Abstract. I am prepared to assert that there is no idea so wonderful that it cannot be brought to the point of absurdity, or even turned into its exact opposite. Worse yet, lots of wonderful ideas often just end up reaching an ignominious end.
From Liberalism to Liberal Dictatorship
Let’s take an example: Aren’t the ideas of liberalism wonderful – those based on equality under the law, respect for civil rights and civil liberties, respect for the individual and, naturally, the free market? These are a sort of ideological middle ground from which Democrats and Republicans alike never stray far – some to the left, others to the right. In reality, such a balance has created political equilibrium by facilitating compromises. Yet over the last few decades, this balance has been disrupted more and more often, with the result of both parties moving further and further from any common ground. The shift to the left has been particularly obvious.
And now, Joe Biden, a well-known party centrist and the Democratic candidate for the nation’s highest post, fearing that he’ll lose some votes, has been significantly shifting to the left. He is prepared to sign on to the leftist idea of a “Green Revolution” – i.e., to turn away from using carbon-based energy and switch to alternative sources. This is a typical left-wing populist and utopian endeavor with a price tag of tens of trillions of dollars – more than the wealth of America, and possibly the whole world. Biden generously promises to seek passage of a law granting citizenship to all 11 million illegal immigrants who have settled in the U.S. (or even 22 million, according to data from Yale University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology). And this is only a first step in achieving the leftist dream of open borders around America. He promises a lot of other things that the left could only dream about.
As we move further to the left from the liberal center – which, in fact, is the process we are witnessing in today’s Democratic Party and more broadly among the liberal masses – we come to socialists like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and the candidate for Vice-President, Kamala Harris. We come to their ideas of transforming society through socialist reforms and governmental distribution of benefits, such as free education and health insurance, which likewise demand trillions upon trillions of dollars that the country truly doesn’t have. The idea of “taking away and redistributing” is one familiar to us all.
“Taking away and redistributing” doesn’t really sound like that abstract an idea if we move even further toward the leftist beacons. There we run right up against the so-called “progressives”: leftist politicos with Bolshevik undertones. We run into those fighters for social justice like the members of Congress who are young, aggressive and extremely popular among the youth – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib – with their mission to dismantle the rotten system of capitalism. These ideas are supported and popularized by a whole army of leftist university professors, opinion leaders and philosophers.
The progressives have not yet gone as far as to call for the abolition of capitalism, but their attempts to bring about a “cultural revolution,” reformat public consciousness, and create a cult of groupthink in today’s America have been quite convincing. It is as if they are transforming the ideas of liberalism – the ideas of respecting rights and liberties, and respecting the individual – by promoting their opposite: a sort of liberal dictatorship, with suppression of contrary thinking and persecution of such views. (More about this later.) Yet another small step to the left, and we find the anarchists from the Antifa movement and other leftist radicals, those for whom the idea of a harmonious life entails only the process of tearing down.
From the Civil Rights Movement to the Self-Abnegation of the White Race
Another notable endeavor was the civil rights movement. In the 1960s, once America had begun to deal with its practice of segregation by changing all discriminatory laws, the white majority began to deal with the fact that it had not been just a silent witness, but a de facto accomplice in a historical crime: the infringement of the rights and freedoms of millions of their compatriots of a different skin color.
Repentance is a universal virtue in most of the world’s cultures. But it too, when pushed further left, can be brought to the point of absurdity. For example, the writer and philosopher Susan Sontag, a clear apologist for progressivism and a youth icon, came to the cutting conclusion half a century ago that “the white race is the cancer of human history.” This, by the way, was what became the dominant motif of progressive ideology.
In our day, prominent New York Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones writes about America that “racism runs in the very DNA of this country.” Her editor Jake Silverstein, following her lead, claims that “chattel slavery … is sometimes referred to as the country’s original sin, but it is more than that: It is the country’s very origin.”
Such self-flagellation and the cultivation of guilt feelings from the white race’s original sin has given rise to a cult of sorts in the struggle against so-called “white privilege” that its proponents find has permeated everything, even chess (permitting white to move first) and ice cream (a chocolate-covered treat called an “Eskimo Pie”). The amazing thing is that the most zealous preachers from this grotesque cult are white Americans themselves, or more specifically the liberal element that is increasingly pervaded by these progressive ideas that, as anyone can see, are far removed from the civil rights movement.
