Marx Would Be Canceled by the Left If Their Criticisms of the West Were Honest: Douglas Murray

Author of the new book “The War on the West”
By Masooma Haq
Masooma Haq
Masooma Haq
Masooma Haq began reporting for The Epoch Times from Pakistan in 2008. She currently covers a variety of topics including U.S. government, culture, and entertainment.
and Jan Jekielek
Jan Jekielek
Jan Jekielek
Senior Editor
Jan Jekielek is a senior editor with The Epoch Times and host of the show, "American Thought Leaders." Jan’s career has spanned academia, media, and international human rights work. In 2009 he joined The Epoch Times full time and has served in a variety of roles, including as website chief editor. He is the producer of the award-winning Holocaust documentary film "Finding Manny."
April 24, 2022Updated: April 25, 2022

Journalist and author of the new book “The War on the West,” Douglas Murray, says people around the world have been misled by hypocritical and conflicting anti-West rhetoric by the left, which reveres German political theorist Karl Marx but will allow the denigration of Western heroes like U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

“His views on colonialism and slavery are terrible. If Karl Marx were anyone else, he would have been canceled years ago. So why is this not done to him? Why only recently did the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) pay for another statue of Karl Marx to go up in Germany? Why?” Murray said during a recent interview with American Thought Leaders, which will premiere on Tuesday April 26 at 7:30 p.m. ET.

“We’re not talking in this current era of anti-Westernism about honest criticism of the West, we’re not talking about critics who want to make the West better. We’re talking about people who want to either completely destroy or radically transform the West, and one of the ways in which some people want to do that is along the old communist Marxist lines,” he said.

Marxism, although a product of the West, has become an ideology that permeates the left’s racial and economic justice agenda that is anti-West.

Epoch Times Photo
A bronze statue of Karl Marx donated by China to mark the 200th birth anniversary of the German philosopher, is seen in his hometown Trier, Germany, on May 5, 2018. (Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters)

“Marx is central to these people. Therefore, Marx must stand; everyone else must fall. You must do away with everyone else in the tradition; every other thinker, everything to do with the Judeo-Christian tradition, all of that—take away all of that, believe there’s one prophet, there’s one man still standing: Karl Marx,” Murray said.

Best known for writing the Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx is the creator of Marxism, which is a social, political, and economic ideology that divides people according to their economic status: the wealthy people are “oppressors” and the poor people are “oppressed.”

Over the last few years, Marxist ideology has become more visible in U.S. society, but instead of focusing on economic classes, activists focus on race, with neo-Marxist theories like Critical Race Theory (CRT).

Marxist underpinnings are seen in many social justice causes, from Black Lives Matter organizations to CRT-based trainings being given to U.S. military personnel, and in the Biden administration’s promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Epoch Times Photo
President Joe Biden prepares to sign executive orders related to his racial equity agenda in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, on Jan. 26, 2021. (Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)

University to Broader Society

Murray said that teaching people to hate the West started in universities, where students have “studied history framed by authors who talked about the original sin of colonialism, but now, this thinking has split over into the larger society.”

“I think people in the West had to be taught to dislike or find disproportionate criticism with their own society. They’ve been taught it for more than a generation now, it has to be said.

“And anything can be said about the West, but nothing negative must be said about anyone else. I mean, this was just a trope that came up in the post-colonial years, and various scholars are responsible for it. There was also, frankly to talk at the most basic level, a desire for revenge,” Murray said. “You know, people talked of justice but they meant revenge.”

Murray cited Frantz Fanon and Ibram X. Kendi as two people who talk about racial justice but what they espouse fits more into the definition of revenge.

“[Fanon’s] work, basically, is imbued with the desire for revenge against the West for the colonial era, and I think you can see this in the Critical Race Theorists today, in the work of people like the man who has taken the name Ibram X. Kendi,” Murray said.

Kendi writes in his book “How to Be an Antiracist”: “The only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.”

ibram kendi
Ibram X. Kendi is seen in a New York City studio on March 10, 2020. (Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

Fanon was a French West Indian psychiatrist whose works have influenced the fields of post-colonial studies, critical theory, and Marxism. Kendi is a professor at Boston University who has a lucrative business selling his anti-racist training to businesses and institutions. He advocates racial justice and ending all economic disparities between whites and blacks (non-whites).

“Fanon and other post-colonialists consistently, when they talk about former colonies, say that they must shrug off Western imperialism and … [this] must be replaced with Marxism,” which Murray says is extremely ironic because Marx and Marxism are also a product of Western culture and white people.

The Epoch Times reached out to Kendi’s office for comment.

Infiltrating the Highest Levels of Government

Some experts have pointed out that Marxism is disguised in the diversity, equity, and inclusion model, which is used by big corporations and by the Biden administration to train federal employees.

“And then there’s the inclusion thing, which is the idea that if there’s anything anyone can’t achieve, it’s because they’ve been held back by racism. And then the equity thing, which is that we’ve all got to end up in the same place,” Murray said, adding that such efforts to make everyone equal has not worked through history and will not likely work.

