Hey, all right? I’m NOT! It’s clear to me that the “woke culture” movement was born in Marxism and is pushing our country to Marxist totalitarianism!
We’d like to thank Ted Lloyd for this Op-Ed. If you have an Op-Ed or LTE
you would like us to consider please submit it to Skip@GraniteGrok or Steve@GraniteGrok.com.
The United States of America, from its founding, was to have been a Republic “of the people, by the people and for the people. Not much longer, I’m afraid.
We had been warned: see Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, George Orwell’s Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four, William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451.
But these warnings have largely fallen on deaf ears. During my lifetime, as a nation, we have moved relentlessly toward totalitarianism. Our once cherished freedoms are daily being perverted by leftist thinking:
- Our educational institutions are brainwashing our children in the woke culture;
- “Racism” and “hate speech” are now THE unforgivable sins, justifying boycott and suppression by the left;
- Our free press has become a propaganda machine for leftist narratives, and an agent of the suppression of conservative thought;
- Religious freedoms are subordinated to woke “rights” of abortion, sexual preference, gender identity, and the public accommodation of extreme leftist belief;
- Free speech is only allowed for thoughts that follow woke narratives. Conservative thought is canceled and suppressed;
- Gun rights are attacked with false narratives about “assault” weapons” and “oversized” magazines;
- Election integrity is being openly and wildly degraded in the name of “eliminating voter suppression;”
- “Big Tech” social media has become the enforcer for the “cancel culture” of the left, and has taken on the role with vicious enthusiasm;
Josh Hammer, a constitutional attorney by training, is an opinion editor for Newsweek and a syndicated columnist. He recently was published in The Epoch Times advocating the need for a “Coalition of the Un-Woke.”
The metastasis of the “woke” ideology is the most comprehensive threat facing the American republic. It is appallingly totalitarian, insofar as the woke wield the levers of cancel culture to suppress all dissident speech, root out all “wrongthink” and achieve by sheer force an intellectual homogeneity. It is outright racist, insofar as intersectionality and identity politics, to say nothing of vogue concepts such as “critical race theory” and “racial equity,” overtly discriminate on the basis of race and thus undermine the preeminent American ethos of equal protection under the law.
As if out of a dystopian novel, though, the woke ideology has nonetheless become the unifying creed of the American ruling class. That ruling class, which extends from public sector bureaucracies to the Fortune 500 to Hollywood to Silicon Valley and sundry others in between, has in recent years universally come to imbibe, promulgate, and disseminate the core tenets of wokeness.
What’s more, that universality often takes the more insidious form of cross-institutional collusion: As Matthew Schmitz put it in a Tablet essay last September,
“Governmental authorities and corporations now coordinate in enforcing the dictates of the new secular progressive faith.”
Thus has the woke ideology completed, a la the Italian Marxist theorist Antonio Gramsci, its long march through the institutions. And let’s not mince words: This is Marxism. As Israeli political theorist Yoram Hazony carefully outlined in a Quillette essay last August:
“The new Marxists do not use the technical jargon that was devised by 19th- century Communists…but their politics are based on Marx’s framework for critiquing [classical] liberalism.”
How has this happened in “The land of the free and the home of the brave?”
Progressivism. The Progressive movement of the first two decades of the last century began the shifting of our political emphasis away from individual rights toward collective responsibilities and duties.
Major changes to our Constitution were made: Income taxes, previously forbidden, were formally added. Senators, previously appointed by the States, were now directly elected by the people, greatly reducing State’s rights in the constitutional Federalism scheme.
Soviet Communism. Beginning in the 1930s, the communist movement began to influence public thought, notably in the labor sector in the U.S.
Before, and certainly, after WWII, Soviet infiltration of the U.S. began, starting in our educational system. Watch this interview with Yuri Bezmenov, a 1970 KGB defector to Canada, talking candidly of the Soviet’s “ideological subversion” strategy, in The American Thinker’s article “To understand 2021, watch a KGB defector’s mid-1980s interview.”:
Listening to him is eerie because he spelled out in detail exactly what the Soviet Union was doing — it wasn’t planning to take America down through the military. Instead, it intended to destroy America from within by infiltrating the education system, [causing] three generations of young people to hate this country and each other, and then watching them go forth and plant the seeds of self-loathing throughout the nation.
The Chinese Communist Party.