From Needed Assistance to Depraved Consciousness
With the abolition of segregation, a repentant white majority reasonably found it necessary to assist the black minority to climb the social and economic ladder. Establishing quotas for employment and education, as well as providing public services, subsidized housing, food stamps and other forms of government support were necessities in the early days after segregation was abolished – perhaps for the first 10 years. Yet these privileges have carried on another half-century up to the present day, gradually changing from a service to the opposite of one. Such privileges have corrupted most of the black population by instilling in them an ancestral victim psychology and feelings of eternal entitlement. Living in a state of unending resentment has given rise to the conviction that society owes them something and that they are always being shorted. This perspective has continued to be fostered by a feeling of guilt among whites. The undying resentment of the former and the guilt of the latter have worked in tandem with one another.
However, the most ambitious have taken advantage of such privileges to break out of poverty and underdevelopment. Today around 40% of African-Americans are middle class, as well as a small group of those quite wealthy. Yet 60% of blacks, as always, have remained mired in a hopeless situation. Among those who receive welfare, blacks remain the largest group of all races – 39.8% – even though their share of the population is only 13%. For comparison: the number of white welfare recipients is less, at 38.8% , even though white Americans comprise an obvious majority of the population at 72% (of which 60.2% are of European descent).
This victim mentality, multiplied by historical grievances, has embedded in blacks a sense of inferiority, not allowing them to overcome their complex of inadequacy within white society. For blacks, it has always seemed that there are barriers for them in society, while privileges exist for whites. These complexes are not allowing them to find peace, troubling them with the suspicion that the white man is being raised with feelings of superiority and strives to deprive them of their rights. All these embers of discontent would only require a reason to ignite into a conflagration at any moment. Thus, the road paved with good intentions has turned out to be the road to hell.
From Kid Gloves to Social Censorship
In just the same way, the entirely respectable delicacy shown toward African-Americans, who have suffered much offense (and are extremely likely to take offense) has been transformed by liberal activists into endless hemming and hawing that sometimes borders on obsequiousness – in other words, everything that we now call “political correctness.” A humorous example of this – perhaps the least offensive one – is the taboo on using the word “Negro,” which is neutral in all other languages. Less humorous is the example of the unspoken ban on white Americans criticizing their black compatriots. It is no longer safe for a white supervisor to tell an African-American worker that his job performance is subpar. In response, there is the risk of being accused of racism, which might be fraught with consequences within the organization.
This is the manner in which political correctness has become its own type of censorship. No, not top-down government censorship, but social censorship – the kind that comes from neighbors, colleagues, acquaintances, and strangers. Meanwhile, the liberal public has managed to raise the bar of censorship to the extreme, where any careless word could get you ostracized and badmouthed at work and on social networks; people might hold demonstrations outside your window at home, or you could even lose your job. Yet, if the very same thing were said about any another race or nationality, no one would give it a thought.
From Desegregation to Reverse Discrimination
The fruit of all these liberal efforts has been negative selection of personnel everywhere, from companies to universities, on television and in the arts. It couldn’t be otherwise when, given a choice between two job applicants – one African-American, one white – preference is given to the black candidate, even if the white one is more competent. And, conversely, when it comes to firing people, the white worker is let go first. We see something similar in many universities. For example, the U.S. Justice Department is currently investigating discrimination against white youth and Asian applicants in favor of African-Americans in admission to Yale University, one of America’s most prestigious colleges. This and similar cases are what have come from the well-intended ambition to create upward mobility for the black population. With this aim in mind, most universities and corporations now have vice-presidents for ethnic diversity, who are responsible for the fair representation of black Americans. Yet things have turned out quite the opposite – with the creation of privileges for African-Americans through covert discrimination against other races.
From Open Discourse to Liberal Dictatorship
Open discourse with a wide variety of political points of view has always been one of the hallmarks of the American academic setting. But not anymore. The sharp swing to the left by liberals has led to a polarization of political persuasions, such that a discussion of ideas and values is becoming more than just a discussion, and an opponent with a different way of thinking is more than just a different side of the argument. For the progressives, this is a battlefield where the fight is to the death. In other words, the overwhelming forces of the liberal left at some point decisively stifled the voices of their opponents, who out of fear for their careers or their future now choose to stay silent about their opinions or play along with the liberals in public. Thus, at many universities an atmosphere of political groupthink and militant intolerance of political difference has come to reign. Intolerance toward any violation of political correctness or what may be perceived as such a violation. Someone has given this phenomenon a fairly exact name – “liberal dictatorship.”
