The Origins of the Neo-Marxist Attack on the South

On July 5th, the Abbeville Institute published an article entitled “Southern Identity and the Southern Tradition” by John Devanny.

Mr. Devanny noted that Marxism is involved in attacks on southern culture and heritage and wrote that many of them were “the inheritors of a secular Puritan legacy and the disciples of cultural Marxism who began to dominate the academy in the 1960s.”

The northeastern geographic origin of many New Left reconstructionists makes me suspect Mr. Devanny is right, and that many may be cultural-political descendants of secular Puritanism. Certainly, the milieu there is hospitable to post-secular-Puritan Neo Marxists. There are, of course, other New Left pinks and reds of a California variety. In the 1960s the impetus for the increase of this virulent variety was U.S. succession to France’s war in Vietnam and southeastern Asia.

Andrew A, Michta wrote, in the April 2017 issue of The American Interest magazine that the West’s growing inability to agree on how it should be defined as a civilization is caused by the West’s self-induced deconstruction of Western culture. I do not think this deconstruction has be self-induced, other than that the free-flow of ideas has been allowed and persons proclaiming damaging ones have been allowed to gain control of important cultural institutions.

The main intellectual source of New Leftists is, I believe, Marxism that developed from the writings of a man named Antonio Francesco Gramsci. Gramsci was an Italian Marxist who became a neo-Marxist. He died in 1937. Gramsci did not agree with the economic determinism of traditional Marxist thought. Instead, he said that cultural hegemony enables a ruling capitalist class and the larger middle class, to maintain power without violence. The middle class’ hegemony, he said, consists of thoughts, which are in turn embedded in numerous cultural institutions, which produce and re-produce it.

According to Gramscists, the ruling class dominates culturally-diverse U.S. society through their cultural hegemony. Cultural hegemony consists of their beliefs, explanations, perceptions, values, and mores, which have become the accepted cultural norm and universally valid dominant ideology, which justifies the social, political, and economic status quo as natural and inevitable, perpetual and beneficial for everyone, rather than as artificial social constructs that benefit only the ruling class.

Hegemonic culture propagates its own values and norms so that they become the “common sense” values of all and thus maintain the status quo. Hegemonic influence maintains each individual’s consent to the capitalist order, and force is not needed to maintain it.

Each person has a limited ability to understand the nature of the systemic socio-economic exploitation made possible by cultural hegemony. As a result, most people are concerned with their own immediate, personal matters, and not with public concerns. Because of this, they do not think about and question the fundamental sources of their socio-economic oppression, and its social, personal, and political causes.

People that subscribe to Gramsci’s view of society use the terms equality, fairness, and exploitation to attack every aspect of American history, customs, and most societal institutions. They claim that every action in the creation and development of America and then the U.S. has not been equal and fair, and involved exploitation. In our history there is much to be proud about, but these aspects are not mentioned by Granscists.

Gramsci’s influence is particularly strong in contemporary history and political science. His work has also heavily influenced intellectual discourse on popular culture and scholarly, popular-culture studies in which many have found the potential for political or ideological resistance to dominant societal, governmental, and business interests. As a result, we have experienced decades of group-identity politics and deconstruction of our heritage by politicians, academics, the press, and the entertainment business. (This was most obvious in the segregation of voters into minority groups, by pink politicians, in the 2016 presidential election, and the way in which each group was courted.)

Gramsci’s thoughts foster power struggle through ideas. I think that his approach to philosophical analysis, which is reflected in current academic and political controversies, conflicts with open-ended, liberal inquiry grounded in apolitical readings of the classics of Western culture. In fact, Gramscians say that the possibility of “liberal inquiry” and “apolitical reading” are intellectual devices used to maintain the capitalist class’ hegemony.

Palmiro Togliatti, who led the Italian Communist Party, the PCI, after World War II, took a gradualist approach to gaining political power. His view was a forerunner of Eurocommunism, and he claimed that the PCI’s practices were congruent with Gramscian thought.

A document that is the equivalent of a bible for Gramscist radicals is the book Rules for Radicals, by Saul D. Alinsky. Everyone that supports the propagation of accurate American and U.S. history should read it, in order to understand Gramscists’ thinking and behavior.

One method Gramscists’ have used to gain power enough to re-write history has been to gain tenured teaching positions at colleges and universities. This gradualist approach is called boring from within. It has resulted in significant representation of anti-American Gramscists at U.S. universities and colleges. The people that interviewed the initial Gramscists and hired them may have been open-minded people that projected their own honesty to those that they interviewed and hired, but Gramscists’ once tenured, have not been.

Once tenured, Gramscists’ have openly taught their prejudices. Eventually some gained positions in which they could hire new professors, and they then hired like-minded Gramscists. In their tenured sinecures they have indoctrinated generations of U.S. university students about how bad the U.S. is and how it should be reconstituted to their liking. These radical anti-American history activists have been very successful, and, since the 1960s have replaced school-taught American history with their version.

