Seeing the Invisible Revolution
Bob MacGuffie and Antony Stark– authors of The SeventhCrisis
It is impossible to understand the so-called cultural clash in the United States without understanding the paradigm within which it has been played out for over half a century. That paradigm is a very clever and pernicious construct that has been created and nurtured by the political Left since the mid-twentieth century.
As the Cold War began, the struggle between the two major victorious powers of the Second World War for ideological supremacy was clear: the Capitalist West, led by the United States, squared off against the nations in Eastern Europe that were under the total control of the Marxist-socialist Soviet Union. The Communist powers were joined within 10 years by China and their own satellites in North Korea and, to a great extent, revolutionary groups fighting in Southeast Asia, especially in Vietnam.
But this struggle, which periodically heated up to a point just short of nuclear war (especially in 1962) was, despite Marxist insistence on its inevitable, historically mandated victory, increasingly seen as a stalemate. The prospect of two essentially equal nuclear powers blundering into mutually assured atomic destruction caused many intellectuals on the Left to look for another, less dangerous path, to overcome the power of the Capitalist West other than direct conflict or violent revolution.
They found it in “Critical Theory.”
History of Critical Theory
Critical Theory has a very old, and very destructive heritage. In 1844, Marx wrote about “critical philosophy,” which is today known as “critical theory.” This “critical philosophy” was exclusively dedicated to the relentless tearing down of Western civilization and replacing it with the Communist utopia.
To Marx, “criticism” was not simply to be a philosophical “critique”; it was meant to be weaponized and used against everything that was the enemy of the revolution. He said:
“The weapon of criticism cannot, of course, replace criticism of the weapon, material force must be overthrown by material force, but theory also becomes a material force as soon as it has gripped the masses. The theory is capable of gripping the masses as soon as it demonstrates ad hominem, and it demonstrates ad hominem as soon as it becomes radical.”
Marx’s acolyte, Antonio Gramsci elaborated further:
“Socialism is precisely the religion that must overwhelm Christianity… In the new order, Socialism will triumph by first capturing the culture via infiltration of schools, universities, churches, and the media by transforming the consciousness of society.”
While not totally abandoning the stodgy and sclerotic Marxist “class war” narrative, whose proletariat worker / bourgeois capitalist dichotomy was becoming ever more irrelevant and meaningless in a world where workers in the Capitalist West were living immensely richer and freer lives than in the totalitarian Communist East, many 20th Century Marxists opted to create a different aspect to the traditional dialectic. This aspect would focus not on suffering factory workers or landless peasants as much as it would on Gramsci’s emphasis on cultural oppression, including the areas associated with race, gender, ethnicity, feminism, and, eventually, environmentalism. Identity politics and victimization would be the new battle lines where society’s “inequalities” would be confronted. Thus, a “New Left” was born and its vanguard ideology of Political Correctness would be the wedge driven right through an otherwise increasingly tolerant, prosperous, and modernizing American society.
The New Left in America began with the student rebellion of the mid-1960s and found its godfather in Herbert Marcuse and his popular book, “Eros and Civilization,” which became a virtual bible for the SDS and other student rebels of the ‘60s. He gave the burgeoning movement a philosophical theory whose underpinning is based in repression. The essentials of Critical Theory are taken from a group of like-minded Leftwing intellectuals known as the “Frankfurt School,” which re-fashioned Marxism along Gramscian lines to adapt to the dynamics driving the growing student protests against the Nuclear Arms Race and the War in Vietnam as well as against the entire pre-and post-war cultural edifice built by their parents.
The Left moved beyond the outdated capitalist-proletariat dialectic of classic Marxism and found new areas in which to exploit and/or exacerbate class… or rather, cultural-social… strife between generations. They sought to position the young who resisted the military Draft of their own into a pitched battle against the old who were in charge of running it; to set blacks against whites in violent confrontations as the victims of oppression vs. racist tyrants; to exacerbate tensions between women seeking “liberation” from gender oppression against those favoring traditional roles as mothers and household caretakers; by pitting ethnic groups seeking cultural validation against those who demanded cultural assimilation into the traditional “English Enlightenment” culture and exploiting tensions between homosexuals seeking an end to social ostracism and religious groups who were convinced that biblical injunctions against the practice were morally correct. They even attached themselves to “environmentalists” who sought to “save Mother Earth” from rapacious capitalists who were “raping” “her.”
