PROF. JENKINS: Equity is Marxism re-branded

Today's Marxists believe they can to tear down every long-standing system by pushing equity.

Rob Jenkins is a Higher Education Fellow with Campus Reform and a tenured associate professor of English at Georgia State University - Perimeter College. In a career spanning more than three decades at five different institutions, he has served as a head men’s basketball coach, an athletic director, a department chair, and an academic dean, as well as a faculty member. Jenkins’ opinions are his own and do not represent those of his employer. 

Marxism is alive and well in America’s universities. A 2006 survey found that nearly 18 percent of social scientists identified with that label, and more recent research suggests that the number of Marxists on campus has only increased since.  

Their problem is that most Americans aren’t buying it. People can’t ignore the evidence that Marxism doesn’t work, and has never worked: the collapse of the Soviet Union, the deplorable human rights abuses in China and Cuba, the utter disintegration of Venezuela’s economy.  

A handful might flirt with “Democratic Socialism”—an oxymoron if ever there was one—but the two-time failure of its leader, Bernie Sanders, to garner the presidential nomination indicates that movement is not gaining traction among the general population. 

Simply put, too few people in this country are willing to embrace Marxist ideas under any label they recognize—nowhere near enough to usher in a socialist revolution. The obvious solution is to invent a new label, preferably one that appeals to the masses while sufficiently masking the Marxists’ real intent. 

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Enter the latest rebranding of Marxism: “Equity,” which many are inclined to embrace because it sounds good. It sounds, in fact, a lot like “equality,” a traditional American value. Some even conflate the two words, using them interchangeably.  

But they are not the same. “Equality,” in our system, refers to equality before the law and equality of opportunity. “Equity” demands equal outcomes. Big difference.  

Not only are the two words not synonymous, they are actually antithetical. In this fallen world, the only way to achieve “equity” is by ensuring that people are unequal, that they do NOT enjoy the same opportunities.  

Consider “diversity” focused college admissions programs (formerly known as “affirmative action”), which most Americans do not support but which, undeterred, openly discriminate against whites and Asians.  

For Marxists, such bias is not a bug but a feature, helping them achieve their two most cherished goals: redistribution and deconstruction.   

Marx’s utopian vision began with the premise that no one should have more than anyone else: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”  

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Of course, he meant that in economic terms, but it’s easy enough to extrapolate beyond income redistribution to—well, redistribution of everything: college admissions, jobs, promotions, representation in the professions, prison sentences, you name it.  

That’s basically what equity is: Marxist redistributionism writ large. 

Marx’s other main goal was, as he put it, “the ruthless criticism of all that exists.” He wanted to tear down every long-standing system and replace it with something that, in his view, would be more just. We know how that worked out. 

Nevertheless, for today’s Marxists, that remains a key objective—one they believe they can achieve, in large part, by pushing “equity.” For if we truly understand what that means, it’s easy to see where we’re headed.  

Eventually, if the equity czars get their way, we will have doctors whose main qualification is not ability but rather membership in an “oppressed” group. Ditto for scientists, engineers, lawyers, professors, computer programmers, managers, police officers, and bureaucrats.  

The end result can only be the breakdown of civil society—upon the ruins of which, presumably, the Marxists hope to build a shining new world of freedom, justice, and peace. 

But will they? Can they? Or will they simply destroy without rebuilding? The long, dark history of Marxist regimes offers sobering answers to those questions.

Editorials and op-eds reflect the opinion of the authors and not necessarily that of Campus Reform or the Leadership Institute.