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Liberal Democracy vs. Transnational Progressivism: The Ideological Civil War Within the West
Hudson Institute ^ | October 26, 2001 | John Fonte

Posted on 12/12/2002 6:53:12 PM PST by Remedy

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Why There is a Culture War- Policy Review, No. 104

Refining class warfare

We’ll begin with an overview of the thought of Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937), a Marxist intellectual and politician. Despite his enormous influence on today’s politics, he remains far less well-known to most Americans than does Tocqueville.

Gramsci’s main legacy arises through his departures from orthodox Marxism. Like Marx, he argued that all societies in human history have been divided into two basic groups: the privileged and the marginalized, the oppressor and the oppressed, the dominant and the subordinate. Gramsci expanded Marx’s ranks of the "oppressed" into categories that still endure. As he wrote in his famous Prison Notebooks, "The marginalized groups of history include not only the economically oppressed, but also women, racial minorities and many ‘criminals.’" What Marx and his orthodox followers described as "the people," Gramsci describes as an "ensemble" of subordinate groups and classes in every society that has ever existed until now. This collection of oppressed and marginalized groups — "the people" — lack unity and, often, even consciousness of their own oppression. To reverse the correlation of power from the privileged to the "marginalized," then, was Gramsci’s declared goal.

...Historically, Antonio Gramsci’s thought shares features with other writers who are classified as "Hegelian Marxists" — the Hungarian Marxist Georg Lukacs, the German thinker Karl Korsch, and members of the "Frankfurt School" (e.g., Theodor Adorno and Herbert Marcuse), a group of theorists associated with the Institute for Social Research founded in Frankfurt, Germany in the 1920s, some of whom attempted to synthesize the thinking of Marx and Freud. All emphasized that the decisive struggle to overthrow the bourgeois regime (that is, middle-class liberal democracy) would be fought out at the level of consciousness. That is, the old order had to be rejected by its citizens intellectually and morally before any real transfer of power to the subordinate groups could be achieved.

...As laymen and analysts alike have observed over the years, the major foundations — particularly Ford, Rockefeller, Carnegie, and MacArthur — have for decades spent millions of dollars promoting "cutting edge" projects on racial, ethnic, and gender issues. According to author and foundation expert Heather Mac Donald, for example, feminist projects received $36 million from Ford, Rockefeller, Mellon, and other large foundations between 1972 and 1992. Similarly, according to a Capital Research Center report by Peter Warren, a policy analyst at the National Association of Scholars, foundations have crowned diversity the "king" of American campuses. For example, the Ford Foundation launched a Campus Diversity Initiative in 1990 that funded programs in about 250 colleges and universities at a cost of approximately $15 million. The Ford initiative promotes what sounds like a Gramscian’s group-rights dream: as Peter Warren puts it, "the establishment of racial, ethnic, and sex-specific programs and academic departments, group preferences in student admissions, group preferences in staff and faculty hiring, sensitivity training for students and staff, and campus-wide convocations to raise consciousness about the need for such programs."

...As we have seen, 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. Tocquevillans believe that these civic and moral truths must be revitalized in order to remoralize society. Gramscians believe that civic and moral "truths" must be socially constructed by subordinate groups in order to achieve political and cultural liberation. Tocquevillians believe that functionaries like teachers and police officers represent legitimate authority. Gramscians believe that teachers and police officers "objectively" represent power, not legitimacy. 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.


The Rise & Decline of Constitutional Government in America

Earlier Americans were confident that most citizens, acting through self-governing associations like families, churches, and businesses, could take care of their own needs. Government existed to secure the conditions where this was possible. In the prevailing view that has arisen in the past century, based on theories of the Progressive Era, citizens are thought to be unable to manage their own lives without extensive and detailed government regulation of the economy and of social relations. The resulting administrative or welfare state has radically altered Americans' way of life.

But can we, or should we, re-embrace the principles of constitutional government, the principles of the American founding? It is often said that twentieth century America is too complex to be governed according to an eighteenth century document. As recently as 1965, however, America was already a modern society-wealthy and highly industrialized-and the government was still operating largely under the Founders' Constitution, in accordance with the principles of the Declaration. In fact, it remains a viable choice to return to that way of life today.

Nor should that choice be understood in terms of "turning the clock back." On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, President Calvin Coolidge said:

About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning cannot be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary.

This statement points to the most important question facing Americans and their leaders today. It is a philosophic question that encompasses all the great contemporary policy questions: Were the American Founders or their Progressive-liberal critics correct about human nature and the ends of government?

