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The Marxist Roots of Democrat Obstructionist Tactics
THE RANT.US ^ | FEBRUARY 18, 2005 | GREG LEWIS

Posted on 02/18/2005 11:07:59 AM PST by CHARLITE

Much has been written recently about the fact that Democrats, arguably with malicious intent, mercilessly attack Republican positions, programs, and political appointees without offering any positive alternatives of their own. This has been ascribed variously to their hatred of George W. Bush (which is certainly a factor), to the fact that a significant percentage of the Democrat base and their elected representatives are unrepentant '60s-style liberals (this, too, plays into the current scenario), even, as Michael Medved has put it, to "an internal contradiction deep within the liberal soul."

The bottom line is that, no matter how we might characterize it, Congressional Democrats’ blatant use of obstructionist tactics — the very ones that cost Tom Daschle his job — shows no signs of going away. While all of the above-mentioned factors to some degree enter into the portrait of a Dem obstructionist, in fact Democrat obstructionism represents a contemporary manifestation of early theorizing by hardcore communist thinkers.

What Democrats are practicing today is nothing less than what was known among communist intellectuals during the 1920s and '30s and beyond as "critical theory of society."

After the establishment in 1917 of the Russian Soviet state, it had been anticipated by communist intellectuals that, if Marxist theory was correct, workers in other countries would, in sympathy with the Russian “proletarian” revolution, rise up spontaneously against their "oppressors" and that communism — which was seen by Karl Marx as superceding capitalism to become the final stage in societal evolution — would spread almost automatically throughout the world.

This, of course, did not happen. In the face of resounding defeats of communists’ violent attempts to expand their influence into Hungary, Germany, and Finland in the aftermath of World War I, it became incumbent on true believers to refine Marxist theory to account for differences between the outcomes predicted by Marx and those which had actually occurred.

The failure of the post-WWI spread of communist ideology led, in no small part, to the formation of what amounted to Marxist "think tanks," among the most important and influential of which was the Institute for Social Research, established in the early 1920s in Frankfurt, Germany. The analysis done by the members of the Frankfurt School (as the Institute came to be known) largely assumed as its intellectual foundation Marx's view of history, Historical (or Dialectical) Materialism. Among the prominent members of the Frankfurt School were two people, Erich Fromm and Herbert Marcuse, whose work, because of the great popularity their subsequent writings enjoyed among American college students, would have a strong influence on the politics and the collective psyche of the Left in the United States during the 1960s and beyond.

Marxist socialism was seen by the members of the Frankfurt School to be the only form of government which could enable the ultimate realization of human potential, and this view was perpetuated by Fromm and Marcuse — both of whom, fearing persecution at the hands of the Nazis, relocated to the United States in the 1930s — throughout their American academic careers. Nor did these Marxist theorists hesitate to make clear what stood in their way: Western culture, particularly capitalism, was the sworn enemy of the emancipation of the individual, which could be accomplished only through the implementation of a society based on Marxian principles.

The preferred analytical tool of thinkers associated with the Frankfurt School was known formally as "Critical Theory of Society." The stated aim of Critical Theory was to identify and describe obstacles that blocked the way to the ideal non-repressive (read “Marxist”) society. It is important to note that criticism was — and is to this day among many leftist Democrats, including Teddy Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid, to name a few — implicitly seen as the only legitimate method of societal analysis, thus the theory's name. To posit a constructive alternative to the status quo would be, according to this way of thinking, to “prescribe” what should be, and such prescription was (and remains today among those on the left) to be avoided at all costs.

In other words, to put Critical Theory into practice, all one needs to do is . . . well, criticize. Carp. Gainsay. Denigrate. Find fault.

Among Leftists in the United States during the 1960s, Critical Theory often found expression in reductive chants, including the blunt mantra of anti-war zealots of the decade representing their position with regard to the Vietnam war, "Hell no, we won't go!" Indeed, Marcuse himself is credited (perhaps apocryphally) with coining the phrase “Make love not war,” another of the emblematic slogans that still are trotted out to define the Leftist mentality of that era.

Critical Theory was to become — thanks particularly to the writings of Marcuse, who morphed into something of an icon for American academic radicals of the 1960s — one of the cornerstones of the Left's tactical and strategic approaches during that decade. Indeed, the idea that one should only criticize the opposition, while proposing no constructive alternatives to replace what was being criticized, continues to characterize the methodology of left/liberals to this day.

