Courtesy Reuters

Mexican Resistance to Communism

WHY have the Communists not done better in Mexico? To a casual observer, conditions in that country have long seemed to favor them, and from the early twenties through the late thirties many Americans feared that they would eventually gain control of the country. Not only have the Communists failed to do that, they have not even gained significant strength. In looking for an explanation we should first recall that where the Communists have obtained complete control--Russia, Eastern Europe and China--they did so during especially critical periods involving the collapse of existing authority during or following a world war. In Mexico, such a situation did exist in the second decade of this century, but when the Communists arrived on the scene they found themselves thwarted by the success of the Mexican Revolution, which had gained sufficient momentum to withstand any encroachment. At times the Communists have seemed to be gaining a disturbing influence; but the character of the Mexican, the devotion of the leaders to the ideology of their own revolution, their success in creating enough stability to permit the gradual economic development of the country, together with the impact of the United States, have so far combined to defeat them.

The Mexican Revolution started its active phase in 1910 as a revolt against the strong one-man rule of Porfirio Díaz. Though it was marked by violence in various forms during the first decade, it had a good deal to show for itself by the time the Russian Communists began sending their propaganda and their agents out into the world. Whatever the Communists seemed to be promising, the Mexican revolutionists were able to equal, and even to better. Agrarian reform, nationalization of industry, and social security were carried out by the Mexicans under their own momentum and with little, if any, help from the Communists. To the extent that labor ideology played a part, the Mexican Revolution grew out of an anarcho-syndicalism rather than Marxism. The brothers Flores Magón were

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