The revolution is the point.
A history that should never have been forgotten has long since been lost. It is time to refresh our memories. Black Lives Matter (BLM) does not represent the old Civil Rights Movement. It does not seek equality under the law. And it does not intend to stop until it overthrows the very idea and structure of America as we’ve known it. Under increasing pressure to acknowledge the dawning reality to which Americans are increasingly waking up, Joe Biden has finally said that looting and arson are, in fact, bad. But Pandora’s box has already been opened. The Democrats’ Vice-Presidential nominee, Kamala Harris, put us on notice in June: “everyone beware—because they’re not gonna stop…everyone should take note of that…they’re not gonna let up, and they should not—and we should not.”
What has been forgotten—perhaps because it is often purposely hidden—is that Antifa and BLM both were born from a peculiarly American form of radical and violent Marxism. The actual word used to describe this ideology is in one sense not important: understanding how those who lead and fund these groups think is what matters. In fact, as soon as one uses the word “Marxism” today, the activists and intellectuals begin scoffing in disdain.
One of the oddities of our time is the staleness of our political rhetoric. This is likely due to the fact that America today includes a greater percentage of older people than it did at any previous time in history. Much of the political language of both Republicans and Democrats is drawn from the Cold War. But it has lost its salience, particularly for those under 50.The American Right has long charged the American Left with covert Marxism. The young yawn at this, but it is unclear if they know what the charge even means. The Very Sure People in the upper middle class now double down in denial or worse, contradicting in speech what we see with our own eyes happening across America. In oh-so-educated, scoffing tones they remark: “These protests are not led by violent radicals. Everyone knows the violence comes from white nationalists. Antifa doesn’t exist. BLM hardly exists as one united front. BLM is not Marxist—how silly. This is the modern-day Civil Rights Movement. Don’t be on the wrong side of history.”
Besides, says the conflict-averse objector in our heads, the average Democrat is not a Marxist—in fact, the Democratic Party is now the party of American oligarchs—and Marxism in America is generally a watered-down version of anything recognizably Soviet or CCP.
This is true as far as it goes. But not in the case of Black Lives Matter.
The big foundations in America have been funding violent leftist radicals for a long time, and they too are now doubling down—not in denial, like many well-meaning but ignorant or cowardly Americans are, but in their payments to those willing to foment civic unrest. Most Americans still do not realize that what is now occurring on American soil is not an organic civil rights movement, but an elite-funded effort to destabilize the American way of life as we’ve known it: the complete overhaul of the principles of our justice system to put group “identities” above equal individual rights, the erosion of private property and private education, and the destruction of traditional families and moral culture.
The American media—and many politicians on the American Right—have failed to point out to the American people that BLM was created and is led by radical Marxist racialists. Their heroes and teachers are the violent radicals of the 1960s and ’70s. As Murray Bessette points out in “Listen When They Tell You Who They Are“, we know this because they tell us so. They call themselves “trained Marxists.” This doesn’t mean that they merely propose left-leaning economic policies like free healthcare for all. Instead, as Bessette says, they want to destroy the family and abolish private education and private property along with the police.
Most Americans still have no idea what they actually stand for. Since America is not racist, most people support the idea that black lives matter, because they believe that in America, all lives matter. But their own lack of racism is being used as a weapon against them. BLM and its elite backers reject both the old civil rights movement and America itself.
Even their main public policy prescription, now written in towering letters on our city streets—”defund the police”—does not reflect the views of over 80% of Black America. Yet BLM and friends now have hundreds of millions of dollars at their command, if not more, and some polls this summer reveal they have become more popular than our major political parties. How did this happen?
The Old Left Raised BLM From Birth
The fact that versions of Marxism have tried to make inroads in America for over a century is a matter of history, not conspiracy theory. Socialism was making inroads in America in the early part of the last century; the success of presidential candidates like Eugene Debs turned the Democratic party leftward as Democratic party figures like Franklin Delano Roosevelt sought to corral their vote. In frustration, the hard Left worked for decades on new ways to radicalize America.
As Mike Gonzalez reveals in the selection he’s graciously allowed us to publish from his new book, The Plot to Change America: How Identity Politics is Dividing the Land of the Free, Marxist intellectuals made the shift from “Marxism based on economic classes (the worker v. the bourgeois) into one based on immutable characteristics such as race, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation and even disability status” early in the last century. And they brought this version of Marxism to America; their leading intellectuals like Herbert Marcuse “personally tutored the Black Panther leader Angela Davis.” The same Angela Davis whom Edward Luttwak tells us in “The End of the Long March” he saw gladly “participating in a Soviet Cold War propaganda operation” in Finland in the 1960s. The same Angela Davis who owned the weapons used in acts of domestic terrorism in 1970 is a hero and mentor to the founders of BLM.
There are many such cases. The BLM movement and their ideas, as Luttwak explains, arise from “the Old Hard-Core Left, a.k.a. the ‘red diaper’ children and grandchildren and even great-grandchildren of the Stalinist stalwarts of the Communist Party of America, who had themselves been driven to hide below the rocks by the just-in-time McCarthy persecution that removed Communists from public life and the trade unions, making it possible for the United States to mobilize for the Cold War.” It wasn’t until “the late 1970s, when finally, at long last, Marxism could sell,” in part because “the combined effects of globalization and structural change…started impoverishing the less educated half of the American population.”
During that time, as Luttwak describes, “a new generation of the Old Hard-Core Left had finally found the weak flank of American society which they could penetrate, subvert, and then dominate: the teaching staff of America’s colleges and universities.” Besides switching out class for race and other identities as the new framework of the Marxist revolution, they brought a new concept with them: “white privilege.”
As Kyle Shideler reveals in “The Communist Roots of ‘White Privilege’“, Communists Theodore “Ted” Allen and Noel Ignatiev, aka Noel Ignatin, invented and taught the concept because they thought that the “‘white working class’ would never be compelled to rebel as long as they accepted [their] ‘white-skin privilege.’” This novel idea was taken up by the radical violent Left, including the Weather Underground, perhaps the most famous leftist domestic terrorism group in living memory. Today this racialist concept and its accompanying “struggle sessions”—in which participants must renounce their evil “whiteness”—is mandated by government, education, and the corporate world throughout the United States.
These early groups from the ’60s and ’70s helped shape BLM and Antifa’s tactics on our streets today.
Many an academic has revealed to me their surprise at how tightly BLM and friends cling to Stokely Carmichael’s Black Power, written in 1967, which was one of the first books to set forth the poorly constructed ideology we are witnessing play out today. Carmichael, who famously broke with the Black Panthers for allying with white people, went to Africa soon after writing his manifesto and founded the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party.
Consider Assata Shakur, the Black Liberation Army fighter who escaped to Cuba from a life sentence for murder. Shakur is a hero to BLM activists, who have posted pictures of themselves wearing T-shirts that say “Assata Taught Me.” Such shirts are often sold by vendors who sell BLM-related merchandise, and BLM teaches its foot soldiers to chant Shakur’s words while protesting.
Well, it’s clear that “racial justice” or “social justice” is not the purpose of the BLM movement. We know this because all the incidents they use to promote their need for violence, which is used to extort concessions, which are intended to eventually leave their opponents too weak to resist at all.
There was nothing racist about Trayvon Martin. Nothing racist about Michael Brown. Nothing racist about Freddie Gray. Nothing racist about Eric Garner. Nothing racist about George Floyd. Nothing racist about Breanna Taylor. Nothing racist about Jacob Blake. There is no “systemic racism” to overcome and eliminate. There is only the need to convert from capitalism to Marxism. Race is an excuse.
If you support BLM, you are either ignorant or a Marxist.