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Why There Is A Culture War
Policy Review ^ | John Fonte

Posted on 05/04/2003 1:19:35 PM PDT by Enough is ENOUGH

This article provides a road map to all of the leftist dissent we are witnessing in our country today by the people who hate America and all that it stands for - the progressive caucus, university campuses, leftist Hollywood, the education system, special interest groups and other people who have been duped by their political correctness techniques.

While economic Marxism appears to be dead, the Hegelian variety articulated by Gramsci and others has not only survived the fall of the Berlin Wall, but also gone on to challenge the American republic at the level of its most cherished ideas. For more than two centuries America has been an "exceptional" nation, one whose restless entrepreneurial dynamism has been tempered by patriotism and a strong religious-cultural core. The ultimate triumph of Gramscianism would mean the end of this very "exceptionalism." America would at last become Europeanized: statist, thoroughly secular, post-patriotic, and concerned with group hierarchies and group rights in which the idea of equality before the law as traditionally understood by Americans would finally be abandoned. Beneath the surface of our seemingly placid times, the ideological, political, and historical stakes are enormous.


(Excerpt) Read more at ...

KEYWORDS: catholiclist; culturewar; gramsci
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I firmly believe that the more we educate ourselves on this peril that is in a full frontal attack against us along with our cultural and religious values the sooner we will band together and say "enough is enough, no more!" and unremittingly fight the fight of our lives for our rights through every conceivable forum and outlet to restore our moral and religious values that our country was founded upon. Political correctness is the trojan horse introduced by the radical left that renders a society defenseless and forces servitude to the doctrines of the people who hate America.
1 posted on 05/04/2003 1:19:35 PM PDT by Enough is ENOUGH
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To: Enough is ENOUGH
Terrific article, though it was written several years ago. Mr. Fonte is a great guy, and is currently writing a book that takes the same theme a little further.

We both agree that it's probably too late to do anything about what has happened, BTW.

2 posted on 05/04/2003 1:21:17 PM PDT by ModernDayCato
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To: Enough is ENOUGH
Got some links on 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

3 posted on 05/04/2003 1:32:53 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Where is Saddam? and where is Tom Daschle?)
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To: Enough is ENOUGH
Very scary!
4 posted on 05/04/2003 1:46:11 PM PDT by MEG33
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To: MEG33
There is a culture war because there is Cultural Pollution.
5 posted on 05/04/2003 2:29:55 PM PDT by henderson field
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To: Enough is ENOUGH
Long...have to finish it later.

But just for starters what's so great about the underdog? Why is a power transfer good or necessary? Isn't equal opportunity a better idea?

6 posted on 05/04/2003 2:35:24 PM PDT by liberallarry
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
The following from your link to "Who is Antonio Gramsci?" is directly traceable to what we have been witnessing on all fronts in the news, especially during the past few months.

A governing class must succeed in persuading the governed to accept the moral, political and cultural values suggested by those in power.

Therefore his conclusion was: Let us do the same and capture the minds of the population, as well as the institutions of the bourgeoisie and do it with ideas that we will present as "common sense".

The implementation will be through intellectuals and figures of influence gained to the cause by vanity, convenience or ambition and a by a new element, intellectual operatives that work with the people. All of it, coupled to constant use of the media.

Gramsci perceived that in a western society, the bond between the ruler and the ruled was what kept it together and this bond was what created "hegemony." And where was that bond? How was it cemented?

In the classical institutions, and through them of course. The family, the church, the schools, the civil society and its organizations, none other than the building blocks of the State.

The revolutionaries who wished to break the "hegemony" had to build up a "counter hegemony" to that of the ruling class. It was necessary to change the minds, to change the popular consensus, to change the way institutions work. In sum, to make the people question the right of their leaders to rule in the accepted way.

Success would consist in permeating throughout society a whole new system of values, beliefs and morality. A system that would become accepted by all in a way that would appear to be the normal thing to do. How is it done? Besides the traditional intellectuals (those who see themselves as such) there must exist the "organic intellectual", i.e. the one that grows with a social group, and becomes its thinking and organizing element. The role of informal "educators" in local communities becomes essential. The educator must not be seen as a distant "brainy" figure but as "one of us", one of the neighborhood, another one of the group.

The same applies to the schools which Gramsci sees as a means used by social groups "to perpetuate a function, [namely] to rule or to be subordinate". Ergo, schools and curriculums must be controlled either directly or indirectly.

