In today’s politically charged and divisive atmosphere, many Americans are confused about what is happening to our institutions and why this is happening. To fully understand this, one should not rely on the normal opinion makers since they are woefully ignorant of the causes or they have an interest in confusing the public in order to advance the agenda of those who would fundamentally change America.
Perhaps, a little history is needed to get at the truth.
To understand what is happening today, we must look at the origin of the current movement to change our country. The origin lies in the anti-capitalist, pro-socialist movements that began in the 19th century. For Americans, this began with the New Harmony experiment, a socialist commune established in Indiana by the British socialist, Robert Owen, in 1825. Owen believed that the ills of society would never be cured unless the three evils of “property, religion, and marriage” were abolished and replaced by a society where everyone shared equally in the collective labor of that society. His experiment failed after just two years due to what his son called the anger of the people doing the work over the people who did little or no work yet derived an equal share in the fruits of that labor. Like all socialist experiments, New Harmony failed because it ran counter to human nature and the tendency for all people to seek personal economic advancement and to resent those who did less work yet benefitted from the hard work of others. It simply did not provide a cure for the perceived ills of society.
Due to the failure of New Harmony, socialism never achieved a solid footing in the United States. Socialist candidates did poorly in our elections and our labor unions rejected it. Most Americans saw the capitalist system as an engine for good and the best way to eliminate mass poverty, as well as a way to achieve social advancement based upon merit and industriousness. Even during the Great Depression, socialism never became a serious alternative to capitalism in the US.
Events were different in Europe where socialist movements, such as communism, national socialism, fascism, and syndicalism took root. These socialist movements led to enormous crimes and human misery. While most Americans rejected these socialist ideas and, indeed, actually fought against them, we now find ourselves being exposed to a new form of socialist thinking that has at its aim the destruction of capitalism and our very culture. We find ourselves under siege from a form of socialism called Cultural Marxism, but few Americans are aware of this insidious and destructive form of socialism infiltrating our institutions under the guise of “social justice.”
This form of socialism saw its roots in Europe after World War I when conventional Marxists were dismayed by the failure of the working classes in Europe to rise up and oppose a war being fought between the imperialist, capitalist nations of Europe. They attributed this lack of revolutionary fervor and solidarity by the proletariat to the cultures of the nations fighting the war, making patriotism stronger than proletarian solidarity and blinding the workers to their exploitation. These disillusioned Marxists found what they saw as a solution to this proletarian failure by developing a system that would erode and weaken the cultural values of the proletariat so the Marxist revolution could succeed. They found their voice in Germany and their movement came to be known as The Frankfurt School of Marxism.
For many years, this form of Marxism languished in Europe and competed with other socialist heresies, but it found its way into the faculty rooms of many of our universities in the 1960s and has been growing like a cancer ever since. Adherents of this anti-capitalist doctrine can now be found in our high schools; corporate headquarters; Hollywood; national, state, and local governments; and even in our military academies, as well as the radical wing of the Democratic Party. As stated earlier, the ultimate objective of Cultural Marxism is the destruction of our capitalist economy and replacing it with a socialist one. Such phrases as “social justice”, “progressive”, “income redistribution”, “white privilege”, “gender equality,” “male chauvinism,” “critical race theory,” “equity,” and “police brutality” are among the lexicon of the Cultural Marxists, as they set about dividing our nation along sensitive fault lines and undermining our faith in our cultural institutions.
Like mainstream communists, the Cultural Marxists attempt to form “united fronts” with organizations and individuals who share many of their aims, often appealing to them with arguments that are couched in “progressive” and humanitarian terms. Vladimir Lenin famously called Progressives “Useful Idiots” for joining with the communists. We can see this happening now with the likes of Antifa (an anarchist group), Black Lives Matter (a group led by admitted Marxists), and the other “useful idiots” in our nation who align themselves with them, thinking the Cultural Marxists are some form of benign European social democrats.
Like the inhabitants of Robert Owen’s New Harmony experiment, these latter-day socialists oppose property, marriage, and religion, along with any other aspect of our national culture that impedes their revolutionary aims. It is time to expose these socialists for what they are and to say “NO” to their anti-capitalist propaganda and machinations
Colonel Finlayson is a 1966 graduate of the U. S Naval Academy who served 26 years in the US Marine Corps as an infantry officer. He is the author of Killer Kane: A Marine Long-Range Recon Team Leader in Vietnam, 1967-1968 and Rice Paddy Recon: A Marine Officer’s Second Tour in Vietnam, 1968-1970.