Chapter Fourteen: Popular Culture—A Decadent Indulgence (UPDATED)

The Epoch Times is serializing an adaptation from the Chinese of a new book, How the Specter of Communism Is Ruling Our World, by the editorial team of the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party.

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Table of Contents


1. Communist Party Culture

2. Communism’s Subversion of Western Mass Culture

3. Pop Culture and Social Chaos

a. Hip-hop and Rock ‘n’ Roll
b. Drug Abuse
c. Pornography and Prostitution
d. Video Games
e. The Culture of Violence
f. Decadent Fashion

4. Recovering the Moral Foundations of Human Culture




The divine created humankind, and over the long course of history, laid down an orthodox culture for humankind to live by. Although the nations of the world have different cultures, they share a strikingly similar set of core values. All ethnic groups in the East and the West attach importance to the virtues of sincerity, kindness, generosity, justice, moderation, humility, courage, selflessness, and the like — virtues that every nation has paid tribute to and taught their descendants through their classics. Common among all groups is the paying of homage to the divine and adhering to divine law — because the divine handed down the culture and code of conduct that humankind should possess and embody. This is the origin of universal values.

The Founding Fathers of the United States attached great importance to morality and etiquette. In his early years, George Washington copied by hand 110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation, which were based on rules composed by French Jesuits in 1595. [1] Although some of the specifics may change over time, the rules contain many universal principles: One must be reverent when talking about God and related matters, treat others with respect, be modest, uphold public morality, not harm others’ feelings and interests, behave decently on all occasions, dress neatly and exemplify good taste, refrain from retaliating, refrain from speaking ill of others behind their backs, learn from the wise and good, listen to one’s conscience, and so on.

Similarly, Benjamin Franklin’s thirteen virtues were temperance, silence, order, resolution, frugality, industry, sincerity, justice, moderation, cleanliness, tranquility, chastity, and humility. [2]

Before the 1950s, the moral values of most people generally met a common, respectable standard. People in the East and the West retained many of the traditions and customs that humans should have. In China, despite that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) had begun to ruin China’s cultural heritage and morality, the public retained many of the traditional virtues that held sway before the Party usurped power.

But as communism expanded its power and influence, especially after the 1960s, people in the East and the West went further and further down the road of moral corruption.

The CCP’s Cultural Revolution began in 1966, starting a decadelong campaign to eradicate the “four olds” (old customs, old culture, old habits, and old ideas). It was soon matched with the fierce counterculture movement in the United States and other anti-traditional movements in other parts of the world. All these were global events that unfolded in line with the communist specter’s aim of destroying tradition and bringing about humanity’s moral collapse.

These political and cultural movements have left deep scars in today’s world. Since that time, the traditional cultural foundations of Chinese society have been completely destroyed and morality has been in rapid decline. In Western society, drug abuse, sexual liberation and promiscuity, rock ‘n’ roll and hippie culture, and spiritual emptiness have taken hold, seriously damaging the foundation of Western tradition.

After the young radicals of the counterculture found themselves pulling the levers of society, they continued their movement by other means. Avant-garde art and literature, modern ideologies, and deviant concepts were all brought together. With the help of technology, including the internet, mobile phones, and various mass media, the entire human race rapidly deviated from traditional culture and ways of life toward the abyss of aberrance and degradation.

If we look at the world today, the decline of human morality and the corruption of almost every aspect of popular culture and social life are shocking to behold. After the CCP destroyed the profound traditional Chinese culture through incessant political campaigns, it created a malicious system of Party culture. The younger generations grew up in this Party culture and know nothing about traditional, divinely inspired culture. With the exception of some segments of society in the West that held onto tradition and refused to be tempted and suborned, it would be fair to say that communism has almost succeeded in achieving its goal of ruining human culture across the world.

1. Communist Party Culture

After the Communist Party’s “reform and opening up” in the 1980s, the Chinese people shocked citizens of other countries with their conduct when they traveled abroad. At the time, many Westerners retained the impression of the traditional Chinese people as gentle, courteous, modest, kind, hardworking, and simple.

However, after decades of brainwashing and transformation by the Communist Party, the Chinese people had completely changed. They were rude and spoke loudly. They wouldn’t stand in lines or be respectful and quiet in public. They smoked in front of no-smoking signs. They dressed in a slovenly manner, spit on the sidewalk, and tossed litter. They readily took advantage of others’ courtesy and kindness.

Today, the behavior of some Chinese tourists is even more pronounced. They climb on and damage cultural relics and historic sites, let their children urinate in public, fail to flush the toilet after using it, snatch up free goods, grab and waste food in cafeterias, get into brawls over slight disagreements, and create trouble in airports, causing flight delays.

What happened to the Chinese people?

The answer is simple. The CCP destroyed traditional Chinese culture and replaced it with Communist Party culture, an important component in the corruption of humankind.

The term “Party culture” refers to the way of thinking, speaking, and behaving that arises from the characteristics of the Communist Party, which can be summed up as deceit, malice, and struggle. The guiding ideology of Party culture is atheism and materialism, including the communist concepts that the Party instills in those under its rule, which include all manner of deviant cultural elements, the philosophy of struggle, and the worst aspects of ancient times repackaged. The CCP has effectively used Party culture to transform the thoughts of the Chinese people.

