Is BLM a Marxist Front?
Marxism has two distinct aspects. On one hand it is a purportedly scientific attempt to explain and predict human history in terms of struggle between social classes. Revolution arises from changes in material conditions and development of new means of production. This class perspective often has good explanatory power and yields interesting insights. However, it often makes incorrect predictions about the course of history- for instance basically failing to foresee the rise of the Suburban Middle Class in post-WWII America.
The other aspect of Marxism is its drive to create a dictatorship. It is an avowed revolutionary movement seeking to overthrow capitalist society. Marxists seek to establish a party line and enforce it with rigid orthodoxy. The party line changes and new leaders gain control. Party members who deviate or hold on to the old ways are denounced as counter-revolutionary class traitors. Extensive propaganda apparatus is developed to promulgate the current revealed truth and to obliterate facts that might contradict it. There is nothing scientific or theoretical about it. It is a self-proclaimed dictatorship of the proletariat. Everyone must bend a knee to the latest slogan. Private property is abolished. Central planners decree what is to be produced. Peasants are brought together in communes. Prices are kept low especially on staples so people can supposedly afford to buy food and basic goods without having to pay profits to greedy capitalists. However, in the Marxist Utopia, shortages soon develop. Bread is $1 a loaf, only the bakery has no loaves to sell. They are all reserved for the Party faithful and many disappear into the black market. Ration cards are needed for luxuries, then staples. A totalitarian police state inevitably grows up to squelch any opposition. It keeps everyone in fear. People turn in their neighbors and denounce their relatives. Party leaders and key officials end up living in luxury. Life matters little. Only the Working Class matters. In this way Marxism fashions a hell on earth.
On its way to power, Marxists use a variety of deceptive techniques. Telling lies is fine if it serves the larger purpose. Often Marxists set up a Popular Front based on a popular cause. The tactic is intended to draw in gullible masses to serve as cannon fodder in street wars. The front is controlled by an elite cadre of Marxists. The ostensible goals of the front are reasonable and appealing, but the secret agenda is always to weaken the liberal democratic state, undercut its rule of law, and erode its individual freedoms. Whatever concessions are extracted are never enough. They are only a springboard to a new list of demands. While overtly trying to improve life for the people, the Left agitator is actually promoting economic disorder and general chaos. As Lenin said “The worse things are, the better they are.” Marxism is initially sold to the naive as an effort to establish a better society in which everyone gets an equal share. It is a world where everyone works for the common good and not for the profits of the capitalists. Some people see Socialism as an ideal to be aimed for. At the same time they see it as an unrealistic philosophy because it ignores the selfishness of human nature. However hard-core Marxism doesn’t make assumptions about the selflessness of people or base its advance on appeals to the better nature of humanity. Instead the Marxist presumes people can be persuaded, bribed, intimidated, coerced, or forced to do what party leaders tell them to. It accepts that there are recalcitrant class enemies who may need to be eliminated. Marxist ideologues do not believe people are saintly enough to give up everything they own and work for nothing.
Marxism in America right now is split. Black Lives Matter is a Marxist front, but it is creating a racial hierarchy of grievances and severely undercutting class consciousness. Marxism grew up in countries without the racial diversity of the United States. It has a critique of colonialism. It is all for growing a bureaucracy of political commissars called diversity and inclusion officers. However, the emphasis on race smacks conceptually of National Socialism and it risks dividing the Left from the Working Class. Rich Black sports and entertainment figures ludicrously talk about their oppression from microaggressions, but nothing is said that speaks to the material concerns of working people of whatever racial background. Race based reparations for example will divide the working class. But in this new Racial Marxist paradigm, everyone on the Left must be in favor of it.
In theory, the biggest problem for Marxism is that material conditions are not ripe. Before the pandemic, unemployment was falling and real wages were rising. Everyone was getting new phones and had the latest clothing styles. The current economic problems are arising from a virus and from excessive lock-down orders, not from underlying contradictions and not from any underlying change in material conditions. Shark Tank is still a popular show, kids are posting videos on TikTok, and twenty- somethings are hooking up on Tinder. As long as those are the defining loci of contemporary culture, modern manifestations of Marxism will only be able to stir up a little trouble, burn some Democrat cities, and extort weak corporations into putting BLM insignia in their advertising. But the bourgeois college kid revolutionaries and upper middle class diversity bureaucrats loathe the Working Class. They could foment chaos, anarchy, and tribalist racism, but they are not down at all with a dictatorship of the proletariat.