This process can work in different ways. It can even end tragically, as it did with Mike Adams, a professor of criminology at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. It all started when the professor made a comment about those who were looting stores in memory of George Floyd, a black repeat offender who died in custody; he imprudently called them “thugs looking for an opportunity to break the law with impunity.” Immediately, fighters for the purity of neoliberal ideas took to the petition site Change.org, posting material in which they labeled him a misogynist, xenophobe, homophobe, and racist, with demands that he be fired. The petition opened the floodgates to widespread harassment on social media. The university’s leadership, as per custom these days, sought to avoid trouble for itself and the institution itself by forcing the professor to resign “in light of the public attention caused by his controversial posts on social media.” Mike Adams was unable to handle the stress, and shot himself.
Also accused of racism was Gary Garrells, the senior curator at the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco and a recognized art critic who did quite a lot to help the museum flourish. Though he did not shoot himself, he chose to resign after a colleague falsely accused him of acquiring the works of primarily white artists. Garrells called this reverse racism, thereby causing an outcry among the racially concerned staff. Living as he did in the arts community, he clearly missed the moment when it became unsafe to call a tree a tree and grass grass. He may not have known that 62% of Americans today fear to voice their political views . Among Republicans this indicator is even higher: 77%. And only leftists feel relatively safe. This is their time.
In the wake of the moral panic caused by the riots and mass protests, society is falling incredibly quickly into the embrace of militant progressives, with their culture of political like-mindedness and strict prohibitions on any deviation from their group (read: herd) behavior. The essence of this culture is captured in a simple idea: If you’re not with us, you’re against us, and you’re a racist. For example, Oklahoma State University football coach Mike Gundy was called a racist for donning a T-shirt with the logo of the TV channel One America News, which is known for criticizing the Black Lives Matter movement and supporting Trump. The coach was condemned by a player on the team (an African-American), and then the whole orthodox swarm came after the poor slob, putting his entire career in jeopardy. And Mike gave in, tearfully asking the players’ forgiveness for the “pain and discomfort” he had caused.
The rules of survival dictate that it’s safer to talk and act like those around you. That is, to welcome the BLM movement, kneel down before black people and ask forgiveness for the sins of the white race. And indeed, people are kneeling – sometimes whole National Guard platoons and entire police departments. And anyone who refuses gets branded as a racist. I get it: For some African Americans, sticking it to the white man could be their lifelong dream. This is a way of venting pent-up anger and hatred – a long-awaited opportunity to somehow compensate for one’s own complexes. For others – i.e., the white Americans who so willingly get down on their knees, kissing the boots of black people and endlessly repenting – these procedures may elicit catharsis and the cleansing they desire. But for a third group – those who are forced to get on their knees without understanding what they need to repent for and why they have to appease the whims of some and the hysterical follies of others – all of this must be torture. However, it looks like their patience is running out.
From the Liberal Dream of Racial Peace to Race Riots
No, not everyone is ready to head out on the street to join the counterprotests. Lots of people prefer to just leave the big metropolises, where Democratic mayors have sold out their cities to protesters, thieves and looters. This is where the leadership, led by the reins of the radicals, are defunding the police, cutting back their ranks, and not allowing the use of force against rioters. It is no surprise that this is exactly where stores are being looted and buildings are burning. And this is where crime statistics are exploding: New York, Chicago, Seattle, Portland and other cities. But a demoralized police force cannot and will not rush to restore order. With city leaders so politically biased these days, police are not sure whether shooting a criminal in self-defense will get them a fair hearing or land them behind bars. And those mayors and governors who have sworn allegiance to the Democrats are frozen in indecision: They’ve got to act somehow, but how can they take action if a quarter of their constituents are African-Americans protesting against police brutality?
Yet there are those who are ready to act, ready to push back against those unruly BLM activists. For example, in Portland, the largest city in Oregon, a caravan of 600 automobiles arrived in August, full of Americans ready and willing to show that they would not turn over their country to leftists, anarchists and rioters. As one would expect, their political stand ended in a confrontation with BLM members who were occupying the city center. One person was killed. In other cities, local residents have been organizing self-defense brigades to protect their homes and businesses. As of the early September, riots had erupted in 30 cities, with curfews imposed in 25 of them. This is how liberal ideas of everything good versus everything bad get transformed into mass unrest when leftist forces join the fray.
