It seemed inconceivable that Marx could be seduced by Hitler. And yet “critical race theory” is as obsessed with race as were the Nazis. According to the new generation of Marxists, the political struggle is not about a struggle between the classes but a struggle between the races.
Many years ago, when I was an angry teenager, I saw a play by the Marxist playwright David Edgar which was intended to expose the false philosophy underlying white supremacist ideology. The only scene in the play which I recall was an angry exchange between a sympathetically portrayed Marxist and his antagonist, a white supremacist activist. In this dialogue the Marxist tried to convince his interlocutor that political history was centred on class struggle, whereas the white supremacist responded that, on the contrary, it was centred on the struggle between the races. The Marxist sought liberation in class war, the white supremacist in race war. One sought to sow discord in society by dividing one class against another, the other by dividing one race against the other. In spite of their differences, an objective observer could see that they shared a common hatred of those in power and a common belief that political victory would take violence and the cancelling of their opponents.
Even in the wildest reaches of the imagination, I could not have foreseen that the Marxist would come to endorse the white supremacist view of history. It seemed inconceivable that Marx could be seduced by Hitler. And yet “critical race theory” is as obsessed with race as were the Nazis. According to the new generation of Marxists, the political struggle is not about class war but race war; it’s not about a struggle between the classes but a struggle between the races. Like the Nazis, the critical race theorists don’t believe that racism is a prejudice in individuals but is something determined by history. It is not something evil in the heart of men but something systemic in history itself. Since this is so, the solution is not teaching and preaching the love of neighbour but the destruction of the “system.” And since the “system” is history itself, the final solution is the cancelling of the past, the utter erasing of the collective cultural memory of the people.
In this race war on culture there must be no mercy. The critical race theorist demonizes “dead white men” as surely as the Nazis demonized Jews. They are the race enemy, the untermenschen, who must be eradicated at all costs. Thus, we see demands that classical music must be cancelled because it is mostly the work of dead white men. The Nazis burned books whose authors were Jewish; the neo-Nazi race theorists seek to ban anything and everything whose authors were dead white males. It’s all about skin colour. Just as the Nazis insisted that there’s no such thing as a good Jew, today’s race theorists insist that there’s no such thing as a good “dead white male.” As for living white males, they are tainted by the original sins of their ancestors. They are to blame by association. They are guilty of crimes committed centuries before they were born. They carry the mark of Cain, the stain of their DNA, which makes them the scapegoats for everything that makes the race theorists angry. They must be cancelled. Exterminated. Crucified.
As I ponder the way that Hitler has successfully seduced Karl Marx, I am reminded once again of the scene between the angry Marxist and the equally angry white supremacist in David Edgar’s play. The irony is that they have much more in common with each other than they realize. On the purely intellectual or philosophical level, they are children of the so-called Enlightenment. They are descended from Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Spengler, and other historical determinists who believe that problems and their solutions are systemic, not moral. They see things in systemic terms of “right” and “left,” not in moral terms of right and wrong. They believe in hating and cancelling their enemies, not in loving and forgiving them. They believe in systems so perfect that nobody will need to be good, whether it be the Dictatorship of the Proletariat or the Thousand Year Reich. They believe that the perfect system is not merely worth dying for but is also worth killing for. They are willing to practice what they preach, as history has demonstrated all too gruesomely, with guillotines, gas chambers, and gulags. They are ready to adopt final solutions, such as the proto-communist genocide in the Vendée, the Stalinist genocide in the Ukraine, or the Hitlerite genocide in the concentration camps of the Third Reich.
If the critical race theorists spent less time hating their neighbours for the colour of their skin and more time studying the history that they seek to cancel, they would see that it is they and not any particular race who have been humanity’s bane.
Returning to the scene between the Marxist and the white supremacist in David Edgar’s play, I would say that the only rational response to such hateful anger and its ideological theorizing is to do what Mercutio does with respect to the feuding Capulets and Montagues in Romeo and Juliet. We should call down a plague on both their houses. Having done so, we should seek a different and better solution to society’s ills, rooted in loving and forgiving our neighbours, not in hating and cancelling them. It is in the love of neighbour, which is ultimately rooted in the love of God, that the only final solution to pride and prejudice can be found.
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The featured image is courtesy of Pixabay.