Talkin’ ’bout a revolution today, fellas.
Ever look at the world today, a world of political correctness, banned books, forbidden ideas, so-called “toxic masculinity”, and ever-coiling public tension and wonder, “How did we get here?!” Well, as the Booby stresses over and over what we’re seeing is nothing new. We are, believe it or not, in the midst of a post-revolutionary reign of terror.
Unless you’ve been in a coma or in North Korea you’re aware that something of a “revolution” took place in Western countries back in the 1960s. But what does that have to do with the climate of today? Everything.
There’s no question about it. A revolution took place. But what kind of revolution was it? After all, there weren’t mobs of peasants storming government buildings wielding pitchforks and torches. No, it wasn’t that kind of revolution at all. But it was a revolution, and it certainly affects us to this day, and not always for the best.
Hear the Booby out:
There were really two revolutions that took place in the 1960s. There is the narrative we’ve all heard about: in other words, baby boomers courageously stood up to the fascist establishment and ushered in a society that would overcome racial, sexual, and various other oppressions, overturn capitalism, and usher in an age of tolerance, hand-holding, and “peace and love”.
Then there is that other, undiscussed, revolution, or the one that actually occurred: namely, a radicalized, militant minority of students – either sympathetic to, or outwardly supportive of the USSR, Maoist China, and the Marxist-Leninist ideology of the day – took control of the West’s campuses and gradually, year-by-year, decade-by-decade established itself as a one-party state in academia.
Oh, to be sure, the real revolutionaries often echoed and piggybacked upon the standard Boomer narrative we hear almost daily. But these two revolutions are nothing alike, and not just because one actually happened, while the other is but a nostalgic fantasy preserved by the richest generation in human history.
You see, revolutionaries always advance the cause of downtrodden groups they don’t belong to, like the bourgeois Lenin or his bourgeois later counterpart Che Guevara. Ultimately, however, their contempt for the people always comes out. For the most part, revolutions tend to spawn regimes that are objectively more tyrannical that those they displace. Indeed, they have to be.
One thing about revolutions is that they are always followed by a reign of terror. We saw that in 1790s France as the heads piled up like pyramids. We saw it in the USSR where, well into the 1950s, mass killings claimed lives in the tens of millions and the gulags swallowed even more as slave labourers. We saw it in Mao’s cultural revolution. It was even observable in post-1979 Iran, as members of the old regime were swept away, along with any collateral damage that got in the way.
The revolution of the 60s was different from these other ones in that it was not a peoples’ revolution. No, instead it was a revolution led by the children of the privileged. It did not happen in an arena of street fights or armed rebellion. It was simply a takeover – and not entirely peaceful, we should be clear – of the academic scene, of the colleges and universities. It was like a gremlin living on the back of the baby boomer generation. It was ugly, malignant, and festered upon its hosts while stroking their juvenile egos with assurances of “progress” and “intellectualism”.
The radicalization took hold in the 60s, but precariously so, since campuses still featured members of the old establishment. From there, it proceeded to gradually, incrementally, dominate the academic climate. As the 70s grew on the youth of the baby boom lost the fire in its belly, but its ugly little gremlin continued to battle on within the campuses where it had now firmly established itself. The Boomers, content in their narcissistic self-satisfaction, went on with life, not knowing and not caring what they left behind in the auditoriums and seminar halls. They’re still in denial.
As the 70s became the 80s the takeover continued. But by the time the process was largely fulfilled at the end of the decade something utterly unexpected happened. The USSR collapsed, and the mechanistically determined future that our best and brightest predicted was reduced to rubble! The radical left had lost its purpose, and yet also held near absolute influence and domination within Western academia.
It was then that budding political class conveniently lost any memory of its former allegiance or mere sympathy for the Soviet superstate. What followed was not a reexamination by Western society of its academics, but rather the further entrenchment of a radicalized element. Soon, the “plight of the workers” would be forgotten, as new attacks upon the Western tradition exploded in such forms as global warming, ecofeminism, fourth wave feminism, so-called “queer theory”, identity politics, and the battle for transgendered washrooms in public schools.
