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As the smoke clears and the ashes cool in Ferguson, it’s important to remember that the catastrophe there wasn’t a spontaneous protest in response to a Grand Jury’s decision.

Ferguson shows the destructive consequences of Marxist ideological theory and its application in practice.

Let’s examine those ideas that drove the devastation and how those ideas were implemented in Ferguson. In this article, I’ll discuss the central idea that’s behind the rise of the unrest in Ferguson: Marx’s view of the world as a struggle between the oppressor and the oppressed. In an upcoming article, I’ll look at the very specific ways that that ideology was implemented by the Obama administration in Ferguson .

What Is Oppressor-Oppressed?

The oppressor-oppressed distinction that lies at the heart of Ferguson is a very simple idea that’s only actually a couple of hundred years old.

The idea was first introduced by the philosopher G.W.F. Hegel but really began to sweep through modern political thought with the publication of the Communist Manifesto in 1848. Karl Marx introduces the oppressor-oppressed concept immediately in Chapter I:

The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.

Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another…

If ideas spread like viruses, the oppressor-oppressed distinction is the Ebola of political theories…except it’s been much deadlier. The oppressor-oppressed distinction became the lens that neo-liberal thinking would come to see the entire world through.

Marxism may have failed politically in nation after nation but it lives today though cultural influence in the arts and education. The 1960s radicals revived the oppressor-oppressed concept as they took to the streets and hijacked the civil rights movement. Once you start listening for the various ways oppressor-oppressed is presented, you hear it every day almost anyplace where politics are being discussed, from shouts of white male privilege to college programs teaching ‘anti-oppression training to the way businessmen are presented in TV, movies or on the floor of the U.S. Senate.

Understanding how this theory is playing out in Ferguson is important because it’s actually a key component in the broader issue of racial politics today. I believe that the oppressor-oppressed mindset creates the “perpetual victimhood” mentality that many conservatives notice in liberals.

Understanding oppressor-oppressed also helps explain why an Islamic “civil rights” group like CAIR is involved in Ferguson. The entire Israeli-Palestinian conflict is most often seen by the Palestinian activists and their neo-liberal allies as an example of oppressor-oppressed. As Hillary Clinton said as Secretary of State:

So, yes, there is more that the Israelis need to do to really demonstrate that they do understand the pain of an oppressed people …

Oppressor-oppressed Brainwashing In Ferguson

Claiming that the oppressor-oppressed concept is one of the driving forces in Ferguson obviously doesn’t mean that the protestors on the ground in Ferguson are actively thinking about Hegel and Marx. Most of the protesters aren’t intellectuals or revolutionaries and certainly there are many protestors who are simply fed up with what they see as unfair treatment by the police.

Modern neo-liberals intentionally use protests as a way of both creating shock troops for violent direct actions and also indoctrinating those protestors to see themselves and their struggle as part of the grand sweep of Marxist oppressor-oppressed battles.

So while most of the protestors may not be thinking about the Michael Brown shooting in Marxist terms, the people pushing things behind the scenes certainly do.

One of the pushers has been Lisa Fithian, an experienced white anarchist neo-liberal organizer who has been doing protestor training in Ferguson. Fithian is a longtime, experienced street organizer that was featured in the film Occupy Unmasked for her role as “Professor Occupy,” as she was called by Mother Jones. She’s a professional demonstrator who’s worked for the labor unions in places like Michigan and Illinois.

Where Fithian goes, chaos follows so it’s not at all shocking that Fithian has trained over 600 ‘activists’ in Ferguson. Her trainings are a combination of how to cause maximum trouble for the police while staying just within the bounds of the law and the underlying theory of why the demonstrators are fighting the oppressor. By defining the authorities as the oppressor she gives the oppressed the moral go-ahead to fight them by any means necessary.

Fithian Training

Fithian is a street agitator but she’s also a Marxist influenced theorist, capable of tossing neo-liberal word salads with the best of them. In this article by Fithian, watch how many times she throws in a variant of the word ‘oppressed’ in one very opaque sentence:

Activist groups sometimes make the mistake of assuming that oppression (the unjust exercise of power or authority) is only what they do; that we are inherently anti-oppressive purely because of our intention to do away with oppressive structures.

Fithian goes on to lay out the tenets of her belief system and how it’s put into action:

Developing anti-oppression practices is life-long work. No single workshop is sufficient for unlearning our socialization within a culture built on multiple forms of oppression.

An activist like Fithian isn’t just teaching Ferguson protestors to go limp; she wants to brainwash black Americans into being part of her struggle against “white supremacy, patriarchy, classism, heterosexism” and other practices of the oppressor.

