Marxist Revolution of the West
A little more than 230 years ago, the most important, significant, and profound revolution in the history of the world occurred, a revolution based on a single concept, individual liberty. The result of that revolution was the creation of the most prosperous, free, and cultured country the world has ever known. That revolution was the American revolution.
About 70 years ago, seven men planned another revolution, completely unlike the American revolution. It would not be "political" and would not be carried out by means of violence or war as the American and all other political revolutions have been, because the ambitions of those men were much higher than the mere replacing of one political system with another. They were aiming at nothing short of a world-wide revolution that would entirely change the minds of men, replacing all of Western Civilization with a new "cultural paradigm" that would usher in a word-wide totalitarian utopian state.
Most of the world has never heard of this revolution, and more significantly, most people are unaware that it has thus far been completely successful. The world-wide totalitarian state is already in the wings and about to makes its entrance, and when it does, it will be enthusiastically embraced, because the concepts that made Western civilization possible have been completely replaced in the minds of men, even in America, and no one notices or even understands what it is that has been lost.
The Second American Revolution
Unless you have lived in the United States over sixty years, it will be almost impossible for you to see or believe the extent of the changes in American society and culture since the end of the 50s, changes so profound they constitute a second American Revolution. The first revolution brought the highest levels of individual integrity, freedom, prosperity, cultural achievement, and happiness ever seen in this world, the second revolution has produced a culture dominated by vice, crime, squalor, misery, an accelerating deterioration of every value and principle the first American Revolution was about, and most importantly, the almost total loss of individual freedom. The fact that most people believe they are "free" and love the culture and society that now dominates America is evidence of the success of that second revolution. One of the seven men that spawned that revolution, Antonio Gramsci, predicted that using the media, education, and, "mass psychology," men would learn to "love their servitude," indeed, would not even recognize that it is servitude.
Marxism is Very Much Alive and Well
There is a common mistaken view held by a great many in the West, that since the collapse of the USSR and the end of the "cold war" socialism, particularly Marxist socialism, is no longer a viable threat. This is an enormous mistake that could only be made by academics, and other assorted pseudo-intellectuals, totally isolated from the actual history of the last 70 years or of current events. Consider these recent news items:
The Gas industry in Bolivia has just been nationalized; Venezuela has nationalized the country's electrical and telecommunications companies, taken control of the once-independent Central Bank, and taken posession of its entire petroleum industry to become a full-fledged socialist country; communist Cuba, socialist Venezuela, and Bolivia recently formed a mutual trade organization called ALBA (Alternativa Bolivariana). The nationalization of oil is becoming a global phenomena as Ecuador and Russia also get in on the act. But, we are told, "Socialism—a fad of the last few centuries—has had its day." I'm sure that's a great comfort to the people of Cuba, Bolivia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Russia.
The same bright light that assures us socialism is merely a fad that has passed, also informs us, "leftists are no longer the passionate collectivists of the 30s." The, "collectivists of the 30s," he is referring to, were the "pure" Marxists who promoted the economic variety of Marxism that was the basis of the Bolshevik revolution that eventually ruined Russia, but still has manifestations today in Cuba, Viet Nam, Laos, North Korea, and China which are all full-fleged Communist countries." Even that form of Marsixt socialism is not quite dead.
In spite of it's manifestations in Bolshevik Russia and the handfull of present day examples, by the 30s, economic Marxism, as an ideology, had been abandoned by leading Marxists themselves, and a new variety of Marxism, which would became known as, cultural Marxism, emerged. While the ultimate goal of cultural Marxism is identical to that of economic Marxism, that is, a world-wide totalitarian state, it's methods are entirely different. The dream of the economic Marxists to, "rule the world," by direct control of its economic institutions (businesses and financial agencies) has completely failed, but that same dream is being realized today in exactly the way the cultural Marxists both envisioned and planned it. It is cultural Marxism that is the heart of the revolution that has swept the world in the last 50 years and brought about the second American Revolution.
The Origins of Cultural Marxism
The successful Russian Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 convinced European and American Marxists the Marxist revolution would soon sweep the world; but the Communist “Spartacist" uprising, lead by Rosa Luxemburg in Berlin, the Hungarian communist republic established by Bela Kun in 1919, and the “Soviet” created by Kurt Eisner in Bavaria all ultimately failed. Even Trotsky's Red Army that invaded Poland in 1919 was defeated by Polish forces in 1920 at Vistula. According to Marxist economic theory, when the workers saw their opportunity to overthrow their bourgeois governments and establish a society of proletarian equality, they would throng to the support of the communist revolutionaries. They did not. The Marxists had a problem. Since the Marxists could not blame their ideology (Marxist theory) for the failure of the workers to support the revolution, another explanation was necessary. That explanation, and solution, was provided by two of the leading Marxists intellectuals of the time: Antonio Gramsci and Georg Lukacs.
