The one goal that unites all socialists – from fascists to democratic socialists to communists – remains a powerful central government that, to one extent or another, controls property and the economy, either by force or through the expressions of the “popular will.”
Throughout history, socialists of different stripes have employed many different ideologies and strategies to promote government control of property and the economy.
Today, in America, on college campuses, in the media and through other powerful cultural institutions, a new ideology called “critical race theory” is employing “ethnic unity,” to the exclusion of one race, as the latest effort to promote more expansive socialist government power.
On the surface, it’s obviously a bad idea – devoid of reason, morality, truth, justice, personal freedom, individual rights.
Yet, what would one expect from promoters of socialism – an ideology that has failed whenever and wherever it has been tried?
It occurs to me that “critical race theory” has a forerunner. It is not a new idea at all. It was employed by socialists in the not-too-distant past. In fact, its progenitor was not Derrick Bell, but Adolf Hitler.
Fanatically, Hitler preached that one privileged race needed to be brought down, even eradicated, for the common good. Likewise, today’s “critical race theory” proposes that another privileged race – whites – needs to be brought down for the common good.
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As a reminder, here’s what Hitler said in a speech titled “Why We Are Anti-Semites” in Munich in 1920 – just 98 years ago:
“Socialism as the final concept of duty, the ethical duty of work, not just for oneself but also for one’s fellow man’s sake, and above all the principle: Common good before own good, a struggle against all parasitism and especially against easy and unearned income. And we were aware that in this fight we can rely on no one but our own people. We are convinced that socialism in the right sense will only be possible in nations and races that are Aryan, and there in the first place we hope for our own people and are convinced that socialism is inseparable from nationalism.”
For Hitler, race was destiny. And for today’s “critical race theory” proponents, race is destiny. Both movements – Nazism and CRE – sought or seek to use government as the instrument of defining “guilty” and “exploitative” races.
Hitler put it this way in another speech, in 1922: “There are no such things as classes: they cannot be. Class means caste and caste means race.”
Hitler preached “ethnic unity” of non-Semitic whites as his utopian ideal. Hitler’s immediate target was the Jews, but his racism extended far beyond the Jews. Likewise, today’s “critical race theory” proponents say they want to break up what has become the equivalent of a caste system in America through non-white “ethnic unity.” Interestingly, on college campuses in America today, the Jews have been targeted with a special form of victimization.
Both the Nazis and today’s CRE proponents spread their ideology through storytelling rather than through empiric data. They are both emotional pleas based more on feelings of being oppressed and victimized rather than on objective realities.
But the most striking similarity between the two ideologies is simply the emphasis on race, power and “privilege.” “Privilege” is usually defined by economics and power. Hitler attempted to exterminate the Jews in Europe because they were not “Aryan” and because they supposedly experienced undo “privilege” and power.
Is it a perfect analogy? By no means. Nor do I suggest that the Nazi threat faced by Jews is comparable with any inconvenience or discrimination experienced by whites in America today. That’s not the point at all; though, it will undoubtedly be suggested by critics of this commentary.
The danger is this: It’s unequivocally wrong to racialize America when it has been nearly universally de-racialized – especially when the purpose is to further empower government over the sovereign individual.
And the further lesson is this: Racism is always a bad thing – even when it is used, supposedly, in overcoming its vestiges. Creating new victims can never correct the injustices of past victimization and prejudices.