These truths to be self-evident, that all men are created self-governing, is a member of Congress, I get to have a lot of really interesting people and the experts on what they're talking about. This is the podcast for insights into the issues. China, bioterrorism, Medicare for all in depth discussions, breaking it down into simple terms. We we hope we hold these truths. We hold these truths with Dan Crenshaw, Unflavored.
What's up, everybody? Welcome back. Like the first part of this got deleted somehow and we recorded it.
So let me just fill you in in the first minute or two of our really great conversation with Paul Kengor, Dr. Paul Kengor, best selling author, also a professor at Grove City College, frequent commentator on television and radio and all around. Great guy.
So I was asking him, hey, you know, what's it like being on the front lines these days, fighting with socialists, having students that are of the belief of a totally different kind of socialism? And what does that mean? Do they even get the definition right? And he was going into that and I was responding. And here it is. Here's our conversation. One thing I wonder about that conversation is what they really mean by socialism, what they really mean by communism for a lot of us, like socialism and communism or in the same bull.
It's interesting that they can support socialism and they overwhelmingly support socialism. This word communism to a lesser extent, according to those statistics, communism. And it almost seems like it's just about what sounds better.
Right, as opposed to definition's, because they're you know, communism might be the might might be the exact form of government, but it's a form of socialist government. I don't know how to describe it. They're the same thing fundamentally or communism might be, but might be describing the party system. But in the end, it's a party system that implements socialism. So and you know what I would say they also they definitely do mean taking away property. I will never forget this.
I think it was in Teen Vogue of all places. It's dangerous where these things are showing up. But it did talk about how private property is basically racist. And of course, they don't think through this notion because they don't think through the fact that we'll even purchase that magazine. You have to be purchasing private property that then you own.
And you would you would ostensibly feel some sort of injustice if somebody were to take that magazine from you, your precious, precious Teen Vogue magazine. I would certainly feel upset.
And and that's fundamentally it. Private property is and there's a principle there that is that is neutral and and long lasting that you can't just tear up. And it's just that these people just don't think through that. And so I wonder if that's the problem. Like, people just aren't thinking or are they truly dedicated Marxists? Do they know what Marxism means? Do they think socialism is Sweden, I mean, or Norway, which we all want to punch in the face?
Now, after watching the Super Bowl last night, I'm referencing the Will Ferrell commercial, of course.
So. Right. You know, I mean, what is it like? What are these kids? They can do you have any socialist in your classroom that you've gotten to debate? Whether they do that, I'll come to that college.
Well, first, let me say I knew you were a Teen Vogue fan. You just you just look like a Teen Vogue, right? I try to get on the cover.
That's my real goal. I, I was I wrote a piece for The American Spectator. I've been a columnist for a while on the on the latest stuff at Teen Vogue. Teen Vogue is really shocking. And a guy came up to me at the gym and he said, Hey, Paul, I didn't know you're a Teen Vogue fan. Right. But but people send me Teen Vogue stuff all the time or some outrageous stuff. And Teen Vogue supporting Marxism, supporting abolition of private property, attacking Ronald Reagan, saying positive things about Karl Marx.
But you find that that a lot of them. Yeah, a lot a lot of them say they support Marxism or socialism, let's say socialism. They don't totally understand what it means. And they think when they support socialism, that they're supporting like maybe a milder form of something that's not as extreme as Marxism or as communism, but and in in Marxist Leninist theory, OK, socialism would be one stage, one phase before you get to the final phase of full communism.
So the sort of dialectical march in history history would pass through a series of stages. You'd go from from feudalism, slavery to capitalism to socialism to communism. Marian Smith of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation has this good line where he said when asked to define the difference between socialism and communism, he says, Well, as the Christian aspires to heaven, the socialist aspires to communism, which is a pretty good way to put it, because communists view communism as a sort of secular new Jerusalem, right.
This this utopian paradise, materialist paradise without God, of all things. So they do they they aspire to communism. Now, I've run into people today who say, well, all right, OK, maybe that's your maybe that's the theory of Marxism, Leninism. But I'm not going to go to communism. Right. I'm going to stop. It's socialism. Well, it's not supposed to stop there. And and, you know, even milder forms of socialism that I guess do stop there even then.
This is important, Congressman. A lot of people, they what they think that they're supporting and socialism really isn't socialism. So they'll point to Norway, they'll point to Sweden, they'll point to Denmark. You asked the leaders of all of those countries are said, they'll say we're not socialist. I mean, we are. And by the way, they're not democratic socialist either. What they really are. And here's where the terminology admittedly can be confusing.
They're kind of social democracies, OK? They're not democratic socialist. They're kind of social democracies. So they have a. Generous welfare state, big pensions government might provide to some degree some form of health care, mixed economy, but they're not socialist states. I mean, the USSR was the United Soviet socialist, right republics. I mean, the second US was for socialists. So a lot of people don't understand this. And you'll find to that when they're asked to define and some of these polls, especially young people, when they say they support socialism, Marxism, when you say to them, OK, how do you how do you how do you define it?
Well, they never say, oh, well, you know, like it says in the manifesto, abolition of private property, abolition of all religion, all morality, abolition of the family. I want to do that. No. Instead, they usually say, well, communism, socialism is about sharing. It's about redistributing wealth. It's about helping your neighbour, which shows that they've never actually read the book. I mean, Marxism, Marxism, it's a really, really destructive ideology that wants to tear down the house.
We could say more about that. But but so a lot of them don't really understand the socialism that it is that they think that they're professing.
Yeah, well, I'm going to in one of your articles, I think you you outlined the ten points of the Communist Manifesto, and I'll read them really fast. People know what we're talking about. Abolition of property and land. Have a progressive or graduated income tax. I guess they won that battle.