We have only to recall California Senator Barbara Boxer's recent relentless pummeling of Condoleezza Rice during the latter's confirmation hearings to become Secretary of State to come up with a contemporary example of Marxist critical theory in action. I have combed the transcripts of Boxer's and Rice's exchanges, and I can find not a single utterance on the part of the liberal Left-Coast Senator that even remotely resembles a constructive alternative to the strategies of the Bush administration which she sought so venomously to denigrate.

In true adherence to one of the fundamental components of the Marxist approach to bringing down western capitalism, Ms. Boxer confined herself to launching only the most derogatory and destructive attacks on Dr. Rice and the policies of the administration of which she (Dr. Rice) is an important member.

Of course, Ms. Boxer’s Critical-Theory bedfellow, Teddy Kennedy, has also broadly employed this Marxist technique for undermining what is, as events in Iraq unfold, gradually playing out as the successful U.S. (and, by extension, notwithstanding French and German recalcitrance, western democratic) approach to combating Islamist terrorists who rely on the perpetration of the most heinous, murderous tactics against their own people in their attempts to regain power. Disregarding (and in the process implicitly approving of) the tyrannical and murderously inhuman nature of the adversary our country has chosen to wage war against in the Middle East, Senator Kennedy has recently categorically called for U.S. forces to quit the struggle against the very enemy that caused the deaths of some 3,000 American citizens through an attack carried out on our own soil.

Kennedy’s position, which amounts to nothing more than a raising of the white flag of surrender to militant Islamists, would seem to be based solely on the Democrat Senator from Massachusetts’ angry and irrational rejection of the Bush administration’s policies. Kennedy, in the tradition of the Marxists whose tactics he employs, offers not even the hint of an exit strategy or an alternative means to combat the Islamist terrorist threat that faces every western-style democracy on the planet.

By undermining our country’s military engagement in Iraq of the Islamist terrorists that threaten the very world order today, by disingenuously failing even to admit the possibility that our seeking to establish a foothold for democracy in the Middle East is arguably a legitimate means to insure America’s future security, Kennedy is implicitly, even as he follows in the footsteps of the enemies of freedom and democracy whose methodology he employs, allying himself with forces at large in the world today that would destroy western capitalism and subjugate all free people to the murderous reign of a global Islamist thugocracy.

But that's about what you might expect from leftist political operatives such as Boxer and Kennedy who by their tactics implicitly ascribe to the time-honored Marxist techniques espoused in Critical Theory. Indeed, Democrats’ current obstructionism represents nothing less than the employment, in a new historical context, of Marxist methodology based on principles enunciated by communist enemies of freedom and democracy some three quarters of a century ago.

The fact is that the war we are waging in Iraq against the forces of Islamist terrorism is one that we can win, nay that we are destined to win. In order to win the fight, though, we must recognize that, not only are we struggling against Islamist terrorists in the Middle East, we are also struggling against the subversive tactics of political operatives of the Marxist Left as manifested in the Democratic Party in America today.

As their relentless efforts to undermine the policies and principles that form the foundation of our nation’s democratic institutions demonstrate, leftist Democrats, while apparently having much more to lose than their equally anti-democratic, anti-capitalist Islamist terrorist counterparts, nonetheless seek the same end: the destruction of western democratic capitalism.

It is against all the forces that seek to subvert the ideals of freedom and democracy, in our own country and around the world, that we are waging war. If the tactics of the political left in the United States are subtler and less easily identifiable than those of the Islamists whom they, by their tacit support of the ultimate goal of weakening western capitalist democracy, support, it is nonetheless incumbent on us to recognize that, where they would obstruct policies and practices that shore up the freedom and security of America’s citizens, liberal Democrats are no less dangerous to the freedom that we continue to enjoy than are Islamist terrorists.

About the Writer: Writer Greg Lewis is co-author, with Dr. Charles Gant, of the Warner Books hardcover "End Your Addiction Now." Dr. Lewis is a frequent contributor of political and cultural commentaries to several websites. His next book, "The Politics of Anger: How Marxism's Heirs Are Redefining Liberalism in America Today," is due out in late Spring, 2005. Read more of his work at
http://www.GregLewis.org.

