for him the proletariat the new class that emerged from the industrial revolution and the establishment of capitalism were the people with the history making potential for the future. Comte, as we have seen, had a deep distrust of the masses, and thus, while he started out as a proponent of freedom of speech, he ended up proposing a system in which people were told what to think by an intellectual elite. The very idea of Marxs dictatorship of the proletariat would have been truly terrifying for Comte.
And the very idea of Comte’s dictatorship of the Bureaucrats – Bureaucrats more powerful than the Catholic Church of the Medieval Ages! – would be equally terrifying to Karl Marx (Marx was aware of Comte and his Utopian Socialism, but he dismissed the possibility of it ever gaining traction. If he could see that it would displace Communism and become the ruling ideology of the world, well, we will get to that; but for now rest assured he would be as horrified by Progresssivism as you the reader are).
The rigidly hierarchical society governed by Technocratic high-priests that Comte dreamed of perfectly describes the West’s ruling class of Bureaucrats.
Comte’s industrial policy, too, far better describes what Conservatives today refer to as “Corporatism” than Marxist industrialism.
Conservatives generally consider Corporatism to be a corrupt hybrid of Leftism and corporate profiteering (The reader should note that “Corporatism” should not be confused with “Crony Capitalism”, the latter is a different economic system practiced by modern Russia and Northeast Asia, neither of which are Progressive).
Comte did not want industry placed completely under state control. Instead Comte preferred industry take detailed blueprints from Bureaucrats and run their operations largely off of it.
Like Sieyès and Condorcet before them, Comte and Saint-Simon believed it was up to a class of experts—scientists, industrialists—to work out a new doctrine capable of bringing enduring social and political stability. The scientists would turn their observational skills onto the social and political realm, revealing its laws of development. The industrialists would then reconstruct institutions in such a way that their operations were in harmony with these laws. Unlike Sieyès and Condorcet, however, these postrevolutionary thinkers adopted what Baker has called a “theocratic” understanding of knowledge. Any deviation from rationality became a kind of heresy. “No one is so insane as to set himself up, knowingly, in revolt against the nature of things,” Comte argued (101). He had supreme faith in the power of knowledge.
Comte’s economic doctrine was one of his strengths. This spin on the role of business in Sociology often won more favor from both industrialists and Progressives than Communism. In this scheme Technocrats stood to gain greater say over economic activity without killing the free market goose that lays the golden eggs; quite unlike Proletarian Socialism which promised to axe murder the goose straight away along with its industrialist owners. For their part, industrialists would theoretically retain influence over policy and enjoy some measure of freedom to run their businesses.
In practice, however, the Progressive Movement’s marriage of Comte’s Sociology to Big Business gave birth to an unstable hybrid monster that greatly incentivized the worst vices of Bureaucracy and Capitalism. In Corporatism incompetent social engineers are free to plan seizing even more power over economic activity in order to fund their tyrannical objectives. At the same time corporations unwittingly become more corrupt the more they engage this crackpot Bureaucratic system in the futile hope the Bureaucrats will exempt them from their craziest experiments if only business acts like “responsible” team players. At best their “responsibility” only slows the pace of how quickly the Bureaucratic crocodile eats them.
Karl Marx called Comte’s Bureaucratic Sociology “shitty” –
Discussing utopian socialism, Engels invoked Saint-Simon, Fourier, and Owen, but ignored Comte altogether. In this, he was probably following the lead of Marx, who dismissed Comte’s work in a single word: “Shitty.” Letter from Marx to Engels, July 7, 1866, MECW 42:292.
Over century later we now know “shit” was an understatement.
Unfortunately the shit bureaucracies of today that all Westerners live in terror of have long demonstrated superior staying power relative to Communism.
The reasons why it has proven so politically viable after Communism went extinct everywhere (except for a single, wonderfully determined, hermit holdout in North Korea) have much to do with who this program attracted, and which nations it found the most support in.
Comteian Sociology won the allegiance of the mediocre, usually bourgieous descended, always disatisfied employees of the modernizing Civil Service; men and women who match this sketch drawn in the 1930s by George Orwell:
The first thing that must strike any outside observer is that Socialism, in its developed form is a theory confined entirely to the middle classes. The typical Socialist is not, as tremulous old ladies imagine, a ferocious-looking working man with greasy overalls and a raucous voice. He is either a youthful snob-Bolshevik who in five years’ time will quite probably have made a wealthy marriage and been converted to Roman Catholicism; or, still more typically, a prim little man with a white-collar job, usually a secret teetotaller and often with vegetarian leanings, with a history of Nonconformity behind him, and, above all, with a social position which he has no intention of forfeiting. This last type is surprisingly common in Socialist parties of every shade; it has perhaps been taken over en bloc from. the old Liberal Party. In addition to this there is the horrible–the really disquieting–prevalence of cranks wherever Socialists are gathered together. One sometimes gets the impression that the mere words ‘Socialism’ and ‘Communism’ draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, ‘Nature Cure’ quack, pacifist, and feminist in England.
