For some, the demise and dissipation of American culture over the past several decades is undeniable. Does the moral decay and spiritual bankruptcy date back to the counter-culture of the 1960’s, as some say? What happened in the 60’s? In order to gain a clearer understanding, one must go farther back than the 1960’s–back to the year 1914.
Marxist theory predicted if war ever came to Europe the workers of the industrialized nations– i.e. the Proletariat–would rise up and revolt against their respective Bourgeoisie (“the rich,” “the haves”), capitalist governments, thereby creating a utopian workers’ paradise–the beginning of a glorious and heroic global Communist commune–the “dictatorship of the Proletariat.”
Unfortunately, for the votaries of Marx & Engels, when war did break out on the European Continent in 1914, the promised multinational workers’ revolution did not occur. The so-called “workers” of Russia, Austria, France, Germany and Great Britain gave their loyalty to their respective countries, not to their “class consciousness.”
Ironically, the one place where the workers’ revolution did occur–Russia–was the one place where it was postulated by Marxist theoreticians it would not occur–within an agrarian, non-industrialized society. Interestingly, it was another large agrarian, non-industrialized society that eventually came under the complete domination of Marxist-Leninist style government–China. Even after the 1917 October Revolution in Russia, the Marxist revolution failed to spread to Western Europe–again contradicting orthodox Marxist theory.
At the end of World War One, Marxist theorists began to ask themselves, “What went wrong?” Two religiously devoted disciples of Marx & Engels–Antonio Gramsci and Georg Lukacs–believed they had the answer: instead of direct revolt by the working-class, Gramsci and Lukacs believed the population–the masses–of repressive capitalist systems must be conditioned and prepared to accept a pure Communistic society.
Gramsci and Lukacs decided the best way to do this would be to attack the culture–a cultural revolution, as opposed to a bloody revolution, as had been the case in prior Marxist insurrections. Lukacs and Gramsci sought to attack the cultural values and traditions of capitalist systems from within–destroying the traditions and values in order to pave the way for a truly Marxist system.
Shortly after the end of World War One, Italian Socialist Party member Antonio Gramsci started his own radical newspaper, The New Order, and went on to found the Italian Communist Party. But fascist dicatator Bentio Mussolini’s “March on Rome” sent Gramsci fleeing to the Soviet Union.
Gramsci soon became intensely disillusioned with life under the brutal and merciless rule of Stalin’s Soviet Russia. Fr. James Thornton describes Gramsci’s despondency in his article “Gramsci’s Grand Plan: A Special Report from The New American Magazine, 1999“:
“The fascist ‘March on Rome,’ and the appointment of Benito Mussolini to the prime ministry, impelled the young Marxist theorist to depart Italy. Casting about for a new home, he chose the most logical place for a Communist, Lenin’s newly fashioned USSR. However, Soviet Russia was not what he had expected. His powers of observation wakened immediately to the distance that so often separates theory from reality. A fanatical Marxist insofar as political, economic, and historical theories were concerned, Gramsci was profoundly disturbed that life in Communist Russia exhibited little evidence of any deeply felt love on the part of the workers for the ‘paradise’ that Lenin had constructed for them. Even less was there any deep attachment to such concepts as the ‘proletarian revolution’ or ‘dictatorship of the proletariat,’ apart from the obligatory rhetoric.
On the contrary, it was obvious to Gramsci that the ‘paradise’ of the working class maintained its hold over workers and peasants only by sheer terror, by mass murder on a gargantuan scale, and by the ubiquitous, gnawing fear of midnight knocks on the door and of forced-labor camps in the Siberian wilderness. Also crucial to Lenin’s state was a continuous drumbeat of propaganda, slogans, and outright lies. It was all very disillusioning for Gramsci. While other men might have reassessed their entire ideological outlook after such experiences, Gramsci’s subtle, analytical mind worked on the seeming paradox differently.”