These would be the friction points the cultural Marxists would, with great success, exacerbate over the following decades as wedge issues to insinuate themselves into positions of power.
These “friction points” were used to abrade the values required for a democratic Republic to exist and thrive. Such a republic holds individual autonomy, meritocracy and Liberty as central to its preservation and therefore allows for political egalitarianism rather than enforcing the views of an elitist, oligarchic hierarchy based on class, race and gender such as envisioned by the neo-Marxists in the Frankfort School, on society.
Of course, the essence of Marxist propaganda is to mask itself as advocating the opposite of what it seeks behind a façade of democratic forms and vocabulary that are empty of true content and meaning.
The use of democratic language to mask an authoritarian ideology that falsely seeks to place “Social Justice” or “Economic Equity” instead of Liberty as its prime goal is a gross misuse of such language. It distorts and misdirects it toward an anti-Liberty reality while hiding behind a putatively “democratic” disguise. Under this disguise, elites seize, expand and consolidate their power in its name.
The façade consists of creating propaganda that is not recognized as such by the general population but is seen instead as “democratic” language designed to naturally advance some egalitarian goal (“social justice,” “cultural rectification,” “anti-Racism”) that is deemed to promote, not retard, individual liberty. In this manner democratic ideals are used against themselves to solidify anti-democratic, authoritarian edicts and the power they rest on.
Gramsci and Marcuse realized that while propaganda in an authoritarian state is formalized in a government “Ministry of Information,” in a democratic Republic, propaganda is instead disseminated through schools, the media, and the entertainment industry; hence their desire to gain “hegemony” over each of these institutions as well as their determination to reverse their thrust from being institutions that affirmed respect for traditional values such as religion, family and patriotism to institutions that undermined such values in favor of a new, politicized “catechism” based on progressive Left anti-values.
They realized that once such hegemony was achieved, the debate would be closed off by appealing to the emotions that can be aroused through focusing on social problems that require radical redress lest they continue to “oppress” and “hurt” specific communities, regardless of the reality of whether or not such “oppression” actually exists or not. No one is supposed to consider the merits of such claims of oppression but instead, react emotionally to “resolve” them via “any means necessary.”
As Walter Lippman, in his 1927 book “The Phantom Public” wrote, propaganda “…consists essentially in the use of symbols which assemble emotions after they have been detached from their ideas.”
Such detachment from ideas allows propaganda to undermine a democratic Republic by presenting itself not as its opponent, but rather as the embodiment of its ideals… all while working to corrupt and erode them. It makes a case that appeals to the ideal to garner support for it but serves a goal that erodes the public’s ability to attain that ideal.
Critical Race Theory
For example, in the current controversy regarding Critical Race Theory, its advocates claim it is required to promote an anti-racist message and thereby redress past historical wrongs (such as slavery or the segregationist de facto apartheid system that came into being in the wake of the Civil War) in order to create a more open, democratic and egalitarian society.
However, the actions that CRT calls one to take to achieve such results are those that are exactly the opposite of what is claimed to be the ideal it is pursuing.
In the name of anti-Racism, virulent racist memes and policies are directed against people who are innocent of any racism at all, including White school children. Against all reason and fairness, it is claimed that such children (as well as their parents) are born racists because they have inherited “White Privilege.” One is therefore guilty of something one has no control over (viz. one’s race) and more, takes nothing into account regarding those White children who are born poor or abused and without any “privilege” at all. According to CRT, White skin means that one is literally “born in iniquity” and must atone for the crimes and social sins committed by people who may… or even may not… have been their ancestors simply by virtue of their race.
Further, since Critical Race Theory considers White racism is to be “systemic,” the whole society is to be considered racist; therefore, the only way to “cure” it is to admit that non-White culture is “superior” to “White culture,” which absurdly leads to the condemnation of all Western values… including meritocracy, precision, logic, reason, punctuality, articulate speech, and hard work… that are of use to all people, regardless of race.
