This week we explore an ultimate issue raised during a conversation I was having with a friend who is my elder, and thus has greater wisdom and life experience than I. I am still of the opinion that respect for elders is a good and necessary thing for society… though that is unfortunately not the current trend.
In an interesting discussion this man offered his theory about why America is in the current cultural downward spiral it is in (We had already established in our discussion that in many significant ways America’s culture was worse today than 20 years ago, and 20 years ago it was worse than 20 years before that – though we were careful to not romanticize the past nor demonize the present.) So when I asked him to explain his theory became more and more curious.
His theory about our cultural decline is that it is due to “political correctness.”
While at first I did not agree, I did not interrupt and asked him to further elaborate his thoughts. He did. And though I couldn’t disagree with anything he said, I also couldn’t agree with everything he said.
So after our visit I started reading the history of political correctness… and I was shocked by what I found. Shocked because I had no idea how deliberate and intentional the programming was, and shocked because I had never learned or inferred it before in all my other readings.
Rather than trying to rewrite everything, I am sharing with you some things that I found that are well written in their brevity and clarity.
Take what you like and leave the rest.
Trust but verify.
Fight the Good Fight.
NOTE: This column from WND.com and features an excerpt from Dr. Ted Baehr and Pat Boone’s new book “The Culture-wise Family: Upholding Christian Values in a Mass Media World.” In the book, entertainment expert Dr. Ted Baehr and legendary musician Pat Boone urge people to make wise choices for themselves and their families so they can protect their children from toxic messages in the culture.
The following is Chapter 10, written by historian Williams S. Lind.
Sometime during the last half-century, someone stole our culture. Just 50 years ago, in the 1950s, America was a great place. It was safe. It was decent. Children got good educations in the public schools. Even blue-collar fathers brought home middle-class incomes, so moms could stay home with the kids. Television shows reflected sound, traditional values.
Where did it all go? How did that America become the sleazy, decadent place we live in today – so different that those who grew up prior to the ’60s feel like it’s a foreign country? Did it just “happen”?
It didn’t just “happen.” In fact, a deliberate agenda was followed to steal our culture and leave a new and very different one in its place. The story of how and why is one of the most important parts of our nation’s history – and it is a story almost no one knows. The people behind it wanted it that way.
What happened, in short, is that America’s traditional culture, which had grown up over generations from our Western, Judeo-Christian roots, was swept aside by an ideology. We know that ideology best as “political correctness” or “multi-culturalism.” It really is cultural Marxism, Marxism translated from economic into cultural terms in an effort that goes back not to the 1960s, but to World War I. Incredible as it may seem, just as the old economic Marxism of the Soviet Union has faded away, a new cultural Marxism has become the ruling ideology of America’s elites. The No. 1 goal of that cultural Marxism, since its creation, has been the destruction of Western culture and the Christian religion.
To understand anything, we have to know its history. To understand who stole our culture, we need to take a look at the history of “political correctness.”
Early Marxist theory
Before World War I, Marxist theory said that if Europe ever erupted in war, the working classes in every European country would rise in revolt, overthrow their governments and create a new Communist Europe. But when war broke out in the summer of 1914, that didn’t happen. Instead, the workers in every European country lined up by the millions to fight their country’s enemies. Finally, in 1917, a Communist revolution did occur, in Russia. But attempts to spread that revolution to other countries failed because the workers did not support it.
After World War I ended in 1918, Marxist theorists had to ask themselves the question: What went wrong? As good Marxists, they could not admit Marxist theory had been incorrect. Instead, two leading Marxist intellectuals, Antonio Gramsci in Italy and Georg Lukacs in Hungary (Lukacs was considered the most brilliant Marxist thinker since Marx himself) independently came up with the same answer. They said that Western culture and the Christian religion had so blinded the working class to its true, Marxist class interests, that a Communist revolution was impossible in the West, until both could be destroyed. That objective, established as cultural Marxism’s goal right at the beginning, has never changed.
A new strategy
Gramsci famously laid out a strategy for destroying Christianity and Western culture, one that has proven all too successful. Instead of calling for a Communist revolution up front, as in Russia, he said Marxists in the West should take political power last, after a “long march through the institutions” – the schools, the media, even the churches, every institution that could influence the culture. That “long march through the institutions” is what America has experienced, especially since the 1960s. Fortunately, Mussolini recognized the danger Gramsci posed and jailed him. His influence remained small until the 1960s, when his works, especially the “Prison Notebooks,” were rediscovered.
