Multiculturalism and Marxism -- Part I
by Professor Frank Ellis
[Joe McCarthy may have been a drunk and everything else. He used a shotgun rather than a rifle. But what's been coming out of the Soviet Union since the fall of the Iron Curtain supports much of what he claimed back in the 1950's about communist activity in the United States. -- Insight magazine, 23 September 2002.]
No successful society shows a spontaneous tendency towards multiculturalism or multiracialism. Successful and enduring societies show a high degree of homogeneity. Those who support multiculturalism either do not know this, or, what is more likely, realize that if they are to transform Western society into strictly regulated, racial-feminist bureaucracies they must first undermine these societies.
This transformation is as radical and revolutionary as the project to establish Communism in the Soviet Union was. Just as every aspect of life had to be brought under political control in order for the commissars to impose their vision of society, the multiculturalists hope to control and dominate every aspect of our lives. Unlike the hard tyranny of the Soviets, theirs is a softer, gentler tyranny but one with which they hope to bind us as tightly as a prisoner in the gulag. Today's "political correctness" is the direct descendant of Communist terror and brainwashing.
Unlike the obviously alien implantation that was Communism, what makes multiculturalism particularly insidious and difficult to combat is that it usurps the moral and intellectual infrastructure of the West. Although it claims to champion the deepest held beliefs of the West, it is in fact a perversion and systematic undermining of the very idea of the West.
What we call "political correctness" actually dates back to the Soviet Union of the 1920s (politicbeskaya pravil 'nost' in Russian), and was the extension of political control in education, psychiatry, ethics, and behavior. It was an essential component of the attempt to make sure that all aspects of life were consistent with ideological orthodoxy which is the distinctive feature of all totalitarianism. In the post-Stalin period, political correctness even meant that dissent was seen as a symptom of mental illness, for which the only treatment was incarceration.
As Mao Tse-Tung, The Great Helmsman , put it, "Not to have a correct political orientation is like not having a soul." Mao's little red book is full of exhortations to follow the correct path of Communist thought and by the late l980s Maoist political correctness was well established in American universities. The final stage of development, which we are witnessing now, is the result of cross-fertilization with all the other "isms" -- anti-racism, feminism, structuralism, and post-modernism, which now dominate university curricula. The result is a new and virulent strain of totalitarianism, whose parallels to the Communist era are obvious.
Today's dogmas have led to rigid requirements of language, thought, and behavior, and violators are treated as if they were mentally unbalanced, just as Soviet dissidents were.
Some have argued that it is unfair to describe Stalin's regime as "totalitarian," pointing out that one man, no matter how ruthlessly he exercised power, could not control the functions of the state. But, in fact, he didn't have to. Totalitarianism was much more than state terror, censorship, and concentration camps; it was a state of mind in which the very thought of having a private opinion or point of view had been destroyed. The totalitarian propagandist forces people to believe that slavery is freedom, squalor is bounty, ignorance is knowledge and that a rigidly closed society is the most open in the world. And once enough people are made to think this way it is functionally totalitarian even if a single dictator does not personally control everything.
Today, of course, we are made to believe that diversity is strength, perversity is virtue, success is oppression, and that relentlessly repeating these ideas over and over is tolerance and diversity. Indeed the multicultural revolution works subversion everywhere, just as communist revolutions did. Judicial activism undermines the rule of law, "tolerance" weakens the condition that makes real tolerance possible; universities which should be havens of free enquiry practice censorship that rivals that of the Soviets. At the same time we find a relentless drive for equality: [Homer], the Bible, Shakespeare, and "rap" music are just texts with "equally valid perspectives." Today Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment would have been repackaged as Crime and Counseling.
In the Communist era, the totalitarian state was built on violence. The purpose of the l930s and the Great Terror [of the French Revolution ] (which was Mao's model for the Cultural Revolution) uses violence against "class enemies" to compel loyalty. Party members signed death warrants for "enemies of the people" knowing that the accused were innocent, but believing in the correctness of the charges. In the 1930s, collective guilt justified murdering millions of Russian peasants. As cited by Robert Conquest in The Horror of Sorrowing (p. 143), the state's view of this class was "not one of them was guilty of anything, but they belonged to a class that was guilty of everything." Stigmatizing entire institutions and groups makes it much easier to carry out wholesale change.
