Democratic Party Members Adopt “Ideological Subversion’s” “Four Stages”
The foundation of “progressive” ideology is the belief that the existing “regressive” system is deeply unjust and must be overthrown by exposing and capitalizing on its flaws.
Former Soviet journalist and KGB informant Yuri Bezmenov laid out an even more succinct strategy for subversion in a 1984 interview, but the late Saul Alinksy, the intellectual godfather of the modern Democrat Party, has received the most attention for advocating such methods in recent years.
If you’ve been keeping up with the recent wave of left-wing riots or the politicized final stages of the coronavirus panic, you’ll recognize Bezmenov’s four “stages of ideological subversion” as being strikingly similar to Alinksy’s 13 Rules for Radicals.
Ideological subversion, or “active measures,” as the KGB preferred to call them, was defined by Bezmenov as a “slow brainwashing process” to “change the perception of reality of every American to such an extent that despite their abundance of information, no one is able to come to sensible conclusions in the interests of defending themselves, their families, their communities, and their country.”
First, you get down and discouraged.
According to Bezmenov, “the minimum number of years it takes to educate one generation of students” means that the first stage, Demoralization, could last anywhere from 15 to 20 years.
In 1984, he warned that the process of demoralization had “basically completed,” saying that Marxist-Leninist ideology was being pumped into the soft heads of at least three generations without being challenged or counterbalanced by the basic values of Americanism, American patriotism.
He went on to say that the goal had been “over-fulfilled,” citing former KGB chief and Soviet leader Yuri Andropov as an example of someone who “would never have dreamed of such tremendous success.” According to the author, “most of it is done by Americans to Americans due to a lack of moral standards.”
Bezmenov argued that discouraging the intended audience was crucial because it impaired their capacity to reason. They “refuse to believe it” even when “shown with authentic proof” of contrary positions.
The disillusionment of today’s youth is plain to see, as their faith in their country has been systematically undermined by the media and educational system. Recently, the New York Times’s bogus “1619 Project” claimed that the arrival of black slaves in North America marked the beginning of “American history” and that the colonists fought the Revolutionary War to keep slavery alive. The 1619 Project is now a part of some school curricula despite having been thoroughly debunked by real historians and the fact that the original author herself admitted her core thesis was not true.
Guilt is another term for feeling dejected. Regularly, Americans are made to feel ashamed of their culture and history. In leftist politics and academia, guilt is the driving factor. In order for the populace to accept the drastic increase in the government’s ability to impose punishment, they must first believe that they have done something wrong and are deserving of retribution.
Second Phase: Destabilization
Destabilization, the second stage, takes place much more quickly, taking only two to five years according to KGB doctrine. In this phase, the targeted population’s economy, political system, and culture would be attacked from the ground up, with little resistance from the demoralized populace.
The rise of Marxist-Leninist ideas in the American economy and military was “absolutely fantastic,” as Bezmenov put it in 1984. When people lose hope in their society, they are more likely to accept the most extreme criticisms of that society and to view its defenders as enemies, while open enemies become natural allies. The standards for the defenders are high, while the most vocal critics can say whatever they want.
If Bezmenov saw anything concerning the Soviet Union in the destabilized American society of the early 1980s, it is easy to see how the demoralization of large parts of modern society at the hands of the American Left has contributed to that destabilization. Allies are suspect, and enemies are everywhere, in their view. Crowds of anti-capitalist activists texting each other on iPhones is a near-perfect metaphor for morale-sapping, then-emotionally-unstable movements.
It’s no coincidence that unstable areas in the United States are being courted by communist China and Iran, two countries that have long been America’s enemies. They are making an attempt, but their sales pitches could use some work.
When people’s lives start to unravel, they start to fixate on hypocrisy as the pinnacle of political corruption. They think that the most promising concepts are being presented dishonestly by evil forces that only care about using them for their own ends (such as personal freedom, national sovereignty, capitalism, and the rule of law). As more and more people come to believe their neighbors hate them and can’t be trusted, the precious resource of goodwill is depleted from society. People who are demoralized lose faith in their country, history, and ideals, while those who are destabilized lose faith in each other.
Crisis, Third Stage
Destabilizing a society, according to Bezmenov, would pave the way for a Crisis to be triggered, a process that would take about six to eight weeks back in the Eighties. These days, a crisis can be resolved much more quickly than that thanks to the lightning-fast connectivity provided by the Internet.