Antonio Gramsci provided the explanation in the form of a new concept, cultural hegemony. Capitalism maintained control, he explained, not through violence or coercion, but by dominating a society's culture, causing the culture's bourgeois values too become the "common sense" and accepted values of all. So long as the workers identified their own good with the good of the bourgeoisie, they would support the status quo, not the revolution.
In Gramsci's view, Marx had correctly identified the unjust inequalities of capitalism that justified the revolution, but failed to identify the cultural hegemony that prevented the workers from revolting. What was needed, Gramsci realized, was a cultural revolution, one that would smash the cultural hegemony of the bourgeoisie, and usher in a culture of the working class.
Gramsci identified the ideological "apparatuses" by which that cultural revolution would be implemented as education and the media. He also identified the character of the hegemony that prevented the working class from identifying what was truly in their interest; bourgeoisie culture is Western culture (or all that we identify with Western civilization and values), which, he said, is intimately tied to Christianity. It is all that is associated with that culture the revolution would smash—but how was that to be accomplished?
Georg Lukacs, with other Marxist intellectuals, founded the Institute of Social Research at Frankfurt University in 1923, now known as the Frankfurt School, which would provide the means of bringing about the very cultural revolution Gramsci envisioned. Though concerned with the rise of National Socialism (Nazis) in Germany, their main purpose was developing the means of transforming Marxism from an economic theory (which failed to produce the revolution it predicted) to a practical form that would result in that revolution—that form of Marxism is what came to be known as cultural Marxism, and it is that form of Marxism that is revolutionizing all of Western civilization, almost totally in Europe, and only marginally less in the United States.
The following is a list of the most influential individuals associated with the Frankfurt School and Cultural Marxism. With the exception of Gramsci, the following all contributed to the establishment of the Frankfurt School and may all be considered the founding fathers of cultural Marxism.
Erich Fromm (also here)
Tangled Roots of Revolution
This begins a series of articles about the revolution that has all but destroyed Western civilization. I've introduced the series with this brief history of the Frankfurt School and it's founders because they explicitly planned how that revolution was to be implemented and identified all the concepts that were to be promoted. Though that revolution has occurred exactly as they planned, and they have been important contributors to it, it is doubtful they alone could have caused it to happen.
Other individuals, movements, and institutions have been major contributors to the revolution, even though it was not their specific intention. It is, nevertheless, their influences on society and culture that made it possible for the intended revolution to take root and grow. These different influences form several threads running through the history of the last hundred years that can all be identified. There are many relationships between them, not least of which is the influence of philosophy. Those threads, which are quite diverse have two major philosophical sources, Hume and Comte.
As an example of the complexity involved in tracing the influences that have led to the destruction of Western society and culture, there are two main philosophical threads, one which can be traced through the already mentioned The Frankfurt School; the other can be traced through the Logical Positivists and Vienna Circle; but, these produced and influenced additional developments which are equally important threads, such as humanism and psychology.
The major philosophical roots of The Frankfurt School can be traced from Hume to Kant to Hegel; the roots of Logical Positivism and the Vienna Circle are both Hume (by way or Russell and Wittgenstein) and Comte. Comte coined the words altruism and sociology and developed what he called "human religion" which we now call Secular Humanism. The common philosophical ground between Hume, Comte, and the Logical Positivists is radical empiricism which led, in psychology, directly to the very influential and damaging school of behaviorism.
Untangling the Knots
You may never have heard of the Frankfurt School or Cultural Marxism, nor of Logical Positivism or the Vienna Circle, but you are exposed to and influenced by them every day—Cultural Marxism is the source of multiculturalism, and political correctness, and perhaps most damaging of all, critical thinking, a very bad concept also influenced by Positivism's post modernism and deconstructionism. The effects of these and other anti-intellectual, anti-individual, anti-principle ideas spawned by these movements have profoundly changed every aspect of Western society and culture. There is not an institution or aspect of our culture that has not been profoundly and adversely affected by them.
It is the purpose of this series of articles to explore every aspect of this revolution, from its sources to its conclusion, beginning, in the next article, demonstrating, that, for the most part, we are already living in a post-Marxist-revolutionary period, and that the values, motives, interests dominating our culture and society have been completely turned upside down.
[Most of the links in this introductory article are to "wikipedia" articles. They are meant only to introduce the individuals or concepts. I have verified these articles are adequate for that purpose. Much more detailed information will be provided about all the individuals, movements, institutions, and concepts in subsequent articles.]