I have heard people who have grown up in former Communist countries say that we in the West are at least as brainwashed by Multiculturalism and Political Correctness as they ever were with Communism, perhaps more so.
Even in the heyday of the East Bloc, there were active dissident groups in these countries. The scary thing is, I sometimes believe they are right. But how is that possible? Dont we have free speech? And we have no Gulag? The simple fact is that we never won the Cold War as decisively as we should have. Yes, the Berlin Wall fell, and the Soviet Union collapsed. This removed the military threat to the West, and the most hardcore, economic Marxism suffered a blow as a credible alternative. However, one of the really big mistakes we made after the Cold War ended was to declare that Socialism was now dead, and thus no longer anything to worry about. Here we are, nearly a generation later, discovering that Marxist rhetoric and thinking have penetrated every single stratum of our society, from the Universities to the media. Islamic terrorism is explained as caused by poverty, oppression and marginalization, a classic, Marxist interpretation.
What happened is that while the hard Marxism of the Soviet Union may have collapsed, at least for now, the soft Marxism of the Western Left has actually grown stronger, in part because we deemed it to be less threatening. The hard Marxists had intercontinental nuclear missiles and openly said that they would bury us. The soft Marxists talk about tolerance and may seem less threatening, but their goal of overthrowing the evil, capitalist West remains the same. In fact, they are more dangerous precisely because they hide their true goals under different labels. Perhaps we should call it stealth Socialism instead of soft Socialism.
One of the readers of Fjordman blog once pointed out that we never had a thorough de-Marxification process after the Cold War, similar to the de-Nazification after WW2. He was thinking of the former Soviet Union and the countries in Eastern Europe, but he should probably have included their Marxist fellow travellers, their sympathizers and apologists in the West. We never fully confronted the ideology of Marxism, and demonstrated that the suffering it caused for hundreds of millions of people was a direct result of Marxist ideas. We just assumed that Marxism was dead and moved on, allowing many of its ideals to mutate into new forms and many of its champions to continue their work uninterrupted, sometimes filled with a vengeance and a renewed zeal for another assault on the capitalist West.
We are now paying the price for this. Not only has Marxism survived, it is thriving and has in some ways grown stronger. Leftist ideas about Multiculturalism and de-facto open borders have achieved a virtual hegemony in public discourse, their critics vilified and demonized. By hiding their intentions under labels such as anti-racism and tolerance, Leftists have achieved a degree of censorship of public discourse they could never have dreamt of had they openly stated that their intention was to radically transform Western civilization and destroy its foundations.
The Left have become ideological orphans after the Cold War, or perhaps we should call them ideological mercenaries. Although the viable economic alternative to capitalism didnt work out, their hatred for this system never subsided, it merely transformed into other forms. Multiculturalism is just a different word for divide and conquer, pitting various ethnic and cultural groups against each other and destroying the coherence of Western society from within.
At the very least, the people living in the former Communist countries knew and admitted that they were taking part in a gigantic social experiment, and that the media and the authorities were serving them propaganda to shore up support for this project. Yet in the supposedly free West, we are taking part in a gigantic social experiment of Multiculturalism and Muslim immigration every bit as radical, utopian and potentially dangerous as Communism, seeking to transform our entire society from top to bottom, and still we refuse to even acknowledge that this is going on.
In Norway, a tiny Scandinavian nation that was until recently 99% white and Lutheran Christian, native Norwegians will soon be a minority in their own capital city, later in the whole country. And still, Norwegian politicians, journalists and University professors insist that there is nothing to worry about over this. Multiculturalism is nothing new, neither is immigration. In fact, our king a century ago was born in Denmark, so having a capital city dominated by Pakistanis, Kurds, Arabs and Somalis is just business as usual. The most massive transformation of the country in a thousand years, probably in recorded history, is thus treated as if it were the most natural thing in the world. To even hint that there might be something wrong about this has been immediately shouted down as racism.
Eric Hoffer has noted that It is obvious that a proselytizing mass movement must break down all existing group ties if it is to win a considerable following. The ideal potential convert is the individual who stands alone, who has no collective body he can blend with and lose himself in and so mask the pettiness, meaninglessness and shabbiness of his individual existence. Where a mass movement finds the corporate pattern of family, tribe, country, etcetera, in a state of disruption and decay, it moves in and gathers the harvest. Where it finds the corporate pattern in good repair, it must attack and disrupt. This corresponds exactly to the behavior of much of the Western Left in our age.