Gramsci makes the ill-fated decision to return to Italy to take up the struggle against Mussolini. Gramsci is seen as a serious and direct threat to Il Duce’s power. Mussolini imprisons Gramsci for nine years. Before his death in 1937, Gramsci produced his Prison Notebooks–a nine volume set of observations on history, sociology, Marxist theory, and, most importantly, Marxist strategy. Fr. James Thornton writes:
“Those volumes, known as the Prison Notebooks, have since been published in many languages and distributed throughout the world. Their significance comes from the fact that they form the foundation for a dramatic new Marxist strategy, one that makes the ‘spontaneous revolution’ of Lenin as obsolete as hoop skirts and high button shoes, one that promises to win the world voluntarily to Marxism, and one based on a realistic appraisal of historical fact and human psychology, rather than on empty wishes and illusions.”
Gramsci wrote in his Prison Notebooks:
“Workers will only unite after the long march through the institutions.”
Gramsci went on to write:
“Capture the citadels of the culture and turn them into a collective Fifth Column; thereby, undermining the culture from within, and turning the core values of the society upside down and inside out.”
The whole goal of Gramscis’s Marxist strategy of cultural revolution was to infiltrate the institutions of capitalist and industrialized society–the arts, cinema, media, schools, churches, synagogues, etc. Once the hold on the culture was complete, by dint of “the long march through the institutions,” a long march through the halls of government could begin–a fundamental transformation per social change toward a pure Communistic society.
The biggest obstacles to the implementation of a Marxist-centered state are the deeply-held traditions and patriotism citizens typically have for their own country of origin. Communism is an intensely atheistic, anti-family ideology that seeks to destroy “Christendom,” and all religions, for that matter–for the state is the religion. The state is the Higher Power–God–in a pure Communistic society. The state will provide all spiritual and material needs according to ability and need–or what the state perceives to be ability or need.
“From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”
Gramsci’s and Lukacs strategy of cultural pessimism and cultural terrorism immeasurably influenced the New Marxists of the day, and helped establish the foundation for today’s New Left. It is noteworthy to point out former U.S. president Bill Clinton visited the Gramsci Institute in Italy, and its associated youth cooperatives, in 1987.
“Another interesting trip made by Bill Clinton was exposed by the Italian paper, Il Sabato, August 1992 in an article titled ‘Comrade Bill,’ where reporter Antonio Socci told of an interview he had with Clinton at the Democratic convention in NY a few weeks earlier. Clinton revealed that he had gone to Italy five years earlier to study how to solve economic problems. ‘I came five years ago to find out how the cooperatives, the artisan cooperatives, and the micro enterprises function. Then I went back to Arkansas and helped to put together 70 youth cooperatives.’
Socci was fascinated. ‘Don’t tell me this communist cooperative is your economic prescription for America?’ ‘Absolutely,’ Clinton replied. Upon his return to Italy, Socci interviewed members of the Italian Communist Party and they confirmed that Clinton had in fact visited their [Anotonio Gramsci] cooperatives in 1987. One remembered the visit well, saying that he told Clinton the cooperatives were run by communists and socialists. Clinton’s response was, ‘No problem.'”
The Frankfurt School
On June 22, 1924, the Institute for Marxism formally opened its doors in Frankfurt, Germany. The Institute for Marxism was intended to be a think tank and public policy institute providing critiques on Western culture–modeled after the Marx-Engels Institute in Moscow. The institute was later renamed the Institut für Sozialforschung–translation: Institute for Social Research. But, after time, it simply became known as the “Frankfurt School.” The Frankfurt School was comprised of fervent Marxists like Max Horkheimer, Theodor W. Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, Leo Lowenthal, Wilhelm Reich, Erich Fromm, Georg Lukacs, Robert Sorge … and other well-known Marxist theoreticians of the time.
At first, the Frankfurt school members worked on economic questions and the labor movement–orthodox Marxism. But in 1930, the director of the Frankfurt School was replaced by a young Marxist intellectual named Max Horkheimer. Horkheimer began to develop a theory of a New Marxism–translating Marxism from economic to cultural terms … giving us what we now call “Political Correctness.”
Horkheimer recognized the economic success of capitalist systems, and announced that revolution by the working class was unlikely to come about. A surrogate for the workers would be needed.
