Rules for Revolutionaries: A guide to understanding the radical left’s plan to reimagine America
by Caren Besner
Since George Floyd’s death, events seem to be spiraling out of control. For weeks, Americans were bombarded, almost on a daily basis, with reports of large protests in major cities, accompanied by rioting, looting, burning, assaults, and even murders.
Observing these events unfold, average U.S. citizens, watching TV from the purported safety of their home, might be bewildered by these transformative events, the purpose of which is nothing less than a “re-imagining” of America. To better understand exactly what is happening, let’s take a cue from my 21st Century Revolutionary Handbook. There are ten rules to explain what the radical left is planning.
#1: Inertia is fatal to a Revolutionary Movement.
What does a great white shark have in common with a Revolutionary Movement? Both must continue to move forward or die. The overtures of the late 60s movement are eerily similar to what is happening today. The problem was that back then, the revolution was centered around the anti-Vietnam War Movement. Once peace came, the impetus of the revolution died out. The 2008 Occupy Wall St Movement had the zeal, but cold winter months in NY were not conducive for this type of protest. The lesson: choose your cause carefully. Today’s cause celebre is “systemic racism” and its offshoots. Recently, the Mayor of Louisville, KY declared racism to be a public health crisis.
#2: Do not identify your ideology by name, nor state exactly what you will do after you are in power. Speak only in vague generalities and use simple 2- or 3-word phrases the public can identify with.
Most Americans are fair-minded by nature and want to do the right thing. Terms such as “Socialist,” “Communist” or “Marxist” generally have a negative connotation and would not be well received by the populace at large. Do not look to antagonize them any more than is necessary. The revolution will need its army of “useful idiots” for the future. Instead, use terms such as “progressive” or “social justice warrior” to describe oneself. Other terms, such as “environmental justice,” “racial/income inequality,” “redistribution of wealth,” “globalism,” ‘undocumented worker,” and “reimagine the police” are also useful. These are far less threatening to the average American. Fidel Castro initially identified himself as a “humanist.” Only after he felt secure in his new position did he announce to the world: “I am a Marxist Leninist.”
#3: The revolution must get control over mass media and the education system.
It is a historic fact that once in power every single Communist or Fascist dictatorship closes down ALL oppositional voices. Truth is defined by whatever the revolution says it is, and anyone who dares to speak out is immediately silenced. The only information heard and taught is what advances the revolutionary cause. This was true in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, and just as true today in Communist China, North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela. This point cannot be stressed enough. Once the revolution gains control over mass media, it controls ALL the information that is disseminated, and once the revolution gains control over the education system, it controls the future.
#4: All the apparatus of the state: the ministries, the civil service, the justice system, the military, and law enforcement must be brought under control.
This rule is simple. Whatever the revolution cannot control could eventually be used against it. Hitler, Stalin, and Mao all dealt with the problem of supposed anti-revolutionary activists by instituting a series of purges aimed at crushing ALL potential opposition, which extended even to family members. Stalin himself is alleged to have remarked that it was fine if innocents were punished along with the guilty, because “that sends an even stronger message.”
#5: All vestiges of the old must be destroyed in order to build anew. This includes all history, traditions, culture, and iconography that cannot be made to conform to the new ideals.
“Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.” George Orwell, 1984
In the late 1950s, Mao unleashed the cultural revolution on China. It was based on a repudiation of what Mao called the “four olds”: old ideas, customs, habits, and culture. Estimates vary as to the number of people killed but it was most certainly in the millions. Coming as it did after the disastrous policies of the “Great Leap Forward,” China was left an economic and cultural wasteland.
#6: Conventional ideas about religion and family are an anathema to a Revolutionary Movement.
“We have created a child who will be so exposed to the media that he will be lost to his parents by the time he is 12.” David Bowie
Absolute loyalty to the revolution must come first; this extends to one’s family. Children are encouraged to inform on their parents if they hear anything that can be interpreted as “counter-revolutionary; organized religion must also go. The revolution cannot have loyalty to God supersede loyalty to the state.
#7: The revolution can only succeed in times of extreme economic, political, and social unrest.
