The late and great Daniel Patrick Moynihan once defined the communist doctrine of "democratic centralism" as "mindless obedience." Last night, while reading Arthur Koestler's classic novel, Darkness at Noon, I came across this passage in a conversation between the main character - Rubashov - and a young German communist:
"The Party can never be mistaken," said Rubashov. "You and I can make a mistake. Not the Party. The Party, comrade, is more than you and I and a thousand others like you and I. The Party is the embodiment of the revolutionary idea in history. History knows no scruples and no hesitation. Inert and unerring, she flows toward her goal. At every bend in her course she leaves the mud which she carries and the corpses of the drowned. History knows her way. She makes no mistakes. He who has not absolute faith in History does not belong in the Party's ranks."
There are echoes of that whenever people boast of being on "the right side of history."
My reaction can be summed up in one word: Beware.
[Photo by Mike Kononov at Unsplash]