The Progressive Threat

A new Freedom Center pamphlet by David Horowitz exposes the enemy within.

Editor's note: The Progressive Threat, a new pamphlet from Freedom Center founder David Horowitz, lays bare the anti-American, anti-capitalist agenda of the far-left Biden administration: its socialist theft, its sovereignty-destroying border policies, its pro-crime mentality, its identity-politics obsession, and its sinister stupidity. The Progressive Threat is a short but powerful must-read to understand how the neo-Marxist revolutionaries are taking down America in the name of "equity" and "social justice."

Read it below.

Order David's new pamphlet: HERE.

Read the PDF online version: HERE.


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The Progressive Threat.

An Outlaw Mentality

Everyone in Washington understands the basic causes of inflation. If you print more money than you can back up with real assets like gold, you devalue your currency and make everything cost more. If you declare war on fossil fuels, shut down pipelines, close vast oil fields like ANWR, and don’t approve drilling licenses generally, you cause the price of everything to go up, because virtually everything requires energy to produce. If you spend vast amounts of government money inducing individuals not to work, employers will raise wages to entice them to work, and that, too, will cause prices to go up.[1]  It’s not rocket science.

Despite understanding these consequences, the Biden progressives have instituted all these inflationary measures, and avoided taking responsibility for them and the suffering they cause. They did this to advance their progressive agenda, which is really a reactionary agenda that has not changed its fundamental premises since 1848, when Marx published what is, and has always been, the basic blueprint for progressive schemes.

The Biden reactionaries deny their responsibility for the costly and dangerous inflation their policies have created in the way they normally cover up their assaults on the public: with two obvious lies. First by claiming that the inflation was “transitory,”[2] and then by blaming it on the Russians – calling it “Putin’s price hike.”[3] The brazen character of these lies, and the fact that Biden has kept repeating them in the face of devastating refutations, reflects the fact that the Democrats know full well what they are doing, which is stoking the fires of a volatile inflation which is causing profound hardship to the very constituencies they pretend to care about – people on the lower rungs of the economic ladder.

Runaway inflation is not just damaging to the working and middle classes. It has the power to destroy entire societies. Money is a social glue. It provides incentives to work and to be law-abiding. It is a bargaining chip that can deflect and avoid social violence. When you destroy the value of money you destroy the indispensable social bond. That is what happened to the Weimar Republic in the 1920s, and what led to the election of Adolf Hitler in 1933.

What, then, could the Democrats be thinking in pouring fuel on the fires of inflation? The Biden Democrats who have poured trillions of dollars into an already heated economy look on the United States Treasury as a bank that can be robbed. As progressives, they feel licensed to rob the nation’s bank by the nobility of their mission, which is to save the planet. In their eyes, the money represents the fruits of exploitation made possible by a “white supremacist” capitalist system. In such a system, money is not earned but is extracted by socially sanctioned power. This is a system which they are pledged to destroy.

The money progressives rob from the nation’s bank will be redistributed according to the dictates of “social justice” – a yardstick based on their political entanglements and social whims. In the name of social justice, for example, the Biden regime has allocated $7.5 billion to put a black female astronaut on the moon because she is black and female.[4]  This is a preposterous virtue signal that violates the very spirit of America’s color- and gender-blind Constitution. But progressives, who have no respect for the Constitution (it’s too old and was written by slaveowners), needn’t be bothered by that.

Unfortunately, Republicans, and conservatives generally, are too polite to embarrass their political opponents by pointing out the criminal nature of their agendas and their modus operandi as the government. The harshest words Republicans will use to describe the Democrats’ campaign to free hundreds of thousands of violent criminals, de-fund the police, and stimulate a national crime wave is that they are “soft on crime.” Democrats – progressives – are not soft on crime, they are pro-crime.[5] They regard crime as a primitive form of “social justice.” Mobs of mainly black predators looting department stores in broad daylight is to them “reparations” – a socialist redistribution of income that provides “equity” to a group allegedly – but never specifically - oppressed.[6]

Sixty years ago, the Communist historian Eric Hobsbawm wrote a book, widely praised on the left, called Primitive Rebels. It was about criminal gangs in 19th Century Sicily whom he saw as Marxists avant la lettre. In other words, their criminality would have been seen as social justice if they had advanced their malignant agendas in the language of progressives like himself. Hobsbawm, by the way, was showered with academic honors notwithstanding his lifelong service to Stalin’s Russia and his admission that he had no regrets about the 100 million victims his comrades slaughtered on their way to the new world. To Hobsbawm the promise of a socialist paradise was so great, that it was worth the risk that another 100 million innocents might be slaughtered to achieve it the next time. Leftism – progressivism – is a criminal mindset.

