During the past year I have been both fascinated and disturbed by the dispute concerning “American Betrayal”, and have had my eyes opened in several dimensions by not only Diana West’s responses to criticism, but also from writings of people who support her. I read the book in September 2013, and since then have viewed numerous videos of Diana West speeches and interviews, and have followed the aftermath mostly on dianawest.net, gatesofvienna.net and breitbart.com, along with embedded links found on those sites.
I found the book to be captivating in content, convincing in the sourcing, and pleasing in the writing style. I’ve also found West’s “Rebuttal” to provide a strong and detailed defense, both in her extensive contributions, and also the supportive articles and emails contain within. I’m somewhat amazed at the lack of public support by known conservative writers and public figures, and was intrigued by the postulations by Ned May and Diana West about Planet-X to explain some of that silence.
I am frustrated with essentially everything I’ve read on this situation, including the contents of AB, the Rebuttal, articles on Gates of Vienna and similar supportive websites and blogs; the problem is the lack of focus on the influence of Cultural Marxism (CM) in political matters from the 1950’s until today. Yes, AB has a passing reference to CM and the Frankfurt School (FS), but there seems to be a very big jump from the pro-Soviet occupation-level infiltration in the Roosevelt (not to mention Truman) administration to contemporary problems in dealing with Islam because of political correctness and multiculturalism, as well as a host of other Left-induced problems which plague the West in general, and the US in particular.
Here to me is perhaps the central point. By the time the 50’s rolled around, two important streams appeared: (1) the revulsion of many US communists, fellow travelers and useful idiots to the atrocities of the Stalin regime, revulsion that turned a lot of these people from being pro-Soviet into anti-anti-communists; and (2) the appearance in intellectual circles of the Frankfurt School (FS) and Antonio Gramsci and his Prison Notebooks.
To me, the emergence of Gramsci and the FS began the move away from a “violent overthrow of the US government” (a phrase I remember hearing as a kid), and toward the “long march” through the institutions of our culture to effect revolutionary change. Diana West states that it was decided at some point in the Cold War that Gulags were no longer necessary, just demonize some representative truth-tellers and everyone else will fall in line, and that is certainly true. The question is: who decided to use that particular tactic? It was the Cultural Marxists, whose strategy has been to accomplish their revolution from within the culture.
In the early 50’s, we had the Korean War. Were there any protests? If so, they were not well-publicized, and in my opinion had no impact. Fast-forward a dozen years and the entire country was embroiled in anti-war protests. The difference? The CM’s had been able to produce enough students, write enough books, infiltrate enough college and universities, and basically introduce a disillusioned group of Leftists into the new way of getting the job done. Gramsci, Marcuse, Adorno, Horkheimer, Lukacs and similar gave intellectual basis for the movement to a Marxist utopia. Even though the Soviet Union was still there in the 50’s and for 35 more years, the goal morphed from union with Russia to simply destroying the West (see Critical Theory and deconstruction) and coming up with a new socialist/communist utopia which would do correctly what Russia, China, Cambodia, etc. had failed to do.
Speaking personally, once I obtained this viewpoint in the past year or so, all of what is happening now from the Left fits into a CM-based predictable pattern; no more “what will they think of next?” I think that the impact of CM and the FS is understood by very few; if their goals and methodology were more widely recognized, it could make a big difference in the war of survival we are in against Islam and the Left.
Note that I do not fault Diana West for failing to focus on CM and FS in AB; what she has done is foundationally critical and it would not have been helpful to deal with these matters in detail in AB. No, what is needed is THE DEFINITIVE BOOK on CM and FS, and it would certainly help to have it done by early 2016! And that book needs to be written by someone(s) (no historians, please) who is or are prominent enough to obtain a large readership; maybe a journalist such as Diana West, or perhaps someone such as Andrew C. McCarthy, who has already treaded on similar ground, or even a combination of high-profile conservatives.
I believe that most people who identify themselves as “progressives” – even people in the media – have no idea why they believe what they believe. People in top positions in all phases of society have been “educated” by Cultural Marxists whom they looked up to and revered because of their charisma and giftedness (of course this “education” happens not only in academia, but also in entertainment and news media), not realizing that they are actually being fed Marxist propaganda.
And then there are people in victim groups who are affirmed by the Left in their perpetual victim (and thus innocent) state, and who therefore become blinded to the totalitarian policies being implemented by their so-called “leaders”. See for example, black evangelical Christians. My close black friend tells me, “But Dick, you’ve got to understand….” when I confront him with this disconnect between what he believes and what he supports. I try to get him to at least listen to what black conservatives such as Thomas Sowell, Allen West or Shelby Steele have to say, even though they are some of the most marginalized and demonized people on the planet.
The book could be divided into several primary sections:
- History of Cultural Marxism, Frankfurt School, political correctness and multiculturalism, and their dissemination in the West, including the pragmatics of Saul Alinsky.
- Breakout of CM methodology and practice in some of the targeted “oppressed” groups, such as racial, gender, gays, Islam. The focus here would be on understanding the true Marxist goals for each.
- Also a section is needed on the CM methodology relative to targeted “oppressor” groups such as Christianity, conservatives and libertarians, white males, etc. also developing the true Marxist goals for each (such as destruction!).
- Strategy and tactics to counteract and eliminate political correctness and multiculturalism from our culture.
It might even be worthwhile also to produce a companion workbook which could be used for educational and training purposes: reaching as many people as possible, in as much depth as possible.This book needs to be targeted at low- to middle-information people. Here’s what William S. Lind states at the conclusion of his “Political Correctness – A Short History of an Ideology”:
“This small bibliography will be enough to get an interested reader started; the full literature on and by the Frankfurt School is immense, as the bibliographies in [Martin] Jay’s and [Rolf] Wiggershaus’s books attest. What has been missing from it, at least in English, is a readable book, written for the layman, that explains the Frankfurt School and its works in terms of the creation of Political Correctness. This short volume is at least a start in filling that gap.”
What is needed is that “readable book” — one that stands up to legitimate critique.
Gramsci wanted to “steal” some of the elite traditionalist intellectuals to the revolution; why can’t we do the same now, in reverse? The target of such a book should be to the propagandized masses, more than the faithful conservative base, although they too need to be educated to be better equipped to help with the “re-education” of those masses.
Andrew Breitbart is no longer with us. Who will step forward?