In Biological Leninism, in response to Spandrell’s eponymously titled epic post, I end by arguing that revolution is unlikely:
This probably explains why there won’t be revolution/revolt in America, because although there is a lot of wealth inequality and dissatisfaction with the status quo, basic economic needs are still being met.
But the point is, what if today’s far-left are the revolutionaries of a modern-day version of Marxist-Leninism. But I think that’s sorta moving the goalposts. As bad as SJWs are, the Russian Revolution was many magnitudes worse than what is happening now. Private property was seized and opposition was imprisoned and tortured, or mercifully, killed. Those were the ‘lucky’ ones; millions more would die of famine as a consequence of the failure of central planning.
From Wikipedia, author Edvard Radzinsky describes the persecution of clergy during the ‘day of Red Terror’:
“it became a common practice to take a husband hostage and wait for his wife to come and purchase his life with her body”. During Decossackization, there were massacres, according to historian Robert Gellately, “on an unheard of scale”. The Pyatigorsk Cheka organized a “day of Red Terror” to execute 300 people in one day, and took quotas from each part of town. According to the Chekist Karl Lander, the Cheka in Kislovodsk, “for lack of a better idea”, killed all the patients in the hospital. In October 1920 alone more than 6,000 people were executed. Gellately adds that Communist leaders “sought to justify their ethnic-based massacres by incorporating them into the rubric of the ‘class struggle'”.
Members of the clergy were subjected to particularly brutal abuse. According to documents cited by the late Alexander Yakovlev, then head of the Presidential Committee for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Political Repression, priests, monks and nuns were crucified, thrown into cauldrons of boiling tar, scalped, strangled, given Communion with melted lead and drowned in holes in the ice. An estimated 3,000 were put to death in 1918 alone.
What we call contemporary far-left liberalism is ‘cultural Marxism’, which describes an amalgamation of various left-wing ideologies and philosophies that arose in America and Continental Europe after the Second World War and in the 60’s, such as queer theory, postmodernism, critical theory, post-structuralism, deconstruction, radical feminism, and so on, but also a rejection of economic and deterministic Marxism, which is why it’s called ‘cultural Marxism’ and not simply Marxism. Totalitarian economic-Marxism had failed, but the left still wanted to retain other aspects of it, particularly the centrality of exploitation that arises from imbalances of power and normative cultural standards.
Moldbug famously called America a communist country, but if that were so, would Jeff Bezos be worth $100 billion? Either Amazon would not exist or it would be state-owned. Only after the dissolution of the Soviet Union did the oligarchs appear. From Moldbug on Libertarianism, Neocameralism:
Some argue ‘America is socialist’ or ‘America is communist’, but neither of these labels is correct. America is a mishmash of many things – some elements of libertarianism (free market capitalism), some socialism (growing entitlement spending), some authoritarianism (‘militarization’ of the police, homeland security, etc.), some Communism/Marxism (SJWs, cultural Marxism in universities). If America were Communist, as some erroneously insist, you wouldn’t have all these multi-millionaires in web 2.0; you wouldn’t have the majority of the Forbes 400 list as Americans. China’s government is technically Communist, but they abandoned market-communism long ago, as more evidence of how there is subtlety behind these labels.
Like many issues and debates, it depends on how one defines words.
SJW campus-brand Cultural Marxism, compared to Stalinism, Leninism, Maoism, etc., is pretty much defanged, although that’s not to say it still isn’t harmful. It does not displace/overturn the state; rather, it infects it from the inside and gradually causes certain parts of society to rot and decay. It’s sorta like a tapeworm infestation that malnourishes the host but doesn’t kill it. But, counterintuitively, as far as America and much of Europe is concerned, the infestation leaves the economic system intact (the private sector, which in America is very powerful and efficient, runs parallel to the lethargic public and cultural sectors). I sorta wish it weren’t this way, because if the economy collapsed due to cultural Marxism, there would possibly be a concerted effort to eliminate it.