...the revolutionaries lack a sufficiently malicious counterforce to justify their loathing...
Last week I penned a piece suggesting that you don’t underestimate what’s going on with the riots, the looting, the organizing, the media’s cooperation in fomenting the hate, because it isn’t going to stop. Friday morning I read a piece by Abe Greenwald, writing for commentary magazine dot com. It’s a very long piece, but it is well worth reading.
I have extracted a few paragraphs from the article, to give you some flavor, but truly I suggest you do read the entire piece. The author is very good at lining up what’s happening here, with revolutions that took place in France in the 1700’s, with Russia, and with China’s Mao. Here’s the gist:
by Abe Greenwald
The battle for the survival of the United States of America is upon us. It has not come in the form of traditional civil war. There are no uniformed armies, competing flags, or alternate constitutions. The great showdown is not being fought within the physical limits of a battlefield. It is instead happening all around us and directly to us. It defines our culture, sustains our media, and gives new shape to our public and private institutions. In this fight, there is no distinction between what was once known as the culture war and politics rightly understood. The confrontation stretches through time and space, reframing our distant past even as it transforms the horizon, erupting from coast to coast, and constraining our lives in subtle and obvious ways. And it’s happening too fast for us to take its full measure.
For partisans, it often feels as if everything stands or falls on the ideological battles of the day. But this is different. This is objectively real, and it’s remaking the nation before our eyes.
We know it’s different this time because the stakes are continually articulated by the enemies of the current order. They are demanding, and in some cases getting, a new and exotic country. The police are indeed being defunded. The statues are coming down. The heretics are being outed. The dissenters are being silenced. The buildings are burning, and the demands are ever growing.
In June, the editors of Commentary called this combination of mob violence, cultural torment, and public intimidation “the great unraveling.” Since then, things have gotten appreciably worse.
The great unraveling at first consisted of riots and looting under the pretense of seeking justice for the recently killed George Floyd; the anarchist occupation of a section of Seattle; and a rash of accusations, confessions, and dismissals of individuals who showed insufficient fealty to the new anti-racist paradigm. At the time, extreme policy proposals, such as defunding municipal police departments, were subjects for popular discussion and debate. Everyday Americans swapped Black Lives Matter reading lists and strove, however misguidedly, to broaden their conception of racial inequity.
As of this writing, Portland, Oregon, has endured more than two months straight of anarchist violence directed at federal buildings and employees. In other cities—New York, Los Angeles, Richmond, Omaha, and Austin, to name a few—mob violence continues to erupt regularly, always connected to cries for justice and sometimes resulting in death. Accelerating the general dissolution, police forces have been successfully hobbled in response to the killing of George Floyd, and the resulting spike in murder and violent crime shows no sign of abating. All the while, armchair lynch mobs have continued to claim the scalps of those who veer from or merely stumble on the path to social-justice enlightenment. It is the full-time job of any American with a public presence to bow down before the identity cult. Professional athletes have mutated overnight into a congeries of Kaepernicks. As for the public, 62 percent of all Americans, according to a poll by the CATO Institute, now say they’re afraid to voice their political views lest they be punished professionally.
If it wasn’t clear in late May and early June, it should be well understood by now that we are in the throes of a genuine revolution of the most extravagant sort. Like messianic revolutionaries of the past, the revolutionary mob of the 21st century is out to “remake the world.” Their compass is “no longer pointed at one thing.” It’s aimed in all directions at once. As Thomas Paine said approvingly of France in 1791, “it is the age of revolutions, in which everything may be looked for.” A mission so grandiose demands the most radical assault on the current order, and changing the world begins with changing one’s country. So it was in France in 1789, Russia in 1917, and China in 1949. And this is especially so if one’s country is seen as the seat of the present evil and is also the most powerful nation on the planet. This is, then, most fundamentally a revolution against the United States of America and all it stands for.
