Articles

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Progressive Red Guard

As the 50th anniversary of the Cultural Revolution approaches some of the former students who participated in its Red Guard terror have been trying to make amends to their victims. If China's former leftist fanatics feel some remorse for the atrocities they participated in, the same can't be said of their American counterparts.

Even as the Cultural Revolution was dying down in China, it flared up in the United States. The Weather Underground drew inspiration from China's Red Terror. Their founding manifesto cited the Red Guard as a model for a "mass revolutionary movement."

Bill Ayers, among others, had signed a letter, "Long live People's China. Love live Comrade Mao."

The American counterparts of China’s Red Guard remain largely unrepentant because here the  Cultural Revolution never ended. Instead it went mainstream. Its members were never disavowed and their acts of terror continue to be celebrated, minimized and whitewashed by a left that finds them alternately embarrassing and thrilling.

The terrorists became celebrities and the radicals became part of the system and set the rules. There was less violence, but more authoritarianism. Instead of carrying on a futile campaign of bombings and bank robberies, the radicals used the vast wealth and power of the system to train the next generation of the Red Guard. And that next generation did the same thing.

Each wave of the Cultural Revolution in the United States has eroded civil rights and illiberally undermined a liberal society. Though the Red Guards have chosen to work within the system, they are animated by an unmistakeable contempt and hatred for the country and its institutions. Their endgame has not changed. Only their tactics have.

Barack Obama, a child of the Cultural Revolution, is the very model of a modern Red Guard. The mark of a successful revolution is that the revolutionaries no longer need extreme rhetoric since they can do anything they want. The Weather Underground engaged in extreme rhetoric and actions. Obama dispenses with the extreme rhetoric and gets right down to the extreme actions. He is calculating enough to avoid the verbal vindictiveness of an Ayers or a Wright, but he still chose them as his mentors.

America under the Red Guards is run by liberals without liberalism. Locke's "No one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions" is as alien a sentiment to them as if it were expressed in binary code. Its grounding in a Natural Law whose equality eliminates power relationship is utterly incompatible with the Red Guard's obsession with power relationships.

The United States has gone from a society that sought to create equality through neutral spaces that nullified authoritarian power relationships and restored a natural state of individuality to a society of authoritarian power relationships that promise equality by redistributing poverty and oppression. There is no room for neutral spaces in such a system. No room for withdrawal or dissent.

George Washington's Farewell Address asking Americans to avoid factionalism clashes sharply with the progressive mandate to politicize everything.

The virtue of the creative individual was displaced by the Red Guard's virtue of outrage. Its members mistake the thrill of abusing others for the rightness of a moral crusade. They celebrate the elimination of all restrictions that prevent them from punishing their victims as a revolutionary act.

This form of crowdsourced political terror by elites and their pet mobs isn't new. It's only new to the United States.

Political outrage is the supreme virtue of both the American and Chinese Red Guard. The denunciations leading from that outrage show off their revolutionary commitment to everyone.

The lines of scapegoats paraded through the media for some petty crime against political correctness are a modern digital version of the Red Guard's denunciations and humiliations. The politics and the poisoned power motives are the same. The only difference is that the Red Guard lacks the license to commit real violence, as of now, and must instead settle for economic and social violence.

The virtue of outrage leads to a state of authoritarian lawlessness. Legislatures and laws are replaced with an alliance between the executive authority of Barack Obama and the Red Guard activists. The activists demand, the media manufactures outrage and Obama uses executive orders to deliver. These totalitarian antics of a new Cultural Revolution are celebrated as populist, when they are really the Machiavellian show that the leftist elite puts on for the people.

When outrage displaces the process of the law, what remains is either authoritarianism or anarchy. And despite the occasional Circle-A embroidered on a pricey jacket, the progressive Red Guard are not anarchists. What they are after is not less authority, but more of it. Not more freedom, but less of it. Their rhetoric about banks and corporations disguises what they intend for the rest of us.

They are not fighting against power. They are fighting for power. 

The Red Guard, whether it's the Occupiers or Barack Obama, abide by no rules except those of their own ideology. The United States Constitution and the rule of law mean nothing to them. The rules of their ideology are expressed formally in private, but publicly as outrage or empathy.

The left understands that Americans have a great deal of antipathy to words like "Socialism" and relies on emotion instead putting over its agenda over through individual stories that engage audiences emotionally. Beyond that its rhetoric relies on "modern" and "sensible" cultural signifiers aimed at winning over the same middle class audiences that it inwardly hates.

