Communism From The Inside

Author: Douglas A. Hyde
Source: Communism From The Inside, London, Catholic Truth Society


A Personal Note

This pamphlet is written op the basis of my own personal experience. For twenty years, from the time I was seventeen, I was a member of the Communist Party, holding positions at all levels of the organization. I held responsible positions in a large number of its 'satellite' bodies, spoke for it, wrote for it, lived for it.

For eight years I was employed as an executive on the Communist paper, The Daily Worker, as chief sub-editor, then chief reporter, and finally for the last five years as news editor.

My reasons for resigning and seeking to become a Catholic have been told elsewhere. But it should be understood that I, too, believed, preached and spread the ideas which are here explained and exposed. I know from experience the hold which they can have on men's minds, the effect they have on men's lives and their power for untold evil.

And, having found the only possible alternative to Communism in the Catholic Church, I know the need for combating Communism and all its works. It is my hope that this pamphlet will provide some much-needed ammunition for the fight.

Douglas A. Hy4e

June 1948

References to the works of Marx, Engels and Lenin are to the English translations published by Lawrence and Wishart Ltd, except The Condition of the Working Class, which is published by Allen and Unwin Ltd.

Many Communists are likeable, intelligent and sincere people. They became Communists because they genuinely desired a better world, they are fired with enthusiasm for their cause and with a great hatred of injustice.

Yet the Catholic Church says that Communism and Christianity are totally incompatible, that Communism is evil, and that, in the last analysis, the struggle of our time is between the forces represented by the Catholic Church on the one hand and Communism on the other.

Is this due to bigotry on the part of the Church? Is it simply that she sees a rival and is determined to smash it?

During the course of the recent war, millions of men and women in Britain passed through our factories and millions more served in one or other of the Services. There they not infrequently met members of the Communist Party for the first time. They found them to be very different from what they had expected. They were not morons or monsters but individuals devoted to a cause and prepared to work and — if need be — sacrifice for it. But the trouble is that the cause they serve is utterly evil.

The Catholic Church has for a long time said that where you have Communism you cannot have Christianity; that when a state or individual 'goes Communist' Christianity is driven out. But many people are today bemused by the 'red haze' of pro-Soviet sentiment which swept this country after Hitler's bombers turned East in 1941; they are bemused by Communist propaganda, too, which is widespread and percolates through to all sections of the community, and such people not unnaturally feel that perhaps the Church overstates her case.

All over Europe there were people who felt like that after the war. There were Catholics who thought that they could safely cooperate with the Communists on some of their just demands. And the Communists knew how to work on such people, for they understand the modern art of propaganda and often use it to perfection.

Now, too late in some cases, those who associated with them are discovering that unless the Communists are unmasked in time, unless the influence of Communism is broken, those who assisted it to power are quickly put aside and persecuted once the Communists are actually in power.

It happened in Rumania, in Hungary and in Czecho-Slovakia, and those Catholics who thought that they could 'use' the Communists or co-operate with them discovered that the process is rather like going for a ride on a tiger — and the consequences are identical.

And just as it happened in Eastern Europe, so it could happen here.

The way to counteract the spread of Communism is to be well-informed about it. It is not sufficient simply to say that Communism is atheistic, immoral, brutal and evil if you have no evidence to back it up. Because almost certainly someone will turn round and say that he or she has worked with Communists and found them to be likeable, intelligent and sincere. It is necessary to know why such people can nonetheless be working for an utterly evil cause and to understand something of the theory and practice of that evil cause itself. If we know why Communism destroys the soul and does not even make for material human happiness, we shall all the more effectively be able successfully to combat it.

But first let us remember that there is nothing to be gained by dishonest anti-Communist propaganda, founded on lies and distortions. The most effective case against Communism is the true one — and the case against Communism is damning enough to require no flights of the imagination to make it appear even worse. Let our weapons in the fight against it be truth, understanding and Christian action.

It is the purpose of this pamphlet to provide the background for the first two in particular, along with evidence which shows how correct are the Church's allegations against it.

Let us take some of these allegations and see how far they are justified.

Is Communism Against Religion?​

First, the one which has been made over and over again: Communism is atheistic and seeks to destroy all belief in God. There are some who may feel that this is somewhat far-fetched; that the first part of the above allegation may be true but that the latter assertion does not necessarily follow.

