Canadians will continue to see the US as the country of racism, capitalistic destruction, militarism and warmongering. Let’s not kid ourselves: the establishment in the US is at least as politically and ideologically left as it is in Canada.
The US on the left? Isn’t the US the ultimate anti-communist state? Didn’t the Americans save the Western world from communism, Marxism, Bolshevism and socialism? Didn’t the US keep North Korea in check in the Korean War and Cuba and Fidel Castro? Didn’t they defeat the Soviet Union, the “evil empire”?
Yes, but that is only part of the truth. Things are changing: US socialism has established itself in the mainstream, and pretty much all left-wing ideology in the western world has its roots in the US as well. US universities in particular, and above all the “elite” universities, are nurseries of a left-wing zeitgeist. The left-leaning campus has a counterpart in a press landscape that – at least as far as the mainstream media is concerned – is extremely left-wing: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, etc.
There are also left-wing NGOs. The “Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)” founded in 1971 is among the most powerful NGOs in the US. With an endowment fund worth $530 million, its aim is to focus on “hate groups and other extremists.” They are joined by left-wing activists such as Deepak Bhargava, who was president of the Center for Community Change (CCC) until 2018; Bhargava now sits on the board of directors of the Open Society Foundation, a network funded by George Soros.
The US left also has support from Antifa, who claim to be committed to the fight against racism, against “White Supremacy”, against the Ku Klux Klan and against police violence. The movement began to gain momentum on May 25, 2020, when George Floyd, a black criminal with several convictions, was killed in a police arrest, and became part of the global hype of “Black Lives Matter” (BLM)
Left is “in” in the US
The “Left” has arrived in mainstream US politics, despite and because of Donald Trump. The left demands more government and less capitalism in the economy. But this movement is entirely a big city phenomenon. It has its roots in the well-to-do in California and the east coast, in the interior of the country, economic hardships and conservative attitudes dominate. After all, Trump won in 2016 and 2020 in almost all states where an above-average number of people work in the low-wage sector.
The “working class” doesn’t buy in to the “left”; they see themselves ignored by “unpatriotic globalists” and a Democrat establishment that arrogantly looks down on them as “Deplorables”. Least of all do they want to be directed by ideological elites who have emerged from campus “safe spaces”. In any case, the country is divided: between Republicans and Democrats, between people and the mainstream establishment, between campus and farm. Parallels with Canada?
According to a 2011 survey by the Pew Institute, 60 percent of 18 to 29 year olds (“millennials”) showed sympathy for the same socialism that the US fought against for the past 75 years. This is the result of a generation change, because a generation grew up in the urban middle class that was burdened with tens of thousands of dollars in training costs – while at the same time facing miserable career prospects. The sympathy for socialism among young people has continued: A Gallup poll from 2019 found 51 percent of 18 to 29 year olds have a positive image of socialism.
Education as a gateway for the left
A hyper-ideologized, hypersensitive and hyper-moral “generation of snowflakes” is growing up at US universities. If this generation has its way, universities will become discourse-free petting zoos. You are constantly racially or sexually offended. With every deviation from the mainstream, no matter how tiny, one becomes indignant: “I feel offended” – injured by “microaggressions”: an allegedly wrong word, a wrong look, a wrong T-shirt. Certain “triggers” must be avoided; they could even provoke post-traumatic stress disorders. That is why even sections of Ovid’s Metamorphoses are blacked out where there are “sexual microaggressions.”
God bless you
When someone sneezes we say some variation on “God bless you!” At US universities you have to think carefully before doing this because the sneezing person could be an atheist. American students are also convinced that “diversity” can only exist where freedom of expression is restricted. According to a 2018 Gallup poll, diversity and inclusion are more important than freedom of expression to 53 percent of US students.
Against this background, one should remember that a certain Justin Trudeau received an honorary doctorate from New York University in 2018. He gave the main commencement address for the graduation ceremony there which, as expected, played to the anti-Trump audience there and was cheered. He couldn’t help but talk about “diversity” and multilateralism. The audience gratefully accepted these trivialities.
“Political correctness” and “gender” – US products
The left-wing dictate of “political correctness”, this fundamentalist dictate of “correct” thinking, feeling, remembering and speaking, is also a product American universities – from the 1980s. They railed against PPPP (pale, patriarchal, penis, people) and against DWEM (dead white european men). Critical whiteness research is now a hot topic: for Rochelle Gutierrez, a professor at the University of Illinois, even mathematics is racist because mathematics descended from the dead white ancient Greeks. This is the reason why non-whites (except asians) underperform.
Background: cultural Marxism
Cultural Marxism, what does that mean? Historically, the ideology and strategy of cultural Marxism goes back to Antonio Gramsci (1891 – 1937). Gramsci was a historian, philosopher, party leader, theorist of the communist labor movement, member of parliament, and founder of the Communist Party of Italy in 1921. In 1926 he was arrested and sentenced a year later to 20 years in prison where he wrote a 3,000 page diary, published as “prison notebooks”. In poor health he died in 1937. After Marxism failed to gain a foothold in the western world, the left hoped for an overcoming of the crisis of Marxism. Above all, they say, this should be done through “cultural hegemony” in the media and education system. For cultural Marxists there are no “objective” truths, but only perspectives and viewpoints
And beyond 2021?
With the narrow election victory(?) of the Joe Biden / Kamala Harris team, a new red spirit should awaken in the US – regardless of who the icons of the Democrats will be in the future: Kamala Harris or the incumbent (left) mayor of New York Bill de Blasio or the borderline insane congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who is highly praised by the mainstream.
It will be decisive who follows Biden and whether the “Grand Old Party” succeeds in putting a charismatic personality against these three democrats.
And Canadians? We will continue to live our schizophrenic hypocrisy. We will carry our own anti-Americanism in front of us like a monstrance, but in fact will lust after the left American mainstream of Hollywood, iPhones and pop music.