This, of course, is the beauty of "racism" and "sexism" for today's culture attackers -- sin can be extended far beyond individuals to include institutions, literature, language, history, laws, customs, entire civilizations. The charge of "institutional racism" is no different than declaring an entire economic class an enemy of the people. "Racism" and "sexism: are multiculturalism's assault weapons, its Big Ideas, just as class warfare was for Communists, and the effects are the same. If a crime can be collectivized, all can be guilty because they belong to the wrong group. When young whites are victims of racial preferences they are today's version of the Russian peasants. Even if they themselves have never oppressed anyone, they "belong to the race that is guilty of everything."
The purpose of these multicultural campaigns is to destroy the self. The mouth moves, the right gestures follow, but they are the mouth and gestures of a zombie, the new Soviet man or today, PC-man. Once enough people have been conditioned this way, violence is no longer necessary; we reach steady-state totalitarianism, in which the vast majority know what is expected of them and play their allotted roles.
The Russian experiment with revolution and totalitarian social engineering has been chronicled by two of that country's greatest writers, Dostoyevsky and Solzhenitsyn. They brilliantly dissect the methods and psychology of totalitarian control. Dostoyevsky's The Devils has no equal as a penetrating and disturbing analysis of the revolutionary and totalitarian mind. The "devils" are radical students of the middle and upper classes flirting with something they do not understand. The ruling class seeks to ingratiate itself with them. The universities have essentially declared war on society at large. The great cry of the student radicals is freedom, freedom, from the established norms of society, freedom from manners, freedom from inequality, freedom from the past.
Russia's descent into vice and insanity is a powerful warning of when a nation declares war on the past in the hope of building a terrestrial paradise. Dostoyevsky did not live to see the abominations he predicted, but Solzhenitsyn experienced them firsthand. The Gulag Archipelago and August 1914 can be seen as histories of ideas, as attempts to account for the dreadful fate that befell Russia after 1917. Solzhenitsyn identifies education, and the way teachers saw their duty as instilling hostility in all forms of traditional authority, as the major factors that explain why Russia's youth was seduced by revolutionary ideas. In the West during the 1960s and 1970s -- which collectively can be called "the 60s" -- we hear a powerful echo of the mental capitulation of Russia that took place in the 1870s and continued through the revolution. One of the echoes of Marxism that continues to reverberate today is that truth resides in class (or sex or race or erotic orientation ).
Truth is not something to be established by rational enquiry, but depends on the perspective of the speaker. In the multicultural universe, a person's perspective is "valued" (a favorite word) according to class. Feminists, blacks, environmentalists, and homosexuals have a greater claim to truth because they are oppressed. They see truth more clearly than the white heterosexual men who "oppress" them. This is a perfect mirror image of the Marxist proletariat's moral and intellectual superiority over the bourgeoisie.
Today, "oppression" confers a "privileged perspective" that is essentially infallible. To borrow an expression from Robert Bork's Slouching towards Gomorrah, blacks and feminists are [as] "case hardened against logical argument" as Communist true believers are. Indeed, feminists and anti-racist activists openly reject objective truth. Confident that they have intimidated their opposition, feminists are able to make all kinds of demands on the assumption that men and women are equal in every way. When outcomes do not match that belief, this is only more evidence of white-male deviltry.
One of the most depressing sights in the West today, particularly in the Universities and the media, is the readiness to treat feminism as a major contribution to knowledge and to submit to its absurdities. Remarkably, this requires no physical violence. It is the desire to be accepted that makes people truckle to these middle-class, would-be revolutionaries.
Peter Verkovensky, who orchestrates murder and mayhem in The Devils, expresses it with admirable contempt: "All I have to do is raise my voice and tell them that they are not sufficiently liberal." The race hustlers, of course play the same game. Accuse a liberal of "racism" and "sexism" and watch him fall apart in an orgy of self-flagellation and Marxist self-criticism. Even "conservatives" wilt at the sound of those words.
Ancient liberties and assumptions of innocence mean nothing when it comes to "racism." You are guilty until proven innocent, which is really impossible, and even then you are forever suspect. An accusation of racism has much the same effect as an accusation of witchcraft did in 17th century Salem.
It is the power of the charge of "racism" that stifles the
derision that would otherwise meet the idea that that we should "value
diversity." If "diversity" had real benefits, whites would want more of it and
would ask that even more cities in the U.S. and Europe be handed over to
immigrants. Of course, they are not rushing to embrace diversity and
multiculturalism; they are in headlong flight in the opposite direction. Valuing
diversity is [a] hobby for people who do not have to endure its benefits.