The Left becomes revolutionary. Few realize it yet.

Summary: These articles show how the Left has taken the big step from evolution to revolution. A time of cultural polarization lies in our future, with a clash and resolution after that. I doubt that our guesses can touch the strange futures that we will create by our actions – or our passive acceptance.

The line between Revolution and Evolution - Dreamstime-86092871
Photo 86092871 © Michaeljayberlin – Dreamstime.

The time for polarization is just beginning, as is the culture war. America’s future will be made by those that take a side and act. Such an inflection point is a commonplace in history. It happened during the Protestant Reformation, when even the greatest scholar of the age – Erasmus of Rotterdam – found that finding a middle way was like squaring the circle. Ditto with those hoping for a non-violent resolution to American slavery in the generation before the Civil War.

America was guided by complex array of social norms beyond those enforced by the government. Now all that is being dismantled, leaving our society unrooted – vulnerable to organized pressure. Institutions are being attacked and then radically changed. It began with the universities in the late 1960s, as described by Allan Bloom in Closing of the American Mind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today’s Students (1987). Political orthodoxy on campus tightens its stranglehold by leftists driving out dissenters by “mobbing”, as a recent victim explains. Our elite colleges have been reshaped, and the revolution moves on to the others, as described by Darel E. Paul in “Listening at the Great Awokening” at Areo.

“In ages past, administrators and academics believed the mission of higher education to be the pursuit of knowledge …. Today, they pursue Social Justice. Under that banner, anti-racist activists hope to do to higher education what Soviet communism did to fine art, literature and music. Under officially approved socialist realism, art was judged first and foremost by how well it depicted Soviet ideals, parroted Communist Party doctrine, and cultivated loyalty to the Soviet system. Not even science was exempted from serving a primarily ideological purpose during the thirty-year reign of Lysenkoism over Soviet biology and agronomy. Substitute critical race theory for Marxism–Leninismwhiteness for capitalism, and racial justice for dictatorship of the proletariat, and you will understand much of what the Great Awokening truly offers.

“Just as critical race theory can destroy knowledge, it can likewise destroy institutions premised upon the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge. Thanks in large part to the influence of critical race theory, Evergreen State College melted down in Spring 2017. The concrete results of that meltdown included numerous faculty resignations, a catastrophic collapse in enrollments, layoffs, budget cuts and worldwide humiliation. Every institution of higher education should learn the lessons of Evergreen, for history is wont to repeat itself – the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.”

Now the revolution has reached the major news media, as Andrew Sullivan describes in “The New York Times Has Abandoned Liberalism for Activism” at New York Magazine, 13 September 2019. It discusses the 1619 Project (introductory essay here), and the NYT’s town hall meeting.

“If you don’t believe in a liberal view of the world, if you hold the doctrines of critical race theory, and believe that ‘all of the systems in the country’ whatever they may be, are defined by a belief in the sub-humanity of black Americans, why isn’t every issue covered that way? Baquet had no answer to this contradiction, except to say that the 1619 Project was a good start: ‘One reason we all signed off on the 1619 Project and made it so ambitious and expansive was to teach our readers to think a little bit more like that.’ In other words, the objective was to get liberal readers to think a little bit more like neo-Marxists.

“The New York Times, by its executive editor’s own admission, is increasingly engaged in a project of reporting everything through the prism of white supremacy and critical race theory, in order to ‘teach’ its readers to think in these crudely reductionist and racial terms. That’s why this issue wasn’t called, say, ‘special issue’, but a ‘project’. It’s as much activism as journalism. And that’s the reason I’m dwelling on this a few weeks later. I’m constantly told that critical race theory is secluded on college campuses, and has no impact outside of them – and yet the newspaper of record, in a dizzyingly short space of time, is now captive to it. Its magazine covers the legacy of slavery not with a variety of scholars, or a diversity of views, but with critical race theory, espoused almost exclusively by black writers, as its sole interpretative mechanism.”

The revolution has reached the institutions of art, as described in “Marching right along” at The New Criterion – “On ‘revolutionary justice’ at the Whitney Museum of American Art.”

“The ‘long march through the institutions’ continues apace, this time with a storming of the galleries of the Whitney Museum of American Art. As Herbert Marcuse wrote in Counterrevolution and Revolt, radicals now work ‘against the established institutions while working within them.’ This past summer the New York museum found itself on the wrong side of history when artist protestors zeroed in on a board member who had given millions to the institution but whose business dealings did not conform to their political standards. In his letter of resignation to his fellow board members, the trustee Warren B. Kanders expressed little understanding of our radical age as he was fed to the mob. Did Mr. Kanders really think his Jeff Koons would save him from revolutionary justice?