Horrid nudists though they were and are, Britain’s “snob-Bolshevik” Fabian Socialists (“isn’t ‘snobbery’ too classist to be ‘Bolshevik’?” George suggested…) along with their Progressive and Supranationalist siblings in America and Continental Europe turned out to be more formidable Leftists than the proletariat.
Because Comte immediately grasped that the working class was not close to having the qualities of aristocracy, Comte proved to be a wiser class theorist than Marx. It was Marx who wrongly bet on the proletariat because he saw in them a nobility in waiting. Eventually this presumed nobility lost interest in revolution once their material needs were satisfied by the free market. Without the enthusiasm of the proletariat, Proletarian Socialism lost momentum and then slipped into the mists of history. Ever since then the proles have remained in a tranquilized stupor barely aware the Progressives can’t eliminate them quickly enough through Third World immigration, automation, and the outsourcing of manufacturing.
By contrast, the “non-Conformist” segment of the bourgeois from which Comte’s Sociology would gain its primary following remained messianically committed to societal upheaval no matter how much modernity improved the physical quality of their lives. They never lost their fanaticism for inflicting Bureaucratic tyranny due to their above average (but still overrated) intelligence, supreme arrogance in their presumed self-embodiment of science and knowledge, personal insecurity, moral depravity, and crude lust for power.
The civil servant class was unwittingly put in a position to march to power because of the Industrial Revolution; the same Revolution that gave rise to Capitalism as well as the supreme enemy of Capitalism, Progressivism. The largely conservative Western powers of the time felt obligated by the increasingly complex impact of industry and science on society to professionalize their civil services and authorize them to manage this impact and harness its benefits.
Due to this complexity, the role of the civil servant became more and more specialized. Before these specialized roles could be staffed, it was reasoned, potential civil servants should first be sent off for specialized academic training. During their university careers they were disciplined in sociological studies that, if not directly founded by Comte, were infused with his attitude that the future of social scientists was not limited to being mere aides and number crunchers but to be the supreme leaders of a new man and a new society.
The following articles’ descriptions of how 19th century American students who later became Progressives were intrigued by the potential of sociology to evolve up from a field of academic research into an entirely new form of totalitarian government also describes equally well Sociology’s attraction to those students who would become British Fabians and European Supranationalists –
During the 1880s and 1890s bright young graduate students in history and the social sciences went to Germany, the home of the PhD degree, to obtain their doctorates. Almost to a man, they returned to the United States to teach in colleges and in the newly created graduate schools, imbued with the excitement of the “new” economics and political science. It was a “new” social science that lauded the German and Bismarckian development of a powerful welfare-warfare State, a State seemingly above all social classes, that fused the nation into an integrated and allegedly harmonious whole. The new society and polity was to be run by a powerful central government, cartelizing, dictating, arbitrating, and controlling, thereby eliminating competitive laissez-faire capitalism on the one hand and the threat of proletarian socialism on the other. And at or near the head of the new dispensation was to be the new breed of intellectuals, technocrats, and planners, directing, staffing, propagandizing, and “selflessly” promoting the common good while ruling and lording over the rest of society. In short, doing well by doing good. To the new breed of progressive and statist intellectuals in America, this was a heady vision indeed.
