Jesse Kelly’s THE ANTI-COMMUNIST MANIFESTO—A Start, But Not Nearly Enough
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See also, by Editor Peter Brimelow: Trump’s Indictment—Like I Said, This Is A Communist Coup

Can a movement win if it has the right tactics but the wrong target? The story of the American Conservative Movement after the Cold War suggests that it can’t. The American Right has chased tangential issues, acted as controlled opposition, and operated more like a business than a serious movement, partially because it didn’t know what it was fighting. Conservative radio host Jesse Kelly [Tweet him] deserves credit for trying to point to a real target, suggesting some productive means to fight the enemy, and having a clear view of the stakes. Unfortunately, he may be wrong about who it is that really threatens America and what they really want. America is being torn about by tribes who fundamentally aren’t part of the country and never want to be, not simply people who want a different economic system. As Paul Gottfried might put it, we aren’t threatened by “Communists,” because we are actually facing people to the left of them.

Still, Kelly deserves credit for rejecting the complacency and triumphalism in American political thought. “I wish I could tell you that our nation stands at a crossroad…” he says in his June 2023 best-seller The Anti-Communist Manifesto. “But that’s not the case. America chose a path long ago. Now we stand within sight of the journey’s dark end.”

 Although he claims the people we face are “really Communists,” he has an interesting analysis of what the Communist really is—an almost biological phenomenon of entropy. “The communist is the water,” he says. “Your society is the boulder.” “Communism is the religion of the malcontent,” he argues, and this idea that Communism is a faith, impervious to reason and reality, is true. He also doesn’t take refuge in the idea that people will just naturally choose freedom. “Defeating the communist is all that matters,” he says. “Victory comes the day the communist can no longer openly practice his demonic religion.”

Yet Communism is also a highly specific doctrine. Kelly himself, quoting the “prophet” Marx, says “the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property”  [The Communist Manifesto, 1848]. That said, today it seems control over property is more important to the Left than abolishing it, as shown by the phenomenon “Woke Capital.”

While Kelly addresses why corporate America moved in this direction, pinning the origin on Howard Bowen’s concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in 1953, this explanation doesn’t convince. Obviously, communists have sought positions in corporate America to gain power over the culture, but corporations themselves (including institutions like the Chamber of Commerce and the Open-Borders Wall Street Journal) have long gone along with cultural Leftism. The late paleoconservative writer Sam Francis’ theory of the managerial state and the short-term interest capitalists have in breaking down barriers to markets (including national borders, cultural identities, and labor mobility) clearly plays a major role. Why capital behaves in this way and what incentives are required to change it is arguably the most important theoretical question before us.

For those of us who saw the end of the Cold War when we were young (or missed it altogether), it’s tempting to simply brush past Kelly’s account of Communist crimes. It’s important not to. It sounds simplistic, but the fact that Leftists were never held to account for communism, while American right-wingers are constantly “linked” to fascism and national socialism, is arguably the whole reason conservatives are in a permanently failed, defensive crouch. It’s especially nefarious because the accusations of Hitlerism are often flimsy or simply made up, while Leftists’ identification with socialism or outright Communism is often proudly asserted. The slapdash identification of patriotism with a comic-book version of “Nazism” has been used to pathologize conservatism, American patriotism, and even national identity in what Editor Peter Brimelow has called “Hitler’s Revenge.”

While major cities throughout the West host Holocaust museums designed to pathologize the Right, even in countries that fought the Axis, the Hammer and Sickle can be openly displayed almost everywhere, and defenders of even the most bloodthirsty Communist regimes never fear deplatforming from capitalist tech companies.

“America should be covered with museums and memorials to the tens of millions of people who died because of communism,” Kelly says, and he’s right. Even veterans of the conservative movement may find themselves stunned by some of the atrocities Kelly chronicles from Communist governments, notably the Pitești Experiment in Romania.

While even a passing mention of a historical “Far Right” figure is a cause for hysterical screeching from the Main Stream Media, as Kelly shows, explicit support for Communism continues to rise. Partially, this is because previous Communist activists, notably the violent figures involved in the Weather Underground (who estimated 25 million Americans would need to be killed for the Revolution [Eliminating 25 million Americans, by Thomas Lifson, American Thinker, October 23, 2008]), easily moved into academia. Involvement as an activist for a “Far Right” cause is career death even in the conservative movement, but even the most violent Leftist can confidently anticipate an easy sinecure in academia in a major like Education.

Yet clearly what mobilizes activists today is race, not class. “The eternal struggle between workers and capitalists was out; the eternal struggle between aggrieved racial groups and their white antagonists was in,” said Kelly, tracing the rise of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in academia. “Whatever they call themselves, they are united in their hostility towards America and their hatred of you, your values, and everything you care about, make no mistake,” he also says.

