For the final part of my cultural revolution evaluation, it is absolutely important to look at history. Not all revolutions necessarily lead to a positive outcome for the citizenry. As part of this evaluation, I have decided to ignore some of the more famous revolutions of the past including the American Revolution, the Mexican War of Independence in the early 1800s and the Mexican Revolution of the early 1900s, the French Revolution of the early 1800s, The Nigerian Civil War, the two Boer Wars, and the Cuban Revolution. The American Revolution and Mexican War of Independence led to the creation of the United States and Mexico as independent nations from England and Spain. The Boer Wars were interesting as it was a successful independence movement in the 1880s that eventually led to another war twenty years later where the British Empire took back control of the South African region. The Nigerian Civil War was also a failure as the independent republic of Biafra which seceded from Nigeria would eventually be beaten and brought back under the control of the Nigerian state through brutal tactics that led to international outrage. The closest to the three revolutions I will be analyzing would be the French Revolution, the Mexican Revolution, and the Cuban Revolution. All three were rebellions against existing dictatorships and power structures caused by lack of opportunities and increased poverty that ended up creating over time, the same corrupt power structures (The French Revolution after destroying the monarchy and dealing with multiple Constitutions, wars with other nations, and internal rebellions ended when Napoleon came to power. The Mexican Revolution helped lead to the creation of the PRI, a political party that ruled the country for multiple generations, and the Cuban Revolution which led to the rise of an authoritarian Communist state run by Fidel Castro.) Instead, we will focus on three revolutions that occurred during the 20th Century, the Russian Revolution, the Spanish Civil War, and the Chinese Cultural Revolution which had similar origins to the latter three listed above. The one difference between these other revolutions revolved around a new ideology that exploded in popularity in the early part of the 20th Century, anarchism.
If you have been watching these ANTIFA and BLM protests, you have probably seen the universal symbol for anarchy spray painted on streets and the side of buildings. But what does that symbol stand for? If you ask a good portion of our population, anarchy is rebellion against the existing system often through violence. Politicians often use the term ‘anarchy’ to create a negative connotation towards rebels and protestors. But the actual truth of the matter is that anarchism spawned out of the 19th Century as a philosophy and belief in the idea of voluntary cooperation that does not believe in an existing ‘power structure’ to regulate and control peoples’ lives. These power structures can be seen as any entity that tries to create an aspect of societal control, governments, corporations, or religious institutions.
The Russian Revolution is an interesting case because it can be broken down into two revolutions that occurred in 1905 and 1917 and was started by the anarchist labor movement. As the Tsars continued to rule Russia as a monarchy, the various wars that Russia fought in Crimea and Japan in the late 19th Century started taking a toll on the population leading to severe food shortages and poverty. When the protests came, Tsar Nicolas the 2nd responded with violence leading to the Sunday Massacre of 1905. This led to many workers taking control of the production of factories all over the country. Crippling strikes broke out everywhere. By the time the Tsar regained control of the country around 1907, the workers had gained some representation in his government through a parliamentary arm called the Duma. Then, World War I broke out and the Russians aligned with the Serbs. It exacted a terrible toll on the Russian military and led to massive inflation and food and fuel shortages. As Nicolas was off fighting the war, his wife ran the country which led to the murder of her advisor, Grigori Rasputin, and the dissolution of faith in the Russian system. After Nicolas dissolved the Duma parliament, the workers started joining with the radical left, the Bolsheviks, which led to the Russian Revolution of 1917. The first aspect of this Revolution was called the February Revolution. Protestors took to the streets backed by huge amounts of industrial workers. The protests worked as the demonstrators did not back down despite the military violence. These actions led to the Tsar Nicolas II abdicating his throne and creating a provisional government that reinstated the Duma and adhered to liberal rights including freedom of speech, equality, and opposition to violent revolution. But the provisional government made one fatal mistake. They continued the fighting in World War I which led to more internal problems inside of Russia. As the radicalization of the Russian population continued, Vladimir Lenin led his coalition of soldiers and workers in the October Revolution to capture the Duma and overthrow the provisional government which he opposed due to the existence of bourgeoise capitalists leading it. This led to the Russian Civil War which led to the exit of the Russians out of World War I, the Romanov royal family being murdered and the conquest of the country by the Bolsheviks in 1923 which led to the creation of the Soviet Union, the first communist country. In our current revolutionary times, some of the aspects of this revolution seem familiar to what is occurring on American streets right now. That is why knowing the history of this revolution is so important.