Bureaucracy as a government unto itself was always the ideal state of Progressivism; no matter how much Progressives flattered and sympathized with Proletarian Socialists. Lester Frank Ward, who has been called the father of the modern Progressive welfare state, was greatly influenced by Comte’s dreams of bureaucratic dictatorship. Ward enthusiastically brought Comte’s ideas to the attention of numerous other Progressives. That leading Progressive light, Herbert Croly, was raised by a father who was a Comteian Positivist. The Social Gospel’s belief that both the working class and middle classes were inherently “sick” and needed to be reformed by a 1984-ish social engineering state is directly inspired by Comte’s Utopian vision as well as his deep loathing of the uneducated masses:
To the American mind, the most formal connotation of the term progressive is the Progressive Movement, a period of reform that ranged from the late 1800s to the end of World War I. Unlike its predecessor, the Populist Party, Progressivism was not a movement of farmers or manual laborers. Its guiding lights were college-educated men who were consequently steeped in the post-Enlightenment collectivism that had taken hold of the universities both here and in Europe. Among its apostles were economists who adopted the “organic” collectivism of the German historical school, sociologists and historians who interpreted Darwin according to the social ideas of Hegel (the “reform” Darwinists), clergymen who interpreted Jesus according to the moral ideas of Kant (the Social Gospelers), single-taxers who followed Henry George, Utopians who followed Edward Bellamy … “humanitarians” who followed Comte … pragmatists who followed William James and the early John Dewey. (Peikoff)
The man who is now virtually synonymous with Progressivism, Herbert Croly (The Promise of American Life), was himself both the son of a noted proponent of Comteian positivism and the student of Harvard’s Josiah Royce, a disciple of Hegel. All of these thinkers contributed to what would become the ethical foundation of the Progressive Movement: a contempt and loathing of “individualism” — and its political expression in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution:
On its way to political power the American Progressive movement in proportion to its electoral success created ever more bureaucratic departments. The federal agencies diseased from the moment of their foundation by Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt have with only occasional interruption relentlessly expanded into a psychopathic 4th branch of government; a 4th branch unaccountable to the voters and the other three branches of American government.
The fact should be emphasized that there was no Gramscian march through Western institutions: Civil service institutions were not captured by an outside force; early civil servants of the modern nation states freely chose to rebel against and displace the conservative authorities who professionalized them. The bureaucrats rebelled in hopes of eventually installing themselves as a new, ‘scientific’ elite. By the 1920s and 1930s the American university system had become dominated by Communist sympathizing Progressives and Sociologists.
Further expansions of bureaucratic institutions, meant to serve as loci of power, were established by the New Deal, the Great Society, and in Britain by the creation of the NHS. In Europe, as planned by Jean Monnet and his allies, the old European Coal Commission thanks to its followup acts such as the Maastricht Treaty, European Monetary Union, and the Delors Commission eventually morphed into the most perfect incarnation of Comte’s Bureaucratic Dictatorship, the European Union.
A consideration of which nations preferred Technocracy or Communism is instructive.
The most fertile ground for Proletarian Socialism lay South and East of the Hajnal line: Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Europe. There working class anger was highest, the middle class historically most dissatisfied with its level of property rights, and wealth was narrowly concentrated among the aristocracy. The one exception to this rule is France. Appropriate enough for the nation that first produced both Proletarian Socialism and Technocracy, these two forms of Liberalism have been about equal in influence since the end of the French Revolution. After WWII the “Enarque” Supranationalists of France have been that nation’s true Liberal elite despite a number of overtly Communist third parties still performing well with the French working class on election day.
But Proletarian Socialism never fully took root in Protestant Europe or the Anglo diaspora. The Protestant tradition (especially the Anglo-Saxon tradition) of property rights left their proles unwilling to gamble their expanding wealth with full scale revolution. They did, however, respond well to Communist rhetoric if for no other reason than the leaders of proletarian revolution looked like themselves – if you can’t trust yourself to be dictator who can you trust?
Both moderate Socialist parties and Technocrats that co-opted radical Proletarian slogans were the preferred parties of working class Protestants. The electoral gains of truly Communist and radical Proletarian parties with Protestant workers was negligible.
For elite Protestant Liberals the debate about industry took place within the context of an abundance of wealth and rapid technological innovation. Because prosperity (although not universal) and science were widespread the question for the establishment Left centered more around how to manage wealth and technology than nationalizing them outright. Liberals of a radical bent preferred the “Corporatist” compromise first proposed by Comte and later refined by numerous sociologists, academics, and economists such as Lord Keynes. In this hybrid scheme Capitalism is heavily regulated by centralized bureaucrats, manipulated to fund and implement social engineering projects, but Capitalism is not terminated.
Thus, geography has been of the greatest advantages Comte’s system enjoyed over Marx’s in the battle for the loyalty of Western elites. Comte discovered a formula to recruit to Technocracy a segment of the Protestant bourgeoisie already operating in the halls of government, albeit a segment initially serving the state only as paper pushers not decision makers. When those bourgeoisie Sociologists collectively attained decision making power they brought over to the cause of Comteian Progressivism the great wealth and resources of Protestant Capitalism. This wealth was by itself enough to ensure Comte’s Liberalism would outlive Marx’s.