Building a New World
From the outside, it could seem that America has been overtaken by madness. Eruptions of violence, as chaotic and senseless as outbreaks of the pandemic. Looting and arson. Ranting calls from the mob to disband the police. A war on monuments. A state of chaos and uncertainty amid endless cries of “Racism! Racism! Racism!” All of this leaves the heavy feeling of a senseless confluence of events, a haphazard degradation of life. Yet this impression is deceiving. What is occurring today has its own logic and its own system, for which the ideological rationale and (most importantly) the training of personnel were prepared long before the current events.
After the numbing shock of McCarthyism, the civil rights movement of the 1960s revitalized America’s entire political landscape, including leftist thought, which found shelter in American universities. And, as we can see today, those universities (many of them) first became incubators, then highly productive breeding grounds for the leftist professoriate to raise a generation – perhaps even multiple generations – of people whose views have shifted so far left of center that they have come up cheek by jowl with the Marxist idea of capitalism: It’s inherently corrupt and incorrigible, so consequently it must be fought. Today, these people, known as “progressives,” have ascended in nearly all spheres of life. And right now, the progressives see a window of opportunity to bring their ideas to life; everything seems to have fallen into place for decisive action.
The country is under pressure and going through a period of deep division, comparable only to the era of struggle for civil rights that took place six decades ago. Society’s opposition to Trump is strong and ready to go to great lengths just to prevent his reelection.
In America, more than one generation has grown up deeply indoctrinated with leftist ideas, including highly radical ones. Some of these people now occupy leading positions in politics, mass media, show business, academia, and the high-tech sector.
An army of Negro lumpen, inflamed by leftist propaganda and looking for a way to vent their energy after months of quarantine, have reached the boiling point. One little push, and they are ready to hit the streets, smash things up, loot, set fires – anything at all. Anything they’re told.
The leaders of the Democratic party, part of which comprises progressives, have been forced to reckon with the leftists. On the eve of the 2020 election, the left-oriented public represents additional votes for the Democrats. And wherever the party’s reach extends, there are politicians in Congress and state legislatures, as well as an army of think tank experts and, of course, almost all major press outlets. All of them have eagerly latched onto the leftist ideas of white guilt, repentance, fighting “white privilege,” defunding the police, and so on – all of which, naturally, are broadcast under the slogans of equal rights and the struggle against “systemic racism.”
Finally – and this is very serious – there is the BLM movement, which seems to have become the optimal tool for implementing leftist ideas in America.
These were the assets that leftist liberals and progressives brought with them to the events of this summer. They were armed with theory, knew what they were after, and had gained influence among the educated public (especially among white youth), but did not have an organization that could move the masses toward their dream. The BLM movement, on the other hand, had in its intellectual warehouse only hurt feelings, self-pity, hatred toward whites, rallying cries of police brutality and racism, and the wish that everything was different. One of BLM’s founders in Toronto, Yousra Khogaly, expressed her vision of the future this way: “Whiteness is not humanness… in fact, white skin is sub-human. All phenotypes exist within the black family and white [people] are a genetic defect of blackness.” She also wrote: “Black people simply through their dominant genes can literally wipe out the white race if we had the power to.”
Fortunately, BLM does not have the power to do so yet, but it does have an organization capable of bring people out on the streets. Sympathetic white liberals, especially progressives, have spontaneously joined black demonstrations. Their vision of the world and their aspirations have coincided. Quite recently, Hawk Newsome, the New York leader of BLM, expressed them this way: “If this country doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it.” He added: “I could be speaking figuratively, I could be speaking literally. It’s a matter of interpretation.” Progressives are taking him literally, figuring that such an ally may come in very handy. BLM slogans about fighting racism and supporting racial justice evoke an enthusiastic response from the liberal public and could serve as an excellent vehicle for deeper transformations.
It’s amusing to note that BLM activists also think they could make use of white leftists. At times their true light shines through. For example, activist Ashleigh Shackelford recently [in a 2016 article] stated that white people are at best second-class citizens who might serve as human shields, criminal agents or financiers. One juggernaut is as good as any other: Leftist anarchists from the Antifa movement need BLM as a cover – and who cares what the latter think of them. Without any coherent ideology, these young people are also set against the government and are very eager to take part in any sort of mayhem.
