Criminals as Social Allies of Marxism
Even prior to the Communist Revolution in Russia, the future Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin mobilized criminals as “social allies” against political opponents and for funding through theft and extortion. Nobel Prize winner Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn noted in his masterwork, The Gulag Archipelago:
“Stalin was always partial to the thieves — after all, who robbed the banks for him? Back in 1901 his comrades in the Party and in prison accused him of using common criminals against his political enemies. From the twenties on, the obliging term "social ally" came to be widely used. That was Makarenko's contention too: these could be reformed.”
"Not only did the articles of the Code dealing with thieves and bandits not oppress the thief; he was, in fact, proud of his convictions under them. And he was supported in this pride by all the chiefs in blue shoulder boards and blue piping. ‘Oh, that's nothing. Even though you're a bandit and a murderer, you are not a traitor of the Motherland, you are one of our own people; you will reform...’"
The Soviet state turned a blind eye to criminal gangs and even facilitated their activities. Whereas law-abiding citizens were disarmed, criminals possessing weapons were not punished. Efforts to disarm them were “just a game,” and criminals could murder with impunity:
"There was no Section Eleven — for organization — in the thieves' articles in the Code. Organization was not forbidden the thieves. And why should it be? Let it help develop in them the feelings of collectivism that people in our society need so badly. And disarming them was just a game. They weren't punished for having a weapon. Their thieves' law was respected (‘They can't be anything but what they are’). And a new murder in the cell would not increase a murderer's sentence, but instead would bring him new laurels.”
Thieves, murderers, and career criminals received token punishment if any:
“Nor had the thieves ever been put through the same kind of interrogation [as other prisoners]. Their entire interrogation had consisted of two sessions, an easy trial, and an easy sentence, and they wouldn't have to serve it out. They would be released ahead of time: either they would be amnestied or else they would simply escape…
"[V. I. Ivanov (now from Ukhta) got Article 162 (thievery) nine times and Article 82 (escape) five times, for a total of thirty-seven years in prison — and he ‘served out’ five to six years for all of them.]
"Even during interrogation, no one ever deprived a thief of his legitimate parcels — consisting of abundant packages from the loot kept by his underworld comrades who were still on the loose. He never grew thin, was never weak for a single day, and in transit he ate at the expense of the innocent non-thieves, whom he called, in his own jargon, the frayera — ‘frayers,’ or ‘innocents,’ or ‘suckers…’
In this perverse Orwellian world, criminals enjoyed privileged status, and were deemed the only “Humans” with a capital letter.
“[‘Frayer’ is a blatnoi — underworld — word meaning nonthief — in other words, not a Chelovek ("Human being," with a capital letter). Well, even more simply: the frayera were all nonthief, nonunderworld mankind.]”
Today, the practices Solzhenitsyn describes can be identified as historical antecedents of modern “criminal justice reform,” including policies of “catch and release,” non-prosecution, abolition of bail, and early release. Solzhenitsyn explained that these policies were grounded in Lenin’s so-called “Progressive Doctrine,” decades before the term entered mainstream U.S. political discourse as the ideology of far-left neo-Marxist extremists:
“And why shouldn't they steal, if there was no one to put a stop to it? Three or four brazen thieves working hand in glove could lord it over several dozen frightened and cowed pseudo politicals. With the approval of the administration. On the basis of the Progressive Doctrine.
“Yes, that is a question! Every sound and every complaining cry can be heard, and the convoy just keeps marching back and forth — why doesn't he interfere? Just a yard away from him, in the half- dark cave of the compartment, they are plundering a human being — why doesn't the soldier of the government police interfere?
“For the very same reason: he, too, has been indoctrinated. Even more than that: after many years of favoring thieves, the convoy has itself slipped in their direction. The convoy has itself become a thief.”
Lenin’s “progressive” doctrine, of course, is a euphemism representing the opposite of its stated claim, like so many other terms used under communism. Soviet officials benefited from their criminal “social allies:”
“From the middle of the thirties until the middle of the forties, during that ten-year period of the thieves' most flagrant debauches and most intense oppression of the politicals [political prisoners], no one at all can recall a case in which a convoy guard intervened in the plundering of a political in a cell, in a railroad car, or in a Black Maria. But they will tell you of innumerable cases in which the convoy accepted stolen goods from the thieves and, in return, bought them vodka, snacks (sweeter than the rations, too), and smokes. The examples are so numerous as to be typical.