1 posted on 12/12/2002 6:53:12 PM PST by Remedy
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To: Bogolyubski
I strongly recommend that everyone on this board read the Fonte article. It explains much about what is driving the constant assault upon our nation, civilization, and culture. What we are up against here is truly enormous - and truly evil. The folks who believe in the Tranzi creed - I think the best way to describe it is as a religion - are in control of virtually every institution in the country, including the Republican party. That said, it is important to remember that the battle is not hopeless. We need to organize our own institutions, our own schools, our own media. We need attorneys who will file lawsuits against both government entities and their corporate and institutional allies. One of the best weapons in our arsenal is to boycott corporations that are participating in the war against us - AOL/Time Warner would be a great place to start. We need to think of creative ways to throw sand in the gears of the Tranzi behemoth whenever the opportunity arises. Most of all, we need to continually ask for God's grace and mercy to help us stand firm. We are in a two front war here, and the Tranzi cancer eating us from within is a greater threat than the Islamists.

61 posted on 12/12/2002 2:50 PM PST by Bogolyubski

2 posted on 12/12/2002 7:01:09 PM PST by Remedy
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To: Remedy

Francis Fukuyama

I bet he got teased a lot

3 posted on 12/12/2002 7:41:57 PM PST by Lunatic Fringe
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To: Remedy
4 posted on 12/12/2002 7:51:23 PM PST by tophat9000
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To: *UN_List; *"NWO"; *Clash of Civilizatio; Tailgunner Joe; madfly
5 posted on 12/12/2002 8:18:57 PM PST by Free the USA
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To: Remedy
That was one of the most important and depressing pieces I've ever read on Free Republic.

Progressivism is a cancer that needs to be exposed and defeated at every turn.

Live Free or Die!

6 posted on 12/12/2002 8:35:03 PM PST by Weimdog
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To: Remedy
BUMP for later perusal - a quick scan of this reads like a recipe for a bloody, messy, and inevitable war.
7 posted on 12/12/2002 8:38:05 PM PST by Morgan's Raider
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To: Militiaman7; widowithfoursons; Sungirl; Arpege92; Myrean; SouthernFreebird; Fighter@heart; ao98; ...
Global Goverance dots connected ping
8 posted on 12/12/2002 10:35:57 PM PST by madfly
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To: Morgan's Raider; Remedy; Weimdog; Free the USA; madfly
Some other links regarding Gramsci!

Gramsci vs. Tocqueville or Marxism vs. the American Ideology

The Gramscian Roots of America's Culture War Thread 2 (Is Gramsci the Father of Neo-Conservatism ?)

Who is Antonio Gramsci? You Better Learn!!!

YATES: "Understanding the Culture War: Gramscians, Tocquevillians and Others"

Original Sin

9 posted on 12/12/2002 10:50:35 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: Lunatic Fringe
Why? It's pronounced "Foo-koo-yah-mah" and is a very common name in Japan.
10 posted on 12/12/2002 11:27:56 PM PST by altair
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To: Remedy
Thank you for a very interesting article. Living in Norway, which thank goodness has had the good sense to stay out of the EU, I nevertheless feel that I am living in "occupied" territory already.

I am actually getting involved in politics at the moment in an attempt to fight this scourge.
11 posted on 12/12/2002 11:30:10 PM PST by Eurotwit
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To: madfly
Thanks for the ping. A chilling read.

I don't know how I got on your ping list, but the articles you select I would have read anyway, so please leave me on.

12 posted on 12/12/2002 11:35:13 PM PST by altair
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To: Remedy
A keeper. For later read. Thanks. Certainly has all the buzzwords.
13 posted on 12/12/2002 11:54:24 PM PST by Eastbound
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To: Remedy
Related Articles:

The Ideological War Within the West

I had posted the above summer 2001 from Jerry Pournelle's web site, and thought it one of the more important items I had read in some time. This was the first time I had seen the term "Transnational Progressivism" used, and thought it important enough to create an IE favorites folder of that name under my "Politics" folder.

Events of 9/11 pushed this article at its contents to the back burner. Perhaps we should see them as related; it is the multiculturalism that this movement pushes that keeps our borders weak.

Left-Wing Hates America, Says Author

Not specifically on Transnational Progressivisim, but related.

14 posted on 12/13/2002 1:47:05 AM PST by FreedomPoster
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Clearly, I'm off on my dates; I posted that first one summer 2002, not 2001.
15 posted on 12/13/2002 1:48:22 AM PST by FreedomPoster
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To: altair
bump for later.
16 posted on 12/13/2002 3:45:59 AM PST by Wonder Warthog
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Comment #17 Removed by Moderator

To: Remedy
The Key Concepts of Transnational Progressivism

(1) The ascribed group over the individual citizen

I'll admit I stopped reading right here.

No matter what name they give this system now, Socialism is still socialism.

God Save America (Please)

18 posted on 12/13/2002 6:08:46 AM PST by John O
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To: madfly
Thanks for the ping....will have to read more than once.
19 posted on 12/13/2002 6:20:07 AM PST by Issaquahking
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
20 posted on 12/13/2002 7:14:15 AM PST by Free the USA
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