Once organized these groups would engage in incessant political activity and use massive means of communication. No armed conspiracies, just unrelenting propaganda. The introduction of Gramscian methodology in society, produces a constant clash for supremacy of ideas and a patient but persistent subversion of the building blocks of that society. Subversion is a many faced endeavor played by different people with different objectives but the modern method has a substantial Gramscian content.

Take a case in point. Why it is that we must often suffer a way of thinking that attempts to coerce us intellectually? Look around. How many times have you heard: You must not be "judgmental" or "intolerant." What does that mean in Gramscian terms? It means: You must accept our values and not argue. If you do not you are out the mainstream. Remember the Gramscian objective of turning their ideas into "common sense"?

Do you now understand, why we have political correctness? Why we have neighborhood groups that look more like agitation and propaganda entities than neighborhood associations?

Why we have schools that push a peculiar curriculum and ignore parents, school budgets that make available funds for incredible courses, and teachers unions that often do not appear to represent teachers true interests?

Why we have churches that have become political discourse centers?

Why we have a myriad civil associations with goals that appear to be destructive and divisive?

Why we have mass media that often operate as propaganda machines rather than reporters of events?

The Wall Street Journal article continues: "Mr. Fonte says the Gramscian view has special currency in higher intellectual circles, particularly on elite college campuses. The plight of women, minorities, gays and other victims of cultural hegemony is a favorite subject of student indoctrinations, not to mention speech and thought control, in such places. The federal Violence Against Women Act produced a Supreme Court case in which a 10-year-old boy was charged with harassing a fifth-grade female classmate. It is no accident that the Gramscian New York Times editorial page thought that the most important thing Al Gore said in his eloquent concession speech was that he would continue to fight for people "who need burdens lifted and barriers removed." How he might have conducted his fight if he had been elected has never been clear; certainly not by cutting their taxes."

The only way to gain absolute power in the United States is through long range Gramscian tactics. There is hope however, if we don t take for granted what we now enjoy and fight to maintain power divided. The true strength of the American Republic is the division of power. This is why the would be revolutionaries so hate the Electoral College, States Rights, local self government, etc. The system devised by the Founding Fathers complicates their life tremendously. As the quoted article notes:

"Over and above these structural features, there are the multiplicity of interests and interest groups, the immense diversity of American society and the excessive rhetoric that characterizes the conflict of those separated in fact by minor differences." Underlying it all, however, "is the sheer power of the idea of freedom an idea so powerful that not even those opposed to freedom condemn it . . . ."

The last sentence is crucial. Even those that seek to destroy the system must pay lip service, at least, to the idea of liberty. They must talk about the people s right to vote while they work against it and seek to discredit the process.

The Gramscians in the United States cannot wage a war of conquest. They must wage a war of attrition and position. If we understand their tactics we can stop them and win. But it won t happen by staying at home and watching the game. We must all become involved. In the same way they become involved. To use a Gramscian term, each one of us must become an "organic intellectual" of sorts, one that explains and convinces. Gramsci was right when he said that all men have intellectual concerns outside their field of activity. The problem is that most citizens are so busy with their lives that they do not have the time to think things through. They need help and those who understand must help, each in his own way.

We have in our favor truth and true common sense. If they succeed it is only because we allowed the party with the harmful product to sell it to an unsuspecting public.

7 posted on 05/04/2003 2:58:01 PM PDT by Enough is ENOUGH
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To: Enough is ENOUGH
Thank you for this post. Have put it on my desktop for future consumption.


8 posted on 05/04/2003 2:58:49 PM PDT by nothingnew
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To: Enough is ENOUGH
Leftist philosophy and Americanism are irreconcilable.
Leftists, whether they realize it or not, are attempting to destroy that which makes America, thankfully, different from Europe and the rest of the world.
9 posted on 05/04/2003 3:05:37 PM PDT by rimmont
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To: Enough is ENOUGH
Thank you for posting this.
10 posted on 05/04/2003 3:09:38 PM PDT by Irene Adler
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To: Enough is ENOUGH; All
Excellent post. The problem with the Gramscian or ideological way of thinking is that it assumes the central reality of human existence is oppression and exploitation. This is simply unreal. While occasionally some members of a group treat other people who may be members of some other group poorly, ( and others may be doing someone a favor ) the idea that all members of a group spend all their time oppressing members of some other group verges on paranoia. As Kenneth Minogue said years ago, Shakespeare had the answer for such thinking: "Methinks there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
11 posted on 05/04/2003 3:13:21 PM PDT by thucydides
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Comment #12 Removed by Moderator

To: Enough is ENOUGH
Who is most interested in the failure of the American experiment?

