Civics: “Psychological Warfare, Subversion, and the Control of Society.” It begins:

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

When, on October 8, protests erupted across the Western world in support of Hamas—and not the democracy that had been overrun by terrorists—I saw the revolution. When I look at the recent spectacle at Columbia or Yale or UCLA or Harvard or Stanford—students tearing down American flags and raising Palestinian ones; or chanting in Arabic “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”—it is hard not to see the fruit of this long process. I hear the same when, week after week, the streets of London, Amsterdam, Brussels, and Hamburg ring with cries of “intifada” or open demandsfor a caliphate or Sharia law in the heart of Europe.

How did it happen?

Bezmenov described the subversion process as a complex model with four successive stages, a diagram of which I have provided. These are, in order: demoralizationdestabilization, crisis, and finally, normalization.

Think of the cynicism and selective truth-telling young Americans encounter in most classrooms. You know Jefferson owned slaves, right? You know Columbus killed millions? Again, never mind that Jefferson set us on the path to emancipation, or that Columbus knew nothing about epidemiology. A little learning, as the saying goes, is a dangerous thing. 

Once inside, it is very difficult to escape the mosh pit of civilizational self-loathing. Maybe you can climb to the top for a while by being the white person who hates white people most loudly, or the straight person who goes to the most debauched parades. But most people give up.

The ultimate intended outcome is that the afflicted willingly embrace self-destructive behaviors and ideas. Thus, all moral constraints can be eschewed in the pursuit of “just” and “virtuous” causes.

In America in 2019, 14 unarmed black men were shot by police—most, apparently, in self-defense. And yet, when polled, most Americans who described themselves as “very liberal” estimated the number at 1,000 or more. A fifth thought 10,000 or more. Were the BLM riots, then, any surprise?

To be sure, this isn’t just a progressive problem. Republicans also demonized the Justice Department, the FBI, and members of the judiciary when it suited them. Conservatives are also losing their confidence in law enforcement, in part because of what they see as the lax enforcement of the law as applied toward groups like antifa, Black Lives Matter, and pro-Hamas demonstrators. 


As far as I can tell, we are on our way to being considerably demoralized. If you look at the last few years, standards have declined, and subversive content, like Fanon’s, fills the media and our children’s curricula from K–12 to college and beyond. By beyond I mean even the Girl Scouts: here’s a St. Louis chapter learning to cheer for “the intifada.”

Do most elementary school teachers really want to racially stratify fourth graders? No. I think they dislike the racism of the past and want to do what they can to fix it. Since their betters in college told them that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is the way to go, well, so be it. Likewise, I don’t think your local high school history teacher wants to bring about a Bolshevik revolution. He has simply been told to replace the focus on 1776 with something from The 1619 Project. So he gets with the times. And on and on and on.

We have also come to a place where it is difficult for anyone to dissent for fear of incurring the wrath of the adherents—witting or not—of subversion. So people go along, keep their heads down, and try not to make a fuss.

The widespread acquisition of useless, aggressively ideological degrees in gender and race, or the claims of the possibility of an unlimited number of genders, or the total racialization and “decolonization” of our political discourse, or the demands to defund the police, the toppling of statues, the defacing of art, the “spontaneous” protests to dismantle our structures, and much else, I now understand as acts of subversion rather than mere expressions of discontent or youthful energy run amok.