The Contemporary American Left

However, the Marxist Left in America is evolving toward elements of National Socialism. The Marxist Left has long preached class war and now has added race war elements to its ideology: It is no longer merely the oppressive rich versus the oppressed poor–but now, it is the oppressive white rich versus the oppressed non-white poor.

In recent years, so-called “identity politics” has become prevalent on the Marxist Left. This is the belief that, fundamentally, I (or anyone) am not an individual but a member of a racial, ethnic, or gender group. Such group membership, not independent thinking or personal choices, defines my identity.[v]  Where does such a theory come from? Remember that Marxism, however mistaken it is, is a philosophic system of thought–and the Marxist Left  generally draws its supporters from among the educated and the intelligentsia. In our day,  Marxists have integrated into their class war philosophy the main tenets of a Post-Modernist worldview generally congenial to their principles.

Post-Modernist theoreticians claim that: “Our current social context…is characterized by oppression that benefits males, whites, and the rich at the expense of everyone else.”[vi] Education, therefore, should “highlight the historical crimes of whites, males, and the rich.”[vii]

According to many of the professors who teach the current crop of educated Marxists, it is impossible to speak coherently about a reality existing independent of the human mind. Rather, reality is a socially-created construct molded differently by diverse racial, gender, and economic class groups. The basic subjective beliefs by which, for example, whites and non-whites organize their experiences and shape their diverse worlds are different, even opposed.  White males construe their world in terms of free will, self-reliance, individualism, forging one’s own destiny, conquering the world, defeating enemies, oppressing the  weak and the vanquished; but non-whites understand that life’s outcomes are determined by birth, race, and class, that the struggle is to escape oppression, to organize, to band into collectives, to belong to a greater racial whole, to resist colonialism, to find meaning in the group, the tribe, the race.

“The contemporary hatred openly unleashed by the Marxist Left against whites–especially males–is eye-opening.”

According to these Post-Modernist professors, there is no one truth; there is but competing group subjectivities, collective worldviews of sundry races, economic classes, and genders; contrasting philosophic languages, as it were, with no dictionaries of translation, no rational access to the other’s experience or thoughtscape, no possibility of peaceful negotiations to resolve intractable collective differences. Human disputes, therefore, inexorably devolve into violence; force is the ultimate arbiter of disagreement; and social interactions entail the relations of conqueror to conquered, dominant to submissive, master to oppressed. “Postmodern themes in ethics and politics are characterized by an identification with and sympathy for the groups perceived to be oppressed in the conflicts…”[viii]

We are ensnared in our own collective racial visions, cognitively severed from the worldview of the racial other. We are inevitably the oppressor and the oppressed.

Hence, the contemporary Marxist Left calls ceaselessly for Black Studies and black identity politics, Latino Studies and Latino identity politics, Women’s Studies and women’s identity politics. Members of such oppressed groups are exhorted to band together, to find commonality and an identity in their shared collective experiences…collective experiences radically different from those of the Other. Under the guidance of their Post-Modern university professors, all of these suppressed collectives identify who is the primordial other, the eternal oppressor, the common foe: White men.

The contemporary hatred openly unleashed by the Marxist Left against whites–especially males–is eye-opening. Journalist, Sarah Jeong, for example, wrote: “Oh man it’s kind of sick how much joy I get out of being cruel to old white men.” Further: “Dumbass f****** white people marking up the internet with their opinions like dogs pissing on fire hydrants.” She tweeted a crude graph showing that as whiteness increased so did awfulness–and the more white one was, the more one inevitably smelled like a dog when it rained.[ix] Such overt racism did not restrain the New York Times from hiring her as a tech editor.[x]

Similarly, Toronto Black Lives Matter co-founder, Yusra Khogali, tweeted: “Plz Allah give me strength not to cuss/kill these men and white folks out here today.”[xi]

Additionally, Don Lemon, CNN news anchor, stated about the recent spate of vicious murders perpetrated by white racists (and by many such atrocities in the past few years): “We have to stop demonizing people and realize that the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right. And we have to start doing something about them. There is no travel ban on them….They had the Muslim ban. There is no white guy ban. So what do we do about that?”[xii]

Let’s pretend that I wrote regarding the high homicide rate in Chicago: “We have to stop demonizing people and realize that the biggest crime threat in this country is black men….They had the Muslim ban. There is no native-born black-guy ban. So what do we do about that?”  Rational human beings would properly point out the racism of such a thought. They would proclaim: “Dr. Bernstein, we have a crime problem in Chicago (and elsewhere). We don’t have a black guy problem. We have a problem not because some persons are black, but because some persons–regardless of race–think, or feel, that they have a right to initiate brute force against innocent others, assaulting, raping, robbing, and/or murdering them.” And my critics would be absolutely correct.