In Germany, Hans-Peter Raddatz in his book Allahs Frauen (Allahs Women) dissects the destructive attitude of Multiculturalism that is shared by many civil servants, journalists, politicians and lawyers in Germany and the EU. In particular, he documents how the German Green Party has a program for dismantling and dissolving the Christian Leitkultur, or common culture, that so far has been the foundation of Germany and the West. Raddatz thinks that the decades of Muslim immigration are used as an instrument for breaking down the institutions, norms and ideas that the Left has earlier tried to break down through economics. From powerful positions in the media, public institutions and the system of education, these Multiculturalists are working on a larger project of renewing a Western civilization that, according to them, has failed.
A Norwegian newspaper called Dagens Næringsliv exposed the fact that the largest anti-racist organization in the country, SOS Rasisme, was heavily infiltrated by Communists and extreme Leftists. They infiltrated the organization in the late 1980s and early 90s, in other words, during the downfall of Communism in Eastern Europe. They went directly from Communism to Multiculturalism, which should indicate that at least some of them viewed Multiculturalism as the continuation of Communism by other means. It speaks volumes about the close connection between economic Marxism and cultural Marxism. They just have different means of reaching the same ends.
Much of the political Left is simply engaged in outing their opponents as evil, instead of rationally arguing against their ideas. Attaching labels such as racist or even Fascist to anyone criticizing massive immigration or Multiculturalism has become so common that Norwegian anti-Islamists have coined a new word for it: Hitling, which could be roughly translated to English as to make like Hitler. The logic behind hitling is a bit like this: You have a beard. Adolf Hitler had facial hair, too, so you must be like Hitler. Adolf Hitler liked dogs. You have pets, too, you must be like Hitler. Adolf Hitler was a vegetarian. You like carrots, you are just like Hitler.
Any right-winger can be slimed with such accusations. Curiously enough, the reverse is almost never true. Although Marxism may have killed 100 million people during the 20th century and failed in every single society in which it has ever been tried out, there seems to be little stigma attached to being a Leftist. The fact that Leftists can get away with this and claim to hold the moral high ground amply demonstrates that we didnt win the Cold War. We let our guard down after the fall of the Berlin Wall and never properly denounced the ideology behind it. This is now coming back to haunt us.
One member of an anti-immigration party in Britain stated that to be called racist in 21st-century Britain is the same as being branded a witch in the Middle Ages. Hes probably right, which means that anti-racism has quite literally become a modern witch-hunt.
Naomi Klein, Canadian activist and author of the book No Logo, is a darling of the Western Left. She claims that the real cause of Islamic terrorism is Western racism, traceable back to the personal experiences of Sayyid Qutb, theorist of modern Islamic Jihad, while in the USA in the late 1940s. The real problem, she concludes, is not too much Multiculturalism but too little. More Multiculturalism, she claims, would rob terrorists of what has always been their greatest recruitment tool: our racism.
Robert Spencer, however, is not too impressed with Kleins logic or historical knowledge: Qutbs world-changing rage? Is that rage really Qutbs? Can modern-day Islamic terrorism really be attributed to him, and to his experience of racism in Colorado? One would expect that if that were so, there would be no evidence of political or violent Islam dating from before 1948. But in fact the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Qutb was part, was founded not in 1948 but in 1928, and not by Qutb, but by Hasan Al-Banna. It was Al-Banna, not Qutb, who wrote: In [Muslim] Tradition, there is a clear indication of the obligation to fight the People of the Book [that is, Jews and Christians], and of the fact that God doubles the reward of those who fight them. Jihad is not against polytheists alone, but against all who do not embrace Islam.
