Have you heard anyone say that the threat America faces is from Communism? I don’t mean before the Berlin Wall fell. I mean now. In 2020. I know you have. But it’s strange, isn’t it? Especially for someone like me whose parents actually lived under Communism, whose father was tortured and imprisoned by a Marxist regime. When I would hear talk of Communism inside America, I used to react in a knee-jerk fashion with: “No, we are not East Germany, or the Soviet Union!”
With last weekend bringing us violence across the country from “peaceful protestors” who believe America as we know it must be dismantled and capitalism should be replaced with a utopian system of “social justice”—sentiments not rejected but embraced by the Democratic Party and its presumptive presidential candidate, Joe Biden—we have to conclude that while we may have won the Cold War in Europe, here in America, it rages on.
Yes, America and her allies may have defeated the deadly totalitarian, Communist Soviet Union, but Communism is very much alive today. I am not referring to China, North Korea, or Cuba—all Communist regimes that survived the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Soviets. Thirty years after “winning” the Cold War, America faces an even greater threat from within—and it’s a threat that has internalized key elements of fascism as well.
How did we get here? Can those of us who understand what Communism and socialism would mean for our republic win the election that will be upon us in less than 100 days? Only if we understand how on earth Karl Marx’s ideology survived the end of the Cold War to flourish and grow here in America.
Marx in the U.S.A.?
The fundamentals are clear enough. The New Left in America, which is the conveyor belt for everything from Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-N.Y.) Green New Deal to Black Lives Matter, can trace its genetic roots back to Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who almost single-handedly upturned centuries of Western philosophical and theological wisdom.
Instead of believing that man is fallen, fatally flawed, and prone to selfishness and evil, Rousseau denied the reality of thousands of years of human history and posited that man is inherently good. Further, this goodness could be maximized by engineering society away from individual rights and liberties, prioritizing communal good, communal needs, and the communal will.
Thus civilization built according to how man actually behaves in real life fell out of favor; and eventually, Karl Marx’s collectivist ideology predicated on the subversion of individual human souls to the common interest (as defined by political leaders) gained steam.
Like an ideological scrapbooker, Marx picked and purloined the ideas of others to build his theory.socialism is but a temporary stepping stone towards the eventual and inevitable end-state of all mankind, the utopian “Worker’s Paradise.” Marx stole the “inevitability” factor from Hegel and his eponymous “dialectic.”
Hegel, a profoundly religious man, unlike the rabidly and militantly atheist Marx, saw the history of man as a perpetual progression, a series of qualitative improvements in our collective lot as one new idea (antithesis) impacted upon an existing idea (thesis) and resulted in an improved conceptualization (synthesis) that has more truth value than the previous two ideas combined. This progression, so Hegel believed, would increase our enlightenment, until we perceived the ultimate synthesis, the purest version of truth’s expression, which is God himself.
Marx took Hegel’s key inevitability dynamic and removed the metaphysical elements. For Marx the intangible was irrelevant. His “dialectic materialism” posits that thesis and antithesis are instead expressions of the inherent conflict within society—the clash between the have and have nots, the oppressor and the oppressed, the capitalist and the exploited workers—which will result in a final revolution permanently removing class distinction and conflict from society.
This garbage is what Karl Marx sold the world with his books Das Kapital and the Communist Manifesto. And incredibly, some people believed this rubbish. So much so that they used it as a blueprint to sabotage and subvert multiple nations around the world, starting with czarist Russia and stretching all the way to Cuba and China. But then there was a problem. In all their attempts to effect a Communist revolution west of the Russian Empire, Marx’s followers would fail. America was an especially tough nut for Marxists to crack, because of how our nation was born.
America’s Founders, knowing full well that man is fallen and tends toward the selfish and the bad, built America with a system of separation of powers and also bequeathed us a written Constitution founded not on some absurd utopian collectivist vision of society, but built upon the recognition of the liberty of the individual and the unalienable God-given rights we each possess. Despite the advent of Progressive presidents, such as Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, America remained staunch in its resistance to socialism. Marx’s disciples, however, were not ready to surrender.
This is where the influence of a hunchback Italian cripple comes in.
Gramsci and Cultural Marxism
Antonio Francesco Gramsci is the ideational grandfather to all that threatens modern America and our freedoms today, from AOC’s Green New Deal to the violence of Antifa. His writings, penned in an Italian prison cell, would be leveraged by the Hungarian Jewish writer and politician, Gyӧrgy Lukacs, each sharing the same conviction: Communism had failed in established Western democracies—as opposed to the backward and mostly peasant society of czarist Russia—because these societies are too resilient and too developed. For Marxism to flourish in the rest of Europe and America, these “bourgeois” societies must be dismantled piece by piece. From the inside.
The conceptual progeny of that realization leads straight to the panoply of Democratic Party articles of belief today—from Obamacare’s unprecedented intrusion into private healthcare choices to the anti-scientific insanity of transgenderism and beyond. This isn’t a random accusation, devoid of context. It’s not some accusation floating in space. The path from Gramsci and Lukacs to Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) is a path that may be mapped historically, geographically, and institutionally.
