Weer’d Beard’s recent post “The Marxists and Gun Control” finally nudged me into finishing a post I’ve had brewing in my head for nearly a year. As I see it, at least one of the driving factors behind gun control is what economist Arnold Kling refers to as “folk Marxism.” Here’s the key paragraph from the linked essay:
Folk Marxism looks at political economy as a struggle pitting the oppressors against the oppressed. Of course, for Marx, the oppressors were the owners of capital and the oppressed were the workers. But folk Marxism is not limited by this economic classification scheme. All sorts of other issues are viewed through the lens of oppressors and oppressed. Folk Marxists see Israelis as oppressors and Palestinians as oppressed. They see white males as oppressors and minorities and females as oppressed. They see corporations as oppressors and individuals as oppressed. They see America as on oppressor and other countries as oppressed.
I trust you see where this is leading? Folk Marxists view everyone through the binary lens of “oppressor” or “oppressed,” with nearly all members of what I call Designated Victim Groups (DVG) falling in the category of “oppressed,” who are, by definition, the sole owners of virtue. Fortunately for them, non-DVG persons can shed the opprobrium of being members of the “oppressor” class by claiming to support the “oppressed” against their “oppressors,” thus giving said non-DVG persons a Get Out of Oppressor Guilt Free card. On the other hand, DVG members who fail to play the role of the “oppressed” are automatically assumed by the folk Marxists to have become, at very least, enablers of the “oppressors.” This is why one often hears terms like “Uncle Tom” used by the collectivists when they discuss brilliant Americans of African descent, such as Justice Clarence Thomas, Doctor Thomas Sowell and Doctor Walter E. Williams.
How does this relate to gun control?
First, how easy is it to oppress someone who is armed? We all know, as the collectivists also know, that attempting to oppress armed free citizens is a hazardous occupation for the would-be oppressors. Therefore, in the mind of a folk Marxist, anyone who is lawfully armed can no longer belong in the “oppressed” class. Ipso facto, they are automatically moved from the “oppressed” class to the “oppressor” class. As “oppressors,” lawfully-armed members of DVG lack the inherent virtue of pure DVG members. Indeed, lawfully-armed DVG members are traitors to their DVG brethren and sistren. Fortunately for the folk Marxists, armed criminals are allowed to retain their DVG status, to the extent that they commit violence against the “oppressors.” When armed criminals from DVG commit crimes against other DVG members, it’s clearly the fault of the “oppressor” class.
Second, since any lawfully-armed citizen is, by definition, an “oppressor,” they deserve whatever violence they receive from members of the “oppressed” class. As an added bonus for the folk Marxists, not only can the “oppressor” class be held to blame for robbery and theft by the “oppressed” from the “oppressors” (who, according to folk Marxism, merely reclaimed their rightful due from the ill-gotten gains that the “oppressors” had seized), but the very fact that the “oppressed” (or, as we Lockeans call them in this context, “criminals”) have access to firearms is the fault of the “oppressors” who own firearms. If not for their outdated insistence on their outdated Second Amendment “rights,” the “oppressors” wouldn’t have to face their own guns turned against them.
In all fairness, I’m unwilling to condemn all folk Marxists as consciously evil. After all, for 60 years or more, children in public schools have been exposed to what Ayn Rand referred to as “the Comprachicos.” Is it any wonder that far too many children fail to understand things they were never taught?