Similarly regarding the racist murderers to whom Don Lemon refers. We don’t have a white guy problem; we have a racist problem, we have a brute force problem, we have a murder problem, we have a problem that some persons–regardless of race–think, or feel, that they have a right to murder innocent others because those others belong to a different race, ethnic group, or religious denomination than they do.

The problem regarding all of the murderers referred to in the two paragraphs immediately above is not how much melanin exists in their skin but in the way their minds work, in the way they think, in the choices they make. Violent crime, including murder, is caused by the choices people make–something open to their volitional control. Crime is not caused by the race the criminal happens to be born into–something not open to his volitional control.  This is why we properly can and do morally condemn murderers. If their racial membership necessitated they act in a lethally violent way, they would be akin to wild beasts: We would have to take protective actions against them, but it would be senseless to morally condemn them. If a tiger kills and eats a human being, should we put it on trial and convict it of murder?

However, the ne plus ultra of au courant anti-white racism (to date) was achieved by an essay posted several years ago at vice.com entitled: “Dear White People, Please Stop Pretending Reverse Racism Is Real.”

Among other claims, the essay states: “Racism is based on a couple of things—historical, systemic oppression and power….And as far as history goes, white people have never been persecuted for the colour of their skin—so there’s no point comparing their experiences to those of black, brown, and Indigenous folks….even if all people of colour straight up said they hate white people, it wouldn’t affect a white person’s ability to get a job, an education, or increase the odds that they’d get carded or charged for a crime.”[xiii]

Based on such considerations, the author concludes: “It’s literally impossible to be racist to a white person.”[xiv]

So, on this view, racism requires power to systematically oppress members of other races, and is not possible in its absence. So if, for example, a gang of non-white, white-people-hating toughs kidnapped, tortured, and murdered a white family–and did so because of the victims’ color of skin–this is not an instance of racism, because the toughs are not part of a racial majority and therefore lack the political authority to systemically persecute whites.

“The rise of racism on the Marxist Left is disturbing. The National Socialist element they have integrated into their class war ideology merely transposes favored and dis-favored races: It is not ‘reverse racism.’ It is simply racism.”

World history and current events show us the pandemic existence of savage persecution based on racial, tribal, ethnic, and religious differences: Horrific mass murder of Hindus by Muslims in Indian history[xv], the genocidal slaughter of the Algonquin by the Iroquois in North America in the centuries before the arrival of Europeans[xvi], the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire[xvii], the Holocaust,[xviii] brutal enslavement and murder of blacks in the U.S.[xix], even worse in Brazil[xx], and iron-fisted subjugation in South Africa under apartheid, among numerous others. (While we recount atrocities, let’s add in the Communists, who, fighting class war–not race war–murdered by conservative estimate 100 million innocent civilians in the Soviet Union, China, Cambodia, and elsewhere[xxi].)

What explains the incessant atrocities? Granted that power–military and/or political–is necessary to impose one’s will and rain destruction on the weaker tribe, this still raises the more fundamental question: What force impels the destruction? Obviously, there are racial/tribal hatreds at work. However, hatred is an emotion; it is not self-evidently a bad thing; its moral status depends on who or what it is directed against and for which reason. Is it, for example, morally wrong for an individual concerned to uphold innocent human life to hate Hitler?

More fundamental than the emotion, and giving rise to it, is the thought:  (1) My race or tribe is fundamentally different from the other. This way of thinking rejects the antipodal idea that: (2) We–members of both my tribe and others–are all human beings, fundamentally similar regardless of such superficial differences as skin color, hair texture, facial structure, and so on.

The second way of thinking is the essence of color-blind individualism. The first conviction is the essence of racism.

Racism is first, foremost, and always thinking in racial terms. It is thinking that race matters, that race is important, that tribal membership is a definitive factor determining one’s identity. The first step in racism is to cognitively distinguish human beings into tribes conceived of as fundamentally different from each other. There is us–and there is the other. From this critical beginning, it is not a large step to construing the other as a rival, a danger to us, and to hating them.  And from hating the other, it is neither a large step to demonizing them nor to then warring on them.

Anyone who thinks in racial terms–who considers racial membership important and/or defining–is a racist, regardless whether his race holds military and/or political power, regardless whether his tribe imposes its bloody will on those tribes weaker. The weak can be just as irrational as the strong. A minority may hate as fulsomely as might a majority. The Neanderthals may have lost the species war to the Sapiens–but, presumably, they were no more gentle.[xxii]

Tribal and racial savagery is globally ubiquitous…and has long been. And the class war of Communism is an intellectual/moral sibling to it: The collective to which you belong–not your own thinking and personal choices–defines your identity. And if you are a member of the other group, you are marked for destruction. As Martin Latsis, one of Lenin’s secret police officers told his men regarding Soviet policy: “We don’t make war against any people in particular. We are exterminating the bourgeoisie as a class.”[xxiii]

The rise of racism on the Marxist Left is disturbing. The National Socialist element they have integrated into their class war ideology merely transposes favored and dis-favored races: It is not “reverse racism.” It is simply racism.