School social studies texts written by anti-American scholars are now in use across the land, and the post-World War II deconstruction of American and U.S. history is evident in their textbooks. Their teaching for two generations has affected American and U.S. history books, magazine articles, and TV programs. It has led black leaders to demand that streets and parks be renamed, and statues of historical figures be removed, because those names and memorials to not accord with their view of what history should be remembered or honored by anyone else. The people involved in this want to re-make America, and, to do so, must destroy respect for American and United States history, culture, and values. Whether or not they ae conscious of it, they are Gramscian.

Entertainment businesses in the U.S. also contributes to deconstruction by virtue of the morality that appears to be inherent in that business and through the thoughtless entertainment sought by so many people that watch whatever is produced. Morality, in the entertainment business is sometimes not much better than that that of hamsters or squirrels. Some change lovers, partners, or spouses as often as campers change socks, and all behavior is tolerated, because so many are involved in the same behavior, and they want their life styles to be accepted as normal. To realize this goal, films, plays, and TV, have, for several decades, produced products that present homosexuality as normal and free love as exciting.

Film and entertainment personalities have also spoken publicly in favor of social policies and political candidates that deconstruct traditional American behavior. Many also support Gramscist claims that there is no right or wrong morality: morality they say is relative. In parts of the West coast and the Northeast, this is almost a mantra.

Gramscian control of university administrations and departments such as history, sociology, and literature have contributed to the ongoing demise of organized religion in the U.S. through course content and teachers’ attitudes as they interact with students. Science has undermined literalist interpretations of the Bible, but that cannot be blamed on Granscists. Co-ed dormitories, no curfews, and removal of other rules that once discouraged promiscuity also play a part in destroying morality. This behavior is promoted by films that show it as normal or worthy of toleration. If one judges by Hollywood’s drug use, divorces, and frequent re-partnering, one gets a more accurate understanding of what this behavior leads to, but rational analysis is not what is being promoted. Entertainment businesses sell sizzle and not substance.

Church membership decline amongst Christian denominations is an indicator of the effect church doctrinal changes have had. The changes have been pushed by people influenced by a morality in which tolerance is extended to behaviors previously unacceptable. Divorce, homosexual marriage, and married, same-sex homosexual ministers are examples of this. Churches are voluntary organizations, and when members that favor traditional morality and historical doctrine lose control to those that want new morality and new interpretations of the Bible, losers vote with their feet and leave winners in control of withering institutions.

Those that have won control of three old and formerly mainline denominations may not have been Gramscists, but they were influenced by the attitudes being promoted by universities and entertainment businesses.

Destroying the traditional societal standards and society itself, in order to facilitate their formulas for a re-organized society and new moral standards are Gramcists’ goals, for they are anti-societal people; continually critical of our standards; and often on jihads to expose to others how bad various parts of American society are.

Newspapers, magazines, radio, and TV are platforms from which Gramscists can proclaim their views and report present and past events as they want others to see them. Thus, we have the spectacle of the N.Y. Times and CNN publishing false news that denigrates politicians and views they oppose; NPR continually broadcasting news and features about wrongs minorities experience (particularly blacks, women, and third-sex people); National Broadcasting airing programs that modify and distort history; and a channel that features documentaries about history airing programs that distort, because of what they choose to exclude and include in the information presented.

NPR and Public Broadcasting are particularly egregious offenders, because they are tax exempt and largely financed by tax-exempt foundation money and untaxable business advertising.

There were some communists and socialists, after World War II, that loathed U.S. society and the U.S. version of capitalism and wanted to change it. Their numbers were swelled by anti-segregation activists, in the 1950 and by anti-Vietnam War activists, in the 1960s.

Protests against the Vietnam War reached such a high level in the U.S. population and press that three consecutive presidents refused to charge citizens with sedition or treason when their actions and words seemed clearly seditious or treasonous. Persons that incited military personnel to desert or kill their officers were not prosecuted and neither were those that visited North Vietnam and denounced U.S. military policy while there. This greatly emboldened anti-American activists, and immigration diversity and a multi-cultural U.S. were the next rallying points for Gramscists.

Despite Gramscists support for open immigration diversity and multi-culturalism, an American identity cannot be created based on collective shame of our history, but this is being done continually in schools across the country. Furthermore, no national identity can be built on a multi-cultural policy that replaces Western liberal tradition with cultural diversity. Citizens that do not speak English, or know American and U.S. history, and do not identify with our culture and traditions are marginal citizens.

If I point out to a Gramscist that civilized nations and tribes have established customs that determine right and wrong behavior and what is moral and ethical, the Gramscist will tell me that those standards are set by the ruling class in each nation or tribe and are used to control the average citizen or tribal member. Any attempt to reason with him thereby goes in a circle.