And so the Red Guard communicates privately in terms of ideology, but publicly in terms of outrage. Like villagers hearing wolves howl on a hill, we hear the raw savage force of their call, but we don't always understand the vicious structure behind it.

Liberal societies are sustained by reason. The momentum of emotion has no room for argument or dissent. There is no possibility of negotiation or compromise. Everything exists in black and white. Reason is not even a factor. There is nothing to debate. Either you agree or you are the enemy.

Under the rule of the Red Guard, rights do not transcend the ruling ideology. Freedom of speech and thought are only provided to those who say and think the right things. The same is true for all else. There are no rights, as we know them anymore. Only a binding mandate of social justice. The right to speak your mind or donate to a political cause is valid only if it serves that mandate.

The Constitution is not an absolute. There are no absolutes except social justice. A right either serves the cause of social justice, in which case it can be dispensed with since it will be protected by social justice anyway. Or it obstructs it, in which case it must be destroyed. The same is true of all laws.

The Living Constitution is not a fixed legal structure, but a mandate for equality. Justice is not blind. She's a community organizer coming out on the side of the social justice faction against the greedy and ignorant majority. The entire system, political, cultural and legal, is a means of enforcing the mandate. Its administrators are an elitist faction whose contempt for the people leads them to believe that tyranny is the only way to equality.

Washington spoke of faction as "an artificial and extraordinary force" that replaces the "delegated will of the nation" with "the will of a party" and leads "to a more formal and permanent despotism."

The artificial and extraordinary force of the Red Guard is a perverse parody of mob rule. Our Red Guard, like many in China's Red Guard, are the sons and daughters of the elites. Their violence is a ferocious assault of the top against the middle in the name of the low. They manufacture an elitist populism in order to call for despotism.

In New York City, the sons and daughters of the elite stopped shaving, set up camping tents opposite Wall Street and clamored for the radical change that their parents were already busy implementing. Their 99% sloganeering, a group that few of their parents belonged to, was a massive distraction from an alliance between political and commercial elites to ration health care and displace the working class that had generated an authentic populist movement, which like all authentic populist movements rejected the authoritarian rule of a chief executive, rather than defending and endorsing it.

Occupy Wall Street, like every modern manifestation of the Red Guard in the United States, and like the original Red Guard, was a cynical power move by a ruling elite. The fake populism of 1 percenter brats shrieking about income inequality while campaigning to destroy the middle class and what's left of the working class was true despotism.

The new Cultural Revolution is aimed at shrinking the already narrow power and prosperity of the majority for the sake of the minority. Not the minority of racial or ethnic minorities, but the minority of elites that is determined to get its way by any means necessary.

When George Washington warned of the political system being distorted by a "small but artful and enterprising minority of the community", he certainly didn't mean it in racial terms. He was warning about a radical left eager to align with the French Revolution in the name of a greater revolution that would transcend nations, tear down borders, dispose of morals and impose despotism in the name of liberty.

The 50th anniversary of China's Cultural Revolution will coincide with a national election in the United States that will serve in part as a final referendum on the Red Guard reign of the previous eight years. Like the Chinese, Americans will be forced to confront the ruin of their institutions, the polarization of their society and the victims of the Red Guard's political inquisitions.

50 years from now, will the students eagerly tearing down a liberal society and replacing it with outraged denunciations and media purges also regret their role in the new Cultural Revolution?

22 comments:

neal said...

America was a refuge for escaping from death cults, awhile ago. Hard to watch, getting too old to fight. Mad prophet stuff, does not save women and the children.
What can a son of Adam do? Rhetoric would work, but there is the damned War.

Thanks.

Lev Tannen said...

Daniel, could you, please, explain why you keep silence about what is happening in Ukraine?
Do not you think it is worse to write about it?

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

I've written a few articles about it.

Lev Tannen said...

Daniel, it is all good, but why you keep silence about what is happening in Ukraine? Red Guard is dangerous, radical Islam is dangerous, but Putin's Russia is not less dangerous. And it is swallowing Ukraine right now.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

I wrote a number of articles when it first began. There isn't much new to say about it.

vanderleun said...

Lev... Put a sock in it. You want to do something about the Ukraine.... get on a plane and hit the streets.

meema said...

Fifty years from now? If Common Core, or its name du jour, is allowed to fully infect our education system what’s remaining of American children’s brains will not be concerned with some vague reference to irrelevant history. It will have been rewritten anyway.