‘Art, as I know it, is not intended to force one-sided answers, or to suppress independent thinking. And yet, these recent events have illustrated how a single narrative, created and sustained by groups with a much larger and more insidious agenda, can overwhelm that spirit.'”

One institution after another falls to the Left. More are under siege today. Slowly people have begun to see the process at work. Of course, some saw this long ago. Musa al-Gharbi tells of these ignored warnings in “Seizing the means of knowledge production” at Heterodox Academy. It opens with this prophetic quote from Frederick Hayek’s Law, Legislation and Liberty: The Mirage of Social Justice.

“The appeal to ‘social justice’ has by now become the most widely used and most effective argument in political discussion. Almost every claim for government action on behalf of particular groups is made in its name, and if it can be made to appear that a certain measure is demanded by ‘social justice,’ opposition to it will rapidly weaken…. It seems to be widely believed that ‘social justice’ is just a new moral value which we must add to those that were recognized in the past, and that it can be fitted within the existing framework of moral rules. What is not sufficiently recognized is that in order to give this phrase meaning a complete change of the whole character of the social order will have to be effected, and that some of the values which used to govern it will have to be sacrificed. It is such a transformation of society into one of a fundamentally different type which is currently occurring piecemeal and without awareness of the outcome to which it must lead.”

This process has run for generations with only weak resistance from conservatives, as Sohrab Ahmari explains in “Against David French-ism” at First Things – “The only way is through.”

“For French, the solution to nearly every problem posed by a politics of individual autonomy above all is yet more autonomous action. But sentimentalization of family life won’t be enough to overcome the challenges posed to it by the present economy. Calls for religious revival are often little more than an idle wish that all men become moral, so that we might dispense with moral regulation.

“Government intervention will not be the answer to every social ill. In many instances, free markets and individual enterprise can best serve the common good, albeit indirectly. But I take issue with David French-ism’s almost supernatural faith in something called “culture” – deemed to be neutral and apolitical and impervious to policy – to solve everything. Questions that are squarely political – that is, that touch on our shared quest for the common good – become depoliticized by this culture-first strategy. The libertine camp prefers the same depoliticization, of course; they’re much better at winning in the realm of culture than David French will ever be. …

“Progressives understand that culture war means discrediting their opponents and weakening or destroying their institutions. Conservatives should approach the culture war with a similar realism. Civility and decency are secondary values. They regulate compliance with an established order and orthodoxy. We should seek to use these values to enforce our order and our orthodoxy, not pretend that they could ever be neutral. To recognize that enmity is real is its own kind of moral duty.”

Here are two mildly interesting articles about the debate between traditional libertarians and soft get-along-lose-slowly conservatives.

Conclusions

While the Right dithers, the Left continues to the next stage. For example, speech is to be regulated not just on college campuses but across America, after gutting the First Amendment: “Free Speech Is Killing Us” says Andrew Marantz of The New Yorker in the NYT (violent crime is at multi-generational lows, but still useful to incite panic and justify limiting civil rights). The Left has big plans for America.

We have passed the point at which there are any easy solutions. We have past the point at which compromise is possible. The Left has gained sufficient power and momentum so that they feel a victory in their future. Perhaps the Left felt like that in 1930 Weimar Germany, as the depression hit its rotting culture. The blow-back produced a different result (the musical Cabaret is set in 1931, as the Nazi’s took the lead).

As realization of this spreads, political polarization will increase, as will the intensity of political conflict. These conflicts will end with some form of resolution. America’s past is a series of good endings. But humanity’s history shows a wider variety of ending, from ugly to horrific. Complacency about the certainty of happy endings is our greatest weakness.

Bernie - A political revolution is coming

For More Information

Ideas! For shopping ideas see my recommended books and films at Amazon.

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about revolutions, about Republicans and Democrats, about factions, about the Left and the Right, and especially these…

  1. The Left goes full open borders, changing America forever.
  2. Visions of America if the Left wins.
  3. The key insight: the Left hates America and will destroy it.
  4. The Left can win in 2020 and dominate US politics.
  5. The Democrats will own America. Their past will sink them.
  6. The middle in American politics has died. Now extremists rule.
  7. Election 2020 will be about open borders & America’s future – Fascinating quotes from the first debate.
  8. The Left crushes the Right. The counter-revolution will be ugly – Final victory is rare. There is usually a second act.
  9. The Left crushes the alt-Right, but Darwin might bring them to power – an alternative future, if the Right comes alive.
  10. Campaign 2020 shows who will mold America’s future.
  11. Two levers to bring the Democrats victory in 2020.