This is an important point. A generally content, gainfully employed, and the prosperous populace is not likely to support a revolutionary movement aimed at overthrowing the government, party, or individual that has provided these benefits. In order for the revolution to be successful, the population must be brought low and kept in a state of abject misery. Years ago, former White House Chief of Staff and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel stated: “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” Activist/actress Jane Fonda brought this up when she noted: “Covid is God’s gift to the left.”
#8: Ultimate victory in the revolution will go to that segment of the revolutionary body that is the best organized, best financed, and most ideologically dedicated.
A revolutionary movement can be composed of a number of divergent groups, each of which has a peeve with the central government. In our country we have, among others, minorities, LGBTQ, and feminists all rubbing shoulders with liberals, socialists, anarchists, globalists, Islamists, and hardcore Marxist revolutionaries. The last group is the best organized and funded. They are completely devoted to the “righteousness” of their ideology and even have their own para-military group – Antifa. Their ultimate goal is the complete destruction of the American political and economic system. They will settle for nothing less than total power, which they will use to impose their will on ALL aspects of life.
#9: A majority of popular support is not needed in order to force your will on an entire population.
Most people assume that any revolution must have popular support in order to succeed. This may have been true in some cases, but not all. The Bolsheviks swept into power in Russia in Nov 1917 with a simple slogan: “Peace, Land, Bread.” Although one cannot be certain of the precise number of hardcore committed Communists among the masses of the disaffected citizenry, it would have been comparatively small.
#10: After victory, the revolution will turn in directions not initially anticipated. Once the revolutionary genie is let out of the bottle, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to control events as they transpire.
In addition to exacting revenge on their opponents, revolutions usually turn on many of the very people who were its most ardent supporters. One only has to look at Hitler’s “Night of the Long Knives,” Stalin’s “Gulag Archipeligo, and Mao’s “Cultural Revolution, for examples. French revolutionary, Pierre Vergniaud, best expressed this idea when he noted, “There was reason to fear that the revolution, like Saturn, might devour in turn, each one of her children.” Revolutionaries also speak in lofty terms about “justice and equality,” promising a true “classless” society, but in reality, wind up creating an entirely new class of elites based on party loyalty and affiliation.
Here then are my Rules for Revolutionaries to better understand today’s America. The radical left is already looking to extract major concessions from the incoming Biden administration. They want something for their support and if they don’t get it, they are prepared to take to the streets. That will leave the new administration with two choices: to either put down the insurrection by the use of force or appeasement – offering bribes and concessions in the hope they will be placated. The problem with the latter approach is that appeasement as policy generally does not work and only prolongs the inevitable confrontation. Winston Churchill said, “An appeaser is someone who feeds a crocodile in the hope it will eat him last.”
Where then does this leave us as a nation? There is no doubt that as a society we have made enormous strides in the last half-century, yet we are still struggling to come to grips with our past. Sixty years ago, the election of an African-American with the unlikely name of Barack Hussein Obama to the highest office of the land would have been impossible, as would be the election of a number of minorities and women to seats in the House, Senate, and even the new VP Elect. Do we now throw all that away and adopt the failed economic and political system of our former Cold War adversaries? There is NO perfect economic or political system, but there are systems that generally work better for more people than others. As imperfect as it is, capitalism works better than communism. Capitalist systems encourage innovation, individualism, personal responsibility, and independence. Marxist systems mandate conformity of ideas, thought, belief, and speech. Whatever our many problems, a revolution aimed at the overthrow of the entire system is not the answer.
As for the revolution itself, George Bernard Shaw stated it best when he wrote: “Revolutions have never lightened the burden of tyranny; they have only shifted it to another shoulder.”
Caren Besner is a retired teacher who has written articles published by American Thinker, Sun-Sentinel, Dr Swier, News With Views, The Front Page, The Published Reporter, Washington Examiner, The Algemeiner, Jewish Journal, Independent Sentinel, Jerusalem Post, Arutz Sheva, San Diego Jewish World, The Times of Israel, The Moderate Voice, IsraPost, The Jewish Voice, JooTube, The Florida Veteran, and others.