Robert Conquest (d. 3 August 2015) was a brilliant British historian and commentator. He wrote an absolutely GREAT book on Joseph Stalin’s terror campaign in the USSR: The Great Terror: Stalin’s Purge of the Thirties. He was a prolific writer and commentator who also wrote science fiction. During a lifetime of observing political machinations in the West, he also developed three laws of politics:
- Everyone is conservative about what he knows best.
- Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.
- The simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies.
All three laws are great and true, but the focus of this article is on the second law. When the law is examined in the evolution of important American institutions over the past 60 years or so, the theory behind it is proven almost beyond the shadow of a doubt. Let us look at some examples.
Academia. US public education was overrun by John Dewey acolytes beginning with Wilson’s presidency, as the focus of public education shifted to a curriculum that emphasized the child instead of the subject matter presented. This opened the door to maximal experimentation in teaching methods to achieve “student self-esteem” while eroding the importance of learning important foundational material through lowered standards.
And it’s just gotten worse in recent years — to the point that public education has become a means for indoctrinating kids in left-wing ideology: secularism, global warming mumbo-jumbo, cross-culture moral relativity, postmodernism, intersectionality, radical feminism, variations of social justice, and other cultural Marxist nonsense. But the worst may be support for the Marxism of Black Lives Matter, which is now being propagated as “critical race theory” in many public school systems, colleges, and universities across the country. This is why nearly 50 percent of Millennials have expressed support for socialism, as reported here. Thank the public education system and their Marxist profs!
Education has succumbed to Conquest’s second law with hardly a murmur, as the Left directly infiltrated the system and changed every rule toward their political endgame of turning out new crops of liberal kids with each graduating high school and college class.
Hollywood. Hollywood was hijacked by the Communists beginning in the 1930s. Ronald Reagan, Gary Cooper, and other conservative actors fought to get rid of the Communists in the Screen Actors Guild for years, as excerpted here:
In his first of seven one-year terms as President of SAG, Reagan extended his role as the union’s leader—he used his unique position as a means to exert influence over Hollywood in a way that would fight communism. In 1947, for example, Reagan succeeded in pushing SAG members to vote in favor of a charge forcing the Union’s officers to take a non-communist pledge. That same year, he was questioned by FBI agents regarding communists in Hollywood and shared his suspicions of possible pro-communist propaganda.
Reagan was so respected he was even asked, along with Walt Disney, to testify as a “friendly witness” before the House of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), a sub-committee of the House of Representatives responsible for investigating disloyalty or communist ties.
Alas and alack, the older generation of conservative Hollywood actors and actresses died and were replaced by the current crop of leftists who prance and preen against Republican presidents during their self-glorifying love fests, such as the Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, Emmy Awards, etc. The number of prominent conservatives in Hollywood is the smallest it has ever been and shrinking with each passing year. Note the names of 31 “prominent” conservatives who supported President Trump back in 2016 in this article. Other than Clint Eastwood, none of those listed are front-liners!
Major Hollywood producers and directors are even more left-wing. As reported in this article, approximately 97% of Hollywood executives donate to Democrats. Is it any wonder, then, why the movie and television fare these days paint conservatives and capitalism in a negative light? Without question, Hollywood has succumbed to Conquest’s second law of politics. Its politics were never overtly conservative and are now almost completely liberal.
The Catholic Church. How about the Catholic Church in America? Who could argue that non-adherence to long-standing church doctrine has become acceptable behavior to ostensibly Catholic politicians? How many prominent Catholic Democrats support infanticide these days? Mind-numbing. There is also an abortion-supporting organization called Catholics for Choice. Given the foundational pro-life doctrine supported by the Catholic Church since its inception, one would think that members of Catholics for Choice would have been excommunicated. The unwillingness of the Church hierarchy to confront those who violate this basic pro-life principle is a direct result of leftist influence that persists in the Church.
