Editor’s Note: In this article, Professor Emeritus Salim Mansur answers the question, “How in the world did we ever get here?” How did our freedom of speech get choked off and replaced by “cancel culture”? Why do the authorities for the most part stand down when mobs of “social justice warriors” shut down speakers and events they disagree with? And this not only in Canada but also in the United States, despite its robust First Amendment. The reason is the takeover of our institutions, with stealth but determination, by the cultural Marxists and their successful promulgation of “critical race theory.” The madness that many thought was limited to university campuses has spread throughout society as well-indoctrinated university graduates became journalists, teachers, lawyers, judges and politicians. Mansur’s article outlines how all this happened and describes how an anti-western, anti-enlightenment agenda is often advanced under the rubric of multiculturalism and how diversity training is frequently an exercise in disparaging western culture.
Cultural Marxism has hollowed out our institutions and is rapidly making freedom of speech a thing of the past. The American people fought back by electing President Trump. Can he prevail again? Regardless of what happens, we must continue our fight to take back our culture and regain our freedom of speech. But unless we understand what is happening, we won’t even know that we are at war. Mansur’s article should get everyone up to speed.
The Road to Communist Hell is Paved with “Social Justice” Ideology
by Salim Mansur
For the past several decades, diversity training has been seen as necessary in a mixed-population society and has been a requirement in all public institutions in the United States, and also in Canada.
This was a direct result of the public policies put in place by the “big” government in the U.S. following the gains of the civil rights movement of the 1960s in education, public housing, health care, and employment.
It also laid the seeds of an entire new publicly funded industry of diversity training enterprises with an army of male and female instructors providing diversity training from schools to old folk homes.
Policy formulation for the idea of multiculturalism began in the 1970s. Multiculturalism, as the basis for western societies open to immigration of people of non-European origin and culture, was adopted by the intellectual elites in the United States and Canada with little or no opposition from within the society.
Diversity training and multiculturalism became a potent mix to ideologically indoctrinate the population to view the United States and Canada as having historically been racially insensitive, oppressive, demeaning of minority groups, and requiring reform for the making of a more inclusive society.
In the 1970s, I recall when I was a student in university, the first signs of diversity training and multiculturalism appeared on campus. Students were informed about grievance counsellors if they encountered, or felt, any improper or prejudicial behaviour directed at them in class by faculty or administration and were encouraged to take their complaints to them.
A decade later in the 1980s I began teaching at first as a part-time lecturer, and then as a tenured faculty member. The situation on campuses by then had changed. Diversity training and multiculturalism had become institutionalized in our education system. The faculty hiring process required recruiting members to reflect a proper mix of ethnic and gender diversity.
Departments of Women and Gender Studies, Black Studies, First Nations Studies mushroomed.
In the 1970s, with the currents of the anti-war movement against the Vietnam War in full force, a new intellectual elite came to prominence. Among them were individuals such as Noam Chomsky, Jacques Derrida, Howard Zinn, Paulo Freire, Andre Gunder Frank, Gloria Steinem, and Edward Said. This group of university professors were following in the tradition of Herbert Marcuse, Jean Paul Sartre, Michel Foucault, and the founders of the Frankfurt School. They were predisposed to Marxism and greatly influenced by the Italian Marxist thinker and communist party activist, Antonio Gramsci.
Diversity training and multiculturalism in effect became Marxist indoctrination.
University students of the 1970s became teachers in the 1980s. They learned their Marxism reading Chomsky, Freire, Frank, Said and the rest of them, and then they instructed their students in the acquired language of what became the “critical race” theory.
In one post-1945 generation that came of age in the 1960s, the United States and Canada became the hothouse of the new teaching in schools and colleges about how and why the countries that fought and defeated the worst race-based society in modern history, Nazi Germany, were themselves guilty of racism and needed radical reform.
As I have often noted, culture is upstream, and politics and economics are downstream.
Diversity training and multiculturalism were culture wars waged by intellectuals in a free society against the culture of freedom. Nearly a half-century later, it can be said with some certainty that the Chomskys of the West have won.
Roger Scruton (1944-2020), the most wonderful and humane philosopher in the classical liberal tradition, wrote about these intellectuals who set out to subvert the culture of freedom in Fools, Frauds and Firebrands: Thinkers of the New Left. It is, in my view, required reading for anyone seeking to understand the origin and basis of “critical race” theory.
Ideas have consequences.
