When I was young and just arrived in Los Angeles to make my way in the movie business, a friend, a recent graduate of UCLA film school, was writing a screenplay improbably entitled “Stalin’s Children.”
It was a sympathetic view of the struggles of the young people of that time (1969–70) still devoted to Comrade Stalin, if you can believe that. (Well, maybe now you can.)
Not surprisingly, the script was unreadable and I don’t recall making it beyond page 10, but I’ve been thinking about it recently for its prescience.
The author was no threat to John Huston or Francis Ford Coppola, to put it mildly, but he was a progenitor of something relatively rare in those days but becoming pervasive today: the “useful idiot,” American style.
Sometimes attributed to V.I. Lenin, “useful idiot” is a term of murky provenance.
Nevertheless, its meaning is clear: an ill-informed, easily gulled individual, often of the bourgeoisie, who can be manipulated by the left to support their most nefarious and bloody causes.
These days, “useful idiots” are all around us.
The seemingly-endless proliferation of unquestioning followers of Black Lives Matters is an obvious example.
You would think this would have been executed with some stealth, but that wasn’t necessary for the ultra-naive “useful idiots” whose cluelessness knows no bounds.
BLM isn’t a covert communist organization, it’s an overt one. Its leadership advertises itself as “trained Marxists” (their words). One of their leaders recently proudly “took no sides” on the violent destruction and escalating black-on-black murder going on across the country, tantamount to giving it all a nod of approval.
Of perhaps greater importance, ultimately, much of their significant financial support comes via Susan Rosenberg, a convicted domestic terrorist and wannabe cop killer once allied with the Weathermen whose near-life sentence was commuted by Bill Clinton on the last day of his presidency.
Ironically, along with the traditional communist crowd, some white (but no black) Democratic politicians are also raking it in from BLM fundraising. It’s interesting who profits from Black Lives Matter.
But almost no one seems to care, “useful idiots” especially. (One of the rare exceptions being whoever just sprayed the Fifth Avenue Black Lives Matter “mural” with deserved red paint.)
But nobody can care if nobody knows, or even begins to understand, what is happening to them.
The cause of this extraordinary naivety is our wretched educational system, which teaches nothing, while it endlessly inculcates leftist cant into the minds of our innocent youth.
We are a nation of “useful idiots” because of that system that gets worse, more extremely biased, every year. In fact, our educational system is a “useful idiot” manufacturing machine.
This machine has worked for years in a top-down manner. As our most renowned colleges and universities became progressively leftist in faculties and administrations—more than 90 percent of professors are now Democrats, mostly left Democrats—so naturally do their students follow suit, almost all of whom have become indoctrinated by the system to one degree or another from the first week of their freshman years.
Of course, they want to please their professors, get a good grade, and so forth. And the courses they are taking in the first place are almost always rigged for indoctrination. (Go and look at the required general education courses of almost any university if you think I’m exaggerating.)
These same students go on to teach at other, sometimes less prominent, colleges and universities, but also at our elementary, middle, and high schools, even at our kindergartens and nursery schools, forming a perfect system of uniform bias.
Nothing is questioned. Little is examined. We have endless diversity classes and administrators, but what’s known as viewpoint diversity (diversity of ideas) has virtually disappeared.
We are a capitalist society with a socialist educational system. (“Stalin’s Children,” but not in a movie. In life.)
No wonder so few look under the hood at what makes Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and their allies tick, what their real intentions are. (It’s certainly not saving black lives. So many are dying, it’s hard to keep up.)
This indoctrination lingers on after college, enhanced by the media and by increasingly timid corporations worshipping at the altar of political correctness. No one is encouraged to think for themselves. It’s too risky. The free mind has been captured and imprisoned, ironically, by their schooling, the very thing that was supposed to liberate it.
For now, the excessive violence and destruction coupled with absurd socialist legislation that could have been written in Caracas may prevent the left from assuming immediate power and keep Trump in office for one more term.
But give this educational system a few more years (with most of the GOP continuing to behave like court eunuchs) and we will be past the point of no return. We will fully be a nation of “useful idiots.”
No matter who wins the election, what’s needed now is a movement to take the schools back from the teachers’ unions, the politicians, and the so-called educational experts and return them to the people they are meant for—their consumers—the students and their families.
Otherwise, they should be out of business.
Roger L. Simon is a prize-winning novelist, Oscar-nominated screenwriter, and the co-founder of PJ Media. His most recent books are “I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already” (non-fiction) and “The GOAT” (fiction).
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.