The goal is to take the people upset about the death of Brown and turn as many as possible into activists who will carry on the “life-long work” of fighting the oppressor.

And who knows? If the career of Barack Obama is any indicator, that life-long work just might be a path to the White House.

Oppressor-oppressed and President Obama

When conservatives accuse President Obama of being a Marxist, it’s often dismissed by the media and casual observers as a crazy conspiracy theory. The idea that the President of the United States would be a Marxist sounds like something out of a bad movie.

Unfortunately, when it comes to his adoption of the oppressor-oppressed view of the world, it’s true. There’s no disputing the facts of Barack Obama’s own admitted ideological influences. Everyone knows that Obama was a member of Trinity United Church led by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. What Trinity and Rev. Wright preach is called Black Liberation Theology, which is expressly about grafting the Marxist oppressor-oppressed model onto Christianity.

As National Pubic Radio said in 2008:

Presidential contender Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) defended his longtime pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, on Tuesday, even as he repudiated some of the pastor’s inflammatory sermons. But Wright’s comments likely come as no surprise to those familiar with black liberation theology, a religious philosophy that emerged during the 1960s.

Rev. James Cone is considered the founder of the Black Liberation Theology and was an acknowledged influence on Rev. Wright. Cone wrote:

“Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in Black Power, which is the power of black people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal. .

Marx’s oppressor-oppressed lens is the prism that President Obama sees the world though. What we witnessed in Ferguson is “the power of black people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal.”

Once you understand his filter, it makes a whole host of issues that Obama has supported make sense in terms of having an internal consistency. On events from the “Arab Spring” uprising to his current plan to scrap deportation for millions of illegal immigrants to his support of Ferguson protesters, Barack Obama sees a struggle of the oppressed vs. the oppressor…and his role is to take the side of the oppressed, in the public view, as much as possible in his role as President.

Rejecting the oppressor-oppressed mindset

Is there a way forward?

The path to not just “peace” but to actual success and happiness lies in rejecting the oppressor-oppressed view of the world that leads to endless strife and victimization.

The reason for the perpetual fight is that as soon as one oppressor is defeated, a new one pops up in its place. As author Kenneth Minouge said:

They have neat, clear names like bourgeois and proletarian, colonialist and national, city-dweller and producer, in a word, oppressor and oppressed. The actual reality, however, is messy. Things change all the time, and it becomes impossible to keep any clear and distinct identities in focus.

There’s been enough slaughter and ruin. It’s time to call out and kill Marx’s mental model wherever it rears its head and replace it with something better.

Losing the oppressor-oppressed view of the world doesn’t mean pretending that there’s no such thing as racism or that the police don’t step out of line. It means looking at issues like race, discrimination or bad behavior by the police through a different lens.

Instead of seeing the every issue as a struggle by oppressed victims, it’s possible to use a different filter: freedom vs. state power.

This new frame doesn’t cast the victims of government overreach as oppressed victims. Instead it says to see yourself as an American citizen with rights that are supposed to be protected by the Constitution and laws. This view provides a solution: more freedom and a requirement that the authorities follow the law.

The strategy and tactics of getting the government to follow the law wouldn’t involve burning private businesses to the grounds. That’s what anti-capitalist neo-liberal agitators want, not free men and women.

The way forward? It’s called freedom.

In Part II, we’ll look at how the Obama administration helped put Ferguson on boil…

14 Responses

  1. Jessie A Bigley

    I guess when Rodney King was beaten by the police, and there were riots, it was Obama fault. You people are full of hate.

    • Chuck

      No, that wasn’t his fault, but he can certainly take part of the blame in this case. His words were INTENTIONALLY inflammatory. He should either have kept his mouth shut or simply said that violence would NOT be tolerated. Instead he moaned his sympathy to all of those who were complaining about the rule of law.

      • Cal

        No, protesters are complaining about the LACK of rule of law. They’re complaining about the fact that police are held above the law.

    • Joseph Smithers

      WOW! You are really out of touch! With twisted thinking like that, no wonder the world is in such a horrible state of mind. Obama is only responsible for what he’s done during his tenure. Socialist Democrats are responsible for the Rodney King fiasco and of course the people that beat him are responsible for their actions.
      But I’m glad you brought up Rodney King because he had a lot in common with Mike Brown in their personal lives. Both were high on drugs and antagonistic when they encountered police. Rodney, unlike the the Brown family, had the sense to at least try to calm the atmosphere, I give him a lot of credit for doing so. He went out on a limb to try and calm things down with his ” why can’t we all just try to get along” speech. I’ll never forget it and admire him for doing so!
      We all have flaws, the key is to recognize them, at some point, and do something positive to make things right. I’m not sure the Brown family has realized this yet. Although, I don’t know how I’d react if I were in their situation. I can only pray for them and all of America that we learn from this and try our best to see that the same thing doesn’t happen again. It’s a two-way street!

