Did Marxism and the dreams of a workers’ revolution really die with the fall of the Soviet Union? Or was the ideology just hibernating or waiting for a new cloak in which to wrap itself as it once more seeks to achieve its final goals? With Critical Race Theory (CRT) being taught in re-education programs, not only in schools but also government agencies, it seems the “old enemy” has found a new guise to wear among the masses of the innocent and uninformed young.
CRT asks participants to view the world, culture, history, and personal relationships through the prism of race and historic oppression. It invites them to understand that if they are not white, they have been oppressed, and if they are white, they are the oppressors who need to atone for the sins of their ancestors and for the privileges they enjoy today. Oppressor versus oppressed. Sound familiar yet?
A Push for Victimhood
On Steve Hilton’s program The Next Revolution, contributor Tammy Bruce likened the growth of woke culture in recent years to the despotic regimes of the Khmer Rouge and Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution. She lamented that:
“Young Americans do not know … No one is being taught about the Khmer Rouge, about China, the Chinese Communist Party, what it is about. To destroy an entire system in order to rebuild it.
“What that really means is the destruction of the educated, of people who might lift people up into something more. The destruction of people of faith. The destruction of faith itself, religion. The Soviet Union is the most modern example in a sense. But that was true and is true of the left in general.
“What we’re seeing is not new. It is, of course, packaged different for the 21st century and our mass media, which makes it even more difficult to deal with … It’s not a mistaken difference in the goals.”
She concluded that “It’s not about lifting people up; it’s about convincing people that victimhood and racism will never be abolished. And that what we saw in the killing fields [in Cambodia] is the only way to overcome it … to eliminate the people who have done this to you.”
Powerful words, indeed. But are they hyperbolic?
The Cultural Revolution
Fresh off the failure of the Great Leap Forward, which led to an estimated 15 million to 55 million deaths through starvation, Chinese Communist Party leader Mao Zedong began in the mid-‘60s the Cultural Revolution (formerly known as the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution). This program sought to instill Maoism (or “Mao thought”) in the next generation by demonizing, abusing, and even killing those who represented the “old way.”
This social philosophy argued that capitalism was an oppressor and that through the destruction of the Four Olds (Old Ideas, Old Culture, Old Habits, and Old Customs), a new future would be born. Naturally, there were “undesirables” who had to be done away with, those who differed from the ideology of Maoism. That included landlords, dissident intellectuals, and wealthy business owners.
Are these not the same groups of people so ill-favored in today’s woke climate?
According to emails obtained by the The Washington Free Beacon, Bowling Green University in Ohio is seeking to apply a “diversity score” to future applicants. Job seekers would be docked points for not sharing their personal experiences of diversity and inclusion and for “not addressing their own positionality.” To get a perfect score on the application, candidates need to demonstrate a “clear knowledge of, experience with, and interest in dimensions of diversity that result from different identities.” To the historical observer, does this appear to be a precursor to Mao’s Struggle Sessions, events where an accused person was publicly humiliated and invited to explain the error of their ways?
Candidates are invited to parrot the CRT narrative and admit – and presumably be apologetic for – their own “positionality.” If this is what is expected in the job interview, what will these teachers be pressured to teach to maintain employment going forward?
Consider actor John Cena’s recent abject apology delivered to the Chinese people for calling Taiwan a country. The former wrestling star released a begging apology for causing offense by speaking opposite to official Communist Party doctrine. This was Cena’s personal struggle session broadcast to the world.
CRT = Woke
To be considered woke in today’s culture is to accept the tenets of Critical Race Theory, abide by them, and endorse them; those who don’t face cultural backlash, criticism, and reduced employment opportunities.
This all comes back to the argument that there are oppressors and the oppressed; while the former still exist, the system must be broken. Rather than fixing remaining inequalities, proponents say that the whole society needs to be torn down and built again in the new image of equity and inclusivity.
As Bruce pointed out, this exercise in wokeness was never about lifting people to greater heights or even about creating a fair society. It was in the past, and it is today, a means of achieving political ends at the expense and detriment of the many.
For those who understand what happened in China, in the Soviet Union, in the killing fields of Cambodia, the message is all too clear: Marxism is back with a brand-new look, and if you stand in the way …
Read more from Mark Angelides.