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The Death of the West - A Study in Strategic Decadence

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Adorno Horkenheimer Habermas by Jeremy Shapiro

A former advisor to tyhe president of the USA talks about the less known background of today's abortion industry, militant feminism, HBQT-movement, multi-culture fixation, racist- och facist marking and alleged hate speech from people with opposing views in the death march of the Western culture affecting not only our grand children but even the generation which is growing today.


THE FRANKFURT SCHOOL COMES TO AMERICA

In 1923, Lukacs and members of the German Communist party set up, at Frankfurt University, an Institute for Marxism modeled on the Marx-Engels Institute in Moscow. After some reflection, they settled on a less provocative name, the Institute for Social Research. It would soon come to be known simply as the Frankfurt School. In 1930, a renegade Marxist and admirer of the Marquis de Sade, Max Horkheimer, became its director. Horkheimer, too, had concluded that Marx had gotten it wrong. The working class was not up to its role as the vanguard of the revolution. Already, Western workers were happily moving into the middle class, the detested bourgeoisie. They had failed the Marxists, who would not have been surprised by events on Wall Street in May 1970, when radicals and students protesting Nixon’s Cambodian incursion were beaten up by construction workers of the building trades union of Pete Brennan, whom Nixon would then install as his secretary of labor.


At Horkheimer’s direction, the Frankfurt School began to retranslate Marxism into cultural terms. The old battlefield manuals were thrown out, and new manuals were written. To old Marxists, the enemy was capitalism; to new Marxists, the enemy was Western culture. To old Marxists, the path to power was the violent overthrow of the regime, as in Paris in 1789 and in St. Petersburg in 1917. To the new Marxist, the path to power was nonviolent and would require decades of patient labor. Victory would come only after Christian beliefs had died in the soul of Western Man. And that would happen only after the institutions of culture and education had been captured and conscripted by allies and agents of the revolution. Occupy the cultural institutions of the West, its “fortresses and earthworks,” and the state, the “outer ditch,” would fall without a fight. For old and new Marxists both, however, the definition of morality remained: what advances the revolution is moral, what obstructs it is not. As Hudson Institute scholar John Fonte writes, Gramsci believed in

“absolute historicism,” meaning that morals, values, truth, standards and human nature itself are products of different historical epochs. There are no absolute moral standards that are universally true for all human beings outside of a particular historical context; rather, morality is “socially constructed.” 9


When Ronald Reagan famously blurted that the Soviets “reserve to themselves the right to lie, steal and cheat,” he hit on a truth that an honest Marxist would not strenuously contest, though the remark almost caused a collective nervous breakdown at the Department of State. 10 ABOUT THIS SAME time, music critic Theodor Adorno, psychologist Erich Fromm, and sociologist Wilhelm Reich joined the Frankfurt School.

But, in 1933, history rudely intruded. Adolf Hitler ascended to power in Berlin, and as the leading lights of the Frankfurt School were Jewish and Marxist, they were not a good fit for the Third Reich. the Frankfurt School packed its ideology and fled to America. Also departing was a graduate student by the name of Herbert Marcuse. With the assistance of Columbia University, they set up their new Frankfurt School in New York City and redirected their talents and energies to undermining the culture of the country that had given them refuge.

Among the new weapons of cultural conflict the Frankfurt School developed was Critical Theory. The name sounds benign enough, but it stands for a practice that is anything but benign. One student of Critical Theory defined it as the “essentially destructive criticism of all the main elements of Western culture, including Christianity, capitalism, authority, the family, patriarchy, hierarchy, morality, tradition, sexual restraint, loyalty, patriotism, nationalism, heredity, ethnocentrism, convention and conservatism.” 11

Using Critical Theory, for example, the cultural Marxist repeats and repeats the charge that the West is guilty of genocidal crimes against every civilization and culture it has encountered.

Under Critical Theory, one repeats and repeats that Western societies are history’s greatest repositories of racism, sexism, nativism, xenophobia, homophobia, anti-Semitism, fascism, and Nazism. Under Critical Theory, the crimes of the West flow from the character of the West, as shaped by Christianity. One modern example is “attack politics,” where “surrogates” and “spin doctors” never defend their own candidate, butattack and attack the opposition.