All self-styled revolutionaries are criminals in the making – by nature. What makes them revolutionaries is their rejection of the entire system, its institutions and laws. If not for this rejection, if they respected the system and its provisions for amendments and lawful changes, they would be reformers. The rationale justifying the criminality of today’s progressives is Critical Race Theory. A cultural Marxist obscenity, Critical Race Theory maintains that America’s Constitution is a “white supremacist” contract – even though the words “white” and “black” do not appear in its text. Because it is a white supremacist document designed to create a white supremacist society, social justice warriors who are “anti-racist” are bound not to respect either the Constitution or the laws within its framework.[7]

How far have progressive criminals succeeded in subverting our system? Ketanji Brown Jackson who was recently confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice is a believer in, and promoter of Critical Race Theory, which means she considers the very Constitution a Supreme Court justice is bound to defend a “white supremacist” contract, which she cannot respect without betraying her basic beliefs. And the entire Democrat Party thinks that is appropriate and unobjectionable.

Justice Jackson has stated that she does not believe in natural law, which means she does not believe that Americans are endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This, in turn, means she believes these rights are granted by government, and can be taken away by government.

Socialism Is Theft

Progressivism is a criminal mentality. By progressivism I mean every political philosophy that regards itself as “revolutionary,” or “transformative” - describes itself as socialist, communist, fascist or jihadist - and believes that “the moral arc of the universe bends towards justice.” The belief that history is marching towards justice is a cult ideology refuted by the mass genocides of the modern era, which were carried out by Marxists and Nazis to create a new and better world. The belief that the world is marching towards justice, and that to be a progressive means one is “on the right side of history” is a delusion that will justify any and every atrocity and already has.

This is why today’s progressives are advancing the same genocidal agendas that the Western nations defeated in World War II and the Cold War. Led by the 99-member “Progressive Caucus”[8] in Congress, and its racist leaders - Pramila Jayapal, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, AOC and Ayanna Presley - progressives are in full-throated support of the 75-year genocidal campaign conducted by the terrorist dictatorships in Gaza and the West Bank.[9]

The stated goal of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority is the destruction of the Jewish state and the expulsion of its Jews. Even Hitler hid his plans for the Final Solution, but Hamas, the PLO and the Iranian mullahs trumpet their goal of ethnically cleansing a conquered Israel and rendering it Judenrein – Jew free – without hesitation or shame. Nor is the genocidal hatred displayed by these neo-Nazis confined to the Jews. “Death to America” is the preferred chant of their Iranian missile providers as well.[10]

On a less apocalyptic level, the criminal nature of the progressive outlook should be obvious to anyone who takes the time to look at their domestic legislative agenda. Virtually every progressive proposal, from the moratorium on rent payments to cancelling student debts to handing out other people’s money to their favored constituents for doing nothing is an eloquent expression of the fact that socialism is theft.

Student loans guaranteed by the federal government were a progressive legislative achievement. They led directly to a rampant inflation of student fees as university administrators raised tuition rates because they could.[11] These student “victims” championed by progressives weren’t forced to take loans, nor did anyone twist their arms to spend the money on frivolous courses in woke agendas which would likely not lead to jobs that would allow them to honor their debts. But now that the student loan program as designed by them is a burden on those who took advantage of it, the progressive solution is to make taxpayers – including students who paid their debts - foot the bill for those who couldn’t be bothered to.[12] Theft.

Next to the Confederate secession of 1861, which led to the Civil War, the greatest crime committed against Americans by other Americans, is the Biden progressives’ calculated, illegal destruction of the southern border. According to current estimates, this has led to a situation in which America is now being invaded at an annual rate of 2 million unvetted illegals, coming from 150 countries.

This new population includes more than 100,000 violent criminals (measured by past records), terrorists, sex traffickers, and peddlers of the drug fentanyl, which has killed nearly two-thirds of the 100,000 Americans who have died from drug overdoses in the last year, many of them youngsters.[13] An estimated 10% to 20% of the illegals are COVID - 19 carriers,[14] or anywhere from 200,000 to 400,000 annually. The Biden administration is aware that what it is doing is illegal, because it attempted to fly illegals to destinations across the country in the middle of the night so their operation would not be detected.[15] Needless to say, taxing Americans to fund a mass breaking of American law is another form of theft.