Comments:glewis9000@aol.com


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Cuba; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; Israel; News/Current Events; Philosophy; Politics/Elections; Russia; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: 1917russian; aftermath; alinsky; anticapitalism; boxer; commmunism; communistgoals; copperheads; criticaltheory; criticism; culturalmarxism; culturewars; democratcopperheads; democratparty; democrats; frankfurtschool; gramsci; greatdeception; hardcore; ideology; kennedy; leftistmentality; legacy; marcuse; marxism; modernliberals; negativity; obstructionism; obstructionistdems; ofsociety; partyofliars; pelosi; postwwii; proletarian; reid; religiousleft; revolution; saulalinsky; slogans; strategies; tactics; tedkennedy; theory; traitors; treason; wwi

1 posted on 02/18/2005 11:08:12 AM PST by CHARLITE
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To: CHARLITE
Now, only if Hillary's senior paper at Wellsley were to get posted in a blog somewhere ...
2 posted on 02/18/2005 11:13:45 AM PST by jamaksin
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To: CHARLITE

good post.

a lot of feminism is also based on jacques lacan, michel foucault, jacques derrida, terry eagleton, etc.

critical theory is NOT very critical, imo.


3 posted on 02/18/2005 11:14:56 AM PST by ken21
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To: jamaksin

hers would appropriately be posted in a bog..


4 posted on 02/18/2005 11:15:02 AM PST by sheik yerbouty
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To: jamaksin

where is that, btw?

barbara olson had a copy, but she died in the 9.11 pentagon crash.

didn't rush have a copy? or access?

we need to get that and publish it before 2008!


5 posted on 02/18/2005 11:16:21 AM PST by ken21
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To: ken21

What's wrong with those people? Eagleton's 'Intro to Literary Theory' is the outstanding text of its kind.


6 posted on 02/18/2005 11:16:49 AM PST by Borges
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To: Borges

intro to lit theory is a good book. i read it decades ago.

but eagleton evolved a long way since then.

there was an interesting nyt article on him of about january, 2004. get it. mine's packed away.

in this interview he admits that critical theory's at an end; there's no new territory.

he's a marxist, and ironically probably made a million off of his books! he owns several estates in ireland, i think. they pictured one in the nyt article.

phony like all rich leftists.


7 posted on 02/18/2005 11:20:48 AM PST by ken21
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To: CHARLITE
Barbara Boxer and Ted Kennedy are too stupid to understand 'critical theory.' They are just whiners who have no constructive ideas.

The article is silly. According to the author, anyone who complains without a constructive alternative is an 'implicit' Marxist. That would make the Republicans during the New Deal Marxists.

8 posted on 02/18/2005 11:24:42 AM PST by ModelBreaker
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To: ken21

It's clear he's a Marxist from that Intro book. His thesis was that all literaty theory is indeological and there is no such thing as dis-interedted criticsm. Whether or not you accept that, his discussion of various schools of thought is forthright and informed. P.S. His fueds with Stanley Fish are the stuff of legend. Anytime he writes about Fish he's a very funny man.


9 posted on 02/18/2005 11:25:03 AM PST by Borges
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To: ken21

It's at Wellesley. IIRC, anyone can read it, but not take it out or photocopy it. A Freeper went to read it years ago and said the scandal was that it said very little, or not as well as would be expected, for the world's most intelligent woman.


10 posted on 02/18/2005 11:25:03 AM PST by twigs
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To: CHARLITE
". . .it is nonetheless incumbent on us to recognize that, where they would obstruct policies and practices that shore up the freedom and security of America’s citizens, liberal Democrats are no less dangerous to the freedom that we continue to enjoy than are Islamist terrorists. "

The hard, cold reality.

Have often wondered if President Bush sees this warning, as clearly.

11 posted on 02/18/2005 11:26:50 AM PST by cricket (Just say - NO U.N.)
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To: ModelBreaker

Or during the Clinton administration for that matter.


12 posted on 02/18/2005 11:28:13 AM PST by dmz
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To: ariamne; USF; Fred Nerks; jan in Colorado; broadsword; Former Dodger

Ping! on excellent comparative analysis article. Dem obstructionists employing time-dishonoured Marxist techique. It's not all about "Bush hate"...


13 posted on 02/18/2005 11:29:42 AM PST by AmericanArchConservative (Armour on, Lances high, Swords out, Bows drawn, Shields front ... Eagles UP!)
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To: CHARLITE
Saul Alinsky is generally considered the father of community organizing. A criminologist by training, Alinsky in the 1930s organized the Back of the Yards neighborhood in Chicago (made famous by Upton Sinclair's The Jungle). He went on to found the Industrial Areas Foundation while organizing the Woodlawn neighborhood, which trained organizers and assisted in the founding of community organizations around the country. In Rules for Radicals (his final work, published one year before his death), he addressed the 1960s generation of radicals, outlining his views on organizing for mass power.