The CCP’s proletarian revolution slapped the label of “the exploiting classes” on those who upheld traditional morality, civilization, and manners. The CCP described the habits of the proletariat (working class) as revolutionary and good, called on the Chinese intellectuals to roll in the mud and grow calluses on their hands, and described lice on the body as “revolutionary bugs.” From the Party leader to ordinary cadres, all became proud of swearing because it showed their class consciousness, commitment to the revolution, and supposed closeness to the masses.

Thus the Party forces people to abandon whatever is elegant and civilized and instead accept the rough lifestyle of proletarian hooligans. A country with such a long history, famous for its good manners, is thus reduced to a state of turmoil, with everyone competing for fame and fortune. The Party turned China into an exhibition hall for vulgar communist culture.
Under the control and infiltration of Party culture, all areas of cultural life — including literature, the arts, and education — have degenerated.

The Party wants to fight with heaven, earth, and man. It instills a set of wicked standards of good and evil and distorts how people think. This indoctrination is backed with state violence. The Party’s subjects are then imperceptibly influenced by what they constantly see and hear, from the day they are born, because the Party monopolizes all social resources. A constantly whirring propaganda machine forces people to read the works of communist leaders, while the elite are co-opted to produce textbooks, literature, film, news, and so on, that all exist to further instill Party culture.

It took only a few decades for communism to make the Chinese people think with the Party’s thoughts, talk with the Party’s language, stop believing in the divine, act without regard to the consequences, and dare to do just about anything. Nearly every interpersonal interaction may involve deception, and there are no bottom lines for conduct. The zombie-like language of the Party and its ready-made lies is overwhelming.

Due to Party culture, today’s Chinese people are far removed from universal values. Their minds, thoughts, and behaviors have undergone profound changes and deviation. Their family, social, educational, and work relationships are abnormal, and their ways are often incompatible with those of people from non-communist societies, who find their behavior difficult to understand.

During the Cultural Revolution, the Red Guards were immersed in Party culture, and they have since brought vicious habits to the younger generations. Children and adolescents brought up in Party culture are crafty and mature beyond their years. They know everything bad at a young age.

Members of the younger generations often lack spiritual beliefs and are immoral and arrogant. When they’re provoked or angered, they are prone to reacting with irrational viciousness. Sexual restraint and morality have collapsed. Having lost their traditional roots, today’s Chinese people are adopting all the worst parts of the counterculture movement of the West.

Manifestations of Communist Party Culture

The CCP now talks about restoring traditional culture, but what it’s restoring is not true traditional culture. It’s simply Party culture with a traditional appearance, missing the most important aspect of China’s tradition: faith in the divine.

Under the influence of Party culture, people even use so-called gods to make a fortune. The Grandma Temple in Hebei Province is very popular, and it’s said that people can find all the “gods” they want to worship there. If one wants to be a government official, there’s a “god of officials” to worship. Similarly, there’s a “god of wealth” composed of banknotes, a “god of study,” and even a “god of cars” that holds a steering wheel. The administrator of the Grandma Temple has boasted, “Whichever god is lacking, just make a new one.” [3]

It is impossible to revive traditional culture without simultaneously cleaning out the moral corruption created by the CCP. Although many contemporary literary and artistic works offer retellings of ancient stories, the content is sullied by modern ideas. Actors don traditional dress but engage in contemporary drama; thus traditional culture becomes a façade, and its true meaning is further obscured. For example, palace dramas set in imperial China have been popular in recent years, but they revolve around jealousy and intrigue — a display of the struggle and hatred inherent in communism rather than a reflection of historical realities.

Arbitrary adaptations of Journey to the West even have Sun Wukong (the Monkey King) embrace and be seduced by the demons that he vanquished in the classic novel. What is even more frightening is that many — especially the young who know nothing of China’s traditional culture — regard all this as somehow traditional, or close enough. This is the consequence of the Party’s having ravaged divinely inspired genuine Chinese culture and indoctrinating the public for decades. The Chinese people have come to think that the ethos of struggle is traditional, and that art, literature, and drama imbued with Party-culture ideas, but dressed in traditional garb, are the real thing.

Party culture destroys faith in the divine and replaces it with atheism. The most direct consequence of this is a loss of social trust: Fraud, counterfeit goods, toxic food, corruption, and more have all become common phenomena. The so-called “shanzhai culture” is a typical example of this integrity crisis. Shanzhai culture refers to the counterfeiting of well-known, particularly foreign, products or brands. It amounts to both theft and deception. The term has become so well-known that the Oxford Chinese-English Dictionary included it as a neologism. [4]

Shanzhai behavior not only counterfeits products, but also entire stores. Fake Apple stores have been documented repeatedly in China. The stores are carefully furnished with all the trappings of real Apple stores: glass frontage, light-wood display tables, a winding staircase, posters of Apple products, neatly arranged accessory walls, and white Apple logos. Staff wear the characteristic dark-blue T-shirts with the Apple logo and even appear to believe they work in a real Apple store. [5]

In a social atmosphere characterized by such deception, some Chinese stop at nothing to further their own interests and fear no punishment from heaven or man. Lying and falsification become part of mainstream culture. Those who refuse to counterfeit are considered the odd ones out.