Georg Lukacs proved more influential. In 1918, he became deputy commissar for culture in the short-lived Bela Kun Bolshevik regime in Hungary. There, asking, “Who will save us from Western civilization?” he instituted what he called “cultural terrorism.” One of its main components was introducing sex education into Hungarian schools. Lukacs realized that if he could destroy the country’s traditional sexual morals, he would have taken a giant step toward destroying its traditional culture and Christian faith.
Far from rallying to Lukacs’ “cultural terrorism,” the Hungarian working class was so outraged by it that when Romania invaded Hungary, the workers would not fight for the Bela Kun government, and it fell. Lukacs disappeared, but not for long. In 1923, he turned up at a “Marxist Study Week” in Germany, a program sponsored by a young Marxist named Felix Weil who had inherited millions. Weil and the others who attended that study week were fascinated by Lukacs’ cultural perspective on Marxism.
The Frankfurt School
Weil responded by using some of his money to set up a new think tank at Frankfurt University in Frankfurt, Germany. Originally it was to be called the “Institute for Marxism.” But the cultural Marxists realized they could be far more effective if they concealed their real nature and objectives. They convinced Weil to give the new institute a neutral-sounding name, the “Institute for Social Research.” Soon known simply as the “Frankfurt School,” the Institute for Social Research would become the place where political correctness, as we now know it, was developed. The basic answer to the question “Who stole our culture?” is the cultural Marxists of the Frankfurt School.
At first, the Institute worked mainly on conventional Marxist issues such as the labor movement. But in 1930, that changed dramatically. That year, the Institute was taken over by a new director, a brilliant young Marxist intellectual named Max Horkheimer. Horkheimer had been strongly influenced by Georg Lukacs. He immediately set to work to turn the Frankfurt School into the place where Lukacs’ pioneering work on cultural Marxism could be developed further into a full-blown ideology.
To that end, he brought some new members into the Frankfurt School. Perhaps the most important was Theodor Adorno, who would become Horkheimer’s most creative collaborator. Other new members included two psychologists, Eric Fromm and Wilhelm Reich, who were noted promoters of feminism and matriarchy, and a young graduate student named Herbert Marcuse.
Advances in cultural Marxism
With the help of this new blood, Horkheimer made three major advances in the development of cultural Marxism. First, he broke with Marx’s view that culture was merely part of society’s “superstructure,” which was determined by economic factors. He said that on the contrary, culture was an independent and very important factor in shaping a society.
Second, again contrary to Marx, he announced that in the future, the working class would not be the agent of revolution. He left open the question of who would play that role – a question Marcuse answered in the 1950s.
Third, Horkheimer and the other Frankfurt School members decided that the key to destroying Western culture was to cross Marx with Freud. They argued that just as workers were oppressed under capitalism, so under Western culture, everyone lived in a constant state of psychological repression. “Liberating” everyone from that repression became one of cultural Marxism’s main goals. Even more important, they realized that psychology offered them a far more powerful tool than philosophy for destroying Western culture: psychological conditioning.
Today, when Hollywood’s cultural Marxists want to “normalize” something like homosexuality (thus “liberating” us from “repression”), they put on television show after television show where the only normal-seeming white male is a homosexual. That is how psychological conditioning works; people absorb the lessons the cultural Marxists want them to learn without even knowing they are being taught.
The Frankfurt School was well on the way to creating political correctness. Then suddenly, fate intervened. In 1933, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party came to power in Germany, where the Frankfurt School was located. Since the Frankfurt School was Marxist, and the Nazis hated Marxism, and since almost all its members were Jewish, it decided to leave Germany. In 1934, the Frankfurt School, including its leading members from Germany, was re-established in New York City with help from Columbia University. Soon, its focus shifted from destroying traditional Western culture in Germany to doing so in the United States. It would prove all too successful.
Taking advantage of American hospitality, the Frankfurt School soon resumed its intellectual work to create cultural Marxism. To its earlier achievements in Germany, it added these new developments.
