Long before the November 2016 U.S. presidential election was even held, news reports began circulating that Russia was trying to influence the election. Such reports reached a frenzy level in the months after Donald Trump unexpectedly won the presidency, but more recently have died down after a year of concerted digging produced no hard evidence of Russian interference.
While the truth about possible Russian election meddling may never be known, there’s no doubt that Russia, like most other significant world powers, has long tried to influence the rest of the world to its advantage.
Some of those efforts, such as invading other nations by force, have been evident and overt. Other efforts—such as those we’ll review here—have been much more subtle, but just as dangerous in the long run!
Russian goal of world domination
Long before the communist revolution swept Russia, Karl Marx, one of the intellectual architects of communism along with Friedrich Engels, wrote: “The policy of Russia is changeless. Its methods, its tactics, its maneuvers may change, but the polar star of its policy, world domination, is a fixed star” (emphasis added throughout).
“The policy of Russia is changeless. Its methods, its tactics, its maneuvers may change, but the polar star of its policy, world domination, is a fixed star.”
When Russia became communist, it indeed tried to dominate the world through spreading communism. After the 1917 revolution, other former territories of the Russian Empire banded together in 1922 to form the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). To expand its influence, the Soviet Union established communist fronts in many countries through workers’ unions, youth and sports organizations, humanitarian aid groups, and the like.
During this same period, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Joseph Stalin, a former seminary student turned ruthless hardcore communist, consolidated power. His goals to transform Russia led to millions being sent to prison camps and executed, and millions more dying by famine.
After helping defeat the Axis Powers in World War II, the Soviet Union gained control over much of Eastern Europe, where it installed communist governments in many countries. The USSR also strongly supported openly communist movements in Central and Western Europe and again established many communist front organizations around the world through unions and youth, women’s and peace groups.
As conflict grew between the West and the Soviet Union along with its Eastern Bloc satellite nations, the Cold War began—a decades-long period of tension and rivalry that occasionally saw “hot” wars break out between the major powers’ proxies, as in Korea and Vietnam.
In 1949 the Soviets won a major prize when China fell to Mao Zedong’s communist revolutionaries—leading to the execution of 1 to 2 million landlords and the later deaths by starvation of some 45 million in Chairman Mao’s “Great Leap Forward” social reformation.
“We will bury you!”
Cold War tensions grew ever more strained as Russia (and later China) developed atomic bombs, followed shortly by much more powerful hydrogen bombs. Relations between East and West hit bottom in late 1956 when, at a reception at the Polish embassy in Moscow, Soviet Premier Nikita Khruschev boasted to a group of Western diplomats: “Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We will bury you!”
When Khruschev spoke those words, a third of the world’s population lived under some form of communist government.
In addition to the Soviet Republics, the following countries would become communist at some point in their history: Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cambodia, China, Croatia, Cuba, the Czech Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, East Germany, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Hungary, Laos, Mongolia, Montenegro, Mozambique, North Korea, Poland, the Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, Vietnam and Yemen.
The Soviets were hard at work on their goal of a world dominated by communism. For many, it appeared that Khruschev’s boast might well come true!
And this is where the history of Russian attempts to influence America and the West get really interesting.
Defeating the West by other means
With the Soviet Union and the United States armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons, both sides knew that an all-out war was out of the question. Both recognized that nuclear war was unwinnable because much of the world would be annihilated in a nuclear holocaust.
So the Soviets turned to other methods that had proven successful in the 1920s and 30s—infiltrating the West through communist front groups, organizations and agents. Such efforts had never really ceased during intervening years; now they simply intensified.
On March 26, 1947, J. Edgar Hoover, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (or FBI), who had been fighting communist influence since 1919, addressed the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Un-American Activities. He warned of widespread communist efforts to infiltrate American society—specifically through Hollywood movies, radio entertainment, labor unions, the federal government and various front organizations.
He noted that in the previous few years the FBI had investigated almost 6,500 cases where government employees were suspected of being involved in organizations advocating the overthrow of the U.S. government, resulting in almost 2,000 employees resigning or being discharged.