Another example of Critical Theory is the relentless assault on Pius XII as complicit in the Holocaust, no matter the volumes of evidence that show that accusation to be a lie.
Critical Theory eventually induces “cultural pessimism,” a sense of alienation, of hopelessness, of despair where, even though prosperous and free, a people comes to see its society and country as oppressive, evil, and unworthy of its loyalty and love. The new Marxists considered cultural pessimism a necessary precondition of revolutionary change.

Under the impact of Critical Theory, many of the sixties generation, the most privileged in history, convinced themselves that they were living in an intolerable hell. In The Greening of America, which enthralled Senator McGovern, Justice Douglas, and the Washington Post, Charles Reich spoke of a “total atmosphere of violence” in America’s high schools. 12 This was thirty years before Columbine, and Reich did not mean guns and knives:

An examination or test is a form of violence. Compulsory gym, to one embarrassed or afraid, is a form of violence. The requirement that a student must get a pass to walk in the hallway is violence. Compulsory attendance in the classroom, compulsory studying in study hall, is violence. 13


Erich Fromm’s Escape from Freedom and Wilhelm Reich’s The Mass Psychology of Fascism and The Sexual Revolution reflect Critical Theory. But the most influential book the Frankfurt School ever published was The Authoritarian Personality. In this altarpiece of the Frankfurt School, Karl Marx’s economic determinism is replaced with cultural determinism.

If a family is deeply Christian and capitalist, ruled by an authoritarian father, you may expect the children to grow up racist and fascist. Charles Sykes, senior fellow at the Wisconsin Policy Research Center, describes The Authoritarian Personality as “an uncompromising indictment of bourgeois civilization, with the twist that what was considered merely old-fashioned by previous critics was now declared both fascistic and psychologically warped.” 14


    Where Marx criminalized the capitalist class, the Frankfurt School criminalized the middle class. That the middle class had given birth to democracy and that middle-class Britain had been fighting Hitter when the comrades of the Frankfurt School in Moscow were cohabiting with him did not matter.

Nor did it matter that middle-class America had given Adorno and his colleagues a sanctuary when they had fled the Nazis. The truth did not matter, for these were Marxist ideologues, and they alone defined truth. Having discovered fascism’s nesting ground in patriarchal families, Adorno now identified its natural habitat: traditional culture: “It is a well-known hypothesis that susceptibility to fascism is most characteristically a middle-class phenomenon, that ‘it is in the culture’ and, hence, that those who conform the most to this culture will be the most prejudiced.” 15

    Edmund Burke once wrote, “I would not know how to draw up an indictment against a whole people.” 16 Adorno and the Frankfurt School, however, had just done exactly that. They flatly asserted that individuals raised in families dominated by the father, who are flagwaving patriots and follow the old-time religion, are incipient fascists and potential Nazis. As a conservative Christian culture breeds fascism, those deeply immersed in such a culture must be closely watched for fascist tendencies.

    These ideas have been internalized by the Left. As early as the mid-1960s, conservatives and authority figures who denounced or opposed the campus revolution were routinely branded “fascists.” Baby boomers were unknowingly following a script that ran parallel to the party line laid down by the Moscow Central Committee in 1943:

Members and front organizations must continually embarrass, discredit and degrade our critics. When obstructionists become too irritating, label them as fascist, or Nazi or anti-Semitic … . The association will, after enough repetition, become “fact” in the public mind. 17


Since the 1960s, branding opponents as haters or mentally sick has been the most effective weapon in the arsenal of the left. Here is the “secret formula” as described by psychologist and author Thomas Szasz: “If you want to debase what a person is doing … call him mentally ill.” 18 Behind it all is a political agenda. Our sick society is in need of therapy to heal itself of its innate prejudice. Assessing the Frankfurt School’s Studies in Prejudice, of which The Authoritarian Personality was the best known, Christopher Lasch wrote:

The purpose and design of Studies in Prejudice dictated the conclusion that prejudice, a psychological disorder rooted in the “authoritarian” personality structure, could be eradicated only by subjecting the American people to what amounted to collective psychotherapy— by treating them as inmates of an insane asylum. 19


    This is the root of the “therapeutic state”— a regime where sin is redefined as sickness, crime becomes antisocial behavior, and the psychiatrist replaces the priest. If fascism is, as Adorno, says, “in the culture,” then all of us raised in that old God-and-country culture of the 1940s and 1950s are in need of treatment to help us come face-to-face with the prejudices and bigotries in which we were marinated from birth.