The obvious benefit of a crisis is that it causes people to panic and give up on their constitutional rights and legal protections when they are already feeling down and unstable. Those who advocated such views were labeled as crazy by the general public during the coronavirus scare. During the upheaval, the pendulum suddenly swung in the opposite direction. Within a week, the right to peaceful assembly went from being a crazed defiance of commonsense lockdown rules to an urgent matter that completely transcended the deadly pandemic. Suddenly, the coronavirus was eradicated, or at least the predicted wave of illness and death was of secondary concern, all because of angry political demonstration. In late March, if you wanted a job at the store so you could feed your family, you were being selfish and trying to “kill my Grandma to pad your bank account.” No one thought to consider the safety of their elderly grandmothers when planning to torch the store in early June in a protest against white supremacy.
Subtly, a crisis can help by discrediting parts of the current system that have been weakened through a longer process of demoralization and instability. Those in power over the means of mass communication can choose which parts of the system are falsely blamed for the current predicament.
The dominant media on the Left, for instance, will not discuss the failures of left-wing mayors and governors, and will go to great lengths to avoid portraying the coronavirus as an indictment of the flabby, blinkered, bureaucratic Big Government that grew over the past few decades. Instead, the pandemic was used to criticize the leadership of Republican governors who, in some cases (Florida and Georgia), were proven to be entirely correct in their responses to the outbreak. The media’s coverage of the riots has largely ignored the incompetence of left-wing officials, whose failure to prevent the violence has had deadly consequences. The tragic loss of life and economic devastation caused by senseless violence has been interpreted as a call to “do away with the police entirely.”
To coerce the middle class into accepting a political agenda that is actively hostile to its interests, the threat of a crisis is essential; this leads to the fourth stage of subversion, the offer to make the pain and fear go away in exchange for accepting political domination.
Fourth Stage: Establishing a New Normal
After a crisis, with a violent change of the power structure and economy, you have a so-called period of Normalization that may last indefinitely,” Bezmenov said, describing the fourth stage of subversion.
“Normalization” is a “cynical expression borrowed from Soviet propaganda,” he said. Interestingly, this is also the central message of the Democratic Party’s presidential campaign for 2020.
At the time of the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia by Soviet tanks, Comrade Brezhnev declared, “Now the situation in brotherly Czechoslovakia is normalized.” This is what will happen in the United States, Bezmenov warned, “if you allow all the schmucks to bring the country to crisis, to promise people all kinds of goodies and a paradise on Earth, to destabilize your economy, to eliminate the principle of free-market competition, and to put a Big Brother government in Washington, D.C., with benevolent dictators like Walter Mondale, who will promise lots of things – never mind whether the promises are fulfillable or not.”
To some extent, Bezmenov’s four-step model of subversion is applicable to virtually any political campaign (even if Walter Mondale never got his chance to be a benevolent dictator). Almost always, they start by telling voters that the situation is dire, that a crisis has arisen, and that only by voting for the challenger can things get back to normal (or preserved only by voting for the incumbent).
A step that truly distinguishes ideological subversion from the usual promises to put a chicken in every pot, Bezmenov was adamant that American left-wing professors and civil-rights leaders were deliberately running Andropov’s strategy with a conscious effort to achieve destabilization.
Those scholars and activists “are instrumental in the process of subversion only to destabilize a nation,” he claimed. As soon as their duty is done, they are no longer required. You can’t trust what they say anymore. Of course some of them will take offense if they lose hope and then see Marxist-Leninists ascend to power. They are confident in their ability to seize power. Naturally, that’s not going to occur. They are going to be shot in a line against a wall.
There is a parallel between what would happen to the intellectual supporters of the current riots if the Democrats win in 2020 and the American version of this process, which would likely not end with the mass execution of inconvenient intellectuals. They would learn that the newly-elected Democratic Party cares little about their broad, systemic criticisms of public union workers like police officers. For the sake of placating activist groups and, more importantly, their leaders, many concessions would be made, but the one they ostensibly care about the most would be left out: a system that makes it easier to discipline and fire government employees.
Lockdown Forever supporters, who only a few days ago were hammering out passionate arguments that American businesses must remain closed for weeks or months to come, and anyone who dared to question their dire warnings was a selfish monster willing to kill other people’s grandmothers to pad their 401(k) accounts, are already participating in this metaphorical lining up and shooting of intellectuals. In a moment, Lockdown Forever went from being the crucial engineers of a politically useful crisis to the inconvenient obstacles for the new crisis, nationwide riots.
Most of the lockdown gurus realized the political winds were changing and quickly adjusted their sails, hammering out new screeds in which they claimed protesters are probably immune to the coronavirus in some bizarre way, or that another outbreak would be a small price to pay for righteous political activism:
Just a few weeks ago, left-wingers were obsessed with calculations that showed COVID-19 is exceptionally deadly to the black community. These activists are the same ones who were screaming in March that the coronavirus could kill millions of Americans if lockdowns were not imposed immediately. Millions of lives may be lost, with black Americans making up an estimated 70% of those killed, but suddenly the urgency of protesting “white supremacy” seems more important than saving lives.