Xi Van Fleet is a regular American woman, typical of her generation. Like so many, she struggled at first to secure a foothold in the middle class. Yet her hard work paid off, and she is, by all indications, humbly grateful for the life she carved out for herself: a stable job, a home in Northern Virginia and of course, her loving family. In other words, Van Fleet is, at first glance, the stereotypical American who goes along to get along — that is, until she quit her job and became a full-time anti-Communist activist.
With so much to lose, most people like Van Fleet don’t wish to risk it all by taking a stand on abstract cultural trends around gender, race, religion and identity. These trends might sound strange, or even vaguely threatening, but it’s much easier to bend the knee on bathroom policies and diversity statements as long as you can continue to give your children a good life. Millions of Americans think like this, but they remain blissfully unaware of the real world destruction these abstract ideas have wrought over the past century.
Yet there is one key difference that sets Van Fleet apart from these poor masses — something that makes her aware of all she stood to lose if she didn’t take a stand. For the first 26 years of her life, Xi Van Fleet was raised in — and molded by — Communist China during the height of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution.
Her new book, “Mao’s America: A Survivor’s Warning,” explains how she realized she could no longer go along to get along, as America increasingly resembles the oppressive Marxist dystopia she wrongly believed she had escaped forever. After her now-famous speech against critical race theory in her local school district, Van Fleet worked to educate others on just how bad things can get.
Mao’s Cultural Revolution was a decade-long upheaval Mao initiated in the 1960s and 70s. Mao endeavored to eradicate the “Four Olds” of Chinese society — old ideas, old culture, old customs and old habits. In other words, erasing the “entire preexisting Chinese culture” to create a “new man” fit to fully carry out the revolution. Despite being a true believer at first, Van Fleet realized what the Cultural Revolution was really about: “gaining power by first destabilizing a society through cultural subversion and upheaval.”
Those who failed to adequately reject the Four Olds — or merely came under suspicion — were subjected to harsh persecution, cruel punishment and sometimes even death. While the leaders of America’s current cultural revolution are not yet murdering their opponents, they are following the same ideological tendencies. After describing the “brainwashing” she underwent in her formative years, Van Fleet tracks the eerie similarities between the revolution she experienced as a child and the one she’s living in now.
Whereas Mao made class the focal point of the revolution, America’s cultural revolutionaries focus on identity. But as Van Fleet shows, the methods and results are largely the same.
Both revolutions attack religion, Christianity in America and Confucianism in China. The timeless values these religions represent cannot co-exist under communism. In China, and increasingly in America, the state is the only God the people are allowed to worship.
Both revolutions renamed their streets and landmarks to honor the revolution. They tore down their monuments to install new ones to revolutionary martyrs and icons. There are George Floyd Streets all across America just as there were Mao Zedong Streets in China.
Mao sought to erase femininity; American progressives seek to erase masculinity. The goal for both is the same: to destroy gender roles, and thus the crucial family foundation, of the old order.
Van Fleet details countless other parallels with rich personal anecdotes, but perhaps the most frightening example — particularly in light of the pro-Hamas protests currently roiling American college campuses — is that of the Red Guard. Mao channeled the revolutionary zeal of students to attack his enemies for him — all in the name of the people. These students thought they were grassroots activists, all vying to stand out as the most boldly radical. But in reality, they were mere pawns of their elites.
“Here, especially today in schools, you are supposed to go to ‘trusted adults’ – not your parents…They want to cut the ties between parents and children. Why? That’s how you control the children.” – @XVanFleet
— Jan Jekielek (@JanJekielek) October 30, 2023
For a while, the Red Guard student movement was the cutting edge of the revolution. They took over their schools and sometimes even killed their teachers. They often reported their parents for being “counterrevolutionary,” knowing it could result in execution. They terrorized the streets and recklessly destroyed property. Van Fleet recalls when the Red Guard stormed a dumpling restaurant while she ate with her parents, shaming all the patrons for exploiting the restaurant workers and making them wash their own dishes.
Too many Americans today discount our own student radicals. They will grow out of it once they enter the real world, many falsely believe. Besides, there’s a big difference between the purple-haired kids screaming on American campuses and those who murdered their teachers.
Yet, as Van Fleet points out, there is very little space between them. Both grow out of a belief, that everything old is evil — that traditions are rife with exploitation and hold us back from the true utopia that’s just around the corner. Anyone who truly believes this will do just about anything to usher in heaven on Earth — especially if those with authority tell them what they’re doing is right and just.
Americans cannot afford to lull themselves into thinking this is all okay. These are not just silly young kids marching today; this isn’t a time of politics as usual. We are in fact going through our own cultural revolution.
Yes, we have great lives as Americans, but it requires great bravery to risk all that we have to fight for a return to the status quo we always took for granted. But unless we make tough choices like Xi Van Fleet, we will soon all become subjects in the United States of China.