In a June 2015 interview, Dr. Paul Kengor described his book Takedown: From Communists to Progressives, How the Left Has Sabotaged Family and Marriage as detailing “the far left’s quest to redefine, and in some cases outright abolish, the traditional family and marriage from the 1800s to today. It notes that gay marriage is serving as a Trojan horse for the far left to secure the takedown of marriage it has long wanted, and countless everyday Americans are oblivious to these older, deeper, destructive forces long at work. The typical gay-marriage advocate is not aware of this much older and more sinister ideological history.”
The sorry, sordid history of Marxism’s progressive grasp of U.S. institutions twines its rapid moral decline like a noose. Proponents of redefining marriage may not particularly care where its ideological roots reach – nor is our cultural collapse solely the work of leftwing political forces – but the rapid, revolutionary transformation of mainstreams beliefs and attitudes is no accident.
Kengor begins by examining Marx’s sanguine conviction that the dissolution of bourgeois marriage was an historical certainty. This was desirable as well as inevitable as the root of social problems was the child’s antisocial education within his family. The work of John Dewy, upon which the Soviet education system is grounded, and numerous other “progressive” education philosophers of the era supported the idea. One wrote that it was the task of the educator to take “bigoted, homophobic religious fundamentalist” students and assure that they left college “with views more like our own.” (p 25, quoting Richard Rorty)
This educational “accomplishment” required destabilization of the family. In the Soviet Union, this meant lifting the Russian Orthodox Church’s longstanding prohibition against divorce. In the name of “women’s rights,” Communist Cuba enacted divorce laws and opened abortion clinics; Red China established a one-child policy, brought all of its potential labor into “full employment”, and placed the children into day nurseries.
Democratic Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders.
In the United States, many of the early 20th century “progressives” were surprising staid in their relationship to traditional marriage. There were important exceptions, of course – one being Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood who was a great admirer of the “free love” movement and a rabid eugenicist who saw birth control and sterilization as a way of pruning “the dead weight of human waste.” (p 55, quoted Sanger)
These ideas – birth control, unfettered access to abortion, divorce, relaxed sexual constraints, “social” education, early childhood education, etc., and the reeducated moral sensibilities that permit their acceptance – go hand in hand. They are the salient components of a broader utopian vision and, as such, must be realized along with economic “reforms” and restricted governance if they are to be effective.
Communism’s imposed these ideas by using force and fear. It was successful but also created martyrs and reactionaries. In the United States and Western Europe, socialism has attempted a persuasive approach – not in the rhetorical sense of providing a convincing argument but in the calculated sense of making diverse opinions socially “uncomfortable.”
Community organizer Barack Obama runs for Illinois State Senate.
“[R]evolutionary communists would have absolutely loved this radical rupture in the culture. They would have admired not so much the demonization, which they could do better than anyone, but the astonishing realty that everyday noncommunist Americans are doing the demonizing without them. They could never have counted on such support in the past. Now they are getting it compliments not of the public agreeing with them, the communists, on, say, abolition of all rights of inheritance or Stalin’s objectives in Berlin, but through this completely odd and unexpected modern phenomenon called ‘gay marriage’.” (p 183)
The advances of radical feminism and homosexualism, culminating with total redefinition of “marriage” and “gender,” are both goals in their own right and stepping stones toward permeating every American institution with “The Revolution.” (p. 135, quoting Malory Millet) “Smashing monogamy,” to use the term coined by many 60s reformers, therefore, isn’t just about sexual license but about bringing down one social order so that can then be replaced by another.
Saul Alinsky -- author of 'Rules for Radicals' and community organizer.