Paul Berman does not share Kleins interpretation, either. According to him, Qutbs book from the 1940s, Social Justice and Islam, shows that, even before his voyage to the USA, Qutb was pretty well set in his Islamic fundamentalism, although it may have gotten worse after his meetings with Western immorality. According to Berman, the truly dangerous element in American life, in Sayyid Qutbs estimation, was not capitalism or foreign policy or racism or the unfortunate cult of womens independence. The truly dangerous element lay in Americas separation of church and state the modern political legacy of Christianitys ancient division between the sacred and the secular. Islams true champions had to gather themselves together into what Qutb in his book Milestones called a vanguard. This vanguard of true Muslims was going to resurrect the caliphate and take Islam to all the world, just as Muhammad had done. Both Milestones and parts of Qutbs perhaps most important work, In the Shade of the Quran, are available online in English. In Milestones, he writes that Jihad will continue until all of the world answers to Islam, that Islam came into this world to establish Gods rule on Gods earth. Islam has a right to remove all those obstacles which are in its path, it has the right to destroy all obstacles in the form of institutions and traditions around the world that are in opposition to this. Gods rule on earth can be established only through the Islamic system. What does this have to do with Western racism? Why did Jihad start a thousand years before Western colonialism ever touched Islamic lands? What about the tens of millions of people massacred in India because of Islamic Jihad? Was that due to Western racism, too? Naomi Klein doesnt say, she just blames the West. And she is far from the only one suffering from this delusion.
Commenting on the Jihad riots in France in the fall of 2005, philosopher Alain Finkielkraut stated: In France, they would like very much to reduce these riots to their social dimension, to see them as a revolt of youths from the suburbs against their situation, against the discrimination they suffer from, against the unemployment. The problem is that most of these youths are blacks or Arabs, with a Muslim identity. Look, in France there are also other immigrants whose situation is difficult Chinese, Vietnamese, Portuguese and theyre not taking part in the riots. Therefore, it is clear that this is a revolt with an ethno-religious character. These people were treated like rebels, like revolutionaries. ( ) Theyre interesting. Theyre the wretched of the earth. Imagine for a moment that they were whites, like in Rostock in Germany. Right away, everyone would have said: Fascism wont be tolerated. When an Arab torches a school, its rebellion. When a white guy does it, its fascism. Evil is evil, no matter what color it is.
In an interview with Danish weekly Weekendavisen, Finkielkraut said that: Racism is the only thing that can still arouse anger among the intellectuals, the journalists and people in the entertainment business, in other words, the elites. Culture and religion have collapsed, only anti-racism is left. And it functions like an intolerant and inhumane idolatry. A leader from one of the organizations against racism had the nerve to refer to the actions of the police in the Parisian suburbs as ethnic cleansing. That kind of expression used about the French situation indicates a deliberate manipulation of the language. Unfortunately, these insane lies have convinced the public that the destruction in the suburbs should be viewed as a protest against exclusion and racism. I think that the lofty idea of the war on racism is gradually turning into a hideously false ideology. And this anti-racism will be for the 21st century what communism was for the 20th century: A source of violence.
Maybe the French have fallen prey to the nihilism of Jean-Paul Sartre? Roger Scruton wrote about his continued influence in The Spectator: The French have not recovered from Sartre and perhaps never will. For they have had to live with an intellectual establishment that has consistently repudiated the two things that hold the country together: Christianity and the idea of France. The anti-bourgeois posture of the left-bank intellectual has entered the political process, and given rise to an elite for whom nothing is certain save the repudiation of the national idea. It is thanks to this elite that the mad project of European Union has become indelibly inscribed in the French political process, even though the people of France reject it. It is thanks to this elite that the mass immigration into France of unassimilable Muslim communities has been both encouraged and subsidised. It is thanks to this elite that socialism has been so firmly embedded in the French state that no one now can reform it. Man cannot live by negation alone.
Karl Marx himself has stated that The meaning of peace is the absence of opposition to socialism, a sentiment that corresponds almost exactly to the Islamic idea that peace means the absence of opposition to Islamic rule. Cultural Marxism aka Political Correctness and Islam share the same totalitarian outlook and instinctively agree in their opposition to free discussion, and in the idea that freedom of speech must be curtailed when it is offensive to certain groups. Former Muslim Ali Sina notes that there is very little difference between the Left and Islam. What is lacking in both these creeds is the adherence to the Golden Rule. Just as for Muslims, everything Islamic is a priori right and good and everything un-Islamic is a priori wrong and evil, for the Left, everything leftist is a priori oppressed and good and everything rightist is a priori oppressor and evil. Facts dont matter. Justice is determined by who you are and not by what you have done. Political correctness is an intellectual sickness. It means expediently lying when telling the truth is not expedient. This practice is so widespread and so common that it is considered to be normal. Sina also quotes historian Christopher Dawson in writing: It is easy enough for the individual to adopt a negative attitude of critical skepticism. But if society as a whole abandons all positive beliefs, it is powerless to resist the disintegrating effects of selfishness and private interest. Every society rests in the last resort on the recognition of common principles and common ideals, and if it makes no moral or spiritual appeal to the loyalty of its members, it must inevitably fall to pieces. This will be the end result of Multiculturalism, and one suspects that this was the point of it to begin with.