This is true, but if even they can’t unite around the term “Communist” or even socialist, we should look at the one thing that really does unite them. That is their hatred of whites, full stop. If the attack is being waged on that ground, as Sam Francis pointed out, it must eventually be met on that ground. To say it’s “Communists” misleads people if it makes activists start defending ground that isn’t actually under attack. For example, Kelly repeatedly criticizes George Soros for his nefarious impact in his book, but the currency speculator is not a “Communist.” He’s against whites, full stop.

Kelly may also be a bit too confident in the possibility of non-state solutions to what we face. “Unlike those nations [the Soviet Union and Mao’s China], Political Correctness is not imposed by the government [of] the U.S. (not yet, anyway),” says Kelly, describing one problem. “Instead, the enforcement mechanism is crowdsourced to digital mobs of anonymous malcontents and a handful of vocal activists. We call this enforcement mechanism ‘cancel culture.’”

Yet his description isn’t really true. It’s the government, including the Department of Homeland Security (under President Donald Trump) that has directly pressured tech companies to deplatform [Feds Can’t Censor: Ask Big Tech to Do it For Them, by Jared Taylor, American Renaissance, September 26, 2019].

It’s true that tech companies and other corporations would probably deny services and deplatform on their own, but this wasn’t always true. Amazon and other companies once defended free speech, even to the point of defending the vilest conduct [Jeff Bezos Makes it Clear Where He Stands on Freedom of Speech, by Mathew Ingram, Fortune, June 1, 2016]. Media pressure was a big reason they backed down, but as Richard Hanania has persuasively argued, it is the U.S. government and its Civil Rights legislation that essentially forces companies to act this way and also provides jobs for professional activists. It’s not enough to “defy Political Correctness” to win. Seizing and using state power is necessary.

Similarly, chronicling the rise and fall of the social media company Parler, Kelly urges readers not to depend on “big tech” companies that “won’t kick you off their servers the moment they sense trouble.” Yet sometimes there is no real alternative, as when discussing banks, payment processors, or companies like Cloudflare that protect against DDOS attacks.

The government and media (increasingly the same thing) specialize in coordinated attacks precisely on the most vulnerable choke points any online businesses relies on. If there is a “free market” solution, it relies on a deus ex machina like Elon Musk buying Twitter out of nowhere and loosening up (though not ending) censorship. 

Kelly’s suggestions for conservatives to organize are also impractical today unless Big Tech permits you to organize, which, in many cases, they simply don’t. Largely because of the Musk Effect however, it does seem things are loosening up. Kelly does admit that government interference in business is “inevitable” and that “we need to use it to our advantage.”

Lawfare is by far the biggest threat Americans face. Kelly is closer than most in recognizing the pure “friend/enemy” way Leftists view law. As he points out, the USSR, East Germany, and other Communist states guaranteed all sorts of theoretical rights that citizens didn’t actually enjoy. Peter Brimelow has argued that what we are facing now is a “Communist coup” similar to that which took place in the East Bloc after World War II, when formerly free states were gradually subjugated to one party rule through lawfare. Unlike during the Cold War, we also don’t have a powerful international ally speaking out for our own traditional liberties.

The implicit Cold War nostalgia of “anti-Communism” is a powerful frame for older conservatives, but it poses its own dangers. What we face now may have grown out of Communism but it is something beyond a new face for an old ideology.

It’s even beyond “Cultural Marxism,” a term that already seems dated. As Steve Sailer pointed out in TakiMag recently,  much of it is “simple lowbrow hate and greed” against whites,  and we’re giving them too much credit by assuming “a highly intellectual ideological backstory [America’s Untouchables, September 6, 2023].”

Kelly’s passing description of Marxism as simply the religion of the malcontent probably tells us more than poring over the history of the USSR or the turgid prose of Karl Marxism. It’s a dysgenic, entropic, biological phenomenon that needs to be stamped out wherever it raises its head, not because it’s just coming after our “private property” but because it attacks everything that Western Man was—and could be again.

James Kirkpatrick [Email him | Tweet him @VDAREJamesK] is a Beltway veteran and a refugee from Conservatism Inc. His latest book is Conservatism Inc.: The Battle for the American Right. Read Editor Peter Brimelow’s Preface here.

Adapted from the VDARE Book Club discussion on Jesse Kelley’s THE ANTI-COMMUNIST MANIFESTO between Kirkpatrick and Paul Kersey

To join the VDARE Book Club, click here.


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