We have the people don't want one people. One thing people don't realize this. America has the most progressive tax system in the developed world, period. I mean, it's not even it's not even close. I was I was at a hearing once where a bunch of liberal economists were trying to convince Congress to the Democrats really that that we should have more taxes on the rich because we're not progressive enough. And I pointed out, where are the most progressive tax donation and all of the developed world?
And they acknowledged that. And then the economist actually had the gall to to retort back with, well, that's only if you include all taxes, local and state and federal. And I said, what other kind of taxes are there? Except all of them? I mean, there's that might be well, our tax rates are tax rates are higher than Russia.
In fact, one of the first things that Vladimir Putin did in the year two thousand, we're not advocating for Putinism. But but he he he implemented a flat tax on income. And so when when Ronald Reagan came into office in nineteen eighty one, there were sixteen separate tax brackets. So they progressively went up. Right. Zero percent, ten percent. Fifteen, twenty, twenty eight. All the way up to 70 percent. And at one point.
So this progressive income tax that began in America in nineteen thirteen, it had ninety four percent on the upper income rates by the nineteen forties and and FDR read Folsom's book on this. FDR actually favored a rate of ninety nine point five percent during World War Two on incomes over one hundred thousand dollars. And that is absolutely true. What I said there is absolutely right, ninety nine point five percent on incomes over one hundred thousand. So I mean, that would be, you'd think communism right at that point or at least some form of economic leveling.
That's pretty damn close to it. But but yeah, art are art. And so the idea of a progressive income tax we make of that in America till 1913, it's not like it's etched in the Liberty Bell. Right. And Marx and Engels advocated for this in the Communist Manifesto. Eighteen forty eight. You're right. That's what point two in the Communist Manifesto in the ten point plan. It's ridiculous.
They also like the abolition of all rights of inheritance. So think the estate tax goes along these lines, the centralization of credit in the hands of the state by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly. So we don't quite have that, although we do have centralization of credit, although we do it, we can at least pull out money in other by other means as well. Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the state, the gradual abolition of all the distinctions between town and country by more equitable distribution of the population over the country.
Think about that. Think about that. Could you imagine that? So right there for people who say, oh, communism is a pretty good idea. If you just read the manifesto, think about it. They wanted to redistribute not just your property, but where you are.
Yeah, they want a more equitable distribution of people across. When you watch the beginning of the movie, The Killing Fields and all the people are going out of the capital of Cambodia into the countryside. I remember arguing with the leftist at one time twenty, thirty years ago, and he said, well, that's not communism. I said, what are you talking about? It's not communism. It you know, they're going straight by the text.
They're they're more equitably distributing people, of all things. And. So I guess the next question is, and what we're trying to get at here is why why this? Because it's pretty self-evident that you need drastic amounts of force to make this happen. And in the manifesto, Marx Marx is very clear about this, how you would need this, of course. And and then throughout history, we see that force has to be implemented in a draconian fashion in a in a in an extreme fashion in order to get these 10 points done.
And so that's how you end up with 100 million people dead. But underlying all of it is this broader sense of compassion, sharing, caring, you know, and it's just it amazes me how powerful these words are to people, especially to young people and especially to somebody with a liberal disposition. And I think, correct me if I'm wrong, if you have a better a better explanation. But is that why this is so easy to sell to the left?
I personally don't know why it's so easy to sell, because I think anybody that actually stops and reads this stuff would, would, would or should immediately, on the face of it, reject it as just utterly impossible and really downright insane. I mean, to to go through and do all those things. I mean, think about an abolition of abolition of private property. They doubled down on that in the manifesto, they say at least twice after that and also before the ten point plan, they being Marx and Engels.
And there's also a line where they say, so you were horrified and are doing away with private property. Well, yes, that is precisely what we intend. And anybody I don't know how anybody I mean, my 10 year old daughter, I don't know how you can't look at that and say if you try to abolish private property, you are going to have an absolute war on your hands. I mean, you are going to have to kill one hundred million people.
And at which point, even if you still advocate for abolishing the private property, a levelheaded person ought to stop and say, yeah, that's not realistic. You're right. I mean, people are going to resist that human nature being what it is. We can't even go there. Right. We can't even go there. But but some do. I happen to think that most of them wouldn't. I just think they're ignorant of these ideas. And as you were going through those ten points, that third one abolition of.
All right. Of inheritance, young people listening right now. Think about what that means. All right. We have estate taxes. We have inheritance taxes. A certain percentage of what your parents would leave you would be taken by the federal government that there's also state level estate taxes. But imagine abolishing your entire rights of your inheritance so you don't get any of it. All right. Imagine, first of all, what you actually like that second, why would that even be necessary?
And here I would ask, you're condemning greed. What about government greed? Why does government need that much of your money, right, to take everybody's inheritance? Just think about how that would completely transform human relations, economics. What would people do with all of their money before they died so the government wouldn't get you read all this and you think to yourself, OK, first of all, Marx and Engels, they aren't economists, man.
Right? They're philosophers. I don't know what they are. They're utopian. I think they are. Yeah. They are unbelievable revolutionaries. There's nothing quite like this that wants to so turn everything up on its head. And I do not understand the appeal of these ideas. I never have. I find them utterly irrational.
There's a couple of assumptions that seem to pop out to me. One is that. Whatever you've worked for, whatever wealth you have is ill begotten by you didn't get it fairly, that's an underlying assumption. And Bernie Sanders is, you know, this this definitely feeds into the modern left to I try I do try to to distinguish between even Bernie Sanders and Marx, you know, because there is a difference between Medicare for all and and confiscating your private property.
We can be honest about that. But there's a lot of underlying assumptions that are the same. And it also seems obvious to me that these are just stepping stones because because you're never the utopia that Bernie envisions will never be achieved by throwing out all of these neutral, long founding principles that he wants to throw out to get to even even even get to first base of Marxism. And because it won't achieve that utopia, he's going to have to do more.