Most absurdly of all, it advocates reverse discrimination against Whites (and or those considered “White-adjacent,” such as Asians) as a cure for past discriminatory measures against Black and Hispanic minorities that may no longer even exist.
Yet this evil, brutally racist bilge is promoted in the name of anti-Racism and any counter-argument against it is drowned out in a tidal wave of emotional hysterics that claims such counter-arguments are, predictably, “racist.”
Hence, CRT propaganda presents itself as the embodiment of certain political ideals (anti-Racism, equality under the law, liberty, and social justice for all) but instead corrupts and erodes those ideals in favor of their opposites.
Such propaganda is disseminated throughout Academia, in the News Media, through Social Media, and in the so-called Entertainment Industry… all of which are twisted to withhold crucial information that could be used to counter such lies. All disagreements are censored and those making them are “canceled,” not just because they are deemed “wrong” but because they are deemed “evil.”
In this manner, debate is shut down even before it can begin; critical thinking is crushed, and lies become unassailable truths. Gramsci, Marcuse, and the current Leftwing advocates of pernicious lies such as Critical Race Theory knew that without truthful information, knowledge of accurate history, and the ability to think critically, it is impossible to engage in meaningful political deliberation. They wanted to create a generation that was fed false or inaccurate information that it would accept as truthful and complete.
As such they will make decisions that they are led to make rather than decisions they make for themselves.
Such flawed political decision-making leads to demagogues who will manipulate the emotions they have stirred while presenting themselves as champions of the very ideals they seek to destroy.
Manufactured crises… political, economic, cultural, social, health… will be used to cut off rational options and instead call for thoughtless actions to be instituted in an immediate, sweeping, irreversible manner. Again, this deception will be disguised in the very ideals that the consequences of its actions will debilitate and destroy. It will also disguise the fact that its true ideology is the polar opposite of the ideals it purports to be saving. This propaganda deliberately inhibits public discourse because it knows such discourse and critical thinking would reveal it to be the fraud that it is.
Thus, the violent anarchists of anti-Fa claim to be anti-Fascists while acting like Nazi Stormtroopers and those proclaiming allegiance to Black Lives Matter care nothing for the Black lives that are lost due to the anti-Policing policies BLM advocates. Those who advocate for Critical Race Theory claim to be anti-Racist but promote a blatantly racist, anti-White agenda that is cruelly aimed at teaching White children to either see themselves as irredeemably evil and guilty oppressors or insidiously insults Black and Hispanic children to see themselves as too weak and intellectually incapable of helping themselves without the aid of the elites on the Progressive Left… many of whom are themselves White.
An assist from Big Tech
In an almost classic case of using Democratic language and ideals to promote an ANTI-Democratic agenda, the Robber Barons who control Big Tech plead that they cannot be subject to lawsuits that protests their monopolistic censorship of the free speech of average Americans, by invoking their own free speech rights under the First Amendment… to squelch the free speech of others!
They claim to be private businesses when they are in effect, public utility “Common Carriers” like power and telephone companies. Such companies cannot turn off your electricity or telephone service if they disagree with your political views; neither should the monopolists who run Big Tech be able to censor or cancel out news, opinions or discourse they oppose.
As Law Professor Alan Dershowitz states:
“It’s the high-tech giants that are banning freedom of speech; they are censoring. But they’re claiming the right to do so under the First Amendment. So, they’re using the First Amendment as a sword against Freedom of Speech.”
They demand the privileges accorded private businesses to run their companies as they see fit while utilizing government laws such as Section 230 to protect themselves from private lawsuits. They use the politicians they have bought and paid for to stand by and do nothing while they crush their competitors in violation of anti-trust legislation. They trumpet the public’s “right to know” while shadow-banning and canceling all news, opinions, viewpoints, and discourse that disagrees with their Woke Left cultural and political views.
They do all this while posing as the victim rather than as the perpetrator, as the champion of Democratic ideals rather than as their destroyer.
As the dominant group controlling so much of the culture – Academia, News Media, Social Media, Corporate Culture and Entertainment – they promote negative stereotypes of those groups they have targeted including those who hold traditional family values, religious beliefs, support free markets, and value individual achievement.
