How to Make the Best of a Dying Republic
Marxism has functioned in history as the Greek warriors did during their attacks against Troy. The ultimate goal of Marxism is complete and total dissemination through all the world, as a mechanism of liberation for the working class. Marxism thus makes some of the loftiest ideological promises. It promises utopian harmony and collective democratic rule, yet in practice has caused death and suffering. To date there has never been a successful implementation of Marxism’s logical resolution: communism.
America’s struggle with Marxism and communism continues today amidst some of the most turbulent times in American history. The struggle between conservatism and liberalism in American politics is analogous to the struggle between traditional western thought and the Marxist theory that seeks to undo the very fabric of American exceptionalism.
American history begins before the birth of Marx, but the early Americans were not strangers to distributionism, one of Marx’s eventual philosophies. The pilgrims upon reaching the new world began experimenting with communal living, implementing a system of provision where they took from each according to his ability and gave to each according to his needs.
Lawrence Reed, president emeritus for the Foundation of Economic Education explains:
“In the diary of the colony’s first governor, William Bradford, we can read about the settlers’ initial arrangement: Land was held in common. Crops were brought to a common storehouse and distributed equally. For two years, every person had to work for everybody else (the community), not for themselves as individuals or families. Did they live happily ever after in this socialist utopia?
Hardly. The ‘common property’ approach killed off about half the settlers. Governor Bradford recorded in his diary that everybody was happy to claim their equal share of production, but production only shrank. Slackers showed up late for work in the fields, and the hard workers resented it. It’s called ‘human nature.'”
The American settlers learned quickly that in order to run a successful colony, a person should be motivated by their own potential for success. In high risk situations, collectivism fails because there will always be inequalities in human character; some people will work very hard, others will take advantage of an easy ride. This system will doom both sides to starvation and death.
In fact, communism has caused more death and suffering than any other ideology in recorded history. Schools are quick to demonize fascism for killing six million innocent Jewish citizens and several hundred thousand Gypsy migrants, but if death tolls are the measure of ideological evil, communism wins by miles. The Wall Street Journal estimates that totaling the loss of life from war, imprisonment, massacre, man-made famines, and ethnic cleansing, communism has claimed over one hundred million lives. Tens of millions alone come from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and tens of millions more from communist regimes supported and funded by the USSR in the twentieth century.
Of all these systems in Eastern Europe, China, Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam and Cambodia, few remain. Those which do are significantly modified from their original premises, like The Chinese Communist Party in China which combines faux-free-market capitalist theory with a bloated one-party state, resulting in a Frankenstein economy which is hard to externally regulate and has caused significant economic damage to trade partners.
Communism could be seen as a relic from the past century because its only official remnants have evolved beyond the proper definition of communism, but this would only be partly true. Social Marxism is the viral form of communism. Social Marxism will likely persist even after the tangible remnants of the USSR and CCP have disappeared from the Earth. The most observable symptom of this illness is political correctness.
Political correctness originated Germany in the 1930s, the creation of a Marxist initiative to learn from past Marxist failures like the Russian Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. This new initiative founded its headquarters in Frankfurt: the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory.
Historian and author Bill Lind explains the goal of the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory:
“What the Frankfurt School essentially does is draw on both Marx and Freud in the 1930s to create this theory called Critical Theory: that the way to bring down Western culture and the capitalist order is not to lay down an alternative. They explicitly refuse to do that. They say it can’t be done, that we can’t imagine what a free society would look like (their definition of a free society). As long as we’re living under repression – the repression of a capitalistic economic order which creates (in their theory) the Freudian condition, the conditions that Freud describes in individuals of repression – we can’t even imagine it. What Critical Theory is about is simply criticizing. It calls for the most destructive criticism possible, in every possible way, designed to bring the current order down. And, of course, when we hear from the feminists that the whole of society is just out to get women and so on, that kind of criticism is a derivative of Critical Theory. It is all coming from the 1930s, not the 1960s.”
Put simply, critical theory was created to destroy western capitalism by destroying the Judeo-Christian fabric behind it. Two of the most prominent members of the Frankfurt Institute, Erich Fromm and Herbert Marcuse, introduced an element which is central to Political Correctness, and that’s the sexual element. This element was the brainchild largely of Marcuse, who in his own writings calls for a society of “polymorphous perversity;” a culture of antagonism towards Christian morals and degeneracy for its own sake.
During World War II, the German Nazi Party shut down the institute, consequently forcing its largely Jewish staff, including Fromm and Marcuse, into fleeing to the United States where they established an American chapter through Columbia University. After the war, most of the staff returned to Germany but some remained behind, taking their philosophy to Hollywood and other universities.