Many maybe aware of the independence movement going on in Spain revolving around the region of Catalonia. Catalonia has always had a fiercely independent spirit dating back over 100 years. One of the most notable historical time periods revolved around the Spanish Civil War from 1936 -1940. This war is probably best memorialized in George Orwell’s book Homage to Catalonia where Orwell mostly reflects the point of view of the POUM (The Worker’s Party of Marxist Unification), the militia that he was fighting with in Spain. The war started when Fascists supported by Adolf Hitler in Germany and Benito Mussolini in Italy launched a coup and took control of the Spanish government in 1936 after the previous conservative president, Niceto Alcala Zamora was ousted and replaced by the left-wing Manuel Azana. But what happened next is actually one of the best historical examples of anarchism in a major European country (If we exclude various ethnic tribes that have been practicing a form of this idea for centuries in small groups). Small left-wing militias began fighting back and capturing large sections of Spain as well as uniting when necessary to defeat the fascists. Not only this, but the sections of Spain where these worker groups took control created an anarchist economic system that had tremendous success. The unraveling of this success did not take long. Four of the strongest militias joined and formed a group called the PSUC (The United Socialist Party of Catalonia) which the other anarchist groups (Like the CNT and Orwell’s POUM) rejected due to the reformation of social titles and hierarchies. As the PSUC aligned with Soviet Russia and the unwillingness of these other groups to raise arms and risk their lives to defend their way of life, the PSUC took control of the left wing, corporatist movement and eventually lost to the fascists led by Francisco Franco spiraling Spain down into thirty plus years of dictatorial control. Again, a revolution founded on ‘good intentions’ ended up leading to a strong man who repressed left wingers and anti-Catholics during his reign.
Finally, I can not end this post without discussing the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Mao Zedong lived his life as an anarchist revolutionary looking to create a socialist environment inside of China. Before he took control in 1949, Zedong lived on the outskirts of society for decades leading various failed attempts to unify workers. Two things changed which led to his control of China. First, World War II and the Japanese conquest led to strong nationalist sentiment inside the nation. During this time, Mao ended up becoming the leader of the Chinese Communist Party and aligned with the Nationalists to defeat the Japanese. After this war ended, the battle for power began with Mao defeating the Nationalists and becoming premier. As a leader, Mao made a ton of mistakes revolving around his people. His economic system launched with the Great Leap Forward led to systemic poverty and starvation throughout the country when he collectivized the means of production in his country. The Soviet Union, who helped Mao not too long after he attained power, ended up rejecting him and destroying his industrial base which they helped establish which led to the Great Famine. After these failures, Mao initiated the Cultural Revolution which continued his war against his perceived enemies, the educated elite and capitalist influences that had to be crushed for the good of China. As this Guardian article states, “Chinese students sprang into action, setting up Red Guard divisions in classrooms and campuses across the country. By August 1966 - so-called Red August - the mayhem was in full swing as Mao’s allies urged Red Guards to destroy the “four olds” - old ideas, old customs, old habits, and old culture. Schools and universities were closed, and churches, shrines, libraries, shops, and private homes ransacked or destroyed as the assault on “feudal” traditions began. Gangs of teenagers in red armbands and military fatigues roamed the streets of cities such as Beijing and Shanghai setting upon those with “bourgeois” clothes or reactionary haircuts. “Imperialist” street signs were torn down. Party officials, teachers and intellectuals also found themselves in the crosshairs: they were publicly humiliated, beaten and in some cases murdered or driven to suicide after vicious “struggle sessions”. Blood flowed as Mao ordered security forces not to interfere in the Red Guards’ work. Nearly 1,800 people lost their lives in Beijing in August and September 1966 alone.” After this Cultural Revolution, the strength of the Chinese Communist Party became absolute. This same party evolved to embrace statist capitalist ideas inside of a Communist authoritarian system in the present day.
