Just about a century ago, Vladimir Lenin, held captive by the Germans during their war against Russia, was sent back to his motherland. The Germans didn’t do this out of kindness or humanity, but instead saw “in this obscure fanatic one more bacillus to let loose in tottering and exhausted Russia to spread infection.” That infection was the nascent Russian Revolution, which they believed would tip the war scales in their favor.

It was a colossal mistake.

Lenin, as we all know, brought the ideas of Marx and Engels to life, and spawned a political system that, emulated multiple times around the world, murdered a hundred million people (or twice that, or more) and sunk billions into misery and oppression.

Ultimately, that form of socialism, rooted in economic class warfare, failed intellectually as well as in reality. As it turns out, it is too contrary basic human nature to sustain. People aren’t wired to be Marxists.

The intelligentsia, however, hate to be wrong, especially in their presumption that they are better suited at running society than the untamed forces and unwashed masses that comprise free minds, free markets, and the free enterprise system, and have a fanatical certainty that socialism can be made to work, even if society has to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into it.

So, they applied the lesson: that human nature needs to be harnessed rather than overcome.

Rather than teach that tribalism must be shunned, they realized that they need to exploit it.

Behold, the rise of Critical Race Theory, a reimagining of Marxism from an identity rather than an economic perspective.

It’s rather brilliant, actually. Whereas economic envy does sell well, it is also a reality that the envious actually want to achieve the ranks of those they are told are their enemies and oppressors. The poor and working classes want to rise to the ranks of the middle classes (cough cough, bourgeoisie), and from there rise further, to the ranks of the rich. And, it’s doable, no matter your race, ethnicity, orientation, religious beliefs, etc. American and Western history is awash in examples, and upward economic mobility has been the nation’s norm. That it has been slowed in the past half century by government’s smothering hand goes mostly unmentioned, of course.

But, your identity is something you (Rachel Dolezal excepted) cannot change. Moreso, since we are hard-wired to tribalistic trust of “us” and distrust of “other,” identity can very easily be exploited as a wedge of division.

Wrap it all up in high rhetoric, create a new lexicon, literally alter the language in furtherance of this premise, and you have the makings of a reboot of a Cultural Revolution.

Consider what’s happening now in our society:

  • Racism is being actively taught in schools, under the incredibly Orwellian guise of anti-racism.
  • The mechanisms of law and order are being dismantled. “Defund the Police,” which we were assured was just a metaphor, is being demanded literally. ACAB, “All Cops Are Bastards,” is now a tag-line.
  • Political violence is not only being excused, it is actively condoned and encouraged, presuming it’s in the right direction.
  • Societal violence, again if it’s in the right direction, is being legitimized. A teen girl attacks another with a knife, and they should be allowed to sort it out for themselves. Street violence is overlooked when the identities of the aggressors don’t fit the narrative. Violent crime is on the rise in our big cities, but this is being dismissed, excused, or accepted as a justifiable outcome of our inherently oppressive system.
  • The concept of private property is being slowly eradicated. Shoplifting, looting, home-invasion theft, armed robbery, carjacking, and other forms of property theft are being not just allowed, but actually defended if the perpetrators are of the right sort. Vandalism is now OK. On top of it all, government is seeking out ever more ways to further tax not only our income, but to actually take that which we’ve accumulated across a lifetime of effort.

When plunder has become a way of life for a group of people living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it, and a moral code that glorifies it. – Frédéric Bastiat.

  • An army of the unwitting is being cultivated, in academia, by social media giants, in our elementary and high schools, in the mainstream press, in entertainment, and by the cowards running Corporate America, who are peddling Critical Race Theory under various labels (see: new lexicon) like “diversity” and “inclusivity.”
  • Cultural Brownshirting is expected. Dissenters are to be torn down, opposition gatherings are to be disrupted, and insufficient proactivism in ‘combating racism’ is to be noted and denounced.

Never be the first to stop applauding.”