  2. Scott

    I would love to see where this ‘Fithian’ lady actually lives. I would be willing to wager it is not, in an economically ‘challenged’ , aged neighborhood, but rather, a plush suburb where she likely lives with her ‘well to do’ spouse. If their combined income is < 250K per year, I would be very surprised. As with Al Sharpton's financial benefits at the expense of the people in that and other communities he has invaded in the name of his 'self-serving' agendas. Remember Duke Lacrosse a few years back? I bet if Sharpton opens his window at night he can hear a distant call in the dark from former prosecutor, Nyphong, saying,"Al, Help Me Al: I did this for you, where are you now Al… I lost my job because of YOU Al"

    I believe the motivation of these 'Neo-Marxists' stems from their own , opportunistic agendas to profit at the expense of others. What would Ms. Fithian say to these very folks destroying her neighborhood, and favorite restaurant and shop(s)? Were either her or Al Sharpton present during the actual protests Monday Night, or sitting warm and cozy in their suburban homes?

    Perhaps the mayor should send her and Sharpton a bill for the $damage these protestors, many from out of town, did to this community. The damage they did to the people's lives of that community is likely irreparable.

  3. Jeff

    He (Brown) started out as as criminal, he did not respect the rule of law. The rule of law prodected the next store owner and the orders of a officer given to a USA, citizens.

  4. Tom Simpson

    As the New Left emerged out of the 60’s struggle against the Vietnam war, the overriding ideology bore no resemblance to the ideology of the SWP or CPUSA. Karl Marx was still the signal intellectual guru for many but something had changed. The new groups that sprang up on the east and west coasts campuses did not spread Marxist dogma. Instead they spread anti-science ecology and the utopia of a world free from industrial capitalism. The pseudo pro-labor leftist organized around getting rid of capitalists controlled manufacturing who were to be replaced with the “Workers.” I remember the assortment of scraggly looking guys with berets and beards, we called them Trotskyist, just standing around the campus handing out leaflets, trying to recruit disaffected suburban youth. It was a great time for them. They were diligent. They had a militant way about them that was attractive. People would gather around to listen to their ideas of how to transform the US into a socialist state. SDS was more radical. Tom Hayden and Mark Rudd each had their own ways of reaching the same goal, revolution. Rudd favored terrorist tactics, forming the Weathermen Underground and aiming it against the State. While Hayden opted to worm his way into the establishment as an “agent provocateur.” They were different in their methods, but they both yearned for socialist revolutionary change. Rudd and his band of bombers would take on the federal government, bombing federal buildings, causing injury and much damage. CPUSA leader Angela Davis was given credit for creating the Black Liberation Army, BLA. The BLA was made up of black ex-cons who set about bombing the hell out of Los Angeles. Davis finally got caught trying to break her lover out of jail. Most Americans thought there must have been something in the water to make all these young people go crazy. Why had so many youth raised up against the United States? It was as if they were all reading the same leftist field manual. Maybe they were. Seminal far left figures such as Noam Chomsky, and Saul Alinsky, each rose to the top ranks of the intellectual hierarchy of the New Left. They preached an Orwellian view of society with a bias against science and technology. Their followers would enter politics and become the nomenclature against the Constitutional principal, Promoting the General Welfare. Today the same existential ideology exist in the minds of many who may have never read Alinsky and Chomsky. But they have none the less embraced popular opinion of the modern day socialist ideology of the New Left. It’s real name is fascism.

  5. Jeff

    Why has this case gotten so much attention? Is it really any different? There have been reports of black officers having to shoot black kids as well as white kids.

    So . . .
    Why has this incident been magnified? And who are those paid agitators in Ferguson?

    It has been said that in this case there are no winners, but that is not true.
    In the events being played out across the nation that are not magnified it is plain that there are no winners.

    It is not reasonable to believe that an extended period of unrest, an extended period of protest, can be maintained without continuing organization and continuing recruitment. That requires people with expertise and money.

    The real winners of Ferguson, are the race-baiter’s, the agitators. The profiteers of hate have now got the money flowing again into their war chests from those who identify themselves anew as disenfranchised.
    The other winners are those for whom the flames of unrest will yield the vote for any candidate with whom they are promised relief.

    The investment of professional agitators in Ferguson, has paid off. The grand jury decision was only a formality. The unrest, the riots, the media “play” was the goal for the production of the racial “goose” to “lay the golden egg”.


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