Regardless of whether such pursuits possess theoretic merit, have no illusions: this wave of radical leftism was born from the nursery of the anti-Western dogma that midwifed it.
Problem is, in the absence of the USSR and any presumption of a Marxian utopia, all the modern left has is its hatred and its rage. Having failed spectacularly in the real life East-West struggle, faculties desperately continued to satisfy the rage of the West’s pubescent scions. This is necessary any time a political class recognizes that its legitimacy and existence are threatened.
In a world where quasi-capitalism and global corporations had won the day, the left needed a war, a justification for its rage, a hero-narrative, and a scapegoat for the universe’s ills. In other words, a cultural revolution! They found scapegoats aplenty. Christians, but especially Catholics were a good one, as were working class white males, rural citizens, gun owners, and eventually anyone so deplorable as to not accept without question the social justice war-cries of academia.
They can hate, that’s obvious, and they can tear down the old. But they have proved themselves incapable of creating: the revolution destroyed the family… mission accomplished, but it has produced nothing to replace it, except welfare, state dependence, and a society cannibalizing itself in divorce court and custody trials. The lawyers, of course, benefit the most to no one’s surprise.
They did tear down most of the divisive old racial demarcations, but have achieved little else, except for ever more divisive rhetoric and increased combativeness, even while welfare, crime, and social decay devour the inner cities, something the narcissistic Baby Boomers need not inconvenience themselves with from their suburban bunkers.
They attacked capitalism, private property and consumerism, but since the Cold War ended, the political class has merrily ridden on the coattails of these very institutions, fattening their 401(k)s, government pension plans, mutual funds, and public salaries.
Thus, today you have a Western World that has been usurped by a subculture that hates it, yet nonetheless profits from its largess. It maintains the longstanding tradition of hatred for the West, and still indulges the self-hating mindset that once wished to see it destroyed.
Our elites are a paradox hiding behind a curtain of radicalized fashion that has finally achieved mainstream status, and the non-elites increasingly know it.
The self-described revolutionaries who once condemned Nixon in 1973 for supporting a coup in Chile is now the political class that would applaud Obama in 2013 for supporting a coup in Egypt. In the former case, the empire of the old establishment was simply eliminating a pro-Soviet regime that threatened its interests in the region; in the latter case, the empire of the new establishment was eliminating a pro-Islamist regime that threatened its interests in the region.
No paradox; no contradictions; same empire, different ruling class.
Today an impending war with Moscow is seen by the left as a noble purpose. Of course, during the Cold War when Moscow represented the most blood-soaked totalitarian regime in human history, war was declared unthinkable by the “good” intellectuals of the West.
No paradox; no contradictions; same empire, different ruling class.
You see, the radical left has become the new establishment. The gremlin living on the backs of the Baby Boomers has now become its master, but the latter dare not admit it. True, the socialist model has been abandoned for a globalized network of corporate profiteers whose golden crumbs nourish the bureaucratic surveillance superstates which serve as their hosts. And to be sure, that system provides good paying jobs, both public and private, for the prodigious heirs of the middle and upper-middle classes.
Today privileged but agitated youngsters of the political establishment learn to direct their rage at those who challenge the absolute authority of the revolution. They are the zealots of the revolution. Theirs is a political correctness reign of terror. It doesn’t feature guillotines or firing squads… at least not yet. Today’s reign of terror instead comes in the form of social ostracization, doxing, destroyed careers and lives, public shaming, deplatforming, or even physical attacks.
These are not acts of courage. Hardly. It takes courage to live with freedom of speech. Cowards fear it. It takes courage to attack a powerful establishment. Cowards attack from under the protection of a powerful establishment. So much the better for the cowards of our political elite, and their oh-so-little minions.
The academic revolution will be defended by those whose interests it serves. The universities are the gatekeeper of good paying jobs of the political class: lawyers, judges, bureaucrats, school teachers, mainstream journalists, and entertainers. The revolution provides its parasites and cowards with a most rewarding existence, and these act in kind by blacklisting the revolution’s enemies. Meanwhile, the elites, their high priests, and their minions go on hating, while enjoying their pop culture and their most comfortable existences.
Losing the Cold War has its advantages.