Cultural Commies

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Your commies come in two basic categories. One kind of Marxism emphasized economics, class and revolution while the other emphasized culture, slow degradation and the promotion of rot. The former was urged and fomented by Lenin, while the latter was urged by men like Gramsci, who argued for a “long march through the institutions.” And by “institutions” he meant cultural institutions—the kind that kept families, churches, and communities as tight molecular formations that had a tendency to resist the predations of the atheistic state.

Both the revolution and the rot intended the destruction of the existing order, and did so with the eschatological Marxist assumption that something beautiful would arise from the ashes. This is the hope of every progressive—bring in the chaos so that the chaos might give birth to a marvelous work and a wonder.

In Gramsci’s view, in order for the state to have its way with the people, the existing cultural order of Christendom had to be hollowed out. The amazing and intricate molecular bonds that had built up over centuries were strikingly resistant to direct frontal assaults. This is something Gramsci saw and Lenin didn’t. The molecules had to be broken down into atoms first, which would then have little capacity to stand up against an encroaching state. Think of it. A society of individuals only, without the molecular connections of Burke’s “little platoons,” is a shapeless sack filled with greased BB’s. Such sacks can be pushed and manipulated at will.

So you had two wings of the progressive revolution develop—there were the economic class warfare Marxists, and there were the cultural Marxists. We beat the former in the Cold War. The latter group is beating us like a rented mule. The legacy of these cultural commies has been a long and effective one, and their dismaying accomplishments really are remarkable. Some of the names in their Hall of Shame are Antonio Gramsci, Georg Lukács, Theodor Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, and the whole Frankfurt School. Those interested in reading more about this history can check out William Lind’s cover article in the most recent Chronicles magazine.

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