Destruction of Traditional Culture Key to Successful Marxist Revolution: James Lindsay

Culture prevented communist revolutions in advanced capitalist societies
By Ella Kietlinska
Ella Kietlinska
Ella Kietlinska
Ella Kietlinska is a reporter for The Epoch Times focusing on U.S. and world politics.
and Joshua Philipp
Joshua Philipp
Joshua Philipp
Joshua Philipp is an award-winning investigative reporter with The Epoch Times and host of EpochTV's "Crossroads" program. He is a recognized expert on unrestricted warfare, asymmetrical hybrid warfare, subversion, and historical perspectives on today’s issues. His 10-plus years of research and investigations on the Chinese Communist Party, subversion, and related topics give him unique insight into the global threat and political landscape.
February 7, 2022Updated: February 7, 2022

Marxist revolutions failed in advanced capitalist countries because people valued their traditional culture, institutions, and values, according to James Lindsay, bestselling author and founder of New Discourses.

Critical race theory is used like “acid” to dissolve American society and break down its critical institutions, Lindsay told EpochTV’s “Crossroads” program.

Marx expected that the communist revolution would begin in advanced capitalist countries, asserting that these societies’ “contradictions would build up so dramatically that the proletariat would awaken and form workers parties that would become a ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ and lead us into an idealized socialism,” Lindsay explained.

Marx published his “Communist Manifesto” around the mid-19th century but the first communist revolution succeeded only about 70 years later in 1917 in Russia.

“Nowhere in the developed capitalist societies was this happening, but you have peasant Russia which is an aristocratic mode still that’s able to be flipped over by the Bolsheviks,” Lindsay said.

“Same thing happened later in China. China was not an industrial center, it was not an advanced capitalist society, it was a peasant society.”

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) founded in 1920 by Chinese Marxists under the influence of the Soviet Union gained control of China in 1949 and established the most brutal totalitarian communist regime on earth.

The Marxists of the time in the 1910s, 20s, and 30s were examining the situation trying to figure out why Marx’s doctrine failed, Lindsay continued.

They realized that it was the culture that was preventing Marx’s theory from being accepted and successfully implemented in these advanced capitalist societies, Lindsay explained.

Mao Zedong, a CCP leader who ruled communist China from its inception until his death in 1976, was able to undermine the existing proud culture of the Chinese, the author said.

Marxist thinkers came to understand that people considered their Western culture or their Chinese culture with their values sets as being fairly good, and despite being aware of some of its imperfections, did not want to overthrow it, he continued.

“[Marxists] realize that if you can undermine the existing culture and create a break from the existing culture and demonize the existing culture, then you can especially get the younger generations to want to pick up with a whole new program. And that’s the way that you can affect what they call a cultural revolution.”

Epoch Times Photo
CCP cadres hang a placard on the neck of a Chinese man during the Cultural Revolution in 1966. The words on the placard states the man’s name and accuses him of being a “Black Gang” anti-revolutionary. (Public Domain)

“Mao called it destroying the four olds,” Lindsay said.

In the 1960s, Mao launched the Cultural Revolution, carried out by fanatical youth encouraged to smash, beat, torture, and murder for the sake of destroying the so-called “four olds”—old customs, old culture, old habits, and old ideas—of China.

The death toll of the Cultural Revolution in China was estimated by many researchers at a minimum of two million, while an American professor R.J. Rummel who researched the mass killing, wrote in his book that the Cultural Revolution claimed the lives of 7.73 million people.

“So you have to poison the institutions.” For example, in America, “you have to make people think all the founding of America was rooted in racism … and that racism is still the organizing principle of the society today,” Lindsay said. This is why the 1619 Project was launched, he added.

The 1619 Project is a series created by New York Times reporter Nikole Sheri Hannah-Jones based on the claim that America was founded in 1619 when a group of 20 Africans, who were considered to be the first enslaved Africans in British America, arrived in the colony of Virginia.

After destroying the old culture, Marxists have to get “the young generation to want to grow up to be a new man in a new society that understands that we aren’t individuals at all,” Lindsay said.

The goal is to have people perceive their “true nature as a social collective, or as a communist kind of person,” he pointed out.