A man may, it might be argued, himself be an atheist without therefore wishing to work by every means at his disposal for the destruction of all belief in God on the part of others; But that is one of the things which distinguishes the Communist's materialism from the earlier 'free-thinker's' variety. For Communism doesn't simply say, 'There is no God', it goes on to say, 'Men everywhere must be made to cease believing in Him'.

At the conclusion of almost every Communist meeting and demonstration, members of the crowd take off their hats and sing the 'Internationale', and when they sing the words, 'No saviours from on high deliver, no trust have we in prince or peer', they are not just singing words which they know to be empty and meaningless. On the contrary, they sum up the Marxist materialist philosophy and the Communist sings them with the utmost conviction. For the whole Marxist case is built upon the foundation of the most militant atheism of all time, dialectical or historical materialism as it was called by its originators, Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. That materialism is not just one odd, unimportant part of the Communist doctrine, it is its foundation upon which the entire superstructure of Communist theory and practice is built up.

It declares that everything in the universe is material, in content and in cause, from the tiniest primitive cell to the human brain itself. The mind, the will, are but material functions of that purely material grey-matter. There is, of course, no place for soul or spirit or God in such a theory.

Progress and development, says the Marxist, the result of a never-ending conflict between opposites — dialectic from which dialectical materialism takes it's name.

But let us choose, more or less at random, what the Marxist theorists themselves have had to say on the question. In his book, Anti-Duhring (p. 346), Engels says:

All religion, however, is nothing but the fantastic reflection in men's minds of those external forces which control their daily life.

On, page 32 of the same book he says:

The economic structure of society always forms the real basis from which, in the last analysis, is to be explained the whole superstructure of legal and political institutions as well as the religious, philosophical and other conceptions of each historical period.

Karl Marx himself summed up their view on religion when he declared that 'religion is the opium of the people'.

Lenin, who applied the teachings of Marx and Engels to the conditions of our own time — and incidentally applied them in practice too, by leading the Russian revolution — developed Marx's phrase and declared: 'Religion is a kind of spiritual intoxicant, in which slaves of capital drown their humanity and blunt their desire for a decent human existence'.

After the October revolution in Russia, Lenin had Marx's phrase engraved on the walls of the former City Hall in Moscow, right opposite the famous shrine of the Iberian Virgin Mother. Later the shrine was removed but the slogan remained.

But, it may be argued, this does not prove that Communists consciously use their dialectical materialism in their political campaigns and in their everyday lives. Here is what Engels said about dialectical materialism:

It is our best working tool and sharpest weapon — Ludwig Feuerbach (p. 54).

And that is what the Communist Party everywhere believes today.

Large numbers of people join the Communist Party here in Britain every year. Usually they are induced to become members after they have been drawn into one of the Party's campaigns on humanitarian, industrial or quite limited political issues. They may join as a result of an emotional appeal to do so made by a Communist speaker at a great demonstration. They will almost certainly know little about Marxism ahd nothing about dialectical materialism.

But they will quickly learn. First, they are asked to attend a beginners' course of classes where the barest elements of Marxism are served up in highly sugar-coated form. This will be followed by a course entitled 'Scientific Socialism', which is, in fact, the elements of historical materialism — or dialectical materialism applied to history.

Soon the beginner will be 'conditioned' to a point where he himself wants to know more about 'dialectics'. And the information will, of course, be given him, probably in the shape of Stalin's classic work on the subject and in more study classes. In the process he will lose whatever religious beliefs he possessed (or go out of the Party in time) and gain an entirely new approach to all moral and ethical questions.

So the dialectical materialism of Marx is not something dead or inconsequential. It is very much alive. It is being continuously injected into people's minds here in Britain and is, of course, the official 'religion' as taught in all schools and universities throughout one-sixth of the world, namely the U.S.S.R.

The ultimate aim of the Communists is to destroy the last vestige of belief in God from the face of the earth. Any compromise or apparent easing of their anti-God campaign is no more than a purely temporary tactic designed to achieve more quickly and thoroughly that final goal.

Is It Immoral?​

With militant materialism as its basis it is not surprising that Communism is dishonest in all its methods, rejecting all Christian ethics and resulting in Communists themselves quickly becoming utterly unprincipled in their personal and social relationships.

