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The Soul Of Western Societies And The Threat Of Its Extinction

June 8, 2017 Frontpage No Comments

By ALBERTO PIEDRA

(Editor’s Note: Dr. Piedra is the David E. Bentley Professor of Political Economy at The Institute of World Politics.)

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“Let all of you then live together, come in mind and heart, mutually giving honor to God in yourselves, whose temples you have become” — St. Augustine.
Recently the video A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing was aired on EWTN, a co-producer of the film. The video documents the rise of community organizing as it began to take hold in our country under the influence of Marxist sympathizers such as Saul Alinsky.
In an article in The Wanderer of May 11, Dexter Duggan reports that at a “‘Faith Not Fear Summit,’ held at a Catholic church in the Diocese of San Diego, fears were raised among some Catholics that the diocese had been co-opted to promote radical political liberalism in accordance with the ideas of local Bishop Robert McElroy, named by Pope Francis in 2015 to come down from San Francisco to head this border episcopate.”
It is highly possible that, San Diego being on the border with Mexico, it could easily be used as a convenient platform to propagate a radical political liberalism movement which is gradually undermining the basic traditional values of the Catholic faith.
In my opinion, however, greater attention must be placed on the philosophical and pragmatic approach followed by the brilliant Italian philosopher and political scientist Antonio Gramsci, whose Marxist ideas were geared toward the destruction of Western societies. He developed the theory of cultural hegemony to further the establishment of world Communism or what he called a working-class worldview. Gramsci’s objective did not deviate an inch from Marxism’s goal of destroying capitalism.
According to Gramsci, Marxism should be established through infiltration of the basic institutions of the country — political, social, and educational. Violence should not necessarily be used because it would only create martyrs. The gradual infiltration and weakening of all the prevailing institutions of Western societies would eventually bring about their downfall and be replaced by the new revolutionary institutions of radical Marxism.
As a result of Gramsci’s ideological novelties, he clashed with the more radical views of Stalin and Togliatti and he was expelled from the Communist Party in Italy. His “quiet revolution” gradually spread over the entire country while the country slept. An intellectual elite continues to apply the theory of Marx to culture in American society, primarily through the younger generation.
Something similar can be said of the Frankfurt School of Social Science. Even though its founders were also hardcore Communists and similarly had in mind the destruction of capitalism, the American followers of their German predecessors differed in terms of the methodology or strategy to be applied in order to reach the same objective, the acquisition of power and the establishment of Marxism.
They changed the way they interpreted the concept of authoritarianism and the best means to acquire power. Instead of terror or coercion as a means to reach such a goal, more gentle forms of enforcement were developed. The destruction of American culture became the prime priority.
According to Gertrude Himmelfarb, many of these Marxist ideas were ignored or slipped by unobserved by academia. Only at a later stage did anyone fully realize the threat that they posed to traditional American culture, but by then it was too late. The process of infiltration in the educational system had reached proportions that were difficult to reverse.
The Frankfurt School of Social Science was founded in Germany in 1923, shortly after the First World War, by a group of intellectuals who are considered to be the forebears of a movement which is better known by the name of political correctness. It is a school of neo-Marxist interdisciplinary social theory, originally associated with the Institute of Social Research at the Goethe University in Frankfurt. It was greatly influenced by such prominent thinkers as Kant, Hegel, Marx, Freud, and the Hungarian Lukacs.
Its ultimate goal was the total destruction of Western society: that is, to destroy it gradually from top to bottom and replace it by a new society founded on Marxist principles.
With the rise of Hitler in Germany, many of the more prominent members of the School fled to the United States where they migrated to major U.S. universities such as Columbia, Princeton, Brandeis, and California at Berkeley. Herbert Marcuse became a prominent scholar at Columbia University. He is credited with using this antiwar slogan relative to Vietnam: “Make love not war.” He was a prominent supporter of the peace movement.
Relativism replaced the traditional Christian doctrine of right and wrong. The existence of an objective moral order was no longer accepted.
Masculinity was ridiculed and feminism took over in a way that the Christian concept of “pater familias” was made fun of and relegated to the dustbin of history.
This brief article would not be complete without mentioning the influence played by Theodor Adorno in the arts. He challenged the traditional concept of beauty. According to him, music and the arts became part of the ideology of advanced capitalism. It is thus imperative to realize that only avant-garde art can capture the reality of human suffering and the tragedy of modern man living in a corrupt capitalist society.
This philosophy of Adorno has had a tremendous overall influence not only in the arts per se but also in popular music, with dire consequences for the youth of America. It is alleged that Adorno introduced a number of scandalous phrases related to music.
Let me conclude with some of the views written by Jonah Goldberg in his book Liberal Fascism, in which he discusses Benito Mussolini’s centralized policies in his fascist regime in Italy. Fascism is a totalitarian system, but let us not be misled: Totalitarianism is not exclusively a Nazi, fascist, or Marxist phenomenon. It can easily occur under the guise of a democratic political system where power is centralized to such a degree that the very foundations of responsible freedom are threatened.
No country is exempt from such a possibility, including the United States. Let us beware of such a possibility!

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