Kendi, whose work has been cited by the U.S. government, believes that it’s not enough to say you are not racist; you must be an anti-racist and take up the cause of racial justice and equity. And if you don’t, you are part of the systemic racism that oppresses blacks and minorities.

Murray contends that this model of making everyone guilty and labeling them a racist is a bullying tactic and is being used intentionally to stop substantive debate. He says Western societies have been attacked for a long time, with “sweeping claims” about their culture, religion, history, and writers being bad and oppressive, and that those doing it have gotten away with it through terrorizing people.

“And they’ve got away with it because they’ve cowed people, they’ve terrorized people into putting up with it: so that to even object is to be accused of bigotry,” he said.

If some were to say, “I feel some pride in my country, I’m fairly sure we’ve done something right; that person will be accused of racism. It’s a bullying tactic but it’s been very effective. I mean, almost everybody at some stage has been persuaded to shut up by that tactic,” Murray said.

“At the highest level, we are not merely talking anymore about something that comes out from a few campus radicals or a few weird fringe far-left groups; we’re talking about government after government sucking this up and spouting it back out to its people,” Murray said of leaders from the United States and Canada, who have praised the Chinese Communist Party and disparaged Western culture as racist.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, sparked controversy in 2021 when she told Al Sharpton’s National Action Network conference that white supremacy permeates the U.S. Constitution.

“I have personally experienced one of America’s greatest imperfections. I have seen for myself how the original sin of slavery weaved white supremacy into our founding documents and principles,” Thomas-Greenfield told the conference.

statue protection
Fencing erected to protect the Emancipation Memorial from people who said they want to tear it down is pictured in Washington on June 26, 2020. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
emancipation statue
Glenn Foster, an activist seeking to tear down the Emancipation Statue, speaks near the memorial in Washington on June 26, 2020. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Judge Western Leaders in Historical Context

Murray said that all people, including the founders of the United States, should be judged in the context of the times they lived in.

“If you decide—because Aristotle 2,500 years ago had different views than we do today—that you don’t need Aristotle, and because Plato doesn’t know what we know now about certain subjects, and because all of the Enlightenment philosophers don’t have our views from 2022, you don’t need these people, well, that’s very convenient because it means you don’t have to do any work at all, and it also means that when you stripped all of this away, you get the great God of the era, me,” Murray said.

“I mean, it’s the endpoint of a form of individualism as well, which is a narcissism which is rampant in our day.”

Murray believes most people want to know their history and their heroes.

“They like stories of heroism, which are true and inspire them to be heroic in their own lives. They would like these things over this boring, narcissistic, limiting thing, which says the best thing you can do with your life is to not harm anyone or anything else.

Cultural Revolution

The key component of the war on the West is to attack its history and traditions, which Murray likened to the communist takeover of China when the CCP destroyed traditional Chinese culture and history. “It’s a form of cultural revolution. And I think that it’s been gotten away with far too easily,” he said.

“The main one is a war on the West’s history, where a story that has to do with pride, heroism, and striving, vigor, victory against all sorts of odds is turned into a story of shame,” he added.

“You know, when I was growing up, Winston Churchill was one of our great national heroes. For most of us in the general public, he still is, but everything in the public square, written by academics, pumped out in the media, has become negative,” he said, so much so that people attack his statue.

“Well, I’m sorry, but if you think that the Founding Fathers can be discarded, and Abraham Lincoln can be discarded, and everyone else can be discarded from history, and you’re now going to wing it from here on in, you’ve got another thing coming. To take away all of that, what actually have you got left?”

He says people who defend Marx will say we like him because of his economic theory and that we can choose the things we like from Marxism, but they don’t choose things to appreciate things about Hume or Voltaire or Churchill. “You know, there, you see the direction of the unfairness that is being applied to Western societies,” Murray said.

Slavery was a significant part of Western history but not the only part, which Murray argues should not negate all the contributions the West or white people made for the betterment of the world, including developments in science and medicine, governance, democracy, the peaceful transfer of power, the ideas of liberty, giving women the right to vote, the exercise of free capital, Judeo-Christian religious traditions, arts, and philosophy.

Epoch Times Photo
Adapted from a Cultural Revolution-era poster emblazoned with the words “Smash the Old World, Establish the New World.” (The Epoch Times)
Epoch Times Photo
Buddhist statues are set on fire during the Culture Revolution. (Public Domain)

Not Choosing Gratitude

“And, there’s one other very important thing to say about that, which is: I think we have to be very wary in the current era of people who have not suffered themselves in any way, taking upon themselves the mantle of the sufferer,” Murray said.

Gratitude is essential and contrary to the resentment that many people are harboring, he said. “[T]here are people who want to lock themselves in a system of resentment.”

“If you accept [gratitude], resentment can start to fade away. But there are people who want to only watch it, feed it, hold on to it. I think those are people to be avoided,” he said.

Murray added that the solution to the destruction of Western culture is to be brave and appreciate Western culture openly, and to educate ourselves about what is happening and how to counter the left’s arguments, which he says his new book will be able to help with.