Books about the Revolution …

… but just the mild next steps. Don’t scare the proles!

Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In by Bernie Sanders (2016).

Bernie Sanders Guide to Political Revolution by Bernie Sanders (2017).

How Bernie Won: Inside the Revolution That’s Taking Back Our Country – and Where We Go from Here by Jeff Weaver (2018).

Bernie Sanders Guide to Political Revolution
Available at Amazon.
Available at Amazon.

17 thoughts on “The Left becomes revolutionary. Few realize it yet.”

  1. fdr was viewed as a revolutionary and reviled by the many of the wealthy. otoh, there are those who say he saved capitalism. these days, most of us don’t view social security and the fdic as revolutionary. medicare was long opposed as “socialized medicine.” i don’t think many still regard it as revolutionary, although you can probably trace the beginnings of the healthcare cost spiral back to medicare.

    if we enter a significant recession soon, or are already in it, i could imagine elizabeth warren being capitalism’s savior at the cost of some increased regulation, anti-trust, and so on. face it, the repeal of glass-steagall was a disaster.

    i suspect that if a few bankers had gone to jail after the financial crisis, and all the c-suites had been cleaned out, there would be much less rancor in the country today.

    1. Elizabeth warren is a liar and a fair weather politician. She changes depending up what she can pander to. Her being the next fdr is delusional.

      1. actually i became a fan of warren long before she went into politics, in 2004 when i heard her being interviewed on the publication of “the 2 income trap.” she had been a republican, and began her study of individual bankruptcy with the assumption that people going broke had been spendthrifts and such. she was surprised to have discovered that the most common cause was medical bills.

      2. JK47,

        Warren is an example of the evolution of US politics, a hybrid of Hillary and Trump. Both have a long history of lies, as she does. Her carefully constructed but fraudulent claim of Cherokee identiyy (see here and here for the details largely ignored by the liberal news media). Her false claim that she lost her teaching job because she was pregnant. Etc, etc.

        These are the kinds of candidates America wants. Competent strong leaders don’t provide the excitement we seek. We want capering clowns making big promises. So that’s what we get. Compare America’s leaders with the technically skilled politicans who run other developed nations (there are always exceptions, but not a sequence of them – as America has).

    2. In 1983 my son’s birth cost $327 total; in 1985 my daughter’s birth cost $518 total (those figures include everything, i.e. doctor, hospital, etc.). I would NOT trace the beginnings of the healthcare cost spiral back to medicare.

      1. Chad,

        “I would NOT trace the beginnings of the healthcare cost spiral back to medicare.”

        It is bailing the ocean with a teacup to debunk conservative lies. So I didn’t bother pointing that out. You are, of course, correct. Even as right-wing lies go, that’s a bizarre one. Every other developed nation provides universal health care coverage – almost always with outcomes as good or better than ours, at half or one-third the cost.

      2. far from a right wing lie, if wrong it’s just an error. [you shouldn’t jump to conclusions about motives or beliefs unless clearly expressed.]

        i was under the impression that hospitals started raising fees around the time of medicare.

        as an outpatient physician, medicare rates used to be pretty good [x years ago], but my partner and i decided to opt out when someone we knew was audited and put through the wringer for no good reason. [in recent years medicare rates have become far, far from competitive, but- as i indicated- we don’t deal with it in our practice].

        nonetheless, dealing with insurers and pharmacy benefits managers every day, some years ago i reluctantly came to the conclusion that single payer was the only sensible option. since then i’ve gathered that e.g. germany has some kind of non-single payer sensible universal care, but i haven’t bothered to educate myself on it.

      3. jk47,

        You raise a number of important points!

        (1) “far from a right wing lie, if wrong it’s just an error”

        You misunderstand the nature of propaganda. It is not to make everybody into liars, but to get people to believe lies. That is why I said it was a “right-wing lie” not “your lie.”

        (2) “i was under the impression that hospitals started raising fees around the time of medicare.”

        The CPI Medical Care index tracked the CPI almost exactly until 1982. The largest difference in their growth rates was during 1982 – 1997. Compare the Fred graphs for CPIMEDSL and CPIAUCSL.