To serve its purpose of “negating” Western culture, the Frankfurt School developed a powerful tool it called “Critical Theory.” What was the theory? The theory was to criticize. By subjecting every traditional institution, starting with family, to endless, unremitting criticism (the Frankfurt School was careful never to define what it was for, only what it was against), it hoped to bring them down. Critical Theory is the basis for the “studies” departments that now inhabit American colleges and universities. Not surprisingly, those departments are the home turf of academic political correctness.
Studies in prejudice
The Frankfurt School sought to define traditional attitudes on every issue as “prejudice” in a series of academic studies that culminated in Adorno’s immensely influential book, “The Authoritarian Personality,” published in 1950. They invented a bogus “F-scale” that purported to tie traditional beliefs on sexual morals, relations between men and women and questions touching on the family to support for fascism. Today, the favorite term the politically correct use for anyone who disagrees with them is “fascist.”
The Frankfurt School again departed from orthodox Marxism, which argued that all of history was determined by who owned the means of production. Instead, they said history was determined by which groups, defined as men, women, races, religions, etc., had power or “dominance” over other groups. Certain groups, especially white males, were labeled “oppressors,” while other groups were defined as “victims.” Victims were automatically good, oppressors bad, just by what group they came from, regardless of individual behavior.
Though Marxists, the members of the Frankfurt School also drew from Nietzsche (someone else they admired for his defiance of traditional morals was the Marquis de Sade). They incorporated into their cultural Marxism what Nietzsche called the “transvaluation of all values.” What that means, in plain English, is that all the old sins become virtues, and all the old virtues become sins. Homosexuality is a fine and good thing, but anyone who thinks men and women should have different social roles is an evil “fascist.” That is what political correctness now teaches children in public schools all across America. (The Frankfurt School wrote about American public education. It said it did not matter if school children learned any skills or any facts. All that mattered was that they graduate from the schools with the right “attitudes” on certain questions.)
Media and entertainment
Led by Adorno, the Frankfurt School initially opposed the culture industry, which they thought “commodified” culture. Then, they started to listen to Walter Benjamin, a close friend of Horkheimer and Adorno, who argued that cultural Marxism could make powerful use of tools like radio, film and later television to psychologically condition the public. Benjamin’s view prevailed, and Horkheimer and Adorno spent the World War II years in Hollywood. It is no accident that the entertainment industry is now cultural Marxism’s most powerful weapon.
The growth of Marxism in the United States
After World War II and the defeat of the Nazis, Horkheimer, Adorno and most of the other members of the Frankfurt School returned to Germany, where the Institute re-established itself in Frankfurt with the help of the American occupation authorities. Cultural Marxism in time became the unofficial but all-pervasive ideology of the Federal Republic of Germany.
But hell had not forgotten the United States. Herbert Marcuse remained here, and he set about translating the very difficult academic writings of other members of the Frankfurt School into simpler terms Americans could easily grasp. His book “Eros and Civilization” used the Frankfurt School’s crossing of Marx with Freud to argue that if we would only “liberate non-procreative eros” through “polymorphous perversity,” we could create a new paradise where there would be only play and no work. “Eros and Civilization” became one of the main texts of the New Left in the 1960s.
Marcuse also widened the Frankfurt School’s intellectual work. In the early 1930s, Horkheimer had left open the question of who would replace the working class as the agent of Marxist revolution. In the 1950s, Marcuse answered the question, saying it would be a coalition of students, blacks, feminist women and homosexuals – the core of the student rebellion of the 1960s, and the sacred “victims groups” of political correctness today. Marcuse further took one of political correctness’s favorite words, “tolerance,” and gave it a new meaning. He defined “liberating tolerance” as tolerance for all ideas and movements coming from the left, and intolerance for all ideas and movements coming from the right. When you hear the cultural Marxists today call for “tolerance,” they mean Marcuse’s “liberating tolerance” (just as when they call for “diversity,” they mean uniformity of belief in their ideology).
The student rebellion of the 1960s, driven largely by opposition to the draft for the Vietnam War, gave Marcuse a historic opportunity. As perhaps its most famous “guru,” he injected the Frankfurt School’s cultural Marxism into the baby boom generation. Of course, they did not understand what it really was. As was true from the Institute’s beginning, Marcuse and the few other people “in the know” did not advertise that political correctness and multi-culturalism were a form of Marxism. But the effect was devastating: a whole generation of Americans, especially the university-educated elite, absorbed cultural Marxism as their own, accepting a poisonous ideology that sought to destroy America’s traditional culture and Christian faith. That generation, which runs every elite institution in America, now wages a ceaseless war on all traditional beliefs and institutions. They have largely won that war. Most of America’s traditional culture lies in ruins.