This progressive assault on American sovereignty, whose goal is the transformation of the electorate and of America’s unique political culture, began with the 2004 creation of law-breaking “Sanctuary Cities.”[16] The Sanctuary Cities campaign was a criminal attack on America’s immigration laws, which succeeded because of the support it received from Democrat elected officials. If ever there was a case of sedition, this was it. The Sanctuary movement was explicitly designed to sabotage the PATRIOT Act, which was passed to protect Americans after 9/11, by preventing immigration officials from deporting would-be terrorists.

The assault escalated with the 2008 election of America’s first leftist president, Barack Obama, who warned on the eve of his re-election that “we are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”[17] In order to accomplish a fundamental transformation, Obama had to break the law – actually many laws – including the U.S. Constitution. In TV appearances he attempted to explain this to his progressive followers who wanted him to violate the Constitution and admit over 800,000 illegals who had been smuggled into the country by their parents and were now adults.

So great was the pressure from radicals to break the law by preventing these illegals from being deported, that Obama publicly explained to them, at least twenty-two times in recorded television appearances, that the Constitution and subsequent statutory law prohibited him from declaring a general amnesty for people illegally residing in the United States.[18] The prosperous, opportunity-rich country illegal immigrants coveted was actually created by these constitutional limits to governmental authority.

“America is a nation of laws,” Obama explained on one occasion, “which means I, as the President, am obligated to enforce the law. I don’t have a choice about that…. With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case, because they are laws on the books that Congress has passed ….”[19] On another occasion he reminded people, “I swore an oath to uphold the laws on the books ….”[20] And on yet another, he said: “Now, I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own. Believe me, the idea of doing things on my own is very tempting. I promise you…. But that's not how our system works. That’s not how our democracy functions. That's not how our Constitution is written.”[21]

When defending the American system suited his ends, Obama was a shrewd enough politician to understand its rationale and functions. But he himself was a born-and-bred radical, and as a radical didn’t believe in the system itself, or the constitutional restraints the Founders had created.[22] For the same reason, his civics lectures fell on deaf ears. That’s what makes radicals radical: their determination to change the legal system – not to obey or merely reform it.

On June 15, 2012 Obama did what he had repeatedly said the law and the Constitution barred him from doing. He issued an “executive branch memorandum” called the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – DACA. This unilateral executive action provided a provisional amnesty for 800,000 youth who had entered the United States illegally as minors, and were still under the age of 31 as of June 2012. DACA allowed these individuals to gain temporary legal status, work permits, access to publicly funded social services, and protection from deportation.[23] All of which were both un-constitutional and illegal.

Two years later, having witnessed scant resistance from Republicans, and gotten away with his illegal action, Obama decided to expand the scope of his crime. He undertook a second executive action, this time granting provisional amnesty to 4 million illegal aliens under the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program - an expansion of DACA.[24]

That opened the floodgates to the destructive invasion of the country we are witnessing today, although it had to wait several years until Joe Biden destroyed the United States’ borders by illegal and unconstitutional executive actions on the first day of his presidency, and invited all of South America and unaccompanied minors to enter America anonymously. The invitation was ultimately extended to the entire world. And so the United States was fundamentally and illegally and unconstitutionally transformed by a party completely dominated by progressive criminals.

The Unbearable Lightness of Bernie

Bernie Sanders is the founder of the Progressive Caucus and most popular figure in the Democrat Party. He is also the Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, and therefore a key player in determining how Washington decides to spend taxpayers’ dollars. Bernie is also a lifetime fan of Communist regimes and apologist for their totalitarian practices – and atrocities. He supported Iran’s Islamo-fascist regime in 1979 when it made hostages of 52 American diplomats and embassy workers, held them for 444 days, and chanted “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” – repeating the threats through time.[25]

As an American politician for more than five decades, Bernie’s chief passion has been hatred of billionaires and of wealth in general, and of the economic system that makes wealth possible. He pursues this passion without a scintilla of self-awareness, ignoring the fact that he, himself, is worth $3 million.[26] This personal wealth allows him to own three houses, while the average person is lucky to own one. While presenting himself as a champion of the working classes, and an opponent of million-dollar incomes, he has no apparent intention of redistributing his own wealth to less fortunate individuals who may need it more than he does.

