A shudder went through Obi-Wan Kenobi’s spirit. Staggering, he collapsed in a chair and whispered, “I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.” He had just sensed the destruction of Alderaan by Darth Vader’s Death Star (www.youtube.com/watch?v=0W2sUwujekU; Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope). Some of us have also felt a shudder go through our spirits in the past months and days. We are aware that there is ‘a disturbance in the force.’ What is going on? What does it mean? Where is it all going?
Revolution with the Rolling Stones
In March 1968 Mick Jagger penned the lyrics of ‘Street Fighting Man’ after watching an anti-Vietnam war rally at Grosvenor Square in London. Tariq Ali and Vanessa Redgrave led the demonstration in front of the U.S. Embassy (which eventually became quite violent; www.marxists.org/history/erol/uk.secondwave/grosvenor-square.pdf). This was Britain’s sixth largest demonstration ever with over 10,000 protesters, 300 arrests, 75 hospitalized; www.britishpathe.com/video/grosvenor-square-anti-vietnam-riots). The Stones’ sizzling rock song encapsulated the adrenaline rush of the rioting crowd: “ Everywhere I hear the sound of marching, charging feet, boy, ’cause summer’s here and the time is right for fighting in the street, boy . . . Hey! Think the time is right for a palace revolution . . . Hey! Said my name is called disturbance. I’ll shout and scream, I’ll kill the king, I’ll rail at all his servants!”
Tariq Ali led that demonstration. Today part of “the royalty of the British left,” the former Trotskyist candidate for Parliament commented in 2015 that “the original radical segment of the African-American population [including] Malcolm X and the Black Panthers were destroyed . . . But the young people who came out in Black Lives Matter have this older spirit” (www.truthdig.com/articles/tariq-ali-the-time-is-right-for-a-palace-revolution/). Ali worries, though, that they “lack an understanding of their own history and that very few are literate in basic revolutionary theory, from Karl Marx to Rosa Luxemburg” (ibid.).
What does the sound of marching, charging feet in recent American riots signify?
- Is this (as Tariq Ali declares) the old spirit of revival à la Malcolm X and the Black Panthers?
- Will these disturbances lead to an American ‘palace revolution’ à la Jagger?
- Are these riots merely unimportant collateral damage – youthful activists just blowing off steam in preparation for a reborn ‘summer of love’ (www.rt.com/usa/491659-trump-seattle-mayor-summer-of-love/)?
- What can a good hard look at the radical Sixties show us?
- What do the rioters’ destructive pogrom-like attacks on American Jewish synagogues, temples and community institutions point to?
Rotten to the core
One of the main messages that the Black Lives Matter movement (BLMM) hammers into the floorboards of America’s consciousness is this: the established order (and especially the police) are corrupt to the bone and rotten beyond redemption with systematic White racism. There is a burning need to defund, dismantle and destroy such systems, with special focus on the police. Another message in their political manifesto deals with the need to redistribute wealth based on an anti-capitalist and anti-bourgeois worldview, as well as a call for White Americans to pay financial reparations to African-Americans.
A glance at youth movements over the past hundred plus years (see Professor Walter Laqueur’s ‘Reflections on youth movements’; 1971; The New Left and the Jews; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Laqueur) reveals that the BLMM tactics of ‘removing rotten systems’ are not new:
The Jacobins (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacobin_(politics)) were a left-wing anti-Christian organization during the French Revolution which conducted the blood-soaked ‘Reign of Terror’ (16,594 official guillotine-based death sentences; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reign_of_Terror). Under the leadership of Maximilien de Robespierre, they set about to destroy the final remnants of what they labeled corrupt and traditional authority. They hoped that this would pave the way for the rise of man’s natural virtue. The terror they unleashed opened the gates to Napoleon’s police state.
The German Youth movement (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Youth_Movement) began in 1896 as an anti-industrialization and Romantic movement. The Wandervogel and Bündische Jugend grew to nearly 8 million participants by 1938. But “by 1930 the youth movement was displaying an incontinent eagerness to rid Germany of democracy. Almost all its members shared the assumption that anything at all would be better than the detested old regime” (Laqueur, ‘Reflections’). Between 1924 and 1932 the Hitler Youth movement (Hitlerjugend; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hitler_Youth) rose to overshadow the German Youth movement as it asserted an iron grip over all German scouting organization. The shunning of liberal democracy in Germany opened the gates to Hitler’s police state.
The French youth movement in 1931 was characterized as having totally rejected the existing order. There was a “tremendous wave of revolutionary enthusiasm, of holy frenzy and disgust” (Laqueur, ‘Reflections’). Many of these leaders ended up as Nazi collaborators during WWII.