Top down/bottom up/inside out. Stalin, Hitler, Marx, Mao - they knew the best way to conduct a revolution is to grab the young minds while they are pliable. That way the messy shedding of blood is only for the original resisters.

How many were among the silent minority worldwide who really understood what was happening in 1932? How many among the majority of complacent Americans assume it could never happen here?


http://www.wnd.com/2014/05/education-no-its-about-data-mining/#Lb5QHsfd5R78KiWG.99

Anonymous said...

Many of us were idealistic when we were younger. Then we grew up.

sophie

Anonymous said...

Lev pardon me for not caring much about the Ukraine which was a Nazi collaborating nation.
The world would be safer if Russia controlled them as it once did.

Empress Trudy said...

Just like most charity is rich people telling the middle class to give to the poor, you never met a poor Marxist or an old shahid. They don't exist. The people who tell the mob to chant 'power to the people' are the people they want the people to hand the power to.

Rage Against the Cul de Sac? There's an app for that.

meema said...

http://www.themoscowtimes.com/business/article/son-of-us-vice-president-biden-joins-ukraine-gas-company/500062.html

“The youngest son of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, has been appointed head of legal affairs at Ukraine's largest private gas producer — a move he said would benefit Ukrainians and the country's economy.

In a statement published on its website, Burisma Holdings announced Hunter Biden would join its board of directors and head the company's legal unit.
"As a new member of the board, I believe that my assistance in consulting the company on matters of transparency, corporate governance and responsibility, international expansion and other priorities will contribute to the economy and benefit the people of Ukraine," Hunter Biden said in the statement.”

The Ray Esquivel said...

Let's face it. We grew up in the best of times when America was at it's zenith. The baby boomer generation. However, studying history, it is possible to see how our enemies infiltrated our government institutions as spies during the wars of the twentieth century. Nothing new there. That has always happened as part of the intelligence game. What was different about this game of communism/socialism is that their ideological war continued after military conflicts ceased. The goals of the communist party were explicit as was Obama's stated goal of "fundamentally transforming America."

People are ready to believe in bodily diseases and now it is easy to cause panic about the next H1N1 virus or Ebola strain that lurks in foods. But an idea ... poisonous? Nah! This is America. We are free. Well. As you state, we were free.

It is difficult to blame the "boomer" generation when there was a lot of education going on, jobs being filled and production and consumption being created. Technology caused a lot of disruption for sure but my main focus falls on politicians who are supposed to be the guardians of the crown jewels. Our safety, and Constitutional freedoms. Instead of protecting their constituents, we have been sold down the river to the highest bidder ... the greedy and unscrupulous. Sure there is enough blame to go around.

But it was the "greatest generation" who voted for the Roosevelt's and Truman's who gave banks the Fed and removed the gold standard and loosed the printing presses.
Combine that with the credit card and we cannot just blame the commies. We are complicit in our own downfall.

Now the entire American infrastructure is weak and infested with rats who continue to gnaw away at the foundations of what was once great. Can it be great again? Sure. But, as with the fight against cancer, there will have to be major surgery and it will not be pretty or quick, and some ideas about the necessary treatment for survival will be seriously debated and I think at odds with some of our cherished traditions. But as with cancer, we mostly know where the cancer cells are, who the leaders are and what it would take to rid America of these killers/destroyers. I do not believe these people can be sent to re-education camps and are not worth the cost to do so.

As for me, I have enough on my plate than to worry about the Ukraine. They should be fighting for their freedom. I haven't seen much of that yet. Just a lot of talk and fall back, retreat. I think these people have forgotten their history with Russia. This is an article about what is happening in America and all you guys can comment on is "why don't you say more about Ukraine?

What? Get outa here!!

RobertW said...

Lev - how about you write an article about what is happening in Ukraine? Why are you asking Daniel to do it?

RobertW said...

The Soviet Union, contrary to common belief, did not collapse. It just moved to the USA.

The Ray Esquivel said...

To RobertW: As I tell people, the entity called the "Soviet Union" did collapse but communism did not. But Americans celebrated the fall of communism led by our esteemed President Reagan which is to me, one of the biggest fallacies of the twentieth century. The "idea" survived and continued to find new hosts and the biggest and healthiest was the USA.

mushroom said...

There are no absolutes except social justice.

Yep. That explains why victims are so vital to the left. They keep doing it because it works.

