After September 11, 2001, I spent more than 12 years helping our warfighters understand America’s enemies. My audience included the SEALs, the Green Berets, the United States Special Operations Command, and various elements of the Intelligence Community.
Whether it was at Dam Neck, Fort Bragg, Tampa, or Langley, the task was the same… get inside the mind of those who want to destroy America. Understand the ideologies and strategies that inform their actions and analyze their tactics and operations so that those who wear the cloth of the Republic can predict what they will do next and neutralize them before they can do it.
I never expected to have to apply all that I learned in those years to my fellow Americans instead of jihadists and agents of inimical foreign states. But now I do… We all do.
Antifa and Black Lives Matter may not be the same as Al Qaeda or the Quds Force, but many share the same foundational belief – America is evil and as such must be destroyed and rebuilt… or just destroyed. How can we know this? As Auschwitz survivor Elie Wiesel is rumored to have said, “When someone says he wants to kill you, believe them.”
Antifa’s strategic goal is clear. They are the reborn communist organization created to fight fascist brownshirts on the streets of Berlin in the Weimar years. But with the Third Reich a long-gone memory, their target today is America as founded – USA as a free nation – where dissension from the orthodoxy of identity politics and racism will not be countenanced.
As for BLM, this newer organization was founded by proud self-professed Marxists, and in the words of their New York leader, leave no doubt as to their intent… “If this country doesn’t give us what we what, then we will burn down the system and replace it.”
With the realization that neither Antifa or BLM believe in the maintenance of America as we know it, we have satisfied one part of Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu’s formula for victory in war: “Know your enemy – and what they want.”
How on Earth did we get here? How did the world’s most powerful market democracy devolve to a point where 70% of millennials would prefer to live in a socialist or communist America?
Now there are two strategic questions left… First, how on Earth did we get here? How did the world’s most powerful market democracy devolve to a point where 70% of millennials would prefer to live in a socialist or communist America? And what can those who took an oath to defend our Republic from all enemies “foreign and domestic” do about it? Or all our fellow Americans for whom the Pledge of Allegiance isn’t just a quaint recitation mouthed at formal events?
For the question of how we arrived here… well, my editors have given me a word count limit of just 2,000 words. Perhaps it would be easiest to provide a reading list of the seminal works which explain how we have been systematically eroded as a robust nation from within by a coterie of seditious academics, cultural influencers, and “community activists.”
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But instead, let me share with you the details of an autobiography of a child whose parents escaped Nazi and then communist dictatorships… This story will help us understand what has happened to the greatest “experiment in democracy” the world has ever seen.
Andrew Breitbart was not born conservative. As the Churchillian aphorism on youth and naïveté teaches us, few are. The adopted son of Jewish parents, Breitbart spent his college years as a binge-drinking, pot-smoking apolitical “student” who was on the cusp of dropping out. Then the Left viciously went after a black man in a national campaign that changed Breitbart (and America) forever.
That man was Clarence Thomas… Thomas grew up in true poverty, but through sheer perseverance, became a lawyer and a judge. (For the incredible story of his journey from destitution to the Supreme Court, Michael Pack’s recently released movie Created Equal is an essential viewing.) Then he was picked as a nominee to the highest court in the land, only to face a Democrat assault, led by none other than Joe Biden, a public spectacle that Justice Thomas would describe during the televised hearings as a “high-tech lynching.”
The unfounded accusations of sexual impropriety and media-facilitated character assassination acted as a cathartic catalyst for Breitbart. As he chronicles in Righteous Indignation, from one day to the next, the scales fell from his eyes and he realized that the Left was acting in concert to attack exactly the type of person they said they stood for… a member of the underprivileged minority. Why? Because he dared not to fall in line and sing from the Democrat hymn sheet – for Clarence Thomas was a pro-life, pro-2nd Amendment conservative who loved his country.
Breitbart had to know why the party he previously found sympathetic had mutated into a vicious gang of political thugs bent on utilizing the politics of personal destruction against anyone they deemed to be their enemy. For an at best grade-C student, the research was a challenge, but he was so motivated and disgusted by what he had witnessed, Breitbart ended up mapping the evolution of the Democrat party into a radicalized collective of anti-American fundamentalists so powerfully that the summary of what he found (Chapter 6 of Righteous Indignation) is the most important explication of our nation’s twisted odyssey I have yet to read. In fact, it so moved and enlightened me that it served as the inspiration for my own post-White House book, The War for America’s Soul.
Here is the gist of how America lost its way, or rather, how the greatest nation ever created by man was sabotaged and now stands on the precipice of an internal war…
I highly suggest reading Breitbart’s book. But in the meantime, here is the gist of how America lost its way, or rather, how the greatest nation ever created by man was sabotaged and now stands on the precipice of an internal war…
The following are the names you must be familiar with: Gramsci, Lukács, Weil, Horkheimer, Marcuse, and Alinsky. Together, these men are the anti-apostles of what would become the New Left and eventually bring us Antifa, BLM, and the burning of American cities across the nation. Shockingly, none of what these men did was hidden or secret. From the notebooks the communist Antonio Gramsci penned in an Italian prison to Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, their subversion was open and declared.