Another former Muslim, writer Ibn Warraq, visited Denmark to launch his book Why I am not a Muslim. In an interview, Ibn Warraq stated that especially among the Left there is a post-colonial guilt complex that constitutes an almost insuperable obstacle to any criticism of Islam and Third World cultures. The Left have thus put their own, universal values aside in favor of a dangerous relativism. Ibn Warraq pointed out that more than fifty years after the West left its colonies in the Third World, Leftists are still blaming all the ills of Africa and the Middle East on the former colonial powers, while the same left-wingers only ten years after the fall of Communism blamed Russias troubles on unrestrained capitalism. The Left refuses to seek answers elsewhere. At the same time they are, because of Marx, accustomed to look for economic explanations to everything. Consequently, they seek the explanation to Islamic terrorism in the economic situation. But it is a great mystery to me how 200 dead people in Madrid are supposed to help the poor in the Islamic world.
Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus, who has personal experience with living under Socialism, warns that it may not be as dead as many seem to think: We can probably confidently say that its hard version communism is over. However, fifteen years after the collapse of communism I am afraid, more than at the beginning of its softer (or weaker) version, of social-democratism, which has become under different names, e.g. the welfare state the dominant model of the economic and social system of current Western civilization. It is based on big and patronizing government, on extensive regulating of human behavior, and on large-scale income redistribution. The explicit socialism has lost its appeal and we should not have it as the main rival to our ideas today. Klaus warns that illiberal ideas are making a comeback in different shapes: These ideas are, however, in many respects similar to it. There is always a limiting (or constraining) of human freedom, there is always ambitious social engineering, there is always an immodest enforcement of a good by those who are anointed (Thomas Sowell) on others against their will. The current threats to liberty may use different hats, they may better hide their real nature, they may be more sophisticated than before, but they are in principle the same as always.
I have in mind environmentalism (with its Earth First, not Freedom First principle), radical humanrightism (based as de Jasay precisely argues on not distinguishing rights and rightism), ideology of civic society (or communitarism), which is nothing less than one version of post-Marxist collectivism which wants privileges for organized groups, and in consequence, a refeudalization of society. I also have in mind multiculturalism, feminism, apolitical technocratism (based on the resentment against politics and politicians), internationalism (and especially its European variant called Europeanism) and a rapidly growing phenomenon I call NGOism.
Vladimir Bukovsky is a former Soviet dissident, author and human rights activist. He was one of the first to expose the use of psychiatric imprisonment against political prisoners in the USSR, and spent a total of twelve years in Soviet prisons. Now living in England, he warns against some of the same anti-democratic impulses in the West, especially in the EU, which he views as a heir to the Soviet Union. In 2002, he joined in on protests against the BBCs compulsory TV licence, which he considers such a medieval arrangement I simply must protest against it The British people are being forced to pay money to a corporation which suppresses free speech publicising views they dont necessarily agree with. He has blasted the BBC for their bias and propaganda, especially on stories related to the EU or the Middle East. I would like the BBC to become the KGB successors in imprisoning me for demanding freedom of speech. Nothing would expose them more for what they are.
He is not the only one who is tired of what he thinks is the Leftist bias of the BBC. Michael Gove, a Conservative MP, and political commentator Mark Dooley complain about lopsided coverage of certain issues: Take, for example, the BBCs coverage of the late Yasser Arafat. In one profile broadcast in 2002, he was lauded as an icon and a hero, but no mention was made of his terror squads, corruption, or his brutal suppression of dissident Palestinians. Similarly, when Israel assassinated the spiritual leader of Hamas, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, in 2004, one BBC reporter described him as polite, charming and witty, a deeply religious man. This despite the fact that under Yassins guidance, Hamas murdered hundreds. A soft left worldview influences too much of what the corporation produces. We have a right to expect more honesty from the broadcasting service we are being asked to pay for.