To understand how far from original Americanism diversity and multi-culturalism are from what founders promised, one need only read paper number two, in the Federalist. The document’s 85 newspaper essays were published, in 1787-1788, to urge New York State to ratify the U.S. Constitution.  The authors were Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay. They explain the governmental system proposed by the constitution and were once a primary source for interpreting it.

Some intentions have been reversed, but the essays remain worth reading to understand the founders’ intent.  Jay’s observation, in essay 2, is an example:  “Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people – a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs…”

Were the founders un-American in their racial and cultural views, or are those that now advocate for diversity un-American? The founders wanted to create a country in which citizens’ backgrounds and values contributed to a harmonious, happy society without governmental laws and enforcement to compel compliance.

Politicians, academics, and citizens that advocate and strive to further diversity help to balkanize our country and create contention and instability. Since 1965, immigration from every corner of the world has created constituencies cultivated by pink politicians to further their careers. Those politicians have told each minority they are denied something the white majority has, in hope that jealousy will result and those minorities will support the politicians that have created that jealousy. One U.S. political party has identified many minorities and presented itself as the champion that will correct every one of the real and imagined wrongs, inequalities, or disabilities from which it has said each suffers.

In our Democrat Party’s last presidential primary election, Bernie Sanders told potential supporters how much free education and other benefits he would give them when elected U.S. president. He lost a primary, which was rigged against him, to Hillary Clinton, who told minorities how much was owed them and denigrated everyone that she though would not vote for her. Sanders became her vice presidential running mate, and both told every minority that they could identify how well off they would make them financially when they won the general election. As you know, they were horrified when those people that they denigrated elected Donald Trump and his running mate Mike Pence to be president and vice president.

According to Gramscism, laws are made based upon unequal power relationships. Laws serve the interests of society’s dominant groups and legitimize their rule. Gramscists try to deconstruct middle class legal ideals and to reconstruct them to serve the interests of a multiplicity of subordinate, minority groups that they identify. An example of one such attack was made by Catherine MacKinnon, a law professor in Michigan, who wrote that, “The rule of law and the rule of men are one thing indivisible”, because “State power, exists throughout society as male power…Male power is systemic, coercive, legitimized and epistemic, it is the regime.”

A Supreme Court decision, in 1999, ruled that local schools are subject to sexual discrimination suits under Title IX, if their administrators fail to stop sexual harassment among school children. The case involved a 10-yearld boy and a 10-year old girl in fifth grade. A defender of the decision said that the boy “did not merely upset and frighten” the girl, but he also “demeaned her as a member of a socially subordinate group.” Thus the court applied Gramsci Marxism assumptions of power relations between a dominant and subordinate group to fifth graders.

Gramsci’s Neo Marxist thoughts are currently at high tide in foundations, universities, and corporations. One Ford Foundation grant, for example, promotes the establishment of racial, ethnic, and sex-specific programs and academic departments, group preferences in student admissions, group preferences in staff and faculty hiring, sensitivity training for students and staff, and campus-wide convocations to raise consciousness about the need for such programs.

Another example is in a statement by Alan Kors, a history professor at the University of Pennsylvania, that at an academic conference sponsored by the University of Nebraska, attendees said that, “White students desperately need formal ‘training’ in racial and cultural awareness, and the moral goal of the training should override white notions of privacy and individualism.”

John Fonte, in an article in OrthodoxyToday.Org, wrote that “employees of America’s major corporations take many of the same sensitivity training programs as America’s college students” and often from the same teachers. Corporations also support homosexual benefits to a greater degree than do governments, including same-sex health benefits.

Americans today are more individualistic, religious, and patriotic and citizens of any other comparable, economically advanced country. Religion continues under attack, by the entertainment business, but Christian-based religion remains the main transmitter of moral understanding from one generation to another. Schools have, to a noticeable degree become poor transmitters of knowledge about the country’s constitutional heritage, basics for good citizenship, and appreciation of our shared civic values. At the university level, schools are noticeably against American and U.S. values and deconstruct and denigrate our collective history.

There is not a great deal of happiness in the U.S. today, according to a happiness measure defined by Sam Rayburn, who was the longest-serving speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. Rayburn said that people that do not reproduce themselves are not happy people. The birth rate of white Americans is now below replacement level, which results, in part, from Gramscist successes.

There you have my analysis of how we have reached a situation, in the U.S., in which universities, lower school texts (reflected in curriculums), press, the entertainment business, and politicians, from minority leaders that maintain their leadership by keeping their group dissatisfied, to pinkos, to red Bernie, are hacking away regularly at our culture and history and proclaiming continually that so much is wrong in this country.

About Norman Black

Norman Black is a former Navy journalist and author. His news stories, feature articles, and commentaries have appeared in newspapers and magazines in many countries. He holds a diploma from the US Navy’s Journalist “A” School; the degrees of B.A. and M.S. from Wagner College; and an M.S. degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, which he attended on a full scholarship. More from Norman Black

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