ANOTHER OF THE. insights of Horkheimer and Adorno was to realize that the road to cultural hegemony was through psychological conditioning, not philosophical argument. America’s children could be conditioned at school to reject their parents’ social and moral beliefs as racist, sexist, and homophobic, and conditioned to embrace a new morality. Though the Frankfurt School remains unfamiliar to most Americans, its ideas were well-known at the teachers’ colleges back in the 1940s and 1950s.

    The school openly stated that whether children learned facts or skills at school was less important than that they graduate conditioned to display the correct attitudes. When Allan Bloom wrote in The Closing of the American Mind that “American high school graduates are among the most sensitive illiterates in the world,” with some of the lowest test scores on earth in comparative exams, but the highest scores for sensitivity to issues like the environment, Bloom was testifying to the success of the Frankfurt School. 20

Parents may consider today’s public schools costly failures where children no longer learn. To the Frankfurt School, they are a success; for the children coming out of them exhibit all the right attitudes. On entering college, these students now go through orientation sessions, where they are instructed in the new values that obtain on college campuses— to get their minds right, as the warden said in Cool Hand Luke.

    How successful has the cultural revolution been in eradicating the old values and instilling new ones in the souls of the young? In the days after Pearl Harbor, the enlistment lines at navy, army, and marine recruiting stations wound around the block. College boys were as well represented in those lines as farm boys. But in the days after the slaughter at the World Trade Center— before a single U.S. soldier had gone into combat or one cruise missile had been fired at the terrorists’ base camps— the antiwar rallies had begun on American campuses. But the importance of schools in conditioning the minds of the young was soon surpassed by that of the new media: TV and movies. As William Lind, director of the Center for Cultural Conservatism at the Free Congress Foundation, writes:

The entertainment industry … has wholly absorbed the ideology of cultural Marxism and preaches it endlessly not just in sermons but in parables: strong women beating up weak men, children wiser than their parents, corrupt clergymen thwarted by carping drifters, upper-class blacks confronting the violence of lower-class whites, manly homosexuals who lead normal lives. It is all fable, an inversion of reality, but the entertainment media make it seem real, more so than the world that lies beyond the front door. 21


    To appreciate how the cultural revolution has changed the way we think, believe, and act, contrast the values that 1950s films like On the Waterfront, High Noon, and Shane reflected and undergirded with the values espoused by the leading films of today. At the Academy Awards ceremony in 2000 the two most honored films were American Beauty and Cider House Rules.

    American Beauty starred Kevin Spacey and depicted life in an American suburb as a moral wasteland. The villain is an ex-Marine who represses his homosexuality, collects Nazi memorabilia, and becomes a homicidal maniac. In Cider House Rules, Michael Caine portrays a soft-spoken abortionist who stands up to the bigotry of Middle America. America’s mass media have become siege guns in the culture war and a vast Skinner Box for conditioning America’s young.

DURING THE FIFTIES, the Frankfurt School lacked a personality to popularize the ideas buried in the glutinous prose of Horkheimer and Adorno. Enter Herbert Marcuse, ex-OSS officer and Brandeis professor, whose ambition was to be not only a man of words but a revolutionary man of action. Marcuse provided the answer to Horkheimer’s question: Who will play the role of the proletariat in the coming cultural revolution?

    Marcuse’s candidates: radical youth, feminists, black militants, homosexuals, the alienated, the asocial, Third World revolutionaries, all the angry voices of the persecuted “victims” of the West. This was the new proletariat that would overthrow Western culture.

Among the “oppressed,” the potential recruits for his revolution, Gramsci himself had included all the “marginalized groups of history … not only economically oppressed, but also women, racial minorities, and many ‘criminals.’” 22 Charles Reich was the echo of Marcuse and Gramsci: “One of the ways the new generation struggles to feel itself as outsiders is to identify with the blacks, with the poor, with Bonnie and Clyde, and with the losers of this world.” 23 Coincidentally, in 1968, the year Bonnie and Clyde, a film romanticizing two perverted killers, was nominated for an Academy Award, two of Reich’s “losers,” Sirhan Sirhan and James Earl Ray, achieved immortality with the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Dr. King.

