The Time is Mao
Wild-eyed youths tearing down statues. Self-righteous twenty-somethings raging against older people who dare to think differently to them. Prim, unforgiving university students stalking their campuses in search of offensive books and offensive speakers so they can point a bony finger of judgment at them while yelling: “Not allowed!”
That was Mao’s China in the late 1960s. The Cultural Revolution was in full flow. Statues of Buddha and other “offensive” figures were yanked down and set on fire by hotheaded arrogant Red Guards. Wrong-thinkers were hounded out of public life. Books were thumbed for inappropriate ideas, and if they contained any, they were banned.
Sound familiar? It should. In the weeks since the horrific killing of George Floyd by cops in Minneapolis, a culture of neo-Maoism has gripped the throat of the USA and other Western nations. A supremely intolerant war has been launched against history, against monuments, against incorrect thought.
This is American Maoism.
The speed with which understandable anger about the killing of George Floyd morphed into all-out culture war against history and liberty has been staggering. One day people were marching in the streets to condemn police brutality, the next, mobs were tearing down a statue of George Washington in Portland, Oregon, and whooping and cheering as they kicked it in the head and tried to set it on fire.
George Washington. The revolutionary and first president of the United States. A man who helped birth a modern republic built on the ideals of liberty and trade and who, in the process, changed the world forever. Even he is not safe from the wild-eyed fury and fists and kicks of the Woke Guards of American Maoism.
Nothing is. We’ve seen classic comedy shows like Little Britain being shoved down the memory hole because they are apparently offensive. Trigger warnings are being added to old movies, from Gone with the Wind to Aliens, to let people know they contain “problematic” ideas. People have been sacked from their jobs for criticizing the Black Lives Matter movement. In the U.K., a radio presenter was suspended after he questioned the idea of “white privilege.”
Under American Maoism, no dissent is tolerated; no criticism of the new orthodoxies of political correctness will be entertained. Instead, you must dutifully, unquestioningly “take the knee”— that is, bow down, like a supplicant, to confirm that you have embraced the gospel truth of identity politics. Woe betide anyone who refuses to bend his knee to American Maoism. The British Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, was shamed and hounded for days when he said, quite rightly, that taking the knee looks like “a symbol of subordination.”
American Maoism even had its own little corrupt pseudo-state for a while: CHAZ, the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone in Seattle. This ridiculous entity confirmed how regressive and dangerous the woke worldview has become. It had a blacks-only public space, reintroducing racial segregation into the U.S. Its inhabitants rained fury upon any visitor who did not subscribe to the CHAZ worldview, especially if that visitor was wearing a MAGA hat. It was essentially a massive safe space for adult snowflakes.
What has been most striking is the glee with which big corporations and even sections of the political establishment have lined up behind American Maoism. Big business sings the praises of BLM. Corporations are buying thousands of copies of deranged books like White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo to re-educate their workforce. Leading American politicians have feverishly tweeted pics of themselves “taking the knee.”
The involvement of the establishment in all this is revealing. It shows that what we’re really witnessing right now is a revolt of the elites. This isn’t a youthful rebellion against the powers-that-be. It’s a bunch of upper-middle-class TikTok plastic radicals, effete Antifa assholes, corporate suits, and leftish members of the political elite expressing their lingering fury with the way politics has been going since the votes for Trump and Brexit in 2016.
Don’t be fooled by the radical pretensions of the Woke Guards. Their real target is the populist surge of recent years; their blind fury is directed at voters, especially working-class ones. This is a nasty elitist putsch posing as a people’s uprising.
To add some perspective to this guest editorial from the Australian edition of Penthouse, take a look at how we used to view America — 40 years ago in this same publication. And then take a look at where we want to avoid as a destination.