How we got here, and where it’s all leading.
Disabling of independent thought. Nothing is more threatening to petty dictators than a citizenry’s widespread ability to think clearly and independently. Radical education reformers have sought for generations to drum the capacity for independent thought out of students. “Critical thinking” has been made into a garbage term for fads that have students doing anything but gain content knowledge.
Most college students today probably could not answer even a fraction of the questions on an eighth grade general knowledge exam from 1912. Without core knowledge, people have a difficult time putting any knowledge into its proper context. After decades of such politicizing reforms, you can end up with college students so muddled in their thinking that they need “trigger warnings” before reading anything that might conflict with the social and emotional programming they’ve experienced. In the propaganda phase, we’ll see how political correctness compounds this problem by cultivating the fear of rejection for expressing one’s thoughts.
Ever more bureaucratization. Human freedom is inversely proportional to the bloat of the administrative state. I’m not sure who should be credited with first making this observation. It resounds in the work of the American Founders, Alexis de Tocqueville, Friedrich Hayek, and even the psychiatrist Carl Jung, among many others. But the piles of regulations that put businesses, as well as personal lives, into straitjackets attest to this destabilizing trend for human freedom.
You can trace this back quite a ways, particularly with President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal programs put into place to address the Great Depression. But it certainly helped put into high gear the bloat we see today. Compounding the problem is the notion that immigration should be limitless and the nation borderless, despite a national debt of $20 trillion. The metastasis of bureaucracy is a huge indicator we’ve been on the path to centralized power that feeds corruption and lays groundwork for communism.
Erasure of collective memory. Another crime of radical education reform is its attack on the study of history, civics, and the classics of literature. Today we can see the bitter fruits of such 1960s radical education reform, which has roots going back to 1920s with John Dewey. If we are no longer able to place ourselves and society into the context of historical events, our vision going forward will be blurred at best.
It gets even worse if we don’t learn how our form of government functions. Today fewer and fewer college students have the capacity to understand that the First Amendment serves as a buffer against totalitarianism, not something to be abolished under the pretext of “hate speech.” And depriving students exposure to literary classics like Shakespeare (based on the charge that such works are “Western” and therefore ethnocentric) prevents them from discussing the universal human condition and our common humanity.
Instead, students are increasingly fed grievance studies and identity politics. As universities go this route, it trickles down to K-12 education. As a result, we are losing the social glue of our common traditions and heritage—not just as a nation, but as human beings. This cultivation of ignorance by the education establishment over the years compounds the isolating effect on people. It makes youth especially vulnerable to becoming fodder for power elites.
That’s from part two of a truly monumental work, a near-comprehensive primer on the mechanisms by which communism has infiltrated our society. I excerpted that bit because it underlines what I’ve always believed is the single most important step of the early stages: the infiltration and takeover of the educational system, and its subsequent use to not only promote communism, but also erode respect for American values, distort historical fact, erase knowledge of our Founding and our civic structure, and diminish the very idea of the value of liberty and the concept of unalienable, God-given rights themselves. From part three:
Once communism gained a foothold in Russia, it doomed its citizens to lives of scarcity, misery, social distrust, terror, and mass murder. The same goes for China. Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, the Castros, Che Guevara, Joseph Stalin, the Kims of North Korea—all of them were brutal dictators enabled by a system that always places too much power into the hands of too few people. It’s a corrupt and cruel system that allows an elite oligarchy—which Lenin called a “vanguard”—to enslave the entire population.
But what about a nation like America, which was built on the idea that every human being is endowed by our Creator with the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? We have a Constitution that guarantees these rights and separates the branches of government, placing restraints on government so individuals may live freely. Furthermore, this document intentionally contained the seeds of slavery’s destruction. Americans shed a lot of blood to protect the freedoms enshrined in that document for us and for our posterity.
So is it possible that we, a free people, could ever throw it all away? Could we sell ourselves into the slavery called communism? Sadly, of course we could. Anyone who forgets his birthright is more likely to squander it. And there has been a lot of forgetting. As Ronald Reagan warned, “freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.”
