How the Left Reveals Itself

I have recently come to the conclusion that leftists reveal their innermost thoughts when attacking those with whom they disagree. For example, in President Obama's recently televised meeting with Republicans, he chastised critics who believe his policies are part of some "Bolshevik plot."

My first thought was, "Huh?" I frequently listen to and read conservative media, and I had never heard this analysis. So it seemed that Obama was responding to an argument no one had made. Why would he do this? The answer may lie in my second thought, which was that Mr. Obama had just provided the most brilliant and succinct analysis I have heard for the motivation behind his administration's agenda. Why all these czars? Bolshevik plot. Why take over General Motors? Bolshevik plot. Why attack the banks? Bolshevik plot. Why force nationalized health care down our throats? Bolshevik plot. Why attempt to turn the National Endowment for the Arts into a propaganda ministry? Bolshevik plot. And so on and so on. Thank you, Mr. President. The previously nonexistent argument you responded to now exists, and it is a powerful one.

Another example is the charge of racism leveled against anyone who disagrees with President Obama's way of thinking. (The most recent declaration is that anyone who calls Mr. Obama a "professor" is probably a racist.) This has given conservatives a prolonged and collective "Huh?" moment. As conservatives, we are surprised to hear that our opposition to policies connected with Caucasians like Marx, Lenin, and Stalin would suddenly be a manifestation of white hostility toward blacks. This idea is so far from our minds that we wonder how anyone could even conceive of such an accusation. 

The reason, as with President Obama and his Bolshevik plot, is that rather than accurately describing the opposition, the left is actually revealing something about itself. This was perhaps illustrated most clearly when after President Obama's recent State of the Union address, MS-NBC anchor Chris Matthews revealed that for an hour he forgot that the president is black. As Jonah Goldberg pointed out, this comment is instructive because it speaks to the left's own racism and to the reason why they try to transfer their shortcomings onto us. In other words, since the left is racist, conservatives must be racist, too.

A recent "Huh?" moment for me came in researching so-called anti-racist writer and speaker Tim Wise, who is unfortunately coming to the campus where I teach later this semester. During a recorded speech I was listening to, Wise put forth a theory that I had never heard before on the origin of white racism against blacks. According to Wise, Europeans didn't consider themselves white before the founding of the American colonies. This idea was introduced by wealthy colonists who noticed that their white and black servants were unhappy with the current state of affairs. Fearing a revolt, the rich, greedy imperialists convinced the white servants they were better than the black servants because of the color of their skin. As a result, the white servants were distracted from their desire for freedom and began to help the wealthy colonists oppress the black servants. This myth of "white privilege" has been passed down through generations, where it continues to allow rich whites to enslave poor whites. That is, the myth of white privilege causes poor whites to think they are superior to poor blacks. This in turn ensures a compliant peasantry which will not unite to overthrow its capitalist oppressors.

Like the charge of racism, Wise's account of history is so bizarre that it caught me completely off-guard when I first heard it. How does someone even come up with stuff like this? An answer dawned on me as I was reading Norman Davies' book Heart of Europe: A Short History of Poland. In the book, Davies explains that one of the reasons the communist regime in Poland enjoyed little support among the people was because Poles were oppressing Poles. He contrasts this with the Soviet Union, where the regime did enjoy some measure of popular support. Now, within the Soviet Union were many ethnic groups, but the ruling communist party was almost exclusively populated by ethnic Russians. Of course, Russians were oppressed by their fellow Russians, but many supported the regime because it kept the other ethnic groups in check.

The history of the Soviet Union is a plausible source for the account of American history as told by Tim Wise. The motives that he claims are possessed by his opponents are most likely his own, given the tendency of leftists to project onto conservatives their own failings. The left are trying to bring about class warfare by fomenting hatred and fear among different groups of people. If this class warfare ever is successful in establishing a communist dictatorship, then the ruling class -- which would most likely consist of privileged white leftists -- would rely on continued racial and class hatred to maintain their power. People of color, women, gays, animals, and the environment would be oppressed under this regime; only this time the oppression will be real. However, as was the case in the USSR, the regime may enjoy a measure of support for its efforts at keeping the hated class -- white people who do not give their allegiance to the party -- in check.

In the left's new world order, the idea of white privilege would be used to enslave the very people they currently claim to liberate.

Robert Huff is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at a Christian university in West Texas. He has a blog at