The matrix out of which these dictatorships was born was a profound pessimism about present-day culture (in German kulturpessimismus). For the younger generation at that time, the world was in a mess, filled with cultural and social uncertainties. Morals and authority systems were breaking down. Decadence in music, theater and the arts fostered the angst of purposelessness, boredom, anger and finally violent political expression.
Red and Black violence
Prior to WWII, Communists carried a primarily red flag in street protests, while Fascists favored the black swastika flag. Both budding dictatorships channeled the common people’s deep insecurities and massive resentments and directed them against the whole superstructure of the culture within which they lived. And there was fertile soil: France’s young philosopher leaders of the 1890’s were “forever complaining about the evils of corporate guilt” (Laqueur, ‘Reflections’). In 1890’s France, national self-degradation was the most popular national sport.
Both Red and Black held European democracy in disgust. Their goals involved the destruction of the existing order and its replacement with a dictatorship of a radical elite.
Italian Fascist leader Benito Mussolini explained that revolutionary violence is morally justified when it leads to the destruction of Fascism’s enemies. In a speech on September 20, 1922 in Udine, Italy, he declared: “There is a violence that liberates, and there is a violence that enslaves. There is a violence that is moral, and a violence that is immoral.”
On the Marxist side, Dr. Herbert Marcuse, Professor of Political Theory at Columbia, Harvard and Brandeis (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbert_Marcuse), justified the use of violence by the oppressed against the oppressor – or to say it another way, by the communist revolutionary against the capitalist.
- “In terms of historical function, there is a difference between revolutionary and reactionary violence, between violence practiced by the oppressed and by the oppressors . . . But if the whole governmental system and your non-violent thoughts are conditioned by a thousand-year-old oppression, your passivity only serves to place you on the side of the oppressors . . . (T)he question cannot be answered in terms of the alternative between democracy and dictatorship” (www.marcuse.org/herbert/publications/1960s/1965-repressive-tolerance-fulltext.html)
Fascist and Marxist agree – violence is legitimate in the pursuit of one’s political goals. This foundational principle was an axial meeting point for Marcuse and Black Power advocate Stokely Carmichael, (www.marcuse.org/herbert/pubs/60spubs/67dialecticlib/677DialectLibIntro.htm) who incorporated Marcuse’s arguments into his own. The New Left movement presents the radical revolutionary conclusions: “There is a worldwide class war between imperialism (led by the United States), and the third world of revolutionary nations. In this international class war it is the Left’s job to weaken, disrupt and help destroy the main enemy which is the American government” (Irving Howe, ‘Political terrorism: hysteria on the left’; The New Left and the Jews, 1971).
Here is where revolutionary Marxism and the goals of the Black Lives Matter movement intersect: they both declare that the established order (and especially the police) are corrupt to the bone and rotten beyond redemption. BLMM would then point the finger on its take that systematic White racism is the prime culprit. According to this synthesized Marxist/BLMM perspective, there is a burning need to defund, dismantle and destroy such systems. This hybrid strategy is being played out on a daily basis across the TV screens of America and the world.
The radical Sixties revisited
The ‘Swinging Sixties’ (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swinging_Sixties) were not only known for Carnaby Street fashions and pop groups. They also birthed the hippie counterculture and the revolutionary Left (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counterculture_of_the_1960s; www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/the-secret-and-violent-history-of-sixties-underground-radicals-200866/). Many of the strategic goals of the Black Panthers seemed revolutionary back then, but have become mainstream in the BLMM today (https://archive.thinkprogress.org/most-of-the-radical-ideas-the-black-panthers-had-are-now-totally-mainstream-5c575897310d/).
Part of the negative fallout in the Sixties was a turning away from critical thought, analysis and careful consideration. Instead, there came an embrace of the primacy of experience, personal affirmation and hedonism. One side-effect is that a whole generation has grown up with no sense of history, and no awareness of the consequences of social violence. Many are pathologically afraid of appearing unfashionable or being perceived as representative of older ways and more traditional truths. Values are on the outs, replaced by a frantic desire to fit in with whatever is avant garde. The Zeitgeist – the spirit of the age – is all the rage, even though whatever is currently ‘in’ will morph within a few years into something barely recognizable to any of us today.
Post-modernist thinking – that there are no objective and timeless truths – is what dominates today’s public square. This popular belief system road marries skepticism and subjectivism to relativism. It also is highly suspicious of reason and facts. Whatever perspective does not meet the current definition of ‘politically correct’ is axed and censored in what is now called ‘the cancel culture’ (https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/matt-margolis/2020/06/15/rolling-stone-editor-unloads-on-media-says-the-american-left-has-lost-its-mind-n531675; www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/jun/17/black-lives-matter-leverages-george-floyd-death-cu/). The widespread destruction and defacing of both the symbols of America and the fathers of American history show how mob violence is blending with anti-Americanism in a classic display of the Marcuse/Carmichael/Panther ideological strategy.