Party culture also has ruined the Chinese language, as can be seen in the constant use of hyperbolic words and phrases. Restaurants are given names like Heaven Beyond Heaven, Emperor Above All Emperors, or King of Kings. Literary styles and propaganda have also become pompous. Official propaganda regularly uses phrases like “the world’s first,” “the most formidable in history,” “the United States is afraid,” “Japan is aghast,” “Europe regrets,” and the like.

News stories are full of headlines such as “China’s scientific and technological strength surpasses the United States and ranks first in the world,” “China has won the world’s first place again, personally defeating US blue chips and utterly routing Apple,” “Something big will happen. A magic weapon in China again makes the US afraid, the world stunned, Japan completely scared,” “China is the world’s No. 1 in another field! Completing a historical great change in just thirty years, leaving the US, Japan, and South Korea amazed,” and “Huawei announced that it has created the world’s first 5G chip, which shocked the world!”

The propaganda movie Awesome, My Country! and the special series of television programs called Great, My Country! are also full of exaggerations in tone and meaning. They make it seem as though the whole world is surrendering to China, conveying an attitude redolent of the propaganda used during the Great Leap Forward, when the Party claimed China would surpass Britain and catch up with the United States.

The new wave of exaggeration is the concrete manifestation of the “fake, exaggerated, empty ethos” (as it’s known in China) of Party culture in the online age. The fundamental question is still one of integrity. Reform and opening up through the 1980s and 1990s brought change to China in the form of the worst aspects of contemporary Western culture, such as sexual liberation, drug abuse, homosexuality, computer games, and the like. The entertainment programs on television have become vulgar. The entire society has become a pleasure palace for the indulgence of material and carnal desires.

Communism has turned China, a country that was once civilized, magnificent, and beautiful, into an uncivilized nation.

2. Communism’s Subversion of Western Mass Culture

Western countries of the free world have been known for their civilized societies, where men are genteel and women virtuous and graceful, and where people treat each other with honesty and friendship. Communism has implemented arrangements in Western countries to subvert and sabotage this civilization. Although it can’t use violence and totalitarianism to directly damage Western civilization as it did in China, it has provoked people’s negative and rebellious thoughts and behaviors in order to undermine tradition, destroy public morals, and ruin individual morality.

As the public rejoiced over the Allies’ triumph in World War II, communists were already hard at work in the fields of ideology and culture. While reflecting on the war and the new waves of ideology to come, they helped to bring about a systematic departure from the traditions that connected humans to the divine.

In the United States, the post-war American writers of the Beat Generation, which appeared in the 1950s, were the progenitors of an art and literary movement whose goal was to redefine culture. While they rightly despised some of the hypocrisy of moral corruption in society at the time, their response was to cynically reject and overturn all traditional morality. They advocated unrestrained freedom; delved into pseudo-mysticism, drugs, and crime; and pursued undisciplined, willful lifestyles. Their attempt at a radical critique of bourgeois, capitalist society coincided with the ideological thrust of communism in the West, making them a natural tool for the leftist movement.

Many members of the Beat Generation were indeed deeply influenced by communist and socialist ideology. For example, before the movement’s co-founder Jack Kerouac became famous, he wrote the short story “The Birth of a Socialist” about his rebellion against capitalist society. [6] Another representative of the movement, Allen Ginsberg, said he had no regrets about the communist beliefs he once held. He also supported pedophilia (see Chapter Eleven). The group’s works rejected traditional conventions, were deliberately disorganized, and used vulgar language. They represented the counterculture movement that would engulf the West in the 1960s — the first major departure from the rules and principles of tradition.

The 1960s saw the elaboration and extension of what the Beats had proposed, with subcultures like the hippie, punk, goth, and more. These countercultural trends found an eager audience in the urban areas of the West, tempting one young generation after another toward violence, drug abuse, sexual liberation, nonconformist attire, and cultural alienation, and ultimately giving them an inclination toward darkness and death.

In what is known as the Summer of Love, in 1967, thousands of hippies gathered in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury Park and Golden Gate Park for several days, expressing their resistance to society with bizarre behavior, drug use, nudity, singalongs, poetry, and rock ‘n’ roll music. This movement reached its climax around the time of the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy and the escalation of the Vietnam War.

In the summer of 1969, more than four hundred thousand people gathered in the same way at the Woodstock festival, held on a farm northwest of New York City. Hundreds of thousands indulged in debauchery while shouting about “love,” “freedom,” and “peace.” Woodstock was a significant cultural event in the 1960s, and over the following decades, New York’s Central Park, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, and Woodstock all became symbols of the American counterculture.

Just as the counterculture in the United States was taking off, turmoil involving millions broke out in France in what is now known as the events of May ‘68. It began with angry students rebelling against traditional morality and culture. At that time, schools imposed strict separation between male and female student dormitories, and the two sexes were forbidden from freely coming and going from each others’ bedrooms. The abolition of this provision and the demand for the right to sexual activity in student dorms were the major goals of the initial protests. The students’ rebellion then found support among both the socialist and communist parties in France.