We are all familiar with narratives concerning the “greedy businessman” willing to damage society in pursuit of profit; the religious hypocrite; the corrupt “rightwing” politician; the war-criminal American soldier; the racist cop and the homophobic blue collar manufacturing worker with the Southern accent.
All these stereotypes are created and promoted as a form of “shorthand” to designate those who are associated with them as being beyond the Pale, not worthy of conversation, dismissed outright, unworthy of empathy or respect or exploration of whether they truly are what they are purported to be. All are mindlessly, automatically tossed into the basket of deplorables to be, in one way or another, purged.
Such stereotypes produce political beliefs that, like religious beliefs, are immune to rational revision. It creates an ideological belief system that prevents the acquisition of knowledge in favor of a pseudo-religious form of political dogma that is never to be questioned.
The conflation of a belief system like religion, which is based on a firmly held faith or confidence that something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof is true and a knowledge system such as politics, which is dependent on logic, reason and empirical truth to be credible, is incredibly dangerous. While a religious belief (for example, in the existence of GOD or in the virgin birth of Jesus Christ) which often requires a leap of faith in defiance of rational facts, is a perfectly legitimate concept within its domain, a knowledge system not congruent with logic or reason allows for all sorts of false claims and impossible promises to demand a sense of credibility and reality that is not deserved and is dangerous to accept.
The world has greatly suffered from such “political religions” that demand people put their “faith” in the false and irrational claims of power-hungry leaders. Nazism and Communism come immediately to mind as among the worst of such politicized “faiths,” which demand they be accepted on the basis of “belief,” not “knowledge” or proof, that their policies work.
Such is the power of propaganda to create such a conflation, especially if it is pervasive throughout society’s cultural institutions and even more so if the type of critical thinking required to refute such a system is eroded and eventually destroyed by the kind of ideological warfare waged by those on the Left who accept the views of Gramsci and Marcuse. Writing in her penetrating “American Thinker article “An Explanation of Tactics to Fundamentally Transform America” Janet Levy tells the frightening story of Yuri Bezmenov, a member of the Soviet KGB who defected to the West in the 1970s. She reveals that Bezmenov “…alerted Americans to the methods the Soviet secret service was using to subvert our political system. The aim of the agency, he said, was gradual “ideological subversion” or “psychological warfare.”
She goes on to list “…the twelve-step process of brainwashing aimed at effecting a Marxist revolution in America and illustrates it using events from the coronavirus pandemic.
The twelve steps are: 1) removing principled leadership; 2) encouraging the questioning of values, convictions, and the American worldview; 3) presenting a revisionist history that portrays the free market system as oppressive; 4) propagating moral relativity to cloud the distinction between right and wrong; 5) extolling consensus and collectivism while declaring individualism dangerous; 6) focusing on emotions over facts, reason, and context; 7) fostering anxiety, confusion, social turbulence; 8) concealing the ultimate agenda; 9) using trusted individuals and institutions to enhance credibility; 10) using informants to zero in on those who don’t comply; 11) rewarding compliance and punishing dissent; and 12) winning public trust by manufacturing chaos to lay the groundwork for a benevolent-seeming rescue.” (emphasis ours)
Read over the above list; is there one item on it that is not in sync with the type of Critical Race Theory now being pushed hard in schools, news, and social media outlets, and corporate human resource departments all over the United States or not found at the core of the Leftwing anarchistic mayhem going on in cities across the country?
In a 1984 interview Bezmenov said “The main emphasis of the KGB is not in the area of intelligence at all . . . only about 15% of the time, money, and manpower is spent on espionage as such. The other 85% is a slow process, which we call either ideological subversion . . . What it basically means is to change the perception of reality of every American, to such an extent, that despite the abundance of information, no one is able to come to sensible conclusions” [and then] “The demoralization process in the United States is . . . a person who was demoralized, is unable to assess true information. The facts tell nothing to him. Even if I shower him with information with the authentic proof, with documents, with pictures, even if I take him by force to the Soviet Union and show him concentration camps, he will refuse to believe it, until he is going to receive a kick in his fat bottom.”