Without the slightest sense of irony, Bernie boasts that his first priority as a politician is to make socialist theft the law of the land, using the power of the state to force the most successful people to fork over their earnings and allow him as budget chairman to spend them. As his 2020 presidential campaign spokesman embellished this social injustice: “The record shows that from the very beginning, Bernie anticipated and worked to combat the rise of a billionaire ruling class and the exploding power of Wall Street and multinational corporations.”[27] Specifically, Bernie hoped to accomplish this transfer by passing a law that would make it illegal for anyone to accumulate more wealth than he or she could spend in a lifetime, and any income above $1 million per year would be taxed at a rate of 100%. “Nobody should earn more than a million dollars,” Bernie explained in 1974, before he became a multi-millionaire himself.[28]

In keeping with his determination to lead a campaign against wealth, whether earned or not, Bernie’s Twitter feed is monotonously filled with jeremiads about how bad, unfair and obscene it is for CEOs of large corporations to make more money than their workers. The following is a typical snark: “CEOs at large corporations are paid 350x more than what their average worker makes. Is that the kind of economic reality we should accept? I don’t think so.”[29]

At this point, one might ask: What educational or job experience can Bernie claim that would even suggest he had the credentials to draw such a society-changing conclusion affecting the lives of three hundred million Americans? The answer is none.

In 1964 Bernie graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Chicago. While at UC, Sanders joined the Young Peoples Socialist League, an ideological perspective he took with him when he went to work as an organizer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.[30] This radical component of the civil rights movement was led by Stokely Carmichael, a rabid anti-Semite, notorious for his claim that “the only good Zionist is a dead Zionist.” Carmichael was also a black racist who invented the slogan “Black Power” to challenge Martin Luther King’s leadership of what was then an inter-racial movement dedicated to non-violence and inter-racial peace. Carmichael then expelled all the whites in his organization, a large number of whom were Jews.[31]

Nominally, Bernie is a Jew. But all Bernie’s Jewish connections, including the kibbutz he spent time on in Israel, were organizations run by anti-Israel, anti-American and pro-Arab Marxists, just as his stateside political bases were anti-American, pro-Castro and pro-Soviet. Typical was his membership in the Jewish “Zionist” group, Hashomer Hatzair, whose founder Ya’akov Hazan described the USSR as a second homeland, and in 1953 put on sack cloth and ashes because of what he described as “the terrible tragedy that has befallen the nations of the Soviet Union, the world proletariat and all of progressive mankind, upon the death of the great leader and extolled commander, Josef Vissarionovich Stalin.”[32]

Before turning to a full-time political career, Bernie participated in a Quaker project at a California psychiatric hospital, and worked briefly as an organizer for the leftwing United Packinghouse Workers Union. He then moved to Vermont – a radical Mecca - where he worked variously as a carpenter, filmmaker, writer, and researcher.[33]

This survey of Bernie’s early absorption in an ideological war that was anti-capitalist, anti-American, and anti-business should make obvious why his mature views are so ignorant of the basic workings of the economic system that has made him a multi-millionaire. And oblivious of the fact that this same economic system had created the greatest prosperity and freedom for all who live under it in the history of mankind.

Let’s put the question bluntly then: Would paying the CEO of a corporation close to what one of his average workers makes benefit anyone connected to the corporation and dependent on its earnings?  Only if anyone can run a corporation successfully, which is obviously not the case. Steve Jobs founded Apple and ran it for years as a thriving company until he was forced out during a power struggle with its board. John Sculley who replaced him was an accomplished corporate executive who had run Pepsi-Cola. But the minute Sculley was running Apple without Jobs, its earnings and stock price began to tank until it teetered on the edge of bankruptcy.

In practice this meant that all its average workers were in imminent danger of having their wages reduced or being unemployed. Hundreds of thousands of ordinary people who owned stock in Apple had already lost significant portions of their savings. Bernie’s socialist delusions, if put into practice would have punished not only CEOs but all the average workers dependent on his judgment and skills to make the company that provided their income successful.

While he was exiled from Apple, the talented Jobs founded two new hugely successful corporations: the animated film-maker Pixar, and the computer company neXT. In 1996, Apple bought neXT for $427million bringing Jobs back to the company whose board quickly made him Interim Chief Executive. Immediately, Apple’s stock began to rise and, under Jobs’ restored leadership, Apple soon became the largest corporation in the world.

Business genius commands a high price because everyone whose prosperity depends on the company’s success benefits when the company is successful. The economic reality of which Bernie is so ignorant is this: business genius, like all genius, is not fungible; people are not equal and in a just world their rewards will be commensurate with their contributions to others even if makes them 350x richer than the average worker they employ.

Elon Musk is worth $273 billion which makes him the richest person in the world. His achievements show that he is also probably the smartest. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1994 at the age of 23, having majored in business and. physics. The following year he and his brother cofounded a company, funded by angel investors, called Zip2. At the time Musk could not afford an apartment and instead rented an office, slept on its couch, showered at the YMCA, and worked round the clock seven days a week programming.