There is a saying that in the late 1960s, there were two centers for revolution: One was Beijing, where the Cultural Revolution was in full swing; the other was Paris, where the events of May ‘68 shook the world. This was called by many the Cultural Revolution of the West. At the time, Chinese students marched with slogans and banners in support of the French student rebels, while in Paris, the “Western Red Guards” wore green military caps and uniforms with red armbands in support of the Maoists in China. They held up huge portraits of Mao Zedong in their parades, and the “three M’s” — Marx, Mao, and Marcuse — became their ideological mainstay. [7]

Japan also began its own counterculture movement in the 1960s. The All-Japan League of Student Self-Government, associated with the Japanese Communist Party, had extensive influence among students at the time. They were in turn organized by the Japanese Communist Party in reaction to the activities of the Red Guards in China. The league organized numerous counterculture demonstrations in Japan in conjunction with other left-wing student organizations, such as the Japanese Red Army and the All-Campus Joint Struggle Councils, and went so far as to advocate and commit acts of terror against Japanese society. [8]

Similar chaos unfolded in some Latin American countries. For instance, under the influence of the Cuban Communist Party, Mexico’s student movement mobilized for protests, such as gathering in the Plaza de las Tres Culturas, and other left-wing student groups sent telegrams to students in Paris supporting the May ‘68 rebellion.

Seen as a global whole, the counterculture movements erupting simultaneously in multiple countries formed a massive communist assault on traditional society. The age-old moral traditions and values that the divine left to humankind had been developed over thousands of years, but suffered enormous damage under the impact of this global communist movement.

Western rock ‘n’ roll culture, drug abuse, sexual liberation, abortion, iconoclastic clothing, and modern art were all departures from traditional norms and orthodox faith. As in communist China, where the country’s ancient culture was actively destroyed by the totalitarian CCP regime, the counterculture movements of the free world largely succeeded in banishing the treasures of Western civilization and uprooting faith in the divine.

3. Pop Culture and Social Chaos

With traditional culture under attack from within and without, the negative elements of anti-traditional ideology began to take root in society. Given its global influence, America is the de facto leader in setting the tone of popular culture worldwide, and the corruption of American popular culture has thus affected the entire world. As mentioned, some traditionally conservative countries with profound traditional cultures, like China and Japan, found the deviated trends coming from the United States irresistible and have gone about emulating them. The same holds true for virtually every country and region exposed to globalization; unrestrained, amoral, anti-social, and self-indulgent popular culture has spread throughout the whole world.

a. Hip-hop and Rock ‘n’ Roll

The focus of traditional music was on civilizing humans, cultivating virtue, and helping people to be mentally and physically healthy. Its effect was social harmony, and harmony between humans and nature. Beautiful music that celebrated the glory of the divine was promoted, while atonal, chaotic, or licentious music was anathema. But today, popular culture is full of shockingly corrupt musical productions, with hip-hop and rock ‘n’ roll being striking examples.

Hip-hop emerged in New York in the 1970s. Over the past several decades, hip-hop, rap, and breakdance have been exported from New York to become a global craze, with hip-hop becoming part of popular culture in Asia, Europe, and many African regions. Despite the obvious moral corruption of this music, with its focus on promiscuity, murder, violence, and drugs, it has gained worldwide recognition and is even celebrated in world-famous theaters.

Rock ‘n’ roll traces its roots back to the 1940s. In the 1960s, it had become the theme music of the counterculture movement. The genre’s hysterical vocals, violent drumming, and distorted electric guitar riffs can transport listeners to a mad, irrational state of mind. With reason cast aside, demon nature, which is typically kept at bay due to the demands of civilization, is unleashed. Nihilism and other dark modes of thought became the predominant theme of many rock subgenres. Psychedelic rock encouraged the use of drugs, while some psychedelic and other, darker forms of rock called for rebellion, suicide, and violence, or encouraged promiscuity, adultery, homosexuality, and rejection of marriage. Lyrics suggested the lewd or obscene, or delighted in praising evil and condemning the divine. Some rock superstars justified the sexual harassment of underage girls in their popular lyrics, which desensitized audiences to a culture of sexual abuse and promiscuity.

Some lyrics were full of strife, such as, “Hey! Said my name is called Disturbance/ I’ll shout and scream/ I’ll kill the King, I’ll rail at all his servants.” One song was titled “Sympathy for the Devil.” One psychedelic album was called “Their Satanic Majesties Request.” An iconic rock lyric goes, “Hey Satan, payin’ my dues …/ I’m on the highway to hell.”

Some rock songs praised socialism and communism. The song “Imagine” challenged its listeners to imagine a communist society free of religion, country, and private property.

Even religious groups have found it hard to resist the negative impact of rock ‘n’ roll. Christian church music was meant to praise God, yet the modern music of Christian churches has taken on rock elements to appeal to young people, which gave rise to so-called contemporary Christian music. [9]

Accompanying rock ‘n’ roll are adultery, violence, decadence, drug abuse, corruption, and opposition to belief in the divine. Corrupt behaviors forbidden by traditional morality and beliefs have all accompanied the genre’s rise.

b. Drug Abuse

Drug abuse has become a global issue over the last several decades. In the early stages, the root of large-scale drug abuse in the West was the counterculture. In their campaign against bourgeois morality, hippies sought to deconstruct and undermine all tradition and to erect their own beliefs, moral standards, and lifestyle. LSD and psilocybin mushroom trips counted as spiritual explorations, while they used amphetamines or cocaine as uppers and heroin and barbiturates as downers, all intended to remove them from the world and take them to another state.