It cannot be emphasized enough that history before 1932 is without precedent for an aristocracy of bureaucrats; Comte’s priesthood is a complete historical aberration.
The classes making up the Technocratic elite were more able than the proletariat, yet still only dull, gray, members of the bourgeois and upper classes. However numerous were the advantages Technocracy held over Communism thanks to drawing leadership from the bourgeois, these were overwhelmingly the mediocre or even failed portions of the bourgeoisie. They consist of sociologists, academics, scientists, pseudo-scientists, government bureaucrats, media hacks, ‘artists’, ‘experts’, celebrities, non-profit workers, quacks of every type, writers, philosophers, economists, environmentalists, feminists, public and private sector unions, and international organizations.
Little though they would agree about anything else, both Engels and conservatives of any type would agree that these elements of society were unfit to serve as a ruling class. Traditional conservative ruling classes were drawn from the aristocracy, military, priesthood, and merchant classes (the class that met Alexander Hamilton’s ideal of a ‘natural aristocracy’), and, to varying degrees of flexibility, with room made for admission into the elite of the occasional parvenu of great ability.
The leadership of Soviet Russia, as well, did not consist of Technocrats. Soviet rulers overwhelmingly came from the founding revolutionaries, the military high command, economic management, and intelligence agencies. As in Conservative systems, the Civil Service in Communist nations served a purely advisory role to the Communist elite.
It is also remarkable how comfortable so much of the citizenry of the West is with the bizarre idea of having Bureaucrats control government rather than serving government when these classes never before held decision making powers.
However intense the mistrust of Technocrats was towards the working class, Technocrats were every bit as interested as Communists were in overthrowing conservative elites and breaking the majority of the Western middle class; except for the minority of the middle class working in government.
This brings us to the seeming paradox of how could Technocrats simultaneously hate the proletariat but sympathize and cheer on Proletarian Radical movements like Communism and Anarchism?
Their sympathy for Communism has often been wrongly interpreted by the Right as proof Technocrats were Communists.
The explanation to this seeming contradiction is that Bureaucrats were enthusiastic only for the support of the proletariat. Once in the driver’s seat, Dictatorial Bureaucracy contemptuously shoved the proles away from the levers of power. It is their use of the proletariat in revolution and their later refusal to let them anywhere near government once the revolution was finished that still makes Bureaucratic Dictatorship of the Progressive type not Communist.
In Technocracy’s beginning, when the road to their warped Utopia was long and uncertain, it was a necessity that the political energy of Proletarian Socialism be harnessed to the benefit of Progressivism.
Modern observers who look back at the Progressive movement from the late 19th to early 20th centuries are often surprised at how freely that movement’s leaders spoke up in favor of Communism. Leaders such as Upton Sinclair were obfuscating for Stalin’s purges as late as the 1930s –
It is also true that I have been studying the problem of Russia as earnestly as I know how for twenty years. There have been few days during that period that I have not sought some new facts and pondered them. I have had many a heartache over the things which have happened in Russia— so different from what I hoped for. I watched Gorky all through this period, and I know how he suffered and how more than once he wavered. But in the end he made up his mind that the Soviet regime was the best hope for the workers of Russia, and that is my conclusion today.
Though this is not well understood today, the reason why early Progressives got away with this was because Communism was seen by many Proletarian voters at the time as an ordinary workers party. Proletarian voters often identified with a number of its objectives even if they did not vote for it.
And proletarian voters were no inconsequential force. 19th century Proletarian radicalism had significantly broader popularity and momentum than Sociology did. This would continue to be the case throughout most of the 20th century and left Sociology in a position where it had no choice but to hug close to the rising force of Proletarian Revolution.
The working class vote was once so important that even Hitler, though on the extreme right, had to make his case to them. A little known, and ironic, fact about the German elections of 1932 and 1933 was that Hitler competed with the Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands for segments of the same working class bloc. Hitler’s effort to incorporate them into his electoral coalition was so successful that the KPD leader, Ersnt Thällman, felt compelled to adopt some of Hitler’s nationalist propaganda in order to restrain the defections of normally Socialist and Communist voters to the Nazis.
Technocrats especially were unlikely to survive ignoring the working class compared to other political parties.
