Un-American Marxism - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Un-American Marxism
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Go to Amazon and type in “Mark Levin American Marxism,” and you’ll find the No. 1 bestselling book in the country, with hundreds of reviews in mere weeks. Even more impressive, it’s rated 4.9 out of 5 stars. Clearly, something is up. It’s not just Mark Levin’s name, his platform, his huge radio show, his “Life, Liberty, and Levin” show on Fox News Channel, or his previous bestsellers. What’s up is what Levin has tapped into with this particular book, American Marxism. What’s up is, unfortunately, American Marxism.

This is not American Marxism in the form that this nation long ago dealt with. This is not the American Marxism of the past century, in the style of its standard-bearers — the likes of John Reed, William Z. Foster, Earl Browder, Gus Hall, Alger Hiss, the Rosenbergs, the Hollywood Ten. No, that was really Soviet Marxism. Those guys (and gals) of Communist Party USA swore a literal loyalty oath to Stalin’s Soviet Union.

“I pledge myself to rally the masses to defend the Soviet Union,” swore American members of the Communist Party. “I pledge myself to remain at all times a vigilant and firm defender of the Leninist line of the party, the only line that insures the triumph of Soviet Power in the United States.”

What Mark Levin exposes in this book is truly American Marxism — that is, Marxism in this nation today. This is a type of Marxism that heretofore has not existed elsewhere. The perversity we’re witnessing is a distinctly American brand of Marxist thought. There genuinely is nothing like it anywhere in the world. It’s a uniquely American-born and fashioned strain (or strains) of Marxism, a bizarre adaption applied particularly to race and gender. “There has been an ‘Americanized’ adaptation of Marxism,” writes Levin, “which uses Marx’s core precepts and contextualizes them to the American system, in order to effectively overthrow the system.”

Levin’s great contribution is showing how, when, where, and why.

This certainly is not to suggest that Levin glides by the 20th century or 19th century. Not at all. He takes the reader through Marx and Engels and Lenin and more. He brings in the likes of John Dewey and Herbert Marcuse, or, in the positive, Eric Hoffer and Richard Weaver. Levin’s command of these figures and their ideas is what makes him so unique as an author and talk-show host. He is a scholar. He is very well read. That reality is on display in all his books, especially this one.

Among those names, particularly impressive is how Levin starts with Eric Hoffer, a brilliant thinker all too forgotten, including among conservatives. Hoffer seven decades ago wrote a seminal book called The True Believer, on the nature of mass movements, which, as Levin notes, were movements of “deeply flawed individuals with deeply flawed ideas.” As Hoffer put it, “Not only does a mass movement depict the present as mean and miserable — it deliberately makes it so.” Moreover, these movements “breed contempt for the present.”

That is and always has been Marxism, including for the present, where its new American apostles breed contempt. They also attract the true believer, “the fanatic who cannot be weaned away from his cause by an appeal to his reason and moral sense.”

That is wholly true. Marxism has no appeal to reason and moral sense. It’s pure sophistry. Only through brainwashing and indoctrination does this ridiculous ideological bilge gain any attraction among the easily duped, dull-witted, and plainly stupid.

As for the person of Karl Marx, Levin doesn’t simply rehash what we tend to focus on. Among the most important aspects of his treatment is to inform readers that Marx first and foremost was a journalist. He sure as heck wasn’t an economist. One might also call him a philosopher, of which he was even worse than an economist. Really, it didn’t matter much. What’s best to know about Marx, as Levin notes, is that he “was wrong about almost everything.”

And yet Marx’s basic conceptual framework has been seized with reckless abandon by his destructive minions in America today, namely, his pitting of individuals into opposing groups — that is, antagonistic groups drawing swords against one another and driven by hate. “Marxism stresses classism over individualism,” writes Levin. “The individual is dehumanized and is nothing unless he identifies with a group — the oppressed and victimized group.”

The individual is not an individual, made in the imago Dei, the image of God. Rather, the individual is a strictly material entity who belongs to a group. In Marx’s day, the group was defined according to class or economics; in today’s America, i.e., American Marxism, the group is defined according to race, gender, sexual orientation, or some other dehumanizing and de-individualized cultural category. Notes Levin, “[T]he individuals who make up opposing or nonconforming groups are collectively dehumanized, condemned, and loathed as the enemy.” This, notes Levin, is the trait of modern American Marxism. Worse, it’s “especially seductive to the malcontented, disenchanted, disaffected, and dissatisfied.” These people find themselves pitted into categories of oppressed versus oppressor by demagogues and propagandists and ideological hacks and “breeding mobs” that seek to make revolution and change America as it was envisioned. Levin captures this most succinctly in his third chapter, “Hate America, Inc.”

