A society of executives without masters and bosses

Communism has created a PR concept that is very popular and attractive. It incorporates the most attractive and effective slogans, appeals, and memes that communists have carefully selected from other ideological, philosophical systems and scientific theories. That is why communism is the second most successful PR project in human history after Christianity and the apostles’ teaching.

One of the main slogans of communism borrowed from its predecessors is a call for equality. Equality has been a human dream since the dawn of time, and it has driven humankind throughout history. I, too, am an advocate of equality for all people. But I make reservations. For example, “all human beings are equal before the law”! This is also how all humanistic concepts and ideologies relate to the idea of equality – there is always some caveat added: before the law; before God; equality by birth – all people are born free; equality of condition, etc.

But unconditional equality is something else. Is unconditional equality possible? A slave is equal to a free man in antiquity only “in the face of God”. A billionaire in the US is equal to an unemployed person only “before the law”. The citizen is equal to the state, again, only “before the law”. “When Adam delved and Eve span, who was then the gentleman?” – inquired the participants of the seventeenth-century English Revolution, insisting on equality of condition, and denying inequality by birth and by blood.

Whenever there is talk of unconditional equality, of equality without qualification or exception, it is either demagogy and total abstraction or malicious deception.

Communists would not be so successful politically if they ignored the fact that there is no such thing as unconditional equality. Values can be equal in equations. Even the same amount of money in one currency is only conditionally, or in an equation, equal to the amount in another currency, because in a particular conversion or exchange transaction they are no longer equal, but depend on whether the currency is being sold or bought. People can only be equal under nominal and strictly defined conditions. Communists, however, insist on universal equality. How do they argue this?

On the one hand, communists avoid arguments by obfuscating the problem with humanistic demagogy, listing equality regardless of property, origin, race, gender, age and so on, adding the now fashionable equality regardless of sexual orientation.

But the problem does not cease to exist because of that. People are not equal not only in height and weight, but also in knowledge and skill. Including intellectual and mental development. Before the law or before God, these differences are not essential, but in activity, in work, they are very important.

For example, a certain work cannot be done by one person, but only by two. Then one tells the other what they must do, and the other obeys. One becomes the boss, the other the executor. If this situation is repeated several times, the roles of boss and executors become habitual for people. Are the boss and the subordinate executor equal? Apparently not.

How to equalise them? During the years of communist enthusiasm, attempts were made to put this “equalisation” into practice. For example, they tried to abolish the coaching of football teams in the Soviet Union in the 1920s, because the coach was telling others what they should do, which was contrary to human equality. Such radicalism did not last long. Neither in sport nor in other spheres. The nomenklatura emerged in the USSR – a special class in the society that declared unconditional equality. The nomenklatura did not own property; therefore, theorists of communism did not consider it to be a class, much less an exploitative one. But they could not fail to see the clear inequality of the nomenklatura to all other workers.

Even the presence of the nomenklatura in the USSR or the class of bosses in any scrutinised society is not able to dissuade the fans of communism from the possibility of unconditional equality. But there is also a logical argument about inequality. IN ANY COLLABORATIVE WORK, THERE IS THE ONE WHO KNOWS WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE AND GIVES THE TASK TO OTHERS. The one who knows and directs what to do is not equal to the one who receives instructions and executes.

Is it possible to achieve equality of bosses and executors? To solve this problem, communists resort to an ideal construction – a society consisting of only executors, a society without bosses, leaders, commanders. How is that possible? There are two models for such an “equalisation”, or for building a society of executors only.

  1. Rotating roles. “When they turn the loam, it’s so damn clever, you’d think they wrote a poem”. In an ideal communist society, the roles of superiors and subordinates are performed by all members of society in turn, by lot, or by vote. What is wrong with such a principle? Many people like it.

But let’s get this straight. In the football teams of the 20s, the team captains were chosen by vote, and so were the coaches. Any player could be a coach today and play on the pitch tomorrow. But then the question of coaching qualifications arose. Such teams lost to those who had qualified coaches. So the idea was quickly abandoned. Not every cook is fit to be a coach.

What if we consider a more complex activity? Could someone by lot or through a democratic election replace Sergei Korolev as chief spacecraft designer? Who would then have sent Gagarin into space?

There is no need to go into details, without them it is obvious that such a way is impractical.

Alternating the roles of superiors and executives is suitable only for low-skilled labour. Any complex activity needs selection, severe selection of the best and the ablest, who are assigned the role of leaders, chiefs, commanders, while the rest are doomed to be forever executors of their decisions, orders and their will.

