The History and Impact of Marxist-Leninist Organizational Theory: “Useful Idiots,” “Innocents’ Clubs,” and “Transmission Belts” by John P. Roche; Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, Cambridge, MA.

The joke is as old as Marxism in power: Lenin (or Stalin or Khrushchev or Chernenko) shows his beautiful Crimean villa, his fleet of limousines, his army of servants, and his plush office to a relative who responds, “All very nice, but what if the communists ever take over?” John P. Roche, academic dean and professor of civilization and foreign affairs at Tufts University and a leading analyst of Marxist intrigue and aggression, knows why the “communists” will never take over. In The History and Impact of Marxist-Leninist Organizational Theory, Dr. Roche ex­plains that as a philosophical construct “communism” is merely a rhetorical fig leaf, “an operational code for a new-style Mafia” who have never worried much about ideological consistency in their quest for absolute power. True believers in communism always end up in the Gulag or in a shallow grave when the Party triumphs. (Bukharin once commented that the Soviets have always believed in a two-party system: one in office, the other in jail.) This short history of the cynical opportunism of international communism makes it clear that, once ascendant, Marxists usually believe in Das Kapital the way many World Council of Churches leaders believe in the Bible-shut. Roche’s study further shows that the same kind of doctrinal fecklessness coupled with elitist authoritarianism characterizes the contemporary American world of New Left think tanks and New Class narcissism. The posh radicals in Harvard Square and uptown Manhattan will not thank Professor Roche for his insights.