Sunday, November 8, 2009

From the Politburo to Obama -- Twenty Years After the Berlin Wall the Left Still Attacks Western Civilization, But Now from Within

Musing on the 20 year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the false sense of triumph over communist ideology that it inspired, Melanie Phillips, writing (link) in the Daily Mail, reminds us (not that much reminder is needed) that the far left simply switched tactics and now attacks us from within:
Soviet Communism was a belief system whose goal was to overturn the structures of society through the control of economic and political life. This mutated into a post-communist ideology of the Left, whose no-less ambitious aim was to overturn western society through a subversive transformation of its culture.

This was what might be called 'cultural Marxism'. It was based on the understanding that what holds a society together are the pillars of its culture: the structures and institutions of education, family, law, media and religion. Transform the principles that these embody and you can thus destroy the society they have shaped.

This key insight was developed in particular by an Italian Marxist philosopher called Antonio Gramsci. His thinking was taken up by Sixties radicals -- who are, of course, the generation that holds power in the West today. Gramsci understood that the working class would never rise up to seize the levers of 'production, distribution and exchange' as communism had prophesied. Economics was not the path to revolution.

He believed instead that society could be overthrown if the values underpinning it could be turned into their antithesis: if its core principles were replaced by those of groups who were considered to be outsiders or who actively transgressed the moral codes of that society. So he advocated a 'long march through the institutions' to capture the citadels of the culture and turn them into a collective fifth column, undermining from within and turning all the core values of society upside-down and inside-out. This strategy has been carried out to the letter.

This Through The Looking Glass mindset rests on the belief that the world is divided into the powerful (who are responsible for all bad things) and the oppressed (who are responsible for none of them). This is a Marxist doctrine.
Fourteen months ago, Melanie Phillips wrote, also in the Daily Mail, about one of Gramsci’s acolytes:
The seditious role of the community organiser was developed by an extreme left intellectual called Saul Alinsky. He was a radical Chicago activist who, by the time he died in 1972, had had a profound influence on the highest levels of the Democratic party. Alinsky was a ‘transformational Marxist’ in the mould of Antonio Gramsci, who promoted the strategy of a ‘long march through the institutions’ by capturing the culture and turning it inside out as the most effective means of overturning western society. In similar vein, Alinsky condemned the New Left for alienating the general public by its demonstrations and outlandish appearance. The revolution had to be carried out through stealth and deception. Its proponents had to cultivate an image of centrism and pragmatism.
His creed was set out in his book ‘Rules for Radicals’ – a book he dedicated to Lucifer, whom he called the ‘first radical’. It was Alinsky for whom ‘change’ was his mantra. And by ‘change’, he meant a Marxist revolution achieved by slow, incremental, Machiavellian means which turned society inside out. This had to be done through systematic deception, winning the trust of the naively idealistic middle class by using the language of morality to conceal an agenda designed to destroy it. And the way to do this, he said, was through ‘people’s organisations’.
And who, Phillips writes, reportedly idolized Alinsky, was trained in community organizing by “the Alinsky-founded Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) in Chicago, worked for an affiliate of the Gamaliel Foundation, whose modus operandi … is rooted firmly in the Alinsky method,” … and who “himself taught workshops on the Alinsky method”?

Star pupil Barack Obama himself.