In 1917, during one of Our Lady’s apparitions at Fatima, the three shepherd children were given a vision of Hell. Our Lady warned that if people didn’t stop offending God then another war would come. In reparation, Our Lady asked “for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays.” She added, “If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church.”
What, then, were the errors of Russia that she was referring to? Most of us think of Russian errors largely as communist and Marxist ideologies. This is generally correct, as Marxism is behind most of the ideologies we face today either openly or surreptitiously.
But could there be more to it than just that? Something deeper than Marx and crew?
Ryszard Legutko, a Polish Member of the European Parliament and university professor, raises the question of how Poles who were staunch Soviet “comrades” quickly made a smooth transition into European liberals. If the two projects were diametrically opposed, shouldn’t there have been more of struggle from one to the other, Legutko wonders in his book The Demon of Democracy: Totalitarian Temptations in Free Societies (2016). Legutko concludes that the reason the former communists easily leapt from one ideology to the next was that at their core, they were actually the same ideologies; both were committed to making a complete break with the past, tradition, particularly the Church; both looked toward progress to lead to the perfect man, the perfect society; and both found ways to silence those who thwarted their goals, particularly through “newspeak.”
In comparing the two ideologies, Legutko further explains their commonalities:
By becoming a member of a communist and liberal-democratic society, man rejects vast share of loyalties and commitments that until not long ago shackled him, in particular those that were imposed on him through the tutelage of religion, social morality, and tradition. He feels renewed and strong and therefore has nothing but pity toward those miserable ones who continue to be attached to long-outdated rules and who succumb to the bondage of unreasonable restraints. But there is one obligation from which he cannot be relieved: for a communist, communism, and for a liberal democrat, liberal democracy. These obligations are non-negotiable. Others can be ignored.
The false premise animating both ideologies is that human nature can be changed. Once the process is complete and this new nature assumed by all, there will be world-wide happiness. Until then, “we have to break a few eggs.” The only foreseeable solution from their viewpoint is contained in an unwavering adherence to the party. Should ideological faults be exposed, both quickly blame the fact that the ideology hasn’t been embraced by everyone.