The tsunami of censorship, called the ‘cancel culture,’ is sweeping the internet and the media. Wear the wrong t-shirt, use the wrong noun, speak out the name of certain historical figures – and you can easily find yourself blackballed, shunned and without a job. George Orwell described such a society in his (then) science fiction novel ‘1984.’ Today truth is stranger than fiction.
The ‘cancel culture’ has roots and they are not all communist/fascist. What we are seeing is actually the outworking of the Abrahamic Covenant’s curse in Genesis 12:3. The one who mocks/scorns /disses the Jewish people (that is the meaning of the Hebrew word meqalelecha), will be directly cursed by YHVH. For years the world has generally tolerated the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), a Marxist-energized attack on the Jewish state. All of a sudden, the Western world finds itself wounded from within, with citizens boycotting and sanctioning each other. As Lutheran German pastor Martin Niemöller said after the defeat of Nazism: “First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Niem%C3%B6ller; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_they_came_…).
Professor of Hebrew Literature Dr. Robert Alter (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Alter) in his article ‘Revolt and the Democratic Society’ explains that the rebellion being seen in today’s streets can justly be labeled ‘neobarbarism.’ It is in many cases “a rebellion against restriction, against the disciplines of culture and the mutual restraints that are necessary if men are to live their lives together.” The jejune revolutionary desire to dismantle, destroy and dehumanize which has characterized much of both BLMM’s public pronouncements and its rioting fellow-travelers, leads step-by-step to the collapse of social protections and ultimately to totalitarian dictatorship.
German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche spoke about the rise of mob movements in history which leave destruction in their wake. His original context referred to the riotous vengeance carried out by Alexandrian slaves against ancient Egypt: “There is nothing more terrible than a class of barbaric slaves who have learned to regard their existence as an injustice and now prepare to avenge not only themselves but all generations” (Nietzsche; The Birth of Tragedy III:18).
The kangaroo court images of BLMM spokespersons attacking and accusing America on our TV screens are flashing out their warning. What kind of people will we all become if we turn to such methods? Nietzsche again notes, “He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you” (Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, Aphorism 146).
For every action, there could be an equal and opposite reaction
The recent riots in America are a form of domestic terrorism. Calling it for what it is seems to be beyond the capabilities of most in the media today. Nightly news is taking its talking points from the BLMM playbook. The rioters’ and semi-violent protesters’ threats have been heard by Americans across the board – even by those Americans who are strongly opposed to Marxist justifications for revolutionary rioting. It is also quite possible that more radical elements in the White community may eventually respond to these events with violence of their own. We need to to remember that there are intelligent and determined people on both sides of this raging river. The presents tensions have the very real possibility of escalating into ethnic clashes across America. This scenario should move us all to our knees in fervent prayer, asking for God’s oil to anoint and heal the United States of America.
The penetrating Jewish writer Irving Howe spoke these words fifty years ago which still ring true: “Human beings will tolerate almost anything but the threatened loss of authority in the social order – the authority of law, custom, convention . . . Every state must react against terrorism, otherwise it ceases to exist . . . In a democratic society minorities have no right to inflict damage on property simply because they oppose [capitalism]. The aim of socialists [should be] to socialize the control of property, not to vandalize or destroy it” (Howe, Political Terrorism)
Jews who know their own people’s history and culture hit a wall when they come face to face with Karl Marx. According to classical Marxism, Zionism is an outmoded expression of nationalism and a bourgeois non-progressive political philosophy. It is ‘old and in the way.’ Jewish people who believe in the continuity and restoration of the people of Israel to their own land can expect short shrift from the Communist and Socialist worlds.
These anti-Semitic tendencies and positions were examined in detail in our last newsletter (https://davidstent.org/a-time-to-be-silent-a-time-to-speak/). An anti-Semitic snake path wends its twisted way from the PLO to the Nation of Islam/Malcolm X, from Stokely Carmichael to the Black Panthers, and up to the present in repeated official anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist declarations by BLMM spokespersons. These issues are very much alive and of great concern to all Jewish people and Bible believers today.
A sorry phenomenon exists among some Jewish people. A minority of Jews are ‘self-hating.’ They are knocked off balance by their encounter with racist anti-Semitism, and in fear they attempt to escape from their own Jewish identity and community by assimilating into the universalistic Gentile world. This phenomenon was widespread among Left-leaning German Jews before the Nazi period. It is becoming a major problem for today’s American Jewish community. Some modern examples follow.
One of the leaders of the New Left Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was Michael Kazin, a Jewish radical. In 1969 he explained that “SDS has consistently supported the political viewpoints and actions of the most militant segments of the black movement . . . from Malcolm X to SNCC to the Black Panther Party” (Kazin, American Scholar; ‘Some Notes on S.D.S’; August 1969). Here is an example of a Jewish leader trying to build his mass radical movement among fellow Jews by getting them to follow the political path of Black extremists, while ignoring the virulently anti-Semitic propaganda of its founders.