    Past societies had been subverted by words and books, but Marcuse believed that sex and drugs were superior weapons. In Eros and Civilization, Marcuse urged a universal embrace of the Pleasure Principle. Reject the cultural order entirely, said Marcuse (this was his “Great Refusal”), and we can create a world of “polymorphous perversity.” 24 As millions of baby boomers flooded the campuses, his moment came. Marcuse’s books were consumed. He became a cult figure. When students revolted in Paris in 1968, they carried banners proclaiming “Marx, Mao, and Marcuse.

    ” “Make love, not war” was Marcuse’s own inspired slogan. In One Dimensional Man, he advocated an educational dictatorship. In “Repressive ‘tolerance,” he called for a new “liberating tolerance” that entails “intolerance against movements from the right, and toleration of movements from the left.” 25 Full of Marcusian conviction, sixties students shouted down defenders of the U.S. war effort in Vietnam and welcomed radicals waving Vietcong flags.

On some campuses, paroled killers can today find more receptive audiences than can conservatives. The double standard against which the Right rages, and which permits conservatives to be pilloried for sins that are forgiven the Left, is “repressive tolerance” in action. Marcuse did not disguise what he was about. In Carnivorous Society, he wrote:

One can rightfully speak of a cultural revolution, since the protest is directed toward the whole cultural establishment … there is one thing we can say with complete assurance. The traditional idea of revolution and the traditional strategy of revolution have ended. These ideas are old-fashioned … what we must undertake is a type of diffuse and dispersed disintegration of the system. 26 The “diffuse and dispersed disintegration of the system” means nothing less than the abolition of America. Like Gramsci, Marcuse had transcended Marx. The old Marxist vision of workers rising up to overthrow their capitalist rulers was yesterday. Today, Herbert Marcuse and his cohorts would put an end to a corrupt Western civilization by occupying its cultural institutions and converting them into agencies of reeducation and of revolution. As Roger Kimball, author and editor at the New Criterion, writes: In the context of Western societies, the “long march through the institutions” signified— in the words of Herbert Marcuse— “working against the established institutions while working in them.” It was primarily by this means— by insinuation and infiltration rather than confrontation-that the countercultural dreams of radicals like Marcuse have triumphed. 27


    For cultural Marxists, no cause ranked higher than the abolition of the family, which they despised as a dictatorship and the incubator of sexism and social injustice. Hostility to the traditional family was not new to Marxists. In The German Ideology, Marx himself wrote that patriarchal males consider wives and children first as property.

In The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State, Engels popularized the feminist conviction that all discrimination against women proceeds from the patriarchal family. Erich Fromm argued that differences between the sexes were not inherent, but a fiction of Western culture. Fromm became a founding father of feminism.

To Wilhelm Reich, “The authoritarian family is the authoritarian state in miniature … . Familial imperialism is … reproduced in national imperialism.”

To Adorno, the patriarchal family was the cradle of fascism. To decapitate the family with the father as its head, the Frankfurt School advocated the alternatives of matriarchy, where the mother rules the roost, and “androgyny theory,” where male and female family roles are made interchangeable, and even reversed. Female boxing, women in combat, women rabbis and bishops, God as She, Demi Moore’s G.I. Jane, Rambo-like Sigourney Weaver comforting a terrified and cringing male soldier in Aliens, and all the films and shows that depict women as tough and aggressive and men as sensitive and vulnerable testify to the success of the Frankfurt School and the feminist revolution it helped to midwife.

 

Like Lukacs, Wilhelm Reich believed the way to destroy the family was through revolutionary sexual politics and early sex education. The appearance of sex education in elementary schools in America owes a debt to Lukacs, Reich, and the Frankfurt School.


IN THE DEATH of the West, the Frankfurt School must be held as a prime suspect and principal accomplice. The propaganda assault on the family it advocated has contributed to the collapse of the family. Nuclear families today represent fewer than one-fourth of U.S. households. And women’s liberation from the traditional roles of wife and mother, which the school was among the first to champion, has led to the demeaning and downgrading of those roles in American society.

Millions of Western women now share the feminists’ hostility to marriage and motherhood. Millions have adopted the movement’s agenda and have no intention of getting married and no desire to have children. Their embrace of Marcuse’s Pleasure Principle, their tours of duty in the sexual revolution, mean marriages put off. And, as our divorce and birthrates show, even the marriages entered into are less stable and less fruitful.

