Sunday, July 04, 2010
Gramsci was a clever Italian neo-Marxist who realized that the West, due to its prosperity, its increasingly-wide access to education and opportunity, social mobility, and its readiness to repair injustices (due to its Judeo-Christian morality), would never be amenable to a violent proletarian socialist revolution.
Plan B, "Gramscian tactics."
Capitalism, Gramsci suggested, maintained control not just through violence and political and economic coercion but also ideologically, through a hegemonic culture in which the values of the bourgeoisie became the 'common sense' values of all. Thus a consensus culture developed in which people in the working-class identified their own good with the good of the bourgeoisie, and helped to maintain the status quo rather than revolting.
Thus Western "hegemonic culture" became the enemy - even more so than "the ruling class," which was simply a reflection of bourgeois culture. And defeating that enemy could not be done with guns. It required a "long march through the culture" to slowly discredit and undermine its institutions, values, and foundations.
A central component of the culture war he envisioned was the war on religion
Gramsci stated that, in the West, bourgeois cultural values were tied to Christianity and therefore much of his polemic against hegemonic culture is aimed at religious norms and values. He was impressed by the power Roman Catholicism had over men's minds and the care the Church had taken to prevent an excessive gap developing between the religion of the learned and that of the less educated. Gramsci believed that it was Marxism's task to marry the purely intellectual critique of religion found in Renaissance humanism to the elements of the Reformation that had appealed to the masses.
Strong Father Model Reaction:
the attacks on Christianity, the family, individual freedom, morality and moral judgements; multiculturalism; the cult of victimhood, "tolerance," political correctness, the replacement of the roles of family, religion, individual responsibility and choice with government rules, laws, and regs; the expansion of the State and the Welfare State and the Nanny State; anti-tradition, anti-capitalism, anti-success, anti-nationalism, anti-Americanism and anti-Westernism, Green movement
suppression of the individual soul and spirit - his freedom, autonomy, initiative and self-definition, in pursuit of a collectivist utopia run by "them." In short, it's about the location of power and money
The New Left, Cultural Marxism, and Psychopolitics Disguised as Multiculturalism
The genius of Gramsci was his realization of where the progressivism of the late 19th, early 20th century was heading. The Marxian emphasis on the French model of violent revolution, terror included, was discredited by the failure of 1848 to fullfill the prophecy of historical determinism. Where to go? Gramsci assumed the socialist utopia was a practical goal although Marx's prophetic timeline hadn't played out. The cultural 'base' of family, faith and patriotism was never fully considered by Marx as the support for capitalism, only a symptom. Gramsci saw that base as the support for the whole capitalist infrastructure and as a kind of conspiratorial plot to protect 'capitalist' interests at the expense of the workers. The workers themselves held to such values and that had to change. Political correctness as wel as moral/ cultural relativism are relatively new phenomena in the 'Christian' west but are fully 'Gramscian'. The devaluing of 'old fashioned morality' was possible through the 'progressivism' and scientism he saw rising around him. As state power became more centralized through the acceptance of progressive thought ,top-down statism and central planning became more acceptable to the intellectual class of the time, gramsci knew that all his revolution rquired was the right people at the top. Gramsci's insight was his understanding that the top-down revolution of 'intellectuals' in power was practical as opposed to Marx's vision of bottom-up mass revolt of workers brainwashed by a thousand years of the conspiracy of 'western culture'.
Chomsky, Moore, Fisk: Pathetic memebots running the program of a dead tyrant