JOHN DERBYSHIRE: Loudoun County Backlash—It Takes A Chinese Immigrant To See CRT Is A Mao-Style Cultural Revolution
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[Excerpted from the latest Radio Derb, now available exclusively through]

America is going through a Cultural Revolution, but we counterrevolutionaries can draw some instruction and perhaps encouragement from the fact that this drama has been played out before, in China from 1966 to 1976.

We shouldn't get too carried away with the comparison. There are of course important differences between China's Cultural Revolution and ours. Most importantly, Mao's China was monoracial, or effectively so. The key battles of his Cultural Revolution were fought over class, whereas in ours the central issue is race.

That doesn't mean we are fighting a race war, any more than Mao's Red Guards were fighting a class war. When China's Cultural Revolution started, the Communist Party had held total power for seventeen years. Capitalism had been pretty thoroughly stamped out, just as anti-black discrimination has long since disappeared from American life.

But Mao told his followers that "bourgeois elements" were at work in the party, trying to restore capitalism. Similarly, our own ruling class says that reactionary whites are plotting to restore "white supremacy," which I think means Jim Crow laws.

Both those story lines are preposterous on the face of it; but when you have total control of public information, as Mao had and our elites very nearly have, you can get enough people to believe preposterosities.

And so you get these Cold Civil Wars, with bogus story lines in support of what are really just power struggles. In China the war was within the Communist Party, Maoists versus reformers; in the U.S.A. it's among whites, the Wokes versus the Normals, Goodwhites versus Badwhites.

The real stakes being fought for in both cases are power. Mao could not tolerate any opposition to his schemes. Our own Managerial State feels the same way.

There were spells of heat in both of the Cold Civil Wars. The revolutionary center enlists fired-up young radicals to burn and loot, to topple statues, destroy all evidence of the past, and chase down counter revolutionaries, without any punishment. In China it was the Red Guards; in America, it's BLM and Antifa.

As I said, you can't take the parallels too far. The People's Liberation Army, for example, was a more important factor in China's Cultural Revolution than the U.S. armed forces are likely to be in ours.

Still, a study of what was happening in China fifty years ago clarifies what is happening here today, and may help us counter revolutionaries in our strategizing.

No one is more aware of all this than Chinese people who actually lived through Mao's Cultural Revolution. One of them stepped forward this week at a public meeting of the Loudoun County School Board in Virginia.

Loudoun is the richest county in the U.S.A., with an estimated average household income of almost $118,000. This is government money we're talking about: Leesburg, the county seat, is just thirty miles from the White House. Ruling class of the Managerial State? Oh yeah.

The county school board has been facing some opposition from parents recently. The teaching of Critical Race Theory has of course been one issue; another was the suspension of an elementary school teacher for believing, on religious grounds, that males and females are biologically different [Virginia teacher placed on leave after speech disputing 'biological boy can be a girl and vice versa,' by Sam Dorman, Fox News, May 28, 2021]. (A judge has ordered the teacher to be reinstated.)

At a school board meeting on Tuesday, one of the parents attending, a lady named Xi Van Fleet, made an eloquent one-minute speech.

Ms. Van Fleet grew up in Mao's China and remembers the Cultural Revolution there. Here's what she had to say.

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The lady has some Chinese accent still and the recording quality wasn't very good, so for clarity I'll just repeat here what she said.


I've been very alarmed about what's going on in our schools. You are now teaching, training our children to be Social Justice Warriors, and to loathe our country and our history.

Growing up in Mao's China, all this seems very familiar. The communist regime used the same Critical Theory to divide people. The only difference is, they used class instead of race.

During the Cultural Revolution I witnessed students and teachers turn against each other. We changed school names to be politically correct. We were taught to denounce our heritage. The Red Guards destroyed anything that is not communist: old statues, books, and anything else.

We [were] also encouraged to report on each other, just like the Student Equity Ambassadors program and the bias reporting system. This is indeed [the] American version of the Chinese communist … the Chinese Cultural Revolution.

The Critical Race Theory has its roots in Cultural Marxism. It should have no place in our schools.

[Virginia mom who survived Maoist China eviscerates school board's critical race theory push, by Michael Ruiz, Fox News, June 10, 2021]

There was loud and prolonged applause when she finished.

This is still Loudoun County, though—Ruling Class Central—and counter revolution has by no means won the day there.

It's encouraging, none the less, to see such spirited resistance in the face of what a different parent called the Chardonnay Antifa [Virginia school board meeting explodes as members face backlash for suspension of Tanner Cross, by Sam Dorman, Fox News, June 9, 2021].

More strength to him, and to Ms. Van Fleet.

John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him.) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. He has had two books published by com: FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle) and FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT II: ESSAYS 2013.

For years he’s been podcasting at Radio Derb, now available at for no charge. His writings are archived at

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