To defend liberty it’s critical to recognize the left’s enormous appetite for the pursuit of unfounded allegations.
In early adult life, the iconic communist philosopher Karl Marx mused about being a soul “once true to God,” but “chosen for Hell.” He candidly identified with the “Prince of Darkness,” the Fallen Angel who orthodox Christians regard as the ultimate master of the false accusation.
In “The Devil and Karl Marx,” American historian Paul Kengor noted that a striking number of Marx’s intimates and associates didn’t hesitate to compare him with Faust or Mephistopheles. In his 1841 poem, “The Player,” Marx himself wrote, “See the sword—the Prince of Darkness sold it to me.”
Marx targeted some of his most vicious accusations against people of faith. He said religion was the opiate of the masses, and claimed that Christians dupe people into believing in heaven while ignoring their suffering on earth.
Over the last two centuries, Roman Catholics and Protestants alike ended up in the crosshairs of Marxists, as did Jews, Buddhists, Uyghur Muslims, Falun Gong practitioners, and other spiritual believers.
The Left’s Endless List of Indictments
Following his attack on religion, Marx turned his ire against capitalists: industrial entrepreneurs who believed in individual agency, private property ownership, the profit motive, and democratic governance.
Marx accused capitalists of deliberately exploiting the working class. He called for a violent revolution to sweep them aside and usher in a “dictatorship of the proletariat.”
Over two centuries, Marxists seized the state in places such as Russia, Eastern Europe, China, North Korea, Cuba, Cambodia, and Venezuela. The result was always a parade of horrors.
Marxists formed totalitarian regimes that oppressed and exploited their own people. Deceitful accusations led to administrative show trials, imprisonment of political opponents, and summary executions.
In the relatively peaceful and prosperous liberal-democratic era that immediately followed World War II, most ordinary folks in the West were not interested in Marxism. But Marxists were interested in them.
Old-school Marxists concentrated their fire on upper-class enemies such as the bourgeoisie, corporate robber barrens, and European imperialists.
Today, a new left aligns with upper-class friends. It thrives in Ivy League universities, legacy media, top law firms, wealthy state bureaucracies, charitable foundations, international corporations, and a Chinese Communist Party Belt and Road network that has its own imperialist ambitions.
Since the late 1960s, Marxists and neo-Marxists have made scores of accusations against people who disagree with their economic and cultural agenda. Their hit list grows longer by the decade.
Support the pro-life movement, and you’re putting women’s lives at risk. Object to arson, looting, and intimidation by Black Lives Matter or Antifa militants, and you’re a racist. Speak about family values, and you’re a patriarch. Show affection for your nation, and you’re a Nazi.
Point out that Frankfurt School neo-Marxists influenced our universities, and you’re anti-semitic. Raise questions about immigration policy or open borders, and you’re a xenophobe. Hold a Christian position on marriage, and you’re a homophobe. Object to drag queen performances at your kid’s school, and you’re a transphobe.
Question the accuracy of global warming predictions, and you’re a climate-change denier. Challenge the security of mail-in ballots, and you’re a conspiracy theorist.
Vote Republican, and you’re a semi-fascist, extreme MAGA, deplorable human being.
A Sword Forged in the Fire of Deceit
Those who value truth and honesty for their own sake are at a distinct disadvantage against the modern left.
Throughout history, there have been religious crusades and inter-faith wars fuelled by hatred, deception, greed, and ambition. But, decent people, in the Judeo-Christian tradition, still take considerable guidance from traditional forms of morality.
The Ninth Commandment says: “Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” Most ethical individuals understand that to mean we shouldn’t deliberately lie about others. Our own ends don’t always justify the means.
Marxists justify almost anything they say or do in the name of progress or social justice. Bearing false witness to discredit dissidents is the left’s signature political tactic. They turn the practice of making dishonest accusations into performance art. The left ruthlessly goes after opponents and tries to take them out of the game. Marxists seek to cripple competitors before they get a chance to step onto the field.
The left is never at a loss for ways to injure exceptional people. In America and the West, many principled conservative leaders, productive citizens, and talented individuals have learned this the hard way.
There’s an old political joke that illustrates the dishonest way Marxists pursue power: A comrade advises a candidate for election to claim that his opponent has carnal relations with his farm animals. The candidate says, “You know that’s not true and no one would believe it.” His friend replies, “It doesn’t have to be true, you just need to get your opponent to deny it.”
Inventing false charges against innocent people is a sign of weakness, not strength. But, when false allegations are allowed to be repeated without opposition, malicious accusers become increasingly confident in their own lies.
This makes it exceptionally important for good men and women to remember that the sword Marx claimed to have acquired from the “Prince of Darkness” was forged in the fire of deceit, not justice.
William Brooks is a Senior Fellow at Frontier Centre for Public Policy. Originally appeared here.