And so, yeah, once he gets his Medicare for all, well, but it's still not enough. I mean, you still have to do more because it's not going to work very well and because it won't work very well. You're going need to tax people even more to make it work well. And, you know, this will never end. It will be a never ending cycle. And so but the assumptions are the same. All wealth is will be gotten.
There's another assumption, which is that even when you incentivize work by by taxing somebody at 90 percent, people will still have this altruistic sense of producing and producing more and more and more, which is just as fundamentally against human nature.
So I think they make assumptions about people that are just flat out wrong. Yes.
Yeah. The I like to cite this quote from Pope Benedict the 16th, and I think he got it from Pope John Paul, the second who lived in Poland. So sore, all the sore, all of us up front under communism. They said neither do these guys have their economics wrong and philosophy wrong. They have their anthropology wrong. They fail to understand human nature. They fail to understand, man. I quote in my in my latest book, The Devil and Karl Marx, Marx biographer whose whose loves Marx.
And he he says it's absurd to blame Karl Marx for the for the gulags. Right. How unfair that is. And I'm thinking, well, is it really I mean, OK, well, I guess Marx didn't build the gulags. The Lenin did. Stalin did. But when you look at their ideas, how can you not look at what they want to do? Abolish all private property, more equitable distribution of the population across the countryside. You know, abolish, abolish all religion, all morality, the one line abolition, the family exclamation mark, even the most radical flare up of this infamous proposal of the communists.
That's verbatim from the tax, inheritance tax, progressive income tax. And they say it's a 10 point plan. Of course, at the beginning, despotic inroads will be necessary to do this. They acknowledge that despotism will be required to do this. They understand that, of course, you're going to need guns and guns and gulags. Of course you're going to need guns and gun locks. So and on the point with Bernie. So a good question.
A fair question to ask Bernie Sanders, AOC now I'll name AOC, Ilhan, Omar and Washita to lead because all three are members of the Democratic Socialists of America. And the DSA, if you go to its website, says we are the largest socialist organization in the United States. So they actually write. So it would be a fair question to ask a Bernie and AOC and O'Mara to leave. OK, everybody has all these different definitions of socialism.
But when you when you Google the word socialism, what typically pops up is like a Merriam Webster definition that says common ownership of the means of production. OK, so how much government ownership of how many means of production would you want?
And occasionally Bernie does get asked this right. So should there be a government takeover of health care. Right. Which you'd probably say. Yeah, I think so. OK, all right. All right. How about the railroads? Yeah, OK. All right. OK, how about airlines, right? How about trucking? How about the energy industry to which they'd be like, oh yeah, right. How about communications? Let's just go through the different industries, check off the boxes and tell us which ones.
That's actually a fair question to ask of them. If they're indeed socialists and if there's some form of democratic socialism, then maybe after they go through all these and you find out that they only want the government to take over maybe one out of 20 of them, then maybe you don't need to fear them as much as you otherwise would. But it's a fair question to ask because socialists believe in the common ownership of the means of production. And Bernie, as a one time old Trotskyist, Trotsky preached what he called permanent revolution.
And Bernie uses that term all the time Bernie. Uses the term revolution all the time and coming from somebody like Bernie, that's that's a loaded word, right? That's very different from you viewer. I use the word revolution in some other way.
Yeah. In permanent revolution is important. I can only intuit from that that they mean it's never ending, which kind of gets to what I was saying before. And I use this argument a lot. I say well intentioned liberalism always leads to socialism. It has to because of what I said before and and take any take any policy issues. Fifteen dollars minimum wage. OK, we want people to get a fifteen dollar minimum wage. Well, now people aren't going to get hired as much or ours are going to cut.
Well, well the well intentioned liberal sees a problem with that. I get it. I understand why you see a problem with that. I also don't think it's good when people lose their jobs and get their hours cut. And so what do you do when you make the business, hire more people and don't cut their hours? OK, well, now the business doesn't have enough money to survive. OK, well, that I guess you have to take over the business in order to get it to survive.
So this is this is a very I'm thinking linearly here. I'm not being crazy. You can see how this progression happens. And I think that is possibly what they mean by a permanent revolution. But I mean, what do they mean? Maybe I'm wrong.
Or you could so you could subsidize the business with government subsidies, which would have to come through taxation, which would mean taxing the rich even higher to get more of that money. All of us kind of almost assumes at some point that there are money, trees growing all over Capitol Hill, whether it's dependency or whether it's direct control.
It's what's the difference in the end? And I wonder if modern Marxism this is almost how the progressives and I think it's always good to distinguish between progressives and liberals. I would love to in my mind, I would love to keep liberalism as a good thing, maybe something that I disagree with, because I think it goes too far to the too naive. But but let's but at least we share some common founding values about free speech and private property and neutral principles, neutral being such a key word that the progressives just completely throw out the window and we'll get to that as it relates to BLM and many other progressive movements here in a minute.
But I kind of lost my train of thought.
Well, yeah, no. So, yeah, in fact, like liberalism in the nineteen eighties would have been probably more like that. Right. And so on a spectrum you would have going from kind of right to left and or economic freedom to less economic freedom. So laissez faire on one side and it one extreme you have communism, Marxism then socialism about right here. Right. And then liberalism about right here. But the problem with kind of modern liberals and progressives is many of them are moving into this direction and including where where you have people like the Young Turks, Iger and others who are talking about how and he said this in twenty eighteen.
It's a quote I use quite a bit. He says, we need we need like 30 or 40 Aoki's in L.A. Mars to run and to run for Congress. And then the exact quote is people will freak the hell out, quote unquote. And what they're doing for Democrats who are listening right now, who are maybe upset by what we're saying, they're their primary Democrats, they're not running against Republican.