Now you know who stole our culture. The question is, what are we, as Christians and as cultural conservatives, going to do about it?
We can choose between two strategies. The first is to try to retake the existing institutions – the public schools, the universities, the media, the entertainment industry and most of the mainline churches – from the cultural Marxists. They expect us to try to do that, they are ready for it, and we would find ourselves, with but small voice and few resources compared to theirs, making a frontal assault against prepared defensive positions. Any soldier can tell you what that almost always leads to: defeat.
There is another, more promising strategy. We can separate ourselves and our families from the institutions the cultural Marxists control and build new institutions for ourselves, institutions that reflect and will help us recover our traditional Western culture.
Several years ago, my colleague Paul Weyrich wrote an open letter to the conservative movement suggesting this strategy. While most other conservative (really Republican) leaders demurred, his letter resonated powerfully with grass-roots conservatives. Many of them are already part of a movement to secede from the corrupt, dominant culture and create parallel institutions: the homeschooling movement. Similar movements are beginning to offer sound alternatives in other aspects of life, including movements to promote small, often organic family farms and to develop community markets for those farms’ products. If Brave New World’s motto is “Think globally, act locally,” ours should be “Think locally, act locally.”
Thus, our strategy for undoing what cultural Marxism has done to America has a certain parallel to its own strategy, as Gramsci laid it out so long ago. Gramsci called for Marxists to undertake a “long march through the institutions.” Our counter-strategy would be a long march to create our own institutions. It will not happen quickly, or easily. It will be the work of generations – as was theirs. They were patient, because they knew the “inevitable forces of history” were on their side. Can we not be equally patient, and persevering, knowing that the Maker of history is on ours?
Yuri Alexandrovich Bezmenov (Russian: Юрий Безменов, also known as Tomas David Schuman; 1939 – 1993) was a journalist for RIA Novosti and a former PGU KGB informant from the Yuri BezmenovSoviet Union who defected to Canada.
After being assigned to a station in India, Bezmenov eventually grew to love the people and the culture of India, but at the same time, he began to resent the KGB-sanctioned oppression of intellectuals who dissented from Moscow’s policies. He decided to defect to the West. Bezmenov is best remembered for his pro-American, anticommunist lectures and books from the 1980s.
The Four Stages of Dismantling a Nation/Culture: The KGB way
Stage One: Demoralization – Elimination of American Exceptionalism, fundamental change of national identity, structural deconstruction of foundational principles, elimination of religion. Embedding a new societal design upon the psyche of generations through ideological academia. Peer pressure by elites upon academics and society to convince that prior values were inherently flawed, racist, prejudiced etc. National identity is diluted with aspersions toward historical references. National history is re-written, re-defined, and molded to fit the new intended behavioral model and create the new values.
Stage Two: Crisis – Creation of economic, financial, and national security crisis. Also includes social crisis and breakdown of previous self-evident restrictions on moral behavior. Cloward Piven approach to overloading the system, ie more takers than producers. The crisis produces benevolent leaders who will promise to deliver “things” (Hope and Change) to meet people’s needs through Social and Economic Justice. False illusions that the situation is under control if certain strategic directions are followed (Bailouts, Stimulus, Jobs Bills, Regulations of industry, Unconstitutional Power Grabs, Dismissal of Historical Laws, Changes in legislative processes, Changes in checks and balances of power etc).
Stage Three: Normalization – The uncomfortable feelings of change including losses of freedom are absorbed and accepted. Lost national identity becomes accepted as the norm within the new societal model. A period of national rebranding transition where people are so overwhelmed by the change they become numb and begin to accept a ‘new normal’. This period of normalization lasts indefinitely as the progression is continually advanced and acceptance takes place in small controlled doses. (New limits on behavior, Regulations, TSA Patdowns, Intrusions into privacy, Controls into daily life) These things begin to be accepted as “just the way it is now”..
