Douglas Hyde, Dedication and Leadership: Learning from the Communists (Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 1966) 158 pages. 9th printing, 1983.
Douglas Hyde left communism to become a Catholic, but sees many ways in which Communist methodology could enhance Christian ministry. From the back cover: “In Dedication and Leadership, (Hyde) advances the theory that although the goals and aims of Communism are antithetical to human dignity and the rights of the individual, there is much to be learned from communist methods, cadres and psychological motivation. Hyde describes the Communist mechanics of instilling dedication, the first prerequisites fore leadership. Here is the complete rationale of Party technique: how to stimulate the willingness to sacrifice; the advisability of making big demands to insure a big response; the inspirational indoctrination; and the subtle conversion methods.”
Questions for discussion
- What does it look like to lead a home group through a committed minority?
- What might make a home group leader hesitant to call for excellence and complete dedication from his/her people? What about Francis Schaeffer’s warning “if you call on perfection or nothing, you’ll get nothing every time?”
- Where does Hyde rub you the wrong way? Why?
- Chapter 1: The Starting Point
- Chapter 2: Taking the Plunge
- Chapter 3: The Follow Through
- Chapter 4: Study Groups at Work
- Chapter 5: The Story of Jim
- Chapter 6: The Formation Process
- Chapter 7: You Must Be the Best’
- Chapter 8: Campaigns, Criticism and Cadres
- Chapter 9: The Value of Techniques
- Chapter 10: Leaders for What?
Chapter 1: The Starting Point
This book explains how Communists instill dedication in their members and raise up leaders. It explores “communist leadership training methods which are capable of imitation or adaptation by Christians and others or, conversely, which may spark off some useful and constructive thought about our own methods.” (9) Hyde feels that he has carefully avoided recommending any methods that are unethical.
Where the Communists were right:
- Their understanding that “there is a great battle going on all over the world which in the final analysis is a struggle for men’s hearts, minds and souls.” (10)
- Having a clear aim (in their case, to make the world Communist).
- Their approach of working through a minority. They have deliberately kept the party small so that it might retain the character of an elite.
- “They use well the human material at their disposal.” (13)
Hyde’s qualifications for writing this book
- He was a member of the British Communist Party for 20 years.
- At the time of writing, he was still in touch with various people in the Communist Party.
- He has met with Communists all over the world.
Communists have the same raw human material to work with that the Christians do. But they “train and use successfully people with whom Christians have failed.” (14)
The distinguishing mark of a communist is “their idealism, their zeal, dedication, devotion to their cause and willingness to sacrifice.” (16)
How do the communists attract recruits and instill exceptional dedication?
1. They recruit young people – typically between the ages of 15 and 25 – and appeal to their idealism. Hyde warns against sneering at ‘starry-eyed idealism’ – “that sort of cynicism has driven many eager, earnest, intelligent and potentially good youngsters to believe that the West has nothing to offer the young idealist but cynicism, and that this is an expression of the decadence of our way of life.” (17) “We offend against charity and justice, and against commonsense too, when we sneer at starry-eyed idealism. We do it to our own loss. Young people have always dreamed of better worlds and we must hope they always will.” (17) “If their idealism is not appealed to…they will seek elsewhere…” (18) Communists use this idealism to instill dedication. “Communism becomes the dominant thing in the life of the Communist. It is something to which he gives himself completely.” (18)
2. They call for big sacrifices. “The Communists’ appeal to idealism is direct and audacious. They say that if you make mean little demands on upon people, you will get a mean little response which is all you deserve, but, if you make big demands on them, you will get a heroic response… if you call on big sacrifices… people will respond to this and… the relatively smaller sacrifices will come quite naturally.” (18)
3. They attract others by virtue of the fact that they are dedicated. “Like attracts like. Those who are attracted by the dedication they see within the movement will themselves be possessed of a latent idealism, a capacity for dedication. Thus dedication perpetuates itself. It sets the tone and pace of the movement as a whole. This being so, the movement can make big demands on its followers… If (an) organization makes relatively few demands upon its members and if they quite obviously feel under no obligation to give a very great deal to it, then those who join may be forgiven for supposing that this is the norm and that this is what membership entails.” (21) But “if the majority of members… are characterized by their single-minded devotion… then those who make the decision to join will come already conditioned to sacrifice until it hurts.” (21)
Hyde goes onto give examples of Communists who devote every waking hour to the cause.