Author of Reveille for Radicals, Alinsky encouraged controversy and conflict, often to the dismay of middle-class activists who otherwise would sponsor his activism. Alinsky is often credited with laying the foundation for confrontational political tactics that dominated the 1960s.

Alinsky was a ferocious critic of mainstream liberalism. A champion of radical propaganda tactics and propaganda techniques, Alinsky encouraged deception in organizational strategy.

While attending Wellesley College, a young Hillary Clinton was a major admirer of Alinsky. She wrote her undergraduate thesis on his work and ideas.
14 posted on 02/18/2005 11:31:02 AM PST by Beckwith (I know Churchill, and Ward Churchill is no Churchill . . . he ain't an Indian either . . .)
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To: twigs

!!! dumb, huh?


15 posted on 02/18/2005 11:35:54 AM PST by ken21
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To: CHARLITE

Insofar as the leftists opposition to the Iraq war it is worthy to note that the Baathists, formerly known as the Baath Arab Socialist party, controlled Iraq.


16 posted on 02/18/2005 11:44:38 AM PST by monocle
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To: CHARLITE

Let's not give these people more credit than they deserve.

The simpler explanation as to why these people are mired in the liberalism of the '60s is that most of these people stopped growing, evolving, recreating themselves then. For most of human history, change has not been as rapid as we have known it recently. So people were largely shaped by their thoughts in their 20s and they stayed essentially the same as they aged, and because they remained rigidly tied to the past, that was a major aging factor.

With this generation, we see a fairly clear divergence in those 50 and above. Some are living 21st lives as much as teenagers are while the rest are aging in the old pattern, of insisting the world has to come around to recognizing that the '60s was the eternal golden age of achievement for humanity and that's what we have to get back to. This is what the generation of the '60s was rebelling against in their day -- the previous older generation's hold on the cultural values and control.

However, with that generation and momentum, a new pattern was established in which change became the norm rather than adjusting to the status quo. It heavily favored those who could adapt to change and even thrived under these conditions. History has passed them by and they don't realize it, may never, but the vast majority will come around to realizing that the thrust of humanity is moving and creating the 21st century life(style) rather than hoping that we revert to the 19th or even 20th century ideals.

So what we are seeing now is the challenge to all the institutions of the past -- and rooted in the past. Most will not survive. Those that do will have reinvented themselves in the 21st century with all its supporting infrastructures, which is our present realities. Those still tied to the past are rooted only in memories and old ideas -- as though they were being discovered for the first time. Many Marxists in fact, think that because they have just learned of it, the world is yet to discover it also, rather than that it was a faddish notion that had its time, was tried and proven failures many times over. These people have the arrogance of those who think they are the first to know -- rather than in fact, realizing they are among the last, and cannot understand why others fail to validate their superiority.


17 posted on 02/18/2005 11:45:51 AM PST by MikeHu
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To: dmz
Or during the Clinton administration for that matter.

I don't think that's entirely fair. The Contract with America was constructive alternative politics at its best. Not only did we propose it. We passed it and made the Zipper-In-Chief sign most of it.

After the 1998 elections, however, I think that's a fair statement.

18 posted on 02/18/2005 11:46:07 AM PST by ModelBreaker
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To: CHARLITE

Good article.


19 posted on 02/18/2005 11:58:13 AM PST by Robert DeLong
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To: AmericanArchConservative

First step in combatting these techniques is to enforce the filibuster rules to the letter. No going home for dinner, etc, no "gentleman's filibuster", REAL filibuster, like in Mr. Smith goes to Washington, keep talking or give up the floor.


20 posted on 02/18/2005 12:23:54 PM PST by Former Dodger (There is nothing quite so good as burial at sea. It is simple, tidy, and not very incriminating. AH)
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To: cricket
liberal Democrats are no less dangerous to the freedom that we continue to enjoy than are Islamist terrorists. "

Have often wondered if President Bush sees this warning, as clearly

Oh yes. This infiltration, usurpation of the dem party by the socialist/Marxist has been going on for 25+years. And TeddyBoy is the puppet leader. Don't forget Daddy Bush was, among other things, head of CIA...they know where the bear does his doody in the buckwheat.