Berkeley Rabbi Michael P. Lerner (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Lerner_(rabbi)), founding editor of Tikkun, declared that “the synagogue as currently established will have to be smashed . . . The demands of the Jewish radical must be: ‘Shut down the synagogues, so that Judaism may have a chance’ . . . [The Jewish community is] racist, internally corrupt, and an apologist for the worst aspects of American capitalism and imperialism” (www.nytimes.com/1970/01/10/archives/editor-of-judaism-quits-in-protest.html). He added that modern Black anti-Semitism “is rooted in the concrete oppression by Jews of blacks in the ghetto. In short, this anti-Semitism is in part an earned anti-Semitism” (Lerner, ‘Jewish New Leftism at Berkeley’; Judaism; Fall 1969).
Today it is not hard to run into American Jews who combine left-wing outlooks with right-wing lifestyles. A famous Jewish thinker (and friend of Martin Luther King) described some of these Jewish people as sitting in quite nice homes in “Scarsdale, Great Neck and Beverly Hills, discussing what an awful corrupt, immoral, undemocratic and racist society the US is” (Seymour Lipset, ‘The socialism of fools: the left, the Jews, and Israel’; 1970). This unsettling scenario calls us to redouble our prayers for a spiritual wake-up call to come to Jacob’s children, especially in America.
Once there were strong bonds and deep friendships between the broader Jewish community and the Black civil rights leaders and movement. Today, these have been dealt a severe blow by a myriad of influences, including the PLO, the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael and the Black Panthers, The latest link in this venomous chain can be found among some of the spokespersons for BLMM.
The riots in May and June 2020 saw an unusual amount of attacks on Jewish synagogues, temples, kosher food stores and Jewish owned shops. Here is a small list, mostly from the Los Angeles area:
- Congregation Beth Israel, Fairfax District; spray-painted with the phrases “F*** Israel” and “Free Palestine”
- Congregation Beth El, Beverly Blvd in LA; vandalized
- Kehillas Yaakov, Fairfax; graffiti and vandalized.
- Shaarei Tefila, Fairfax; attempted defacing
- Ariel Glatt Kosher Market, Mensch Bakery & Kitchen, Syd’s Pharmacy & Kosher Vitamins; Fairfax district; vandalized
- Congregation Beth Ahabah, Richmond Virginia; bricks thrown through windows
Specific attacks on Jewish houses of worship and places of business are a serious red line to cross for American society. For the most part this story has gotten lost in the U.S. media. But it is speaking loudly (to those who have ears) of dangers lurking in the BLMM and in the hearts of other ‘non-violent protesters.’ This is a wake-up call to American Jews that our people’s time in the U.S.A. is drawing to a close.
‘Go home Jacob, go home!’
An event which has prophetic significance occurred in Minneapolis on Saturday June 6, 2020. Mayor Jacob Frey (who is Jewish) came out to speak with protesters from Black Visions Collective (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Visions_Collective; www.thrillist.com/news/nation/how-to-support-the-black-community-where-to-donate-resources) an organization involved in BLMM. A spokeswoman from BVC asked Mayor Frey publically if he would defund and disband the Minneapolis Police Department, threatening him that a ‘no’ answer would cause his defeat in upcoming elections (www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/chants-shame-boos-protest-minneapolis-mayor-jacob-frey-1011261/ ; www.newsweek.com/minneapolis-mayor-booed-out-protest-after-saying-hes-not-favor-abolishing-police-department-1509214).
When Frey said that he would not abolish the Minneapolis police department, chants of “Black Lives Matter,” “shame, shame” and “get the f*** out” were yelled at the mayor. Frey then began to walk slowly away through the profanity-shouting crowd. The mob all of a sudden began to chant repeatedly: “Go home, Jacob, go home! Go home, Jacob, go home!” (www.youtube.com/watch?v=Suz_HC0XG00). These mocking protesters were castigating their Jewish mayor (see Genesis 12:3). But like Caiaphas in John 11:49-51, it seems as if they were unwittingly prophesying God’s strategic heart over all of America’s Jews: “Time’s up. That’s it! Time to leave what has been the land of the free and the home of the brave. Follow God’s pillar of fire, because He’s leading you back to the land of your forefathers!”
How should we then pray?
- Pray for repentance, healing and restitutional understanding to touch many in America today
- Pray for a revelation to Jewish people across the planet that it’s time to return to the Land of our forefathers
- Pray for razor-sharp discernment to be granted especially to believers about hidden strategies in the movements discussed here
- Pray for the raising up of the Ezekiel 37 prophetic army among the Jewish people
Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the very practical enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do.
In Messiah Yeshua,
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