I mean, the type like AOC, they're not running against Republicans and conservative districts where Chank and the others realize that the Aoki's would lose. No, they're running in safe Democratic districts where they target a traditional Democrat. And then when they beat that traditional Democrat, they have virtually no Republican opponent. And so it's very shrewd what they're doing. So they're hoping to use the Democratic Party as, yeah, I'll say this is kind of like a Trojan horse or entry point into transforming the Democratic Party to push it even further and further to the left.
And Democrats who don't like what I'm saying, this is your party. It's not mine. I mean, I'm a Republican now. This is your party. This ought to be your fight. This ought to be your battle. Frankly, I kind of think Nancy Pelosi and some others realize it, but but I don't know to what extent they're resisting it or doing what they can to try to prevent it from happening. Right.
And he reminded me now of the point that I was that I was wrapping up there, which is the dependency versus direct control argument. And it's as if the modern progressive has figured out that, look, it's it's a fool's errand to try and get direct control of the means of production. But if you're but if you're basically holding those that production hostage via subsidies or or or excessively high taxation or corporate cronyism, then in the end, what's the difference?
And have we achieved what we want to achieve by doing this? And I think there's an unfortunately, a very good argument to be made on that, whether it's. Means of production or whether it's just the individual. I mean, look, the people are tired of hearing it, but it's just from a human nature perspective, it's fundamentally true that a welfare state does create dependency. And if you don't have a very strong social fabric and sort of almost religious like adherence to personal responsibility, that that creates a a really bad, I think.
Well, it means there's no light at the end of the tunnel, it's it creates a really bad situation. And I think that the Nordic countries, people don't realize that Nordic countries can get away with it a little bit better just by being smaller and by having a social fabric that that that comes together a little bit better than the United States, where we are a melting pot. We're proud of that. Look, we're different. I mean, we're just we're just I'm not saying one is better than the other.
We're just very different. And we have to acknowledge those differences. And I think we have to acknowledge the fact that dependency doesn't work. And even then, the so the Nordic countries and, you know, Sweden, Finland and so forth, they in the 1980s, they were doing what many called the third way. And and at that point, if you take something like the Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom, which ranks, you know, one hundred roughly one hundred seventy countries from most free to lease free, Hong Kong and Singapore are always at the top of the list.
And Heritage wasn't doing that in the early 80s, 90s, but you would have had those third world countries ranking probably around 90, one hundred in economic freedom. They're now down, some of them around 20. I mean, they've been freeing their economies. They're no longer doing the third way at all. Beat us. I mean, these are not that socialist countries. They are not. I mean, you want socialism. That's Venezuela. You want hardcore totalitarian communism.
That's North Korea. That's Cuba. So, again, you know what people are really advocating. Therefore, it's not even democratic socialism. It's some form of social democracy. People need to be more thoughtful and intelligent about this stuff than they are.
And so, you know, I like to think that the Democrat Party was was basically a Labor Party for a while that agreed with us on about a number of neutral principles, about free speech and private property and the essential role of government even. And let's look back to the Clinton era, and I think we see plenty of proof of that. And that's changed radically over the last 20 years. And you see the rise of groups like BLM that that the founders of which claim to be trained Marxists, their avowed Marxists, they have things on their website that have nothing to do with police brutality or or uplifting black communities.
It's about abolishing the nuclear family, which is, I suppose, a Marxist tenet that's been brought by.
In fact, if people want to see the original screenshots, I wrote a piece for American Spectator, BLM scrubs its website and I kept screenshots.
Also have right here, this is the memoirs of Patrice Cullors, who's the founder of Black Lives Matter.
She's now basically, I think, the executive director CEO. And so she founded with Alicia Garza and one other person and she said, Alicia and I are trained Marxists. We are super versed in ideological theories. And this book is, by the way, that the racial stuff and the mistreatment of her father, the mistreatment of her brother. I mean, you and I would agree that stuff is wrong. I mean, there's just you can't help it but sympathize with with that.
No question about that. Aside from issues of like on the police and so forth. But this is a very ideological it becomes also in the book extremely sexual and very, very much focused on trans issues, gender issues. And she's really applying a lot of her Marxism, not in a classical economic wealth redistribution framework, but in terms of sexuality, gender, race. And this is interesting. I teach at Grove City College, where I teach in Grove City, Pennsylvania, western Pennsylvania.
I teach a course on Marxism every spring semester. So I just started it again the last couple of weeks and the first week we pull up on the on the overhead different websites. I said, OK, Communist Party USA is the old original Communist Party group in America. Here's their website, W-W CPUSA dog. Let's see what they have to say. We typed it in and this would have been so right now it's February, it's Black History Month, but this would have been in January.
I have never seen before. Congressman, that website was loaded with nothing but nothing but stuff on African-Americans, on women, African-Americans in the party, women in the Communist Party. If you were like a 15 year old public school kid going to that party today, you go home and say to your mom and dad, I don't understand why people don't like communists. They're all about helping black people. And then I just went to their website. It's just all kinds of nice stuff about about fighting for civil rights.
They have just they have completely revolutionized you, no pun intended there their website. I mean, there's nothing there on Lenin and Stalin and redistributing wealth. It is all now gender, race. So they know where to go. They know they know what buttons to push. And I also took my students to the website of People's World, which is the successor to the Daily Worker and. Flagship periodical for the Communist Party in the United States that has a little more stuff on teachers, teachers unions, minimum wage and so forth, that hasn't changed as much.
But if you go to the about section, it says that they're looking for cultural workers, as they put it, cultural workers. I mean, you would have never found in Marx and Engels and Lenin calls for people to work in the cultural vineyard. That's new stuff. That's not new stuff. That's Antonio Gramsci. That's the Frankfurt School. That's Herbert Marcuse. Wilhelm Reich, who wrote the book The Sexual Revolution. He tried to sexualize communism. He was a Freudian Marxist.