And the mayhem is not subsiding. Nor is the progressives’ occupation of the collective consciousness with ideas of a struggle for racial justice – or more precisely, a struggle against any deviation from leftist orthodoxy. This is increasingly resembling “emotional terrorism.” It goes without saying that without the powerful support of these trends by Democrats, the country would not have entered a state of full-blown hysteria over “systemic racism” and “white privilege,” searching out racists, forbidding dissent, etc. All of these catchphrases obscure the Democrats’ primary aim: to prevent Trump from grabbing the White House for another four years. One gets the impression that, in order to destroy Trump, the Democrats are willing to throw the entire country under the bus. But they have gotten so carried away with their struggle against the president that they have not noticed that things are slipping out of control: Nobody can control the BLM activist rampage anymore, and there is now a “cultural revolution” afoot in the country that could bring disastrous consequences.
Yes, It’s a “Cultural Revolution,” but This Is Just the Beginning
When the current struggle began against statues and memorials dedicated to Southerners who had fought in the Civil War to secede from the United States, the motivation of black activists and left-leaning liberals was controversial but understandable: After all, the Southerners were proponents of slavery. But when the protesters went after Columbus, and then attacked monuments dedicated to the Founding Fathers, Washington and Jefferson, along with other notable presidents such as Grant, Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt, and finally went as far as the traditional depiction of Christ with white skin, that really made you stop and think. These were attacks not only against prominent men in history. The vandals had made their mark on this country’s sacred figures that to some degree define the American identity.
All known revolutions invariably go hand in hand with destroying the legacy of the past, and monuments are the first to go. This is a necessary symbolic act to assert the power of the new regime as it inculcates new ideas and ideals into mass consciousness.
American opinion leader Andrew Sullivan sees a few other qualities here that are typical of revolutions. First, a revolutionary moment demands that those accused of oppression publicly repent their lawlessness. China’s Cultural Revolution was a prime example of this. The same thing is currently happening in America every day. Revolutions encourage citizens to take matters into their own hands, as BLM brigades have done and are doing in Seattle, Portland, Kenosha, New York, and other cities. Worker/soldier patrols did the same thing in our country 100 years ago, as did the Red Guards in China half a century later. And everywhere it has led to the rise of violence.
In just the same way, many revolutions share a drive for linguistic engineering. Revolutionaries create new forms of language in order to wipe out the existing order. For example, in Bolshevist Russia and during Mao’s time in China, words emerged to define opponents of the revolution. In our country, it was the word “contra,” and in America these days an analogous example is the word “racist.” This label can now be applied to any person who doesn’t agree that America suffers from “structural racism” – and this definition spans everything from police brutality, to the denial of abridged exams for black students, to any distinctions made between black people and other ethnic groups. Therefore, being indifferent to skin color means being a racist. And just as the word “communism” in Bolshevist Russia acquired a sacred sound, so has the word “antiracism” in today’s America. The assumption is that anyone who isn’t “antiracist” is racist. Being antiracist, in this sense, means that you participate in the movement or support it financially. Otherwise, you’re a racist.
These days, the Democratic leadership and the leftist liberals are using the BLM movement as a tool in their struggle for power. The Dems have tunnel vision: All of their efforts and resources are focused on the big trophy – Donald Trump. The party leadership is not thinking about the fact that if they manage to bring Biden to power with the help of the insurgents, then the leftist liberals of their own party – with their strength multiplied by the protest movement – will swing the country so hard to the left that it will take moderate democrats’ breath away. They don’t see that as they up the ante, they are inflaming passions by allowing BLM and progressives to gain more and more ground. With every step of ground they gain, they are destroying what makes America America. The country’s historical past and its culture are being destroyed; the American identity is being destroyed. This is precisely the aim of leftist radicals in their visions of building a new world.
LIST OF SOURCES
2. https://www.cato.org/publications/survey-reports/poll-62-americans-say-they-have-political-views-theyre-afraid-share?fbclid=IwAR0PXx3TfWpD5_a2rG4W0D USOAxz T_XT13ZqAvBtxW5tT9XAsOdBPchhbA