You Best Start Believing in Cultural Revolutions… You’re In One.
I don’t want this publication to merely be knee-jerk reaction or hot taking everything the newscycle of the propaganda regime feeds us. I don’t think that is healthy to be too aware of it, to be honest, and we all should maintain a sort of bemused detachment from it.
But something in the news today has caused me to step back and reflect upon what exactly has happened in the last twelve months. I want to take a moment to analyze this from 30,000 feet.
After the 2020 BLM revolution (which kicked off in my native Minnesota) we saw everyone race to remove any trace of anything the disciples of Ibram X Kendi, et al, determined to have any connection to racism. Confederate statues came down, as did statues of Christopher Columbus, after years of agitating, the Redskins changed their name and the Indians are following suit this season, Land O’Lakes and Aunt Jemima changing their nearly century-old branding, and, of course, the comical San Fransisco School district plan to rename schools. Those are just a few examples of the rush to out anti-racist one another.
This stuff would be hilarious if these people were not so deathly serious, and while the gallows humor of mocking them and memeing is an appropriate response, eradicating even largely superficial popular culture is both a substitute for and prelude to eradicating the people that culture represents.
This past week, it was announced six books by Dr. Seuss are no longer going to be published or sold, because they portray racist representations. Naturally, the internet erupted with the usual normiecon suspects talking about the really stupid term “cancel culture.”1 This, of course, badly misses the point of what is going on. This stuff is not random. This is not merely college kids in the grip of hysteria going out of control on Twitter. These are largely carefully selected targets. Dr. Seuss is in particular.
The normiecon (and those influenced by him) cannot process why they are going after Dr. Seuss. “He drew anti-Nazi propaganda during WWII! He was a lifelong progressive (at least)!” “How come I can find Mein Kampf available everywhere, but not Dr. Seuss?!” It doesn’t make sense to them. That’s a feature, not a bug, of cultural revolution.
Why is Dr. Seuss, of all people, a target?
Because the point of a cultural revolution is to destroy all vestiges of the previous culture, all attachments to it, and every human relationship that might maintain the enemy culture. I, like everyone my age, grew up reading Dr. Seuss. My parents grew up reading Dr. Seuss. Making Dr. Seuss verboten has far less to do with the actual content of Dr. Seuss than it does with undermining the pathways of cultural transmission. Not being able to read Cat in the Hat to your toddler like your parents did with you when you were that age may seem like something trivial, just like “the war on Christmas” seemed incredibly silly and petty and utterly ridiculous to be a feature of the Trump Campaign in 2016 (I bet you forgot, didn’t you!), but that is how cultural revolutions work. Pre-Trump, the revolutionaries were content with a slow, plodding Gramscian march; one where you could do subtle things like swap out Merry Christmas with Happy Holidays or BC/AD for BCE/CE over the course of decades. That somehow their firewall wasn’t strong enough to withstand a revolt by the proles in 2016 caused them to abandon the patient slow-burn in favor of an uncontrollable wildfire. Now, the past must be redacted. The enemy culture must be destroyed.
And one of the most effective ways to do this is to make parents and grandparents unreliable. Everything they grew up with that seemed innocuous is an object bearing great evil. Those G.I. Joe action figures are talismans of toxic masculinity and rape, those Barbies do violence to body positivity and reinforce heteronormativity and, of course, white supremacy. Everything you grew up with is evil, because everything before year zero (Memorial Day 2020) is evil. And therefore, your children must be made to distrust you.
Breaking bonds of loyalty
I am waist-deep in the conservative, Christian, homeschool world. It is probably heresy for me to say that I actually don’t think public school (qua public school) is responsible for the cultural rot. Put another way, I don’t think the teachers are all that effective at transmitting their particular cultural values to the students. They were not for me, or for most of my friends. Peer groups are vastly more effective. Popular entertainment mediated through peer groups is incredibly effective. The reason my teachers were not able to make me a lib like one of them was largely because I had a very strong bond with my parents. If there ever was something my teachers said which contradicted what my parents believe, 100% of the time I would side with my parents and roll my eyes at whatever my teacher said. I don’t think I am an outlier in this. At the same time, let me make ABSOLUTELY CLEAR I am not arguing to send your children to the public skrewl. While they might be impervious to the lib teacher’s curriculum telling your son that you have to use the erstwhile Jimmy’s new pronouns, your children are extremely vulnerable to peers and the culture that peer group receives together from screens. If your child is gonna start calling Jimmy “Janie,” it’s not because of the school’s curriculum, but because all of his friends start calling Jimmy “Janie.” To me, that is 99% of the danger of sending your child to public school—because your child’s loyalty to you can very easily be replaced with loyalty to their peers.
And that is the point of this long diversion.
The reason they go after what seem like even the most mundane (pre-George Floyd) cultural artifacts is because they want to prime the pump of breaking the bonds of loyalty and love as early as possible. They want children to hate what their parents love and love what their parents hate. They want to rip the natural bonds of affection apart.
And if the first six weeks of the [whoever is actually running things] regime is any indication, you can expect the pace of such revolutionary erasures to pick up, not slacken.
So love your little ones. Teach them to love what you do. It matters far, far more than you realize.
Someday I will write more about why I cannot stand this phrase beyond its acceptance by the usual cringe artists. Ultimately, it is because it implies that “canceling” is organic and natural and not something that is obviously enforced from the top down. It wasn’t as though college kids (and HR departments of major corporations) all around the country spontaneously erupted in fits of “anti-racist” hysteria and religious zeal. The people who rule over us, who wield massive power, have chosen this.