Catholic Medical Quarterly Volume 74(1) February 2024

Book Reviews

America's Cultural Revolution. How The Radical Left Conquered Everything
by Christopher F. Rufo

Reviewed by Dr Pravin Thevasathan

Book CoverIt is easy to dismiss conservatives as cranks and conspiracy theorists. Hillary Clinton has famously called them a "basket of deplorables." Doubtless, there are cranks and conspiracy theorists among them. But there are plenty who are not.

Let us begin by noting what Christopher Rufo is not promoting in this book: he is not promoting racism. He is not saying that it does not exist. What he is critical of, so to speak, is Critical Race Theory (CRT). The advocates of CRT are very clever. They have exploited a very real concern, namely racism, for their own ends. To facilitate this, they have made use of the ideas of some truly great African Americans of the nineteenth century. Interestingly, these people were all devout Christians and it was their Christian beliefs that led them to promote racial equality.

But the advocates of CRT, as Rufo shows, are far more influenced by Marxists and other revolutionaries. According to Rufo, these include Herbert Marcuse, Angela Davis, Paulo Freire, and Derrick Bell. They have been behind the Marxist take-over of the institutions. Their disciples are now among our current crop of political leaders. They wanted to re-write history for their own ends. Derrick Bell, for example, wrote fictional accounts of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, claiming they were racists. It is this model of history rewriting that has led the advocates of CRT to recently destroy statues of the great Junipero de Serra. For Angela Davis, the justice system, the law, the courts, the prisons and the police are all primary instruments of class domination. Little wonder that so many American cities have been set alight by revolutionary mobs.

Rufo argues that the Left has taken over the culture. New Left thinking has come to dominate academia, the media, and even the corporate world. Rich footballers and billionaires have taken the knee for BLM. But if they dare to go down on both knees and bring out a rosary, they will be accused of not respecting the separation of church and state!

Rufo demonstrates that so many of the phrases in common use, such as "institutional racism”, were coined by revolutionaries in the sixties and seventies. Perfectly reasonable terms like "anti-racism" have been hijacked for revolutionary purposes. "Anti-racism" has been used to justify anti-white activism.

Racism exits. Violence against women, homosexuals, and transgendered people exist. I do not think that Rufo will deny this. What he is saying so eloquently is that our woke culture is exploiting these very real evils for their own ends. Their goal is the same as the Marxist revolutionaries, because they are largely Marxist revolutionaries themselves.