Have you ever heard of Antonio Gramsci? How about Herbert Marcuse? Or the Frankfurt School?
These names are probably meaningless to all but a small minority of scholars academics and political theorists throughout the world. Yet, Americans — and indeed all those who treasure the religion, culture and history of Western Civilization — should become acquainted with these names if they are to understand the forces that are currently tearing society apart.
Marxism appeared on the scene in Europe in the mid-19th century. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels posited a thesis that capitalist society was doomed to demise as the “proletariat” — the working class — rose up to overthrow their oppressors, the “bourgeoisie” — the middle class of property owners. Marx and Engels saw world history through the prism of a perpetual class struggle between these two implacable enemies. Marx predicted that socialist revolutions would spring up throughout the West as the proletariat overthrew the bourgeoisie and established dictatorships in the name of the “people.”
Fortunately for us, but unfortunately for Marx, his prediction fell short. The socialist revolutions largely failed to materialize in Europe or America. The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 arrived in Russia — vanguard of the East — and had as much to do with the tragic casualties and deprivations of World War I as anything to do with the wealth of the propertied classes. Subsequent communist revolutions that attempted to replicate what Lenin achieved in Russia — be they in postwar Hungary under Bela Kun or Germany under Rosa Luxemburg were either short-lived or failed altogether.
Aside from Mao’s communist takeover of mainland China in 1949 — which again happened in the East, not the West and again on the heels of a major destructive world war — most communist successes in the post-World War II era occurred not as a result of a spontaneous uprising of the proletariat but at the point of a bayonet. Communist regimes were forcibly imposed by Moscow on most of central and eastern Europe as an Iron Curtain darkened the continent for the next 40 years.
The intellectual followers of Marx were disappointed. Their vision of a worldwide uprising against the propertied classes — based on economics alone — had not
It was time for a new strategy. These left-wing academics — with names like Gramsci, Marcuse, Adorno, Horkheimer and Brecht — collectively represented something called the Frankfurt School. The Frankfurt School — associated with the Institute for Social Research at Goethe University in Germany — was an assembly of political dissidents and malcontents who determined that Marx had gotten it backwards. Instead of an economic revolution igniting a cultural revolution, they believed only by a “long march through the institutions” of the West could they achieve their communist objectives.
To that end, they launched a broad-based attack on all the traditional institutions of Western society: The universities, the media, publishing, motion pictures, as well as the church and the family. Everything was fair game, if it reflected the traditional Judeo-Christian values of existing society — from sexual mores to national sovereignty.
According to Cultural Marxists like Antonio Gramsci, a “cultural hegemony” of the capitalist class was using institutions like traditional marriage as an instrument of oppression. Everyone was now a victim of these cultural oppressors: Women, racial minorities, immigrants, homosexuals, Muslims — it was the rise of identity politics embraced by today’s Democratic Party that attempts to pit one group against another in order to achieve permanent political power.
As Gerald Warner wrote in Breitbart News: “By the post-War era the Cultural Marxist programme had a wide-reaching agenda of destruction. It aimed to destroy the family, denying the specific roles of the father and mother, and advocated the teaching of sex and homosexuality to children; mobilization of women as revolutionaries against men, through aggressive feminism; large-scale immigration to abolish national identity; dependency on the state and state benefits; control and infantilisation of the media.”
Of course, most Americans began recognizing the signs of cultural upheaval in the 1960s, particularly after 1965, culminating in what Pope Benedict XVI called the “Revolution of 1968.” Suddenly, everything was under attack; even the very notion of civil government and law. Authority was automatically to be questioned and anything and everything associated with the established order and traditional societal norms and values, traditions and ideas was to be wiped out.
Cultural Marxism is the father of the Democratic Party’s identity politics and political correctness. It is the father of transgender insanity and racial polarization. It is the father of open borders and rights for illegal immigrants. And, yes, it is even the father of the anarchy and nihilism that gives rise to mass shooters and to Hollywood movies that portray hunting human beings for sport as “entertainment.”
Yes, Marx’s economic theories may have failed, but his wicked offspring in the Cultural Marxist movement are having the last laugh on all of us who believe in a society rooted in religion, morality and law. The fact that their “culture-first, economics-second” strategy is working can be seen in how the millennials — brainwashed for years by their Cultural Marxist professors in America’s colleges and universities — are now so enthusiastic about socialism. It is this voter bloc — in addition to the exploding immigrant population — that the Democratic Party is counting on to stampede the voting boothes in November 2020 to turn red states blue and elect America’s first openly socialist president. To all of you who voted for President Trump in 2016, your vote is needed again in 2020, more than ever before. And, as one candidate for President put it in that volatile year of 1968— This Time Vote Like Your Whole World Depended on It.
• James Veltmeyer is a physician in La Jolla, California. He was voted “Top Doctor” in San Diego County in 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2019.
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