Vladimir Bukovsky thinks that the West lost the Cold War. There were no Nuremberg-type trials in Moscow. Why? Because while we won the Cold War in a military sense, we lost it in the context of ideas. The West stopped one day too soon, just like in Desert Storm. Just imagine the Allies in 1945 being satisfied with some kind of Perestroika in Nazi Germany instead of unconditional surrender. What would have been the situation in Europe then, to say nothing of Germany? All former Nazi collaborators would have remained in power, albeit under a new disguise. This is exactly what happened in the Soviet Union in 1991. Communism might have been dead, but the communists remained in power in most of the former Warsaw bloc countries, while their Western collaborators came to power all over the world (in Europe in particular). This is nothing short of a miracle: the defeat of the Nazis in 1945 quite logically brought a shift to the Left in world politics, while a defeat of communism in 1991 brought again a shift to the Left, this time quite illogically. It is no surprise, therefore, that despite the defeat of communism, the radical Left in the West still arrogates the moral high ground to itself.
When the Nazis lost the Second World War, racial hatred was discredited. When the Soviets lost the Cold War, the tenet of class hatred remained as popular as ever. Bukovsky argues that while there might have been a Western military victory, Socialism still prevailed as a popular idea ideologically throughout the world. He writes: Having failed to finish off conclusively the communist system, we are now in danger of integrating the resulting monster into our world. It may not be called communism anymore, but it retained many of its dangerous characteristics. . . .Until the Nuremberg-style tribunal passes its judgement on all the crimes committed by communism, it is not dead and the war is not over.
Cultural Marxism has roots as far back as the 1920s, when some Socialist thinkers advocated attacking the cultural base of Western civilization to pave the way for the Socialist transition. Cultural Marxism is thus not something new. It has coexisted with economic Marxism for generations, but it received a great boost in the West from the 1960s and 70s onwards. As the Soviet Union fell apart and China embraced capitalism, the economic Marxists joined in on the cultural train, too, as it was now the only game in town. They dont have a viable alternative to present, but they dont care. They truly believe that we, the West, are so evil and exploitative that literally anything would be better, even the Islamic Caliphate.
The Free Congress Foundation has an interesting booklet online called Political Correctness: A Short History of an Ideology, edited by William S. Lind. According to Lind, Political Correctness wants to change behavior, thought, even the words we use. To a significant extent, it already has. Whoever or whatever controls language also controls thought. Political Correctness is in fact cultural Marxism. The effort to translate Marxism from economics into culture did not begin with the student rebellion of the 1960s. It goes back at least to the 1920s and the writings of the Italian Communist Antonio Gramsci. In 1923, in Germany, a group of Marxists founded an institute devoted to making the translation, the Institute of Social Research (later known as the Frankfurt School). One of its founders, George Lukacs, stated its purpose as answering the question, Who shall save us from Western Civilization? Lind thinks there are major parallels between classical and cultural Marxism: Both are totalitarian ideologies. The totalitarian nature of Political Correctness can be seen on [University] campuses where PC has taken over the college: freedom of speech, of the press, and even of thought are all eliminated. Today, with economic Marxism dead, cultural Marxism has filled its shoes. The medium has changed, but the message is the same: a society of radical egalitarianism enforced by the power of the state.
Just as in classical economic Marxism certain groups, i.e. workers and peasants, are a priori good, and other groups, i.e., the bourgeoisie and capital owners, are evil. In the cultural Marxism of Political Correctness certain groups are good, for instance feminist women. Similarly, white males are determined automatically to be evil, thereby becoming the equivalent of the bourgeoisie in economic Marxism. Both economic and cultural Marxism have a method of analysis that automatically gives the answers they want. For the classical Marxist, its Marxist economics. For the cultural Marxist, its deconstruction. Deconstruction essentially takes any text, removes all meaning from it and re-inserts any meaning desired.
Raymond V. Raehn agrees with Lind that Political Correctness is Marxism, with all that implies: loss of freedom of expression, thought control, inversion of the traditional social order and, ultimately, a totalitarian state. According to him, Gramsci envisioned a long march through the societys institutions, including the government, the judiciary, the military, the schools and the media. He also concluded that so long as the workers had a Christian soul, they would not respond to revolutionary appeals. Another one of the early cultural Marxists, Georg Lukacs, noted that Such a worldwide overturning of values cannot take place without the annihilation of the old values and the creation of new ones by the revolutionaries. At a meeting in Germany in 1923, Lukacs proposed the concept of inducing Cultural Pessimism in order to increase the state of hopelessness and alienation in the people of the West as a necessary prerequisite for revolution.