The Institute for Social Research
Institutionally, after Gramsci and Lukacs, the story moves to Germany and a wealthy philosophical playboy called Felix Weil, who used his family’s wealth to make a home for these radical ideas under the name of the Institute for Social Research. (Funny how they always find the most innocuous and anodyne labels for their nefarious activities). You may have heard of the institute by its other name, based upon where it was founded: The Frankfurt School. Here Weil gave a home to Lukacs, as well as a certain German philosopher named Max Horkheimer, a man most Americans have never heard of but whose lethal ideas now dominate American colleges.
Horkheimer, too, recognized that Marxism would not prevail against established and robust developed societies. The status quo in the West was simply immune to radical ideas of “social justice” and equality enforced by state fiat. So he came up with an otherwise inoffensive-sounding weapon to destroy that status quo: critical theory. According to this “theory” that now dominates the social sciences across America and most of the Judeo-Christian world, the current state of affairs must be relentlessly challenged on all fronts. Because power is in the hands of those who do not deserve it, all standing relationships and all dominant concepts must be criticized and dismantled, even language itself, until modern society lies deconstructed, in pieces, and incapable of defending itself from being rebuilt along Marxist lines.
Horkheimer recruited fellow-travelers whose names are now revered by leftist radicals—philosophers who hated the traditions of the West like Herbert Marcuse, Theodor Adorno, and Erich Fromm—each committed to the belief that all of our civilization’s legacy institutions must be repeatedly attacked until they collapse, starting with the family unit and ending with the nation-state itself.
Thanks to Herbert Marcuse’s ideas and Saul Alinsky’s tactics, we have been brainwashed into believing that America is the problem.
As Horkheimer built his team of academic revolutionaries, however, history intervened. With the rise of Adolf Hitler, the future of these avowed Marxists—many of whom were also Jewish—was grim should they stay in Germany. So where did they go? With the usual open heart and open arms we have shown to those persecuted in their own nations, we Americans welcomed the Frankfurt School’s subversives to our shores, and specifically to Princeton, Columbia, Brandeis and the University of Chicago.
Marcuse would take the “deconstructionist” ideas of his mentor Martin Heidegger and promulgate them across academe until he was recognized as the father of the New Left. (Which is ironic, considering how Heidegger’s own ideas had become central to the ideology of Hitler and the Third Reich. But, truth be told, Marxism is far closer to fascism than it is to any other extremist philosophy).
Marcuse’s genius was to see that the Marxist expectation of a revolution happening in America was a fantasy. Marx predicted the ineluctable clash with the capitalists and the bourgeois because sooner or later the working class would simply have enough of being “exploited” and the class war would explode by itself.
But Marcuse realized that America is a nation uniquely unburdened by a class structure, at least in the way most European nations are defined along incredibly strict stratifications of class distinction, down to how one’s class can be identified almost immediately just by one’s accent. In America, the boundless upward mobility afforded by a republic based on the rights of the individual as opposed to the privileges of a special class, are what explained how an autodidact prairie lawyer like Abraham Lincoln became president, or how a biracial son of a single mother like Barack Obama did exactly the same.
Fomenting a class war was clearly not going to work in a country where even the idea of class distinction was frowned upon by the majority.
In order for social strife to be exacerbated so established societal structures could be dismantled in America, another dividing line had to be found and exploited, and Marcuse found it in what he called “victim groups.” Who needs a proletariat to build a revolution when one can say that women are victimized by men or when one can perpetuate a sense of exploitation by stoking tensions between white Americans and non-white Americans, or even between homosexual Americans and their heterosexual neighbors? Andrew Breitbart, as usual, expressed this approach eloquently when, in his autobiography, Righteous Indignation, he described Marcuse’s mission as one “to dismantle American society by using diversity and ‘multiculturalism’ as crowbars with which to pry the structure apart, piece by piece.”
And what would be the best weapon to affect the assault on the structures, to maximize the tension between victim and oppressor? Well, quite simply, totalitarianism. But how could you sell totalitarianism to an America coming out of a world war with Hitler and heading into the “age of love” and “flower power?” Easy.
In a move that would have astounded even George Orwell, Marcuse instructed his acolytes to sell their totalitarianism as tolerance, “partisan tolerance,” which he introduced in an essay he penned in 1965 as a guide for how to shut down debate and silence the critics of critical theory.
According to Marcuse, in his seminal 1965 essay, “Repressive Tolerance,” classic tolerance has failed our societies. Why? Because it tolerates all ideas, even those that are “wrong.” As a result, tolerance as it has always been practiced is, in fact, “repressive tolerance,” since it permits the expression of “unjust” views that perpetuate exploitation and oppression.
As a result, we must redefine tolerance in such a way that oppression is removed. This means that from now on one need only tolerate that which does not maintain established societal norms of “oppression.” Tolerance, to be “real” tolerance from now on must be “partisan tolerance.” Did you track that? Could you follow the lunacy that maps beautifully with Orwell’s fictional work, Nineteen-Eighty-Four, wherein Big Brother states again and again that “war is peace” and that “freedom is slavery?”
