An oldie but a baddie.
Brought to mind by this: The Challenge of Marxism. It is about the kinds of people I meet all the time who are taken in by the many radicals who reach positions of political power by playing on the juvenile sense of injustice that is promoted everywhere. One child drowns and Europe opens its borders to millions of illegal migrants with an entirely different cultural background. We have a mild epidemic and we throw away our rights and personal freedoms. People resent that some people become wealthier than others so we concede this is a moral failing of society and try to reduce such inequalities. And since the left reflexively lies in every instance in which it believes there is some advantage in lying, they gain political ground year by year. And where he ends is in arguing that the liberal left – the ones who are not totalitarians at heart, end up siding with the Marxists because they have spent years in conflict with conservatives, who in fact are the last group who remain attached to “liberal” values. Their attitude of no enemies to the left will do us all over.
I think he is right in much of what he says. He may even be right in identifying the only solution. But if he is right about the nature of the solution, then we are heading for the deluge, and it won’t be far off. The inane inability for so many to recognise the evil at the core of Marxism, whether in Venezuela or Seattle, will be the death of us. The article opens with this which I have slightly edited so that it applies more universally than just to the US of the present moment.
For a generation after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, most Americans and Europeans regarded Marxism as an enemy that had been defeated once and for all. But they were wrong. A mere 30 years later, Marxism is back, and making an astonishingly successful bid to seize control of the most important … media companies, universities and schools, major corporations and philanthropic organizations, and even the courts, the government bureaucracy, and some churches…. It appears as though the liberal custodians of many of these institutions—from the New York Times to Princeton University—have despaired of regaining control of them, and are instead adopting a policy of accommodation. That is, they are attempting to appease their Marxist employees by giving in to some of their demands in the hope of not being swept away entirely.
We don’t know what will happen for certain. But based on the experience of recent years, we can venture a pretty good guess. Institutional liberalism lacks the resources to contend with this threat. Liberalism is being expelled from its former strongholds, and the hegemony of liberal ideas, as we have known it since the 1960s, will end. Anti-Marxist liberals are about to find themselves in much the same situation that has characterized conservatives, nationalists, and Christians for some time now: They are about to find themselves in the opposition.
This means that some brave liberals will soon be waging war on the very institutions they so recently controlled. They will try to build up alternative educational and media platforms in the shadow of the prestigious, wealthy, powerful institutions they have lost. Meanwhile, others will continue to work in the mainstream media, universities, tech companies, philanthropies, and government bureaucracy, learning to keep their liberalism to themselves and to let their colleagues believe that they too are Marxists—just as many conservatives learned long ago how to keep their conservatism to themselves and let their colleagues believe they are liberals.
You should read it all, but I will sketch out through a series of quotes what’s there so you can see where the argument is going.
Marx’s principal insight is the recognition that the categories liberals use to construct their theory of political reality (liberty, equality, rights, and consent) are insufficient for understanding the political domain. They are insufficient because the liberal picture of the political world leaves out two phenomena that are, according to Marx, absolutely central to human political experience: The fact that people invariably form cohesive classes or groups; and the fact that these classes or groups invariably oppress or exploit one another, with the state itself functioning as an instrument of the oppressor class….
This is the principal reason that Marxist ideas are so attractive. In every society, there will always be plenty of people who have reason to feel they’ve been oppressed or exploited. Some of these claims will be worthy of remedy and some less so. But virtually all of them are susceptible to a Marxist interpretation, which shows how they result from systematic oppression by the dominant classes, and justifies responding with outrage and violence. And those who are troubled by such apparent oppression will frequently find themselves at home among the Marxists….
Liberalism creates Marxists. Like the sorcerer’s apprentice, it constantly calls into being individuals who exercise reason, identify instances of unfreedom and inequality in society, and conclude from this that they (or others) are oppressed and that a revolutionary reconstitution of society is necessary to eliminate the oppression….
The conflict between liberalism and its Marxist critics is one between a dominant class or group wishing to conserve its traditions (liberals), and a revolutionary group (Marxists) combining criticial reasoning with a willingness to jettison all inherited constraints to overthrow these traditions….
Simply put, the Marxist framework and democratic political theory are opposed to one another in principle. A Marxist cannot grant legitimacy to liberal or conservative points of view without giving up the heart of Marxist theory, which is that these points of view are inextricably bound up with systematic injustice and must be overthrown, by violence if necessary….
The Marxists who have seized control of the means of producing and disseminating ideas cannot, without betraying their cause, confer legitimacy on any conservative government. And they cannot grant legitimacy to any form of liberalism that is not supine before them. This “resistance” is not going to end. It is just beginning….
I know that many liberals are confused, and that they still suppose there are various alternatives before them. But it isn’t true. At this point, most of the alternatives that existed a few years ago are gone. Liberals will have to choose between two alternatives: either they will submit to the Marxists, and help them bring democracy in America to an end. Or they will assemble a pro-democracy alliance with conservatives. There aren’t any other choices.
There is no one more deaf to the views of the conservative centre than the useful idiots which are only growing in number, and if anything becoming more idiotic by the year.