William S. Lind points out that this cultural Marxism had its beginnings after the Marxist Revolution in Russia in 1917 failed to take roots in other countries. Marxists tried to analyze the reasons for this, and found them in Western civilization and culture itself. Gramsci said the workers will never see their true class interests, as defined by Marxism, until they are freed from Western culture, and particularly from the Christian religion that they are blinded by culture and religion to their true class interests. Lukacs, who was considered the most brilliant Marxist theorist since Marx himself, said in 1919, Who will save us from Western Civilization?
John Fonte describes how this cultural war is now being played out in the USA in his powerful piece Why There Is A Culture War: Gramsci and Tocqueville in America. According to him, beneath the surface of American politics an intense ideological struggle is being waged between two competing worldviews. I will call these Gramscian and Tocquevillian after the intellectuals who authored the warring ideas the twentieth-century Italian thinker Antonio Gramsci, and, of course, the nineteenth-century French intellectual Alexis de Tocqueville. The stakes in the battle between the intellectual heirs of these two men are no less than what kind of country the United States will be in decades to come.
Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937), Marxist intellectual and politician, believed that it was necessary first to delegitimize the dominant belief systems of the predominant groups and to create a counter-hegemony (i.e., a new system of values for the subordinate groups) before the marginalized could be empowered. Moreover, because hegemonic values permeate all spheres of civil society schools, churches, the media, voluntary associations civil society itself, he argued, is the great battleground in the struggle for hegemony, the war of position. From this point, too, followed a corollary for which Gramsci should be known (and which is echoed in the feminist slogan) that all life is political. Thus, private life, the work place, religion, philosophy, art, and literature, and civil society, in general, are contested battlegrounds in the struggle to achieve societal transformation. This, according to Fonte, is the very core of the Gramscian-Hegelian world view group-based morality, or the idea that what is moral is what serves the interests of oppressed or marginalized ethnic, racial, and gender groups. The concept of internalized oppression is the same as the Hegelian-Marxist notion of false consciousness, in which people in the subordinate groups internalize(and thus accept) the values and ways of thinking of their oppressors in the dominant groups. This is classic Hegelian-Marxist thinking actions (including free speech) that objectively harm people in a subordinate class are unjust (and should be outlawed).
He tracks how the ideas of Gramsci and cultural Marxists have spread throughout Western academia. Law professor Catharine MacKinnon writes in Toward a Feminist Theory of the State (1989), The rule of law and the rule of men are one thing, indivisible, because State power, embodied in law, exists throughout society as male power. Furthermore, Male power is systemic. Coercive, legitimated, and epistemic, it is the regime. MacKinnon has argued that sexual harassment is essentially an issue of power exercised by the dominant over the subordinate group. At an academic conference sponsored by the University of Nebraska, the attendees articulated the view that White students desperately need formal training in racial and cultural awareness. The moral goal of such training should override white notions of privacy and individualism.
This can sometimes amount to virtual brainwashing disguised as critical thinking. Fonte mentions that at Columbia University, new students are encouraged to get rid of their own social and personal beliefs that foster inequality. To accomplish this, the assistant dean for freshmen, Katherine Balmer, insists that training is needed. At the end of freshmen orientation at Bryn Mawr in the early 1990s, according to the school program, students were breaking free of the cycle of oppression and becoming change agents. Syracuse Universitys multicultural program is designed to teach students that they live in a world impacted by various oppression issues, including racism.
John Fonte thinks that the primary resistance to the advance of cultural Marxism in the USA comes from an opposing quarter he dubs contemporary Tocquevillianism. Its representatives take Alexis de Tocquevilles essentially empirical description of American exceptionalism and celebrate the traits of this exceptionalism as normative values to be embraced. As Tocqueville noted in the 1830s, Americans today are just as in Tocquevilles time, are much more individualistic, religious, and patriotic than the people of any other comparably advanced nation. What was particularly exceptional for Tocqueville (and contemporary Tocquevillians) is the singular American path to modernity. Unlike other modernists, Americans combined strong religious and patriotic beliefs with dynamic, restless entrepreneurial energy that emphasized equality of individual opportunity and eschewed hierarchical and ascriptive group affiliations.
This battle is now being played out in most American public institutions. Tocquevillians and Gramscians clash on almost everything that matters. Tocquevillians believe that there are objective moral truths applicable to all people at all times. Gramscians believe that moral truths are subjective and depend upon historical circumstances. Tocquevillians believe in personal responsibility. Gramscians believe that the personal is political. In the final analysis, Tocquevillians favor the transmission of the American regime; Gramscians, its transformation.