But it is not simply that these are the results of the absence of good in its theories. Communist teachings on questions of ethics and principles are actively evil. Communists have a code of behaviour which determines their actions and gives them clear guidance on all major and minor questions of ethics. It is the exact opposite of that of Christianity. In Ludwig Feuerbach (p. 55), Engels says that when one accepts dialectical materialism:

... the demand for final solutions and eternal truths ceases once and for all. On the other hand, one no longer permits oneself to be impeded upon by the antithesis ... between true and false, good and bad ... one knows that these antitheses have only, relative validity.

Marxist theory tells the Communists that the goal of socialism will be achieved only by revolution, that all 'progress' proceeds from class struggle. For the Communist that struggle is a war — and in war, he argues, any course of action is permissible. One must use correct strategy and tactics if the war is to be won. In war one employs guile and subterfuge; one seeks to penetrate the enemy's camp by stealth, outwit him, deceive him and, if necessary, ultimately destroy him.

Before deciding on any course of action, therefore, either personal or political, the Communist has only to ask himself, 'Does it serve the class struggle?' If it does, then it is justified and no other moral or ethical considerations matter at all. If it does not, it is wrong.

Thus, for example, the British Communist Party may for a period woo the support of Liberals, Labour Party members or some other political grouping. Or, may be, it will seek the support of religious denominations or certain religious leaders. Or, again, some particular section of the community such as the small traders, professional classes or intelligentsia. It will flatter them, support some of their demands in return for a measure of agreement on some point on which the Party is for the moment concentrating.

But no informed Communist will have any illusions about such an alliance. The art of winning allies and making use of them is expounded at length in the writings of Lenin and Stalin. When the end has been served they will quickly throw their allies overboard and, in the event of the Communist Party coming to power, will not hesitate to 'liquidate' them. Even whilst they use them they despise them.

Christian organisations are not infrequently used in this way. During the Spanish Civil War, for example, many Protestant clergy appeared on platforms with Communist speakers during what were, in fact, Communist campaigns. The Party used the support and standing of the clergy whilst having no illusions about what would happen to them and their religion should Communism ever come to Britain.

In Hungary in 1947 the Communists, wishing to break the resistance to the spread of their doctrine on the part of the Catholic peasantry, raised teams of volunteers to go out into the countryside each weekend repairing war-damaged Catholic churches. Communist leaders appeared in the churches when the job was done and were often garlanded by grateful congregations. Having thus won the Catholics' support and admiration they were free to seize power — which they did, and within a few months the persecution of the Church began.

Such practices are normal to Communism. Deceit is, in fact, made an art, and is studied with care by those who use it. Thus Lenin, instructing Communist journalists on their methods of work, drew their attention to the deceit and lies of sections of the 'bourgeois' press and even urged them not only to emulate them but to do the job better, studying such methods and improving upon them.

And those instructions by Lenin are printed and circulated for the use of The Daily Worker staff here in Britain for their guidance too.

So in their personal relations Communists stoop to anything provided that it 'serves the class struggle', for everything is subordinate to that.

And of personal behaviour under Marxian socialism Engels says, in his Origin of the Family (p. 90):

When these people are in the world, they will care precious little what anybody today thinks they ought to do; they will make their own practice and their corresponding public opinion about the practice of each individual — and that will be the end of it.

But, we are sometimes told, there is a new Communist morality which is higher than any 'bourgeois' morality. If we examine it we shall discover that Communism is essentially immoral. Its aim is ultimately to destroy marriage and the family as we know them today. In practice even now its influence leads to the spread of immorality and the corruption of Christian youth.

First, let us see what the Marxist theorists have said on the question, since their works are studied and applied with such devotion by the Communists themselves.

The Family​

In the Origin of the Family (p. 60) Engels describes the family as 'that compound of sentimentality and domestic strife', and throughout their writings Marx and Engels advanced the view that bourgeois marriage is no more than 'legalized prostitution'.


On page 75 of the Origin of the Family Engels declares:

Probably the only reason why the Catholic Church abolished divorce was because it had convinced itself that there is no more a cure for adultery then there is for death.

Reviewing the consequences of women working in industry, he notes with approval (p. 77) that:

The wife has, in fact, regained the right to dissolve marriage, and if two people cannot get on with one another, they prefer to separate.

As to divorce under Marxian socialism, he says (p. 89):

If affection definitely comes to an end or is supplanted by a new passionate love, separation is a benefit for both partners as well as for society — only people will then be spared having to wade through the useless mire of a divorce case.