In 1999, Musk sold Zip2 for $307 million. Musk’s share was $22 million. He was 28 years old. That same year, Musk co-founded X.com, an online financial services and e-mail payment company. The following year, X.com merged with the online bank Confinity, which became PayPal. In 2002, PayPal was acquired by eBay for $1.5 billion in stock, of which Musk, the largest shareholder, received $175.8 million.

The preceding year, Musk had become involved with the nonprofit Mars Society. He was inspired by plans to place a growth-chamber for plants on Mars and discussed funding the project himself. In October 2001, Musk traveled to Moscow to buy refurbished Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) that could send the greenhouse payloads into space. The Russians were uncooperative and the mission failed, but the following year Musk invested $100 million of his own money to found SpaceX, as a company that could build affordable rockets. Twenty-one years later, after several successful flights in space, it is safe to say that without Musk’s SpaceX investments the United States would not have a space program.

In 2004, Musk invested $6.5 million in Tesla, Inc., a fledgling motor car company, and became its largest stockholder joining its board as chairman. In 2008, Tesla built an electric sports car, the Roadster. With sales of about 2,500 vehicles, it was the first serial production all-electric car to use lithium-ion battery cells. A mass market sedan, the Model 3 was released in 2017. Three years later, it had become the world's best-selling electric car, with more than 500,000 units delivered. It has been estimated that Musk advanced the production and use of electric vehicles by 20 years. In October 2021 Tesla reached a market capitalization of $1 trillion, the sixth company to do so in U.S. history.

These are only some of this remarkable man’s achievements. It would not do to omit the fact that during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Moscow’s cyber attacks took out the Ukrainian Internet isolating the Ukrainian defenders from each other. Elon Musk immediately restored the Ukrainian Internet providing a vital tool for Ukraine’s defenses.

Elon Musk’s career shows how utterly worthless progressive ideas about the economy are, about human motivations, about economic inequality, and about the dread profit motive. Obviously, Musk’s plan to grow plants on Mars, which led to the creation of SpaceX, or to create electric cars, were not motivated by greed or monetary gain. If you are a billionaire, and $100 million is but a 10th of your portfolio account, personal money is virtually meaningless. The other $900 million will produce $50 million a year if invested modestly. Musk has said physical things mean nothing to him, and it is easy to see why this could be so.[34]

The irony is that Musk had motivations similar to those of leftist missionaries wanting to change the world and make it a better place. But unlike leftists who think that destroying the system that made a Musk possible would pave the way to a glorious future, Musk took advantage of the amazing economic system – capitalism - that empowers individuals like himself and makes grandiose schemes like taming outer space feasible.

The left’s sinister stupidity is summed up in its demands to replace the market system with “production for people not profit.” This slogan merely demonstrates the mind-numbing ignorance of leftist views. Criminal money-making schemes aside, how is it possible to make profits if one doesn’t serve people?

Profit is a measure of efficiency; it is produced by increasing revenues and lowering costs. Profit is an incentive to meet people’s needs and satisfy their desires. Why was Amazon the greatest beneficiary of the COVID-19 pandemic? Because its leaders found the most efficient and satisfying way to allow people to shop from their own homes during a pandemic. Are there dishonest merchants who will try to pass off inferior goods on customers to create unjustifiable profits? Yes. But that is a failing of human nature - of ethics, not profits – and in a competitive system, if you try to manufacture profits by cheating customers, eventually you will fail.

These observations lead directly to a consideration of the greatest and most destructive blind spot of the progressive outlook: the refusal to recognize the fundamental inequality of human beings and their capabilities. This refusal is manifest in their inability to appreciate the unique and socially invaluable genius of entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk, and instead to respond to them with a destructive hatred born of envy and resentment, which are the key passions of the progressive mind. It also leads directly to an inability to appreciate the insurmountable obstacles to their utopian schemes 

To belabor the point: there are 60,000 songs a day submitted to the Internet music publisher Spotify by aspiring entertainment stars. There are millions, then, of such individuals. But there are only a couple of thousand people who are talented enough to fill Madison Square Garden or a sports stadium and earn millions of dollars in a single night. Superstars like Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton who can fill such venues are personally worth in excess of $400 million each. Did they earn that money? Are their rewards worth their earnings? Millions of customers to whom their music has brought solace and pleasure say they are. Even if they make 350x what the average worker in their organizations make.

Steph Curry is the greatest shooter in the history of basketball. He makes $46 million a year from his salary as a Golden State Warrior. There are players on the Warriors’ roster who make only $200,000 or roughly 230x less.[35] There are members of the Warriors’ organization who earn less than that - maybe 350x less. Curry is well-rewarded because he is a “franchise player.” His talent is so great, and the show he puts on such a fan draw, that his team fills the arena every night over the course of an 80+ game season and earns the Warrior organization billions of dollars. Every dollar that Bernie Sanders wants to take from Steph Curry in the name of social justice, is a dollar stolen from a man who earned it, and from all the average workers and shareholders in his organization who benefit from it. Socialism is theft.

