Whatever Happened to American Culture?   2 comments

Back when my daughter was in high school, she averred that the United States did not have a culture of its own and never had had.

My brother, who is almost 13 years older than me, remembers the 1950s when America was a great place to live — safe, decent, children went to good public schools, even blue-collar fathers brought home middle-class incomes, so moms could stay home with the kids. We all know the television shows. While those are fiction, Jeff tells me that they’re not wholly made-up. Those shows are a good reflection of the traditional values that largely permeated the times.

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 the degradation just “happen”?

Of course not! 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.

It a complicated history, but the short version 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.” Some observers say it’s 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.

That’s sort of stunning, right? 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.”

 

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 war did break out in the summer of 1914 and the working classes didn’t revolt or create a new Communist Europe.  Instead, the workers in every European country lined up by the millions to fight their country’s enemies. A Communist revolution did occur in Russia in 1917, 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? Marxists seem incapable of admitting their theory sucks, so 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.

Image result for image of home schoolingGramsci famously laid out a as-yet fairly successful strategy for destroying Christianity and Western culture. 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. Interestingly, 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. At which time, America, no stranger to the long march through the institutions, began to see substantive changes in our culture.

Georg Lukacs proved more influential. In 1918, he became deputy commissar for culture in the short-lived Bela Kun Bolshevik regime in Hungary, where he asked “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 sponsored by a young Marxist named Felix Weil who had inherited a fortune. Weil and the others who attended that study week were fascinated by Lukacs’ cultural perspective on Marxism.

Weil responded by using some of his money to set up a new think tank at Frankfurt University in Germany. Originally it was to be called the “Institute for Marxism,” but cultural Marxists understood 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, when the Institute was taken over by a new director, a brilliant young Marxist intellectual named Max Horkheimer, who 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.

Image result for image of degradation of american cultureHorkheimer 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.

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” determined by economic factors. He said 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 (that would be answered by Marcuse 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 broadcast television show after television show where the only normal-seeming white male is a homosexual. People absorb the lessons the cultural Marxists want them to learn without even knowing they are being taught. That is how psychological conditioning works.

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.

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.

Critical Theory

To serve its purpose of “negating” Western culture, the Frankfurt School developed a powerful tool it called “Critical Theory.” 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.”

Domination

Orthodox Marxism argued that all of history is determined by who owned the means of production. The Frankfurt School again departed from orthodox Marxism, saying 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, whom they admired, along with the Marquis de Sade, for his defiance against traditional morals. 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 entertainment media, 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 they didn’t abandon their project in 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 Americanized terms. 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: “Make Love Not War”, “God is Love”, and “Let’s Give the World A Coke” being the most familiar 1960s phrases to us in the 21st century.

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 as a form of Marxism. That would have defeated their purpose. By keeping their true nature in the shadows, the effects of their teachings was devastating to a whole generation of Americans, especially the university-educated elite, who absorbed cultural Marxism as their own, accepting a poisonous ideology that sought to destroy America’s traditional culture and Christian faith. That generation, which now runs every elite institution in America, wages a ceaseless war on all traditional beliefs and institutions. They have largely won that war as most of America’s traditional culture lies in ruins.

A counter-strategy

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 that’s a recipe for 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, Paul Weyrich wrote an open letter to the conservative movement suggesting this strategy. While Republican leaders demurred, his letter resonated powerfully with grass-roots conservatives. Many of them are already part of the homeschooling movement to secede from the corrupt, dominant culture and create parallel institutions. 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. As the Creator of the Universe is on our side, can we not be equally patient, and persevering?

2 responses to “Whatever Happened to American Culture?

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  1. This is strange. So, people have been told they have no culture and they believe it?? I hate to say this but.. the UN has an agenda to form a one world government, many parts of this agenda are already in place and working. Here in Oklahoma, our lawmakers have tried to keep Agenda 21 out of Oklahoma. I like this but still… agenda 21 is even here in Oklahoma. All of these media driven issues are a part of the UN’s Agenda for control.

    While every part of our Culture has been under attack by these people… for many, many years, and this media driven propaganda… White people are evil, America is evil, Americans have no culture, the government is rotten, everyone is supposed to dress up as the opposite sex and be happy, we’re supposed to let men go into our little girls bathroom, we’re supposed to hate our President and get rid of the Electoral College and the Bill of Rights…. While all this propaganda is being pushed on us constantly by all 6 National Media Corporations…. We’re supposed to believe it all without question. We’re supposed to be like the Russians were when Bolshevik Propaganda took over in Russia. The Russian people destroyed their Government, immediately afterward, millions and millions of people starved to death, were murdered, died. It’s the same story, over and over again. When Propaganda takes over, governments fall. I can’t help but look at Obama and see that he was the enemy of the USA and of The People… like you and me. Obama got rid of the Smith-Mundt Act, very quietly Dec 21, 2012. The Smith-Mundt Act protected us from Democrat and Republican, Enemy lies, manipulations. This propaganda… all the fake news, lies, brainwashing that’s going on in our News now… is insane. They’re working very hard to make us all hate each other they want us to create a civil war and to destroy our Government. Think of it… the Greatest Nation on Earth… and they want to talk us into destroying it for them. I would much rather protect our Nation, our Constitution and Bill of Rights, get rid of the Corrupt people within our Government… and maintain a positive, safe place for our children and grandchildren. Please, don’t fall for this constant propaganda the news is inundating us with. Do not Hate.. Americans are tolerant people, positive and forward moving. We will not destroy our nation for our enemies. I’d much rather destroy the enemies! So… I dare you to look up Obama and the Smith-Mundt Act. It will help you understand why news changed from ‘who, what, when, where’, and opinions were reserved for the editorial section, all ethical and good… into what we have now, all opinion, all trying to get us to hate. Heads up people… this is what’s going on!

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