The main reason for posting about these three specific revolutions revolves around how they started. Food and fuel shortages, government incompetence, war, authoritarian structures, and inflation inside of an unfair system will often lead to citizen rebellions. These are the exact problems affecting the United States political and economic systems presently. As in the case of Mao Zedong (And as we are seeing in the United States presently), students and the youth can be used to achieve the agenda of an ideological group. You can also see remnants of the current Democratic Party telling local leaders and police forces to stand down which has similarities to the Chinese Red Guard rampage. When a country’s citizens decide to engage in a revolution, it is absolutely vital that the motivations of the rebels are analyzed and scrutinized. Because for every revolution that leads to increased freedom for a population like the United States and Mexico, there are horror stories like what occurred with Russia, Spain, and China. Stay informed and may peace be with all of you.
Our times have gotten so illogical and crazy, that definitions in the dictionary are now defined based on your own personal and political perspective. What is one of the best examples of this phenomenon? The definition for the words Fascism and Communism. I grew up understanding them as different forms of governmental authoritarianism. Fascism was a governmental/corporate form of repression. Communism was a governmental/worker union/educational form of repression. Both ideologies have killed tens of millions of people (Communism maybe over 100 million). Even the Oxford dictionary doesn’t define them correctly as they ignore the political system tied around Communism (www.dictionary.com does go into more detail about these terms). Fascism is defined in Oxford as follows.
“An authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.”
But with Communism, the governmental aspect is stripped out by Oxford.
“A theory of classless society with common ownership of property and wealth and centrally planned production and distribution based on the principle ‘from everyone according to their skills, to everyone according to their needs’.
There are obviously much more complications to these terms than these simple, summarized definitions.
So why am I bringing this up? Because our current education system (Which my daughter and myself are both engaged going for a B.S. and MAS respectively) is like the Oxford dictionary. It can be informative. You can learn a whole bunch. But the lack of clarity of historical and cultural elements tied around a focus on social issues has corrupted our educational system from being a neutral place of learning and debate to institutions that feel like indoctrination centers. So where does the truth actually lie? Let me begin with my own personal experience.
During my first semester of obtaining my master’s, I took a class based around film historiography which analyzed in depth the history of the over 100-year-old film industry including its evolution and cultural impact. There was a lot of interesting history there and the teacher engaged the subject matter honestly even if she often confused arguments against the existing film industry as ‘Marxist’ when these critiques were actually more objective than that. But with my next semester of classes starting with Film Analysis, the focus on social issues began. After focusing on some important aspects of the film industry, the class took a turn from Module 4 – 7. In order, we studied Race and Film, Film and Immigration, Gender and Film and Film and Religious Identity. It continued with my next class, Media Industries. Module 4 focused on LGBTQ Television Production. It continued with my next class, Cultural History of US TV – Theory and Method. The class was wonderful at the beginning. Then, we studied three modules in a row focusing on Representation in order by Gender, Race and Ethnicity, and Sexuality. There is nothing wrong with studying these topics. What I found most ironic is that almost everything these teachers recommended for me to watch; I have already seen (Not sure what this means. I am either incredibly open-minded or watch Way Too Many Films. I am going to lean towards the latter). I understand the need for tolerance and open-mindedness. But these classes often overlook important historical aspects like class, economics, politics, and religion which have also had a tremendous impact on our history. There is no sense of understanding 18th or 19th Century culture and ideologies which led to these policies in the first place (Since slavery goes back to Biblical times and was practiced in some form by almost every civilization on the planet up to that point). Many of these educators teach history from the aspect of 21st Century perspective which can make anyone born hundreds of years ago look like an overt racist. While I will not embrace the aspect of conservative thought often reflected at FOX News that universities are liberal indoctrination centers (Even if they are correct that most professors lean liberal), the way they teach our children is what should concern us. There are two things about our educational system that needs to change or we will continue to have a culture that prioritizes race and gender issues over more vital problems like class warfare, the ongoing destruction of economic opportunity and most destructively, the elimination of our Constitutional Rights.
