The Marxist-Leninist left must not be caught dead in the water by any expression of far-right political rhetoric or ideological adaptation. I suspect that if Lenin were writing today, he would state quite clearly and firmly that it is an inevitable consequence of over a century of US anti-Socialist rhetoric that the anti-intellectualism prevalent throughout that society would descend into the widespread embracing of fascism by the working-class it is imposed upon, and the bourgeoisie that perpetuates it. Lenin would not be surprised at all that the US is now deliberately pursuing a far-right political agenda camouflaged as ‘Centrist’ or ‘Centre-right’ dogma. The only real question of consequence, is ‘what is to be done?’ How does the political left deal with all its many eternal (Trotskyite) enemies whilst retaining enough effective fire-power to turn upon the American ideologues and their far-right political allies? These are crucial questions for this current time, as the scattered resources of the left in the West are going through a time of great reversals, blatant defeats and episodes of disempowerment.
One major difference of analysis which would have been entirely ‘new’ to Lenin (not to mention Marx) is the development of the internet. It has been argued that ‘modern’ anti-intellectualism has its historical roots in the first Europeans who set foot on American soil and who were ‘free’ to think and act as they pleased from 1492 (away from the direct control of their respective governments which had no ability to monitor or even influence local events in anyway). Unbridled expressions of racial and sexual violence were very much a part of this early ‘anti-intellectualism’ – as the native victims of this barbaric treatment were even deprived of their ‘humanity’ by these Europeans as a means to ‘justify’ behaviour that would not have been tolerated and certainly not normalised in their European homelands. (Periodic religious massacres might be viewed as the exception, but even here, the perpetrators were often rounded-up and swiftly dealt with by the European Authorities). In the Americas, rape, torture and murder of the indigenous populace was viewed as a perk of being a visiting European – a sort of by-product of risking all on a perilous voyage of discovery! From this analysis it is obvious that what would later become defined as ‘fascism’ has been present within the ‘anti-intellectual’ tradition that was the result of modern Europeans first making landfall in the Americas!
Although Christian morality often forbade such behaviour, it is also true that the Protestant and Catholic traditions were prone to rape, torture and murder one another’s congregations (both ‘in the name of god’) – with each accusing the other of being compromised by the devil. Non-White (indigenous) people were easy to objectivise as they were a) not European and b) not Christian. These two qualifications appear to have triggered the maniacal behaviour of both conquering Protestant and Catholics who joined forces to terrorise and denigrate the local populations. This demonstrates that a key element to the development of US anti-intellectualism is Christian religious dogma and that this reality has been present from the beginning of the European presence. It made no difference what the religious beliefs of the local populations were, or the philosophical understanding of their greatest minds, as the incoming Christians viewed each tribe as emanating straight from the body of devil and representing everything that is bad about existence! Just why an all-compassionate Christian god would allow one of his fallen angels (i.e., the ‘devil’) to reward his flock with the tropical paradise that parts of the Americas seemed to be was a theological question never asked as far as I can tell. (Research suggests that by 1610 CE, the marauding Europeans had murdered around sixty-million indigenous Americans)!
A third component in the foundations of US anti-intellectualism lies in the emerging superiority of Western industry and the development of science and technology. The Europeans had both conceived of ocean-going ships and built such engines as a means to traverse the dangerous Atlantic Ocean! The arrival of the Europeans in 1492 CE proved this to be true! Their use of early fire-arms – although not always successful – sent shockwaves through the primitively armed ‘natives’! Although these tribal people still fought ‘hand-to-hand’ – the incoming Europeans appear to have perfected the ability to ‘kill at a distance’ whilst submitting their own forces to the minimum of danger. It was this military dominance that opened the doors to the European colonisation and theft of the Americas. As far as the Europeans were concerned, all their military victories were ‘god-given’ and if it had been god’s will – the ‘natives’ would have been granted the ability to drive the Europeans away. Although the Europeans certainly suffered the occasional military reversal in the fighting – the ‘natives’ were also subjected to ‘new’ European illnesses that their immune systems had never encountered. The attack of European illnesses on the unprepared bodies of the indigenous peoples maybe counted as the ‘fourth component’ of US anti-intellectualism as it developed in the ‘New World’!