Establishing racism’s boundless domain is one thing, but the real work of the revolution is in going after its undercover practitioners. In July, Seattle’s Office of Civil Rights developed a course to get white city employees to confront their “Internalized Racial Superiority.” The in-person training involves attendees “processing white feelings,” such as “sadness, shame, confusion, or denial.” And “retraining,” which requires “ways of seeing that are hidden from us in white supremacy.” After these, attendees are to take “action to shift power,” committing to “redistribute resources, change who’s in power, alter institutions, etc.”
They must then “reflect” on how their “family benefits economically from the system of white supremacy even as it directly and violently harms Black people.”1 They are to consider how their “white silence” and “white fragility” have hurt black co-workers. Echoing the museum guidelines, the city then calls upon white employees to acknowledge that their sense of individualism, comfort, and objectivity are signs of their “internalized racial superiority.” Finally, comes confession: “Reflect on a time in the past two to three months when you did something that you believe caused harm to a person of color.”
“White feelings,” “white silence,” “white fragility”—these are quotes from a government document.
For those not being re-educated by the state or canceled by the media mob, that is, for ordinary low-profile Americans, there are other channels of coercion. In the New York Times, writer Chad Sanders recommends interfamilial blackmail. In a June 5 op-ed, he suggested to white people: “[Send] texts to your relatives and loved ones telling them you will not be visiting them or answering phone calls until they take significant action in supporting black lives either through protest or financial contributions.” This, too, is straight out of the Cultural Revolution, during which Chinese were compelled to shun and turn against any family members with even the most remote connections to the wrong ideas.
Opposing the revolution will necessarily be a slower, more considered process than that which brought it into being. Revolutions are sparked into existence and take off at full gallop. They are born reckless and their nature doesn’t change. This is part of what makes them detestable to the civil-minded. Thus, putting down a revolution isn’t a matter of mirroring its recklessness from the opposite direction; it’s a sober process of reasserting prudence and order. The counterrevolution will not be won in the streets.
It will be accomplished, if it is to be accomplished, as Americans outside the revolution’s burning core come to grips with what it is; as its wreckage exceeds its justification; and as the gap between revolutionary claims and reality becomes too great to ignore. Metropolitan liberals may be passionate about social justice, but they won’t want their cities forever blighted by crime. Americans of faith may feel compelled to support a movement claiming to speak for the oppressed, but they won’t abide Bibles in bonfires
The revolution’s most exploitable weakness is that it is wrong. To be sure, catastrophically mistaken revolutions have succeeded in the past. Most revolutions are in fact terrible affairs all the way through. But even so, they grew out of intolerance for states and systems that deserved contempt. Louis XVI’s France was a deeply corrupt country, already undone by war debt, aristocratic privilege, and a mode of inequality that would be science-fictional by current Western norms. Much the same applies to czarist Russia, too, which was a punishing hell for displaced peasants and industrial workers. The current revolutionaries, on the other hand, are fundamentally wrong. As a factual matter, America is a vigorous democratic republic—the freest and least prejudiced country of this or any time.
Thus, the revolutionaries lack a sufficiently malicious counterforce to justify their loathing. The U.S. does not and cannot furnish them with the complementary element they desperately want to put on trial: a truly unjust state and society. They must, instead, invent these and rebel against their own invention. Unlike Russia and France, we have no nobility, so they try to create one in the idea of white privilege. White people, however, are not nobles; they’re Americans, living out lives at every strata of society. The revolutionaries claim we live in a fascistic military state. But in truth, unlike revolutionary France and Russia, all we have are federal agents armed with nonlethal means to disperse violent crowds. We have none of the true institutionalized injustices that have inspired insurrectionary vengeance in other places and times. And because the United States is fundamentally good, most Americans may, in time, become circumspect about tearing it all down.
Please read the entire piece here, because it is a very interesting look at this from a different angle: https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/abe-greenwald/yes-this-is-a-revolution/