The Home​

Looking forward to the Marxist state Engels (p. 89) describes the 'home' as it would exist. He says:

Private housekeeping is transformed into a social industry. The card of education of the children becomes a public affair; society looks after all children alike whether they are legitimate or not. This removes all the anxiety about the “consequences”, which today is the most essential social — and moral as well as economic — factor that prevents a girl from giving herself completely to the man she loves. Will not that suffice to bring about the gradual growth of unconstrained sexual intercourse and with it a more tolerant public opinion in regard to a maiden's honour and a woman's shame ?

Woman in the Home​

The modern individual family', he says (p. 79), 'is founded on the open or concealed domestic slavery of the wife.


Morality, the 'Marxist theorists are agreed, must be subjected only to the same test as other aspects of human behaviour. Says Lenin in his book on Religion (p. 56):

For us morality is subordinated to the interests of the proletarian class struggle.

And again, on the same page:

We say that our morality is wholly subordinated to the interests of the class struggle.

This is reflected in practical form in the policies of the Communist Party itself and is the key to many of its campaigns. Thus, for example, the Communist Party everywhere leads the demand for more creches and nurseries for small children, and for women to go into industry.

The woman 'comrade' who gives up her work in the office or factory to spend her time in her home and caring for her children is viewed with considerable disapproval in Party circles. The raising of the family and the moulding of children's lives upon which both the material and spiritual future of our race depends are seen as 'servitude' and a task which should be left to the State. The consequence is that the children of Communist Party members often barely know their parents and are almost totally deprived of the influence and 'atmosphere' of the home.

But the hundreds of thousands of married women who went into the factories during the war learned the appalling difficulties which face a woman with a family under such circumstances. They found, in practice, that they did not lose the 'servitude of the kitchen' but merely added to it the 'servitude' of the factory as well — for the work at home had still to be done. And today many young mothers and their infants are learning for the first time the pride and joy of parenthood and the home.

Yet the Communists must continue to campaign for the continuation of that war-time expediency since this is a fundamental of their faith.

Marxist teaching on marriage and the home was put into practical operation in Russia immediately after the revolution and the establishment of the socialist State. Women were induced by propaganda and necessity to go into the factories and to put their children into nurseries. Abortion and divorce were made as easy as possible.

On these two last points policy has more recently been modified, but not because of any fundamental change in doctrine — that remains as before. The changes were made in the expectation of war and the need for unlimited 'cannon fodder'. For this reason large numbers of children (who are accommodated in the creches and nurseries) were, and still are, encouraged. But this is but further proof of the utter cynicism of the Communists, for they have every intention of returning to the fundamental teachings on the question once the size of the population has been sufficiently increased. It is a degrading manifestation of the Communist practice of making millions of people order their lives like so many machines responding to the leaders at the top.

Communist teachings on morality are reflected, too, in the personal lives of Communist Party members. The sneers at bourgeois marriage, the sanctity of the marriage vows and the home, and the evil theories they are taught, inevitably have their efect on the members' personal behaviour and leave their mark on those who pass through the Party's ranks. Thousands of young men and women and sincere workers are annually corrupted as a consequence.

From the network of organizations which surround the Communist Party and are created by it, goes out an ever widening influence against all accepted Christian ideas on the home, family, children and morality which results in a growth of cynicism and immorality in circles far removed from Communism and which are by no means Marxist.

It undermines, in fact, all those conventions which have their origins in Christian teaching and practice over a period of centuries. It represents a way of life quite unlike that which grew out of our Western Christian civilization. And although it is true that in our largely pagan England of today immorality, inverted values and an absence of an affective ethical code are to be found among wide masses of the people, it is only in the Communist movement that these things are elevated to a theory and practice which is set up in opposition to that of Christianity, consciously pursued in an organized way.

Is It Undemocratic?​

Communists are the most active of propagandists, constantly seeking to spread their influence and increase their numbers. But they do not hope ever to win a majority by persuasion and propaganda, neither would they be prepared to wait for the completion of that process even though they thought it might in time be achieved.

The whole of Communist hopes for the achievement of power are dependent upon the use of violence as a means of imposing a system of Communism upon an unwilling and unprepared majority. Their aim is, not to win a majority, but to build up a hard reliable core of determined supporters who, by superior organization and strategy, can exploit a difficult situation when it arises.