US anti-intellectualism, therefore, is comprised at root by a) remoteness from direct governmental control (often depicted as the ‘freedom’ to do anything). A similar argument has been used to describe the appalling behaviour of Imperial Japanese Forces acting ‘outside’ of Japan between 1931-1945; b) negative religious interpretations of non-Christian populations (who were conflated with non-Europeans), c) technological and scientific development resulting in more effective travel devices and destructive weaponry, and d) the spread of European illnesses that rendered the ‘native’ populations ill, weak and unable to psychologically or physically resist the colonising process! The settling Europeans, although supposedly representing their respective governments, soon understood that each was ‘free’ to give vent to any whim their individual character could conceive of. Enslaving the non-White populations by the incoming Europeans was very much fuelled by this type of ‘freedom’ – but even when European systems of governance were established – this type of unbridled individual freedom (presented as ‘small government’) was written into the law codes which favoured and privileged the settling Europeans. This type of individual freedom – which has always had its roots in the ability to rape, torture and kill those chosen as the ‘target’ has always and invariably been associated with the political far-right.
Since 1917, the US has channelled its tradition of anti-intellectualism to demonise the teaching of Scientific Socialism. Admittedly, between 1917-1945 the US ideologues were not very successful or particularly committed to this task. Between 1945 and the present day, however, the US ideologues have done a much better job of encouraging US anti-intellectualism at the expense of the workers organising around the auspices of Scientific Socialism! The purpose of this offensive was to persuade the US working-class that despite the oppression and persecution it may well suffer from the US bourgeoisie – the individual freedom each man and woman also receives is a far better deal than anything that could be received under a Socialist government. The US government is obviously ‘rattled’ by the challenge offered by Socialism – but the price it has paid for decades of anti-Socialist lies and disinformation is that the majority of US citizens now inhabit a distinctly ‘fascistic’ psycho-physical space! More than this, however, but US culture has become defined by its positive association to and defence of the political far-right with the political left-wing being conflated with the ideas of ‘liberalism’ and virtually written-out of existence! Furthermore, throughout virtually every area of American cultural life – it is the forces of ‘anti-fascism’ which are attacked and demonised as the ‘enemies within’ – whilst right-wing bigots, murderers and rapists are eulogised as examples of ‘good’ US citizens!
The US policy of ‘disinforming’ about the ideology of Scientific Socialism, Communism, the USSR, Communist China and any left-wing opposition, regime or government has had the consequence of a ‘pseudo-image’ of reality being generated in the place of ‘objective truth’ and defended by a sovereign government with every element of its guiding power, the news media is given scripts of ‘preferred’ interpretations and definitions, whilst schools, colleges and universities are given ‘preferred’ textbooks to teach from. All of this ‘disinformation seeks to ‘radicalise’ a US population toward the ideology of fascism and away from the counter-ideology of left-wing opposition. Anyone who opposes the establishment, maintenance and perpetuation of this right-wing narrative is harassed by the police, lose their jobs, have their Passports cancelled and in the case of the Rosenbergs – even end-up in the electric-chair! Today, the US government is not only using the internet to access every home in the US to ensure that every family and individual learns the desired script, but the US government is now extending its anti-intellectualism beyond its own sovereign boundaries and into every British and European home! Failure to accept and perpetuate US anti-intellectualism as the ‘norm’ results in social media accounts being terminated and a denial of service. This could be stopped if European governments passed laws that prevented US social media firms acting in foreign countries as if they were still operating within the US – but it is significant that this violation of British and European sovereignty is allowed to continue without censure or hindrance! This development may well indicate how the exportation of European barbarity in 1492 is now coming ‘back’ to Europe over five-hundred-years later and via the internet! The Americans are now responsible for the rape, torture and murder of the European mind and this is the reality that the Marxist-Leninist movement must effectively meet, check and reverse! This mighty task requires the recruitment, training and effective deployment of a ‘new’ digital Red Army!