Are you surprised that as anarchists loot, a mainstream publisher issues, and National Public Radio boosts, a book that justifies looting? Why? Property is theft, the anarchist Proudhon declared in the 1800s, echoing a sentiment of the Marquis de Sade from the 1700s.
Are you surprised Black Lives Matter leaders call for ending the nuclear family? Why? In 1848 Marx demanded Abolition of the family! in The Communist Manifesto.
Are you surprised the establishment press believes injuries in this year’s urban violence are always caused by “police brutality”? Why? As a Black Panther in 1968, Eldridge Cleaver invented a bogus martyrdom-by-police for his comrade Bobby Hutton and fed it into the media via a white radical who became a Los Angeles Times reporter.
In short, the radical ideas and violence associated with the Black Lives Matter movement are simply the latest eruptions of a type of left-wing politics that goes back decades, at least. Indeed, current movement leaders are tied directly to radical leaders and groups from a half-century of failed movements like Occupy Wall Street, Black Liberation, the Weathermen, Students for a Democratic Society, and the Black Panther Party. This unsavory political current also encompasses still more disturbing cases of extremism, including the Charles Manson cult and the Peoples Temple led by Jim Jones, notorious for a mass suicide in Guyana that took over 900 lives with poisoned Kool-Aid.
Some, like Alexander Solzhenitsyn and his fellow Soviet dissident Igor Shafarevich, as well as the philosopher Eric Voegelin, would argue that this kind of fanaticism goes much further back, that it is rooted in a permanent temptation of the soul to rebel against the human condition.
If these claims seem far-fetched, let us test them against the youthful Black Lives Matter movement by considering first its organizational history, then the intellectual history of its most prominent leaders, and finally its place in the history of left-wing movements in America.
Several themes will recur in these interconnected stories: political extremism based on Manichaean dualisms (“No bad protestor, No good cop,” for instance); education in Marxist-Leninist theory and adoration of Marxist-Leninist tyrants around the world; hatred of law enforcement personnel and the country whose laws they enforce; non-traditional (to say the least) families and sexual lives; and a tendency to leap from one extreme to its opposite (from pacifism to murderous violence, for example).