TAKEDOWN: From Communists to Progressives, How the Left has Sabotaged Family and Marriage

As Samuel Johnson famously wrote, we need to be reminded more than we need to be instructed.  And it is precisely to remind us of the central role that marriage and family play in our civilization – and of the left’s never-ending efforts to undermine this role – that the superb historian and commentator Paul Kengor has written TAKEDOWN.

His timing couldn’t be better.  Thanks to the Supreme Court’s recent ruling that there’s a federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage – a ruling whose net effect is to legalize same-sex marriage throughout the U.S. – marriage and family once again are at the top of our national political arena.  Good.  That’s where they belong.

In TAKEDOWN, Kengor reminds us that marriage and family have been under attack from the left since 1848, when Marx and Engels called for Abolition of the family! in their Communist Manifesto and predicted that “the bourgeois family will vanish as a matter of course.”

Kengor goes on to recount how Marx’s political and intellectual successors have been working hard ever since to undermine the traditional concepts of marriage and family.  That the left views marriage and family as the central obstacle to achieving its ultimate objective of totalitarian control isn’t some new-fangled thesis that Kengor proposes and then argues; it’s an historical fact that Kengor reports and documents in relentless, almost exhausting detail.

Indeed, this is the extraordinary value of TAKEDOWN.  It provides the most detailed catalog ever assembled of the left’s attacks on marriage and family.  From Marx and his co-author Engels to Russia’s Bolsheviks to a group I’d never head of before called the Frankfurt School of Cultural Marxists to some of the more recent and well-known leftists like Herbert Marcuse, Kate Millett, Betty Friedan – and President Obama’s communist mentor, Frank Marshall Davis – the depth of their contempt for marriage and family is astonishing.

And it’s this cataloging that enables us to see that the recent triumph of same-sex marriage isn’t a standalone, self-contained victory.  Rather, it’s the culmination of nearly two centuries of relentless attack.  Kengor is furious but fair:

Same-sex marriage is hardly a Marxist plot, a latent communist conspiracy.  It is, however, a crucial final blow to marriage[.] ... To reiterate, this is not a grand communist conspiracy.  I am not laying the entirety of the culture’s collapse at the feet of communists[.] ... [But] what the Left has steadfastly said and written and done to marriage and family over the last two centuries cannot be ignored[.] ...

Advocates of gay marriage, the vast majority of whom never have been advocates of communism, are now dupes to that deeper process, whether they know it or not.

In TAKEDOWN, Paul Kengor moves beyond his usual role as an historian to overtly take sides in an ongoing political debate.  He wants to ignite a firestorm over the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage, and he wants “Mr and Mrs Mainstreet” to understand why their tacit support for same-sex marriage moves us down the road toward chaos.  He believes that the left isn’t merely wrong, but evil – that it’s ultimate goal isn’t to make things better, but to change human nature itself.

He’s right, which is why TAKEDOWN is the best reminder we’ve had of what’s at stake in the next election.

As Samuel Johnson famously wrote, we need to be reminded more than we need to be instructed.  And it is precisely to remind us of the central role that marriage and family play in our civilization – and of the left’s never-ending efforts to undermine this role – that the superb historian and commentator Paul Kengor has written TAKEDOWN.

His timing couldn’t be better.  Thanks to the Supreme Court’s recent ruling that there’s a federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage – a ruling whose net effect is to legalize same-sex marriage throughout the U.S. – marriage and family once again are at the top of our national political arena.  Good.  That’s where they belong.

In TAKEDOWN, Kengor reminds us that marriage and family have been under attack from the left since 1848, when Marx and Engels called for Abolition of the family! in their Communist Manifesto and predicted that “the bourgeois family will vanish as a matter of course.”

Kengor goes on to recount how Marx’s political and intellectual successors have been working hard ever since to undermine the traditional concepts of marriage and family.  That the left views marriage and family as the central obstacle to achieving its ultimate objective of totalitarian control isn’t some new-fangled thesis that Kengor proposes and then argues; it’s an historical fact that Kengor reports and documents in relentless, almost exhausting detail.

Indeed, this is the extraordinary value of TAKEDOWN.  It provides the most detailed catalog ever assembled of the left’s attacks on marriage and family.  From Marx and his co-author Engels to Russia’s Bolsheviks to a group I’d never head of before called the Frankfurt School of Cultural Marxists to some of the more recent and well-known leftists like Herbert Marcuse, Kate Millett, Betty Friedan – and President Obama’s communist mentor, Frank Marshall Davis – the depth of their contempt for marriage and family is astonishing.

And it’s this cataloging that enables us to see that the recent triumph of same-sex marriage isn’t a standalone, self-contained victory.  Rather, it’s the culmination of nearly two centuries of relentless attack.  Kengor is furious but fair:

Same-sex marriage is hardly a Marxist plot, a latent communist conspiracy.  It is, however, a crucial final blow to marriage[.] ... To reiterate, this is not a grand communist conspiracy.  I am not laying the entirety of the culture’s collapse at the feet of communists[.] ... [But] what the Left has steadfastly said and written and done to marriage and family over the last two centuries cannot be ignored[.] ...

Advocates of gay marriage, the vast majority of whom never have been advocates of communism, are now dupes to that deeper process, whether they know it or not.

In TAKEDOWN, Paul Kengor moves beyond his usual role as an historian to overtly take sides in an ongoing political debate.  He wants to ignite a firestorm over the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage, and he wants “Mr and Mrs Mainstreet” to understand why their tacit support for same-sex marriage moves us down the road toward chaos.  He believes that the left isn’t merely wrong, but evil – that it’s ultimate goal isn’t to make things better, but to change human nature itself.

He’s right, which is why TAKEDOWN is the best reminder we’ve had of what’s at stake in the next election.