Bernie Sanders’ progressive myopia puts me in mind of a joke I was told as a child. A small individual confronts a very large one with this challenge: “If I were as big as you, I would be heavyweight champion of the world.” “Oh yeah,” comes the reply, “Why aren’t you lightweight champion?”

Bernie Sanders’ hate-filled outrage at the inequality of reward between a CEO and the “average worker” in his company stems from an obtuse denial of the inequality of intelligence, skills, and judgement distributed among human beings – a diversity that is characteristic of all humanity. It is the inequality of capabilities that translates into an inequality of rewards. The cry for an impossible dream of “social justice” – a world of equals –is a crime against humanity and its diversity. Its fruits are envy, resentment and hate. It is social injustice personified, an attempt to steal the unequal rewards and powers that accrue to individuals who have earned them, and who possess the talents – if they don’t abuse them - to make life for all of us better.

The Hierarchy of Oppression

Perhaps the most common conservative reaction to progressive ideas is one of bewilderment. They’re from a different planet, inhabit an alternate universe; they’re insane! Even moderates employ these phrases to express their inability to understand the progressive mentality. And this is so even in regard to problems like crime that traditionally have provided common ground for partisan factions. Thus, the 1994 Crime Bill – also known as the Clinton Crime Bill and the Biden Crime Bill, was passed by an overwhelming bi-partisan majority in Congress.[36] Yet today it is anathema to progressives, who see violent criminals as “victims” of an unjust criminal justice system, and theft as a form of “reparations.” Extreme reversals like this have prompted liberal dissenters like Joe Manchin, Bill Maher and former congressman Harold Ford to express support for conservative concerns that progressives are “out of touch with reality,” and their views “lack common sense.”[37]

The obvious explanation for progressives’ failure to connect with a reality that even liberals and moderates readily see, is that progressives don’t actually see reality. Ideological blinders block its complexities and frustrate their ability to appreciate the obvious. As Hamlet admonished his courtier friend: “There are more things on heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

An ideology is like a prism in which some planes simply don’t appear or are so distorted they might as well not. The progressive prism refracts all social issues into three categories of race, gender and class. Complexities like cultural differences between groups, or individual psychologies and behaviors, are not part of the progressive spectrum. Consequently, for progressives they don’t exist, or, if they do, don’t matter and are readily dismissed.

The results of these optic deficiencies are crackpot pronouncements that bewilder the politically incorrect. Certainly the most important (and perhaps the most bizarre) of these pronouncements is the progressive claim that, “America is a white supremacist society, which marginalizes and underserves people of color.” This is the kind of statement the White House makes when explaining its “equity” policies which are designed to correct the injustice.[38]

But if this description is accurate, how does one explain the stampede of two million people – mainly “of color” - massing at our border to get into a country, which is said to oppress them?[39] How would an estimated two million people, 90% of them “people of color,” decide to risk their lives this year alone to break into a white supremacist country that will marginalize, underserve and oppress them?

In a brazen lie on his Inauguration Day, President Biden claimed that “systemic racism touches every facet of American life.”[40] It would be his administration’s policy, he promised, to put an end to this alleged injustice – mainly by violating the Constitution and redistributing income and privilege on the basis of race. All “people of color” would be the beneficiaries of this “equity” largesse, while their white-skinned oppressors would be denied the same.[41]

All this progressive virtue signaling, however, was based on a lie. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 explicitly outlaws “systemic racism.” If there were systemic racism touching “every facet of American life,” as Biden claimed, there would be a tsunami of lawsuits leading to billions in damages. There is no such tsunami. In other words, with one exception there is no pervasive systemic racism in American institutions. Progressive equity payoffs are just racist -and illegal - transfers of wealth.

There is one exception. The only real systemic racism in American life is affirmative action. Affirmative action programs required a pass from the Supreme Court precisely because they are racist and therefore unconstitutional. Affirmative action’s discriminatory measures are designed, moreover, to benefit only a handful of select groups of “people of color.” Asians do not quality for affirmative action skin privileges, because they do very well without them.[42] The selection of the beneficiary groups was always political. So much for justice.

