It seems that capitalists, woke zealots, and street gangs are joined at the hip right now.
This idea is fleshed out by writer Michael Anton in an enlightening interview with IM 1776. Anton offers this chilling thought:
Certain folks will howl at this, but if you listen to the woke left, they think it’s not merely fine for banks to cancel customers over political beliefs, but even morally obligatory. So if a customer of the First National Bank gets his account closed for wrongthink, then the left’s view is, it’s immoral for the Second National Bank, and so on down the line, to take him as a customer. Ditto for credit cards. Ok, well, extend this out. Why should stores sell to immoral people, to ‘racists’ and ‘insurrectionists’ who threaten ‘our democracy’? Isn’t the store committing an immoral act by selling to immoral people? There was an article recently in The New York Times which described farmer’s markets and food coops as ‘white supremacist.’
Anton is not exaggerating when he suggests that the leftist establishment and its street gangs may put pressure on businesspeople not to do business with “white supremacists” and MAGA voters. The left has managed to close the bank accounts of heretics, while electronic media magnates have canceled their accounts with only isolated public protests. Given the lack of fight in Conservatism Inc. and its compulsive need to purge its own ranks of “racists,” Anton is pessimistic that it will offer much resistance if the rampaging left pushes its intolerance one step further.
Anton’s pessimism may be fully justified and calls to mind the opening chapter of my forthcoming book, Antifascism: The Course of a Crusade. There one finds a comparison of Black Lives Matter and Antifa street gangs to Nazi Brownshirts wreaking havoc in interwar German cities. Mind you, nowhere do I claim that the Nazis and our left preach the same ideology. The Nazis were more dangerous than our media-approved censors and violent activists because their pernicious doctrines declared open season on minorities; it is not unusual historically for majority races to oppress minorities, although in the case of the Nazis this persecution was carried to appalling excess.
But today’s left is like the Nazis in some respects. Today’s woke left seeks power above anything else and uses hatred as a means of advancing its interests. Like the Nazi street gangs that kept German “Aryans” from buying from Jewish shopkeepers, it is easy to imagine that their current counterparts will soon be interfering with who buys or sells what to whom.
What makes our left particularly weird is its autoimmune aspect. Like a host that makes war on itself, Western governments and institutions of learning have worked to eradicate their own cultural and religious heritage and seek to punish those who won’t go along. In this autoimmune form of disease, non-whites and non-Westerners are exuberantly welcomed into the U.S. and other distinctly Western countries and urged to chastise and replace the dwindling core population.
This left already commands gigantic support in the general population. When their well-subsidized gangs devastated our cities last summer, 67 percent of those polled by Pew Research endorsed their activity as an appropriate response to white racism. Comparing this tidal wave of support for the antiwhite left to the role of Communist subversives in the U.S. in the 1940s and 1950s, as many conservatives do, is deeply misleading. Unlike Communists in the U.S. during and after World War II, today’s left does not hide its intentions; it simply grabs power after threatening its designated enemies.
We may also be approaching a situation in which the popular support that the Nazis achieved at the height of their success pales in comparison to the goodwill enjoyed by the present totalitarian left. Equally significant, our woke left enjoys comparable levels of support in most Western and especially Anglophone countries.
Like Nazism, this left is utterly impervious to rational arguments and revels in intimidating its victims. Those who claim to be fighting it usually underestimate its strength or, as Anton correctly observes, run to appease it. In the end, however, the street thugs and screaming activists may turn out to be a front for others. BLM was only one among other power players when corporate heads, the media barons, the Chamber of Commerce, the leaders of high tech and the heads of the AFL-CIO came together to plan the defeat of Donald Trump. The hellraisers and street bullies from last summer are politically tied to other interests that have power of their own. There is no Hitler waiting in the wings to take the reins of power entirely into his own hands. But we are still left with the troubling question of why our capitalists, woke zealots, and street gangs are joined at the hip right now. And two even more interesting questions concern if and when this bizarre alliance will start to unravel and what will be left of our civilization if and when this happens.
Flickr-Chad Davis, CC BY 2.0
Paul Gottfried is editor in chief of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. He is also the Raffensperger Professor of Humanities Emeritus at Elizabethtown College, where he taught for 25 years, a Guggenheim recipient, and a Yale Ph.D. He is the author of 13 books, most recently Fascism: Career of a Concept and Revisions and Dissents.
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