Many young members of the counterculture movement had a keen interest in Eastern philosophy and spiritual cultivation. However, psychedelics became a shortcut for those seeking insight without the challenges of cultivating the mind and enduring the physical pain of meditation. Instead, they would simply take a tab of acid, which would deliver them a pseudo-spiritual experience, though it did not connect them to anything real. Such drugs simply put their bodies in the control of demonic elements, not at all related to true, orthodox cultivation practices. These experiences led many with true spiritual aspirations down a crooked path.

Many pop singers and rock stars have died in their twenties and thirties, often due to drug overdoses. In the contemporary United States, the longest and sorriest war has been the war on drugs. The country has dedicated itself to arresting and monitoring thousands of drug traffickers over decades. Government officials have given repeated warnings against illegal drug use, yet it still prevails. From 2000 to 2018, at least three hundred thousand Americans died of opioid overdoses. On October 26, 2017, President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency and outlined ways to combat the problem. [10]

According to a 2017 report by the National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens, marijuana use among students is rampant: 45 percent of twelfth-graders said they had used marijuana at least once, and 37.1 percent of them had used it in the past year; 71 percent did not believe that frequent use of marijuana was very harmful. [11]

Using ecstasy and smoking marijuana have become standard among young people, while newer and stronger drugs, including fentanyl, continue to emerge. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is fifty times more potent than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. It is so deadly that it has been called a chemical weapon; two milligrams can be fatal. [12] Yet such destructive drugs are flooding American streets at a terrifying pace, killing many more people than other opioids, simply because it’s so easy to overdose on them.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, among the approximately sixty-seven thousand deaths from drug overdoses in 2018, about thirty-one thousand were due to fentanyl and its analogs. [13] The trafficking of fentanyl from China has been widely reported. In 2018, authorities performing a routine inspection at the Port of Philadelphia discovered and seized 110 pounds of fentanyl in a shipment of iron oxide from China. The street value of the drugs discovered was $1.7 million. [14]

In China, drug abuse is also spreading like a cancer through society. The production and abuse of drugs, especially synthetic drugs, is rampant, and internet drug sales are out of control. According to the 2015 China National Narcotic Control Commission (CNNCC) report, the number of illegal drug users exceeds fourteen million. The real number is probably higher since drug users increasingly include white-collar workers, freelancers, entertainers, and public servants. [15]

The 2017 China Narcotics Situation Report from the CNNCC shows that China’s narcotics departments have cracked 140,000 drug cases, destroyed 5,534 drug-trafficking groups, arrested 169,000 trafficking suspects, seized 89.2 tons of drugs, and carried out 870,000 raids, which uncovered 340,000 new drug users. [16]

Drugs are often highly addictive, leading people to destroy their families, ruin their careers, sabotage their reputations and relationships, commit crimes, and even lose their lives through overdose. Using and trafficking drugs harms individuals, families, and the entire nation, and it has thus become yet one more of the dark phenomena plaguing modern society.

c. Pornography and Prostitution

Of all the forms of revolution called for by communists, the most complete is probably the sexual revolution. If the seizure of political power marks a revolution against the external components of society, then sexual liberation is the communist revolution instigated internally.

Freud’s pansexualism, a theory that regards all desire and interests as originating from the sex instinct, provided the theoretical basis for sexual liberation, while the emergence of oral contraceptives began to separate sex from reproduction. The sexual revolution struck at traditional morality and brought about and promoted radical feminism, abortion, premarital sex, and the gay movement. Sexual liberation established the distorted idea that participating in recreational sex and the sex trade are basic human rights. It destroyed traditional sexual ethics and restraints, and allowed sex to become a form of entertainment. It turned humans into mere sex tools and opened the floodgates for pornography to infiltrate and sabotage society.

In the 1950s, Playboy magazine played an exceptionally significant role in assisting in sexual indulgence as it made a business out of pornography. While the slogan “make love, not war” was in the air during the anti-war era, the sexually explicit film Blue Movie became the first of its kind to be released widely in theaters in the United States. A fifteen-year-long era (1969–1984) of “porno chic,” accompanied by rock music and the overall rejection of tradition, emerged in the West.

In the 1970s, porn films were generally available only in seedy adult movie theaters. By the early 1980s, VHS brought pornography into millions of households, while the spread of the internet in the late 1990s, and later the smartphone era, brought pornography on demand. Worldwide, the pornography industry was worth $97 billion annually as of 2015, and in the United States alone, $10 billion to $12 billion. [17]

The introduction of the internet and smartphones has brought major changes to the porn industry. The total amount of pornographic content that a typical adult in the 1980s might have been exposed to over the course of years can now be accessed by a child in just minutes. On average, children are now exposed to pornography by the age of eight. One twelve-year-old British boy became so addicted to online porn that he raped his sister. A prosecutor involved in the case said, “Cases of this nature will increasingly come before the court because of the access young people now have to hard core pornography.” [18]

There are many consequences of exposing children to porn, such as early sexual activity and an increased incidence of sex crimes. Pornography reinforces the impression that sex is a kind of entertainment or transactional service, rather than a part of private marital life, and the belief that the behavior seen in porn is common. It also promotes the normalization of sexual depravity and perversion.

In Japan, the porn industry has already been normalized as part of society, with supermarket racks full of adult magazines and comics and late-night television programs featuring porn actors. Pornographic actresses are packaged as teen idols and openly appear in the media. The Japanese porn industry has had a profoundly negative influence on all of Asia.

Even in predominantly Muslim countries, such as Egypt and Tunisia, the porn industry — forbidden by Islam — is in full swing, operating underground.