The umbrella concept under which these strains of cultural Marxism are enforced is known as Political Correctness. Its proponents believe that American history is determined not by assimilation into the over-arching national culture, but by one group’s power prevailing over another. When “melting pot” assimilation is rejected in favor of separate identities defined by race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation, Political Correctness requires mental jujitsu that is known to Ivy Tower philosophers as “deconstruction.” This is what you experience when the definitional reality of a concept or statement, which you’ve believed in all your life, is summarily removed and replaced in the name of Social Justice. In its place is put the meaning desired by smug Elites who deem themselves to be the arbiters of cultural norms who arrogantly think they can trump values and mores that have been built up over long periods of time and have long been seen as valuable and beneficial by millions of people.
PC examples in all these areas abound: Seattle public school children are compelled to refer to Easter Eggs as secularized “spring spheres”; chaplains in Charlotte are banned from using the name of Jesus on government property; ‘transgender’ men can now expose themselves in women’s locker rooms because they unscientifically claim that gender is socially constructed rather than genetically determined and that biological sexuality is “fluid” rather than immutable. There seems to be no end to the expanding litany of these affronts to cultural tradition and common sense. The initial result of this is a form of coerced self-censorship, which over time evolves into reflexive thinking and finally becomes changed behavior.
Largely as a result of judicial rulings, executive orders, and bureaucratic regulations, we now have pan-sexual “marriage”, transvestites taking part in women’s sports, thirty-seven (or is it seventy-eight?) different genders, Christian bakers bankrupted for refusing to bake politically correct cakes and the Little Sisters of the Poor being sued by the Feds for having theological disagreements with the prevailing wisdom on birth control and abortion. In the past decade, this assault on common sense has stressed the American psyche, forcing a separation between people who buy in to the PC viewpoint vs. those who do not. As the culture continues to be stressed, people have become increasingly combative, agitated, and hostile towards their friends, families, and neighbors along these cultural battle lines.
While this cultural discord has upset many average Americans not in the ruling cultural elite, who get to set the standards and from which they grant themselves exemption, it has all played into the hands of the progressive Left. As hard as it is for the average American to accept, the Left seeks nothing less than the destruction of Western culture and the fracturing of the Civil Society it rests on.
Critical Theory is not based on construction; it is based on deconstruction.
It constantly calls for the continual criticism of virtually every aspect of American history and contemporary society with the goal of first deconstructing it and then destroying it. It is a central tenet of transnational progressivism that the current order must be taken down before a new order can be built. It must be “re-imagined”; it must be “reset”; it must be “fundamentally transformed.”
The Left defines everything that “is” as fuel for “becoming” in a dialectical process that compels it to negate that which exists for that which fits its ideology regardless of its rationality, its utility, or even its ability to succeed at what it is attempting to do. If Leftist policies fail, that is less important to the Left than the fact that Leftist policies prevail.
Ideological Dominance is what counts; all else – success, morality, happiness, prosperity, human life itself… are elements that are contingent, unnecessary or even irrelevant.
As already noted, Gramsci saw all of this long ago. He felt that Marx’s call for violent revolution and brute expropriation (if not extermination) of the old Capitalist, Traditionalist order was overly aggressive to the point of being counter-productive to accomplishing the goals of communizing society. For one thing, Gramsci felt the odds were stacked in favor of the existing repressive state apparatuses such as the secret police and military. He knew that Europeans were horrified when they saw the excessive mass murder, poverty, and enslavement of the population that went on in during and after the Russian Revolution and were ready to tolerate even the most stringent forms of oppression and police state tactics to prevent such nihilistic events from occurring in their own countries; this inevitably led to the rise of Fascism and all its attendant horrors throughout Europe in the 1920s and 30s.
Gramsci well understood the power that this threat posed to the Marxist Revolution and he desired and sought a more subtle, long-term solution to re-order society that would indirectly but effectively challenge not only oppressive Fascist regimes but also the powerful Capitalist societies in the West. He sought to cause Western populations to question the very worth of open-ended, liberal inquiry itself, which was grounded in Western culture since the Enlightenment. He found the answer in the idea of Cultural Hegemony.
