It’s been said that major cultural changes — revolutions — happen “gradually, then suddenly.” What this means is that the forces of change will be at work behind the scenes and under the radar, in the classrooms, the courtrooms, and the media for years, laying the groundwork for a revolution that will catch most people by surprise.
This ideological prep work is like building a pile of kindling. Then, suddenly, something lights the match — George Floyd and the Summer of 2020, in America’s case — and the fires of revolution sweep across a nation.
What is this cultural revolution that is changing America before our very eyes? Where did these ideas, like Critical Race Theory (CRT), Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), and wokeness come from, and where are they going next? And, even more importantly, how can we stop it?
One man — Christopher Rufo — thinks he has the answer for how to stop the radical Left’s agenda. And the first step towards fighting back is to understand what you are up against. After all, knowledge is half the battle.
If you are unfamiliar with his work, Rufo, a writer, filmmaker, and conservative intellectual, has been one of America’s leading voices against critical theory, in all its forms, and has led a successful campaign to ban Critical Race Theory from being taught in the public school systems of 22 states.
Drawing from his experience in the trenches, Rufo wrote his recently released and already best-selling book America’s Cultural Revolution: How the Radical Left Conquered Everything to bring other patriots up to speed and equip them to join the fight. But to do this, he explains that there is a bigger picture, a longer story, that we need to understand about the roots of the revolution:
“Over time, I began to see the bigger picture: the campaign to embed critical race theory in American life was only one facet of the radical Left’s ‘long march through the institutions,’ which had begun fifty years ago. America’s Cultural Revolution tells the full story. I outline the progression of the left-wing ideology from the student radical movement of the 1960s to the so-called anti-racism movement, which set fire to the country in 2020.”
In case you are wondering why your kid’s school, your HR department, your local library, and even your church has gone “woke” over the last few years, this book lays it all out in an easy-to-read format and understandable language.
Rufo explains the outline of the book, which will give you a sense of the breadth that it covers:
“The book is divided into four parts: revolution, race, education, and power. Each part begins with a biographical portrait of the four prophets of the revolution: Herbert Marcuse, Angela Davis, Paulo Freire, and Derrick Bell. These figures established the disciplines of critical theory, critical praxis, critical pedagogy, and critical race theory, which, in the subsequent half century, multiplied into a hundred subdisciplines and devoured the university, the street, the school, and the bureaucracy. Together they represent the intellectual genesis of the revolution. Their ideas, concepts, language, and tactics shaped and now suffuse the politics of the present.”
In other words, even if you don’t know a name like Herbert Marcuse, you know his ideas — or rather, you are experiencing the rotten fruit of his radical ideas in full flower during your everyday life.
If nothing else, Rufo’s book lets you know who to blame for the revolution reshaping America before our very eyes. But it does more than that. As Charles Haywood puts it in his review of the book, “Rufo’s explicit purpose is to inspire a counter-revolution.”
What is this counter-revolution? Rufo explains his vision quite clearly at the end of the book’s introduction:
“The task for the counter-revolutionary is not simply to halt the movement of his adversaries but to resurrect the system of values, symbols, myths, and principles that constituted the essence of the old regime, to reestablish the continuity between past, present, and future, and to make the eternal principles of freedom and equality meaningful again to the common citizen.”
Haywood, however, rightly points out that “This is a tall order. After all, despite successes Rufo and his allies have had in several quarters, the Left today utterly dominates all areas of American life, not only all levels of government, directly or indirectly, but also private enterprise, education, media, culture, the military, and religious institutions.”
Haywood hits the nail on this head with a summary of Rufo’s call to action: “His basic message is that this is a struggle for power, and that the Right needs to step up to the plate.”
Who will answer the call? It’s rare to find someone who truly practices what they preach. When it comes to the fight against the Radical Left and their destructive ideology, Rufo is that rare man. He wrote America’s Cultural Revolution because he knows what’s at stake if we don’t fight back — the very future of our country and the well-being of our children, arguing that:
“There is a rot spreading through American life. The country’s foundations are starting to shake loose. A new nihilism is beginning to surround the common citizen in all of the institutions that matter: his government, his workplace, his church, his children’s school, even his home. He knows we have been given a gift—the American Republic—but there is no guarantee that it will last.”
If we want this gift of life in the American Republic to last, we will need to join the counter-revolution. In his final chapter, Rufo states,
“For this movement to be successful, the architects of the counter-revolution must develop a new political vocabulary with the power to break through the racialist and bureaucratic narratives, tap into the deep reservoir of popular sentiment that will provide the basis for mass support, and design a series of policies that will permanently sever the connection between the critical ideologies and administrative power.”
In other words, we will need to lead a Christian revolution. We must tear down the idols of Marxism and Black Lives Matter and radical feminism and LGBTQ ideology — and worship Christ alone.
We must also educate ourselves for the fight — to “know thy enemy” — and Rufo’s book is a masterful introduction and historical analysis of who, and what, we are actually fighting right now. It’s not just a fad, it’s a revolution. And if we don’t counter it, it will destroy our freedoms and our way of life.
So, get a copy of America’s Cultural Revolution and prepare to join the fight. Step up to the plate — it’s our turn to swing back.
Ready to dive deeper into the intersection of faith and policy? Head over to our Theology of Politics series page where we’ve published several long-form pieces that will help Christians navigate where their faith should direct them on political issues.