So that's all kind of new left modern day Marxism into where it wasn't really intended originally to go.
It was supposed to be about economics and class, but they've now moved it to the kind of cultural front, gender front and even race front. It's completely new territory. And people who don't know about it, you need to get educated to it because. Because that's where that's where they're fighting now. That's where they've moved the revolution.
Yeah. For a while I would say maybe the like the last 50 years. And it's smart. It's sneaky. And it's I think Dinesh coined that identity and socialism because it is different than one foot from what Marx envisioned. He for all the evils of that ten point plan, it was at least neutral, neutrally applied. It was it was not based on immutable characteristics, but now it is exclusively based on that. And I think that seems to have adapted as such in order to adapt to the times, because social justice is in vogue and and has been.
For a long time in America, and it sort of requires you to to to redefine your old sense of justice to an extraordinary degree and which is which is a whole other problem.
I mean, and I think this is just what gets to the crux of the problem. And fundamentally, it's a it's a rebuke of basic Western principles and an assumption that those Western principles are bad and those principles being, again, neutral principles about your your right as it comes from God to pursue life, liberty and happiness, your right to live within a system that applies rules fairly to all and applies due process to all, not different due process based on, say, your wealth, according to Marx or according to modern progressives, according to your gender or skin color.
I mean, these are these are really dangerous things. It's I struggle to understand why they don't understand how dangerous it is.
I mean, it seems so easy to just intuitively get it that, look, you don't see the consequences, even even if you're sure that this time in this particular instance, you're doing the right thing by giving more to this person than this person. You don't see how if you apply this broadly and consistently, how dangerous it gets and how it how it will put people against each other. Do you just not care? Do you not understand human nature?
What is going on here? It's a struggle I think we all have.
Well, if I may shamelessly read from my own book. OK, so this is this this is my book, The Devil and Karl Marx. This is listen to this. All right. These are bullet points on page three. Eighty three. I think this will shock everybody. Marx in the manifesto said that communism represents, quote, the most radical rupture in traditional relations, unquote. It does. It goes against the very Judeo-Christian framework, understanding that of natural law, biblical law, property rights.
Marx and the manifesto acknowledge that communism seeks. Are you ready for this to, quote, abolish the present state of things? You imagine that? Abajo, one of my students started a paper, a professor in this paper. I will argue that we need to abolish the present state of things, right? Oh, is that all right?
Get this. They this is at the end of the manifesto. Marx enables the communists openly declare that their ends can be attained only by only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. All right.
Their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions.
They're not saying we need to tinker with this tax rate with this. I mean, they want to this guy wants to burn down the house.
All right. It's worse. Marx in a letter to Arnold Rouge, eighteen forty three, called for the, quote, ruthless criticism of all that exists. And my favorite, this is Marx was asked, what is his favorite line? Right. You have a favorite line. Maybe somebody would cite me a quote from Ronald Reagan, a Bible verse, a quote from a saint or something like that. Marx said, Here it is. It's from Garrity's Foust The Mephistopheles character, the devil character, the demon character.
OK, everything that exists deserves to perish everything that exists. Nihilistic, isn't it?
It's a total it's total, total nihilism. And so this guy, the idea that all Marxism is about helping and sharing. No, Marx wanted to burn down the house and people asked me last summer, do you see any any kind of connection between kind of the people out there tearing down statues, not just statues of confederates, right? I mean, Washington, Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Junipero, Serra, all up and down the West Coast, Columbus.
I mean, you name it as I. Yeah, yeah. Marx wanted to tear down, you know, and a lot of times I had a family member. This was over July 4th weekend, said to me she's very apolitical. She said, what do they want after they tear all this? Now, I said, to some extent, I don't know. I think some of them just want to tear it down and build a new. And that's really Marx.
You're standing there in the smoldering ashes, right? Kind of fist in the air, and then you say, now we're ready. Now we could begin anew. This is really this is the most revolutionary philosophy. And your point that liberalism is traditionally understood more recently? Yeah. You and I don't have a problem with that. If it's live and let live liberalism. Right. Kind of open minded, genuine tolerance to the extent that that's. What it is, but but but there's no comparison between that and Marxism, that and revolutionary socialism, and people think that they support these ideas, they need to get a grip and they need to get educated.
They don't realize how bad it is. I'll say one more thing. Marx's Marx himself was a racist and extremely anti-Semitic. And I mean, I have quote after quote I can read to you here. We I could even say it. The use of the uses of the N-word is if you want to if there's a council culture out there, why are they not targeting Karl Marx? You want to see racism.
Marx was terrible about this and they let it all go just as they looked the other way. Margaret Sanger, all these years and her racial eugenics, Marx was very offensive in his statements toward blacks and Jews.
Yeah. As well as Wilson.
We've seen that stuff on FDR, LBJ, LBJ, FDR, not they're not cancelable.
They're starting to get canceled at the Wilson School of Princeton. It's it's starting.
I think they're finally moving after Sanger a little bit.
But, yeah, I have been thing for 20 years and it just stuff if there was a progressive Mount Rushmore, they would have chiseled Margaret Sanger's face on it 15 years ago.
All right, then what do they do? The but but it's interesting, again, the nihilism, I guess.
And I guess that's the connection because, you know, it's philosophically sometimes hard to marry up this idea that that Antifa and BLM are part of the same ideology as Marxism and socialism because, well, Marxism and socialism, they they lend themselves to to authoritarian control. And how can you have authoritarian control if you're trying to abolish the police? You know how to create anarchy. That is, anarchy and authoritarianism mix really in a consistent way. And but I think the answer is that you in order to get to that authoritarianism, you do have to burn it all down first.
Right. To me, that that does seem to be the sort of it is really true nihilism. I mean, I think they I think that's where they want to get to it. Would you agree with that? Yeah.