Cultural Hegemony is the domination of societal culture by a revolutionary class that manipulates the nation so that their political, economic, racial, social, religious (or anti-religious) worldview becomes the norm. Gramsci understood that Marx’s all-out class warfare, or “War of Maneuver,” might fail in a total war with the forces that could be mustered by the anti-Socialist, traditional societies that opposed them. Instead, he recommended a “War of Position” during which the Leftist revolutionaries would wage underground intellectual and cultural warfare against that which was sanctioned by the Capitalist, Traditionalist, Religious order and, over time, subvert them.
Rather than sending armed workers into the streets to battle the forces of the traditional political, economic and cultural order as Marx advocated, Gramsci sought to infiltrate Leftist revolutionaries into the very cultural institutions that had been created by traditional society and use them, over the course of several decades, to propagate revolutionary ideas and organizations from within.
This is was what was meant by Marcuse and the Frankfort School when they employed the Marxist phrase “aufheben der Kultur – “negate the culture.” Their view is that it is the culture itself that is systemically evil and must be destroyed by being “negated.” (One might wish to reflect on the idea of whether or not such a “negation” is currently going on in our schools under the guise of Critical Race Theory.)
Gramsci also accepted this essentially Menshevik (rather than Bolshevik) view that, over time, several generations of students would graduate into society at first questioning, then rejecting, and then ultimately outlawing the very capitalist, religious, traditionalist, and cultural values they had been taught to despise as unfair, greedy, bigoted, racist and superstitiously ignorant. Once these generations reached the age to take over positions of power in the cultural institutions, Academia, the Communications Media, the Corporate Human Resource Departments, the Arts, the Entertainment Industry, and ultimately the government itself, there would be no need for a violent War of Maneuver in the streets… except for the repressive actions of Leftist thugs that would be employed whenever enforced compliance was required.
At some point, what was once perceived to be natural and inevitable was now to be recognized as an outdated artificial social construct that was designed to perpetuate political, economic, and social injustice. Conversely, what was once considered “revolutionary” or even “abnormal” only one or two generations before would now be seen as “normative.”
The revolutionary war Marx saw waged by angry workers over economic issues in the streets and on the barricades would be more certainly and safely won in classrooms, in movie theaters, on radio, in newspapers, and in other cultural institutions, which would be used to preach politically correct, Leftwing values and multiculturalism. Gramsci wanted to create a “socialist class consciousness” in those who made up the captive audience found in public schools, among the passive readers of the news in their living rooms, and amid the avid viewers who are narcotized by films (and later, by TV programs and Social Media) which glamorize Leftwing themes. He understood that the Left had to secure its own Cultural Hegemony in order for society to become Socialist, Progressive, and Transnational rather than Capitalist, Traditional, and based in National Sovereignty.
“Repressive Tolerance”: Tolerance really means intolerance
Gramsci well understood that cultural attitudes and opinions do not change rapidly but rather step by step, slowly and incrementally, as a rock is slowly worn away by rushing water. One step taken against the traditional order makes it easier to take the next and it is always difficult to turn back without being accused of retarding “progress.” Transgender male weightlifters participating in female athletics could not have taken place in 1995; by 2020, the idea that they couldn’t was considered retrograde, intolerant, and bigoted.
Once again, we see the propaganda reversal at work: the idea of tolerance for a sexual minority masking intolerance for a sexual majority, equity disguised as egalitarianism, and an oppressive cultural imposition on large numbers of women transmuted into a movement toward freedom for an extremely small sexual minority. Justice is transformed into “social justice,” which is repackaged by Marxism as “justice” defined and administered by socialists. Realizing that social justice is at the center of most faiths, Marx, Gramsci, and Marcuse sought to exploit and co-opt the concept for their own secular political ends… while never quite leaving the original concept behind in order to lend credibility to itself as trying to create in the present reality that which religion only promises to fulfill in the culmination of an eschatological, religious apotheosis or “Second Coming.”
The need to create a counter-hegemony based on Leftwing revolutionary values required the kind of education that could develop intellectuals sympathetic to Leftwing ideals. Their task was not to start a violent Marxist revolution but to obviate the need for one by altering the existing, traditionalist intellectual viewpoint into one that was more and more congruent with the revolutionary goals of the Left.