In many European countries, prostitution is legal, and many Europeans consider it a normal form of work. In 1969, Denmark became the first country to legalize pictorial pornography. Norway, which had some of the strictest limitations on pornography in Europe, legalized hardcore pornography in 2006. [19] The purchase of sex in Denmark can sometimes even be subsidized by the government. For instance, in order to protect “equal rights,” eligible disabled individuals can visit a brothel while the taxpayer foots the bill. [20] This type of thinking was advocated for early on by utopian socialist Charles Fourier in the nineteenth century.

China, with a society long characterized by its conservative family ethics and moral restraint, where even the discussion of sex was taboo, has also gotten caught up in the global wave of sexual degeneracy in recent decades. Of all the CCP’s policies, the most “successful” — far beyond the opening of the economy or political system — must be that of sexual liberation. In the space of thirty years, there has been a total transformation from “revolutionary discipline” to “sexual liberation.” Prostitution is rampant in China, with an estimate from the late 2000s claiming that the country had between twenty million and thirty million sex workers. [21] The more mistresses a wealthy businessman or corrupt official has, the higher his social status. China is thought of as the world’s factory, but it also exports a large number of prostitutes to countries and regions including Japan, Malaysia, the Middle East, the United States, Europe, and Africa. Estimates in 2018 suggest that there were 13,000 to 18,500 Chinese prostitutes in sub-Saharan Africa. [22]

Southeast Asian and South American countries are no different. Many cities have become major destinations for sex tourism, a practice that, while illegal, has become so rampant it’s contributing to economic growth.

The most direct consequence of a society flooded with pornography and prostitution is the destruction of the family and marriage. Porn in particular has come to be called “the quiet family killer.” [23] Viewing pornography causes disinterest in healthy family relationships while feeding desire and lust, which creates sexual urges that often can only be satisfied through extramarital affairs or other means, including violent or criminal acts.

During a 2005 Senate hearing, Jill Manning presented a poll of divorce and matrimonial lawyers that showed 56 percent of divorce cases included one partner who had “an obsessive interest in pornographic websites.” [24] During the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in 2016, a research paper that was presented showed a doubling in instances of divorce among marriages in which one party started watching pornography versus marriages of non-porn-consumers. The research showed that if the husband started watching porn, the divorce rate increased from 5 percent to 10 percent, while if the wife started watching porn, the divorce rate increased from 6 percent to 18 percent. The younger the individual, the more likely the divorce. [25]

Before the 1950s, virtually all traditional cultures of the world viewed sex before marriage as indecent and in contravention of the commandments that the divine left to mankind. Both social pressure and public opinion acted to suppress such activities. If a young man and woman conceived a child before marriage, they would be expected to take responsibility, get married, and raise the child together as a family. At the time, the majority of people believed that if a man got a woman pregnant, the decent thing to do was to marry her. [26] If one made a mistake, one would be expected to take responsibility for it.

However, with moral decay and the rise of sexual liberation since the 1960s, out-of-wedlock pregnancies have drastically increased. All this took place right as the porn industry began to have a greater impact on public consciousness. In 1964, in most countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, birth outside of marriage was typically less than 10 percent; by 2014, it was more than a third. In the United States, out-of-wedlock births averaged 40 percent in 2014, reaching 71 percent among African-Americans. Among the world’s 140 million newborns in the year 2016, around 15 percent, or 21 million, were born outside of marriage. [27]

Single-parent families, out-of-wedlock pregnancies, and divorce are often closely associated with poverty. Such families, in turn, increase the burden on the social welfare system.

d. Video Games

Many children today spend countless hours playing video games. Game developers make the games increasingly realistic, dynamic, and interactive. They’re also increasingly violent and erotic. Children and adults alike are easily addicted to gaming, which has become a major issue for parents, schools, and even the government.

Video games are now a form of popular culture that follows people from childhood to adulthood, but what sort of culture is it? It is a culture of destruction, no different from drugs. Those who are addicted to video games can’t see the drawbacks in a sober and objective manner. They simply think of the games as fun and interesting and won’t give up as long as there is another level to advance to, another kill to make, or a new high score to set.

In addition, almost all video games today, from their gameplay and plot to aesthetic atmosphere, are about violence and killing, or contain erotic content or cold-bloodedness. Simply put, the messages conveyed appeal to the demon nature in humankind. All of this is inappropriate and harmful for teenagers and young people. Delivering a sense of excitement from killing, destruction, violence, and fighting can desensitize young people by introducing them to unhealthy thoughts and behaviors, and can even contribute to some committing crimes.

Online games are even more addictive. In the past, games were used to pass the time when people were alone and felt bored. Nowadays, online gaming has become a competitive sport and a social activity in and of itself, especially for children. Because a large number of players interact in a game, they can quickly become enthralled in the game’s virtual world.

Huge amounts of effort and capital are invested in such games, and kids who don’t play them may be the odd ones out among their peers. Thus, almost against their will, parents feel forced to allow their children to join the online gaming community, then witness their children develop an addiction. Video games take up time that should have been used for study, outdoor activities, and normal socialization. Instead, children are turned into captives of video games.