This is how power was achieved in Russia and the process has, since the war, been repeated many times in the counties of Eastern Europe. There the presence of the Red Army and the opportunity to 'deal with' many of the Communists' opponents during the war itself, by means of the resistance movements and, later, purges of 'collaborators', reduced the violence at the time of the seiszure of power to a minimum. But those conditions are recognized as peculiar ones, unlikely to occur again except by means of Soviet warlike 'expansion'.

Elsewhere 'heavy' revolution on the lines of the Russian model is anticipated and prepepared for.

Following the usual tactics, however, the Communists use parliamentary institutions and democratic organizations for the pursuit of their aims whilst having nothing but contempt for them and every intention of abolishing them at the earliest possible moment.

Harry Pollitt, the British leader, had many times, on the radio and elsewhere, claimed that 'Communism is simply Socialism in its working clothes'. This is one of those 'homely' meaningless phrases which the Communists use so successfully to deceive the unsuspecting. On the face of it, it appears, in so far as it means anything at all, to suggest that this is just a working-class version of something with which we are already familiar and which is accepted as part of our democracy. But we should not be taken in by such phrases.

The whole theory of Marxism builds up to the need for revolutionary action and on this the leading writers are quite specific. Said Lenin in his book, What is to be Done? (p. 28); also quoted by Stalin in Foundations of Leninism:

Without a revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement.

And that is the main goal of all the Communists' theorizing and practical activities.

Karl Marx, in The German Ideology (p. 69), wrote :

This revolution is necessary, therefore, not only because the ruling class cannot be overthrown in any other way, but also because the class overthrowing it can only in a revolution succeed in ridding itself of all the muck of the ages and become fitted to found society anew.

What sort of society is intended we have already seen.

And so each of the leading Marxist theorists has written at length on the theory and practice of insurrection, or as Engels and, later, Lenin called it, 'the art of insurrection'. Works by these writers in which the guiding principles are clearly laid down are published by the Communist Party publishers in this country and sold in numbers to their sympathizers. They are studied with great care, and education courses are based upon them in which all Party members are expected to participate. The lessons learned from the failure of the Paris Commune in 1871 and the success of the October Revolution in Russia in 1917 are learned by heart and kept ready for the day when they may be applied here in Britain and throughout the world.

In The Condition of the Working Class (p. 296), Engels declared:

The war of the poor against the rich will be the bloodiest ever waged.

And Marx, in The Poverty of Philosophy (p. 147), said:

Combat or death; bloody struggle or extinction. It is thus that the question is inexorably put.

And after the revolution, what then ?

There have, after all, been other ideals that men have thought worth shedding blood for. Communism, too, claims to be an ideal. It fights, it says, on behalf of the working-class who are the majority class in any modern society. According to the Communist leaders and pamphleteers, its purpose is to end the exploitation of man by man, introduce social and economic justice at last, and establish a classless society. May it not be that such ends justify the means?

It is by reasoning in this way that many people find themselves inside the Party. But there is a vast gulf between the slogans and the reality. Between the braided dictators of the Eastern European countries and the common people lies a vast gulf and the Communist parties of those countries, far from bridging it, simply widen it as time goes on and the Communist leadership becomes more and more entrenched as a class apart.

The so-called 'dictatorship of the proletariat' is in fact a dictatorship of the Communist Party, and, because of the way in which it is organized, that in turn narrows down to a dictatorship of the four or five who constitute the Party's political bureau.

The form of organization employed by the Communist Parties of the world is known as 'centralized democracy', but it has nothing to do with democracy as it is known and practised elsewhere. Its methods of election and determining of policy are the exact reverse of that which obtains in genuinely democratic organizations. Instead of policies being determined by the membership and imposed upon the leaders, the opposite obtains. Policy is decided by the political bureau, which is made up of a handful of the top leaders. They then see that the policy is. endorsed by the larger executive committee. 'Leads' and directives are then handed down to the district and branch committees.

There is considerable discussion at every level — but it is within the well-defined limits set by the original political bureau recommendations and usually turns on their local application rather than on their content. A branch finding itself in disagreement with the main line of the Party may express its point of view at Annual Congress but, if defeated, must then accept the majority decision as absolutely binding. If it persists in raising the question again it will find itself dissolved, with its leaders expelled. This happened quite recently in the case of a branch of the British Party. So that, in practice, the very few individuals who make up the political bureau are all-powerful on policy questions.

