Skip to comments.Tocqueville Vs. Gramsci: Transmit Or Transform; That Is The Question
Posted on 06/03/2002 12:47:34 PM PDT by Starmaker
Here in the midst of the culture war, a war equal to if not more profound than the War Between the States, we are fighting much the same divisive internal battles. And lives are being lost. More than 550,000 lives were lost in the four years of the last civil war; just one third of the deaths from abortion in 1990 alone.
The slaveholder's internal anguish and guilt that should have accompanied the exploitation of another human being was rationalized by denying the full constitutional humanity of the Negro. The instant personal rewards of total human domination and cheap servitude were simply too powerfully rewarding. Today's anti-culture warriors rationalize their collective guilt by denying the full constitutional humanity of "deadbeats", "homophobes", "fetuses", and "patriarchs". The instant personal rewards of victim group membership and tax or tort extortion are simply too empowering.
We are watching our collective and individual morals waste away, but the personal and instant rewards of easy sex and gluttonous appetite are simply too powerful. We are watching our cultural heritage slip away, but the societal endorsement of self-indulgence and the pursuit of the holy grail of group-entitlement is simply too powerful g'wan, you deserve it.
The majority of Americans:
don't really like the idea of wholesale abortion, but they don't want to return to the days of virtual prohibition.
don't really like, or can't much stomach the idea of sexual sodomy. But to deny one person's homosexual proclivity may be the catalyst for imposing heterosexual restraint.
are gripped with concern over the dumbing-down of our educational system. But the personal sacrifice of homeschooling, or an expensive private education, or personal involvement with a back-to-basics activism is simply counter to meeting hedonistic "adult" needs.
cannot deny a justifiable concern for the adequate care of their children in a day-care center. But here again, as with the concerns for the educational system, lie the opposing parallel ego indulgences.
agree that the ideal environment for conceiving and raising a child is the home that has a married mom and dad. Unfortunately, not all such arrangements are of the "rose garden" variety. And where there is no rose garden, the perceived absence is no less traumatic than domestic violence for those addicted to instant gratification.
will marry, and continue to hold to the belief that marriage is a worthy goal. It's the width and breadth of the arrangement that they can't quite agree to. It's really nobody's fault even if there is only unilateral discontent. Except, if it is the wife who has not felt fulfilled, the loss of anticipated gratification demands that maximum compensation be extracted from the sullied prince including the forfeiture of his heirs.
John Fonte, an analyst for the Heritage Foundation, has succinctly surmised that the culture warriors clash on "almost everything that matters."
The culture war camps are most often characterized as falling into binary groups; Republicans or Democrats, Conservatives or Liberals, Right wing or Left wing, Stay-at-home mothers or Feminists. These polarities, though popular in the media, share the singularity that they fail to address the root cause of the culture war. Consequently, little resolution is possible, because we don't really know where the lines are drawn.
The Fonte formulation, however, is brilliant in its simplicity and comprehension. Fonte develops his thesis around the two groups he thinks are primary antecedents of the culture war; the Tocquevillians (after nineteenth-century French intellectual Alexis de Tocqueville) and Gramscians (after twentieth-century Italian thinker Antonio Gramsci):
"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."
"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 significance of the Fonte paradigm is ultimately measured by the essential qualities of transmission versus transformation.
In the former case, transmission, a historically proven cultural structure and its contents are faithfully recreated through the families, leaders and institutions that are charged with inculcating each succeeding generation.
In the latter, as illustrated by the examples from Fonte, transformation equals opposition to all established structures and values. Transformation is merely nihilism, because its social consequence is both unproven and unbounded. The premise of transformation is infantile; a recapitulation of the terrible-twos. It has simply learned only to oppose, not to propose. Its only proposal is, do the opposite:
In the place of transmitted moral values, like those contained in the 10 Commandments, the transformers have brought us abortion and euthanasia as the opposites of "thou shalt not kill."
In place of the whole fabric of Americanism, the historical guidance of its founding, and the traditions of individualism, the transformers have brought us the regression to warring tribes, each competing for favors and funding from extorted power and money.
In place of the immutable biological definition of sex (XX and XY), the transformers have brought us "gender", which is as variegated as a junkyard mutt.
In place of the traditional nuclear family, the transformers have brought us a redefined aggregation of related and unrelated individuals that is the cohesive equivalent of silly putty.
The foregoing is merely a smattering of the exponential change brought on by those who would rather transform than transmit. And how does one define the resulting entity that was once America? Muttsville? Animus?