4. They realize that “those who are dedicated get immensely more out of life than those who are not.” (24)
5. They attract others through the impact of individual dedicated communists. Hyde recounts meeting several Communists in prison and says “each had responded to the Communist appeal and in every case it was association with the Communists as people, not a prior study of Communist theory, which had prompted them.” (25)
The effectiveness of #1-5 above is enhanced in countries where bad social and economic conditions prevail.
The biggest thing that distinguishes the Communist movement from others is the dedication of its individual members. Not surprisingly, Communist leadership training courses start with dedication. “The first requirement, if you are going to produce a leader for a cause, is that he should be dedicated.” (26)
Chapter 2: Taking the Plunge
Make big demands on people in order to get a big response.
“It is good psychology to ask for a lot. It is bad psychology and bad politics to ask for too little.” (27)
>> Asking for too little subtly suggests that our cause isn’t really worth someone’s full devotion.
Believe in the human material at your disposal.
Communism is often portrayed as the enemy of the individual, “but it shows quite exceptional concern for drawing out the potentialities of every individual who comes within its discipline.” (28) Many people blossom and develop their talents under the influence of communists. “Communism demanded everything of them. It asked for the whole man and got it… The Communists show great faith in their people which Christians… are too often not prepared to show.” (28)
“Follow through with preparation, training, and instruction.” (29)
The communist slogan, “every communist a leader, every factory a fortress” means that “each party member must be so trained that … he will be qualified to come forward and lead.” (29) When a group of committed men like this join forces in a factory, they become a fortress.
Inspire people to action.
“The average, ordinary adult is not easily enthused, does not automatically and without prompting submerge himself into a cause, sacrificing his interests to a greater one… he must be inspired.” (30)
Communists don’t set out to merely explain the world; they set out to change it. The last words in the Communist Manifesto are “you have a world to win.”
“When you have succeeded in making men believe that change is necessary and possible and that they are the ones who can achieve it; when you have convinced them that they and the small minority of whom they are a part can transform the world in their lifetime… you have put into their lives a dynamic force so powerful that you can bring them to do what would otherwise be impossible.” (31)
Like the Communists, Christians have a world to change and a world to win. But despite having a better message, Christians are not as committed as the Communists.
Don’t be afraid.
Communists, despite being far fewer in number than Christians, are not daunted by being a minority. This is because every committed member of the Party is trained to lead.
Relate your message to the needs of the people and go to them.
Communists see turbulent and adverse social conditions as an opportunity to advance their cause. Hyde explains how this works to attract new recruits: “It may be that signatures are being collected for a peace petition, or a Communist-led campaign is being conducted to improve working conditions or to obtain higher wages. Or he may see the Party campaigning to prevent a widow from being evicted from a slum dwelling. The important point is that he sees the Party in action and admires what it is doing.” (36)
>> Many fundamentalist churches rejected social activism as part of their reaction to neo-orthodoxy. In doing this, they missed out on opportunities to use pressing social needs to spread the gospel.
“The Party operates at a level which is meaningful to the potential recruit. It comes to him, as it were; he does not have to seek out the Party.” (36)
Create a culture of dedication.
Because recruits have already been impacted by the dedication of party activists, they come to the Party prepared to give of themselves and see joining as a turning point in their life. “The image of the Communists and the Communist Party may hold back the potential recruit for some time. But if and when he makes the decision to come in, he knows that this is a turning point.” (41)
Hyde points out that converts can get deeply into a Christian organization (being trained, regularly attending various functions, etc.) before any call to commitment is ever made. “It is equally possible for him to receive the whole of the instruction which is required before baptism without hearing a word about the Church’s social teaching or his personal responsibility for helping to transform society… In circumstances like these, the number of non-dedicated, non-active members continues to grow. Their minimal Christianity, their lack of dedication and absence of activity becomes the norm. It is a vicious cycle.” (40)
Chapter 3: The Follow Through
The Communist recruit comes to the Party expecting to have to sacrifice and expecting also to have to go into action.