And there were there were socialist anarchists like Mikhail Bakunin, who was a good friend of Marx, and like Marx, just viciously, viciously atheist, among other things. And and this is funny. He eventually he and Marx eventually parted ways because Marx parted ways with everybody because Marx couldn't stand anyone. I mean, Marx was just just nasty to everybody. And and there's this funny letter between Marx and Eagles where he says, Mikhail Bakunin, I don't understand how could you be a socialist and an anarchist?
How could you be for big government, a new government that's probably going to Marx. Ever said that? I agree with. But in a sense, you're really you're nailing it here. You need to be. And most anarchists aren't socialists. But in the sense of Bakunin, if you're an anarchist, you need to kind of take it all down. Right. You need to raise the foundation and then you can be then you could build the socialist world.
So so in a way, you could you could you could get to it that way.
Yeah, maybe. Maybe let's hit some of the the leftist arguments that are a little bit more right in front of us, the one we hear all the time, because because a lot of Democrats listening to this will be like, look, that's not that's not where we're at, OK?
You're you're you're attacking a strawman. And to an extent, we are. I believe I'll take them at their word when they say that. I don't think that a lot of my colleagues are even close to socialists. Right. But like I said before, I think I think they I think they leave the open way too many spaces for socialism, because I don't think that my Democrat colleagues have a really hard core sense of principles by which they govern. I think they would.
I think if you asked them what their principles are, they would say that they're there to fight injustice and inequality and to help people. And I would I answer those aren't really principles. Those are nice things I don't necessarily disagree with. But the question is how you fight inequality, how you fight injustice, and under under what set of under what kind of governing framework will you fight those things? What is the framework by which you problem solve. That's a that's a that's a set of principles.
And I think conservatives have to have sets of limiting principles that are very, very important. When we run for when we run for office, we're promising people to solve problems a certain way, a certain way that takes into account second, third order consequences. That takes into account the long run. That takes into account the debt that takes into account. Well, OK, if we're giving you this, are we infringing on this? You know, we think through these things a little limit.
So these are questions that which we have to ask ourselves. I think the left has none of this, and I think that's a big problem.
But what they'll say, look, look, we just want people to pay their fair share.
And and again, the book is fine, but like, what's the limiting principle? Well, we just want the working class to get two thousand dollar checks. Well, why not? Five thousand. Right.
What's the limiting principle?
Yeah. You have just twenty five to fifteen an hour to. And why not 20. Why not. Where do you even come up with 15. You know this and this is, this is the they don't, they don't think through this. You know what will we want a more fair immigration system. OK, well so do you want to let everybody in. Is it open borders? Well, no, that's not what I said. But then what's your limiting principle like?
How do you get to this specific place? And they and they never really seem to. The funny thing about the fair, the fair share part two is like the top one percent pay about thirty seven percent of all taxes, federal income, which is like, is that fair?
I don't I shouldn't know if it should be more than why should it be more right.
And at the very least, it doesn't seem right to denounce them for not paying their fair share. When, you know, the top one percent is paying almost 40 percent or the top 10 percent is paying 60 percent. I know. And also I saw a poll last week and here in my state of Pennsylvania where they're talking about an increase in the minimum wage to fifteen dollars an hour and conservatives were against it by like 60 to 40 percent, something like that.
I'm surprised it wasn't higher. Liberals favored it by eighty nine to 10 percent. And I thought, wow, I mean, I don't think I've seen liberals that high on anything. Right. Have they really thought. I mean, there are liberals that own businesses to go to restaurants from businesses.
Right. Right. Right.
But so a couple things and what you said, one, what really bothers me is, is their failure to ever denounce the extremists on their own left. And, you know, last week when I looked at The New York Times and Washington Post front page stories about Kuhnen, about groups like that. And so as soon as you get a fringe group on the right, they are mad. They're all over it.
I mean, what so are we, by the way, like so I have no patience for killing on it.
I mean, we we have no problem denouncing it. I know I'm still in trouble on my side for just denouncing what happened on January six with such well.
And we're and we're immediately called on through resolutions and so forth. I'm a colleague emailed me and said, Mike Kelly, my congressman, has not voted to denounce Kuhnen or whatever. And I remember thinking at that point, I don't even know what Kuhnen is. I don't even know what it is. But I remember thinking, yeah, but but where are the resolutions to denounce and where are the resolutions right now? So the left doesn't do that on their side.
And if there was some equanimity there, you know, where are the press conferences every day where Joe Biden is going to be asked every day or Jen Psaki, sir, will you denounce what happened last night in Portland? Right. Will you denounce what happened and whatever what they don't do that to liberals and liberals don't do this to their own side. They don't call out their own side and this eventually hurts them. It's going to hurt liberalism because it allows the kind of extremist left to get in there.
And when someone like Donald Trump pointed out what happened in Charlottesville, that they're extremists on both sides, there were extremists on both sides. I know about that because because I checked the websites of groups like Revolutionary Communist Party USA. I know where they go and know what they do. I know they go to places like Ferguson, Missouri. I know where they're going to be ahead of time. And so instead of jumping all over Trump, the left ought to be able to say, yeah, he's right there.
There were far left people and far right people. Both are bad, but they often refused to do that. Or at the very least, they don't do exposes. They don't call out the other side. And your question on what do they really believe? I mean, progressivism versus conservatism. Conservatives are about what Russell Kirk said, the enduring moral order. Right, about Ronald Reagan said, I define conservatism as supporting the time tested values that that people have learned not just in a few generations or a dozen generations, but all the combined experience of mankind.
Right. You believe in the natural law. You believe in these timeless principles, all of which progressives ought to make you happy about conservatives because it makes this more predictable. All right. But with progressives, all you know is that they're always progressing. They're always changing. They're always reforming. They're always. Evolving, so their definition of marriage in nineteen ninety five is literally different than it was in twenty fifteen. And if you ask them what it will be in twenty, thirty five, they really can't tell you right now, they'll tell you when they get there.