In the depopulating nations of Europe, even in the old Catholic countries, use of contraceptives is almost universal. Contraception, sterilization, abortion, and euthanasia are the four horsemen of the “culture of death” against which the Holy Father will inveigh to the end of his days.

The pill and condom have become the hammer and sickle of the cultural revolution.

In the 1950s, Khrushchev threatened, “We will bury you.” But we buried him. Yet, if Western Man does not find a way to halt his collapsing birthrate, cultural Marxism will succeed where Soviet Marxism failed; for in a 1998 report on the depopulation of Europe, the pope’s Pontifical Council for the Family tied cultural pessimism directly to infertility.

A return to a higher fertility rate in those countries whose fertility is declining at the present can be expected only if there is a change in the “mood” in these countries, a shift from present pessimism to a state of mind which could be compared to that of the “baby-boom” era, during the era of post World War Two reconstruction. 28

No such “mood change” is remotely visible on the Old Continent, where birthrates continue to fall. In helping to undermine the family and induce cultural pessimism, the Frankfurt School can claim a share of the credit for having assisted in the suicide of the West. Thus did a tiny band of renegade Marxists help subvert American culture and begin the deconstruction of our republic.

On the tombstone of architect Christopher Wren is written, “Lector, si monumenta requiris, circumspice.” 29 “Reader, if it is monuments you seek, look about you.”

So it may be said of Lukacs, Gramsci, Adorno, and Marcuse, four who made a revolution. In a third of a century, what was denounced as the counterculture has become the dominant culture, and what was the dominant culture has become, in Gertrude Himmelfarb’s phrase, a “dissident culture.” 30 America has become an ideological state, a “soft tyranny,” where the new orthodoxy is enforced, not by police agents, but by inquisitors of the popular culture.

We see it in the mandatory requirement for “sensitivity training” in the military, in business, and in government. Turn on the TV and observe. The values of the revolution dominate the medium. Political correctness rules. Defiance of our new orthodoxy qualifies as “hate speech,” disrespect for its dogmas as a sign of mental sickness. “Get John Rocker to a psychiatrist!”

 

Intolerance as trademark

A few years back, a wag described America’s universities as “islands of totalitarianism in a sea of freedom.” Now even the sea has become inhospitable. Emily Dickinson spoke to our time as well as to her own: Assent— and you are sane— Demur— you’re straightway dangerous And handled with a Chain. 31

Political correctness is cultural Marxism, a regime to punish dissent and to stigmatize social heresy as the Inquisition punished religious heresy. Its trademark is intolerance. By classifying its adversaries as haters, or mentally ill, writes journalist Peter Hitchens in his lament for his country, The Abolition of Britain, the new regime imitates the methods of the Soviet Union’s Serbsky Institute, which used to classify political dissidents like Natan Sharansky as insane before locking them up in a psychiatric hospital. 32

What Americans describe with the “casual phrase … political correctness,” says Hitchens, is “the most intolerant system of thought to dominate the British Isles since the Reformation.” 33 As it is in the United States.

To oppose affirmative action qualifies one as a racist. To insist there are roles in society unfit for women, such as Navy carrier pilot, is to be branded a sexist. If you believe immigration is far too high for our social cohesion, you are a nativist or a xenophobe.

In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association was bullied by gay rights militants into delisting homosexuality as a disorder. Now anyone who considers it a disorder suffers himself from a sickness of the soul called homophobia. “Homosexual acts are against nature’s law,” said Pope John Paul II as thousands marched on international gay pride day in Rome. 34 “The church cannot silence the truth, because this … would not help discern what is good from evil.” 35 This restatement of Catholic moral teaching marks the Holy Father, and all who accept that teaching as true, as homophobic. Scholar and author Paul Gottfried calls it “the dehumanization of dissent.” 36

 

Words are weapons, said Orwell. Traditionalists have yet to discover effective countermeasures. By calling an enemy a racist or fascist, you no longer need answer his arguments. He must defend his character. In a court of law, the accused is innocent until proven guilty.