But, “instruction… does not normally begin immediately after he joins.” Instead, “the Party sends its new members, whenever possible, into some form of public activity.” (42)
This typically involves standing on a street corner trying to sell Communist newspapers. This act of “witnessing” for the cause serves an important goal: making the recruit commit to Communism in public.
This requires a “certain degree of moral courage” (43). The recruit may feel like a fool, but soon sees the significance of what he is doing. Maybe someone berates him for being a Communist. Then he is embarrassed and aware of his inability to deal with objections to his Communism. He’s tempted to leave the situation and is relieved when it’s over. But more importantly, “he takes away the knowledge that he has not got all the answers to the questions he is likely to be asked.” (44)
This serves another important goal: creating in the recruit a sense of inadequacy and a desire to learn so that he is better equipped in future encounters. “Thirst for knowledge… has grown from action.” (45)
Chapter 4: Study Groups at Work
At first, Communist recruits continue to be engaged in simple forms of activity (selling papers, distributing pamphlets door-to-door, etc.) designed to commit them to a position and give them a sense of involvement. This is psychological preparation for what follows. “Too often our failure to commit our own young people to our own cause leads to their subsequent defection. We fear that we shall risk too much if we make demands upon them, and we lose all as a consequence.” (48) “To commit people publicly, to make them at the time of their first early enthusiasm do something which involves some degree of moral courage, which brings them before others in their new role, and submits them to the possibility of attack, can be of profound significance.” (49) This early preparation is essential to the subsequent success of the classes.
After a while, a “Party branch education secretary” challenges new recruits—“don’t you think you ought to learn more about the Communism which you have accepted?” (46) Recruits see this as an opportunity to get the ammo they need for the battle they are already engaged in.
Communist classes meet a felt need. Students who participate do so in a receptive frame of mind. They go to learn. This leads to a high completion rate. Instructors also succeed in engaging people in topics that are unpopular and, in some cases, uninteresting. Yet these classes are taught in a motivating way that changes lives.
Other distinctives of classes for recent recruits:
- Instructors assume that new students know nothing about Marxism-Leninism.
- The material is presented in the simplest terms possible.
- The material is presented as THE answer that EVERYONE needs to hear.
- The instruction is not an end in itself but has a purpose. Students are not simply attending out of interest and learning for the sake of learning. Students are expected to act on what they are learning. The teacher himself must be so obviously dedicated to the cause that he has “the right to… emphasize the need for dedication.” (50)
The way teachers present their material is of immense importance. They must be inspired and present his material in an inspiring way. e.g. “Philosophy and economics… are used for a purpose. It is a grand, heroic, challenging one, no less than the changing of the world.” (51) Course materials are packaged in an interesting way and connect the everyday life experiences of the students to the task of changing the world.
- Centrally planned
The central Communist authorities are very involved in the preparation and distribution of training materials and provide support and guidance to all of the Communist “tutors” in their movement.
- A global struggle
- “The subject matter is presented in global terms – a great battle is going on all over the world.” (52) e.g. “The period of history in which we are living is a decisive one and the battle in which we are engaged will determine the course of history.”
- This “war propaganda” makes students “demand that a gun should be put in his hand, that he should be given ammunition and sent straight into the fight.” (53)
- Recruits feel a profound sense of oneness with the poor and those who suffer. Their own sense of deprivation and hatred towards a clear enemy (exploiters, hard-faced employers, rapacious landlords, scheming imperialists) fuels the movement. So does the vision of a world unified around a commonly shared philosophy and commonly accepted goal.
- "One of the most powerful forces in the life of the individual Communist is a sense of oneness first, with the underprivileged and exploited everywhere and secondly, with people who share his own aims and outlook.” (55)
- Instruction for action
- Instruction is linked with action. No matter how theoretical, instruction must be meaningful in the student’s life.
