The True Believer: Harbinger of Hate and Destruction
I don't need to be convinced of the obvious, that the Marxists are staging a counter-revolution in our Republic. I say "counter-revolution" because the Marxist goal is to overthrow the successful revolution staged by our founders almost two and a half centuries ago. And the enemy is not just "at the gate"; they are, in fact, on the cusp of winning the ultimate prize: total domination of the United States of America.
Most AT readers certainly understand what's happening, but some may find it surprising that the Marxist seeds were planted late in the nineteenth century. Whether through the federal government, trade unions, the entertainment industry, or the media, Marxists and their fellow travelers have been weaseling their way into American society for well over a century. At times they were repelled by patriots...but almost always at a price. Revisionist history, the "new normal" controlled by the Marxists, usually paints these patriots as delusional wackos and conspiracy theorists.
The same is true today, but it's now on steroids. It's a tried-and-true method the left habitually uses when they can't deny the facts, nor answer questions posed by the opposition. Some serious research will show that, even back in the 1950s, many of the points made by Sen. Joseph McCarthy and the John Birch Society were, in fact, true. But revisionist history paints them, as well as other anti-communist factions, to be nothing more than lunatics. But that's what happens when you control the academy and the media, both of which are almost totally dominated by the far left. (You may find it interesting that Karl Marx was a journalist, who worked ten years as the European correspondent for the New York Daily Tribune. His "news reporting" was very political and was usually slanted to reflect his ideology. Some things never change.)
So when Mark Levin's new book, American Marxism, was released, I was at the front of the line (actually, I used my keyboard) to acquire a copy. As previously noted, I didn't need to be convinced; but as a big fan of Mr. Levin, I thought I could learn more about the history and tactics -- as well as the active apparatchiks -- of the Marxist movement. The book went well above my expectations! It should be required reading in our schools...but that's about as likely to happen as the Biden family ever being charged, let alone convicted, for their myriad of major crimes.
The book features many sources -- from the left and the right, and occasionally in the middle -- but one name really captured my interest. That name was Eric Hoffer, also known as the Longshoreman Philosopher. Hoffer was very much the enigma, and little is known about his life prior to his arrival in San Francisco around 1940. He said that he was born and raised in the Bronx, but he possessed a thick Bavarian accent and was fluent in both German and English. He claimed to be a hobo, a skid row transient, and an itinerant farm worker, but some historians believe he kept his true past a secret and enjoyed spinning yarns.
What is definitely known about Hoffer is that, shortly after his arrival in San Francisco, he became a longshoreman, a job he held for twenty-five years. He never acknowledged any higher education, but eventually was named an adjunct professor at UC Berkeley. He was a prolific reader and was incredibly articulate. In 1951, he used his vast array of knowledge and keen observation skills to write his first of many books, The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements. It was widely recognized and critically acclaimed, and to this day is considered a masterpiece of social science. Shortly before his death in 1983, Hoffer was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Ronald Reagan, a leader he greatly admired.
The book touches on different types of mass movements, including religious, labor, nationalist, and communist. Hoffer noted that while the causes may be different, the elements of mass movements are essentially the same. From recruitment to indoctrination to activism, the leaders use the same playbook. Given the time of its publication, when the Cold War was heating up, Marxism was frequently addressed. Hoffer's observations are timeless, and Mark Levin uses them to good effect.
"[A] mass movement attracts and holds a following not because it can satisfy the desire for self-advancement, but because it can satisfy the passion for self-determination," Hoffer opined. "People who see their lives as irremediably spoiled cannot find a worthwhile purpose in self-advancement... They look on self-interest as something tainted and evil; something unclean and unlucky. Anything undertaken under the auspices of the self seems to them foredoomed. Nothing that has its roots and reasons in the self can be good and noble."
In other words, the lemmings who follow mass movements like Marxism, no matter their race or social class, are angry losers who have no self-esteem and don't believe in individual responsibility. Freedom is anathema to them; they need Big Brother to provide a reason for living and to care for them from cradle to grave. And mass movements are not just driven by angry minority activists. As we witnessed many times during the "peaceful protests" -- though not on CNN or MSNBC -- spoiled, brainwashed brats who were raised in penthouse apartments in Manhattan were shown smashing windows at fashionable New York businesses and assaulting cops. (No word on whether or not any of them were charged or prosecuted, but I think we know the answer to that. Had they been Trump supporters, we'd likely be seeing a political show trial with a pre-ordained verdict.)
"When we lose our individual independence in the corporateness of a mass movement," Hoffer wrote, "we find a new freedom -- freedom to hate, bully, lie, torture, murder and betray without shame and remorse." Kind of sounds like America in 2021, doesn't it?
The True Believer, which I just read, is indeed a timeless classic. [Editor's note: The book has never been out of print.] Though he wasn't trying to be prophetic -- he was simply sharing intelligent observations -- Hoffer deftly described the type of empty, ignorant drones that are currently destroying our country. The True Believer was, from a certain perspective, a harbinger of the hate and destruction that awaited this country seven decades in the future. Too bad more people didn't see it coming... even though, as the years went by, many of the signs were evident.
Liam Brooks is the pen name of an author who fears being canceled for his views
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