While economic Marxism appears to be dead, the Hegelian variety articulated by Gramsci and others has not only survived the fall of the Berlin Wall, but also gone on to challenge the American republic at the level of its most cherished ideas. For more than two centuries America has been an exceptional nation, one whose restless entrepreneurial dynamism has been tempered by patriotism and a strong religious-cultural core. The ultimate triumph of Gramscianism would mean the end of this very exceptionalism. America would at last become Europeanized: statist, thoroughly secular, post-patriotic, and concerned with group hierarchies and group rights in which the idea of equality before the law as traditionally understood by Americans would finally be abandoned. Beneath the surface of our seemingly placid times, the ideological, political, and historical stakes are enormous.
Britains Anthony Browne writes in The Retreat of Reason of how the Politically Correct are more intolerant of dissent than traditional liberals or conservatives, since Liberals of earlier times accepted unorthodoxy as normal. Indeed the right to differ was a datum of classical liberalism. The Politically Correct do not give that right a high priority. It distresses their programmed minds. Those who do not conform should be ignored, silenced or vilified. There is a kind of soft totalitarianism about Political Correctness. Because the politically correct believe they are not just on the side of right, but of virtue, it follows that those they are opposed to are not just wrong, but malign. In the PC mind, the pursuit of virtue entitles them to curtail the malign views of those they disagree with. People who transgress politically correct beliefs are seen not just as wrong, to be debated with, but evil, to be condemned, silenced and spurned. The rise of political correctness represents an assault on both reason and liberal democracy. Browne defines Political Correctness as an ideology that classifies certain groups of people as victims in need of protection from criticism, and which makes believers feel that no dissent should be tolerated. He also warns that Good intentions pave the road to hell. The world is not short of good intentions, but it is too often short of good reasoning.
However, Anthony Browne focuses more in the geopolitical situation to explain the rise of PC than on Marxist strategies: Political correctness is essentially the product of a powerful but decadent civilisation which feels secure enough to forego reasoning for emoting, and to subjugate truth to goodness. However, the terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001, and those that followed in Bali, Madrid and Beslan, have led to a sense of vulnerability that have made people far more hard-headed about the real benefits and drawbacks of Western civilisation.
To some extent, the rise of the eastern powers, China and India, will ensure in coming decades that western guilt will shrivel: finally having equal powers to compare ourselves to, the West will no longer feel inclined to indulge in self-loathing, but will seek to reaffirm its sense of identity. ( ) in the long-run of history, political correctness will be seen as an aberration in Western thought. The product of the uniquely unchallenged position of the West and its unrivalled affluence, the comparative decline of the West compared to the East is likely to spell the demise of political correctness.
Lee Harris in his article Why Isnt Socialism Dead? ponders whether Socialism isnt dead because Socialism cant die. The Peruvian economist, Hernando de Soto, has argued in his book, The Mystery of Capital, that the failure of the various socialist experiments of the twentieth century has left mankind with only one rational choice about which economic system to go with, namely, capitalism. However, says Harris, the revolutionary socialists life is transformed because he accepts the myth that one day socialism will triumph, and justice for all will prevail. Thus there is an...analogy between religion and the revolutionary Socialism which aims at the apprenticeship, preparation, and even the reconstruction of the individual a gigantic task. It may well be that socialism isnt dead because socialism cannot die. Who doesnt want to see the wicked and the arrogant put in their place? Who among the downtrodden and the dispossessed can fail to be stirred by the promise of a world in which all men are equal, and each has what he needs?
Maybe Socialism is a bit like the flu: It keeps mutating, and as soon as your immune system has defeated one strain, it changes just enough so that your body does not recognize it and then mounts another attack.