The spectrum of progressive ideology is always seen by those who are drunk on it as a “hierarchy of oppression.” This so-called hierarchy has been turned into an elaborate and lucrative enterprise, generating mountains of hot air in the academy where it is called the “theory of intersectionality.” This ludicrous exercise in intellectual thumb-sucking assigns levels of oppression to individuals who are alleged to have multiple “oppressed” identities, such as black lesbian females who are said to be more oppressed, for example, than heterosexual black males.

But are they? Are black lesbian females really powerless in 21st Century America? At the bottom of the totem pole? Victims of multiple oppressions? All the founding organizers of Black Lives Matter were able to engage an estimated 40 million supporters in the summer of 2020, and to orchestrate violent attacks on 220 cities,[43] and to collect nearly $100 million in donations from America’s richest corporations and celebrities,[44] and were officially endorsed by the President of the United States and the Democrat Party.[45] All the creators of Black Lives Matter able to accomplish these feats are black lesbians – and proud of it![46] Victims indeed! More accurately: victimizers.

The federal government has spent tens of millions of taxpayers’ dollars on fatuous intersectionality projects without managing to provide a reasonable explanation of what constitutes “oppression” in a free society, or how individuals can be trapped at various levels of a “hierarchy” in a nation in which everyone has equal rights by law.

However vacuous, the term “oppression” still has a powerful emotional charge, which is why radicals who are determined to demonize Americans and dismantle their society find it so useful as a weapon. “Oppression” is an ancient term with a distinctive etymology which provides its emotional power. Thirty-five hundred years ago the Jews were oppressed as slaves in Egypt. The story of their oppression and exodus to freedom has been memorialized and celebrated in the foundational literature of Western Civilization.

The noun “oppression” derives its power from these antecedents. When we say the heat is “oppressive,” it has a specific meaning: it’s time to get out of the sun. No group in America – except children of abusive parents and the victims of sex traffickers and slavers - is oppressed. No racial, gender or economic group is oppressed. If they are, where is the exodus?

Are black Americans marginalized? Blacks have been the center of the nation’s attention since the civil rights movement of the 1950s. Although comprising only 13% of the population they have been able to assert themselves as an unrivalled force in the nation’s media, music and entertainment cultures. Through their dominant roles in sports, black athletes have provided icons and role models for generations of America’s youth – black and white. How marginal is that?

Are black Americans underserved? In fact they have been the focus of federal support and privileges amounting to trillions of dollars –more than any other ethnic or racial group. From the point of view of opportunities and benefactions offered to particular groups, there is no greater “skin privilege” than being black.

Intersectional hierarchies with an oppressor caste of white males at the top are a progressive illusion. There is no such closed social hierarchy possible in America. The alleged oppressor caste – white males - are only about a third of the population. The putative victims of their oppression not only outnumber them 2-1, they are endowed with the same rights. So how are white males able to control and oppress them? Women preside over courts, run major law enforcement agencies, occupy the vice presidency, sit on the Supreme Court, are the most powerful members of the House of Representatives, have chaired both political parties, and are the chief executives of large American cities. If there hasn’t been a female president yet, whose fault is that? Clearly not white males.

Is there a glass ceiling for women? The adjective itself is a giveaway that there is not. If the ceiling is invisible, it’s because it doesn’t exist. The gender-wage-gap is a long-disproven fiction.[47]  Wage discrimination against women was outlawed as a practice nearly 60 years ago by the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act of 1963 – passed by a Congress almost exclusively male. If such a gap existed, and wasn’t outlawed, the remedy would be to do what the Jews and the Irish did when prejudice made them social pariahs. They built their own institutions.

Do women have the resources to create their own economies? Indeed, they do. In America, women’s wealth amounts to $11 trillion, more than enough to build equal pay for equal work institutions if the law didn’t already require it.[48]

What is true for glass ceilings is also true for concepts like “unconscious racism” and “unintentional racism,” weasel words deployed to justify the aggressive racism of the diversity industry. If the racism is unconscious and unintentional, then it is in the eye of the beholder.

These “triggering” moments are not oppressions of groups trapped in a rigid hierarchy from which they cannot escape. If too many black Americans are poor, the source of their poverty is themselves. In fact, only 20% of blacks are poor.[49] Better if it were less, but that figure poses the question: If 80% of blacks are not poor, how can racism be the explanation for the failure of 20% to avail themselves of the advantages that are open to the 80%? Especially when there are millions of people here illegally, who don’t speak the language and still manage to earn a decent living.

Among the more obvious holes in the progressive world view is the fact that there is no place for history, except as a locus of bad practices which can be manipulated to indict the present. The fact that American slaves were first enslaved by black Africans who sold them at auctions in Africa, and that white Americans died in the hundreds of thousands to free blacks, and also inspired a global movement for equal rights, is either missing from progressive narratives, or disparaged.

