An America shot through with Marxism
A few months ago, I was asked to write a book review for an American Thinker reader named Leslie Stein, an associate professor of economics at the University of Macquarie, in Sydney, Australia. He has written four books in total, including the one he asked me to review, called The Undermining of Western Civilization. This book is timely and pertinent, to say the least.
This book comes in the midst of an all-out Marxist assault on Western civilization. As Stein notes, this Marxist assault by all manner of intersectional communist revolutionaries in America and Western societies in general is hardly new. Rather, he writes, the left has been conducting a "long march through the institutions" of Western society, and America in particular, dating all the way back to the 1960s. Stein marks the radical cultural Marxist movements of the 1960s as the beginning of the war on the West, an enduring war of attrition on Western morale that has been raging unabated since then.
Stein documents the entire history and evolution of what we now call "wokism," beginning in the 1960s with radical Marxist student groups on college campuses around the United States, including the Students for a Democratic Society, the Black Panthers, and the Weather Underground organization — groups that doubled as terrorist organizations who waged war with the police and blew up federal buildings, all in an attempt to foment a communist revolution. They, collectively, were known as the "New Left."
He then demonstrates how the radical left actually managed to capture the institutions — by using tactics all too familiar to the modern American reader. They bullied, harassed, threatened, and committed violence against anyone who posed a threat to their ideology (namely, prominent conservative speakers) and installed pseudo-intellectuals in positions of authority on college campuses, while also creating entire fields of study out of whole cloth — fields that had no intellectual value at all and were purely driven by left-wing politics, like gender studies and black studies.
Then Stein details how the major institutions in society often times reinforce and promulgate neo-Marxist political narratives, citing perhaps the most egregious example of left-wing pseudo-intellectualism: the 1619 Project, a piece of revisionist history so false and asinine that it compelled multiple prominent American historians to come out in public and denounce it — and nonetheless run by the New York Times. He also points out how massive corporations, who more often than not have über-woke CEOs, like the money manager BlackRock's Larry Fink, further the left's agenda in whatever capacity they can.
Finally, he finishes the book by discussing the current crop of radical leftists' rallying cries and organizations. He briefly describes the origins of woke concepts like Critical Race Theory and postcolonialism, as well as groups like Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and Islamic groups, demonstrating the dangerous credence that the left gives them and their pernicious and destructive nature. Stein then offers a rational rebuttal to the claims and goals of all these awful Marxist ideas, one by one, effectively discrediting and exposing them as the fraudulent nonsense they are. He offers alternative ideas to counter the woke garbage on college campuses.
At just under 280 pages, The Undermining of Western Civilization is concise and accessible. It appears to be well sourced, often going straight to source material and citing the exact words of the "intellectual" who originated the garbage peddled by modern universities today. It is a great introductory book to the origins and history of neo-Marxism and gives a lot of useful information that the mainstream media will not frequently cover.
There are likely hundreds if not thousands of books written about Adolf Hitler, but comparatively few are written about Stalin and Mao, and even fewer about how their ideas manifest themselves in modern 21st-century America. Thus, this book serves as a good guide for those trying to understand all of the cultural rot going on today, where it comes from, and why it's here. For anyone wondering what ideas like Critical Race Theory are and why they seemed to appear out of the blue (they did not), this book gives a good introduction to these ideas. It's a relatively easy read that you can use to help you navigate a crumbling society, collapsing under the strain of Marxism.
In short, this book is recommended to anyone interested in digging beyond the day-to-day news stories and outrages from the left and getting a better, more profound understanding of leftist psychology and beliefs. Indeed, a book like this helps one to see the "bigger picture" of the Marxist revolution going on in today's culture, helps connect the dots, and leaves one better educated all around after reading it. The other bonus is that, for those moderate, wishy-washy independents or moderate Democrats you know, all you have to do is have them read this book, and that should make them revile and abhor the Democrat party enough never to vote for or support it again.
Image via Max Pixel.