At first blush, the George Floyd riots appear to have little to do with socialism. After all, socialism is about government control, while the riots — instigated by leftist agitators affiliated with antifa — claim to oppose the “fascism” of police abuses. Yet bestselling author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza explains the connection in his new book released Tuesday, United States of Socialism: Who’s Behind It. Why It’s Evil. How to Stop It (a documentary is coming soon). In an interview with PJ Media, D’Souza explained how socialism morphed into an identity politics movement, how it relates to antifa, and why the coronavirus pandemic was a terrifying taste of what socialism has in store for America.
While President Donald Trump has rightly condemned socialism in his re-election campaign, D’Souza warned that the struggle against socialism is much bigger than the 2020 election, as important as it is.
“Three of our vital institutions have become rotted to the core. This is probably the greatest problem facing the country. This is bigger than Trump’s election because it affects every election,” he told PJ Media. Socialism’s influence in academia, the media, and Hollywood has divided America and laid the groundwork for the deadly riots of recent days. “Academia is the theory and antifa is the practice,” he said.
D’Souza noted that two men arrested in New York for throwing Molotov cocktails were lawyers — fairly well-off and well-educated. He insisted that this is not “ironic” but the natural outworking of the Marxist influence on education, the media, and Hollywood.
Yet Karl Marx focused on economics, not issues of race, sex, or other forms of identity politics. D’Souza’s book traces at least three different forms of socialism and identifies “identity socialism” as the key threat to America today.
Marx intended for socialism to create a “harmonious community,” like the voluntary communities that sprouted up in France, Germany, and England, the author told PJ Media. “Those communities weren’t forced. The state was not involved at all.”
D’Souza contrasted Marx’s socialism and “identity socialism” with the “unification socialism” throughout Scandinavia. “In the United States, there’s a lot of demonization of the rich. You don’t see that in Scandinavia. They’re not denouncing rich Swedes. The assumption is, ‘We’re all in the same nest.'”
Marx, by contrast, “was ultimately a prophet of division.” He expected a “class revolt” to occur “naturally, scientifically, inevitably… But it never happened.”
“The left has been scratching its head because they want a socialist result but the mechanism Marx predicted has never happened,” D’Souza explained. “The left has shifted gears to say all right, class is not doing it for us so we need to widen the scope of division: rich versus poor, white versus black, male versus female, straight versus gay and transgender, legal versus illegal.”
“The left is carving up society in multiple ways. The objective is to create a coalition of these victimized groups to make up a political majority,” he argued.
The new identity socialism is divisive like Marx’s model but it focuses on broader concerns beyond worker’s demands. “Traditional concerns are workers at a plant fighting for higher wages,” D’Souza said. Yet modern identity socialists “care more about abortion than about the minimum wage. They care more about transgender bathrooms than a universal basic income.”
Identity socialism defines the American narrative
Since the identity socialist narrative pervades academia and the media, it reinforces itself. Take the idea that fascism is right-wing, for example.
“Prior to 1945 nobody thought that,” D’Souza explained. “Read the Nazi platform — state control of banks, industries, education, in what universe is that right-wing?”
“But fascism is always described as right-wing. The reason for that is because the public understanding of fascism post-1945 has been shaped by progressive scholarship,” he argued. “They have rewritten the history of fascism into making it into the exact opposite of what it was, and then they corroborate themselves.”
“The left has become the curator of knowledge and the American narrative,” D’Souza explained.
“The professors have been telling you the beating of George Floyd is not anomalous. It is the way cops are, it is the way America is and America has been this way since 1619,” the author said, alluding to The New York Times‘s 1619 Project. Yet the protesters the left-leaning media and academia celebrate are wrong.
George Floyd as pretext
“The protesters are right about [the police abuse against] George Floyd but they’re wrong about the narrative around George Floyd — the racist core of the American story.”
This state of affairs helps to explain the left’s decision to downplay the looting, vandalism, and arson in the wake of protests over the horrific death of George Floyd. While leftists would not hesitate to condemn pro-life rioters who bombed an abortion clinic, they hesitate to condemn rioters who are destroying businesses owned by black people and killing black police officers. Rioters, ostensibly angry over the death of George Floyd, torched the club where George Floyd used to work security.
“Things like the Floyd injustice — you can look at them as a social pretext. It’s not really about George Floyd. Then their only targets would be bad cops,” D’Souza explained. “The people that they’re beating up are storekeepers and entrepreneurs — none of these people have any complicity or involvement with what happened with George Floyd.”
The rioters are using George Floyd as an excuse to perpetrate violence George Floyd would have condemned “to achieve goals that are unrelated to George Floyd.”
Identity socialists are constantly searching for an excuse to foist their radical goals on the rest of America, D’Souza argued.
“Because of the failure of the original mechanism for socialist revolution, the left still tries to achieve the same result through the politics of fear,” he said. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt “did things in the Great Depression that he never would have done otherwise. The left has been trying to recreate this feverish climate. In the 1970s, the world was running out of food. In the 1980s, it was nuclear winter. In the 1990s, it was the ozone layer. In the first twenty years of this century, the glaciers have been melting and the world is on the verge because of climate change. The coronavirus is only the latest invisible enemy.”
Most of these scares were either false or exaggerated. “In no one’s experience is the earth hotter or colder than it was when we were kids. The virus is real but the panic was overblown and genuinely manufactured,” D’Souza argued.
While those on the left rushed to condemn any notion of lifting coronavirus lockdowns, they have raised no concerns about the spread of the virus due to massive George Floyd protests and destructive riots.
“That is the equivalent of Obama buying a mansion on the ocean in Martha’s vineyard, and property values in Martha’s Vineyard remaining the same. Everybody knows that this is nonsense, but they also know this is the staged political theater of our time,” the author explained.
Yet the coronavirus pandemic reveals more than just the identity socialists’ utter hypocrisy. It also provides Americans with a small taste of what true socialism would be like.
Coronavirus a foretaste of socialism?
“My wife is from Venezuela. She has been telling me for years when you walk into a store in Venezuela there is nothing in the store,” D’Souza recalled. “When I was a kid in India, my family had a card with our names in it — a ration card. We were allowed to buy so much rice and so much sugar and so much cooking oil. To get a phone in India there was a 7-year wait.”
“This is a hard concept for an American to grasp,” he said. Even in the Great Depression, Americans didn’t have it this bad.
Yet the empty shelves in grocery stores and the government’s attacks on civil liberties should make Americans wary of socialism.
“Suddenly on a temporary basis, you get a small foretaste of what socialism would be on a permanent basis,” D’Souza warned. “They don’t just want to take your money they want to control your life and make you a worm.”
Americans must defeat socialism at the ballot box, but conservatives also need to focus on retaking the heights of American culture. “Conservatives have been a little negligent, a little derelict in letting this happen. It’s very hard to take it back, and we have to devote significant resources to the project, but otherwise, we lose the country.”
I don’t always agree with Dinesh D’Souza, but his analyses of the left’s dominance over American institutions, the marriage of Marxism with identity politics, and the threat that it poses to American freedom and prosperity are spot on. Americans need to be extremely wary of socialism, and his book helps explain why.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.