Once this task was completed, there would be no need for a violent revolution because the revolution’s goals, after several generations having been exposed to Leftwing cultural indoctrination, would be accepted as normal without the need for a violent revolution to put those goals into place.
Moreover, since for the Frankfurt School, the political “Right” or “Fascism” are considered to be anything that is either non-Leftist or is something with which “the Left” disagrees, language itself is debased to frame all narratives within a Leftist context: viz. that all opponents are Fascists and therefore to be fought, not debated with.
To this line of thinking, there is no virtue in what is traditionally considered “toleration” of other viewpoints; instead, it is moral… even required… to be intolerant in the name of tolerance if that “tolerance” of other viewpoints preserves the traditional culture that the Frankfort School seeks to overthrow and replace with its version of Marxism.
Tolerance of Free Speech or Free Thought or Critical Thinking or Diversity of Opinion ends when such speech or thought inhibits the revolutionary goals of the Left.
It ends on campus, it ends at work, it ends in religious practice, it ends in all forms of entertainment (especially comedy and satire) it ends in the media, it ends online, it ends in casual conversation… it ends… or it risks being coercively canceled by an elite that brooks no opposition.
As Marcuse himself wrote in his famous (or rather, infamous) 1965 essay “Repressive Tolerance”:
“The conclusion reached is that the realization of the objective of tolerance would call for intolerance toward prevailing policies, attitudes, opinions, and the extension of tolerance to policies, attitudes, and opinions which are outlawed or suppressed… Liberating tolerance, then, would mean intolerance against movements from the Right and toleration of movements from the Left.”
Surely, no government can be expected to foster its own subversion, but in a democracy, such a right is vested in the people (i.e. in the majority of the people). This means that the ways should not be blocked on which a subversive majority could develop, and if they are blocked by organized repression and indoctrination, their reopening may require apparently undemocratic means. They would include the withdrawal of toleration of speech and assembly from groups and movements which promote aggressive policies, armament, chauvinism, discrimination on the grounds of race and religion, or which oppose the extension of public services, social security, medical care, etc. Moreover, the restoration of freedom of thought may necessitate new and rigid restrictions on teachings and practices in the educational institutions which, by their very methods and concepts, serve to enclose the mind within the established universe of discourse and behavior thereby precluding a priori a rational evaluation of the alternatives.” (emphasis ours)
According to Marcuse, the “Liberating Tolerance” of the Left is therefore acceptable if it is intolerant of the “Repressive Tolerance” of the Right; hence, intolerance is tolerant if it is practiced by the Left but not by the Right.
The Long March Through the Institutions
Such is the pretzel logic of the arrogant pseudo-intellectual elites in academic Ivory Towers that are in reality Fortresses of Stupidity that we are all supposed to bow down before and remain locked into. It reeks of arrogant moral certainty combined with the most closed-minded form of ignorance.
Such cracked, pseudo-intellectualism justifies the need for the creation of the “Other,” the “non-person” who is “outside” the “People” whose views and opinions deserve nothing but intolerance. It is through political correctness that the enforcement mechanism of postmodern narratives is made to implement cultural Marxism by pre-emptively canceling opposition to them.
The creation of this enemy, this “Other,” is part of an attempt by the Left to systematically destroy everything which defines that which is seen as culturally “American.” This “Other” is then targeted so that everyone, even those who are not politically active, will become more susceptible to Leftwing messages and narratives of discontent with the traditional system. With the aid of the Social, News, and other mass media, a “counter-culture” is created operating as a cancer within the traditional culture itself. It comes complete with its own moral certitude, legal logic, cultural justifications, and social norms that seek to first operate in tandem with the host culture and eventually to convert them, replace them, and ultimately to codify the changes into law.
In this way, America can be transformed by a series of “negations” so as to replace the idea of the Bill of Rights, which sees human rights as “endowed by the Creator” to one where rights are “privileges granted by the State” – that is, where the State replaces GOD. The concept that individual rights exist prior to and independent of the State would be replaced by the idea of group rights granted as government privileges to those it deems worthy.
