[I wrote this essay in 2002, and, of course, by now everything it addresses is just that much worse. Tyranny is an avoidable fate – but not if you don’t know how to recognize it. —GSS]
My son is a Cub Scout. A few weekends ago he had his yearly ScoutORama, a sort of Scout convention and trade fair. The theme of this year’s event was ‘American Heroes,’ and it turns out that American Heroes, for the most part, build small catapults and cook in Dutch ovens. One Cub pack took the theme rather more to heart, with a huge display called ‘Freedom In Unity’.
To an attending Cub Scout I said, “Is it conceivable to you that unity and freedom might conflict?”
After a moment’s thought, he said: “Huh?”
As a father of an eleven-year-old, I fully expected this retort. Undismayed, I pressed on: “Isn’t it reasonable to suppose that the quality best represented by the word ‘freedom’ is freedom from other people?”
And my wife pulled me away, arguing, quite correctly, that it is unfair to expect children to regurgitate, much less competently defend, the horseshit they are force-fed by adults.
They do so eventually, of course, and thus become the adults who do the force-feeding of the next generation of helpless victims – unminded before they can be fully mindful, starved and stuffed at the same time, gorged forevermore on horseshit.
But: It’s not the what, it’s the where, the who, the how. And most especially: The why.
When the French, to pick an odorous example, rail against Individualism, we know what we’re hearing. When radical feminists – or radical environmentalists, or radical vegans – heap scorn upon Liberty, it doesn’t take much acuity to see right through them.
But to listen carefully – and I am cursed with the skill of listening carefully – to a Scout leader or a PTA president or a youth minister is to listen no less to the preachments of Herr Doktor Marx. Service and sacrifice, the sacrifice of all to any, any to all, with the only measure of virtue being elaborately effected egolessness.
It is everywhere. The National Honor Society, which by its name and its selection process is about nothing but selfish individual achievement, immediately demands of its honorees that they spit on their accomplishments and pursue instead endless collectivist sacrifice.
The real, genuine, actual purpose of the Knights of Columbus or the Elks Club or the Shriners is to provide a place where members can drink after hours and play poker unsurveilled. But the ‘official’ reason-for-being for fraternal organizations – for ‘organized’ activities of any kind – is charity. We will suffer the boys a snort and a draw to a straight, provided they dress it up with a sacrifice to the mob.
The country club, membership in which is the very hallmark of individual distinction and exclusivity, justifies its existence with ritualized charity balls and charity golf tournaments and cacophonous silent auctions for charity.
I could cite examples unending, and that’s the point. I can think of almost nothing in the lives of ordinary Americans, nothing that is ‘organized’ or ‘official’, that is not thoroughly steeped in Marxism.
Is the youth minister a Communist? The PTA president? Emphatically, no – so much the worse. The theorists who lead the feminists and the environmentalists and the vegans know what they are doing – which is helpful, since their theory leads them to take stands so absurd that normal people are repelled. But when the Scout leader regurgitates the Marxist horseshit he was force-fed without even knowing it was Marxist horseshit, without even realizing he was being force-fed, without ever once thinking about what his words might mean – that man is the most effective recruiting agent the Communists ever had.
Oh, but the Soviets are dead and gone. And the Chinese are reforming. And Castro is a joke. And none of that matters. Communism – more properly Anti-Individualism – has never been healthier, death notices notwithstanding. Communism thrives not because some state waxes or wanes, but because its core philosophy is ubiquitous.
And in fact the West has never been safe. At times we have flirted with Individualism, but never openly, without shame or reservation. Our brother Abel was making Marx’s argument and effecting Marx’s murders long before Herr Doktor Marx rationalized Abel’s pathology. And we have volunteered for millennia to despise our highest virtues in order to win, by bribery, the approval of the despicable – who we hope will spare us even as we tacitly concede that they have as much right as Abel to slaughter us.
But even this is not enough for Communism to triumph. So long as you have even one small place to go to be alone, to be a self, an ego, free and disunited – so long as there is even one little thing about which you can say, “This is mine and you can’t touch it!” – so long as there is even one tiny little corner in your mind that is not to be pawed, not to be mauled, not to be defaced and desecrated by all or by any – so long as there is anything in your life that is not to be shared, socialized, sacrificed – then Communism must fail.
And that is the why of the force-feeding Scoutmaster, why he spends all his time spewing unexamined Marxism, why he has been assiduously indoctrinated to spend all his time spewing unexamined Marxism. He is not a Communist, but when he force-feeds that unexamined Marxist horseshit to innocent children, the PTA president and the youth minister smile. And they are not Communists. They are simply regurgitating the Marxist horseshit they swill everywhere – newspapers, magazines, television, the sermons and speeches they write by cribbing the same horseshit from other articles and sermons and speeches. If asked, they would deny that it is their claim that service and sacrifice are the only justifications for human life. If pressed, they would insist that they are not trying to destroy every redoubt of Individualism.
But we are what we do. They are the unwitting foot-soldiers, the useful idiots, of Communism. They’re not coming for your guns; that’s a distraction. They’re coming for your children. They’re coming for you.
Communism cannot triumph if you can repair to your family, if you can love your spouse or your children and not share that love equally with all or any. So the family must be destroyed. Undermined from within by feminism and divorce and the destruction of fatherhood. Undermined from without by films and jokes that demean the family and promote accidental, temporary relationships.
Communism cannot triumph if you can turn to your church, to a communion and consolation that is immutably private. So the church must be destroyed. Dismantled from the outside by ridicule and loathing, dismantled from the inside by the indoctrination of Marxism.
Communism cannot triumph if you can own anything. So ownership must be destroyed. Everything you own, from your house to your car to your things to your memories to your thoughts to your soul itself – everything you own becomes subject to review, to derision, to oversight, to criticism, to regulation, to confiscation.
Communism cannot triumph if you can escape it. One-world Communism doesn’t require a global state. All that is necessary is for you to be unable to get away from it no matter where you go. To the church? To the school? To the country club? To the Elks club? To the legislature, even? There is nowhere for you to run, no place you can go where you are permitted to uphold your right to your own life as a matter of right.
But Communism cannot triumph if you can resist it. And that is the true battleground – your mind. They’ll take your guns when they can, and your house soon after that, but the property they must take, in order to triumph, is your mind. That is why they took your church and your school and your family and every social organization you belong to and everything you see or hear about or read: In order to force-feed you Marxism and to leave you no alternative but to be force-fed Marxism.
You think they’re beaten, but you’re wrong. You watched it on television – a vast electronic rectum ceaselessly spewing Marxist horseshit – and you think they’re defeated. You’re wrong. The Soviets might be gone, but Communism – more properly Anti-Individualism – has never been healthier.
It’s not a matter of controlling states or controlling weapons or controlling factories. The issue – the only issue – is controlling you. More properly, convincing you to surrender your self-control. To give up your mind and your body and your soul, to deny to yourself any right to the personal, the private, the not-to-be-sacrificed. To renounce your own ego because it is yours, because it can never be shared, because it is a treasure so precious it must never be pawed at by strangers. When they convince you to damn your own self for being a self, then Communism can triumph. The territory to be captured is you.
This is their goal, their only goal. They are relentless in pursuit of that goal, and they will not give up.
And they are everywhere…