‘Anarchy in the UK’ is an overused motif. Yet it would not be exaggerating to say that Britain is teetering on the edge of revolutionary chaos. Statues of national heroes and war memorials have been defaced or toppled, and Winston Churchill has been boarded up at Parliament Square. The man who led the fight against Hitler and freed Europe from Nazi totalitarianism is now a target of demonstrators. This act by the authorities has shocked ordinary Britons as a humiliating surrender to the mob. But we should have seen this coming.
The trigger for protest was an instance of police brutality against a black suspect four thousand miles away in Minneapolis. The Black Lives Matter campaign, which receives substantial funding from the globalist Soros Foundation, and is closely linked to the leftist Democratic Party, threatens to overturn society, with its clearly stated aims of abolishing the police and ending capitalism. It is the latest instrument of cultural Marxism.
Witnessing the sudden breakdown of law and order in American cities, the hard Left in Britain saw its opportunity to triumph despite a recent heavy electoral defeat. Unwilling to protect our identity and heritage, our government is conservative in name only. Spineless Tory MPs said nothing as enfeebled police officers were attacked, while some virtue-signalled for the demonstators’ cause. The front page of the Daily Mail (10 June 2020) told middle-England, with constrained critique, that a cultural revolution had begun.
Sedition is being fomented by an anti-conservative intelligentsia who dominate civic institutions, with academe at the vanguard. My university posted a series of earnest declarations that it would root out racism, tweeting a black square under the message ‘Black Lives Matter’ (note the capitals, promoting the campaign rather than the principle). This generated anger, with some black students accusing the university of window-dressing while ignoring racism. According to some students, my zealously PC university is ‘a racist pit of hell’, or a ‘breeding ground for racism’. White virtue-signallers joined the fray: –
‘Instead of a black square, how about a Black Chancellor?’
To a naïve observer such responses suggest that the universities should steer clear of this controversy. But administrators don’t mind the criticism, because they are on the same side. Insufficiently ‘woke’ lecturers and students trembled as missives were issued by the Ivory Towers. Claire Lehmann, editor of the free-speech website Quillette, tweeted: –
‘I am getting inundated with messages from young people – students and young academics – who are scared of the mob aty their universities & feel despair for their futures. Absolute despair.
Racism is like the witchcraft of the late Middle Ages, an evil that lurks under any stone. The harder it is to find, the more powerful the behavioural reinforcement, as BF Skinner proved. Universities’ disciplinary power has been boosted: already lecturers have been punished for simply stating the Christian universal principle that all lives matter. Where is this leading? We should know, because totalitarian states have shown what happens when truth and freedom of enquiry become crimes.
Chairman Mao started the Cultural Revolution in 1966, purging his enemies by exploiting impressionable and immature students. Aggressive posters suddenly proliferated on the walls of universities. The enemy was alleged counter-revolutionaries (‘capitalist-roaders’) and like today in Western universities, student activists were empowered to denounce and persecute wrong-thinkers. Seized by students, professors had ink thrown in their faces and were paraded through campus, dunce hats on their heads and self-condemning posters on their backs.
All teaching was suspended. Mao held huge rallies for students in Tianenmen Square, whipping them into a frenzy. As Tom Clissold described in The Chinese Rules: –
‘In two weeks in western Beijing more than a hundred teachers and education officials were beaten to death with belts and buckles, sticks and staves. Tens of thousands of homes were destroyed; seven million library books were burned and the two-thousand-year-old temple at Confucius’ birthplace were ransacked. ‘
In her autobiography Wild Swans, Yung Chang told of the atmosphere at Sichuan University in 1974, amidst a fresh campaign against politically suspect teaching. Merely for spending time in the library she was summoned to the political supervisor for her course in English: –
‘The masses have reported that you are aloof. You are cut off from the masses.’
This was a dangerous insinuation of bourgeois attitude, but unlike many close relatives Yung Chang lived to tell her tale.
Can’t we learn from the direct experiences of people who experienced revolutionary terror? For decades we have done nothing while universities were allowed to become the seat of a dehumanising and subversive ideology. Collectively, we are reaping what was sown.