So far as their position in the organization is concerned, they are in an equally strong position. Instead of elections coming through nominations from 'below' the 'panels' method is employed. Nominations are accepted from the branches and district committees prior to Annual Congress, but the political bureau itself selects a full list of those whom it would like to see constituting the Executive Committee and presents the names as a 'panel' to the Executive Committee for endorsement. Then, at Congress, a small 'panels commission', is set up, led by a member of the political bureau and filled with 'reliable' comrades. The branch nominees and those of the executive are considered by the commission. The panel of names put forward will be accepted in whole or with only the slightest of alterations and then put before Congress for endorsement as a whole — not individually. Congress can in theory reject them but again it must reject the list as a whole. In practice it, of course, accepts, and the people selected by the political bureau then constitute the new Executive Committee who proceed to appoint the new bureau — which means that they re-appoint the existing one.

Thus the Communist Party leader is in an almost unshakeable position, provided that he plays ball with the other leaders. And if and when his party captures power he inevitably becomes one of the tiny ruling clique with a power greater than any ruling monarch ever enjoyed in the past.

Stalin in Russia, Tito in Yugoslavia, Dimitrov in Bulgaria — these men have a power such as has never been known among rulers before — and they are all the stronger for the fact that they have a disciplined party of zealots supporting them and believing that by their 'centralized democracy' they are controlling them.

So it is that the achievement of power by the Communists means the destruction of democracy and of personal liberty. Behind the slogans and the shouting is the cold science of Marxism, concerned, not with human beings as such, but with the establishment of a guinea-pig world based on the anti-religious, soulless teachings of Marx and Engels.

Does it serve the cause of Communism ? That is the only consideration. The individual Communist in the State counts for nothing, yet by skilful propaganda, education to dialectical materialism, and terrorism where necessary, he can be brought to believe that he is participating in a great experiment in which he has a part to play and responsibilities to fulfil. So it is that decisions can be made and operated which will blight the lives of hundreds of thousands and the party membership, at least, will believe the suffering involved to be justified because it 'serves the cause'. Thus entire populations can be uprooted and shifted to another part or dispersed throughout the land to serve some tactical political consideration. When Tito's Government in Yugoslavia found it impossible to destroy an armed opposition which was functioning in the mountain areas the entire populations of towns and villages were moved out and scattered throughout the land in order to destroy the guerrillas' base.

In the U.S.S.R. areas occupied by the Nazis suffered appalling devastation as the war swung to and fro across them. The people were subjected to the worst of humiliations and cruelties by the invading Germans. But at the conclusion of the war the Russian leaders took the view that the population of such areas was likely to have been corrupted by 'bourgeois' influences during the occupation and so, after all the horrors they had already endured, they were torn up by their roots from the places which had been their homes and sent east to the vast, under-populated areas of Siberia where they can do no harm.

Such decisions, appalling in their tragic human consequences, are normal to Communism and can be fully justified according to Marxist standards for, it can be argued, the victims suffer that the cause of Communism may prevail.

The utter abandonment of all ideas about the sanctity of the individual, which is a feature of Christian teaching, leads inevitably to such consequences.

Is It Inevitable?​

Half-a-dozen countries of Europe have now fallen to the Communists. Communism knocks at the door of several others. Large parts of China, Mongolia, Manchuria, are already Communist. In 1848 Karl Marx in his Communist Manifesto, wrote: 'A spectre is haunting Europe, the spectre of Communism... let the ruling classes tremble.' It was largely wishful thinking on his part then. Today it is a reality. Communism is haunting the world. But it is not just the ruling classes who tremble. The working-class in the conquered and threatened countries tremble too for they are learning that Communism means tyranny, the destruction of personal liberty and the end of all those Christian values which in the past we have taken for granted but which are the basis of our way of life. There can, therefore, be no question of the end justifying the means, for they are equally evil.

Here in Britain Communism is not numerically strong. Membership of the Communist Party has never been above 60,000 and has often been much less.. But more than 10,000 members pass through its ranks each year and several thousands more through the Young Communist League, and in doing so lose their faith and accept new, cynical, inverted standards.

And the Party's influence is vastly in excess of its numerical strength. This is partly because of its form of organization and its hold on leading positions to the trade union and Labour movement but, still more, because of the devotion and energy of its members.

A number of the most important trade unions have Communists in their leadership and almost all unions have an over-weighting of Communists to responsible positions at district and branch levels. Those positions have, first and foremost, been obtained because of the readiness to accept responsibility and to do the most routine and least-sought-after jobs where necessary.