Marxism spread as Bolshevism and Maoism in the streets and went into classrooms disguised as serious philosophy directed into improving our world in terms of freedom, equality, and justice. Students graduated from schools and colleges as social justice warriors. They became teachers, lawyers, journalists and rose in ranks to administer our public institutions, courts, universities, law enforcement agencies and non-governmental organizations. They became in Gramscian terms rank and file activists and leaders in the service of "the modern Prince", in other words, the state. A half-century of Marxist thinking has resulted in traditional values being turned on their head. The place of family, religion, marriage, child-rearing, sanctity of life, protection of the unborn, were stripped of their long-held meaning and brought into conformity with the ideological framework of Marxism through legislation and judicial activism.
In my university years I was fully exposed to these intellectuals of the left. But I was also exposed to classical liberalism taught by Allan Bloom among others, and also introduced to the writings of Isaiah Berlin, Friedrich von Hayek, and Raymond Aron. But, most importantly in retrospect, I had experienced the politics and accompanying violence of the left in the late sixties and early seventies in India and Pakistan, survived the genocidal war of 1971 in the making of Bangladesh, then departed as a refugee for Canada and, as a result, was somewhat inoculated against the virus of “critical race” theory that came into vogue during my undergraduate years in Toronto in the 1970s.
I later had the opportunity to travel extensively beginning in the late 1980s. I saw at first hand the depravity of the former Soviet Union when traveling on the Silk Road soon after the end of the Cold War, and then the sheer horror of collectivism in the interior of China in the 1990s. What I learned in my travels through the wasteland of Soviet and Chinese communism became indispensable in my own struggle, private and public, against all forms of collectivism and group-based identity politics.
And then came 9/11. What followed was just the opposite of what was needed.
Instead of correcting course, the false nostrum of diversity training and multiculturalism institutionalized in our education system became more deeply entrenched.
Governments in the United States and Canada doubled down in pushing these odious doctrines and demanding the people abandon their age-old traditions resting on the culture of freedom for a hodgepodge of values designed to dismantle that culture.
Since then diversity training and multiculturalism have become the doctrines of the Globalists in the West and in the UN. They are now the intellectual tools with which to fully disarm and dismantle the culture of Enlightenment that gave birth to the West.
In other words, “critical race” theory is no longer disguised as a universally valid idea to examine the history of racism among people in all cultures. It is, instead, directed at the “white” race specifically, and indicts the “white” race as the source and origin of racism directed at non-white people.
“Whites are racists” is the premise of “critical race” theory. This is now openly broadcast by the activists of the Black Lives Matter and the Antifa movement.
In Edward Said’s notorious book “Orientalism” that became required reading in universities, the absurd argument was put forward that the study of other cultures by Europeans was designed to describe the “Other”, the Orient, in contrast to the Europeans or people of the Occident, as inferior in cultural terms and for the strategic purpose of exploiting the “Other” (read Arabs and Muslims, in Said’s formulation) through imperial conquest
Edward Said became one of the most heralded intellectuals in the public media in the West. His half-baked ideas were lauded as critical new insight in literary studies and, as a Palestinian Arab-American and professor at Columbia University, New York, he was celebrated as the voice of the people of the Middle East fighting injustice against Western imperialism and Zionism.
Similarly, Noam Chomsky as an American Jew and professor at MIT, Boston, in speaking out against American imperialism, Israel and Zionism, became the celebrated intellectual speaking, as if like Socrates, truth to power.
Today’s media representatives in the mainstream media are students of the Chomskys and Saids, of “fools, frauds and firebrands”, as Scruton described them. They push “critical race” theory as the framework of their news reporting and, with rare exceptions, just about the entire lot of media personalities have a highly warped and distorted grasp of western philosophy and history.
They are, therefore, the willing agents of George Soros and his like among the Globalist oligarchs who have embraced the Chinese Communists as allies in the making of the new world order by seeking to dismantle the culture of freedom based on individual rights. The new face of this new world order is the mandatory requirement of wearing face masks, turning free people, men and women in the West, into docile clones of face-covered women of the Middle East.
When unmasked, both Chomsky and Said loathed the very freedom in the culture of freedom in which they thrived, and which they worked to discredit as purveyors of Marxism disguised as “critical race” theory.
The question then facing the people in the United States and Canada is simple. Is it already too late to undo the damage done by diversity training and multiculturalism and to restore their culture of freedom based on individual rights?
President Trump is just about the only leader in the West seeking to undo the damage of the past half-century in putting an end to diversity training within the vast bureaucracy of the American government.
Will, or can, President Trump succeed? That depends on the American people doing their part, on enough of them understanding the extent to which their culture of freedom has been infected by Marxism and remaining committed to support President Trump’s belated effort to shut down diversity training and what it implies for federal employees as a first step in taking back America from those out to dismantle the great republic.
Read below the report on diversity training and, especially, watch the accompanying video embedded in the report.