It started when Gramsci and Hungarian philosopher György Lukács came to the realization that Communism can work in nations with backward populations such as Tsarist Russia or post-war China, but they will never succeed in advanced Western nations like the U.S. – nations with robust middle-class and family structures. These nations must have their institutional building blocks (including the nuclear family) systematically dismantled before Marxism can succeed. Those who understood the new challenge – that revolution could not be affected on the barricades but only within the “bourgeois” system itself – were collected and given a home in Felix Weil’s Institute for Social Research, later simply referred to as the Frankfurt School.
Then world war intervened again, and those who would dismantle Western civilization to replace it with a Marxist “utopia” fled Europe to settle in our country, where their focus would shift to the subversion and sabotage of the most powerful free nation in the world. This is where the final touches to the plan were made.
German philosopher Max Horkheimer also recognized that Marxism would not prevail against robust Christian societies like America’s. The status quo in the West was simply immune to radical ideas of “social justice” and equality enforced by the state. So he came up with an otherwise inoffensive-sounding weapon to destroy the status quo… “critical theory,” the same critical theory that President Trump has just banned from Federal training programs.
According to this theory, which came to dominate the social sciences across America and most of the Judeo-Christian world, the status quo must be relentlessly challenged on all fronts since power is in the hands of those who do not deserve it and who represent a legacy of oppression and colonization. All standing relationships and all dominant concepts must be criticized and dismantled, even language itself, until modern society lies deconstructed and incapable of defending itself from being rebuilt along Marxist lines.
Horkheimer then recruited Herbert Marcuse, who also was committed to the belief that all of our civilization’s legacy institutions had to be repeatedly attacked until their collapse, starting with the family unit and ending with the nation state itself. It is no accident that BLM’s official manifesto directly targets the traditional Western family.
Breitbart would later describe Marcuse’s mission as “to dismantle American society by using diversity and ‘multiculturalism’ as crowbars with which to pry the structure apart, piece by piece.” Pitching genders against one another, setting Black against White, the LGBTQ+ community against the “cisgendered.” Sound familiar yet?
If Marcuse was the Jesus of the New Left, then Alinsky was his Saint Paul, proselytizing and dumbing down Marcuse’s message, making it practical, and convincing leaders to make it the official religion of the United States, even if that meant discarding the old secular religion of the United States, the Constitution… Rules for Radicals might just as well be entitled ‘How to Take Over America from the Inside.’
And now no one who’s awake and breathing has an excuse. After three months of rioting, billions of dollars of looting and arson, the armed wing of the New Left is no longer filled with “community organizers.” With more than 700 police officers injured and 30 Americans murdered in the name of “intersectional justice,” including a 77-year-old Black retired police captain, we are without a doubt facing a proto-insurgency.
If this sounds hyperbolic, run this scenario in your mind… For the first time in our Republic’s history, 80 million mail-in ballots are being sent out for the November 3rd election, without voters requesting them, simply because Democrat governors have decreed so. Given that it recently took six weeks for a New York primary to count their mail-in ballots and 84,000 were summarily rejected, it’s clear that unless there is a landslide for the president, we will face weeks (if not months) of delays in counting and verifying the millions of ballots.
And if the election result is not confirmed by the date of the January inauguration, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will become acting president of the United States. What do you expect AR-15-toting “community activists” to be doing in the meantime? Or, how will they react if President Trump wins again in November, or whenever the results are finally tallied? The violence is only going to escalate…
So, to quote a revolutionary, if we are facing a nascent insurgency for the first time since the Civil War, “What is to be done?”
All insurgencies fall or rise based on a handful of factors. For a full analysis of what we have learned from the 20th century’s violent history of irregular warfare, read the standard work we authored at the National Defense University for the officers we trained there after 9/11.
Insurgents win when a majority of the population sides with them (out of fear or admiration), the government is incapable of fighting them, or simply lacks the will to win.
But for the purposes of this piece, here’s the key… Insurgents win when a majority of the population sides with them (out of fear or admiration), the government is incapable of fighting them, or simply lacks the will to win. For decades in Colombia, the rural population feared the Marxist Revolutionary Armed Forces (“FARC”) more than the central government and was incapable of fighting back effectively (until U.S. troops helped train them). In Vietnam, we were winning on multiple fronts until Walter Cronkite helped convince Americans back home that we weren’t.
What will happen in America in two months’ time? There are only two likely scenarios…
In the first, the silent majority has grown so large (to include a sizable portion of Black America) that President Trump wins by a landslide… which cannot be challenged since the votes left to be tallied would make no meaningful difference to his Electoral College success.
The other likely scenario, especially after President Trump is narrowing the gap, is a neck-and-neck finale that will lead to weeks (if not months) of uncertainty, legal challenges, and increased violence.
At that point, we are in unchartered territory… As Professor Victor David Hanson recently talked about on my radio show, given the recent statements by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and prominent retired generals, the Commander in Chief may not be able to trust his own military leaders.
The most important thing all Americans can do now is to insist on voting in person, COVID-19 or no COVID-19. (If you can go to the grocery store, you can vote in person.) And be vigilant with encouraging everyone you know to go vote… For one of the most precious things we have as a nation is the tradition of a peaceful transition of power which is respected by the losing side. Antifa and BLM will predictably be in opposition to that sacred tradition. Let’s make sure the perpetrators of the last three months of violence are not given further “reason” to kill, maim, and loot in the name of “justice.”
Sebastian Gorka PhD was strategist to the president of the United States, is host of America First on the Salem Radio network, and is a presidential appointee to the Department of Defense’s National Security Education Board. His latest book is The War for America’s Soul. Follow him at @SebGorka.