INTERMISSION: The Definition of Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different and unique result each and every time …
Meanwhile, the Frankfurt School began to link Marx with Freud–which led to the theory that all citizens of capitalistic, free market systems lived under a constant state of psychological repression. At this time, the theory of “sexual alienation” and the use of Freudian psycho-analysis to further the New Marxism were put forth. The solution to preparing a populace for Marxist revolution was to attack on all fronts–economic, social and culture. Another Frankfurt School member, radical social psychologist Erich Fromm, pioneered the concept of “sexual liberation” and “gender politics.”
In 1932, Herbert Marcuse joined the Frankfurt School and soon became the most important and influential figure for the development of “Political Correctness.” It was Marcuse who would finally translate the theories of the Frankfurt school from economic to cultural terms. In the 1960’s, it was Marcuse who provided a substitute for the working class–“the youth.”
“The West is guilty of genocidal crimes against every civilization and culture it has encountered. American and Western Civilization are the world’s greatest repositories of racism, sexism, nativism, xenophobia, antisemitism, fascism, and narcissism. American society is oppressive, evil, and undeserving of loyalty.”
The Genesis of Critical Theory
In 1933, the fiercely anti-Bolshevik and fascist leader Adolf Hitler arose to seize power in Germany. The Frankfurt School decided to relocate to none other than New York City–with support from the President of Columbia University. The location where the Frankfurt School set up shop was a just a few hundred yards away from where the Pulitzer Prize is awarded.
Some members of the Frankfurt School even infiltrated Hollywood and the press upon arrival to their new land of “refuge.”
The first tangible product of the Frankfurt School was “Critical Theory”–to attack the culture from all sides simultaneously. Critical Theory is really no theory at all; it is instead a strategy of criticizing all traditional, cultural and religious beliefs of a so-called Bourgeoisie society in order to weaken, question and dissipate the firmly-held beliefs of the masses–the citizenry. Critical Theory forms the basis for Gay Studies, Women’s Studies, Black Studies, and various other “studies” departments prevalent on American college campuses across the nation–the home place for Political Correctness, i.e. Cultural Marxism, i.e Cultural Pessimism.
Critical Theory does not provide an explanation for what it is for, only for what it is against. Critical Theory even attempts to politicize and criticize logic itself. Max Horkheimer wrote that “logic is not independent of content.” That means an argument is logical if it is against Western culture–illogical if it supports it. This philosophy has been inculcated into the minds of many college students in America today.
The Frankfurt School in America added some new elements, such as the “Studies in Prejudice”–which eventually culminated in the immensely influential book, The Authoritarian Personality, by Theodor W. Adorno–who argued that America contains many “fascist traits.” Adorno insisted anybody who supported traditional American culture was psychologically unbalanced. This all gave rise to the New Left’s version of “sensitivity training.” It also explains why the devotees of Political Correctness are quick to label their opponents “fascists.”
The antonym to Critical Theory would be “constructive dialogue.” But constructive dialogue does not further the cause of tearing down and destroying Western society. Critical Theory is a strategy of hate–the hate of Christianity, authority, capitalism, the family, patriarchy, hierarchy, morality, tradition, sexual restraint, loyalty, patriotism, nationalism, heredity–anything from the West is to be blamed and rejected outright. Anyone not accepting this premise is to be considered mentally deranged.
In Adorno and Horkheimer’s book, The Dialectic of Enlightenment, they co-opted the fashionable cause of environmentalism into their cultural Marxism. Now the notion of economic oppression by Western societies was applied to domination of the natural world itself–the Bourgeoisie were oppressing the planet itself … species domination. Once again, the Judeo-Christian belief that man has dominion over the earth, and is an order of magnitude above the animal kingdom, must be smashed–destroy Christendom and its ilk is the goal.
In order to gain dominance over the economic engine of America, and other free market systems, the members of the Frankfurt School theorized that the middle-class must be destroyed; thus, the emphasis on perverting and breaking apart the traditional family structure, since the family is the main element of the middle-class–the economic engine. Marxism seeks to control the means of production. The family is to be replaced by the state … values come from the state collective, according to the tenets of Marxist philosophy.