But if the charge is racism, homophobia, or sexism, there is today the presumption of guilt. Innocence must be proven by the accused beyond a reasonable doubt. Orwell heard the word “fascist” used so often he assumed that, if Jones called Smith a fascist, Jones meant, “I hate Smith!” But if Jones had said, “I hate Smith,” he would be confessing to unchristian hatred. By calling Smith a fascist, he need not explain why he hates Smith or cannot best Smith in debate; he has forced Smith to prove that he is not a closet admirer of Adolf Hitler. Huey Long was right. When fascism comes to America, it will come in the name of antifascism. 37

THAT LUKACS GRAMASCI, Adorno, Marcuse, and the Frankfurt School had immense influence on America’s cultural and intellectual history is undeniable. But, unlike the Bolsheviks, they did not storm a Winter Palace, they did not seize power, and they did not impose their ideas by force and terror; they were not giants, like Marx, to whom men paid homage. Few Americans even know who they were.

Not one, not even Marcuse, was a St. Paul, a Luther, or a Wesley. They were intellectual renegades and moral misfits, yes, but they were also men who thought “outside the box” and put into circulation the ideas of how a successful revolution might be launched in the West, against the West. And their ideas have triumphed. America’s elites, who may not even know today who the Frankfurt thinkers were, have taken to their ideas like catnip.

Americans who today accept these ideas cannot know that they were hatched in a Marxist nursery in Weimar Germany or thought out in a fascist prison in Mussolini’s Italy, or that their purpose was to subvert our culture and overturn our civilization. But that begs the question: Why was the America of the 1960s, if still a country immersed in its Judeo-Christian heritage, history, traditions, and beliefs, receptive to so revolutionary an agenda?

True, a small slice of America’s elite, before and during the Great Depression, became complicit in what French author Julien Benda called The Treason of the Intellectuals. 38 They despised the Christian capitalist America in which they lived. But why did the ideas of cultural traitors take root in Middle America? Why did they attract a following among children of the Greatest Generation, which had defeated Hitler? Why do so many of the young still buy in?

Was America morally adrift in the sixties, searching for something new to believe in, a new way to live? Were the timbers of the old house rotten? Was a revolution inevitable? Were the young, and many of their teachers, simply weary of the demands of the old moral order and looking for a way to say good-bye to all that? Did they all just climb aboard the first train that came through town?

Certainly, the Frankfurt School was not alone in dreaming of and devising a social revolution. In the 1930s, many intellectuals were thinking along the same lines and coming to the same conclusions. Here is a passage from the 1937 Yearbook of the National Education Association:

The present capitalist and nationalist school system has been supplanted in but one place— Russia— and that change was effected by revolution. Hence the verdict of history would seem to indicate that we are likely to have to
depend upon revolution for social change of an important and far-reaching character. 39


Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, was a more famous radical than any of the Frankfurt School, and she had anticipated their ideas: “Birth control appeals to the advanced radical because it is calculated to undermine the authority of the Christian churches. I look forward to seeing humanity free someday of the tyranny of Christianity no less than capitalism.” 40

Would the 1960s revolution have swept America had Gramsci never written Prison Notebooks and had Adorno and Marcuse never gotten out of Germany? Were Lukacs, Gramsci, Adorno, and Marcuse indispensable men?

Probably not, but they did devise the strategy and the tactics of a successful Marxist revolution in the West, and the culture they set out to destroy is no longer the dominant culture in America or the West. They began their lives as outcasts and may end on the winning side of history.

WHY DID THEY succeed? Four elements came together in the sixties to create the critical mass that exploded like Dr. Oppenheimer’s device in the New Mexico desert at Alamogordo. First was “the message in a bottle,” as the men of the Frankfurt School called their ideas. And as their ideas were germinating, other Americans, alienated from a Christian and capitalist culture, were working independently on similar strategies and ideas to undermine the culture and abolish the old America they had come to detest. Nurtured for decades, these ideas began to flower in the 1960s.

Second, there arrived on campus, beginning in 1964, a huge cohort of youth who had known neither hardship nor war. The cultural revolution now had a huge, captive, and receptive audience. Spoiled and affluent, carefree, confident, liberated, and bored, these young people were ready for rebellion. And swallowing goldfish was not what they had in mind.

As conservative scholar Robert Nisbet reminds us, bordeom “is one of the most insistent and universal [of the] forces that have shaped human behavior,” and the “range of cures or terminations of boredom is a wide one.” 41 High among them are sex, narcotics, and revolution.

In the 1960s, what Arnold Toynbee called an “internal proletariat” of students, bored with their studies, encountered graduate instructors, bored with their subjects and unexciting lives — a a combustible mixture.