- “Any Communist tutor who is worth his salt finishes each class with these words: ‘What are the comrades going to do about what they have learned today?’… The first item on the agenda when the class next meets will be: ‘How did the comrades apply what they learned last week?’” (56)
- Hyde charges that too often, Christian education classes do not call for action. He concludes: “Since so little is asked of Christians by their leaders… Christians have small cause for complaint if they seem to make little impact upon the larger community of which they are a part.” (57)
- A fight against evil
- "Teachings are presented as to make the individual feel that he is engaged in a fight against evil things and on behalf of what is good.” (57) The enemy is seen to have a vested interest in human suffering. “This is part of the psychology of war. If you are going to win a war you must make your people believe that they are fighting against monstrously evil things.” (58) And they must believe they are on the side of righteousness. This transforms their feelings about the Communist cause into “convictions,” and from those, students are willing to make sacrifices.
- People have a deep need to be part of a cause. This shows their spiritual hunger.
- The Communist message has an economic (we’re underpaid, unemployed, etc.) and an ethical appeal. But the ethical appeal is essential—it is needed to maintain morale during low points. Teachers must appeal to the student’s sense of moral indignation. This will lead to profound changes in their thinking.
Chapter 5: The Story of Jim
Hyde tells the story of Jim, an overweight, diminutive factory worker with poor social skills and a bad stutter. Jim heard Hyde give a speech where he claimed that “the Communist Party could take anyone who was willing to be trained in leadership and turn him into a leader.” (62) Moved by Hyde’s talk, Jim approached him and asked to be trained as a leader. Hyde recalls, “I had never seen anyone who looked less like a leader in my life.” (62)
Jim’s willingness to lead was all Hyde had to work with.
- Instill confidence. Tell him…
- … the training you receive will help you see the world as it truly is.
- … your life and actions are part of something larger than you. Millions of people are engaged in the same struggle that you are.
- … you will be in on the ground floor of important new changes brought about by the movement.
- After a period of training, persuade him to become a teacher/tutor. Tell him…
- … you know more than new recruits.
- … the whole art of teaching is knowing just a little bit more than the people you are trying to teach.
- … you can do it!
- … you have something others don’t have and therefore a duty to pass it on.
- Have him teach people like themselves. He becomes the teacher with his workmates sitting at his feet as pupils. This builds confidence. In Jim’s case, Hyde says, “simultaneously, we were training a tutor, teaching beginners, and developing a leader.” (67) The act of teaching also makes him become more articulate. But he must be adequately trained to teach.
- Point out, on the basis of his teaching, that he clearly has unexpected potential.
- Give him other focused challenges (e.g. encourage him to take a public speaking course and give him opportunities to preach Communism in public).
- Move him toward leadership in a sphere where he is most likely to be effective. But again, make sure you prepare him for this leadership role (e.g. If he is to agitate in a trade union, help him become an expert in the history, procedures, and vocabulary of that trade union).
“The individual member of the Communist Party who undergoes its training and its formation frequently blossoms as a personality.” (71)
Communists demonstrate in practice “a greater faith than we (Christians) in the human material that God puts into our hands.” (71)
Chapter 6: The Formation Process
Communist leaders are formed in study groups (cells).
Communists use lecture as a means of mass education. But in study groups (ideally no less than 3 or 4 and no more than fourteen or fifteen), tutors train men. They “aim (1) to teach Marxism, (2) to equip those who attend to go into effective action for the cause; (3) to contribute to their training as leaders.” (73)
General tips on instruction:
- Tutors always ask themselves, “education for what?” (74) It’s easy to get so caught up in the job of teaching that the original focus of the training is lost. This is a wasted opportunity and a waste of valuable personnel. The goal should always be to equip students for action.
- Groups should meet in a circle around the tutor in a relaxed atmosphere.
- Groups should stimulate those attending to further study on their own.
- Strive to instill a sense of fulfillment in the tutors themselves (e.g. “What can be more rewarding than showing working class people the truth?”).
- Produce good materials. The amount of time and effort put into Communist instruction communicates to recruits and people in training that the Party cares.
- Link theory with practice. When the Communist Party launches a new campaign or policy, “these call for more study, directly related to the new development.” (90) Theory and practice must be linked together. Hyde recommends that Christians fully educate people and explain why they call on people for certain actions. Every person should be trained in a carefully thought out way.
- Go the extra mile. How do you train an exhausted worker after a long day at work? A comrade “should, if required, be prepared to sit at the side of the tired worker as he reads, explaining sentence by sentence, almost word by word, what is being read.” (91)
Two instructional approaches:
1. The controlled discussion method
Success in this approach is measured by the extent to which the tutor can get those present talking and saying what he would have said had he been giving a lecture.
