“Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.”
― George Orwell, 1984
America is burning around us. Much of the justification is flawed, and many of the instigators are being sheltered from criticism by a litany of voices and spurious reasoning. And our institutions which are supposed to protect us from misinformation leading to this, are merely fanning the flames.
We didn’t get here by accident, or through any kind of organic movement backed by a populace in demand of change. It was something else entirely, and is still happening.
Undermining a Nation
In 1984, a KGB defector named Yuri Bezmenof outlined the process they commonly used to destabilize enemy countries. It comes in four phases:
- Demoralization which advocates Marxist philosophy to a generation.
- Destabilization where economic fundamentals are affected by the above.
- Crisis involves taking a real event and politicizing it against the prevailing belief system.
- Normalization is the final stage where true control is established.
The true insidious nature of this process is due to the first stage. Once indoctrinated children reach the age of majority, they put their beliefs into motion. They get jobs in industry and government, teach subsequent generations, and editorialize against the evils they perceive in society as cast by a Marxist lens which can do no wrong. Or, as Yuri put it:
“They are programmed to think and react to certain stimuli in a certain pattern [alluding to Pavlov]. You cannot change their mind even if you expose them to authentic information. Even if you prove that white is white and black is black, you still can not change the basic perception and the logic of behavior.”
This is actually a fairly standard exploit of cognitive dissonance when combined with early indoctrination. Is it possible that beliefs you’ve held dear for your entire life are wrong? Or is there some way confirmation bias can safely reinterpret the situation in your favor?
While not exactly a complementary evaluation of human nature, people tend to strongly adhere to their beliefs, and will espouse them to others if possible. That’s not exactly new or interesting. But this sets a precedent that can be further exploited.
Yuri believed the Demoralization phase was fantastically successful as early as the 60s. Enter phase 2: Destabilization.
“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
― George Orwell
Once properly educated, the more fanatical adherents become cultural warriors. Antifa is ostensibly the name you give any reasonable person who opposes Fascism. Anti-Fa; get it? Unfortunately, the loosely organized Antifa groups follow a somewhat different set of tenets.
When most Americans see the word Fascism, they likely think of dictatorships featuring Benito Mussolini or perhaps Hitler’s Germany. However, a Marxist means something else entirely when they discuss Fascism, as suggested by a rather lengthy essay that essentially framed Fascism as a “modern world” Capitalism in 1935.
Given that Capitalism was already considered “decayed” into Fascism by Marxists way back in 1935, one must wonder what they think about it over 80 years later. The “original” Antifa, Antifaschistischer Aufbau München, put it this way:
“The fight against fascism is only won when the capitalist system has been shattered and a classless society has been achieved”
It should be noted that several false equivalences are made here:
- Fascism and Capitalism are synonymous.
- That a lack of Capitalism will necessarily result in a classless society.
- That a classless society is desirable.
The third point is debatable; it’s more likely that a classless society is not achievable, given this would also require defeating human selfishness itself.
Regardless, it is this kind of redefinition that garners far more support for their causes than is otherwise warranted. Antifa is “fighting the good fight” after all. Perhaps their methods leave a bit to be desired, but you need to break a few eggs to make an omelet, no?
There is a fantastic two part essay by the Gatestone Institute that really delves into their origin, beliefs, and methods:
Given the above context suggested by Yuri, Antifa themselves appear to be the result of that early work. And it’s not just Capitalism they want to dismantle, but several cornerstones of America, including its literal borders. Additionally, they continue to redefine language to fit their needs. Tweets like this are not uncommon among Antifa groups:
This is where we’re introduced to the ever-present specters of “White Supremacy” and “Patriarchy” in addition to the evils of Capitalism. It’s also where it becomes plainly evident precisely which indoctrination took hold.
Not Your Father’s White Supremacy
For those who still think White Supremacy is the belief that white people are superior, it may be time to reassess that notion. Like the concept of opposing Fascism really meaning dismantling Capitalism, the idea of White Supremacy has evolved into the concept that western nations were built for and by white people, and thus necessarily excludes anyone else.
The site Showing Up for Racial Justice puts it this way:
Cultural racism is how the dominant culture is founded upon and then shapes norms, values, beliefs and standards to advantage white people and oppress People of Color.
And thus the very fabric of Western societies is inherently oppressive, which requires them to be dismantled entirely. Fighting racism and hate doesn’t mean arguing with racists and trying to explain the error in their ways, but by tearing down the societies in which we live. Opposing that means opposing equality; an interesting catch-22 that makes a racist of anyone that expresses doubt against these various assertions.
Likewise, the terms Misogyny and Patriarchy have become similarly overloaded. They no longer mean hatred of women or imposition of a father figure. Now there is an underlying current of oppression, as required by Marxist ideology. There must be an oppressor and an oppressed in order for a revolution to occur.