Catholic relief organizations are aligned with left-wing nonprofit organizations in protecting and supporting illegal aliens in sanctuary cities – a perversion and willful complicity in violating US immigration laws, as summarized here:
Left-wing grant-makers have embarked on a campaign aimed at overwhelming America with unprecedented levels of immigration. These foundations underwrite a universe of liberal organizations that are devoted to bringing in ever more people from all over the world, and the organizations’ motives include money. These groups, known as “Volunteer Agencies” (VOLAGs), don’t just receive private dollars from liberal foundations; they also are richly rewarded with your tax dollars when they collaborate with federal government agencies.
Catholic Charities/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops: These nominally Catholic organizations are the largest VOLAGs, with hundreds of offices spread throughout the country. They are prominent members of the open borders/amnesty movement. The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) is “the domestic anti-poverty program of the U.S. Catholic Bishops” and a grant-making vehicle of the USCCB. It was founded in Chicago in 1969 with the help of radical organizer Saul Alinsky, specifically to fund Alinsky’s Industrial Areas Foundation. CCHD has been a radical leftist funding vehicle ever since, giving millions to ACORN, the radical training school Midwest Academy, and others.
The Industrial Areas Foundation, where a young Barack Obama was trained in “community organizing” with financial support from the Chicago Archdiocese, receives the largest percentage of CCHD grants of any CCHD grantee. USCCB has 270 field offices in 47 states.
This is the leftism in the Catholic Church: rampant unchecked homosexuality and pedophilia over the decades, blatant support for sanctuary cities and illegal immigrants, and an unwillingness to sanction and excommunicate politicians and others who don’t adhere to core church doctrine. How is it that Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi (and MANY other elected Democrats!), who profess to be Catholic but support unrestricted abortions, are still members of the Catholic Church in good standing? This is Conquest’s second law at work!
Boy Scouts of America. Then there’s the Boy Scouts. Is the organization even recognizable anymore given the originating core principles? Excerpts from this article summarize the shocking leftward shift over the last few decades:
Since the organization is founded on faith-based principles, its core beliefs and its ability to adapt to modern times have been at odds. Here are some of the ways the Boy Scouts organization has changed over its 111-year history to become more progressive. In 1976, the Boy Scouts in the UK dropped the gender-focused name and allowed girls to join. In the early 2000s, the BSA battled with the public over its religious views and its stance on homosexuals. In 2017, the BSA announced that it will allow transgender boys to enter the organization.
The leftward shift didn’t work out so well for the organization, as membership plummeted, and the organization filed for bankruptcy in February 2020. The Boy Scouts are a textbook example of an entity that succumbed to Conquest’s second law.
Legacy Media. How about the media? Could there be a better exemplar of Conquest’s second law given what we have observed in the Age of Trump? The corporate media were in the tank for Joe Biden during the 2020 election campaign, with their coverage of President Trump being 95% negative as reported here. But their left-wing bias goes much, much deeper and pervasive from beat reporter to newsrooms to editors to publishers and owners. Here is some appalling information excerpted from this excellent database:
The leftwing bias of the American mass media is pervasive and quantifiable. Since the 1980s, studies have consistently shown that the professionals who constitute America’s mainstream news media – reporters, editors, anchors, publishers, correspondents, bureau chiefs, and executives at the nation’s major newspapers, magazines, and broadcast networks – are preponderantly left-oriented and Democrat.
[R]esearch shows that:
Fully 81% of news media professionals favor affirmative action in employment and academia.
Some 71% agree that the “government should work to ensure that everyone has a job.”
75% agree that the “government should work to reduce the income gap between rich and poor.”
56% say that the United States has exploited the nations of the Third World.
57% say that America’s disproportionate consumption of the world’s natural resources is “immoral.”
Nearly half agree that “the very structure of our society causes people to feel alienated.”
Only 30% agree that “private enterprise is fair to workers.”
There was a modicum of political balance before electronic media began to dominate mass media, but Conquest’s second law has definitely worked its magic. CNN and MSNBC are unwatchable, and even the moderately conservative Fox News Channel jumped the shark with their biased Election night coverage in favor of Joe Biden. In addition, The New York Times (the “nation’s newspaper of record”) and The Washington Post are unreadable due to left-wing bias, especially on their editorial pages.
There are other nongovernmental organizations (especially nonprofit foundations) worthy of mention in this article, but suffice it to say that examples of Robert Conquest’s second law of politics abound among America’s cultural institutions.