How to Destroy Civilization: Gradually

Our present-day American world-improvers are much smarter than the old makers of revolution; for our contemporaries and compatriots know that if you want to succeed in a drastic remaking of the world, you have to do your work gradually.  Don’t try to change the world overnight.  Take your time.  Speed causes pushback. Be an evolutionist, not a revolutionist.

Lenin was a man in a hurry.  He wanted to turn Russia quickly into a Communist society, which would trigger similar transformations in Germany and other countries.  Soon the whole world would be Communist, and the three great ideals of the French Revolution – liberty, equality, fraternity – would prevail everywhere.

Well, it didn’t work out that way.  Germany had its revolution, it wasn’t a Communist thing, but a Nazi thing.  And in Russia itself – despite famines, civil war, gulags, the suppression of all civil liberties, purges, show trials, bullets in the heads of countless people, and an ax in the head of Trotsky (who had himself been a great advocate of terror) – the Communist utopia never arrived.

Russia today would be better off if Lenin had never lived.

By contrast, our American progressives move slowly.  Take the sexual revolution.  It has passed through many stages in the last sixty years, with perhaps more stages to go.  But its champions, like a prudent general who is gradually capturing more and more enemy territory, have been careful never to move on to the next stage before they had secured the previous stage.

First, they convinced tens of millions that undergraduate fornication is a fine thing.  Then they won approval of unmarried cohabitation.  Next came out-of-wedlock childbirth and single motherhood.  Then came approval of abortion – and in this victory they were greatly assisted by the Supreme Court, which, Sherlock Holmes-like, “discovered” a right to abortion that had – apparently – been hidden in the Constitution for almost 200 years.

After that, came general approval of homosexual intercourse.  Once that was secured, it followed, as night the day, that same-sex marriage was approved – with the invaluable assistance once again of a Holmes-like Supreme Court, which, in addition to following the election returns, followed the latest moral fashions.  It was a very “cool” Court.

Some thought that gay marriage would be the last conquest.  I mean, what more could our sexual progressives want?

Well, it turns out that they do want more.  For one, they insist that disapproval of homosexuality (“homophobia” as they prefer to call it) be counted as wicked as racism.  Just as all decent people find racism appalling, so should all decent persons be appalled when they come across people who are so morally perverted as to disapprove of gay or lesbian sex.  Of course, this implies that all traditional Christians, who disapprove of gay sex, are very bad people.  Does this implication embarrass our progressives?  No, just the opposite.  That’s the whole point.

If “homophobia” is as wicked as racism, then we must teach children to approve of same-sex intercourse.  And to make sure there is no misunderstanding, we should explain to kids, probably before they are seven or eight years old, precisely what we mean by same-sex love.

Our schools can provide kids with age-appropriate stories and picture books; artistically drawn cartoons of nice boys or nice girls having sex with one another.  How lovely.  And if some hate-filled politicians wish to ban such books and such instruction, let us scream about the moral horror of “censorship,” which we cannot help but feel.


Is that the final demand made by our sexual progressives – that our schools be turned into machines devoted to the moral corruption and perversion of our kids?  Not at all.  We are also told that we must approve of “transgenderism” – the truly lunatic idea that a boy is a girl if he says he is a girl, and a girl is a boy if she says she is a boy.

Think of the case of Lia Thomas, the champion “female” swimmer from the University of Pennsylvania.  Penn, it should be noted, is not a rinky-dink college way out in the boondocks.  It is one of the world’s leading universities.  This madness gets much of its support from our cultural elites, people who should be guiding the rest of us, not misguiding us.

I expect the march toward euthanasia (another “improvement” favored by American progressives) will also follow the clever way of evolution, of gradualism.

1. First comes physician-assisted suicide.

2. Next, voluntary euthanasia, wherein a person asks to be killed or freely accepts a homicidal offer made by family or friends.

3. Then “presumptively voluntary” euthanasia. In this, the family of an incompetent person kills him/her on the assumption that this is what the victim, if competent, would wish.

Once we generally accept that people can be put out of their misery without their actual consent, we can move on to involuntary euthanasia.  This too will come in stages.

4. First, euthanasia for the good of the victim. That is, although have no reason to believe that he/she would wish to be killed, we know he/she would be better off dead. And so, out of compassion, etc.

5. Next comes euthanasia for the benefit of his friends and family—to relieve their emotional or their financial distress.

6. After this, euthanasia to ease the social burden of keeping useless persons alive. You may have no wish to be killed, and your family may have no such wish either; but society at last grows weary of the time and trouble and cost – not to say environmental footprint – involved in postponing your death.

7. Finally, euthanasia for the sake of social progress. A panel of professional experts carefully examines your case, and they judge whether or not your death will contribute to the progress of the human race. In other words, will it be “on the right side of history”?  If so, off you go, with the help of some amiable opiate.

Lenin was a fool for trying the quick path to Utopia.


*Image: In Shushenskoye (V.I. Lenin and N.K. Krupskaya) by Vladimir Yugay, 1969 [State Historical Museum, Moscow, Russia]. Mr. amd Mrs. Lenin.

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George J. Marlin’s The Anti-Church of Antonio Gramsci

David Carlin is a retired professor of sociology and philosophy at the Community College of Rhode Island, and the author of The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church in America, Three Sexual Revolutions: Catholic, Protestant, Atheist, and most recently Atheistic Humanism, the Democratic Party, and the Catholic Church.