When the Soviet Union finally collapsed in 1991, Americans thought the Cold War was finally over. The epic struggle between totalitarian state control of the economy and democratic capitalism had been resolved, decisively in favor of the latter. Francis Fukuyama infamously heralded the “End of History.”
Fast forward a generation, and a self-described “democratic socialist” who honeymooned in the U.S.S.R. and supported political platforms copied from Soviet-aligned dictators is the odds-on favorite to win the presidential nomination of one of America’s two major political parties. Marxist ethnic studies programs are headed for California’s schools and the Democratic Socialists of America are infiltrating schools elsewhere. Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto receives a shout-out at the Oscars.
“Workers of the world, unite!” What is this, 1917?
America emerged victorious in the half-a-decade Cold War struggle, but it may have experienced a far more consequential defeat: a loss of internal confidence and inspiration. While the U.S.S.R. has been consigned to the dustbin of history (good riddance), its ideological program has thoroughly infected the U.S.A.
The Soviets tried to plant communists in many U.S. institutions, and the far-left drift of Hollywood and academia may trace back to their efforts. Influential academics like Howard Zinn have redefined American history, demonizing the Founders by focusing on the evils of slavery and neglecting the unique historic achievements of Western and American civilization: freedom, science, free markets, and a degree of prosperity unknown in the history of the world.