Political Correctness can reach absurd levels. Early in June 2006, Canadian police arrested a group of men suspected of planning terror attacks. The group was alleged to have been well-advanced on its plan to attack a number of Canadian institutions, among them the Parliament of Canada, including a possible beheading of the Prime Minister, and Torontos subway. However, the lead paragraph of newspaper Toronto Stars story on the arrests was: In investigators offices, an intricate graph plotting the links between the 17 men and teens charged with being members of a homegrown terrorist cell covers at least one wall. And still, says a source, it is difficult to find a common denominator. Royal Canadian Mounted Police Assistant Commissioner Mike McDonell said that the suspects were all Canadian residents and the majority were citizens. They represent the broad strata of our community. Some are students, some are employed, some are unemployed, he said. However, there was one common denominator for the suspects that wasnt mentioned: They were all Muslims. The front page article in the New York Times (June 4), too, was a study in how to avoid using the dreaded M word. The terrorist suspects were referred to as Ontario residents, Canadian residents, the group, mainly of South Asian descent or good people. Everything conceivable, just not as Muslims.
Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair noted proudly during the press conference following the arrests, I would remind you that there was not one single reference made by law enforcement to Muslim or Muslim community. Before launching the anti-terror raids, Canadian police received sensitivity training and were carefully instructed in Islamic traditions such as handling the Koran, the use of prayer mats, and blowing oneself up in the course of an arrest. As Charles Johnson of blog Little Green Footballs noted: Do the Canadian police extend such considerations to Christian, Jewish, Hindu or other faiths? If they dont, then the Moslems have already won important recognition as a special people. Commenting on the arrests, the Globe and Mail stated that It may have been the most politically correct terrorism bust in history. Canadas secret security apparatus had been putting serious effort into softening its image among Muslims for much of the previous years.
The federal government in Canada was considering changes to the Anti-Terrorism Act to make it clear that police and security agents did not engage in religious profiling. The Calgary Sun interviewed a Canadian criminologist, Professor Mahfooz Kanwar, who stated that Multiculturalism has been bad for unity in Canada. It ghettoizes people, makes them believe, wrongly, that isolating themselves and not adapting to their new society is OK. It is not. Political correctness threatens us because we cant fight something we refuse to label and understand. Kanwar said the amount of political correctness during the arrests of 17 Muslims in the Toronto area was sickening. Political correctness has gone too far. Political correctness threatens our society, said the Pakistani-born Kanwar. It is the responsibility of the minorities to adjust to the majority, not the other way around, added Kanwar. Meanwhile, the Canadian Islamic Congress blamed the Canadian government for not showering enough money on the problem. They wanted more funding for research to scientifically diagnose problems and devise solutions.
They also wanted a nation-wide Smart Integration program, whatever that means. Given the fact that Muslims in Canada had quite recently been pushing for the partial implementation of sharia laws in the country, one would suspect that smart integration would mean that non-Muslims should demonstrate a little more appeasement. After all, if Canadian authorities listen to the advice of their compatriot Naomi Klein, these planned mass-killings of Canadian civilians were all due to Canadian racism and because the country wasnt Multicultural enough. Muslims want to kill Canadians, Canadians smile back, tell them how much they respect them and ask what more they can do to please them.
This is what Political Correctness leads to in the end. Its not funny and its not a joke. Political Correctness kills. It has already killed thousands of Western civilians, and if left unchecked it may soon kill entire nations or, in the case of Europe, entire continents.
As I have stated before, Islam is only a secondary infection, one that we could otherwise have had the strength to withstand. Cultural Marxism has weakened the West and made us ripe for a takeover. It is cultural AIDS, eating away at our immune system until it is too weak to resist Islamic infiltration attempts. It must be destroyed, before it destroys us all.
The Leftist-Islamic alliance will have profound consequences. Either they will defeat the West, or they will both go down in the fall. We never really won the Cold War as decisively as we should have done. Marxism was allowed to endure, and mount another attack on us by stealth and proxy. However, this flirting with Muslims could potentially prove more devastating to Marxists than the fall of the Berlin Wall.
As William S. Lind points out: While the hour is late, the battle is not decided. Very few Americans realize that Political Correctness is in fact Marxism in a different set of clothes. As that realization spreads, defiance will spread with it. At present, Political Correctness prospers by disguising itself. Through defiance, and through education on our own part (which should be part of every act of defiance), we can strip away its camouflage and reveal the Marxism beneath the window-dressing of sensitivity, tolerance and multiculturalism.
Political Correctness is Marxism with a nose job. Multiculturalism is not about tolerance or diversity, it is an anti-Western hate ideology designed to dismantle Western civilization. If we can demonstrate this, an important part of the battle has already been won.
Fjordman is a noted Norwegian blogger who has written for many conservative web sites. He used to have his own Fjordman Blog in the past, but it is no longer active.(...more)