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How the Establishment Went Radical Left

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“Having set out from unlimited freedom, I have ended up with unlimited despotism.” Shigalev (the intellectual of the revolutionary group in Dostoyevsky’s The Devils).

In The Devils, Dostoyevsky tells the stories of young revolutionaries who are children of Socialists. Their parents wanted change. They passed their views down to their children, who demanded revolution.

A similar thing has transpired in the United States. The 1960s Leftists became part of the Establishment. Their children became Marxists and took over the Establishment. We are in the throes of a revolution.

Though I’m still struggling to see its contours clearly, Victor Davis Hanson tells the story:


The grasping “yuppies” of the 1980s were the natural successors to let-it-all-hang-out “hippies.” The ’60s were at heart a narcissistic free-for-all, when “freedom” often entailed self-indulgence and avoiding responsibility.

By 1981, the Reagan revolution finished off the dead-enders of the Woodstock generation. Most eventually grew up. They rebooted their self-centered drug, sex and party impulses to fixations on money, status and material things.

Sixties protestors mainlined divorce, abortion on demand, promiscuity, drug use and one-parent homes. But by the late 1970s and the 1980s, most veteran cultural revolutionaries had gotten married, were raising a family, bought a house, got a job and made money.

This time around, their offspring’s left-wing assault is different — and far more ominous. The woke grandchildren of the former outsiders are now more ruthless systematic insiders. The woke and wired new establishment knows how to use money and power to rebirth America as something the founders and most current Americans never envisioned.

Name one mainline institution that the woke left does not now control — and warp. The media? The campus? Silicon Valley? Professional sports? The corporate boardroom? Foundations? The K-12 educational establishment? The military hierarchy? The government deep state? The FBI top echelon?

The left absorbed them all. But this time around, members of the left really believe that “by any means necessary” is no mere slogan. Instead, it is a model of how to disrupt or destroy American customs, traditions and values.

Woke revolutionaries are not panhandlers, street people or Grateful Dead groupies. They are not even a few nutty and murderous Symbionese Liberation Army terrorists fighting against “the Man.”

They are “the Man.”

They don’t flock to campus free-speech areas; they are the campus administrators who ban free speech.

They don’t picket outside the Pentagon; they are inside the Pentagon.

They don’t chant “eat the rich”; they are the rich who eat at Napa Valley’s French Laundry.

They don’t protest “uptight” values, because they are more intolerant and puritanical than any Victorian.

They don’t believe in racial quotas based on “proportional representation,” because they are racists who demand underrepresentation of “bad” racial groups and overrepresentation of “good” groups. The color of our skin is their gospel, not the content of our character.

They are top-down revolutionaries. None of their agendas, from open borders and changing the Constitution to critical race theory and banning clean-burning fossil fuels, are ever favored among a majority of the population.

Their guiding principle is “never let a crisis go to waste.” Only in times of a pandemic, a national quarantine or volatile racial relations can the new upscale leftist revolutionaries use fear to push through policies that no one in calm times could stomach.