Students should be given carefully selected reading in advance to prepare them. Careful selection involves ONLY giving them exactly what is needed and not overwhelming them with too much reading. This communicates that the Party cares about the day-to-day demands on each student’s schedule.
Tutors should start with an opening statement no longer than 5 minutes and then try to get everyone to talk. They should have in mind no more than three main points they want steer the discussion toward.
If you have someone who talks too much, let him talk until group members are obviously irritated. Then cut him off and invite someone else to speak.
You cannot develop the people present unless they become articulate, and that won’t happen unless they talk! Work hard to get the ‘silent one’ to speak up. Try this: Ask him if he has any doubts or difficulties with what he is hearing. If he does, call on the other group members to address his doubts. The whole group will become excited when they work together to help an individual member get past a difficulty.
Don’t move on to your second main point until they accept your first. You want the group to feel that they, “by means of their own thought and discussion have arrived at these conclusions” so that “they will go away convinced that these are their own opinions and beliefs…” (78)
2. The question and answer method
In this method and the first, “it is necessary that those attending should have done the ‘necessary reading’. Those who fail to do this before the first session are quickly put on the spot by the method used.” (79)
>> Hyde assumes a culture where the majority comes prepared and the minority who are unprepared are self-critical about their lack of preparation.
Prior to the meeting, tutors give students the syllabi for that lecture in advance to study on their own prepare a response to each question. Be careful to define your terms.
At the beginning of the meeting the tutor explains the Q&A method to students (e.g. “I’ll ask a question, you’ll respond and discuss, I’ll sum up and then we’ll move on to the next question. Your participation is essential. Please contribute to the discussion.”) Then he outlines the ground the Q&A session will cover. He tells them that all topics will not be discussed.
Tutors should then use questions to probe for understanding of key concepts. If a student is prepared and responds with a correct answer, he will feel a sense of superiority.
A warning from the Communist Party training manual “A tutor needs to take great care to (1) get the right questions before the class (2) work out the answers to the questions before the class (3) to summarize the discussions, using the student’s contribution as far as possible.” (83)
Questions are framed to undermine opposing points of view.
Chapter 7: ‘You Must Be the Best’
Hyde believes that “God is in your hands” (95) – any work, even the most insignificant work, is work we ultimately do for God to glorify him.
The workplace provides communists with many opportunities for disseminating Communist ideas. “Capitalist society provides the Communist with … scores of thousands of people as a ready-made audience, not just once, but every day.” (97) The most important part of a Communist’s day is the time that he spends at work.
“By contrast, the average Catholic actionist feels that his time for going into action on behalf of his beliefs begins after he has returned from his day’s work, had a meal, changed and has just an hour or two left – when he is already tired – to give to his cause.” (99)
Communists are urged to excel in the workplace. They are told, “If you are recognized as being outstanding on one thing, you will be listened to on all sorts of subjects in no way related to it.” (98) So every member should aim to be the best at his job. Hyde recommends this tip to anyone who is “trying to put across unpopular ideas, or who is a member of an unpopular minority seeking to activise an apathetic majority.” (101) Students are told, “We want you to use this student period as your preparation for going out and making a mark in your profession so that you may do a good job for Communism there. So the better you do in your exams, the better it will be for the cause.” (101)
Another benefit of this approach is that being the best attracts the best to the movement.
Chapter 8: Campaigns, Criticism and Cadres
Keep Party members active
The Party lives by its recruiting campaigns. Campaigns keep members constantly active. Activity is good because people draw satisfaction from being active and doing something.
People bring a serious commitment to many things (hobbies, their job, etc.). Communists are actively engaged in organizing people.
Communists realize that their people cannot continually campaign for their broadest goal (a Communist world). Instead, campaigns should be organized around immediate, short-term objectives in order to maintain morale. These intermediate goals may be: (1) the making of individual converts to Communism, (2) social causes that are in the interest of common people – e.g. building a footbridge across a busy railroad yard (3) increasing readers of the Communist press and trying to convert public opinion (4) winning one’s own country to Communism, etc.
