Revolutions are as old as before mankind. As Saul Alinsky (1909-1972) famously wrote in Rules for Radicals (1971), “Lest we forget, an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical…the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom – Lucifer.”
Most people would not describe present-day America as fighting a civil war. That is a problem. It is a problem because in any conflict, the side which is blind to the threat, underestimates his opponent’s abilities or does not understand the nature of the conflict is doomed to be delivered into the hands of another master.
Whether we want to recognize it or not, this country is in the midst of a political and social civil war. It began in the 1960’s with overt, sometimes violent, assaults by radicals who pirated genuine issues of the day in an attempt to stoke rebellion. When collapse of the political and social structures they hated did not happen, the most resourceful of the radicals of the day melted into the woodwork to fight a more subversive war.
Saul Alinsky was one of the most cunning and influential versions of this more sophisticated approach to revolution. Under his influence and the tutelage of his protégés, the likes of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have managed to reach the highest levels of power in our country while others have taken the reigns of the hearts and minds of our youth in universities and colleges across the country.
Now our nation has ended up in a battle with radicalism on two fronts. One front is quiet, smart and covert, dedicated to taking the system apart from the inside out. The other one is loud, overt and sometimes violent against property or people. In the end, both are fighting the same war but choosing different battles.
The overt players are not hard to spot because they get all the headlines. They are the Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter and leftist college activist types. The University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) gave Ben Shapiro a demonstration in February when he tried to speak at his alma mater. There should not have been a problem. After all, aren’t universities supposed to be seats of inquiry, openness and learning? Not only that, but Shapiro is no slouch of an alumnus. He entered UCLA at the age of 16 and graduated with honors. Three years later he graduated from Harvard with honors.
But that is not how student radicals or UCLA’s president think. Protests were organized by the Black Student Union (BSU) and a chapter of Black Lives Matter (BLM). All the entrances were blocked. Demonstrators tried to intimidate would-be attendees including Shapiro himself. About 100 attendees managed to get through with police assistance only to be scapegoated for offenses the protestors perpetrated. The examples of this overt approach to subversion is multiplying almost daily.
Covert operators are much more difficult to see and every bit as dangerous. They are the ones who sit in seats of power wielding their pens in the name of “the American people”. This group is bent on victory from the inside out. Their goal is total control of healthcare, energy, banking, social safety nets and the culture itself. The weapon of choice is government itself – a growing, power-abusing regulatory bureaucratic behemoth. Through it, radicals can control private enterprise, break the power of states, make future generations dependent and finally, they believe, remake America.
The gains radicalism has made thus far have been surrendered because conservatives and traditionalists are either naïve toward or are incompetent against the opponent. For radicals, all of them, both overt and covert, the ends always justify the means – whatever works is justified. They are relativists – morality exists on a sliding scale depending on the needs of the moment. And, as David Horowitz has pointed out, they are utopians – believers in the man’s ability to eventually achieve Heaven on Earth.
So, America is in the middle of a two-front asymmetric civil war from the inside out. Her struggles are against some of her own who use the blessings they possess from her as opportunities against her. After all, as Horowitz also alludes to, what possible motive or action cannot be justified in the streets, on a campus, in the halls of Congress or in the White House if you’re fighting to make America into heaven?