In the late 60’s Mao Zedong was unleashing the “Cultural Revolution” on his own people, to move China away from the Soviet-style communist model and toward “socialism with Chinese characteristics,” as later defined by Deng Xiaoping. (The tactics from the Cultural Revolution in many ways became a model for the “Culture Wars” of the 21st century in the U.S.)
The history.com website described the Cultural Revolution as follows:
Thousands of party leaders, including Chinese President Liu Shaoqi, were jailed for “crimes against the state.” Millions of young radicals who formed the paramilitary Red Guards shut down schools, destroyed religious and cultural relics and killed intellectuals and party elites believed to be anti-revolutionaries. Mao’s wife, Jiang Qing, led the effort to purify the arts by banning music, literature, film and theater, such as Shakespeare, too closely tied to the West. A cult of personality grew around Mao as millions of copies of the “Little Red Book” filled with his thoughts were forced to be read by those in need of “re-education.” When cities descended into anarchy as competing Red Guards factions began to battle each other, the People’s Liberation Army disarmed the student groups and banished them to work on communes in the countryside.
Mao died in September 1976, and the Cultural Revolution died with him. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) condemned it in 1981, signaling a loosening of their grip on the culture. This led to the Democracy in China movement that was forcefully ended at Tiananmen square in 1989. Subsequent Chinese leaders refined the CCP world view: a 100-year struggle to achieve world hegemony politically, militarily, and economically.
Little more than a decade later, the CCP began to infiltrate U.S. educational institutions with what they called “Confucius Institutes.” Starting in our colleges and universities, these programs offered language and “cultural” courses together with financial support for our schools. Serious concerns now exist with these programs: there is evidence that CCP propaganda is being spread from them, and the program is now expanding to our K-12 schools. (National Association of Scholars “Outsourced to China”)
Finishing the Job.
The seeds were planted by the Soviets and the CCP in our universities. Gradually leftist thought spread to both private and public institutions in the 1980s and ’90s through the development of the “Political Correctness” movement.
By the turn of the new century, the leftward movement had achieved near total domination: our educational institutions, the entertainment industry, the media, the federal bureaucracy, many state, and big-city governments, the financial industry, senior management of our major corporations, and “big tech.”
Never letting a crisis go to waste, each was used to bolster the left’s power — the “dotcom bubble” of 2000-01, the “financial crisis” of 2007-08, and most significantly, the CoViD-19 pandemic.
The “fundamental transformation of America” had been going well, until the election of 2016. Determined to never allow such a failure to be repeated, the left fought Donald Trump and his administration with a viciousness never before seen in our lifetimes. Resistance at every step to his efforts to reverse leftist policies, not one but two impeachments, and a concerted effort in the battleground states to rewrite election laws through both the legislatures and the courts.
After a widely-disputed election last year, we have a Democratic administration intent on “canceling” every one of the accomplishments of the Trump years, under a President unlikely to serve out his term, with a President-in-waiting in the VP slot, the narrowest of majorities in the House, and a 50-50 split Senate.
Nancy Pelosi’s House of Representatives’ first bill passed was the “Equality Act,” which cynically attacked religious freedoms. HR-1/S-1 “For the People Act” will come up for a Senate vote soon, unlikely to pass without “nuking” the filibuster, would put the final nail in the coffin of election integrity, remove State control of elections and provide taxpayer funding of all candidates. After a $1.9 Trillion Federal bailout of red states posing as CoViD stimulus, a $2.3 Trillion “Infrastructure” bill is following, payback to the unions for their support. Another so-called bill is planned for after that. If the Senate filibuster is repealed, there will be no stopping the leftist agenda of the Democratic leadership.
Our children for generations will be saddled with the totally out-of-control public debt. The National Debt + Unfunded Liabilities accounting is now well over $120 Trillion!!!
What can we do? There are few options at this time, as the Marxist subversion has been developing for many many years.
There are a few things you can do. The biggest enemy of freedom is complacency. The stakes are high and yes, the deck is stacked against us — but we can reverse the trend:
- Discuss this with your friends and neighbors. Tell them what you learn about the Marxist threats to our freedoms. Encourage them to get involved.
- Take a serious look at the corporations you support by your patronage: news outlets, social platforms, and consumer products. Do they support or oppose your political beliefs? Can you afford to move away from them to other more “friendly” sources?
- It is essential to regain Republican control of the House and Senate next year. Support good Republican candidates in your state, especially where you are now being represented by Democrat officials.
- Get involved in local politics: town offices, school boards, and state legislatures need good conservative people to resist the leftist trends.
- Pray that we won’t lose our nation….