1) When professors teach American history, it is often filled with cynicism about our history while evaluating only a few historical figures involved in social justice movements. The focus is often on the crimes of our past instead of a more objective look at understanding the complexities of history. During these BLM riots, I have been distraught about the destruction of statues throughout the United States. While we can question who deserves a statue, I can also argue that statues are great symbols for large scale debates and research. Calling Thomas Jefferson, a ‘racist’ because he owned slaves is a valid point. But can I also respect the man for some of his amazing personal beliefs that helped make the United States the country that most immigrants flocked to when they were fleeing their own forms of persecution.
2) We need to recognize that our educators and professors can be wrong. Let me give you a great example. There is a powerful political movement that has its origins in the teaching of a philosophy professor named Leo Strauss. Many of his students came out of college as radicals and were involved in the socialist party. The difference with these students compared to more general left-wing socialists was that they believed in national identity. After rebelling against the antiwar left in the 1960s, these old socialists infiltrated the Republican Party not too long after Richard Nixon almost fatally destroyed it. Who are they? They are known as neo-conservatives and unfortunately for Democrats since the 1990s, neo-liberals. If society wants to blame governmental leaders of the last forty years for the failures of our governments, organizations and societies, there is no greater a villain. It started as an educational idea espoused by a philosopher in the early part of the 20th Century and it maybe the ideology that leads to the collapse of our global order.
When you take all of these aspects of our education system into account, is it any wonder that our children are filled with cynicism, anger, and hatred towards their country? When our education system rails against fascism while ignoring the equally destructive ideology of Marxism, is it any wonder that most of these kids know nothing about history other than social identity topics that infect all forms of their education including civics, history and economics? Our teachers have failed us. It is time to hold them accountable.
ONE LAST THING: As mentioned previously, there is always ‘positive aspects’ to any social rebellion. But with these current BLM protests, you need to be careful about the underlying motivation of these groups. Ask yourself three questions.
1) Will the world that these protestors create be better than the world that we currently live in? 2) Will I have more freedom and opportunity if these rebellions succeed? 3) What are they going to do to fix the broken institutions that infect every aspect of the United States?
Since BLM and ANTIFA seem mostly interested in creating a world tilted in favor of specific races while railing against historical figures and our corrupt capitalist economy (While encouraging democratic socialism which is equally if not more corrupt) while mostly ignoring other more important problems like our debt, imperial war mongering and our Orwellian technological society, I will continue to reject their support.
THE RENEGADE WHO WROTE "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds"
“We're the renegades we're the people
With our own philosophies
We change the course of history
Everyday people like you and me”
RENEGADES OF FUNK – Lyrics by Zac de la Rocha from RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE
Like the brilliant rapper and philosopher says above, there are many people throughout our history who have changed and evolved human thought processes over our long history. Right now, I have become fascinated with a book written in the 19th Century called Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by George Mackey. Even though there is some outdated material in the book due to the time period it was written (1841), there are quotes inside this book that are incredibly insightful in the same way that Thoreau’s Walden written in 1854 still holds up. Here are some quotes from this book that may give you some insight on our present-day circumstances (The insightfulness of this book makes you wonder if we have been “devolving” over the past 180 years). All quotes are attributable to George Mackey.
“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.”
“In reading The History of Nations, we find that, like individuals, they have their whims and their peculiarities, their seasons of excitement and recklessness, when they care not what they do. We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object and go mad in its pursuit; that millions of people become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first.”
“Three causes especially have excited the discontent of mankind; and, by impelling us to seek remedies for the irremediable, have bewildered us in a maze of madness and error. These are death, toil, and the ignorance of the future..”
“Nations, like individuals, cannot become desperate gamblers with impunity. Punishment is sure to overtake them sooner or later.”
“The dangerous practice of stockjobbing would divert the genius of the nation from trade and industry. It would hold out a dangerous lure to decoy the unwary to their ruin, by making them part with the earnings of their labor for a prospect of imaginary wealth.”