Stage Four: Destabilization – Unlike the period of “Crisis” the people who helped orchestrate the change are now no longer needed. The new overarching centralized governmental model begins to take control. Leftist usurpers who initially thought they were going to be part of the new power structure begin to realize they were used and manipulated and they themselves become the new enemy. Because they have first hand knowledge of the agenda they are the primary target for elimination. They may simply be disregarded, obfuscated, thrown out, or they may be collected, imprisoned, or worse killed. There is no longer room for dissention. Dissent is only possible within the free system that has now been deconstructed. Therefore the leftist purpose is served once the destabilization is complete.
#1 The Missouri State Fair has permanently banned a rodeo clown from performing just because he wore an Obama mask, and now all of the other rodeo clowns are being required to take “sensitivity training“…
But the state commission went further, saying it will require that before the Rodeo Cowboy Association can take part in any future state fair, “they must provide evidence to the director of the Missouri State Fair that they have proof that all officials and subcontractors of the MRCA have successfully participated in sensitivity training.”
#2 Government workers in Seattle have been told that they should no longer use the words “citizen” and “brown bag” because they are potentially offensive.
#3 A Florida police officer recently lost his job for calling Trayvon Martin a “thug” on Facebook.
#4 “Climate change deniers” are definitely not wanted at the U.S. Department of the Interior. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell was recently quoted as making the following statement: “I hope there are no climate-change deniers in the Department of Interior”.
#5 A professor at Ball State University was recently banned from even mentioning the concept of intelligent design because it would supposedly “violate the academic integrity” of the course that he was teaching.
#6 The mayor of Washington D.C. recently asked singer Donnie McClurkin not to attend his own concert because of his views on homosexuality.
#7 U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer is calling on athletes marching in the opening ceremonies at the Winter Olympics in Sochi next year to “embarrass” Russian President Vladimir Putin by protesting for gay rights.
#8 Chaplains in the U.S. military are being forced to perform gay marriages, even if it goes against their personal religious beliefs. The few chaplains that have refused to follow orders know that it means the end of their careers.
#9 The governor of California has signed a bill into law which will allow transgendered students to use whatever bathrooms and gym facilities that they would like…
Transgendered students in California will now have the right to use whichever bathrooms they prefer and join either the boys’ or girls’ sports teams, thanks to landmark legislation signed by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday.
The law amends the state’s education code, and stipulates that each student will have access to facilities, sports teams, and programs that are “consistent with his or her gender identity,” rather than the student’s actual biological composition. A male student who self-identifies as female could therefore use the girls’ bathroom, even if he is anatomically male.
#10 In San Francisco, authorities have installed small plastic “privacy screens” on library computers so that perverts can continue to exercise their “right” to watch pornography at the library without children being directly exposed to it.
#11 In America today, there are many groups that are absolutely obsessed with eradicating every mention of God out of the public sphere. For example, an elementary school in North Carolina ordered a little six-year-old girl to remove the word “God” from a poem that she wrote to honor her two grandfathers that had served in the Vietnam War.
#12 A high school track team was disqualified earlier this year because one of the runners “made a gesture thanking God” once he had crossed the finish line.
#13 Earlier this year, a Florida Atlantic University student that refused to stomp on the name of Jesus was banned from class.
#14 A student at Sonoma State University was ordered to take off a cross that she was wearing because someone “could be offended“.
#15 A teacher in New Jersey was fired for giving his own Bible to a student that did not own one.
#16 Volunteer chaplains for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department have been banned from using the name of Jesus on government property.
#17 According to a new Army manual, U.S. soldiers will now be instructed to avoid “any criticism of pedophilia” and to avoid criticizing “anything related to Islam”. The following is from a Judicial Watch article…
The draft leaked to the newspaper offers a list of “taboo conversation topics” that soldiers should avoid, including “making derogatory comments about the Taliban,” “advocating women’s rights,” “any criticism of pedophilia,” “directing any criticism towards Afghans,” “mentioning homosexuality and homosexual conduct” or “anything related to Islam.”
#18 The Obama administration has banned all U.S. government agencies from producing any training materials that link Islam with terrorism. In fact, the FBI has gone back and purged references to Islam and terrorism from hundreds of old documents.
#19 According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, it is illegal for employers to discriminate against criminals because it has a “disproportionate” impact on minorities.