The media keeps it going, and America, in general, keeps thinking, "Well, it's on the news. There must be some truth to it." We reason that surely these journalists might be misled or mistaken or not very bright, but they wouldn't just lie outright.

Except they would, and they do because they are the Red Guard's agitprop. "Fact checking" was honest just long enough to be effectively corrupted, and crowd-source internet sites are being sanitized (i.e., Stalinized) or systematically trolled by regime agents to undermine the narrative of the opposition and bolster the regime's story.

Crazy world.

DenisO said...

It's time we "call a spade a spade". "Red Guard" or whatever. They are a real enemy of America, and though most of them just want to be cool and avant–garde., they need to get slapped around and reminded that they are losers, until they prove themselves.
Who's going to do the slapping? It surely won't be the Government in these solid Socialist cities and States, so someone else will chose to do it. This is serious stuff and there needs to be serious consequences.
If the Government will not enforce the laws of the U.S., and selectively picks ones they like, to enforce, there is no rule of law. When that happens People will have no choice but to take the law into their own hands. Then there is no guarantee of justice or fairness, so anarchy usually follows.
Obama thinks he is able to do whatever he wants, but he is really acting to destroy the peace, with the law. There is always some sort of law, and a lawless one evolves. Neither pretty nor civilized, it becomes angry, animal-like, when it is executed by a mob or violent men.

If you want to consider the Ukraine, read the real story of what is happening there, first: http://tiny.cc/rzytfx
Regards,

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that If you (all of you/us) don't like what you're seeing in the world today, you need to do something, anything, about it. Daniel, you're dead on about what's happening in our nation, as has happened to many before it, but it also sounds like you are only lamenting that fact and offering no alternative. I have studied a bit about the left (as much as I can at any given time without vomiting, anyway) and it's methods of getting what it wants, and many of the methods are sound. It's the ideology that fails. Meema said that if allowed to continue, the current education system would continue to pollute our kids' minds to the point of uselessness, and she's right, but I see home-schooling in my community up 50% TODAY. That's a sign that more people are dismissing the BS than there were a few years ago. I ask you this: is home-schooling not indoctrination? Sure it's performed by someone else, but the method is the same.

Then The Ray Esquivel said that America's best days are behind her, which I flatly reject due to one simple fact: I will not live under what is coming down the collectivist pike. There is no other option for me but to reject the collectivist mandate in all of its myriad forms, or to die trying. I know fully well what that means, and I know for a fact that I am NOT alone. There is one small euphemism I learned not long ago that I hold to be true: When Democracy becomes Tyranny, the armed citizen still gets a vote. There are very real lessons to learn from Mao, Ho Chi Minh, and the like that can be applied in different ways, to serve very different ends. I had an idea of what I wanted to convey here, and can't seem to find the right words to do it so I'll defer to a much more complete narrative here:
http://sipseystreetirregulars.blogspot.com/2013/04/tyrants-beware-4th-generation-warfare.html

Understand, I'm not advocating civil conflict. There are much better ways to go for the time being, but the truth is that one side or the other is going to have to give in and then back up, and the link listed above describes something I think the collectivists have no answer for. I will not live as anything other than a free man. Ever. That frightens them, as it should.

Now on to the rest of you. Understand also that I have chosen my perspective, and you must choose yours. Those of you with children, grandchildren: indoctrinate them YOUR way. Teach them the meaning of virtue and honor and self confidence. Teach them that it's ok to stand alone for what you know to be virtuous. Teach them what you want them to be when they're older. If there were no ability to resist collectivist dogma I would not exist, and since I do exist (despite that I was publicly educated) then there would seem to be a way to refute what the left keeps trying to pound into our heads.

Everyone is good at something. Find what you do best and figure out how to use it to advance liberty. If the left gets loud and violent because of it punch them in the damned mouth! Most are weak little brats under all that posturing, and they will fold like paper dolls in a child's fist. There is one thing that I know about the occupy crowd: they're good at feigning anger and outrage, but happen to be useless when they face real anger and real outrage by citizens who are done taking it on the chin because the brats are more vociferous.

It's time to find your voice folks.

The Ray Esquivel said...

To Anonymous: I understand your dislike of my statement. I don't like the reality of making it either. But I consider myself a realist. And I was referring to America's history up to and including my own lifetime. What I think you missed was my description of the cancer that plagues our country and what it will take to fix things. Like you, I am willing to fight and die for my freedom. But with half the country easy idiots for free stuff, and few of the rest willing to fight, it will come down to the III Percenters who lay their lives down on the line for everyone. My father was career Army and survived wicked winters in Germany for four years, the jungles of Panama, and Vietnam and is a hero to me. As a second generation American of Mexican ancestry, I am blessed to have been born and lived in this country at this time in history.