Five amazing quotes ranging from the dangers of mob thinking, insanity, the follies of nations and governments and my personal favorite, the dangers of a society worshipping short term profits while sacrificing long term economic stability. Reading the incredible perceptions of this author who has been dead for well over 100 years, you can see the repetition of history. You can see the errors in our supposed evolved present-day logic and the fact that history often does repeat itself. The purpose of this 19th Century book was to learn why people in large groups were susceptible to believing in false truths since there was an epidemic in this type of 'magical' thinking during the early to mid-19th Century. If you look at present day conservative and liberal individuals, can you really argue in this time of ‘cancel culture’, death threats against video game developers and beliefs in disproven and violent authoritarian political ideologies, that we are better than the society described in Mackey’s book?
I will leave you on a final note. A quote from a publication written by The Cheka in 1919, the first Soviet secret police. When you look at any country’s past (Which is filled with violence and repression no matter what country you live in) through a cynical and negative lens, you can often fail to appreciate the things in life that you have. Don’t these quotes sound incredibly similar to the worst ramblings of the conservative and liberal movements?
“We reject the old systems of morality and ‘humanity’ invented by the bourgeoisie to oppress and exploit the ‘lower classes.’ Our morality has no precedent, and our humanity is absolute because it rests on a new ideal. Our aim is to destroy all forms of oppression and violence. To so, everything is permitted, for we are the first to raise the sword not to oppress races and reduce them to slavery, but to liberate humanity from its shackles … Blood? Let blood flow like water! Let bloodstain forever the black pirate’s flag flown by the bourgeoisie, and let our flag be blood-red forever! For only through the death of the old world can we liberate ourselves from the return of those jackals.”
Did they ever deliver on this threat!
More on this topic in the near future! Have a great week.
As events in our culture have escalated over the past month, I decided to keep a low profile. There was nothing I could say at the time that was going to enhance the conversation. As we are coming to terms with aspects of our culture that are long overdue for a reckoning (Police Violence and Class Distinctions), we are also now seeing a legitimate cultural attack on the United States’ history, economic system and politics by a radicalized left wing. How did this happen? Over the next two weeks, I am going to write a three-part post on how this movement came to exist. My post this week will focus on the present-day aspects of Black Lives Matter and go into an analysis of their demands and what they are looking to accomplish as well as look into the corporate response to these protests. Next week, I will focus on the education system and our media as the underlying cause for this radical push to the left. Finally, I will look at history for examples of previous revolutions, how they turned out, and whether they left the country in a better place.
During the beginning of the Black Lives Matter movement, I was a supporter. In 2016, they issued six political demands. The first four were a Reduction in military spending, End to the death penalty, De-criminalization of drug-related offenses and prostitution, and the “demilitarization” (Now “defunding”) of local police departments. As many people know, I have spoken out about these issues for the past 20 years. Our country fights too many wars, has too many criminals in jail and has dehumanized the local police and turned them into soldiers. All these problems work against my personal non-violent perspective. But where this movement loses me relates to the last two demands. The first one is reparations. This leads me to ask a lot of questions. What happens if the patriarch of your family lived in Austrian occupied Croatia and emigrated to the United States in 1914 (Right before immigration laws began to tighten up relating to Southern and Eastern Europeans.)? Should my large family be responsible for reparations when slavery officially ended in 1863? What if you lived a life not judging someone by the color of their skin but by their personality? How will this be implemented? We are going to find out as California passed a law trying to figure out how this should be implemented. If reparations are going to be given out, shouldn’t Native Americans be included since they have the best argument? My second issue relates to the investment in programs that will uplift the African American community. Again, why should American taxpayers have to pay for this? Couldn’t this issue be resolved by private corporate donations? Like the tremendous gift that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings gave to Black Colleges. This call for money is in opposition to every aspect of my belief in personal responsibility. Both these demands are socialist in nature and require some aspect of governmental intervention. There are ways to bring about fairness in our society without dragging our incredibly ineffective government into this debate. Putting the responsibility on the government is only going to lead to a different group of people feeling disenfranchised, forgotten, and angry.