He warned that even government programs were being used as fronts to advance communist/socialist aims. He cautioned that even religion and education were fertile fields for the advancement of communist ideology:
“I do fear so long as school boards and parents tolerate conditions whereby communists and fellow travelers, under the guise of academic freedom, can teach our youth a way of life that will eventually destroy the sanctity of the home, that undermines faith in God, that causes them to scorn respect for constituted authority and sabotage our revered Constitution.”
In 1959 Hoover published a book titled Masters of Deceit: The Story of Communism in America and How to Fight It. In the foreword he warned: “There is no doubt that America is now the prime target of international communism . . . But we may not learn until it is too late to recognize who the communists are, what they are doing, and what we ourselves, therefore, must do to defeat them.”
Predictions of a transformed America and transformed world
In 1958, as Hoover was writing Masters of Deceit, another book titled The Naked Communist was published. Its author, Cleon Skousen, was a police chief, attorney and former FBI agent who had spent much of his FBI career studying communist ideology, methodology and infiltration, much as Hoover had. The book was quite popular, and over time sold more than a million copies.
“We may learn too late to recognize … what they are doing, and what we ourselves, therefore, must do to defeat them.”
What is remarkable about The Naked Communist is a section in which Skousen listed 45 “current communist goals.” Having researched communism for years as an FBI agent, Skousen was highly familiar with its aims, plans and methodology. His list was so prescient that it was read into the Congressional Record on Jan. 10, 1963.
Space doesn’t permit listing or commenting on all 45 goals. Interested readers can find them online, in Skousen’s book, or in the 2011 book The Naked Truth: The Naked Communist—Revisited by James Bowers. However, we will examine a few of the listed goals here—keeping in mind that these were published almost 60 years ago.
Communist goals attained on the international scene
With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, it’s obvious that a number of the goals on the list would not ultimately be achieved. But it’s astonishing how many were achieved in such a short time!
• Number 7 on the list, for example, was “Grant recognition of Red China. Admission of Red China to the UN.” From 1945 to 1971, the Republic of China (now referred to as Taiwan) was a charter member of the United Nations and one of five permanent members of the Security Council. But in 1971, the communist dictatorship the People’s Republic of China was given UN membership as well as the Security Council seat (and accompanying veto power) of the Republic of China—with the latter being unceremoniously kicked out of the UN, the only nation ever so expelled!
• Number 44 on the list was “Internationalize the Panama Canal.” After it was opened in 1914, the Panama Canal was hailed as one of the seven wonders of the modern world, benefiting all nations. But in 1977, after relentless pressure from U.S. President Jimmy Carter and Panamanian dictator Omar Torrijos, the U.S. Senate abolished the treaty under which America controlled the canal, leading to gradual transfer to Panama in 1999. While Panama now owns the canal, who owns and manages the ports that control traffic through the canal? Two Chinese companies with strong ties to the communist Red Chinese government!
• Number 43 on the list was “Overthrow all colonial governments before native populations are ready for self-government.” While freedom is a great blessing, freedom given or gained at the wrong time or too early, without proper preparedness, can end up becoming a curse.
The list of countries given independence since 1958, when Skousen wrote these words, includes many nations that have been wracked with wars, corruption, famine, civil unrest and virtually every human-caused curse imaginable—mostly due to the fact that they were nowhere near ready for or capable of self-government. Most are far worse off today than when they were governed by other nations.
Transforming America and the West from within
The three geopolitical goals listed above certainly weakened the international standing of America and the West. But equally if not more damaging were the goals aimed at weakening Western society from within. Let’s notice a few:
• Number 28: “Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the ground that it violates the principle of ‘separation of church and state.’” In 1962 and 1963 the U.S. Supreme Court removed prayer and Bible reading from public schools, ending practices that had been common for almost two centuries since the nation’s founding. These decisions in effect expelled God not only from America’s public schools, but from public life. The framework of public school curricula shifted to a nihilistic, evolution-centered viewpoint, with devastating impact on the lives of millions of schoolchildren.