If America and its traditional values are to survive, transmitters must come to accept certain painful realities, because as John Fonte says, "Beneath the surface of our seemingly placid times, the ideological, political, and historical stakes are enormous."
Unquestioning allegiance to a given political party, its president, or its past principles is tantamount to surrender because the transformers are a dynamic pestilence in all political parties.
The Republican Party is thought to be the "transmission" party, but even a superficial examination of its record on marriage, fatherhood, abortion, education, and centralized big-government growth reflects little real difference between it and the variegated "transformer" parties. Despite the defenses offered by Rush Limbaugh and his assorted clones, mere resistance to the transformer is in fact capitulation.
Those who wish to transmit the culture that was America must be more aggressive than those who wish to transform (annihilate) the culture. The namby-pamby labels currently attributed to transformers; "liberal", "socialist", "left-wing", "feminist", "abortionist", do not carry the condemnatory weight that is consistent with their hedonistic cultural nihilism.
The Transformers are Cultural Barbarians, completely lacking in civility and honor. They advocate for: coarse and profane language, savage cruelty to the unborn, primitive submission to perverse sexual indulgence, primitive character assassination of the founding fathers and their contemporary cohort, brutal verbal attacks on their opponents, total pagan reliance on lies, half-truths and superstitions, and treasonous usurpation of the Constitution and all founding documents.
If we Transmitters are going to take America back, we are going to have to risk humiliation and discomfort, but no more so than did Dr. King and his followers at lunch counters and before police dogs and fire hoses. Yes, it is that bad.
We who value American traditions and values are as segregated and suppressed today as were "coloreds" in the Jim Crow south; except, we are separate and unequal before the law. The new Jim Crow laws that are enacted or being proposed VAWA (Violence Against Women Act), ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act / special rights for homosexuals), CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) are more segregationist, unconstitutional and anti-American than anything experienced in the 1950's southern United States.
The following list of suggestions for taking back America is by no means comprehensive. But it should provide an outline for transmission:
Understand three critical phases in your child's development:
Birth to age 3 are critical years for establishing trust and security. The constant presence and bonding between parent and child is essential to the development of trust and autonomy.
Age 7-10 is known as the seven to ten split. These are the years in which the child begins to grasp reciprocity with others, and to relinquish the egocentrism of prior years. This the beginning of the transition to conceptualization and idealization. For instance, the Catholic Church usually begins formal training in the Catechism the lessons of the faith and morality in this age range. Chance exposure to adult sexual content can be deleterious if not devastating at this age.
Age 12-17 are the years of the development of intellectual and sexual maturity. The insecurity of sexual emergence and the intellectual transition to meta-thinking (thinking about thinking) makes the child particularly vulnerable to first intimate sexual encounters, and may negatively influence sexual proclivities into their thirties or beyond. These are also the years when rationalization may be substituted for logic and critical thinking.
Support Traditional Parenting:
Contrary to popular power-dogma about careers and glass ceilings, the most powerful condition an adult can occupy is parenthood. Indeed, the entire future of a society depends upon the adequate transmission of cultural values to the developing child. The early 70's notions that divorce can be a healthy experience for a child have been thoroughly refuted. Single parent is an oxymoron. It takes a biological mother and a father to raise a child. All other arrangements significantly increase the potential of negative consequences for the child. Contemporary abandonment of parental responsibility through divorce, denigrating fatherhood, career prioritization, and single-parenthood is probably the single greatest negative transformation in the American culture.
Get your kids out of government schools:
Its been implied by others, but I will reiterate; placing your child in a government/public school is, with few exceptions, an act of abandonment, if not abuse. Forget about the basics of reading, writing, arithmetic and history. Government schools are cesspools of barbarian propaganda in the arts of narcissism, sexual license, anti-Americanism, and immorality. Homeschooling and private religious schools are fast becoming the clear alternatives for taking back America and its children. If you must place your child in the government school environment, certain counter-measures are essential: immediately write a letter to the principal advising them that you expect to be notified and your approval obtained before your child is exposed to homosexual programs; sit in on your kids' classes once a week; do not permit your child to take "sex-ed" courses; always accompany your child to the public library and supervise their activity there; teach history, math and phonics/reading at home. Now, are you sure you must place them in public school?
Emphasize Responsible History:
Ascertain that your child is getting a proper, traditional history lesson throughout their educational years. Nothing will better prepare them to take your place in next-generation America. Without history and a sense of where we have come from, both as individuals and Americans, we are nothing more than a media poll, or a social chameleon; changeable as the wind and as vapid as a whim.