 

Third, 1960s television could convey the tactics and triumphs of campus radicals and urban revolutionaries instantly to their peers. And the medium, now matured, no longer the fifties fiefdom of Howdy Doody and Matt Dillon, could not only transmit the new ideas, it could reinforce them by creating new visual realities.

The fourth indispensable element was Vietnam. If the war meant sacrifice, bloodshed, perhaps death, the Woodstock generation wanted no part of it. What Marcuse offered was intellectual cover for cowardice, a moral argument for malingering, a way to dodge the draft while feeling superior to those who went.

The “real heroes” of this war, said Senator Fulbright and New York mayor John Lindsay, are in Canada. The message fell upon receptive ears in the Ivy League and not only there. Finally, the old American establishment was broken on the wheel of Vietnam— the war that liberalism launched and could not win— and its moral authority was shattered in the eyes of the young.

The path to power was thus opened to the political vessel of the counterculture, the McGovern campaign of 1972, among whose most enthusiastic workers was young Bill Clinton, the pride and paragon of the Woodstock generation.

BUT ALL THIS raises a greater question: Is the death of a religious-based culture inevitable once a society reaches general affluence? When a nation has overcome the hardships of its infancy and the struggles of its adolescence and manhood, and begins to produce a life of ease and luxury, does it naturally succumb to a disease of the soul that leads to decadence, decline, and death?

“America is the only country that has gone from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between,” said Oscar Wilde. 42 Did the man have a point?


Jacques Barzun suggests that the sixties generation simply picked up where the twenties generation left off. The era of sex, booze, and jazz led naturally to the era of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Only the degeneration was briefly interrupted by the intrusive reality of Depression, World War, and Cold War.

Once the 1950s were finished, a new generation took up where the Roaring Twenties crowd had left off when the market crashed in 1929. But if the hedonism of the sixties flowed from the hedonism of the Prohibition Era, there is this difference: that 1920s generation did not hate America. A few “Lost Generation”

writers fled the country, but the social rebels of the 1920s were not revolutionaries. After all, they elected Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover in the greatest Republican landslides in history.

The sixties intelligentsia was different. As Eric Hoffer wrote, “Nowhere at present is there such a measureless loathing of their country by educated people as in America.”43

 

AFTER THE COLLAPSE of the Soviet Empire, Time magazine asked, “Can the Right Survive Success?” 44 Time quoted a conservative scholar as saying, “It is a sign of enormous triumph that there are no galvanizing issues for conservatives today.” 45

“Nothing could be further from the truth,” responded James Cooper, the editor of American Arts Quarterly. “A major galvanizing issue for conservatives, indeed, for all Americans … the great unfinished task that President Reagan alluded to in his farewell speech to the nation … is to recapture the culture from the Left … .” 46

While most conservatives had been fighting the Cold War, a small band had been holding down the forgotten front, the culture war. Cooper pleaded with conservatives to take up the culture war as their new cause and spoke of the territory already lost:

Seventy years ago, the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937) wrote the most important mission for Socialism was to “capture the culture.” By the end of World War II, the liberal Left had managed to capture not only the arts, theater, literature, music, and ballet, but also motion pictures, photography, education and the media. Through its control of the culture, the Left dictates not only the answers, but the questions asked. In short, it controls the cosmological apparatus by which most American[ s] comprehend the meaning of events.

This cosmology is based on two great axioms: the first is there are no absolute values in the universe, no standards of beauty and ugliness, good and evil. The second axiom is-in a Goddess universe— the Left holds moral superiority as the final arbiter of man’s activities. 47

Conservatives ignored Cooper’s cry. Instead, they fought against national health insurance and for NAFTA and the WTO.

“The Right voted with their feet,” said Samuel Lipman, publisher of the New Criterion. 48 Added Cooper: “Conservatives returned to money-making and Cold War strategies, straightened out their George Stubbs engravings of English Thoroughbred horses on their office walls, and forgot about the whole matter. After all, they reasoned, how important is culture anyway?” 49.

“Where a man’s purse is, there his heart will be also.” The hearts of many on the Right are in cutting marginal tax rates and eliminating the capital gains tax. Good causes to be sure. But what doth it profit a man if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his country?