As this movement has evolved, there has been riots and looting throughout the country. Our history is now under attack (More on this issue next week) with monuments celebrating famous African Americans being destroyed. Confederates, individuals who fought to free slaves, the president who emancipated them, and other historical figures who have nothing to do with this history have been destroyed. This has gotten so absurd, that even the ‘Washington Post’ which has mostly supported this insurrection wrote an opinion article about it. I am fine with having an intelligent and constructive debate about whether these statues should exist. But the randomness of this destruction by our increasingly anti-American youth which sees all history ONLY through a racist lens is going to lead us down a dark path. This movement ignores many aspects of history (economics, cultural, religious, and revolutionary) which have just as much an impact on our past as race. It has become anti-intellectual and increasingly violent. If this does not stop soon, there will be a backlash which could lead us into an internal civil war. Let us hope that these protests never get to this point.
My final evaluation relates to the surprising passive response to this ongoing violence from our multinational corporations and government. As a good portion of our country burned and the president seethed on Twitter, there was a surprising “acceptance” as violence and murders increased in cities across the United States. Turning on a video game to play Halo 5, Rocket League, or Apex Legends was met with a corporate statement about the importance of Black Lives Matter and how they support the movement. It almost became a mandatory declaration by individuals and businesses, so the ‘cancel culture’ mob did not come for their heads. While this is going on, Facebook made the proper declaration to defend Freedom of Speech while facing an employee and eventual corporate boycott. Like always, Zuckerberg could not stand by his personal integrity and caved to the corporate pressure. Than, there is still the question of the coordination of bricks being placed throughout the country which appeared in downtowns near places where the looting and rioting were most severe. Since our government and our multi-national corporations have shown no interest towards protecting individual rights in this country as well as continuing to support fighting expensive wars overseas, why would they be concerned about protecting small businesses at home?
There will be more on this topic next week. But I want to leave you with a couple more facts. Our own country has years of expertise in coups and the toppling of “dictators” throughout the world. In the 2000s after the breakup of the Soviet Union, globalists and the government engaged in “colour revolutions” throughout Asia and Europe to bring about a more pro-Western, pro-business leadership into these nations. The election of Donald Trump in 2016 threw this country into turmoil. Based on the events I have written about above, the “left” lost its collective mind. There has been obvious bias in the media when discussing Trump whether relating to RussiaGate or any other scheme our intelligence services created to remove him from office. Our “deep state” despises the man. Despite my own personal misgivings about Trump, I still cannot defend these anti-Democratic and propagandistic actions. Would it surprise me to find out that these riots were authorized and even promoted by our own government and corporations? It would absolutely not. But right now, this is a conspiracy theory that cannot be proven. If Trump happens to lose in November and everything returns to normal (Even relating to the destruction of the economy because of the COVID-19 lockdowns), these theories are only going to increase. The fact that we are allowing a woman who is an admitted “trained Marxist” (Call out to YoungRippa59) to run the largest political organization in this country is also a sign that even if Biden does win, the people who run this country have lost some aspect of control. There is no putting the radical left wing back into the bottle. If the goal was not to create a socialist state but just to return to some sort of normalcy by electing a puppet for a president (Biden) running an increasingly state run globalized economy, then there is no possible way that this can end without a massive show of violence. Let us hope it never resorts to this and rational heads prevail.
P.S. I love this smackdown of the arrogant Don Lemon by Terry Crews. Rock on my man!
An Unfortunate Anniversary
I wish everyone a happy July 4th. I will be posting some articles on education and political ideologies and history that gives some context on our present-day times in the near future. One year ago, on July 4th, 2019, my father died at the age of 72 in Flagstaff, AZ while on a day trip with my mother. It was one of the worst days of my life. Plus, his death on a national holiday, July 4th, will forever link those two events in my mind forever. This first Independence Day without him has been rough. My father loved fireworks and went out of his way to always purchase them when we were growing up in the Los Angeles area. Even after fireworks became illegal in most municipalities in the late 80s, we still often shot them off illegally at any location we could. As the years went by, we would drive into some of the more crime ridden areas of Los Angeles where fireworks were still legal just so we could do our part to celebrate the Independence of our country. My dad was a simple man who enjoyed the simplest pleasures of life. So, if you are reading this and enjoying some legal or “illegal” fireworks, shoot one off in his honor for me. Until next post!
EXPERT OF SOME