A threat to the republic

By Ben Shapiro

When Vladimir Lenin began his meteoric ascent to power, he was just a 30-year-old Marxist hoping to start a revolutionary newspaper called Iskra. Booted from Kazan University for “revolutionary activities,” Lenin had already served a stint in Siberia. His cruelty was evident by the time he was 22, when he told friends not to raise money for famine victims because starvation would “cause the peasants to reflect on the fundamental facts of capitalist society.”

Lenin wrote most of Iskra’s articles and did massive fund raising across Europe. He used his burgeoning power to promote his pamphlet “What Is To Be Done?” His thesis was simple: “The organization of the revolutionaries must consist first and foremost of people who make revolutionary activity their profession.” This vision of a vanguard elite, which would in turn give birth to the idea of a totalitarian cadre leading a blind proletariat, revolutionized the idea of Marxist revolution. The people were stupid and had to be led by the hand to revolution, Lenin believed.

When war broke out in Europe in 1914, and the czar committed to Russian involvement, Lenin saw his chance: He could seize power by undermining czarism through anti-war activity. “[B]ut for the war,” he wrote, “Russia could have gone on living for years and decades without a revolution against the capitalists.” Lenin encouraged soldiers “to turn their guns on their officers” and stated that military disaster should be exploited to “hasten the destruction … of the capitalist class.”

Meanwhile, Lenin also labeled colonialism an intrinsic evil of the capitalist system. Lenin said in “Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism” that “imperialist wars are absolutely inevitable under such an economic system … Capitalism has grown into a world system of colonial oppression and of the financial strangulation of the overwhelming majority of the population of the world by a handful of ‘advanced’ countries.”

Lenin’s goals, then, were: 1) to undermine the legitimacy of the ruling czarist system, 2) to do so through anti-war activity, and 3) to undermine capitalism by denouncing it as exploitative.

Lenin had an “excuse” for undermining the czarist system of government – it was dictatorial, even if Lenin and his successors would end up as far more brutal dictators than any of the czars.

Michael Moore has no excuse. America is a republic, and Moore is a threat to the republic.

He appears to pursue Lenin’s goals. After dropping out of University of Michigan-Flint to pursue political activism, Moore started the Flint Voice, an alternative newspaper that became the Michigan Voice. Soon, he edited the radical-left Mother Jones magazine, where he was fired, supposedly for backing the communist Sandinista rebels.

The settlement money Moore received from Mother Jones directly financed “Roger and Me,” a thinly veiled attack on capitalist corporations. By focusing on the suffering of the unemployed in Flint, Moore exploited their poverty for his personal gain – and the expediency of his cause, like Lenin during the Russian famine.

Moore goes so far as to label corporate capitalism “economic terrorism” and office workers “the good Germans.” Yet even while labeling himself a “working-class hero,” Moore is an elitist, just as Lenin was. He is a self-described “multimillionaire” who despises the American public: “They are possibly the dumbest people on the planet … in thrall to conniving, thieving, smug pricks.”

Moore attempts to undermine the very system of American government. He doesn’t just criticize President Bush. He labels him a dictator who “[hates] our Constitution, our rights and liberties.” Much of his bile-filled “documentary,” “Fahrenheit 9-11,” is dedicated to bolstering the proposition that the 2000 election proves the absence of true American republicanism.

Like Lenin, Moore has twisted the war in Iraq into a club with which to beat the Bush administration. Moore gulps the communist Kool-Aid that imperialism is an inevitable side effect of capitalism. And just as Lenin did with World War I, Moore calls the war in Iraq a war of imperialist aggression: “I’ve never seen anything like Bush and his people … They have no shame in fighting for their corporate sponsors.” Terrorists attempting to kill Americans in Iraq, he says, are not really terrorists at all: “They are the revolution, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow – and they will win.”

Moore isn’t as dangerous as Lenin because American republicanism doesn’t stand on as weak a foundation as did czarist Russia. Nevertheless, he is powerful. His invective has garnered him millions of dollars, millions of fans and a coveted seat next to Jimmy Carter at the Democratic National Convention. The vitriol of his minions approaches the brink of violence. Moore seeks to undermine faith in American republicanism, capitalism and American foreign policy. Let there be no doubt: Michael Moore is a threat to the American way of life.