So what exactly is supremacist about Western nations? Luckily, the Smithsonian produced a handy infographic outlining it:
The idea of a slippery slope is often discounted as scaremongering. Yet here is literal proof that the scientific method, families, and time are all considered white supremacist concepts. The irony here is that in order to presume that white people either invented or unduly benefit from these concepts that gave us the modern world, one would have to assume other races didn’t or couldn’t.
The soft bigotry of low expectations suggests this is the case. Is there anything more white supremacist than that?
But again, this is expected when trying to cause an upheaval in society. It is necessary to undermine every ideal, right down to the roots, so that it falls apart from within.
BLM Isn’t About Black Lives
As further proof of that, let’s consider the Black Lives Matter movement. The only people who believe black lives don’t matter are the tiny remaining cabal of crazy racists that will eventually die out. No country that elects a black man to the highest office in the land is fundamentally and primarily racist. Yet this somehow devolved into ongoing riots and destruction across the country.
Part of this is understandable, especially given the previous context that suggests America is racist simply by existing. From that frame of reference, “burning down the system” would be the natural response. Once again, Yuri would be proud.
Why is that? While this came to a head following the recent death of George Floyd, the movement and organization behind BLM are nothing new. Two of the founders of the BLM organization put it this way:
“We actually do have an ideological frame. Myself and Alicia [Garza] in particular, we’re trained organizers. We are trained Marxists. We are super versed on ideological theories.”
— BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors, July 22, 2015.
Perhaps even more illuminating, is that Susan Rosenberg sits on the board of Thousand Currents, which handles funding for BLM. The TL;DR here is that a convicted communist terrorist who attacked government buildings with explosives, now sits on the board that funds BLM.
BLM exists to foment revolutionary rhetoric, and so far it has been very successful. So far at least 20 people (most black) have died as a direct result of the ongoing riots.
We are now in phase 3: Crisis.
Everything Old is New Again
“One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.”
― George Orwell, 1984
Whether or when we reach phase 4 (Normalization) is yet to be seen. However, one of the events that occurred during these riots should give one pause. Though dismantled, the Seattle CHAZ (Capital Hill Autonomous Zone) / CHOP (Capital Hill Occupied Protest) persisted for several weeks unhindered.
Though members claim it began as a kind of hippy commune, the occupation occurred despite the people who lived there, and businesses that were forced to shutter themselves. This area cordoned off several blocks of the city, resulted in severe property damage, and swiftly devolved into a dictatorship.
In what was supposed to be a cop-free zone, Raz Simone took over and began enforcing laws to keep the peace. Nobody elected him, and despite the protection he was providing, four people were murdered in Seattle in the space of 10 days. One of these was at the hands of the security force itself.
Instead of a police force which is governed by laws and is presumably accountable to the rightfully elected government, Seattle got a group of armed vigilantes accountable to none. A security force which, if the video can believed, gunned down two black teenagers, much like the much maligned law enforcement they want to abolish.
What was supposed to be a “summer of love” according to Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan instead became a lawless bloodbath. The overriding issue is that CHAZ / CHOP existed at all, since it illustrates that a foothold for a persistent revolution—however tiny and ephemeral—is possible. It set a precedent that others will attempt to emulate. Unless immediately stopped, they could even succeed.
Given how brazen these attacks are becoming, can we even rule out that possibility anymore? If that ever happens, we enter phase 4.
What We End Up With
Perfect is the enemy of Good. In ruthlessly striving for perfection, we risk devolving into chaos as we destroy everything in order to reach that impossible utopia. Yuri also had an answer for what happens after that final revolution that brings down the prevailing society:
They serve purpose only at the stage of destabilization of a nation. For example, your Leftists in the United States, all these professors and all these beautiful civil rights defender, they are instrumental in the process of subversion, only to destabilize the nation. When the job is completed, they are none, they are not needed any more. They know too much. Some of them, when they see the Marxist-Leninists come to power, obviously, they get offended. They think that they will come to power. That will never happen, of course. They will be lined up against the wall and shot.
After all, as Antifa are often fond of saying, “Liberals get the bullet too.”
Either way, unless we do something to halt this slow unraveling of social norms, we will have front-row seats to the surreal real-time collapse of The West in general.
That may not have been possible in past cultural tumult, but the ongoing Covid-19 crisis has substantially weakened everything. Our resolve, international shipping lines, the economy, businesses of all description, medicine, our daily lives. We are literally on the brink of collapse, and keep experiencing further upsets to morale. All while our cities burn down around us with seemingly no end in sight.
It’s not simply that what comes after will be unlike what came before. There is real potential here for Western societies—all of them—to cease functioning entirely. If there is to be change, I’d prefer it to be gradual, lest we risk derailing the train entirely off a cliff.
But revolution makes no account for feasibility or sustainability, only action. I can only hope it went off prematurely, and it can be stopped now that it has become so blatant while there are enough dissenters.
If not, well, it was nice knowing you.