The primary obstacle facing Technocrats was always the lack of enough votes to get Technocracy off the ground on a platform that honestly expressed their system. Without satisfying the working class they had no natural constituents except for a small class of bureaucrats; or at least not until the working class was replaced with a compliant third world electorate:
June 4, 1834. — Prince Esterhazy will doubtless have spoken to you of a most interesting conversation he has had with King Louis Philippe. What I beg you to insist upon is, that I do not dread the Republic more than it is to he dreaded; a fact contradicted by the King, who apparently does not fear it at all. In order to make myself clearly understood, I need only tell you that I mean by anarchy, the Republic. I know very well that the Republic — in other words a Republican Government affording the prospect of stability — is not what is in store for France, but anarchy under the colours of the Republic, for no one will ever proclaim anarchy.
Just as “No one will ever proclaim anarchy” it is equally true that “no one will ever proclaim Bureaucracy” because no one will fight or vote for Bureaucracy unless it is very falsely called ‘Communism’.
Hitler and Stalin personally believed their systems represented the best interests of their blue collar classes; both had justification to argue this was so.
But Technocrats were completely dishonest in their working class rhetoric. Like Comte , Progressives never viewed the proletariat as fit for government, but to win their acceptance (if fierce loyalty was implausible) they had to lie by disguising themselves in Communist clothing.
Recent events provide important examples of how their true feelings about allowing proles near leadership become manifest.
Those examples are the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders, the rise of Jeremy Corbyn over the British Labour Party, and the threat by the radical Leftist government of Greece to leave the euro. The leaders in all three cases expressed sympathies with proletarian interests; and in all three cases their (somewhat) proletarian objectives were at odds with the Bureaucratic class. The results of these rather modest insurgencies were the rallying of the Democratic Party around Hillary Clinton which awarded her the party nomination, and the Blairite wing of Labour chaffing under Corbyn. As for Greece, the potential withdrawal of that nation from European Monetary Union was the most harshly punished of the three insurgencies because their exit was potentially the greatest threat to the European Union establishment: The governing radical Leftist party was completely discredited when it was forced to keep Greece in the euro, implement hated economic reforms, and effectively place what is left of the Greek economy under the direct control of Brussels.
The Progressives also needed the proletariat simply to fight in the streets – imagine how poorly those sickly, vegetarian Progressives described by Orwell would fare without proletarian street muscle against a true reactionary willing to unleash the guns on them, a madman like Jorge Videla. How long could they hold out in a frigid cabin in the Urals, living off only vodka canteens, rations staler than cardboard, clinging in desperation to grenades and Kalashnikovs?
We will even go so far as to say that Technocrats associated themselves with Communism to boost their own self-image. The truth is that Communist revolutionaries have always held an aura of romanticism and excitement for Technocrat Liberals that the latter cannot hope to find in their own lives. The harsh reality for Progressives is that they are just bureaucrats entrusted with far too much power. The vast majority of them are doomed to a boring, unsatisfying existence as underpaid activists for non-profits, faceless bureaucrats lost in the labyrinth of DC bureaucratic machinery, run of the mill academics, or starving teaching associates with no chance of every gaining tenure, etc. Those few Progressives who do achieve stardom are often frustrated by their inability to advance their agenda.
Even their internal battles are tiresome. Academic rivalries resemble WWI trench warfare, but worse: They are similar because both involve vicious fighting for no gains; they are worse because no one dies in the “combat”.
Certainly, actual Progressive existence does little to attract impressionable youths to Sociology unless it is offered to them under a false covering of Communist intrigue.
The former head of the European Union, Jose Manuel, Barroso, was like many Technocrats in that he was as a youth an energetic Maoist street revolutionary who in adulthood seamlessly transitioned into the dull Supranationalist President of the European Union Commission. It was under the watch of this former Maoist that the anti-proletarian Treaty of Lisbon was passed.
Still, though they flattered proletarian radicals as much as was needed for the sake of political expediency, the simple personality differences between Proletarian Socialists and bourgeois Technocrats was by itself often enough to cause friction and mistrust between the two groups. The doubt the British working class felt towards ‘prig’ Technocrats was also held, perhaps greatly exceeded, by the leaders of Proletarian movements. Their mutual, low-level dislike to a certain extent poisoned the atmosphere in the periodic meetings the Proletarian leadership held with the leaders of Progressive Technocracy.
In this system there are three characteristic elements: 1) a series of brilliant thoughts, which however are nearly always spoiled to some extent because they are incompetently set forth likewise; 2) a narrow, philistine way of thinking sharply contrasting with that brilliant mind; 3) a hierarchically organised religious constitution, whose source is definitely Saint-Simonian, but divested of all mysticism and turned into something extremely sober, with a regular pope at the head, so that (Thomas) Huxley  could say of Comtism that it was Catholicism without Christianity.
