On the principle that leprosy is more fun if you understand why your fingers are falling off, permit me a few thoughts on Karl Marx, his witless theories, and our descent into a Disney version of them.
Marxism is a stupid, and almost comically wrong, hotchpotch of nonsense by a man who had little grasp of humanity, politics, or economics. He is an economist whose theories invariably lead to impoverishment. As a claim to greatness, this would seem defective. He is a major figure for the same reason that Typhoid Mary is-for damage done rather than intelligence exercised.
(Bear with me. This is not boilerplate denunciation of all things leftist. There is actually a point coming.)
Further, the errors of Marx were not of detail. They were fundamental. For example, he expected workingmen to unite. Instead, WWI showed that, with monotonous regularity (and perhaps questionable wisdom), their loyalty went to their countries. He thought that revolution would come in industrialized nations with suitable proletariats. Instead it came first in creaky agricultural countries, and never did come where he expected it. He thought that European economies would never give rise to the liberal democracies that seem today to be what everyone wants. They did.
In short, he was a crackpot. He was, however, either a crackpot who had correctly calculated the manipulability of the congenitally angry, or just lucky. No one, ever, has been responsible for as much death and brutality as Karl Marx. It wasn’t what he had in mind, not consciously anyway. But it is what he caused.
It is what Marxists always cause. With perfect predictability, Marxist states are police states. The chief trait of the workers’ paradise is that the workers all want to leave, and must be kept in with machine guns and land mines. In divided countries like Korea, we have what approach being laboratory experiments. South Korea is a high-tech industrial power. In North Korea, they eat grass and, occasionally, each other. If Korea is a geographical example, China is a temporal one: As soon as it began to abandon Marxism, it began to progress.
Marxism is a proven disaster. And Marxists know it. Elementary history is not a secret.
All of this would be of academic interest only, if the same spirit, under other names, were not so very active in America today. We see it in a variety of disguises. When Russia practiced censorship, we called it ” censorship.” Here, we call it political correctness. You still have to look over your shoulder before saying the wrong things. The difference is?what? In Russia, Marxists preached class warfare. Here they preach multiculturalism. The difference is?what? The Russians, unable to speak openly, passed around samizdat. We have the Internet. The difference, other than efficiency, is?what?
Our domestic Marxians are journalists, academics, racial professionals, multiculturalists, bilingualists, radical feminists, and educationists. Most of them lack the intelligence and schooling to know what they are helping to do. (I think the phrase is “useful idiots.”) The leaders, as for example in the universities, do know. They are less lethal than Lenin and Trotsky, but their direction is the same.
The key to understanding them is the recognition that Marxism is not a system but a mood: a grim, implacable, vengeful hostility toward the surrounding society. Its devotees are haters. This distinguishes it sharply from normal European democratic socialism. One may debate whether, say, Sweden is too socialist or not socialist enough. Yet Swedish socialism is not evil. Marxism is.
At its heart are (1) a desire for total control of everything, including of thought (2) a willingness to compel obedience by any means whatever, (3) an unconcern with economic reality and thus with material well-being, and (4) a contempt for humanity (“the masses”). It is simply resentment politicized, aimed not at helping the downtrodden, but at hurting the uptrodden.
Now, people who viscerally realize what is going on often want to debate with our Marxians. It is a mistake. Economics is not a mathematically verifiable subject. Politics also being imprecise, it is easy to argue for or against any position until the debate dissolves into murk. A case can easily be made for communism, or Nazism, or democracy, or Catholicism, or atheism, or paedophilia.
Instead, you have to remember at who they are, what they are. They are people who want to bring down ambient civilization.
This explains what might otherwise seem to be contradictions. For example, radical feminists, very Marxian in spirit, denounce imaginary discrimination against women in America, but say little about compulsory clitoridectomies in African and Moslem countries. This makes no sense if you believe that they want to benefit women. It makes perfect sense if their goal is to create division with an eye to destroying America.
Or note that the hard left talks endless about mistreatment of blacks in America, but conspicuously does not urge things, such as better schooling, that might help blacks. Why? Because (1) they do not really care about blacks, except as political tools, and (2) if blacks prospered, they might join the middle class and cease being usefully divisive.
Similarly, for Latino children our Marxians advocate bilingual education, which has a proven record of hindering the learning of English. Why? Latinos who spoke fluent English would marry people named Ferguson and become Americans. So much for class warfare.
And this is why Marxists, everywhere denouncing oppression, invariably practice it. There is no contradiction. They have no objection to oppression. It is central to their purposes. (Name a Marxist country that isn’t oppressive.) Denouncing it is just politically expedient.
The last thing they want is for backward countries to flourish and become liberal democracies.
Tactically, they are on solid ground in America. The United States always having been successful in assimilating groups, the Marxists needed to reverse the process so as to have class warfare. They couldn’t use the usual proletariat because it had moved into the middle class. They consequently needed to promote or invent new divisions. They did. It worked.
Black against white was an obviously useful fault line that the hard left didn’t invent but has carefully cultivated.. Opening the southern border amounted to importing a divisive class. Setting women against men was remarkably successful. Fanning homosexuals into hostility provided yet another serviceable resentment. The emotional terrorism practiced against boys is school (cops-and-robbers is violence), hate-speech laws, the punishment of dissent (as for example by being fired) are all the Soviet Union writ small. So far.
We will, I think, do nothing about it. Leprosy and docility are an unfortunate combination. But interesting.