The progressive outlook also has no place for the crucial roles that psychology, family structure, or criminal behavior play in the destinies not only of individuals but of groups. E.g., if inner cities lack amenities, it is because criminals “of color” scare legitimate businesses and services away. The progressive outlook also has no room for the idea that attitudes can change and not only under threat. Above all, it has no appreciation for the long-term benefits of a society, like America’s, which fosters upward mobility and was dedicated in its founding in a hierarchical world to provide equal rights for all.

The fight against a master race in World War II had a profound but little appreciated effect on white attitudes - one that triggered the greatest social revolution in human history. This revolution was aided by the mass migration of blacks from the rural South, which had high rates of poverty for all races, to the industrial North.[50] 

Between 1940 and 1950 the earnings of the average black male increased 75%, which was about twice the rate at which white incomes grew.[51] This was before the civil rights movement, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Great Society welfare programs that, in any case, failed to reduce poverty at all. Between 1940 and 1960, black incomes for males and females more than doubled.[52] By 1971, oppressed, marginalized and underserved black couples with two working spouses were earning 5 percent more than white couples of the same description in every part of the United States except the South.[53]

Inflation-adjusted per capita black income in 1973 was more than 125 percent higher than twenty-five years earlier.[54] Since 1981, black families with two college-educated, working spouses have earned slightly more than white families of the same description in every age group and in every region of the country.[55]

Why have 20% of the black population failed to climb out of poverty, while 80% have succeeded? Here are some statistics that help to explain. In 2019 the poverty rate in traditional two-parent families of all races was 4.0 percent, compared with 22.2 percent in families headed by a female with no adult male present.

Why are 70% of black families in inner cities single-parent, female-headed households?[56] Because 60 years ago progressives devised a welfare system that disqualifies families with a father in the house from receiving welfare benefits. The progressive ideological prism has no window for this, so for 60 years progressives have blocked every change to the system that would free black welfare families from poverty. Progressive ideology - not race - is the oppressor of black poor people in America.

The statistics show that income equality is within the power of blacks to achieve by themselves. Whites are richer not because they oppress blacks but because whites are more successful at forming traditional nuclear families and completing a college education. The educational system is public and largely free, especially to government-privileged minorities. Black failure is concentrated in urban centers where minorities are a majority and blacks occupy positions of power in private philanthropies, public institutions and governments.

In this situation, the chief obstacle to black Americans’ success is the epidemic of anti-white racism present in the Biden White House, the Democrat Party, the Black Lives Matter movement, the leftwing media and corporate culture, universities, philanthropic institutions, the Diversity Industry and the K-12 teacher unions. The sinister message to blacks from all these race-infected institutions is: You don’t control your destiny, racist whites do

This lie has planted the seeds of violent hatred, triggering a national crime wave whose perpetrators (and victims, ironically) are mainly black. Why are black racists targeting Asians? Because Asians have shown that a minority that suffers persecution can succeed if it embraces the right values. Asians are in fact the richest ethnic group in America – significantly richer than whites.[57]

The chief effect of anti-white racism is to inculcate a sense of powerlessness among blacks that feeds the hate and encourages them to put their faith in the corrupt urban leaders who have lined their own pockets with trillions of federal dollars intended to advance black interests. Al Sharpton and ambulance-chaser Benjamin Crump, attorney for the Black Lives Matter’s fake martyrs, come immediately to mind.[58] 

There is no hierarchy of oppression in America. But there are such hierarchies in the socialist societies admired by progressives – Cuba, China, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Russia. The social hierarchy in these progressive countries is determined by the hierarchy in the ruling party that bills itself as the savior of the people, which is precisely how progressives see themselves.

Notes:

[1] https://www.wsj.com/articles/coronavirus-relief-often-pays-workers-more-than-work-11588066200

[22] Stanley Kurtz: Radical-in-Chief,2010; David Horowitz, Barack Obama’s Rules for Revolution, 2009

[51] Stephan Thernstrom and Abigail Thernstrom, America in Black and White (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997), pp. 81-82.

[52] Ibid.

[53] Thomas Sowell, The Economics and Politics of Race (New York: Quill, 1983), pp. 190-191.

[55] Tony Snow, “Blacks Should Not Abandon King’s Dream,” Conservative Chronicle (September 7, 1994), p. 28;  (2) Walter E. Williams, “White People Are Divine,” More Liberty Means Less Government (Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 1999), p. 6.

[58] David Horowitz, I Can’t Breathe: How a Racial Hoax is Killing America, 2021

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