  • Core American values are not only being abandoned, they are being vilified. “Equality” has been replaced with “Equity,” with the latter achievable only via tearing down and taking from others.

This is not a grand, covert, coordinated, Star-Chamber conspiracy, being orchestrated by a dark room full of Machiavellian puppetmasters. This is the germination of seeds, of a particularly invasive species of thought, in an environment that has lost its resistance to them. The Cubans of South Florida, the Eastern Europeans of recent immigration, and many others who either lived under socialistic oppression or have familial memory of it know the deal, and want no part of this cultural Marxism. Young Americans, on the other hand, have neither the knowledge of its horrors nor the distrust of big government taught by experience and history nor the humility to understand that the premise of a managed society is a toxic one, are fertile soil for this cultural Kudzu that is Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Neo-Marxism.

Like Kudzu, CRT grows rapidly, displaces everything else, and smothers all competing ideas. It’s a powerful tool for the power-hungry, and its embrace by the supposedly moderate President Joe Biden is a major inflection point in the country’s trajectory. He’s layering upon this cultural revolution a corrosive political agenda intended to cement his Party’s power, and a ruinous economic agenda that will enable the blaming of the opposition when (and I stress ‘when’) it degrades our living standards, eradicates our savings and wealth, and plunges us into misery.

And, he and the rest of his Party are leveraging our wiring again in doing so.

Our evolutionary wiring not only leans us toward tribalism, it favors religious belief. Whereas Marx derisively deemed religion as the “opiate of the masses,” Neo-Marxists offer up the secular religion that is Climate Change to fill that human need. And, just as priests have done for millennia, they craft the tenets of this religion to constrain and channel human behavior to their ends. But, unlike the best religions of history, this one teaches hate rather than love or peace or harmony. Hate for our existing system, hate for anyone who doesn’t wholly embrace the dogma, hate for any questions of the dogma, and hate for anyone who’s achieved success, since that success was supposedly born of excess. It appeals to our basest tribal instincts to shun and distrust “other” by defining “other” as anyone not of this particular Church. It is divisive, and deliberately so.

Driven in no small part by the religious zealotry with which climate change is pitched, we face the very real prospect of trillions of dollars in spending, along with massive new mandates and restrictions on economic activity, all to achieve, at best, a minuscule reduction in global temperature a century from now. This makes no sense whatsoever – unless and until you understand the true motivations. Those are, quite simply, power and control. Power to reshape our imperfect but highly successful society (our poorest live like kings compared to the truly poor of the world) into one where they face no impediments, no effective resistance to the controls they wish to impose, and that their power would come at the expense of our liberties and living standards is of no concern to them.

Give us the child for 8 years and it will be a Bolshevik forever.

Lenin promised. He failed to recognize that you cannot overwrite basic human wiring. His intellectual descendants seem to have learned that lesson, and know now that they have to channel, rather than overcome, our evolutionary tendencies.

The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. — H.L. Mencken

Oh, and lest I forget, they’re looking to disarm the citizenry while they’re at it.

The possession of arms is the distinction between a freeman and a slave.” – James Burgh.

Governments throughout history have known to disarm their citizens before imposing oppression upon them.

Liberty is hard-won and forever under attack, but it is demonstrably and by far the greatest mechanism for the advancement of the human condition. It is liberty, both personal and economic, that raised the masses from subsistence living and perpetual misery. Whereas the elite of societies have always enjoyed high living standards, the default condition of the masses has been hardship and suffering. It is only in the last couple centuries, with the proliferation of the ideas born of the Enlightenment: that all individuals deserve personal liberty, that humanity en-masse has risen out of that squalor. That, almost immediately, the concepts of Marxism emerged to tear all that down, is one of the great tragedies of history, and speaks to the difficulty of preserving liberty.