Is whether the GDP rises at 2 or 3 or 4 percent as important as whether or not Western civilization endures and we remain one nation under God and one people? With the collapsing birthrate, open borders, and the triumph of an anti-Western multiculturalism, that is what is at issue today— the survival of America as a nation, separate and unique, and of Western civilization itself— and too many conservatives have gone AWOL in the last great fight of our lives.

So, let us consider what the death march of the West will mean, not just in future centuries, but in this century, and not just to our children’s children, but to the generation growing up today.

 

 


Textutdraget hämtat ur "The Death of The West", av Patrick J. Buchanan, 2001 kap 4.
Fritt översatt av Rolf Lampa, 2015

Referenser

9 John Fonte, “Why There Is a Culture War,” Policy Review, December 2000 and January 2001, p. 17.
10 “Transcript #2077: War Powers Debate,” The MacNeil/ Lehrer NewsHour, September 13, 1983.
11 Raehn, p. 2.
12 Reich, p. 148.
13 Ibid.
14 Charles J. Sykes, A Nation of Victims (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1992), p. 54.
15 Ibid.
16 Patrick J. Buchanan, “Americans Need Not Fear United Germany,” Toronto Star, October 16, 1989, p. A18.
17 Stephen Goode, “Radical Leftovers,” Insight on the News, November 22, 1999, p. 10.
18 Sykes, p. 54.
19 Christopher Lasch, The True and Only Heaven: Progress and Its Critics (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1991), p. 447.
20 Jim Nelson Black, When Nations Die (Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers, 1994), p. 77.
21 William Lind, “Turn Off, Tune Out, Drop Out: A Cultural Conservative’s Strategy for the 21st Century,” Against the Grain, Free Congress Foundation, Washington, D.C., 1998.
22 Fonte, p. 16.
23 Reich, p. 276.
24 William Lind, “Origins of Political Correctness,” Address to Accuracy in Academia’s Annual Summer Conference, George Washington University, July 10, 1998.
25 John Leo, “Where Double Standards Are Accepted, Washington Times, August 5, 2000, p. A 12.
26 Herbert Marcuse, The Canrivorous Society; cited by Raehn, p. 3.
27 Roger Kimball, The long March (San Francisco, Calif.: Encounter Books, 2000), p. 15.
28 “Declaration by the Pontifical Council for the Family on Decrease of Fertility in the World,” February 27, 1998, p. 3.
29 John Burgess, “Remembering Wren,” Washington Post, June 14, 1998, p. El.
30 Gertrude Himmelfarb, “Two Nations or Two Cultures? Party Differences Not as Stark as Cultural Differences,” Commentary, January 1, 2000, p. 29.
31 F. O. Matthiessen, ed., The Oxford Book of American Verse (New York: Oxford University Press, 1950), p. 415.
32 Peter Hitchens, The Abolition of Britain (San Francisco, Calif.: Encounter Books, 2000), p. viii.
33 Ibid., p. 3.
34 Linda Massarella, “Angry Pope Slams Rome’s Gay Fiesta as a Bitter ‘Insult,’” New York Post, July 10, 2000, p. 20.
35 Ibid.
36 Patrick J. Buchanan, “Dehumanization of Dissent,” Washington Times, February 8, 1999, p. A16.
37 Lionel Van Deerlin, “The Dynasty of Huey Long,” San Diego Union-Tribune, February 28, 1985, p. B1.
38 Julien Benda, La Trahison des Clercs: The Treason of the Intellectuals (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1969).
39 Broadcast of American Dissident Voices, “The NEA’s Anti-American Agenda Threatens Our Nation,” March 13, 1993.
40 Walter Adolphe Roberts, “Birth Control and the Revolution,” Birth Control Review, June 1917, p. 7.
41 Robert Nisbet, Prejudices: A Philosophical Dictionary (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1981), p. 22.
42 Travis LeBlanc, “Western World Not Doomed After All,” University Wire, November 3, 1997.
43 Eric Hoffer, First Things, Last Things (New York: Harper & Row, 1971), p. 71.
44 Laurence Barrett, “Can the Right Survive Success?” Time, March 19, 1990, p. 16.
45 Ibid.
46 James E. Cooper, “The Right Agenda: Recapture the Culture,” American Arts Quarterly, Spring/ Summer 1990, p. 3.
47 Ibid.
48 Ibid.
49 Ibid.

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