“The newspaper announced that the mission of the Red Guards was to rid the country of the ‘Four Olds’: old culture, old customs, old habits, and old ways of thinking. There was no clear definition of ‘old’; it was left to the Red Guards to decide. First of all, they changed street names.”
These words leaped out at me yesterday while rereading an old copy of Nien Cheng’s classic “Life and Death in Shanghai.” Her firsthand account of the inanities and horrors of the Chinese Cultural Revolution of the mid-1960s confirms that today’s cancel culture is neither rational nor commendable.
Indeed, there is nothing new in this year’s cancel culture with its pseudo-virtuous name-changing gimmickry, its silly statue-toppling and offensive Bible-burning, its noisy aggression and erratic rioting.
The copycats today in the name of BLM and antifa are mindlessly mimicking the exhibitionism of communist-style revisionist history and senseless destruction of property launched by the Red Guards in Shanghai some 55 years ago.
“Day and night the city resounded with the loud noise of drums and gongs … looting and the ransacking of private homes … The violence of the Red Guards seemed to have escalated. … Articles in the newspapers … encouraged the Red Guards and congratulated them on their vandalism. They were … exhorted to be fearless in their work of toppling the old world and building a new one based on Mao’s teachings.”
Nien Cheng recorded that “after unleashing the Red Guards … to serve his political purposes, Mao Zedong was no longer able to control them.”
Here in the U.S., in this election year, it’s highly probable that Democratic leaders, having unleashed today’s anarchists to serve their political purposes, will after the election be no longer able to control them.
When Revolutions Go Wrong
The whirlwinds of any revolution are tricky to ride. All revolutions start out with fierce ideals to right some wrong. But most revolutions after the initial high begin to falter. At that point, agitated revolutionaries, lunging desperately to maintain gains, resort to illicit means.
First, they initiate intimidation and authorize violence against those who are deemed to stymie their success.
Second, they resort to distorting newfound liberty into undisciplined license, setting fires, looting, assaulting, injuring, even killing.
Third, they begin defacing, burning, destroying or appropriating private property “for the cause.”
Such was the ignominious fate of not only the Chinese Cultural Revolution but also the French and the Russian Revolutions before that.
The woke revolutionaries of today are heading for similar ignominy.
For there can be no place in our communities for the deliberate stoking of resentment and hatred against any group of Americans.
Rioters Reject the Founders’ First Principle: The Unalienable Right to Life
All Americans should proudly acknowledge that, throughout history, the original American Revolution was surely the most successful and consistently moral of all revolutionary ventures.
The secret of this success was that the American revolutionaries laid down three firm principles and stuck to them through thick and thin.
First, the Declaration of Independence, followed by the U.S. Constitution, established that there is to be no taking of anyone’s life without due process.
With the support of the Democratic Party, the Supreme Court progressives ditched this one in Roe v. Wade (1973) to legalize a right to abortion that has resulted, among other injustices, in the disproportionate killing of black American children in their mothers’ wombs.
Right now in this year’s unchecked rioting, Democratic governors and mayors have condoned right-to-life violations.
Too many innocent lives, adults and children, have been brutally sacrificed in the terrible anarchy that has characterized this “summer of love” in so many Democrat-controlled states and cities.
Irresponsible Democratic leadership has refused to maintain law and order and has let anarchy rip.
The Democrats’ solution to the problem that black lives that do not appear to matter is to increase the multibillion-dollar budget for dispensing vote-buying largesse and food stamps to black lives jeopardized by violence, poverty, family dysfunction, physical and mental ill-health and drugtaking.
Dependency, not independence, is the Democrats’ perennial goal to ensure that black lives matter to Democratic Party victory at election time.
It’s surely significant that Democratic leaders would not utter one word of praise for the remarkable rise in black employment achieved in the first three years of President Trump’s term.
The Founders’ Second Principle: The Right to Liberty
Their obsessive hatred of President Trump has lured Democratic leaders into tolerating, excusing and even extolling as “mostly peaceful protests” a truly terrible abuse of the liberty principle.
There is no liberty to do deliberate harm to others, to laser officers of the law, no liberty to burn, to loot, to deface and to destroy small businesses, police stations and public property.
In refusing to condemn and restrain these assaults on law and order, Democrats have facilitated their continuation. They have revamped the right to liberty as a right to licentiousness, a “private” right to indulge the worst excesses of anarchy and vice.
Starting with the sexual revolution, progressives mocked the traditional moral virtues and sexual mores that tried to maintain for American families, irrespective of race, a stable and ethical society that is truly protective of all children.
We must rediscover the reasoned wisdom behind age-old rules essential for weaving the seamless protection that must serve each defenseless child from conception to maturity.
Traditional Judeo-Christian rules governing morality still today have a powerful logic — to protect children. Their rational purpose is to secure for each new generation at least some minimum of order and belonging and trust and the understanding that these children are to be loved chastely and faithfully and are themselves to learn to love in like manner.
The Founders’ Third Principle: The Right to Property
The “squad” of progressive Democratic lawmakers recently signaled their party’s disdain for property rights in Section 6 of the Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act of 2020.
Purchasers who take advantage of the bill’s “Affordable Housing Acquisition Fund” must agree to “democratic control” by residents.
Purchasers must also agree to provide residents “with free, voluntary supportive services that help address the needs of those experiencing chronic homelessness or housing instability, including access to healthcare, employment or education assistance, childcare, financial literacy education and other community-based support services, as the Secretary [of Housing and Urban Development] shall require.”
This list of needs that are to be provided by private property owners to renters is eerily reminiscent of extreme edicts set forth in early 20th-century communist manifestos.
Social Prudence Is Swept Away in Most Revolutions
In the frenzy of revolutionary deconstruction, social prudence, no less a virtue than social justice, is too often the first casualty. Today’s revolutionaries, secure in the empathy of federal and state Democratic leadership, are no exception.
Democratic leaders have been shamelessly cooperative in accommodating every brash new ideological value threatening family and societal stability.
Regrettably, these newly concocted woke values are antithetical to the foundational natural-law values and religious-based ethics that have served to fashion the unique American character, rule of law and democratic government.
The extreme nature of this woke revolution must be recognized, resisted and defeated before it can wreak irreversible harm.
The progressives’ hatred of President Trump has triggered the politicization of the tragic coronavirus pandemic. Even amid the crisis, Democratic leaders continue to hold up urgently needed relief to millions of Americans in deep distress caused by a natural disaster — and not by President Trump and the Republicans.
Democrats and Republicans “Don’t Have Shared Values,” Says Nancy Pelosi
She was being very honest.
Democrats, having lurched to the extreme left, can no longer be entrusted with the presidency and the legislature.
Indeed, in bonding with anarchists and rioters that injure the innocent and wantonly destroy property, damage churches and burn Bibles, Democrats have shifted so far left in this term that they no longer share the values that the Founders set out in the Declaration.
They are no longer to be entrusted to uphold the God-given, unalienable rights possessed by every human being, which are the core values at the heart of the rule of law in this gallant republic.
The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.