More than a hundred years ago, Communist revolutionaries, clever Marxist-Leninists in particular, explained their theory of history and morality in a few easy-to-understand propositions.
- The world is divided into two great parties, capitalists and workers. (There are some third parties as well, but these aren’t really important.)
- Capitalists are bad in that they are oppressors and exploiters. Workers are good in that they are victims of oppression and exploitation.
- Since workers vastly outnumber capitalists, a disparity that is growing every day, it is inevitable that a Great Revolution made by workers will eventually overthrow the capitalists.
- Because capitalism is the root of all evil, this Revolution, by destroying capitalism, will lead to a worldwide regime of peace, prosperity, freedom, and equality.
Well, we witnessed a great Communist experiment in Russia and some other parts of the world, and things didn’t work out the way they were supposed to. So many people, especially Americans, came to the conclusion, “Communism doesn’t work; democratic capitalism does; and so there will never be a Great Revolution; instead, there will be indefinite Gradual Improvement.”
And some added, “History is now at an end: not a glorious ending, like the one the Communists promised, but a basically positive ending.”
If Communism was dead, however, or at least semi-dead, the theoretical framework provided by the Marxist-Leninists was not. It was dormant for a while, a short while, but now has risen again. It wears new clothing and uses a new vocabulary, but once again it offers an easy-to-understand theory of history and morality in four propositions.
- The world is divided into two great parties, white people and persons of color (POC). This latter group includes vast numbers of light-skinned people – Arabs, many Muslims, and almost anybody having a Spanish surname (except for Penelope Cruz and the King of Spain) – who count as honorary POCs.
- Whites, most of whom are capitalists or capitalist sympathizers or enablers, are bad in that they are oppressors and exploiters. POCs (including honorary POCs) are good in that they are victims of oppression and exploitation.
- Since POCs vastly outnumber whites, a disparity that is growing every day, it is inevitable that a Great Revolution made by POCs will eventually overthrow the whites.
- Since whiteness is the root of all evil, this Revolution, by destroying white-capitalist domination of the world, will lead to a worldwide regime of peace, prosperity, freedom, and equality.
This theory has been simmering among many Americans, especially young and “progressive” Americans, for many years now. It accounts for the curious fact that tens of millions of Americans, both white and black, believe, or at least seem to believe, that America is a profoundly or “systemically” racist society.
Ever since the glory days of MLK and LBJ in the middle 1960s, American political, social, and economic elites – leaders of business, the armed forces, government bureaucracies, universities, public schools, the judiciary, police forces, religion, Hollywood, great newspapers and TV networks, professional sports – have taken step after step, and enacted program after program, to advance black opportunity and equality.
No matter. The belief that the United States is a profoundly racist country persists; if anything, it’s grown stronger than ever. This is understandable, if tens of millions of Americans, especially young Americans, subscribe to the modernized version of the 4-point Marxist-Leninist theory described above.
I say this theory has been “simmering” in America for many years now. Every so often, something happens that causes it to boil over. One of these happenings was the killing in Minneapolis of George Floyd in late May 2020. His death was widely believed to be an event emblematic of America. It revealed the truth about the United States, indeed about the whole planet.
Remember, it wasn’t just in America that demonstrations erupted in reaction to the Floyd killing. They happened in much of Europe as well. The cop who killed Floyd was a type of the white people of the world. Floyd himself was a type of the world’s POCs.
The theory boiled over again just the other day in the aftermath of the Hamas killings in Israel and the Israeli response to Hamas. All of a sudden, immense numbers of Americans were out on the street and on college campuses and on the Internet, expressing their support for Hamas and the Palestinian cause (that cause being the elimination of the state of Israel) and their abhorrence of Israel and, to a degree, of Jews in general.
But who can be surprised? After all, Jews are “white” and therefore oppressors, and therefore bad. Hamas and the Israel-hating people they represent are (honorary) POCs, and therefore victims, and therefore good.
The immensity of this pro-Hamas and anti-Jew explosion surprised most of us, including people who (like myself) were already aware of the persistence of this old Marxist-Leninist schema. We had underestimated how widespread it was and how passionately it was held to.
All this should worry us as Americans and as human beings. But should it worry us more specifically as Catholics? Well, Catholics should worry about sin, and all this involves at least four great sins: the general sin of hatred, the more specific sin of race hatred, and the still more specific sin of Jew-hatred, along with the intellectual sin of gross stupidity.
Catholics should also keep in mind that the Myth of the Great Revolution, whether Communist or post-Communist, always involves a desire to abolish the old, thereby creating an historical blank slate, and beginning the world anew. Among the old things of the world is the Catholic Church. Any Great Revolution will abolish the Catholic religion and Christianity in general, not to mention Judaism.
If we wish to save the Catholic religion or the United States of America or Western civilization, we had better join the battle against the current incarnation of the Marxist-Leninist schema. And fast.