Too often, Christian groups take surveys to learn about the people they are trying to reach, but then they fail to follow through with any action. The result is that people in the church fall away. By contrast, when Communists act, they mobilize their people, showing their confidence in them.
Tie activity to the needs of the people
Campaign activities are chosen that are closely tied to the needs of the people the party is trying to reach. “The Party should send its members out among the people, try to discover what they want most, what are the questions which are troubling their minds, what are the things which are nearest to their hearts.” (106) This information can then be used to advance Communism by addressing needs and questions with Communist content.
Christians who are out of touch with the needs of common people have no cause to complain when the Communists, who are acting behalf of oppressed workers, make coverts among the working poor.
Tolerate mistakes and teach people to learn from them
Leaders call on their people to take action, to expect mistakes, and to learn from those mistakes. There will be losses and failures. But, “the important thing is not that mistakes are made but that people must be taught to learn from them.” (114)
“If you never say a word on behalf of your beliefs, if you never do anything, you are never going to be guilty of heresy – except that the total failure to do anything about your beliefs seems to me almost to constitute a heresy in itself. Perhaps it is one of the greatest heresies of our time.” (113,114)
Christians paper over their mistakes, but Communists are ruthlessly critical of themselves and each other. This is an antidote to complacency. Start by criticizing yourself. When you have done so, you are entitled to do the same with others. When mistakes are exposed, the focus shifts to what can be learned.
The Communists have a high tolerance for failure, a culture of learning from mistakes and make every effort to avoid repeating mistakes.
Hyde explains how Communists successfully petitioned government officials to provide coal to working families in London during WWII. He says that after careful evaluation and self criticism by those involved, the campaign was deemed a failure because it didn’t tangibly advance the goals of the Party. (117-119) He concludes there must be “a determination to be absolutely honest with yourself and with each other about what you are doing.” (119) In any activity, always ask, “what is all this really about, what is it really for?” (120)
“In practice, one learns from leading provided that one has been suitably prepared and trained to learn from one’s mistakes.” (157)
Invest in the progress of each member
The Party pays “enormous attention to the task of trying to develop each individual Party member…” (122) Members are also urged to improve themselves to serve a higher cause. Communist leaders present them with a clear vision of a better future and leave no room for doubt that Communist society can be brought about.
They must believe they are in need of improvement and that they are capable of changing, otherwise, they will not make progress. The process of change takes a long time. The goal is to “ensure that each member (is) developed to the uttermost” (123) in order to form an elite. The Party also carefully tracks the progress of each individual member. Members being trained and developed have a clear sense that they are headed somewhere and on the way to perfecting themselves. “People must be treasured and developed.” (125)
Chapter 9: The Value of Techniques
Communists are good propagandists. Since they feel they have something the world needs, they feel obligated to pass the message on. “Too often, in my experience, Christians give the impression that they talk, that maybe they have all the right answers too, but then too often do not follow through by putting these into action.” (126) Communists are influential because people see them actually doing something and assume they are accomplishing something too. Through their actions, Communists try to demonstrate to the public that they care. They think of various ways of convincing the public that they care.
>> Asian Communists, for example, often host conferences in a remote community and spend the first seven days building a road to the community. Because of this, the locals will always link the arrival of the Communists with the improvement of their day-to-day lives.
A variety of approaches are used to “soften up” a population in a certain areas long before the Party attempts to form cells. They work through community organizations, conferences, radio broadcasts and literature distribution.
Identify with the people: A good communist is close to the people. “You cannot live sealed off from the world. You must identify yourself with those amongst whom you wish to do your propaganda.” (134) “A party perishes if it shuts itself up in its narrow party shell, if it severs itself from the masses.” (134)
Hyde’s description of a good piece of propaganda: “It was good technically, close to the lives of the people, it spoke in their language.” When this was followed with appropriate action, “the effect could be deadly.” (139)
Literature must be written in simple language. “They adapt what they teach to the particular audience.” It must not be “turgid, doctrinaire and unreadable.” (129
“The success of Communist journalists and writers may be judged by their ability to get profound ideas across in simple language.” (130)
People will die for a powerful idea communicated in simple language.
Published materials must also “be the best.” Print quality must be outstanding. It must be well-written.
Films and disks must also be of excellent quality.