But this state of affairs is deeply repugnant to the fanatics of communism. And if the communist idea is widespread in a society, such a society becomes an enemy of complex activities, and cultivates only the simplest ones, or simplifies complex activities. It is a fundamental principle of communism to simplify complex activities. Therefore any society dominated by communism is doomed to degradation.

The more complex the activity, the greater the inequality of the people involved. That is why the USSR caught up and surpassed America in iron smelting and coal mining, and was forever behind in high-end technologies, in the IT-sphere, in the management and governance of the country.

  1. The model of the beehive or anthill. In their theoretical constructions, communists often appeal to models of collective insects, to images of a beehive or anthill.

In a beehive, there is gender inequality – worker bees and drones, but worker bees (workers and executors) are absolutely equal among themselves, each hive or bee community expects from each bee according to its abilities, and each one gets from the community according to its work. That is an almost perfect model of communism. But all the bees do the same work – they build the honeycomb, collect and pack honey, nurse the larvae and the queen bee.

Human activity is more complex than bee activity, it requires specialisation.

But there is a model of the anthill. The worker ants are asexual but specialised. Some are providers, some are guards and fighters, others are feeders and nurses for larvae, builders, transporters, and whatever else they have.

The anthill model is more suited to the ideals of communism, or Plato’s ideal society.

Look at how the bees and ants work as equals in unison! All are executors, all work hard, no one is in charge! Everyone knows what needs to be done and does it without coercion, not for a reward, but because it is necessary.

Is this possible in human society? Is it possible for everyone to work, to perform, and no one to boss anyone around?

Biologists have explained how this is possible in insects – instinct! An instinct, or genetic programme, is embedded in each individual. That is why bees or ants need no orders or instructions.

What if such a programme could be embedded in every human being! This is a more elaborate dream and the idea of communism. The efforts of communist ideologists and Soviet science – humanitarian science, in the first place, – are aimed at working out such a programme.

The humanities (Marxist-Leninist philosophy, scientific communism, pedagogy, to some extent, economics, linguistics, and history) were aimed at producing a doctrine, “the only true, and therefore all-powerful”, which would be instilled in every Soviet person from kindergarten to graduate school.

Technical science was also subject to this goal, but from a different perspective – it was supposed to provide specialisation. Like with worker ants, an engineer, an officer and a turner would all work according to a programme, but each programme would be slightly different from the other one.

What’s wrong with such a model? Everything is very nice and, in its way, “humane”. It appeals to a lot of people.

The trouble is that such a programmed society comprised of such programmed individuals is incapable of development, and breaks down under any change in external conditions. The programme only works in a narrow range of conditions and variables.

Even communists understood this. They understood, but they did not want to accept this state of affairs. They dreamed of nurturing a narrow elite that could think, not work according to a programme fixed once and for all. This is a later discovery of communism. The history of such attempts deserves special consideration (e.g. the creation and demise of the Institute of Management under Khrushchev and Kosygin).

This is such an obvious departure from the principle of unconditional equality that the nomenklatura was shamefully silent about such attempts.

But what matters to us is that the model of the anthill and the program of action and behaviour embedded in each individual makes communist society unviable, undevelopable, incapable of change.

We saw it in the Soviet Union and we see it now in Belarus, where any person with pretensions and ambitions is told: “Be like everyone else! Be equal to everybody else, be more equal than everybody else!”

Communism is such a perverted ideology in itself that it is capable of perverting the most humane principle, the most beautiful dream of mankind.

Communism must be destroyed if Belarus is to develop, if humanity is to survive.

All people, all countries are EQUAL in the face of global threats: terrorism and global warming.

All people, all countries are EQUAL in their desire to reap the benefits of the new scientific and technological revolution and scientific and technological progress.

EQUAL, but only those who are capable of change and development. Societies consisting only of executors are not capable of it.

Who is the boss in Belarus? Who is the boss? Who is the leader of development and changes?

Lukashenko? Nonsense! He is the acting president in the communist, post-Soviet anthill. He, too, is an ant, very specialised, programmed to perform strictly defined functions. In Belarus, there are no masters, no leaders. In Belarusian society, everything is managed and directed by the PROGRAMME. The programme of building communism (the third way, socially-oriented economy, or whatever they currently call it) in a given country.

Until we uninstall this malicious programme, until we carry out de-Sovietisation and de-communisation, we are doomed. Like a beehive in a smoky chemical factory, like an anthill flashed by flooded river blocked by a beaver dam. As a country out of step with the world.

Uladzimir Matskevich


Essays in the series “Anti-Communism “