The Long March to Nowhere
The original Long March refers to a maneuver, a retreat actually, by the communist Chinese during their revolution in the 1930s. The March was a grueling affair. It lasted over a year. Ninety percent of the troops which started were winnowed away before the end. Mao cemented his control of the party in the process.
Socialists and communists have used the Long March as a metaphor ever since to inspire monumental efforts for the cause. One of those who employed the image was a German communist, Rudi Dutschke, who proposed a Long March Through the Institutions. He envisioned laying the foundation for an eventual communist revolution in the West by slowly gaining control of the institutions of the capitalist world; political, cultural and educational. Once the time was ripe, the revolution would be ignited and steered from these citadels of power.
Sound familiar? This strategy has been implemented over the past few decades, and somebody must’ve judged the time ripe. Because, it sure looks like a revolution has been kicked off around here. Except that the Red Guards aren’t just roaming bands of fanatical students. If you’re suspected of harboring incorrect thoughts, let alone voicing them, the mob howling for your blood draws numbers from the media, corporate HR, congress, as well as academia.
On the surface, this sounds like a good strategy. Woke corporations have a stranglehold on the financial well-being of the people. The lapdog media shelters the public from all but the proper narrative, which changes as needed. Activist academicians indoctrinate the children, teaching them what to think, not how to think. And, the two-tiered “justice” system imposes arbitrary enforcement of byzantine laws on the ignorant masses, while the anointed do pretty much what they want.
I think that describes the current situation accurately. The Leftists have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. Through patience and persistence, they have gained control of all of the institutions, and implemented their Utopian blueprint upon our society. That’s where the abject, miserable failure of the project becomes embarrassingly obvious.
Dutschke and his comrades came up with his long march strategy in desperation. The workers of the world were never going to rise up and overthrow their oppressors. Life under the capitalist thumb proved just too good for the masses to opt for global revolution. Sure, the Soviet Union, China, and a constellation of satellites bowed down to Marx in the twentieth century. But no sane person wanted to live in those s***holes. The Marxists had to build walls around their workers’ paradise to keep the inmates from defecting en masse.
The long march through our institutions was a stealth campaign to slowly acclimate us to being serfs again. The reasoning was that once it was time to drop the masks the people would be used to the new world order. This is a very European point of view. As I understand it, the elites of Europe have never held a positive view of the common man. To them, the little people should be grateful to have someone to tell them what to do.
I won’t comment on the European common man, or how deeply his faith in cultural institutions runs. I do know a thing or two about Americans, however. For several hundred years now we’ve been crossing oceans and braving primordial wildernesses, all to escape from people who thought they could run our lives better than us. As a result, Americans harbor a healthy skepticism of intrusive government and an intolerance for useless, broken institutions.
An institution is a tool with which to address a social need. Schools should teach. Companies should turn a profit. Government agencies should be primarily concerned with the activity stated in their name (Commerce, Health, Defense, etc...). And so on.
The Left has a nasty habit of tool abuse. Any organization that progressives infest is inevitably subverted to advance their agenda, to the detriment of its official purpose. And so, schools preach. Companies insult their customers. The Commerce Department destroys industries. The CDC actively makes people sick. The Department of Defense punishes soldiers who don’t bow to the ideological flavor of the month. Which lately involves cross-dressing.
This is the societal equivalent of using a spirit level to pound nails, or a screwdriver as a prybar. Perhaps these tools will do those jobs, poorly, but you will risk damaging them in the process. The spirit level may break. The screw driver will eventually bend, and its blade chip. An unfortunate situation should one need to build on the level or drive screws.
Americans, being practical people, will sooner or later question the wisdom of supporting or retaining useless tools, or institutions. Some we will abandon and replace. Disney and the Democratic Party are two that come to mind. Some, we will try to repair. For instance, Elon Musk currently has Twitter clamped in the vice and is yanking hard to try and bend it back to some semblance of its true purpose. We’ll see how that works out.
What led the Left down this path of creeping control through corrupting institutions is arrogance. Beyond their faith that we need control is the assumption that we secretly welcome control. Actually, they need to be in control, of everything, in order to feel useful. The SJWs’ sense of worth is not really any of my concern, except that they feel compelled to compel me into their fantasies.
A key component of those fantasies is the delusion that we will recognize the wisdom of the world socialists impose upon us, once it is in place. America in 2022 is closer to that fever dream than ever before, and it is no exaggeration to describe the current situation as closer to a third world, banana republic than any sane person would ever want to approach. It is immensely encouraging that a clear majority of Americans are awake to the situation, and will enforce a course correction come November. Assuming the 2022 elections are anywhere close to honest, not really a safe assumption these days.
The Left’s undoing is that they are always headed to the same place, no matter how many times history proves what a bad spot that is. The Soviet Union, communist China, Cuba, Venezuela, Cambodia’s killing fields, the Warsaw Pact, North Korea, or Biden’s vision for America are all just different addresses in the same blighted neighborhood. This time around the Marxists tried waiting long enough for the memory of past disasters to fade before slipping the nightmare in through the back door.
In the nineteenth century, Samuel Butler wrote a satirical novel about an imaginary utopia called Erewhon. The title is an anagram for “nowhere,” a not-so-subtle commentary on the advisability of chasing Utopias. The Leftists did not listen, and they never will. When the Left marches, loudly and proudly or silently and deceitfully, they travel the same road. Their latest long march has again led nowhere. Shame on us if we foolishly follow them.
Image: Wikimedia Commons // public domain