One of the best books I’ve read is The God That Failed. It’s a series of essays by former Communists whose utopian dreams were burst when Stalin made a non-aggression pact with Hitler in 1939. It became apparent that Stalin had been maneuvering for most of the 1930s to get a deal with Hitler. The deal was essentially to carve up Poland and divide it between Russia and Germany.
This was a blow to the idealistic Western Intellectuals that had swallowed whole Stalin’s mantra that Nazism was evil and communism was glorious. That Stalin would make a deal with Hitler went against everything he had previously represented himself and Soviet communism to be. The loyal followers of bolshevism around the world had been betrayed. Their romantically hopeful goal of “international socialism” was ruined; they were stunned by Stalin’s embrace of the fascist dictator.
Of course, the pact was simply a device to allow each to invade Poland free of any conflict with the other, or with Britain. Hitler’s incentive was to prevent interference from Great Britain in the form of aid to Poland. Stalin wanted no alliance with Britain at that time because he was still angry over its sabotaging his earlier attempt at an alliance with Britain and France. Neither Hitler nor Stalin had any intention of fulfilling other obligations the Pact imposed upon them, and after the invasion of Poland both sides ignored it.
Arther Koestler’s essay is the best in the book but they are all good. I believe it should be read today as a harbinger of things to come. In the not too distant future another book very similar to it will have to be written. The faith that many people hold today in man-made climate change and it’s peripheral fleas of socialism, identity politics, mass immigration, etc., lately embodied in NeverTrumpism, are also a god that will fail and disillusion its worshipers.
The disappointment just delivered to the true believers by Robert Mueller will pale in comparison.
The Western communists of the 1930s had their world turned upside down when Stalin betrayed them. Those who have made a religion out of present day hoaxes such as man-made climate change and the false promise of socialism are also going to be betrayed. It will come about not by any charismatic figure such as Stalin, nor will it be by the ostensible saboteurs they now call “deniers.” It will be by their own delusional mysticism and the simple truth that while big lies can mesmerize people for a time, reality always prevails eventually and in the long run will expose and destroy the hopes and dreams, or perhaps fears, they have forged within their mythical and irrational belief system.