The co-founder of Black Lives Matter (BLM), Patrisse Cullors, has boasted that she and many of her BLM confreres are "trained Marxists."
The New York Post reported that Cullors stated in a video, "We are trained Marxists. We are super-versed on, sort of, ideological theories. And I think that what we really tried to do is build a movement that could be utilized by many, many black folk."
After reviewing BLM documents outlining their methods and goals, it became evident to me that its leaders have been influenced by two leading followers of Karl Marx (1818-1883), the Italian communist Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937) and Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924).
Gramsci is remembered for dismissing Marxist nostrums on dialectical materialism and economic determinism. Instead, he argued that Marx's "Worker's Paradise" could not be realized until a given state's cultural foundations are destroyed. A nation's historic memory, monuments, heroes, Judeo-Christian values, must all be swept into the dustbin before Marxists can impose their ideological formulas to achieve socio-political liberation.
"Gramsci's principle," French journalist Jean-François Revel pointed out, "was that [Marxists] must begin by influencing the culture, winning the intellectuals, the teachers, implanting itself in the press, the media, the publishing houses."
To succeed, Marxists have to create a cultura capillare (capillary culture) that would infuse itself into every nook and cranny of society.
Since the 1960s, leftist secularists have successfully infiltrated universities, media outlets, churches, etc. and laid the groundwork for groups like Black Lives Matter to germinate and to attain a powerful national presence.
The BLM platform does give lip service to the economic teachings of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels found in The Communist Manifesto: a progressive income tax, abolition of inheritance and private property, nationalization of banks and factories, etc. One plank in BLM's platform is a variation on the Manifesto's final line, "Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains!" It reads "Until we are able to overturn U.S. imperialism, capitalism and white supremacy, our brothers and sisters around the world will continue to live in chains."
But their primary emphasis is on identity politics, a racial and sexual orientation cultural agenda. Hence, they advertise themselves as the champions of so-called marginalized groups "including, but not limited to, those who are women, queer, trans, femmes, gender nonconforming, Muslim, formerly and currently incarcerated, cash poor and working class, differently-abled, undocumented, and immigrant."
They also intend to "disrupt the Western prescribed nuclear family" and to "dismantle cisgender privilege."
Thurston Powers at The Federalist, has observed "BLM has simply substituted Marx's class conflict between the proletariat and bourgeoise for class conflict between blackness and whiteness.
But there is another influence on BLM and other radical groups that have taken to the streets: Vladimir Lenin.
Lenin's unabashed radicalism called for the eliminating of the police, churches, armed forces, privately-owned newspapers, elections, the nuclear family and a nation's past history and traditions.
For Lenin, any means could be used to attain absolute power. To achieve that end, Soviet history expert Mikhail Heller pointed out that Lenin's Bolsheviks had the "capacity to accept instantaneously what it had previously condemned and to condemn what it had previously accepted." In other words, truth was not absolute but malleable to achieve ones' political ends.
And to impose his "current truth" and to eradicate the previous norms of social life, Lenin initiated deliberate and systematic state political terror and violence.
Perceived "Enemies of the State" were ruthlessly rounded up, murdered and imprisoned.
To prove their devotion to the Marxist state, and to achieve "justice," Lenin's comrade, Maxim Gorky, ordered Soviet commissars to "arrest those who did not think like them" and not "to hesitate to lie and slander their enemies."
The Marxist-Leninist rules for radicals may help explain why in June, BLM and other radical hate groups resorted to violence, arson and looting in cities around the nation.
And it may also explain why Hawk Newsome, president of the Greater New York Black Lives Matter, said in an interview, "I just want black liberation and black sovereignty by any means necessary;" and added, "If this country doesn't give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it. All right? And I could be speaking figuratively. I could be speaking literally. It's a matter of interpretation."
But are BLM members actually speaking "figuratively"? BLM's anti-police chant doesn't sound emblematic: "Pigs in the blanket fry 'em like bacon!"
It appears that BLM, like so many of today's radical left organizations cannot resist the totalitarian temptation in their determination to transform American culture.
These self-proclaimed anointed ones are what historian Richard Hofstadter called "totalitarian liberals" employing illiberal means and "hatred as a form of creed" to achieve so-called progressive reforms.
And if Americans do not stand up to these radicals, expect them to impose their Marxist socio-political agenda on the Democratic Party, and if Trump loses, on the Biden administration.
George J. Marlin, a former executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, is the author of "The American Catholic Voter: Two Hundred Years of Political Impact," and "Christian Persecutions in the Middle East: A 21st Century Tragedy." He is chairman of Aid to the Church in Need-USA. Mr. Marlin also writes for TheCatholicThing.org and the Long Island Business News. Read George J. Marlin's Reports — More Here.
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