It is difficult to try to adequately review a book like this in a couple thousand words. But if I had to focus on one aspect in particular that’s a must-read, I would call to readers’ attention chapter four, “Racism, Genderism, and Marxism,” for this is most wholly and destructively where American Marxism manifests and rages today. In that section, Levin marshals a number of sources, including Jonathan Butcher, Mike Gonzalez, Thomas Sowell, Steve Klinsky, Wyatt Walker, and George R. La Noue, all of them especially insightful on the subject of critical race theory (CRT). La Noue, research professor of public policy and political science at the University of Maryland, describes CRT through its two best-selling proponents, Robin DiAngelo and Ibram X. Kendi, who, as Levin has been noting at length on his radio show, are making a fortune writing and speaking on Marxist-based CRT. As La Noue writes, “CRT begins with the presumption that race is the primary way to identify and analyze people and consequently posits a racial hierarchy that supposedly exists with whites on top and blacks at the bottom. Individual behavior is insignificant because everyone in America functions within a society of systemic racism, structural racism, and institutional racism.” Within this system, “whites must admit their culpability by confessing the advantages” that so-called “white supremacy” confers on them.

Both the oppressors and oppressed must be made aware of their roles in this system. And to deny your role as oppressor (as a white person) is to further your complicity in the oppression.

Karl Marx and Marxism did the same based on class and economics, with the proletariat versus the bourgeoisie, with the working class versus the landowning and capitalist class, etc. The groups are set against one another. They are told that they are foes.

And just like with classical Marxism, human nature and all of society are hammered into this new paradigm of human behavior. It’s an entirely new worldview and way of perceiving people. It is literally revolutionary.

“Like Marx,” writes Levin in one of the book’s most trenchant paragraphs, “the CRT proponents deal in group stereotypes and prejudices, whether talking about perpetrators or victims, based on race, etc. Assumptions are made about individuals grounded on their physical, religious, ancestral, and other characteristics. But human beings are more than racial beings, just as they are more than economic beings, and the Marxist ideology preaches a monumental and deadly distortion of man’s nature. Individuals are complex and complicated, unique, and spiritual. They are influenced by innumerable events, circumstances, motivations, desires, interests, etc.” Of course, adds Levin, this is not to say that individuals and the larger society are unaffected by racial and other such distinctions, “but not to the exclusion of, and not through the sole lens of, a host of other human influences.”

Precisely. Only a fool, a Marxist fool, would try to refashion the centerpiece of all of man’s humanity — the alpha and the omega — around something like class (for Karl Marx) or race (for the modern CRT advocate).

What could be more demeaning? What could be so contrary to Judeo-Christian values? But that’s what Marxism does, from its classical form to its modern American forms. You are less children of God than products of class, race, or gender. Here, Levin quotes the very worst of them, Richard Delgado, Jean Stefancic, and DiAngelo, for whom race is everywhere and everything, as is racism.

As the antidote to this dehumanizing worldview, Levin quotes Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker, who was very close to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. In a 2015 essay that he wrote with Steve Klinsky, Walker stated, “Today, too many ‘remedies’ — such as Critical Race Theory, the increasingly fashionable post-Marxist/post-modernist approach that analyzes society as institutional group power structures rather than on spiritual or one-to-one human level — are taking us in the wrong direction: separating even school children into explicit racial groups, and emphasizing differences instead of similarities.” Unlike Dr. King’s vision of judging people by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin, Walker’s views of civil rights were (rightly) based on religious values, humanism, and not Marxism or critical race theory. “The roots of CRT are planted in entirely different intellectual soil,” Walker wrote. “It begins with ‘blocs’ (with each person assigned to an identity or economic bloc, as in Marxism).”

Yes, as in Marxism. And not as in Americanism.

That’s what Mark Levin understands so well, especially given previous works of his such as Rediscovering Americanism, American Marxism is quintessentially un-American. The people in America professing this noxious junk may be Americans in terms of citizenship, with all the rights and liberties and protections afforded thereof, but they are not Americans in the way the founders of this country envisioned America.

“America is less a place than an idea,” said Ronald Reagan. It is indeed. And the ideas of America as it was formed are the direct antithesis of the ideas of Karl Marx and his perverse heirs who today push their insidious new forms of American Marxism, especially at our awful universities.

What Mark Levin shows above all is how un-American American Marxism really is. It is crucially important that the largest number of Americans read this book and learn about this pernicious threat facing them and their beloved country.

Paul Kengor
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Paul Kengor is Editor of The American Spectator. Dr. Kengor is also a professor of political science at Grove City College, a senior academic fellow at the Center for Vision & Values, and the author of over a dozen books, including A Pope and a President: John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Extraordinary Untold Story of the 20th Century, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Communism, and Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century.
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