Despite the best efforts of the elite Progressive Left the United States did not descend into bloody revolution. In fact quite the opposite, for, in November of 1980 the citizens of the United States elected Ronald Reagan to the presidency in a resounding landslide. Mr. Reagan was a strong free-market conservative and anti-communist. Clearly, from their point of view, the United States had foolishly chosen to swim against the tide of history.
It apparently hadn’t occurred to them that a strongly Christian country which had endured for centuries as a stable and successful republic, and, whose population had experienced the benefits of generally positive economic growth under a capitalistic economy, wasn’t easily convinced to go communist. That they thought there was a reasonable chance of success speaks to the level of idiocy and evil to which the Marxist/Communist ideology so regularly leads.
Utter failure in the near term didn’t alter in the least their confident determination to destroy the United States. Rather, the elite Progressive Left was forced to find a new strategy to achieve this goal. So, if direct incitement had failed, then a more subtle means was necessary. That new means was the Peace Movement.
This new strategy had many powerful advantages. Most critically, it was able to turn all of the strengths of the United States back against itself.
Firstly, Christians know that Jesus Christ had called them to value peace as a primary moral goal. Certainly most Christian theologies had found ways to support war. However, war was supposed to be waged only in the outmost extremity. Yet, The United States in the 20th Century had fought two World Wars, the Korean and Vietnam Wars and had been engaged in a Cold War with the Soviet Union and China for over three decades. To top it all off, we were living under threat of global destruction were a full scale nuclear war to break out. How could many citizens be anything but war weary and deeply distressed about the future?
Secondly, the United States, as a democratic republic, has a government whose priorities are powerfully influenced by public opinion. This in itself is clearly a very good thing. However, whereas the peace movements in the West were able to influence the policies of their governments, the ruthless communist dictators had no comparable constraint. Thus, while the peace movements could claim to speak for all of humanity, the only governmental policies that could conceivably be influenced were those of the Western Democracies.
Thirdly, the economic success of democratic capitalism had rendered life fairly comfortable and pleasant. Thus, there was more free time to contemplate issues beyond survival, and to pursue the ideal of peace.
Thus, in the 1980’s the elite Progressive Left abandoned their previous strategy of support for the tiny minority of revolutionary monsters and embraced one that could conceivably obtain mass support. Another major advantage was that the vast majority of those participating in the peace movement were people who had the best of intentions.
The propaganda value of placing the Peace Movement at the moral pyramid’s top were:
- It enabled the argument that the only legitimate means of pursuing peace was through a policy of unilateral disarmament, appeasement and pacifism
- It encouraged the radicalization of a large segment of the U.S. (and Western European) population by convincing them that those who disagreed were not simply wrong and/or ill-informed, but actively evil (i.e., supported, even desired all out war)
- If successful, it would materially advance the Soviet Union’s goal of defeating the West’s resistance to the spread of Communism.
Were the peace movements to succeed, that is, to usher in policies of unilateral disarmament in the West, the Communist nations (particularly the Soviet Union) would be able to Finlandize the West if not actually defeat and colonize it. That is the outcome that would finally (in their fevered imaginations) deliver the power that the elite Progressive Left so lusted after.
And yet, even this strategy was a failure. President Reagan and Prime Minister Thatcher convinced the West to maintain its credible deterrence against communist intimidation. President Reagan also initiated a military buildup that stressed the already teetering Soviet economy past its breaking point. Finally, along with Pope John Paul II, they destroyed the last vestiges of communism’s moral legitimacy.
The one real success of the Peace Movement was the creation of a significant group of citizens who had become addicted to the psychological drug of “moral/intellectual superiority.” It turned out that, for the intellectually lazy, the Peace Movement created an amazingly easy path to supposed superiority. As well described “In the Land of the Rococo Marxists”
From the very outset the eminence of this new creature, the intellectual, who was to play such a tremendous role in the history of the twentieth century, was inseparable from his necessary indignation. It was his indignation that elevated him to a plateau of moral superiority. Once up there, he was in a position to look down at the rest of humanity. And it hadn’t cost him any effort, intellectual or otherwise.
This group’s addiction would be successfully used by the elite Progressive Left far into the future to fuel pursuit of their destructive goals.
In the end, as a consequence of “peace through strength” and moral delegitimization, the Communist Chinese experienced major social convulsion and the Soviet Union collapsed in 1989. It is simply undeniable that these regimes were two of the most evil in human history. It was also the ideology on which the elite Progressive Left hand placed its hopes. Returning to the land of Rococo Marxism (images added):
American intellectuals of the Adjectival Fascism phase had a terrible year in 1989. In June, Chinese students in Beijing rebelled against the ancien Maoist regime, defied the tanks, and brought out into Tiananmen Square a plaster statue, the Goddess of Democracy, who, with her arm lifted to the heavens, looked suspiciously like the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. Who among the intellectuals ever would have suspected that Chinese dissidents had been looking to America as their model of freedom all along? Then on November 9 the Berlin Wall came down, and in no time the Soviet Union collapsed and its Eastern European empire disintegrated.
It was a mess, all right-no two ways about that. It made it damned hard to express your skepticism, your cynicism, your contempt, in Marxist terms. “Capitalism,” “proletariat,” “the masses … .. the means of production,” “infantile leftism … .. the dark night of fascism,” or even “anti-fascism”-all these things suddenly sounded, well, not so much wrong… as old.. . “Vulgar Marxism” it came to be called, vulgar in the sense of… unsophisticated.
The important thing was not to admit you were wrong in any fundamental way.
Thus, while the vast majority of humans celebrated the real potential for peace and freedom, the Progressives mourned. This cataclysmic failure of their ideology would lead to the strangest yet ascension to the top of their moral pyramid in the 1990’s.