Organize and/or participate in public demonstrations against the homosexual assault on the educational system. Write to the local principals and schools superintendent to advise them of your disapproval of sexualizing children, particularly when it involves sodomy and other perversions. Homosexuality is a predatory lifestyle and kids are more likely to be targeted by a homosexual than a heterosexual. Regardless of whether your child is in a school that advocates on behalf of homosexuals, they will still likely make contact with kids who have had this indoctrination. Queer is not OK; it is morally, biologically, societally, and evolutionally aberrant. It is sexual barbarism. Period.
Turn off the television:
If you are an adult, and must indulge yourself with the sex, gratuitous violence and barbarian propaganda that characterizes most of the weekly network shows and recently released movies, don't have kids. And if you are a parent, don't let the TV become a virtual babysitter. In today's world, no child should watch TV without a parent present to censor the filth that has become the hallmark of the barbarian transformers. You can't even be certain that an otherwise benign show won't be interlaced with racy or trashy commercials. And that goes double for the internet keep the kids' computer in the family room where surfing can be monitored.
Support and endorse manhood/fatherhood:
If you are a woman, you have been lied to and exploited more by other (feminist) women than by men. Men are not the enemy, and you and/or the children the two of you have conceived are safer in a home with your husband than under any other arrangement, short of (perhaps) your parent's home or a convent. If you are a man, there is no greater, more rewarding station in life than as father and family provider/protector. Fatherhood is at the core of America as evidenced by the "Founding Fathers." And when a transformer wails about the evil "deadbeats" or the "patriarchs" or the "homophobes", ask them if they advocate barbarianism. For without fathers, there is no true family nor is there an America of our forefathers, and barbarianism is all that is left.
For many of you, there may be little new information here. And the language I have used is harsh, hostile and provocative.
But the morality of righteous wrath has been accepted throughout history as necessary for justice. "As the ancients recognized," Bill Bennett notes, "anger is a necessary power of the soul, intimately connected with the passion for justice." The demand that we stifle our rage and negotiate with fanatics bent on wiping us out is thus immoral because it's a denial of justice.
And so teaching kids that all violence is wrong is morally bankrupt. "If no distinction is made among kinds of 'peace,'" Bennett warns, "children are deprived of the tools they require to distinguish a just from an unjust peace ([for example,] peace with honor from the peace of the grave.) They are robbed of the oldest and most necessary wisdom of the race, which is that some things are worth fighting and dying for."
BreakPoint with Charles Colson, 5/30/02.
Now go out there angrily, aggressively, non-violently and Transmit.
To comment on this article or express your opinion directly to the author, you are invited to e-mail Dr. Rowles at email@example.com .
"...Government schools are cesspools of barbarian propaganda..."
We've got a little cognitive dissonance going here...;^)
Postmodern liberal kulture =
"Gramsci and Bakunin Meet Mad Max and Beavis & Butthead":
Avant-garde nihilism as a suburban themepark in cultural devolution for the whole family
He glosses over a lot such as:
___ that History is rarely objective. Choosing your history to conform to your ideology is dangerous no matter which ideology is yours.
___ that the "traditions" of the past have included some pretty horrific things (see above on history). It is WRONG and IMMORAL to paint the past and past "traditions" as absolutely better than what we can aspire to. We should learn from the past, not slavishly imitate it.
Will never happen. The spirit has gone from We the People, as dronish democracy and self-indulgence have become the rule of the day.
Take a look around FR, for instance. Read carefully what the majority of the posters write. They are already transformed, and accuse many of us who dare to disagree with them of backward thinking, being anti-progress, anti-development, anti-capitalist or even Libertatian. They marginalize, demonize and berate our arguments because they know in their heart of hearts they cannot refute the logic of our arguments.
We may be able to act for the benefit of our children, but we are too few and too scattered to reverse the change which we have allowed to come upon our society. Death knocks at the door of the culture of the West as a whole and the Gramscians are all but too happy to open that door.
"Tocquevilleans believe that functionaries like teachers and police officers represent legitimate authority..." "...Government schools are cesspools of barbarian propaganda..." We've got a little cognitive dissonance going here...;^)
Not necessarily. Teachers, if teaching a proper world view and governed by a godly morality SHOULD wield legitimate authority.
Government schools, however, are in the hands of the currently, God-hating, humanistic, rights-crushing Leftists and truly have become "cesspools of barbarian propaganda".
Besides, there is a difference between the role of "teacher" and "government schools". Many kids attend private schools with great teachers; the government schools, though, has become a tool of indoctrination for the State.
Regardless of your sympathies, the guy's a poor writer.
Just thought I would add this since you mentioned Gramsci!
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