Scholar Erik Hurst said he allowed his twelve-year-old son to play video games for only a couple of hours on weekends after finishing his homework. But if the child had been left to his own devices, he would have played almost nonstop, skipping showers and meals to keep gaming. [28]

Scholarly research has shown that video games come to occupy and dominate the leisure time of young people. Data suggests that young adults, especially those in lower income brackets and with lower levels of education, increasingly find happiness in video games, reducing the time they spend on their jobs and in the real world. [29] This is a common phenomenon in the United States and other developed countries.

Hurst has observed a trend in today’s society in which video games lead young adults to refuse to enter the job market and instead rely on their parents to support them financially. It’s unlikely that video games will help them earn a living, or that they’ll be able to improve their skills or find better jobs. When these young people become parents, their children won’t be able to rely on them for guidance. Video games have thus reached the point of undermining normal human life.

Video games are spiritual drugs. Unlike the manufacture of hard drugs such as heroin, which is illegal in most countries, video game development is a major industry. What are the consequences of this? As the companies produce these drugs that destroy the next generation, the countries that embrace gaming are sabotaging their own futures.

The emergence of the internet and mobile phones has opened up an even broader market for the video game industry. Research firm Newzoo, in its April 2018 Global Games Market Report, forecast that gamers around the world would spend $137.9 billion on games in 2018, representing an increase of 13.3 percent from the previous year. More than half of all gaming revenue was projected to come from the mobile segment. Digital game revenues would make up 91 percent of the global market.

The report also predicted that the games market would maintain double-digit growth in the following several years. While the GDP growth rate in many countries is struggling in the single digits, the games industry continues to advance. Mobile gaming alone was expected to reach $100 billion by 2021. The top three countries in the global games market, according to the report, would be China, the United States, and Japan, with China accounting for more than 25 percent of the total market. [30]

Traditional games, including sports and other outdoor activities, are limited by the natural environment, the weather, equipment, and physical strength, and players don’t typically develop an addiction to them. Video games have no such restrictions. Players are invited and lured to immerse themselves in the virtual world of the game nonstop, going without sleep or breaks. This, on top of the fact that such games rarely have anything edifying to recommend them, means that those who play them come increasingly under the influence of negative factors.

e. The Culture of Violence

In America, from 1960 to 2016, the total population increased by 1.8 times, while the total number of crimes grew 2.7 times, and the number of violent crimes grew 4.5 times. [31]
According to author and criminologist Grant Duwe, in the fifty years before the 1966 University of Texas tower shooting incident took place, there were only twenty-five public mass shootings in which four or more people died. Since then, mass shootings have become more deadly. [32] From the Killeen mass shooting in Texas in 1991 that killed twenty-three, to the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting that killed fifty-eight, the incidents have grown more shocking.

Terrorist incidents worldwide increased from 651 per year in 1970 to 13,626 in 2016, a twenty-fold increase. Since the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, the number of annual terrorist attacks had increased by about five times as of 2018. [33]

Many violent acts in the real world are manifestations of people’s immersion in a culture of violence via mass media. Not only is the intense music of heavy metal full of violence, but the majority of entertainment, including film, television, and video games, depicts or is centered around violence. Many film and television productions portray the mafia, gangs, and pirates in a positive light, making these negative stereotypes look attractive and respectable, such that people not only no longer feel repulsed by them, but start to see crime and criminals as glorious.

The advent of video games gave people yet another channel for the glorification of violence, one that is interactive and allows the players themselves to employ violence within the virtual world. Instead of the unidirectional indoctrination of violence via film and television, players experience violence for themselves through these games, many of which contain scenes of decapitated heads, dismembered bodies, and blood spraying everywhere — all in excess of the normal boundaries of film and television.

In a study published in 2013, researchers analyzed movies that were produced between 1985 and 2012 and found that the amount of gun violence in PG-13 movies had tripled. [34] A follow-up study of films from 2013 through 2015 showed that this trend had continued. [35] In 2008, the Pew Research Center reported that 97 percent of young people between the ages of twelve and seventeen played video games, and that two-thirds of them played the categories of games that tended to contain violence. [36]

Faced with the problem of increasing violence in society, experts, scholars, and the general public continue to propose theories and solutions, from stricter restrictions via laws and stronger law enforcement, to providing the public with psychological counseling. But such solutions are simply akin to cutting off the branches of a poisonous tree without tearing it out by the roots.

f. Decadent Fashion

On the surface of today’s society, the various forms of strange attire, behavior, and other commonplace elements of popular culture all appear to be part of “freedom of expression” or the current “fashion trend,” but, in fact, there is more to it. Tracing these phenomena to their source reveals their connections to the communist push against tradition and faith. Though these trends may encounter initial resistance from society, people simply become accustomed to them as time goes on and no longer find them strange, allowing these negative factors to become an accepted part of everyday life and culture.

For example, today’s society is accustomed to women having short hairstyles. This was popularized by flappers in the West during the 1920s. Influenced by first-wave feminism and the sexual liberation movement (see Chapter Seven), flappers wore short dresses, cut their hair short, listened to jazz, wore thick make-up, drank alcohol, smoked cigarettes, and were casual about sex. Wearing their hair short was a way for them to express their disdain for traditional gender roles and their pursuit of female “emancipation.”