I have always suspicioned that the "Western White House" was built on the ranch - in the middle of thousands of wide open acres - for total security from any kind of listening "bugs" - which any place in DC, even the WH, could be seeded with. "W" conducts a lot of business with both his cabinet members and world leaders there - far from interference of any kind. I believe it drives the libs mad...and they try to denigrate it by always referring to him, when there, as "on vacation again"

21 posted on 02/18/2005 12:24:01 PM PST by maine-iac7 (."...but you can't fool all of the people all of the time" LINCOLN)
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To: maine-iac7
"Don't forget Daddy Bush was, among other things, head of CIA...they know where the bear does his doody in the buckwheat."

Well, I feel better knowing that for sure. . .LOL!

22 posted on 02/18/2005 12:38:01 PM PST by cricket (Just say - NO U.N.)
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To: ken21
dumb? probably not. Hillary's not.

But below expectations? Apparently.

23 posted on 02/18/2005 12:50:07 PM PST by twigs
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To: CHARLITE
As their relentless efforts to undermine the policies and principles that form the foundation of our nation’s democratic institutions demonstrate, leftist Democrats...seek the same end: the destruction of western democratic capitalism.

Works with Occam’s Razor . One explanation for a disparate collection of seemingly contradictory policies that otherwise require multiple different explanations.

24 posted on 02/18/2005 12:50:34 PM PST by Plutarch
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Comment #25 Removed by Moderator

To: All
In other words, to put Critical Theory into practice, all one needs to do is . . . well, criticize. Carp. Gainsay. Denigrate. Find fault. . .In true adherence to one of the fundamental components of the Marxist approach to bringing down western capitalism. . . .

As David Horowitz put it, the "issue" is not the issue. It is so maddening to see conservatives spend days -- weeks, months -- defending against an "issue." All the while the left has moved on and busied itself by littering discourse with tens -- hundreds -- of "issues du jour."

The issue is not the issue but THE ISSUE for the ilk of the fat drunk though may not be "bringing down western capitalism" but it certainly is to pester and fluster and bring down any opposition.

The best response to "issues" is, "Screw you and the MSM you rode in on."

26 posted on 02/18/2005 1:37:43 PM PST by WilliamofCarmichael (MSM Fraudcasters are skid marks on journalism's clean shorts.)
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To: AmericanArchConservative; jan in Colorado; Former Dodger; USF; TexasCowboy

Absolutely spot on! Bush-hate is a smokescreen for the Marxist ideology that seeks to brainwash starting with the youth of America--in those cesspools of communism known as academia. It is time-worn tactic.


27 posted on 02/18/2005 5:13:16 PM PST by ariamne (reformed liberal--Shieldmaiden of the Infidel)
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To: ken21
You are correct ... Rush noted during one of his Friday programs that he had obtained a copy of Hillary's senior paper, and that he would comment on after reading it over the coming weekend ...

Monday and nothing ... Tuesday and nothing ... not a peek since.

28 posted on 02/19/2005 7:50:46 AM PST by jamaksin
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To: jamaksin

thanks.

out of curiosity i'd like to read it.


29 posted on 02/19/2005 9:30:11 AM PST by ken21 (the terrorists didn't blow up the new york times because the times supports them. (/s))
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To: jamaksin

thanks.

out of curiosity i'd like to read it.


30 posted on 02/19/2005 9:33:19 AM PST by ken21 (the terrorists didn't blow up the new york times because the times supports them. (/s))
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To: riri

bknk


31 posted on 02/19/2005 9:35:16 AM PST by riri
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To: CHARLITE

Excellent article! It has been clear for decades now the the Commiecrat party is the new home of the Bolshevik party. While conservatives are labeled as NeocoNs, Commiecrats should be labeled as NeocoMs.


32 posted on 02/19/2005 9:42:45 AM PST by Visalia
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To: CHARLITE
Good article, but the author needs an editor to help him cut the size of his sentences, while keeping the intent of the sentence pure (without diluting the author's original thought) and keep the author more focused on the main thrust of the subject (while not disconcerting him in anyway) so that the reader of the article can be persuasivly brought to the author's point of view (without beating the reader over the head with long and almost unreadable sentences with too many(...),[,,,,,] and "...."'s......to the point of suicide by said reader, who in my case, almost did kill myself reading this piece, because it's basis is true and I agree with almost all he stated, but none the less, I'm tired now.

FMCDH(BITS)

33 posted on 02/19/2005 5:26:46 PM PST by nothingnew (There are two kinds of people; Decent and indecent.)
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To: CHARLITE

Thank you very much for the link...I visited the website and found some really awesome links, articles, etc..Thanks again.


34 posted on 05/12/2007 12:02:12 AM PDT by BlueZeus
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