Chillingly prophetic words, those. And then there’s this:
Nearly 100 years ago, the Italian communist Antonio Gramsci declared that the key to achieving global communism was through culture, not promoting socialist economic policies that had little appeal in the West. This would require a “long march through the institutions” of society, destroying them from within so communism could fill the vacuum.
Radicals of the 1960s like Saul Alinksy picked up on this theme, noting that “the system” (i.e., American freedom) could only be destroyed once radical operatives had secured control over society’s institutions. The deep state is one example of institutional takeover that’s been building through decades of bureaucratic bloat, with operatives embedded in the military and intelligence agencies. The cultural takeover of media outlets, academia, and entertainment is both broad and deep today, after decades of creep.
But it is the mediating institutions have been most relentlessly attacked—family, church, and voluntary organizations—because they serve as buffer zones of influence that help shield individuals from abuses by the state. Today they are more vulnerable than ever to total absorption by the Mass State, a prerequisite for communism.
Such has been their success that to even take note of this sinister “progress,” much less suggest that it should be seriously pondered or examined, is to hazard getting oneself labeled as a deluded headcase, an irrational, conspiracy-theorizing lunatic. Which in turns suggests just how difficult a struggle lies ahead of us, and how long it might take us to turn the tide—assuming that’s even possible at this late date.
Like I keep saying: not by accident, no coincidence. Once you acknowledge that, the rest follows as surely as dawn follows dark. These articles make an ironclad case for the proposition, and specific as they are, backed up by plenty of supporting links, amount to damned useful support for any good-faith discussion of the matter you might happen to find yourself involved in. From part one:
Although communist and socialist governments murdered well more than 100 million people in the course of the twentieth century, that number spikes even further when you include the practical bedfellows of communism, like Nazism and fascism, for example. According to the calculations of Professor R. J. Rummel, author of “Death by Government,” totalitarian regimes snuffed out approximately 169 million lives in the twentieth century alone. That number is more than four times higher than the 38 million deaths—civilian as well as military—caused by all of the twentieth century wars combined.
As Rummel states: “Power kills. Absolute power kills absolutely.” The common thread that runs through communist and fascist ideologies is their totalitarian nature, which means they control people by breeding scarcity, ignorance, human misery, social distrust, the constant threat of social isolation, and death to dissenters. All in the name of justice and equality.
They cannot abide any checks or balances, particularly checks on government power as reflected in the U.S. Bill of Rights. They fight de-centralization of power, which allows localities and states true self-governance. Such restraints on the centralized power of the state stand in the way of achieving the goal of communism: absolute state power over every single human being.
Which is why they’ve worked so diligently to neuter the Constitution, to dismiss it as a document of only historical interest with merely notional, glancing relevance to life in America today—”how could they have foreseen” etc and blah blah blah—or, alternatively, to promote it as a “living document” infinitely malleable to more comfortably suit the whims and fads of the moment.
It has become fashionable in some quarters on the Right to bash the Constitution as a failed document, a near-useless, poorly-conceived, slapdash botch doomed to said failure by its own in-built flaws right from the start. I never have subscribed to that theory myself; it has admittedly failed as the primary guardian of our rights, sure enough. But it’s my belief that the failure, just as Adams warned, was ours. Had we demanded strict adherence to its policies and prescriptions as we should have, and raised a real howl every time it was traduced or ignored by maleficent politicians with barely-clandestine designs on our natural rights, it would still be functioning perfectly well as the blueprint for proper governance of a free people.
The Constitution didn’t break down on its own; because of a soft complacency going back many, many years, it was broken. I have serious doubts as to the possibility of putting it back together again; I consider civil war or partition or both to be far more likely, sobering as it is to anticipate. But if repair and restoration is ever to happen, a clear understanding of who and what broke it, and why, would have to be a vital first step.