Then there is another point I should like to correct, the note on p 513.  Marx never was Secretary General of the International but only Secretary for Germany and Russia. And none of the Comtists in London participated in the founding of the International. Professor E Beesly  deserves great credit for his defence of the International in the press at the time of the Commune against the vehement attacks of that day. Frederic Harrison  too publicly took up the cudgels for the Commune. But a few years later the Comtists cooled off considerably toward the labour movement. The workers had become too powerful and it was now a question of maintaining a proper balance between capitalists and workers (for both are producers according to Saint-Simon) and to that end of once more supporting the former. Ever since then the Comtists have wrapped themselves in complete silence as regards the labour question.
It is appropriate to speculate how Marx himself would assess modern Progressivism considering how much Progressives have shamelessly borrowed from Communist slogans and tactics knowing since the birth of their movement they would end up betraying the white proletariat Marx held so much confidence in.
He would likely focus on three facets of Progressivism. First, how their initiatives have neutralized the chances of a truly proletarian movement, second why Progressives wanted the proles left inert, and finally how Progressivism will ultimately collapse.
The two main Progressive methods for disabling the proletariat, immigration and trade, would both be fanatically opposed by Marx and opposed with equal vigor by other Proletarian theorists such as Kropotkin and Proudhon.
Marx would have an easy case to make on Communist grounds against immigration. He believed proletarian revolution must be led by the “aristocracy of the proletariat”. These are the proletarians who, because of their ability and elevated status, with other proles were most likely to reach class consciousness. From class consciousness they would then lead proletarian revolt. Third world immigrants he would consider to be lumpenproletarians, those proles so lacking in intelligence, education, discipline, and prone to crime that they were not only useless to revolution due to their incapacity for class consciousness but were in fact easily co-opted by Capitalist forces because of the precarious nature of their day to day existence.
As for the embrace of immigration by Capitalists he would chalk that up as another example of them happily making a short term profit off the sale of the rope that will hang them later.
Free trade he would see as a mechanism for neutralizing any class threat posed by the white proletariat. Through de-industrialization, the white proletariat – in Marx’s view the most capable of the proletariat – would slip into a degenerate lumpenproletariat state from which they too would be unable to attain class consciousness.
He would be dismayed at how Progressives had corrupted his natural aristocracy of the proletariat into tranquil, morbidly obese, cretins waiting to be carved up by ISIS like roast beef.
He would not consider the possibility of the proletariat seizing control of the main Progressive Parties because of the unsuitability of its leadership. He would dismiss the remaining members of those mainstream parties who do sympathize with the Proletariat, e.g., Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn, as just managed “pothead Communists” who exist only to keep some remaining portion of the working class in the Progressive camp.
The displacement and degradation of the white proletariat served Progressive interests because Sociologists could only disguise themselves as proletarians for so long. At some point the fact they are actually by background and culture bourgieous to the core would be revealed. Marx likely would (wrongly) argue Progressives are Conservative Capitalists. At some point they would have to let the mask slip and reveal they were class enemies of the proletariat, but not until they could compensate for their votes with immigration.
With Third World immigrant voters satisfied by welfare and uninterested in either political ambition or revolutionary philosophy, Progressives now feel free to finally abandon any pretense they will respect their obligations to the white proletariat which was for over a century one of their electoral pillars.
Marx would say the ultimate defeat of Comte will be a result of the fact the class he and his followers truly represent is too narrow to exist on its own should Capitalism, the majority of the bourgeois, and what’s left of the proletariat collectively turn against it. Progressives are not, as proletarians are, self-sufficient enough to survive without Capitalistic luxuries. They are also not a natural ruling class and therefore are more dependent on the power of Capitalistic leaders than they care to admit. As employees of inherently non-productive bureaucratic agencies they could not generate by themselves the wealth of private sector Capitalists. And they are greatly outnumbered by the private sector bourgeois.
In Marx’s view the immigrant demographics imported by Progressives are much too degenerate (“lumpenproletariat”) to defend them against the far more capable white classes. The latter would be equally capable of flipping the loyalty of immigrants with Capitalist resources just as Progressives have, temporarily, purchased their loyalty with welfare.
Marx would say the day Comte is overthrown is the day the Progressives Comte gave birth to finally run out of their own allies to overthrow.