Making matters worse, they are not the sole version of racism in the contemporary socialist camp.

Andrew Bernstein’s America’s Coming Race War is continued in Part 3 of 4 Post Modernism’s Monster Children The “Alt-Right.”

 

America’s Coming Race War

 

References

[v] Jordan Peterson, “Munk Debate: Jordan Peterson Dismantles Identity Politics,” www.youtube.com/watch?v=NusYLzb-Uho, Accessed on November 7, 2018.

[vi] Stephen Hicks, Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism From Rousseau to Foucault  (Ockham’s Razor Publishing, 2011), 17.

[vii] Stephen Hicks, Explaining Postmodernism, 17.

[viii] Stephen Hicks, Explaining Postmodernism, 6.

[ix]www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2018/08/03/tucker_carlson_on_sarah_jeong_left_thinks_racism_against_white_people_impossible.html. Accessed on November 7, 2018.

[x] She did apologize for these comments, and claimed that she merely satirized the white racists who verbally abused her. It is sincerely to be hoped that she realizes the way to combat white racism is not to adopt anti-white racism–but to embrace color-blind individualism.

[xi] Taleeb Starkes, Black Lies Matter: Why Lies Matter to the Race Grievance Industry (Middletown, Delaware, 2016), 43.    At least, she didn’t ask Allah for strength to kill men and white folks.

[xii]www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2018/10/30/don_lemon_the_biggest_terror_threat_in_this_country_is_white_men.html. Acccessed on November 7, 2018.

[xiii] Manisha Krishnan, “Dear White People, Please Stop Pretending Reverse Racism Is Real,” October 2, 2016, www.vice.com/en_us/article/kwzjvz/dear-white-people-please-stop-pretending-reverse-racism-is-real. Accessed on November 7, 2018.

[xiv] Ibid.

[xv] Will Durant, The Story of Civilization, vol. 1, “Our Oriental Heritage” (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1954 (1935) On p. 459, Durant writes: “The Mohammedan Conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history.” Journalist Francois Gautier, writing of the Islamic subjugation of India quotes an Indian historian to the effect that “the Hindu population decreased by eighty million between the year 1000 and 1525, indeed, probably the biggest holocaust in the world’s history…” Francois Gautier, Rewriting Indian History (New Delhi: India Research Press, 2003), 38.

[xvi] Clark Wissler, Indians of the United States (New York: Anchor Books, 1966 (1940)), 69, 113-114.

[xvii] Andrew Bernstein, “Lessons of the Armenian Genocide,” The Objective Standard, Vol. 10, No. 2, Summer 2015, 48-57. The definitive text on the Armenian genocide is: Vahakn Dadrian, The History of the Armenian Genocide (New York: Berghahn Books, 1996). It is important to recall that, today, more than a century after this massive crime, the Turkish regime still denies culpability.

[xviii] The definitive research on the Holocaust and the annihilation of roughly 5.1 million European Jews is: Raul Hilberg, The Destruction Of The European Jews (New York: Holmes & Meier, 1985).

[xix] Regarding one aspect of the horrific persecution–the lynching of thousands of innocents under the brutal reign of Jim Crow–see: Philip Dray, At The Hands Of Persons Unknown: The Lynching Of Black America (New York: The Modern Library, 2003), vii-viii and passim).  

[xx] Brazil imported six times as many slaves as did the United States but, because of its high death rate and low birth rate, by 1825 had a much smaller slave population. Severely brutal conditions for Brazilian slaves accounted for much of this. Thomas Sowell, Ethnic America (New York: Basic Books, 1981), 186. Brazil did not abolish slavery until 1888, the last nation in the western hemisphere to do so. “Slavery in Brazil,” https://en.wikipedia.com/wiki/Slavery_in_Brazil. Accessed on November 19, 2018.

[xxi] Stephane Courtois, et. al., The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression (Cambridge, Mass, 1999: Harvard University Press), 4. Historian, Martin Malia, writes that “the Communist record offers the most colossal case of political carnage in history.” Malia, “Foreword” to Courtois, The Black Book of Communism:, x. R. J. Rummel, the political scientist who devoted his career to studying “democide,” murder of the people by their own governments, argues the Communist murder total is substantially higher than 100 million, claiming that the Soviet regime alone annihilated some 61 million of its own civilians. R. J. Rummel, Death By Government (New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 1994), 79-89.

[xxii] Yuval Harari, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (New York: HarperCollins, 2015),  14-18.  

[xxiii] Courtois, The Black Book of Communism:, 8.

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Andrew Bernstein holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the City University of New York. He lectures all over the world. He is a senior writer for the Ayn Rand Institute. He has written numerous books, including his novel, A Dearth of Eagles, recently published and available from Amazon.

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