• Number 40: “Discredit the family as an institution. Encourage promiscuity and easy divorce.” The family is clearly under assault from every direction. The 1960s saw a major cultural revolution in the United States. Birth-control pills largely removed one of the major consequences of extramarital sex, and rates of premarital sex skyrocketed. From 1958, when Skousen listed these goals, until 1990, divorce rates more than doubled. Now roughly half of U.S. marriages end in divorce. The divorce rate has flattened in more recent years, but only for the simple fact that many couples today never bother to marry at all!
• Number 25: “Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio, and TV.” This goal has been so thoroughly accomplished that a majority of Westerners are no longer aware of a time when entertainment wasn’t saturated with sex, nudity, profanity, bathroom humor and gore. Pornography is now so widespread on the Internet and electronic devices that some researchers have estimated that the average age of first exposure to pornography is eight.
• Number 26: “Present homosexuality, degeneracy, and promiscuity as ‘normal, natural, healthy.” Before prayer and Bible reading were banned in U.S. schools, it was common for a certain level of morality to be taught. How that has changed! Today many school systems pass out free condoms to students (with sex education classes giving graphic demonstrations on how to use them). Some schools have outraged parents by giving classes on homosexual and lesbian sex, transgender exploration, and generally encouraging any and all kinds of sexual exploration.
• Number 17: “Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism . . . Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers’ associations. Put the party line in text-books.” In addition to examples such as those above, public schools’ educational curricula have been radically changed in recent decades as leftist-leaning teachers and administrators have consolidated control.
Schools and universities have indeed become “transmission belts” for socialist ideas to the point that clear majorities of Americans under age 30 now view socialism positively and do not support capitalism or free enterprise. And while U.S. education spending is the highest in the world at around $12,000 per student, American students rank only barely above the middle in science, math and reading skills compared to other civilized countries—with scores stagnant or declining.
Many students graduate from high school unable to read or requiring remedial classes in college. Armed guards and police are a fixture at many schools. All this in a nation that for decades was a model for the world!
What is the source of your values and beliefs?
The world today, human society, is not God’s world. The Bible tells us that Satan the devil is “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4 2 Corinthians 4:4In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine to them.
American King James Version×). This evil being is the one who reigns over earth today! He deceives all of humanity into following his ways rather than God’s (Revelation 12:9 Revelation 12:9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
American King James Version×). God tells us that “The whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one”—under Satan’s powerful influence and control (1 John 5:19 1 John 5:19And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in wickedness.
American King James Version×).
It was certainly under Satan’s influence that Karl Marx, the human mastermind behind communism, said, “My object in life is to dethrone God and destroy capitalism.” He also said, “The first requisite for the happiness of the people is the abolition of religion.” We should not be surprised that an ungodly, anti-God system like communism should hold millions in its grip—or that it would seek to expand that influence over the entire world. Like many other forms of human misrule, it’s had a powerful spiritual influence at work behind it.
While the Soviet Union itself collapsed a generation ago in 1991, the tentacles of communism remain alive and well in the socialist tentacles that have spread throughout Western governments. And as Vladimir Lenin himself put it, “The goal of socialism is communism.”
Let us not forget that one of last year’s major U.S. presidential candidates was an avowed socialist who ran on a socialist platform. A recent survey by the American Culture and Faith Institute showed that 40 percent of all Americans now prefer socialism to capitalism. Obviously many have forgotten the backward, crumbling economies and failed socialist and communist governments of a generation ago and fail to see the danger of the direction America and the West are headed.
The Beyond Today magazine and TV program are dedicated to teaching the only right, true and lasting values—the values of mankind’s Creator as revealed in His Word, the Bible. It’s our responsibility and pleasure to share and explain these values—the values of a coming world beyond today—to all who will hear and heed. We hope and pray that you will be among those who hear and heed!