Membership of the appropriate trade union and co-operative society is made a condition of membership of the Party and members are taught that they must be the best possible members of those organizations. The result is that Communists everywhere tend to be elected to positions of responsibility and quickly move up the ladder from one level to the next. That process is at times accelerated by the aide of 'packed' meetings and even by subterfuge, but far more often it is due to the energy of the Communists and the apathy of non-Communists. It could quickly be brought to an end by an increased sense of responsibility on the part of the opponents and, in particular, Catholics who are aware of the real danger of Communism and the urgent need to defeat it. Vigilance and energy on the part of such organizations as the Association of Catholic Trade Unionists could break the Communist hold on our Labour movement in a very short time.

But out-manoeuvring the Communists will not be enough if the victory is to be a lasting one. The greater sense of responsibility and willingness to give time and work to such organizations will require to be an enduring one or the pertinacity of the Communists will again prevail.

And the same may be said of all those otter organizations which the Communists have captured or penetrated — student bodies, tenants' organizations, co-operative societies, sections of the Labour Party, cultural organizations, the factory organizations of the workers and so on.

The strength of the Communist Party lies in the zeal of its members, for whom no sacrifice is too great, no job too hard. Fired with enthusiasm for the teachings which are for them their religion, they put Christians and non-Communists to shame. Their success is a measure of our failure to make the same sacrifice for a better cause, and to the extent to which we see this and act upon it shall we defeat them.

Ginny D

Hyde says he found 'the only possible alternative to Communism in the Catholic Church.' Why not other churches? What makes the Catholic Church effective?
He says his 'reasons for resigning and seeking to become Catholic have been told elsewhere'. Do you know where I could find out about his reasons, his personal story?


Staff member
The only places I can think of would be Hyde's autobiography, I Believe, or his book The Answer to Communism. I'm not aware of any online copies though.

I wonder whether he became a casualty of Vatican II, since I read (here) that towards the end of his life he became "disillusioned by increasing papal conservatism", whatever that means, and defected from the Catholic faith. Btw, I'd take that obituary with a grain of salt.


Staff member
Hyde says he found 'the only possible alternative to Communism in the Catholic Church.' Why not other churches? What makes the Catholic Church effective?
Have just finished reading Hyde's autobiography. It is fascinating.
Did you find the answer to your question? Why did Hyde consider the Catholic Church as the only possible alternative to Communism?

Ginny D

Yes I found the answer.
Hyde started to read Catholic papers and books by Catholic authors, had a love for the Middle Ages and he and his wife realised that a traditional home and family are what works for our human nature. He was convinced that God existed intellectually but struggled to get the 'belief', the faith.

'I re-read the history of the Middle Ages I had thought I knew so well and of the Reformation period, and found each book appealing more strongly than the last. A new light was thrown on the end of the Middle Ages, the ages with a Faith.
I had believed that Catholic culture had been outgrown at the time when the new economic system of capitalism had broken the fetters of feudalism, that it could all be explained in terms of economics.
But had men outgrown it? There appeared to be a convincing case for saying that it was not outgrown but that there had been an attempted murder which had not quite succeeded. My old love of the Middle Ages, their art and literature, for pre-Reformation architecture and of plain-chant bubbled up anew as I sought to recapture the spirit of the days whose passing I so much regretted.'

'I read Ronald Knox's The Belief of Catholics and found myself in intellectual agreement with it. But it did not make me believe in God. That belief had been dead too long. Nothing stirred, nothing clicked.'

'How I had come to realise that the culture of the Middle Ages had not died with feudalism but was alive today, a living Catholic culture.'

'How St Thomas Aquinas's five proofs of God seemed to me unanswerable, but how, also, I was obliged to admit that whilst they carried with them intellectual conviction they had not made God come alive for me. That I could accept His existence intellectually but that was all.'

I am sorry to say, the pages on which he tells the story of finally gaining faith are torn out of the library book I am reading.
Very disappointed.

'I had accepted communist morals and had practised them. Many of my colleagues had been able to love as irresponsibly and as indiscriminatingly as barnyard fowls. For me that had never been possible. My experiments in that direction went only to show that happiness and fullness of life did not lie that way, but that their exact opposites did.
We both agreed that all our experience showed that the Marxists were wrong, whether we judged them in the light of our own lives or of the broken homes of the cormrades we knew.
But the Catholic Church stood, forursquare, like a rock, utterly uncompromising on this question. How right it was.'