Ed Morrissey points out an important point about the love of theories
I’d only quibble with Bill on one point, which is whether the theories themselves were really the end games at all. They certainly weren’t for Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Pol Pot, or any of the other bloody tyrants of the age; it was the centralization of wealth and power into the hands of the few or the one. Theories such as Marxism and fascism were a means to an end, not the end itself. In all of these systems, and perhaps most honestly in fascism, the entire premise is based on a leader elite dictating economic choices by force to a captive population, couched in a proletarian veneer that allowed the leader elite to seize control. The only people who prospered in those systems were the ones who didn’t take the theories too seriously. The true believers — Leon Trotsky comes to mind — tend to end up dead.
I agree with Ed here, sure the people, the useful idiots if you will fall for the theory, but the leaders? They are using the theory to gain power.