Epoch Times Photo
Signs against Critical Theory in front of the Loudoun County School Administration building on Nov. 9, 2021. (Terri Wu/The Epoch Times)

Critical race theory (CRT) takes this whole set of great values that have successfully shaped the West such as punctuality, hard work, Judeo-Christian values of right and wrong transmitted from one generation to the next, and characterize them as toxic whiteness, the author said.

“They put it into a scapegoat bucket and they just relentlessly criticize it until people are ashamed to be associated with it.”

Lindsay, who wrote the book “Race Marxism: The Truth About Political Race Theory and Praxis,” said that critical race theory “is rooted in negative thinking … [and] its goal is a ruthless criticism of all that exists.” It is present across virtually every workplace, he added.

It is based on the Marxist concept of class struggle, which pits two social classes—the bourgeoisie and the proletariat—against each other to divide and conquer. CRT applies this same principle to race, dividing people into oppressors and the oppressed based on their skin color.

It is an offshoot of a Marxist branch of thought known as critical theory developed in the 1930s by a group of Marxist scholars, the founders of the Frankfurt School, first associated with the University of Frankfurt in Germany and later with Columbia University in New York.

Lindsay cited two of the prominent critical theorists of the Frankfurt School, Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, who said they could not describe a good or positive society but could criticize an existing society.

Once the culture is made “sufficiently toxic, America [becomes] a bad word, we can’t talk about Christopher Columbus … we have to feel a little bit ashamed if we bring up Thomas Jefferson because we know he held slaves,” Marxists try to make people break off from the old culture, Lindsay said.

Then campaigns such as the “Year Zero” carried out by Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge communist regime in the 1970s or Mao’s campaign to eradicate “four olds” can commence.

“Year Zero” was an idea declared by Cambodia’s communist dictator Pol Pot in 1975 to completely destroy the country’s culture including the institution of family and religion and replace it from scratch with a purportedly utopian peasant lifestyle. City dwellers, especially intellectuals, were targeted for persecution and elimination.

As a result of this policy, the Pol Pot regime murdered between 1.4 million and 2.2 million people during four years of its rule—up to one-third of Cambodia’s population at the time.

Lindsay said that the idea of a “Great Reset,” which involves “a whole new culture with a whole new model … [such as] a new economic model like stakeholder capitalism,” also requires breaking off from the old culture.

The “Great Reset” of capitalism is promoted by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and its founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab.

“The changes we have already seen in response to COVID-19 prove that a reset of our economic and social foundations is possible,” Schwab said in June 2020. “The pandemic represents a rare but narrow window of opportunity to reflect, reimagine, and reset our world.”

The Great Reset will harness the innovations of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to address health and social challenges among other things, the WEF Chairman explained. “The revolutions occurring in biotechnology and Artificial Intelligence (AI), which are redefining what it means to be human … will compel us to redefine our moral and ethical boundaries.”

Subjective Reality

Reality can be perceived from an objective standpoint or a subjective standpoint, Lindsay said. For people who believe in God, the source of objectivity and the objective truth is God, while others believe the “brute fact of the world” is objectively true, he explained.

“The world is out there and then we are receiving information about the world via our senses, and that we understand the world and make our models of the world as best we can and try to work out the details and get things right. But the world itself is something that we must be humbled before. That’s the objective standpoint.

“The subjective standpoint sees it the other way around, that the world is actually that which we create in our consciousness.”

Some schools of thought assert that a person’s true being is suppressed if their sex assigned at birth doesn’t actually accord with what that person believes their true identity is, the founder of New Discourses continued.

“The fact that that assignment then brings with it all of these restrictions upon how you’re supposed to present, how you’re supposed to act, who you’re supposed to hook up with, or have sex with, or marry, or whatever—all of that is enormous oppression upon you,” Lindsay described how these schools view gender identity.

“[Queer theory] explicitly says that the goal is not to create stable LGBT identities. It is, in fact, to create destabilized identities that are under absolutely no restrictions or no moral shackles of any kind.”

According to these theories, the ideas of a stable, monogamous relationship to raise the children, that children are supposed to be regarded as innocent and therefore non-sexualized, are just fictions that oppress people and have been created by people to maintain this system, so people need to liberate themselves from these artificial social relations and self-imposed limits, the author said.

“What that amounts to is the absolute destruction of morality,” Lindsay concluded.

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