Marcuse especially was elated by the cultural revolutions in the 60s, taking advantage of the revolt against authority to spread his gospel. Lind continues in his explanation:
“They’re students, they’re baby-boomers, and they’ve grown up never having to worry about anything except eventually having to get a job. And here is a guy writing in a way they can easily follow. He doesn’t require them to read a lot of heavy Marxism and tells them everything they want to hear which is essentially, “Do your own thing,” “If it feels good do it,” and “You never have to go to work.” By the way, Marcuse is also the man who creates the phrase, “Make love, not war.” Coming back to the situation people face on campus, Marcuse defines “liberating tolerance” as intolerance for anything coming from the Right and tolerance for anything coming from the Left.”
The new definition for political correctness looked simple: through virtue signaling (the act of publicly expressing opinions or sentiments intended to demonstrate one’s good character or the moral correctness of one’s position on a particular issue) and rewriting history, Marxists sought to rewrite what is “good” into what is “bad” and vice versa. Using their false idea of what is socially acceptable, Marxists were able to undermine Christianity and western morality without debate; simply making the opposite of Christian good into the very definition of cultural good.
Through social manipulation, Marcuse began a cultural revolution that is ongoing today. His anthesis to capitalism and western virtue was a combination of relativism (“you make your own truth man!”), hedonism (“life is all about pleasure, man!”), and collectivism (“like, the whole group should decide, man!”).
Through his colleagues in Hollywood, Marcuse began mass producing the new poison for western society, putting it on television screens, hiding it in movies, keeping it subtle enough to be generally admissible but slowly increasing its veracity. The frog-in-the-pot analogy works here: if someone wanted to boil a frog, and they dropped it into a pot of boiling water, the frog would jump out, but putting the frog in a pot of lukewarm water and slowly turning up the heat would kill it because the frog would remain ignorant to his peril until too late.
Slowly turning up the heat on American culture to burn the Judeo-Christian fabric was an ingenious strategy, because the outrage was minimal. Christian protests could be written off as fundamentalist, and the cultural prevalence of the free love movement allowed for widespread dissemination of the Marxist ideals.
Fast forward sixty years later, and the United States is on the cusp of losing its identity to Marxist ideals. Through subversive manipulation and infiltration, Marxism made its way into mainstream politics, with openly Marxist candidates running for president, only falling short, some would say, because of party betrayal. (Many believe that Bernie Sanders should have won the 2016 Democrat nomination instead of Hillary Clinton.)
Even allegedly mainline candidates who do not advocate for necessarily Marxist economic policy do still advocate strongly for Marxist social policy. Moreover, fourth wave feminism, women’s studies, gay studies, trans studies, black studies, AntiFascist Action, and Black Lives Matter (the organization) operate to promote a narrative that all history, and American history in particular, is a story of power and class dynamics. Power (according to the leftist narrative) resides and has always resided singularly in white-cishet-upper-middle-class-conservative-christian-patriarchal-men. That’s a misguided mouthful. Furthermore, that these men influence history by the repeated abuse and systemic oppression of all minorities, and through systemic exploitation of their personage and resources.
It will take a separate article in the future to explain why this one assumption is incorrect and detrimental to the freedom that those very dissidents enjoy, but for the time being suffice it to say that this assertion is false.
Social Marxism is a poison that American republicanism can not easily remedy. Free speech is legal, despite the ceaseless Marxist attempts to strangle it into politically-correct free speech. It is easy to shut down detrimental laws through Congress and The House of Representatives and The Senate, but cultural revolutions are won and lost in the street, and so far America has been losing the culture war. Through gradual pushback, the lines of acceptability have been blurred and undone. Ideas that would previously been unthinkable are now on the forefront of discussion: should late term/after birth abortion be legal? (Or any abortion for that matter.) Should pedophilia be an acceptable sexual orientation? Does loving American tradition and hating Marxist rhetoric make a person fascist, as left leaning critics say?
To some Americans the answers are obvious, and to other Americans the answers are equally obvious; yet the two groups could not disagree more.
How can we make the best of a republic that every day falls deeper into cultural decay? Because there certainly is decay. Any honest look into the past can see that there has been a gradual erosion of the ideas that made America great. At this point, it is the duty of every tradition loving American to make the best of these circumstances.
To an extent there is renewed resistance to Marxism. At the very least, Marxism has been revealed. It can no longer hide because it has raised an alarm. An alarm that many Americans responded to by electing one of the most productive presidents that America has seen in decades.
But to truly make the best of the dying republic, Americans must conserve more than economics. Americans must conserve culture. The founding fathers were not all Christians. Some of them were Deists, and some were indifferent. All of them recognized that American exceptionalism was rooted in Judeo-Christianity. That means Judeo-Christian morality and virtue as well.
To make the best of a dying republic, Americans must return to tradition. They must renew the fight against degeneracy. They must decide that, Christian or not, the salvation of their nation lies in rejection of Marxist relative hedonism and in dedication to what Christianity has been saying all along: Truth is absolute.