Maybe somebody who once owned a piece of America and lost control of it but expects it back eventually. Just a thought.

13 posted on 05/04/2003 3:39:37 PM PDT by RightWhale (Theorems link concepts; proofs establish links)
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To: thucydides
The potential for upward mobility exists, the key word being "potential." The hard-core Democrat constituency would rather make excuses about rich daddies and corrupt CEOs than real personal progress thereby making themselves easily "exploitable."

Ironically, their exploitation at the hands of the few who "get it" makes it possible for them to buy their homes and cars. These same people, while being exploited, extend themselves way beyond necessity, assuming their Democratic president will take care of it all. As their debts mount and their cash flow tightens, they become flaming hypocrites by declaring bankruptcy, having saved nothing while being "exploited."

And then they blame the Republicans.
14 posted on 05/04/2003 4:04:52 PM PDT by okiesap
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To: Enough is ENOUGH
WOW! Exceptional article.

Thanks for posting
15 posted on 05/04/2003 4:25:23 PM PDT by jimkress
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To: Enough is ENOUGH
Thanks for your posts. I'm very glad to see a revival of focus on Gramscian Marxism, which has been the obvious and argueably successful strategy of the Left.
16 posted on 05/04/2003 5:22:50 PM PDT by Concentrate
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To: Enough is ENOUGH
 our cultural and religious values

Beg pardon?  My religious values
are not yours and I doubt many
other people share them exactly,

Part of the 'culture' wars consists of
religious conservatives grasping at
state power to control the lives of
others.  No thanks.
17 posted on 05/04/2003 5:25:13 PM PDT by gcruse (Piety is only skin deep, but hypocrisy goes clear to the soul.)
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To: gcruse
Part of the 'culture' wars consists of religious conservatives grasping at state power to control the lives of others.

That's the way it was in 1776, and that's the way it is now. It may be interesting to note that the country has never become a theocracy. Nonetheless, it is the religious input that keeps a society from descending into an entirely secular dictatorship. And vice-versa.

I belive that it's the balance between the two, coupled with the First and Second Amendments that keeps us unusually free.

18 posted on 05/04/2003 5:39:33 PM PDT by Concentrate
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To: gcruse
That's true. We obviously don't have the same values.
19 posted on 05/04/2003 6:17:07 PM PDT by Enough is ENOUGH
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To: Enough is ENOUGH
Interesting article, but Fonte scrapes and grovels far too much before the neo-conservatives. Are they really "Tocquevillians"? Are they the only "Tocquevillians" in today's politics? Might they not be simply another managerial or "Gramscian" elite aiming at power for themselves? Certainly they know how to work the system as well as anyone else. And their instinct has always been centralizing, more than decentralizing. Talking about "Gramscians" and "Tocquevillians" looks too much like saying "them" and "us" or "their mob" and "our mob."

A better article would have resisted the temptation of plugging the author's own ideology more than is necessary. If there really is an apocalyptic conflict between Hegelian-Marxist-Gramscian and Tocquevillian visions, Fante's celebration of his own clique at the expense of possible allies is an abomination and a great stupidity. Why alienate people who care as much about defeating the beast simply because they don't agree with you 100%?

If you really want to understand the culture wars, don't bother with neo-conservative and radical foundations in New York, go out into the country and look at some of the protests over abortion and controversies over school textbooks. Those disputes reflected real disputes that ran far deeper than anything Fante talks about.

But is there really still a culture war today? In previous years there was a clear and bitter conflict between cultural radicals and cultural conservatives. We will probably see divisive battles over abortion or homosexual marriage in the future, but the peculiar atmosphere of the culture wars of the seventies, eighties and early nineties seems to be a thing of the past.

Americans recognize now that we are one country and that as much unites as divides us. What made the culture wars was a strong them vs. us fissure. On both sides in the culture wars, "we" were people who lived and worked together, and "they" were an unknown threat from outside. Today, neighborhoods and work places are more mixed and people are more likely to know homosexuals and fundamentalists, Catholic traditionalists and radical feminists, so passions don't run as high.

Twenty years ago people saw court decisions and bureaucratic pressure transform America and wondered whether elections and lobbying might undo those changes. That atmosphere may well return in the future, but things have been quite different in recent years. The lesson of the past few years is that American politics and politicians don't usually tend to bring radical changes. The sixties were an exception, not the rule. The culture wars probably aren't over and may flare up at some later date, but there's been a truce for some time.

20 posted on 05/04/2003 6:35:52 PM PDT by x
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