This is the purpose of Gramsci’s “long march through the institutions,” which is to first gain “hegemonic” control over them and then, in accordance with Marx, to negate and replace them with the beliefs and control of revolutionary elitists such as those in the Frankfort School.
Of course, Gramsci did not oppose a more direct and confrontational form of revolution; however, he realized that if one broke out, its success would be facilitated if the Left had already set the stage by seizing the commanding heights of the culture. Through the creation of an anti-Civil Society, the previous Civil Society would be seen as too weak, inadequate, incompetent, and immoral to be allowed to continue.
Unfortunately for the Gen-X, Millennial, and Gen-Z generations, they are exactly the groups who have been most affected by this trans-valuation of values. One sees it reflected in every poll, in every movie, in every song, in every computer game, and in every opinion that a wide swath of them hold.
One sees it in the ever-growing rejection of the values of the previous order, which created the most successful society in History, in favor of empty Leftwing panaceas that have caused nothing but tyranny, poverty, mass death, and failure everywhere they have been implemented. The situation is one in which a standing army of Leftwing academics propagandize a kneeling army of captive students, who have been deliberately and systematically deprived of the ability to think critically so that they blindly swallow the poisonous, politically correct dogmas excreted by a crawling army of ideologically driven collectivist pseudo-intellectuals who provide “educators” with their poisonous curricula.
By controlling the ideological cultural apparatus – that is, Academia, Mass Communications, Religion, the Legal System, Corporate Culture, the Arts and the Entertainment Industry, Gramsci has correctly seen that the best way to win the revolution is to eliminate the need for it by delivering its goals via cultural subversion.
We must understand that the Left does not seek to engage in debate nor does it seek to engage or compromise with those who oppose them. There are no rules to go by because they have not only torn up the Rule Book, they have stuffed the pieces into the neck of a bottle filled with gasoline and are now throwing it at the traditional order.
Meanwhile, the RINO Republican “moderates” engage in increasingly desperate efforts to meet the Left in a middle that does not exist and thus further alienate themselves from their own base of support, which sees them as they are: weak, flaccid, spineless, impotent appeasers who are more concerned with cutting financial deals with the Left that favor the donor class that owns them.
Summary – and a challenge
The Left cannot envisage the future while still living under any vestige of the capitalist order. Therefore, western culture must be burned down to the core, which is very convenient for these nihilists who deign to rule over the ruins of what will follow. Nevertheless, let’s not let them evade exposing the truth of what they hold hidden in the wings of the current Crisis.
They seek a culture based on the needs of the collective, rather than the rights of the individual; on group preferences rather than equality among the citizenry; power-sharing among favored racial, ethnic, and gender groups, rather than the rule of law within the construct of a constitutional republic and transnational law rather than constitutional law.
When viewed through the lens of politics being downstream from culture, the purpose of the current agitation along these cultural fault lines comes into exceedingly clear focus. With an American public already maneuvered onto tenterhooks over a series of contrived cultural clashes, we can see the end game will indeed be an ugly affair.
The revolution as understood by Critical Theory may be invisible to most people, but it is there… focused, palpable, unrelenting, and determined to triumph over everything Americans have traditionally held dear.
Will Millennials and GenZs be able to discern the invisible revolution being carried out against them?
Once the cultural crisis moves through its inevitable crucible, it begs the question: can the Millennials and GenZs thwart the threatening designs of the Cultural Marxists and rejuvenate American society along the lines that propelled it to global leadership?
They can only do so by regenerating Ordered Liberty, with its defense of those notions Constitutional Freedoms under the Law, Capitalism, Judeo-Christian ethics, and Traditional Family values that assure social stability.
Only through Ordered Liberty, with its advocacy of individual human rights, can minorities of all types, racial, religious, sexual, etc., be protected from the Mob. Only by regenerating Ordered Liberty can this nihilistic attack on traditional culture be prevented; only through Ordered Liberty can that which is the best of the past be preserved; only upon Ordered Liberty can a viable future be built.
Messrs. MacGuffie and Stark are authors of the new book “The Seventh Crisis – Why Millennials Must Re-Establish Ordered Liberty,” www.seventhcrisis.com which seeks to offer the Millennial and Gen-Z generations a way out of the dangerous crisis it currently faces.