So all you really know is that they're changing. All they really know is that they're changing. And for the conservative that makes progressivism maddening and frustrating. And instead of progressives calling conservatives names in a way they ought to be thanking us, we're at least more predictable than they are. So we provide them.
We provide them the foundations that allow them to progress.
And with the help of the right that the thing about progressivism is they're willing to start over all the time. Right. That's the sort of this this kind of French revolutionary vision where, look, we are at the pinnacle of human enlightenment. We have the Internet, I can Wikipedia, whatever I want, and therefore we don't need all this these old traditions. We don't need that sort of combined sense of knowledge that the conservatives keep talking about because and we don't need all those neutral and universal principles.
We can just reason our way to utopia in the here and now. So it makes them a progressive. And that's a really stupid and dangerous thing to say. I mean, it's an incredible amount of hubris, but they are engaging and I believe that you can just throw it all away.
I like to give presentations on this sometimes. Steal this for your students if you want. So I found a picture of a librarian reaching for a book and she's got a bunch of books that she's standing on stacked up and she's reaching for Utopia. That's what's up there. She never really got it, but she's standing atop a bunch of other books. And these books represent the foundations of Western civilization. OK, maybe maybe one of those books is personal responsibility.
I think that's a bedrock of Western civilization. If you must be you must have a sense of personal responsibility. Otherwise the society at large will just crumble. Freedom of speech, the structures of a republic write all of these foundations that you just need to get to hear.
The conservative says we're not at Utopia. Maybe we should add another book. OK, let's just keep stacking them like I don't know what maybe we're missing something. Maybe we need more science, like a stack. That one up there, I don't know. But you don't throw out the other books.
You don't burn all the books, which is which is what to me that the progressives do. And you're just going to keep falling flat on your face. But you'll always have. But here's the trick. You'll always have something to campaign on because there's always going to be this problem, which is, again, the more cynical among us would believe. That's why they're so, so attached to the ideas of dependency, because it always gives you something to run on.
Well, and look at an idea like defunding the police. So conservatives have always been about law and order. Russell Kirk called ordered liberty. And and so for liberals to be able to operate in the framework they want operated, you need order. You need ordered liberty. And it's interesting, if you really look at a lot of these defund the police statements and I've looked at a lot of them. Right. Do you guys really mean defunding the police?
And. Yeah, I mean, look it up. You can find just start start Googling. You can find dozens of progressives out there saying, oh, yeah, when we say defund the police, we do mean literally defunding the police. And you ask, well, why would you do that? It's going to lead to complete anarchy, which it would. But but in a way, it's it's it's in order to it's in order to start over.
Right. In order to start that new framework. Right. Send that money elsewhere. Do this with that money instead of something else. Take that money that you're using to take from the police to fund this instead. So but yeah. But they can't operate unless they have that framework of the founders, the checks and balances, the separations of power, the understanding of human nature of Adams, Madison, Jefferson and the the American founders. And this is what that's what conservatives are all about one billion.
And with this is maybe some more introspection on the right.
So, I mean, one of the the the real cultural problem on the on the Marxist left that I think even on the modern liberal left is this. This deep sense of resentment and weaponize that resentment, but I'd be lying if I didn't see that on the right also, you know, and the populist. Right. And now I think I think populism is is basically liberalism and progressivism because I define populism as telling people what they want to hear instead of what they need to hear instead of telling them the truth.
But I do see that on the right. I mean, the sort of this this being prone to conspiracy theories that has that has metastasized in an unfortunate way.
There is a lot of telling people what they want to hear versus what is true. And, you know, that's a problem, too. Do you have any ideas on how to reverse that? I mean, how that was the right changed in the last few years and how can we be better?
Well, at an interesting point on the resentment thing, and there's a connection there to Marxism. Martin Mallea in the preface to the Communist Manifesto in nineteen ninety eight, he was the Cal Berkeley professor. Very, very good on this subject. And he points out that Marxism has been all about identifying victim groups and those victim groups. They need to be made aware of their victimization. And then the victim group will serve as the Redeemer group and the revolution.
So the bourgeoisie is the victim group and the Redeemer group right through the proletariat, the proletariat. So they need to be made aware of their victimization and then they can be the Redeemer group. And you see this with Marxism. Ever since it's this constant casting about for the latest new victim groups, you'll look at the speech by Angela Davis, America's most famous female Marxist. She's a co-chair of the Women's March in Washington. January twenty seventeen is a student of Herbert Marcuse, ran for vice president United States in the Communist Party USA ticket won the Lenin Prize was given it in Moscow.
I mean, really, really hard left. Oh, and by the way, and she writes the foreword to Patrice Collar's book. But if you read her speech at the women's march, she's talking about flora, fauna, people of trans people. She's looking at all these different set casting about constantly for the latest victim group. So they're very good at that. And they kind of thrive on this resentment. I think it's interesting, a Congressman, that so many of the polls done lately that ask liberals and conservatives, are you positive, are you optimistic?
How do you feel about America? You would think the conservatives would be extremely unoptimistic, pessimistic, but they're always happier about the state of the country than liberals are. And I look at that and I think liberals. Why aren't you happy you're finally getting what you want. You're getting everything that you want, and yet you're unhappy. There seems to be this. Yeah, this perpetual state of discontent that you see among the left. They don't that you see among the right.
And one thing that has changed with Donald Trump is that is making the Republican Party more of a middle class populist party. Will that continue? I think it will, because of the left's embrace of sort of green New Deal, green New Deal stuff on energy fracking. I mean, I live in western Pennsylvania, which is the the Saudi Arabia of Marcellus Shale. And those people are going to be hurt not so much by the exit of Donald Trump, but by Biden and liberals seizing a lot of this climate change, Paris Accord, Green New Deal energy stuff.