Following World War Two, some members of the Frankfurt School returned to Germany. But Herbert Marcuse remained in the United States, eventually becoming a professor at Brandeis University in San Diego, California. Marcuse became the so-called guru of the New Left. Posters of Marx, Mao and Marcuse even appeared in France–such was the elevation of Marcuse by the Cultural Marxists of the day.
Once upon a time a little boy named Barry Soetoro (a.k.a. Barack Hussein Obama) was left with his grandparents so his young mother could go off abroad to study Critical Theory. WINK!
In summary, Critical Theory is the sword of the New Left; it is used to attack its opponents. Political Correctness provides the shield–a means to deflect any arrows coming from the opposition. Simply cry racism, sexism, nativism, xenophobia–what have you–the opposition is always wrong, despite any evidence contrary.
The Fallacy of Pure Democracy
Surprisingly, for many, it is a revelation to discover America is not a pure democracy, in technical terms. Pure democracy is the rule of the majority–in effect, a lynch mob. Pure democracy does not provide the underpinning of law; nor does it provide a representative form of government which provides checks and balances between the co-equal branches of government; thus, preventing tyranny by a majority, or tyranny by a minority.
“Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.“
The United States of America is a constitutional republic as defined by the U.S. Constitution. Of course, the U.S.A. has implemented certain Athenian democratic principles into the formation of our current governmental system. But our Founders warned pure democracies always fail. The Founders coined the term “mobocracy” in reference to pure democracy, i.e. direct democracy.
“As democracy is perfected, the office of President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright moron.”
–H.L. Mencken, The Baltimore Evening Sun, July 26, 1920
Karl Marx stated, “Democracy is the road to socialism.” One will rarely hear a leftist politician refer to our nation as a republic, but rather a democracy. This is the type of operant conditioning that has been occurring in America for the past 90-plus years. Even those on the right often refer to the U.S.A. as a “democracy.” Nothing could make a dyed-in-the-wool Marxist happier. Once the republican form of liberty is subverted into a democratic form of so-called liberty, the leap to socialism, and eventually pure Communism, is one giant step closer to reality (cf. Pavlov’s Dog).
“In the United States, the majority undertakes to supply a multitude of ready-made opinions for the use of individuals, who are thus relieved from the necessity of forming opinions of their own.”
–Alexis de Tocqueville
The only real antidote to the dialectical nonsense of Marxism is moral certainty. This is where the church and synagogue in America have rolled over; they have allowed the enemy–the Marxist et al.–to infiltrate, dilute and pervert the Judeo-Christian message by means of diversity and consensus. It all sounds good on the surface, but in the end will only lead to America’s and Western civilization’s ultimate demise.
“What I worry about would be that you essentially have two chambers, the House and the Senate, but you have simply, majoritarian, absolute power on either side. And that’s just not what the founders intended.”
–Barack Hussein Obama
“[T]he powers of the federal government are enumerated; it can only operate in certain cases; it has legislative powers on defined and limited objects, beyond which it cannot extend its jurisdiction.”
–James Madison, Speech in the Virginia Ratifying Convention [June 6, 1788]
If one is being drowned, does one come to a compromise with the attacker? The American Republic is having its collective head held under water, while the perpetrator–the New Left–insists on coming to some sort of compromise. To ignore the cultural element, and how it has been subverted and perverted by radical Cultural Marxists, is to ignore the most successful strategy employed against the American Republic by the Left–Political Correctness. It is a strategy based in hate and resentment. Hardly what one would call mentally healthy. But hate is the vehicle which brings about “fundamental change” for the Marxists of the world–the ends justify the means.
There is no compromise with evil. As a nation, we will either begin our own “long march through the institutions,” in order to take them back; or we can rest assured the most successful experiment in freedom and liberty for the individual–America–will be relegated to the scrap heap of history; thus, ushering in a new Dark Age for the cause of freedom and liberty for humanity across the planet.
“If you can’t sell freedom and liberty, you suck!”