“The convoy sergeant, after all, hasn't anything either: he has his gun, his greatcoat roll, his mess tin, his soldier's ration. It would be cruel to require him to escort an enemy of the people in an expensive overcoat or chrome-leather boots or with a swag of luxurious city articles — and to reconcile himself to that inequality. Was not taking these things just one additional form of the class struggle, after all? And what other norms were there?”
What, then, was the concern of the Soviet police state, if actual criminals were let off scot-free or with token punishment? As Solzhenitsyn repeatedly documents, the state’s punitive activities were directed towards liquidating political enemies, ideological dissenters, and religious believers. He continued:
“According to Makarenko, the origin of crime lay solely in the ‘counterrevolutionary underground.’ (Those were the ones who couldn't be reformed — engineers, priests, SRs, Mensheviks.)”
These policies of the Soviet regime are similar to those of the US Biden-Harris administration today. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies are tasked against political opponents and ideological dissenters, whereas thieves and violent criminals are set free without bail and are eligible for early release. Criminals are portrayed as victims, whereas their true victims, disproportionately from minority communities, are ignored.
Criminal “social allies” engaging in political violence and destruction for favored causes are rarely arrested, and when arrested are typically released without being charged. Then-Senator Kamala Harris donated money to a fund which bailed out violent rioters and looters. Media attention focuses on high-profile deaths of career criminals from police abuses demonstrated by statistics to be extremely rare, whereas the resultant crime wave and vast surge in deaths of innocents from cries to “defund the police” has received scarcely a mention from activist media outlets.
Just as Bolsheviks attacked police officers in the street to destabilize the Tsarist regime, intentional efforts to destabilize America and increase violent crime played a key role in the leftist political strategy during the runup to the 2020 election. Far-left politicians incited “uprisings,” unrest, and harassment. Individuals who have made a career of extortion inciting violence for the left have been lionized. Like Stalin’s bank robbers, today’s neo-Marxist activists engage in extortion and shakedowns of American businesses to fund their subversive political activities under the banner of “social justice.” Just as Bolsheviks allowed criminals to keep their weapons, contemporary Marxist officials have refused to press gun charges against criminal “social allies.”
The Biden administration has enriched and strengthened criminal cartels engaged in human trafficking and drug smuggling with its open borders policy, contributing to brazen murders of police officers and civilians in Mexico and Central America. Far-left Congressional Democrats have sought to shield illegal alien gang members and other criminals from deportation, even while working to weaponize the justice system against political opponents.
National voting rights for convicted felons has been a “progressive” wish-list item since at least 2005 as a means to expand the Democratic constituency. Socialist senator Bernie Sanders wants to let felons vote from prison, notwithstanding that most Americans don’t want to give imprisoned felons the right to vote. Even as leftist media and “fact-checkers” have criticized claims that leftists’ desire to expand felon voting is politically motivated, data cited by the Washington Post and Politifact demonstrate that convicted felons identify with the Democratic Party over the Republican Party by a wide margin, often by several-fold. The Washington Times noted in 2005 that “Most people think perpetrators of serious crimes have violated the public trust and cannot be permitted to help determine the future of the communities they harmed...serious lawbreakers should not help elect the country’s lawmakers.” Yet in 2021, overreaching federal legislation supported by every Congressional Democrat seeks to require all states to restore voting rights to convicted felons who were stripped of their rights because of causing serious harm to their societies.
Conservative commentator Tucker Carlson noted that “Democratic politicians don't fear the mob. Why? Because they don't need to. They control the mob. The mob operates with their permission. These are their foot soldiers. This is their militia. In unguarded moments, Democrats make it very clear that they know this." Even liberal commentator Bill Maher acknowledged in 2020 that Joe Biden would have to wear looting "on his back into the election" because it is being done by the left.
Just as under the Soviet system, today’s US neo-Marxists have no interest in decreasing crime, but have facilitated and encouraged it. Crime plays an important role in furthering their extremist agenda, and criminals have never been more important as “social allies.”