        (3) “i’ve gathered that e.g. germany has some kind of non-single payer sensible universal care”

        Every developed nation has a health care system providing universal coverage at a lower cost (%GDP) than ours, with most having equal or better outcomes. Strictly speaking, only Canada, S. Korea, and Taiwan have single payer systems. Some have very small private sector insurance systems (eg, the UK). See Wikipedia about single payer health care systems. Most have hybrid models – multi-payer with a public option (minimum open-access). That is what Germany has.

  2. I think that a correction should be made with regard to the inter-right debate. It seems to me that the lose slowly conservatives and the libertarians are the same ones. Ahamri is one of the more populist right conservatives that are cropping up.

    Something that pisses me off is that if trump had listened to bannon more, he may have been (emphasis on may) a better president. Linking some articles about bannon that may clear some of the chafe. Whether or not he is serious is of course hard to determine.

    https://quillette.com/2018/12/01/steve-bannon-is-wrong-but-not-for-the-reasons-you-think/
    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/what-to-make-of-steve-bannon/
    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/steve-bannon-chris-arnade-trade-republicans-democrats/

  3. Larry,
    Isn’t darkest before the dawn? Americas best days lie ahead. It’s as true now as it was in 1984 and centuries before…
    The left has doubled down and the price to pay will come!
    Or am I lying to myself?

    1. Matthew,

      “Or am I lying to myself?”

      Not at all. It is an expression of faith, which is one of the more powerful drivers of history.

      “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
      — Matthew 17:20.

      But every tool has two edges. Faith can motivate us to action beyond which we can do in normal times. But it can also breed complacency, leading to certain defeat. Only you know which kind you have.

  4. Its frightening.

    To look up and read the factual background in the links is to be confronted with cultural breakdown. Its a similar loss of confidence and legitimacy as occurred among the nomenklatura of the former Soviet Union. Some prominent aspect of the system is seen to be failing to work – in our case its probably economic expectations of the middle classes. But its also drugs and the enormous rise in the financial sector, and the endless pointless wars that we seem unable to stop or control.

    This then corrodes belief in the system, and as Chesterton says, when faith goes the problem is not that it is replaced by scepticism, but by blind belief in anything at all.

  5. “But every tool has two edges.”

    A lesson all should remember. Just as we should remember that death is not the end, it is a sign of the certainty of change. It matters not if it is an institution, or a person, the certainty of change is real.

    IMO, this is the liberals failure of imagination in the cultural war. They also fail to comprehend that the end does not justify means, as much as the means become the end. If they vanquish their foe(s), and the means have become the end, they will eat their own. IMO, we see that already with the oust of several classes that were protected, such as male Jews, in the current culture purity purges. After they have eaten their own, what is left but a resurgence of “others.”

    YMMV.

  6. The radical left has always known that it is revolutionary; the ‘few’ who have finally realized this are members of the establishment right, and individuals like Kummer who thought that ‘moderate’ leftist ideas could be integrated into western societies without realizing that the left has long been marching through every institution.

    1. Frans,

      “The radical left has always known that it is revolutionary;”

      True, but that’s not the subject here. I’m speaking about the broad Left (as in Left, Center, and Right spectrum). They have not always been revolutionary.

  7. Here is an excellent site (see below) that details how the Radical Left works on a tactical and strategic level and how the Center can use these same tactics and strategies effectively. it shows their weaknesses and their strengths.

    An important issue as what some consider to be “winning”…
    A superficial view of winning (adopted by most) is that winning is defined by elections or laws passed or money raised or similar very short term thinking. But the goal (at least the goal for smart people on both sides) is
    – to get their views adopted,
    – that happens by changing people’s minds, and
    – changing people’s minds is a slow (multi-generational) process.

    Sure, you can try to short circuit this, by winning an election on the narrowest of margins, then bulldozing through your agenda. But the end result is usually that you’re tossed out massively next election and your agenda is wiped off the map. Durable winning comes through changing the opinions of the majority, and that takes time.

    As for who is winning, well that’s something that can be scored either way. Clearly the left has won many social issues [defined by public opinion, compared to say 50 years ago], while the right has won most economic issues [same reasoning]. Actually read this. It’s important insights. I would really like to hear what you all think. He’s on to something, and I think segways into what Fabius has been saying.

    https://status451.com/2017/07/11/radical-book-club-the-decentralized-left/

    https://status451.com/2017/10/27/radical-book-club-the-centralized-left/

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