After the hairstyle became popular, a well-known opera singer wrote: “Bobbed hair is a state of mind and not merely a new manner of dressing my head. … I consider getting rid of our long hair one of the many little shackles that women have cast aside in their passage to freedom.” [37]

During the Great Depression in the 1930s, this short hair for women gradually fell out of favor. However, in the 1960s, when rebellion from traditional norms became trendy again, short hairstyles for women made a comeback. Similarly, long hairstyles among men in contemporary times originated from the beatniks and hippies. [38] Although long hair for men can be traced back to ancient times, men in the West had worn their hair short in the decades since World War I, and the counterculture movement of the 1960s promoted long hair for men as a form of rebellion.

At first, mainstream society was highly resistant to young people dressing in an anti-traditional manner. Over time, people have become accustomed to anti-traditional trends, and in the views of progressives, this is due to an increase in social tolerance. In the traditions of the East and the West, however, differences between men and women were reflected not only in their physicality and in their different roles in society and the family, but also in their dress, hairstyle, speech, and mannerisms.

Along with disintegrating class distinctions in society, communism aims to eliminate the sexual distinctions between men and women. Similarly, the LGBT and feminist movements use the slogan of “equality” to blur gender differences in social and familial roles. Androgynous fashion trends further blur and reverse the differences in dress. These factors serve to pave the way for a wider social acceptance of what have traditionally been considered deviant sexual practices and lifestyles, and further contribute to undermining traditional morality.

For thousands of years, moral standards in both the East and the West have clarified the difference between men and women, and the idea that male and female, like yin and yang, each have their respective roles. Communism reverses yin and yang, hoping to overturn traditional morality and pit individuals against each other in the name of liberation.

Given this agenda, it can be seen that although the various deviations in dress and fashion may superficially seem like mere developments and shifts in popular taste, they are actually meant to undermine human society. Much of modern fashion emphasizes lewdness, having originated in the counterculture movement of the 1960s. [39]

Another sign of cultural decadence is the groupie phenomenon, which was popular among young people and another byproduct of the counterculture. In the 1960s, as rock ‘n’ roll became popular in the West, groups of young girls obsessed with rock stars followed their performances and provided personal and sexual services for band members. These young women became victims of a fad. [40] Today, young people admire stars who promote confused sexual identities, including male celebrities who behave effeminately, and vice versa.

There is also the supposedly fashionable punk subculture. Similar to those in the hippie movement, punks rebel against tradition and promote nihilism. Most hippies were rebellious young people from traditional middle-class families, while punk is more typically the rebellion of lower classes against social traditions. [41] In order to express their thoroughly anti-traditionalist attitudes, punks often exhibit bizarre hairstyles and wear tattered clothes full of spikes and buckles. They dye their hair, get tattoos, pierce their bodies all over, and sometimes expose body parts that the average person would be inclined to keep hidden. Punk style provides inspiration for many of today’s fashion trends.

Punks advocate hedonism, which is why one popular punk slogan is “live fast, die young, and leave a pretty corpse.” This fully reflects the tragedy of lost faith in the divine and of being deceived into falling into the abyss of hedonism and materialism. Though such self-destructive nihilism ought to elicit alarm among individuals and society, most are too deeply immersed in contemporary pop culture to see it for what it is.

Deviant and twisted contemporary culture fills everyday life: the display of ghostly or demonic images on popular clothing or in music; the choice of ugly images for tattoos; grotesque children’s toys and ornaments; literature, film, and television works full of demons, ghosts, and supernatural horror — media that are widely consumed by the public — and the destructive and nihilistic content found on the internet.

4. Recovering the Moral Foundations of Human Culture

Everyone has the right to pursue happiness — but with the right comes the responsibility to remain within moral parameters. Excessive pursuit of pleasure inevitably brings suffering, calamity, and sorrow.

The traditional culture of humanity doesn’t forbid the reasonable satisfaction of desire. However, traditional culture teaches people to control their desires and choose a healthy lifestyle. It values harmony with nature, traditional labor, harmonious family relationships, a healthy civil society, and participation in self-rule and state management, as well as traditional arts, literature, sports, and entertainment. All of this brings happiness and satisfaction, benefiting the individual in body and mind, as well as society at large.

The ultimate goal of communism, however, is to destroy humankind. One of the steps in this process is the corruption of morality and the removal of the divine from human culture. Therefore, the goal is for popular culture and lifestyles to be infused with negativity and darkness. In the past few decades, just such a popular culture has been created in the East and the West. Self-centeredness, hedonism, and nihilism have become common, accepted, and even fashionable.

Sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll, and video games stimulate and magnify desires. Many indulge in these things to escape the misery and disappointment of life, but they never stop to reflect. These addictions only bring momentary satisfaction, followed by more pain and disaster. Drug abuse causes disease, death, and personality disorders; chaotic sexual relationships destroy the family, making people lose trust and warmth; and video games make people lose themselves in a false world. Addicts feel that they’re in a carnival of fun, but in fact, they are simply being exploited by outside forces, as the only thing waiting for them is spiritual decay and physical death.

The same is true of societies and nations. When a large number of people are addicted to desire and pleasure, disaster is at hand.

The divine created humankind and gave every individual free will. People should not abuse their freedoms and continue walking the path of degeneracy. Instead, they should make good use of that freedom and choose to return to a traditional culture and way of life. The divine has always looked after and protected humankind. But whether people can return to the right path depends entirely on the choice of each individual.

Read Next: Chapter Fifteen

Updated June 9, 2020.

Read the series here: How the Specter of Communism Is Ruling Our World


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