The spoken word
“When the Communist is trained in public speaking, he is told always to keep close to the lives of the people in the examples and anecdotes he uses. Each time he makes a theoretical point, he should illuminate it with a story from the fields.” (141)
Don’t needlessly make enemies in your speech. “Instead of setting out to prove that the other man is wrong… seek to find a point of contact with his mind, then try to extend the area of sympathetic interest and agreement just as far as possible.” (142)
The Party organizes people in small groups called “cells.” Most Communists are involved in several cells. On person might be involved in a street or neighborhood cell, a factory cell, a department or workshop cell, a cell within a trade union, etc. The goal is for Party members to become organized Communists in all walks of life. As they go through their week, members should always be looking for opportunities to organize/gather together small bands of Communist.
“The Communist is a Communist the whole of the time.” (146)
Chapter 10: Leaders for What?
Hyde makes a final appeal for Christians to…
1. … raise committed leaders.
Lenin wanted a Party of professional revolutionaries. Not paid, but fully committed to the cause every waking hour of their lives. Men of a special mold. A well-trained, disciplined army where each person sets out to establish themselves as a leader “in any field of activity into which life may take him.” (148)
“Part of the tragedy of communism is that it takes good men, with good intentions, and uses them for a bad cause…” “…the idealists and natural rebels who join the Communist Party set out to be the saviors of mankind and become instead men’s jailors.” (148) “Nevertheless… the Communists display an impressive belief in the individuals who make up the Communist movement.” (148) They never cease to appeal to idealism. Through planning, training and careful organization, they feed each member’s idealism and dedication.
Recalling the dedication of the North Vietnamese Communists, Hyde points out that they were expected to be willing to die for the cause. “(Vietnamese leaders) were not afraid to call upon them to die and they did not hesitate to base this upon an appeal to idealism.” “They were sent into battle morally prepared to fight.” (150)
Because of this, most Communists are ready to face tremendous persecution for their cause. During times of persecution, breaking or crumbling under duress is not tolerated. “Neither torture nor lack of experience, state of health, or any other reason can justify betrayal of the cause of the Party.” (152)
2. … do something about the growing gap between the rich and poor.
“There is nothing in Christian social teaching to support the widely held view that men have an inalienable human right to an ever-rising standard of life regardless of what is happening to other men in the neighboring borough, on the other side of the tracks, or on the other side of the world.” (154)
“Here is still quite clearly a very big job for Christians to do, a tremendous fight into which they can throw themselves… to make an end of the present scandal where, as one part of the world gets richer, the other quite literally gets poorer. The gap widens between the rich nations and the poor nations, between the prosperous north and the poverty-stricken south.” (154)
“We are morally involved in this problem as men never were before. Yet, despite this, Christians sleep peacefully in their beds at night, with easy consciences.” (155)
Capitalism is capable of change and the Christian can “set about the task of trying to Christianize himself, and simultaneously trying to make the society in which he lives one in which the human personality can develop, into a society which no longer degrades men and makes it virtually impossible for any of them to live a decent life.” (155)
3. … use the human resources at their disposal.
Christians should realize that “nothing is gained by squandering our human material or letting it go to waste. Everything is to be gained by using it well.” (155) “Christian leaders will be needed. There are techniques which can be learned and there is every reason why they should be studied, then taught to others.” (155) We need “more educated, adult democrats and, more particularly, more well-instructed, dedicated, totally committed religious believers.” (156) Like it or not, we must fight the spread of Communism.
“The task of making leaders is really one of creating an attitude of mind. The spontaneous reaction of the trained leader is at once to ask himself: what do I do in this situation?” (156) “Action and belief are always related in his mind and in his practice too.” (157)
“Something in the nature of a social revolution and a moral regeneration would occur in the life of the west if every committed Christian we already have were to acquire, or to be given, this attitude of mind and start to think in these terms.” (157)
4. … give their whole lives to the Christian cause.
Leadership development “has much more to do with the making of integrated people. Ones who understand what they believe, are deeply dedicated to it, and who try to unceasingly to relate their beliefs to every facet of their lives and to the society in which they live.” (157)
Communists say, “there is nothing too good for the Party.” Christians should say, “there is nothing to good for God.”