View Full Version : What were 'communist goals"?

28th September 2009, 12:49 PM
In other threads here there has been a debate concerning purported "Communist goals" for the United States.

Some people have posted a list of 45 "Current Communist Goals" which originally appeared in former FBI Special Agent W. Cleon Skousen's 1958 book entitled, The Naked Communist.

This list was inserted into the Congressional Record in 1963 (see link below) and this list has been circulating constantly since that time. Similarly, many people claim that the United States has adopted 9 of the 10 planks of the Communist Manifesto!


Glenn Beck's 2003 memoir entitled "The Enemy Within" reprinted Skousen's "Communist Goals of 1963" and Beck has frequently recommended Skousen's writings.

However, what is missing from every account is WHERE did Cleon Skousen obtain his understanding of what he claimed were "Communist goals"?

There is a profound difference between what ideas or policy proposals Communists endorsed, for tactical purposes, (i.e. the Communist Party Line), versus what they ACTUALLY believed in and wanted to achieve.

The FBI's primary expert on the communist movement (their Chief Inspector who later became an FBI Assistant Director) made speeches around the country during the 1960's in which he gave a list of “Do’s and Don’ts For Anti-Reds”. In those speeches he often quoted comments made by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. Here are some of the key "don'ts"

“1. Do not speak or act in any manner that would create fear, hysteria, and confusion. These are the ‘ingredients for Communist coups in nations which have fallen under its spell’ says J. Edgar Hoover…

2. Do not make false charges of communism against other citizens or sow seeds of suspicion, distrust, and alarmism.

3. Do not use, unless you are capable of accurately defining such ambiguous and misleading words and expressions as ‘red’, ‘radical’, ‘leftist’. ‘left wing’, ‘left wing supporter’, ‘socialist’, ‘collectivist’, ‘self-styled liberal’, ‘rightist’, ‘right-wing’, ‘right-wing supporter’, ‘radical right’, ‘reactionary’, and ‘fascist’. Such vague and obscure terms having nothing to contribute to a clear, intelligent and objective understanding of difficult and complex social problems. Their use in the past has given rise to much of the current confusion in the field of communism and religion.

4. Do not confuse legitimate dissent with communism. Hoover gives this warning. ‘Knowing what communism really is and how it operates will also help us to avoid the danger of confusing communism with legitimate dissent on controversial issues. Communism feeds on social ferment. On both the local and national levels, the CPUSA is continually exploiting social, economic, and political grievances for its own tactical purposes. For this reason, the ‘party line’ will frequently coincide with the view of many noncommunists on specific issues. We must not, therefore, indiscriminately label as Communists those whose opinions on a particular question may, on occasion, parallel the official party position. We must also guard against the tendency to characterize as Communists those who merely disagree with us or who advocate unorthodox or unpopular beliefs. When anyone is erroneously branded a Communist, it not only constitutes an injustice to the individual, but also helps communism by diffusing the strength of anti-communist forces.

Given this as a preface, why does anyone think that Cleon Skousen had a correct understanding of "Communist goals" -- particularly when you factor in the highly derogatory judgments made by senior FBI officials regarding Skousen's post-FBI endeavors??

For example, one FBI memo makes the following observation about Skousen's FBI career:

“As you know, we frequently receive inquiries from the public regarding Skousen’s qualifications to speak with authority on the subject of communism. In view of his obvious efforts to capitalize on his former Bureau association, I feel that it would be well for us to take positive measures to clarify the Bureau’s position in regard to Skousen whenever we receive public inquiries concerning him. I feel, for example, that in addition to stating that his views are his own, that we should also add in correspondence concerning him that he was not regarded as any authority on communism while employed with the FBI. That is certainly a true statement and it might serve in some measure to prevent Skousen from using the FBI’s name for his own personal gain.” [HQ 67-69602, #338; 1/2/63 memo from W.C. Sullivan to A.H. Belmont.]

Insofar as somebody correctly identifies a "Communist goal" -- what, precisely, is that supposed to mean for Americans? Are we to make all of our decisions based upon what Communists think or propose or favor?

For example:

** if the official CPUSA position is in favor of an increase in minimum wage laws, --- does that mean that every patriotic American must OPPOSE an increase?

** if the official CPUSA position is in favor of enforcement of civil rights and voting rights laws --- does that mean that every patriotic American must OPPOSE such enforcement?

** if the official CPUSA position is against outlawing the Communist Party in the U.S. --- does that mean that every patriotic American must FAVOR outlawing the Communist Party?

** if the official CPUSA position is against the existence of the House Committee on Un-American Activities --- does that mean that every patriotic American must FAVOR its existence?

28th September 2009, 01:47 PM
To see actual copies of several FBI memos which pertain to W. Cleon Skousen, see the following link.


These memos are also scanned into my Skousen report which is at: