I was musing over the advance of outright Communism in America’s universities – oh, it’s not always called that, but the content is Communist from first to last – when I recalled this bit of the late Garet Garret’s tome The People’s Pottage:
Revolution in the modern case is no longer an uncouth business. The ancient demagogic art, like every other art, has, as we say, advanced. It has become in fact a science—the science of political dynamics. And your scientific revolutionary in spectacles regards force in a cold, impartial manner. It may or may not be necessary. If not, so much the better; to employ it wantonly, or for the love of it, when it is not necessary, is vulgar, unintelligent and wasteful. Destruction is not the aim. The more you destroy the less there is to take over. Always the single end in view is a transfer of power.
Outside of the Communist party and its aurora of radical intellectuals few Americans seemed to know that revolution had become a department of knowledge, with a philosophy and a doctorate of its own, a language, a great body of experimental data, schools of method, textbooks, and manuals—and this was revolution regarded not as an act of heroic redress in a particular situation, but revolution as a means to power in the abstract case.
There was a prodigious literature of revolutionary thought concealed only by the respectability of its dress. Americans generally associated dangerous doctrine with bad printing, rude grammar, and stealthy distribution. Here was revolutionary doctrine in well printed and well written books, alongside of best sellers at your bookstore or in competition with detectives on your news-dealer’s counter. As such it was all probably harmless, or it was about something that could happen in Europe, not here. A little communism on the newsstand like that might be good for us, in fact, regarded as a twinge of pain in a robust, somewhat reckless social body. One ought to read it, perhaps, just to know. But one had tried, and what dreary stuff it had turned out to be!….
Their influence for a while was underestimated, especially by those who thought their free enterprise world was too strong to be in danger, and said: A little radicalism is perhaps good for us. It will make us think.”
Garrett wrote that in the Fifties, when America was the richest, strongest, and safest nation on Earth. If only we had paid an appropriate degree of attention.