But What Has Any of This Got to Do With Today?
Now before you say: “Enough already! Stop it with the crazy professors!” just consider this: What Marcuse sold his fellow radicals as “partisan tolerance” in 1965 is today’s political correctness.
Marcuse is why observant Jews like Dennis Prager and Ben Shapiro are labeled bigots and Nazis on internal Google emails, why conservative speakers are disinvited from speaking on college campuses where anti-Semitic initiatives like the “Boycott, Divest, Sanctions” movement are celebrated, and why anyone who calls a man a man on Twitter can be summarily suspended for “dead-naming” if that man just happened to declare himself a woman yesterday.
Now can you see how Ocasio-Cortez and Omar are not fringe accidents but the direct consequence of a 90-year degeneration that began when some Marxist realized there was no way to take over the countries of the free West except from the inside?
Even so, you cannot get from Antonio Gramsci to Ocasio-Cortez without mentioning one more person—the person who was, and remains, a muse and hero to so many radical leftists and who, in fact, was the subject of Hillary Clinton’s thesis at Wellesley: Saul Alinsky. To quote Andrew Breitbart again:
[I]f Marcuse was the Jesus of the New Left, then Alinsky was his Saint Paul, proselytizing and dumbing down Marcuse’s message, making it practical, and convincing leaders to make it the official religion of the United States, even if that meant discarding the old secular religion of the United States, the Constitution.
[And his book] Rules for Radicals might just as well be entitled How to Take Over America from the Inside. It’s theory made flesh. Alinksy laid it out step by step, but we were too busy fighting the results to reread his game plan.
Alinsky was the first modern “community organizer.” He was a Communist, too, but he was a pragmatic one and a realist who knew from experience what would work and what wouldn’t when you faced a much stronger foe. He knew how to co-opt the people one needs to co-opt and start the revolution on the inside of the structures one wishes to control, as opposed to trying to destroy them from the outside.
Alinksy took the abstruse and pretentious ideas of the Frankfurt School and turned them into clear and actionable rules for war, a war with Judeo-Christian civilization informed above all else by the maxim that the ends justify the means. Here are the key elements of Alinsky’s strategy to destroy all that is good in America so it can be replaced with a Marxist horror. As you read them, think about where you see these axioms being deployed today in American politics and what it will take to face up to and defeat them.
1) Live by the Rule of Personal Destruction. Treat your adversary as non-human, deserving of zero respect or compassion. Whether it is Sarah Palin, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, or President Donald Trump, identify the target, immobilize them, make your attack personal, and polarize public opinion about them. Make it impossible for your victim to blame someone or something else and demonize them until they are deemed Evil.
2) The established status-quo abhors being ridiculed. Use humor without end so as to make them ill-at-ease and subvert their legitimacy.
3) Never let up with your pressure on your foe. Always be on the offensive so your enemy can never rest and never regroup.
4) Force them to live every second of their lives by every rule they preach and be merciless when they fail to live up to their own standards so you can label them hypocrites.
5) Keep your troops in a world they understand and are comfortable with and whenever possible draw your enemy out of his comfort zone.
6) Always have your next move ready for when your current tactic wins. Never rest after a victory. Pile on as your foe is still in shock. Show no pity.
7) Your actions are only important insofar as they engender an overreaction or a misstep by your enemy. Look at yourself as a provocateur whose mission is to make the other side make mistakes, again and again, until their position is untenable.
8) Power isn’t just measured by how strong you actually are, but in how strong your enemy believes you to be. Never let your foe have an accurate measure of the state you are in. Disinformation and deception are your friends.
These are the rules that have been used against our nation and our values since the 1960s.
We have been pitted against each other based upon our skin color, our gender, even our sexual preferences. The fundamental building block of our world, the nuclear family, has been decimated—especially in the black community with fatherless homes becoming the norm in far too many cities in America. Thanks to Marcuse’s ideas and Alinsky’s tactics, we have been brainwashed into believing that America is the problem.
This is how an ideology that has failed in all 40 countries in which it has been tried, and which cost the lives of over 100 million humans, has been exported to and now thrives in America. According to the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, more than 70 percent of American Millennials would prefer to live in a socialist or Communist America. If freedom-loving patriots do not do everything possible to ensure that President Donald Trump is reelected in less than three months’ time, that is exactly what we’ll get.
AMERICA First is the newest nationally-syndicated radio show in the United States, part of the Salem Radio Network. The host, Sebastian Gorka PhD., served most recently as Deputy Assistant for Strategy to the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, and is author of the New York Times bestselling book “Defeating Jihad.” His latest book is “The War for America’s Soul.” You can follow him on Twitter @SebGorka, on Facebook, and on Instagram @sebastian_gorka. AMERICA First is available on the iTunes podcast app, streams live at www.sebgorka.com, and is on YouTube. You can contact him here.