Indeed, the very core of America’s existence is being attacked by the NeoMarxists, the CRT advocates, and the balance of the cultural destroyers. The aspirational value of individual liberty and its adjunct, equality for all, is now anathema. While it is certainly true that the nation did not fully live up to this aspiration from her outset, it has been striving in its direction for her entire existence.

Civil rights leaders from Frederick Douglass to Martin Luther King, Jr. and beyond have embraced the aspiration to equality and individuality and urged the people in its direction. Today, they’d be deemed pariahs and their rhetoric would be considered hate speech. Douglass and King would be viewed the same way Clarence Thomas and Thomas Sowell are by today’s Left: as Uncle Toms and race-traitors. Instead of teaching individuality, ambition, a desire for excellence, and a vision of a harmonious society, our CRT advocates tell our children of color that they can never achieve the American Dream, that the society they live in is “systemically” racist, that there is no success to be had as long as it exists, and that all whites are inherently racist. Similarly, they teach our white children self-loathing, submission and submissiveness, and that they should live in a perpetual state of guilt and grovel.

This is how they chase equity. Not equality, mind you. it is no coincidence that their new mantra sounds remarkably like “equality,” but is its antithesis. “Equality” is now a racist concept, the milieu and language of white supremacists, and a sure way to get “cancelled” if you are in a cancellable position and speak it too loudly. “Equity,” on the other hand, is the justification for violating individuals’ personal and property rights, for shutting them up, for taking the fruit of their labor by force – personal or governmental, for opposing capitalism and tearing down the free enterprise system itself, and for imposing a new era of Jim Crow on the nation.

Fortunately, while they are loud and culturally dominant, they are few in number. Unfortunately, they are loud and culturally dominant… and in charge of our government, either directly or via the woke-mob’s “heckler’s veto.” It is breathtaking how rapidly the current administration and Congress are pursuing their radical agenda. We are a mere three months into Biden’s tenure, yet we have witnessed years’ worth of sharp changes and radical proposals. The trillions spent as part of the COVID relief package (most of which had nothing to do with that purpose/intent) are not nearly enough, and now Biden is proposing trillions more in spending for “infrastructure.” As with COVID, most of what’s proposed has nothing to do with infrastructure and everything to do with power and control. Government is being grown in countless ways, via both executive order and by finessing around the limits, checks, and balances imposed by our system. Rewriting the voting rules at the federal level, making DC a state (in direct contravention to the Constitution), packing the Court so it won’t halt legislative and administrative excesses, and printing endless money with which to buy votes and reward cronies, combined, tell us what this government thinks of our system of government.

I wrote not too long ago of an updated take on the Cloward-Piven strategy, wherein socialism was to be fostered in American society by overloading the existing economic system with welfare recipients. That didn’t work, for the human-nature reasons I’ve discussed herein, but it seems that the Marxists have found a new way to burn it all down: via identity politics. I cannot overstate how big an existential threat this is to the nation, if it manages to succeed. Culture warriors are insatiable, there is no end state, no degree of concession, no additional inch or mile that will prompt them to say “we have achieved our equity, and now we can live in harmony.”

The only end is destruction of the entire system of American/Western values, of the elimination of the premises of individual rights and equality in their entirety, and the subsequent emergence of some new socialistic system… with them in charge, of course, and the rest of us in thrall. That most of them don’t even realize that they’re being guided in this direction is a tragedy… and a feature. Critical Race Theory is indeed an invasive idea, one that will overwhelm its environment and kill all else that exists therein.

We are at a cultural crossroads. All this can be rejected and vanquished, but it will take courage and work. The first step is to understand it for what it is, to avoid the siren-song lure of its rhetoric, and to resist the natural temptation to try and find common ground. Be true to yourself, do, say, and think what’s right, don’t embrace bad positions simply to be contrary, but don’t for a moment think that you can appease or partially agree with the cultural Marxists and critical race theorists. Their reality is wholly incompatible with one that involves liberty, and they will never leave you alone to live your life as you would.

For more on fighting back, I highly recommend this essay.

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.

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