But when you look at the history of so called business titans in this country and around the world, they would sell their mothers for a little more money, or prestige. Never mind the people who work for them or depend on them like the buying public. Just another form of rape and pillage. Except by legal means. Legal by political friends. Behind closed doors enabled by a duplicitous journalism industry. All smoke and mirrors. Their bargain with the devil is that if the USA falls, they believe they will be able to bargain with the devil himself because they are special, the elite. That is where their "global" economy comes in. And they are the rulers.

Well, this country is special. Their kind not so. But as for your statement of "... but the truth is that one side or the other is going to have to give in and then back up", in this world, there in only one side that must win. And that is the side of truth and light. Freedom rings!

But as Thomas Jefferson said ""God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is
wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts
they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions,
it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ...
And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not
warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of
resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as
to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost
in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from
time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure."

The cancer must be rooted out and destroyed. It will not be pretty. But it must be done, or the Republic will not survive and only continue it's decline.

Anonymous said...

Ray, your last comment was so true. Government and business exist today simply to divide power among the elitists in both. They back each other up and with their greed and corruption as their virtues, both have no qualms about the consequences of their actions because as you pointed out, they think they can make a deal with the devil when the devil turns on them.

The tragedy of it all is that there is nothing new under the sun. Since the fall, man has absolutely believed he is his own god and all of the strife, devastation, wars, and cruelty humans have inflicted upon other humans is the result of the pride of the ego and the rejection of the authority of God.

Elaine

Anonymous said...

The leftist radicalization of Obama's America, including the left's illogical identification with fascistic Islam (the ultimate expression of which is the gay movement's support for anti-gay Islamists) is the ultimate victory of the Communist Soviet Union. On the one hand the Soviets mentored Muslims such as Yasser Arafat and Mohammed Abbas, both of whom are graduates of Patrick Lumumba University in Moscow, in the techniques of garnishing political, economic and emotional support for their jihad against Israel, the West and, indeed, against everyone who isn't a Muslim, by metamorphising their jihadism into a "liberation movement". On the other hand, they demoralised and undermined us by brainwashing thousands of our students in the 60's and 70's in our universities (students who, today, are our political leaders and journalists, etc.) by capitalising on anti-Viet Nam sentiment and by the creation of radical Islamic studies departments. Today we see the Soviet's success as evidenced by the coming together of these two radical movements, both of whom are interested in undermining our beliefs, and ultimately our very freedom.

Anonymous said...

Ray, I didn't miss a thing. I agree with almost every part of your then and now statements. I just know that our best days are yet to come. I think that there are enough of us out there who are willing to risk all, that we can make it happen. I also am a firm believer that the manner in which a person looks at something will color that person's perception of it. Are we at the beginning of our decline, or in the midst of a momentary slide before we find our footing again and press on once more? I can't point to definitive evidence of either. I really don't need to. I willingly choose to believe the second as truth, hopefully inspiring others to do the same. If that idea infects enough people, it will solidify into reality for them, as it is for me now. Hope can be killed with a whisper, but can create a cacophony heard for a thousand years. In a nutshell, that is what I dislike about many comments here and elsewhere too. They contain little hope.

I look at it this way: If I have my way, we will show firm courage and display the will, tenacity, and ability (through superior marksmanship) to beat back the progressive machine and send them shrieking into the darkness with their tail tucked firmly between their trembling legs. When that happens, the world gets better, and things get better for me. If I don't get it my way, the progressives make quick work of me and all others who stand their ground, I meet my maker, and things get better for me. What's there to lose? I'm also not saying that looking for the positive is easy. I AM saying that it's worth the effort.

One other thing, I'm not attacking you, just that one piece of your argument... a very small piece indeed. I would also say that while you did many solid points (as many here have) in the rest of your comment, the things Roosevelt and Truman did, the greed, the hate, are all just something that happened. It can't be changed. I remember the old saying that if you ignore history, you're destined to repeat it, but I also think that if you study history too much, you're also destined to repeat it. I think history is useful insofar as it reminds us of the things we tried as a race that didn't work. I believe that if you want to really alter the course that the world is on, look to the future. We already know what we want, now we need to make it happen.

Post a Comment