And that's going to move a lot of those parties into a sort of kind of populist right conservative party. If Republicans continue to run candidates who stand for those things. And I think they will, because I think that's a natural fit with conservatism. And at the least, that doesn't fit with modern progressivism.
I think it I think we can to it's a policy level. I don't think Trump is very different than a mainstream conservative. He's sort of labeled as such. But it's just not true. I think I think those I think the platform that Trump represented is a good I think there was obviously some changes to it, especially more of a skepticism on trade. I think these are healthy things, especially, you know, come from a place like Pennsylvania. I think the shift to the working class is important.
But like, if I was what I was getting at, though, is what I also see is that sort of victimhood, politics seeping into the right. And what I would tell my fellow conservatives is it doesn't work for you the way it works for the left. And you just have to accept that you don't get the sympathy that the leftist identity Aryans get. You just don't stop playing that game. We we have to win based on that kind of sense of optimism or where we're anti victimhood, where we tell you you can rise above your current status.
And and if we start to play the same game where we say, look, if we just elect our guys, everything's going to be a better like we'll get. What we want. You're setting yourself up for for bitterness and resentment and failure, because government cannot give you the things that you think it can and you cannot ask it to buy you off to buy your votes. You know what I mean? It's it's that perpetual question. When you're running for Congress and the people, what are you going to do for me?
And I'm like, well, I would implement policies that allow you to do things for yourself. I mean, that's what I should be promising you, you know? I mean, you know, I'm going to I'm going to I'm going to make sure that the founding principles and first principles that we care about are lived up to. So that that will involve changes. Of course. I mean, if that's what you mean. But everybody means something different by that.
And the same thing. I'm going to help you help yourself, right, by campaigning on that. You know, conservatives are going after that. So. Right. I mean, so conservatives, we can sit around all the time and say the media is so unfair, it's so biased. They don't ask Biden this. Look at they asked Trump that. Look at the way they ignore this and focus on that. It's true. It's all true. And our side, we do have to be perfect.
I mean, it's crazy. We got to be absolutely perfect. I mean, the left mobs in the streets every day for like eight or nine months and then, you know, stuff happens like what happened on January six. And it's like, you know, crap, right? It's total double. Thanks a lot, guys. You know, great. The left will turn it into 9/11. They'll turn into another Pearl Harbor. In fact, they're using that language, right?
I mean, they we do have to be perfect. We do have to be we are treated by a different standard. Is it frustrating? Yeah. And you're right. It's so wise. You just have to accept it and move on. It's the way it is. It is.
And like people like, no, you don't. I'm like, well then what's your other option? Like, go fight harder. Oh yeah. Just just going to fight harder.
What do you mean by that? You know, like guys like, you know, I just I'm very unemotional person, so I just tell take a step back and it's been like, like how am I going to win? Like that's always like how am I going to win?
And I don't I don't get to throw a fit when, like, we're on a mission at two a.m. and the hills of Afghanistan. I just have to think about how I'm going to win.
And so. Well, what do you hope to achieve here? What are you going to do? Right? What are you going to do right now? How you go? Yeah. How are you going to win? Right.
I know it was. It was. And they but we fought, you know, and I think that, too, even even assuming nobody even stormed the Capitol.
My big problem with January six was the fact that politicians were getting up and objecting to the election. And I was like, again, the same question, what are you achieving? Oh, you got up and thought you got up and spoke for five minutes on the House floor on C-SPAN if you can't change anything.
Well well, not only that, but I also believe it is deeply unconstitutional to even assume that you could change anything. But, you know, that's a whole other separate discussion. But it's just, you know, I wrote about this recently, an article about what it means to fight and what it doesn't mean to fight. And we've got to redefine it. We seem to be engaging a lot of victimhood and a lot of complaining. And instead of strategic thinking and because the strategic thinking is hard and conservatives have to do to kind of retake the culture, the cultural institutions and education and pop culture, these are hard things.
And they require some creativity and a lot of time.
A lot of patience. Yeah. And I think we should have reasons overnight. I think we have reason to be optimistic. I think we have a lot more good people poised to make a difference in these in these areas. But we kind of just started, you know, to be honest, I think I think I think Republicans and conservatives maybe did fail their constituents for four decades or at least, you know, for at least a good time period that allowed the left to really catch up.
But I think we're poised to make a difference now if we get our act together and unite and just adjust and just figure it out and and maybe exercise a little bit of patience and a little less resentment towards one another, we might. Do you have any last thoughts on, you know, given during the negotiations? I think how do we take about the education sector? Yeah, yeah.
I think that's a good, positive way to end. And we're going to have good people running in twenty, twenty four for the presidency. You would think good people running in twenty, twenty two. And I would say to in support of what we're doing here right now, you and I, we need to use technology in this way that the people can go on the web and listen to the two of us have this hopefully reasonable discussion, this civil discourse and learn from it.
Use these platforms to try to help educate, educate, educate and and yes, it can't be changed overnight. And people email me all the time. What can I. Wow, it's going to take a while, you know what progressivism is all about, right? The long haul, we used to be a Bernie Sanders permanent revolution, right. These things don't change overnight. You have to be patient. The founders talked about prudence, the virtue of prudence.
And so that's a good thing to keep in mind right now, too. I think so. Well, Paul, thanks so much for being on. Great discussion. And thank you for your work and being there on the front lines, teaching our youth that it's incredibly important and really interesting stuff that people enjoy that.
Well, thank you for literally your service on the front lines and keep doing what you're doing. Appreciate it.
Where can people find you?
Are you on social media or could you could you could visit our website at the Institute for Faith and Freedom at Grove City College. So just Google that I write for The American Spectator spectator dog and you can find my books at Amazon. So those are some places where you could track me down. Awesome. Thanks for being on the show. Yeah. Thanks so much. Take care.