Skip to comments.Gramscian Damage (understanding ideological warfare)
Posted on 09/21/2018 6:52:36 AM PDT by zipper
From the article: "some of the most important of the Soviet Unions memetic weapons. Here is that list again:
There is no truth, only competing agendas. All Western (and especially American) claims to moral superiority over Communism/Fascism/Islam are vitiated by the Wests history of racism and colonialism. There are no objective standards by which we may judge one culture to be better than another. Anyone who claims that there are such standards is an evil oppressor. The prosperity of the West is built on ruthless exploitation of the Third World; therefore Westerners actually deserve to be impoverished and miserable. Crime is the fault of society, not the individual criminal. Poor criminals are entitled to what they take. Submitting to criminal predation is more virtuous than resisting it. The poor are victims. Criminals are victims. And only victims are virtuous. Therefore only the poor and criminals are virtuous. (Rich people can borrow some virtue by identifying with poor people and criminals.) For a virtuous person, violence and war are never justified. It is always better to be a victim than to fight, or even to defend oneself. But oppressed people are allowed to use violence anyway; they are merely reflecting the evil of their oppressors. When confronted with terror, the only moral course for a Westerner is to apologize for past sins, understand the terrorists point of view, and make concessions."
(Excerpt) Read more at esr.ibiblio.org ...
When I meet someone and the discussion turns to politics I often tell them about my personal basic conservative philosophical test on good vs. bad government. I'll say something like this: "These three things go together: Bigger government, higher taxes, less freedom. You can't affect one without affecting the other two -- for example if the government raises your taxes they'll use the money to expand government, then next year they'll demand the same amount of money or more to sustain or expand the government, meanwhile they'll use the expanded power to regulate your business or intrude on your personal life more by imposing more laws and regulations, so your freedoms are more limited. Ask yourself which camp any given politician running for office belongs to, the other one being the camp I favor, the one philosophically favoring limited government, whose credo is: Smaller government, lower taxes, more freedom."
Yes, it’s an argument against American exceptionalism — Obama resented the idea. Instead he apologized for America, just like the article presupposes our enemies would do.
If equality wins (socialism) then the country goes to hell. Unfortunately D’ Tocqueville predicted as much and we can say that society (regardless of what party is in power) is becoming more liberal or socialist.
A lot of things work toward that end: 1) Death of God, which means more relativism and a concentration on self. No transcendent values means more temptation for doing evil and more irrational acts that you don’t have to account for in the afterlife. You are the sole arbitrator of your fate and this concentration on self (ego and desires) means more pleasure and no responsibility — no responsibility for creating a better future for society. Pleasure and no responsibility mean no kids to inherit that future. Kids take the focus off the self. The central concerns are: where do I shop, where can I vacation to, what are my pensions, etc. In other words, socialist Europe without kids.
Another force that works toward a socialist/nihilist end: 2) Society is rich and romantic. Wealth leads to romanticism, that is to say, we can afford having ludicrous ideals. Transgender washrooms are a serious question in life! As well, now that God is out of the question, man has the presumptuous arrogance and belief in his power to create his own world utopia. Our progressive society doesn’t learn the hard lessons from the past because, in great part, it concentrates on feeling good, feeling virtuous and the lessons of the past dampens those feelings. To make matters worse free thought is not encouraged in university — it’s all about not feeling hurt and collective group think.
In the end, things don’t look optimistic. But there are forces out there that are reacting against the madness. My solution is take a metaphorical flamethrower to the universities because they are the bastion of the left. It all comes from there and infiltrates every walk of life and government. The university has become its nemesis: it’s become irrational. Education now means indoctrination. Perhaps western society doesn’t have to fall if it has the wisdom to turn itself around.
They know it’s a contradiction, but they don’t care. Reason isn’t that important. They can easily live being irrational and hypocritical.
“There are no objective standards by which we may judge one culture to be better than another.”
The “better” culture is the one that defeats the other when two cultures clash.
True, but now modern Europe is "Europe without kids". The fertility rate for native Euro couples has dropped to about 1.5 to 1.7 -- for many reasons but among them is the high taxation (they feel they can't afford to raise kids because their taxes support the retiring Boomers and generous social programs), and the sky-high abortion rate (low moral barriers to the use of abortion as birth control -- as you said due to the decline of religious values).
You really hit the nail on the head pointing out that idle affluence breeds romanticism, complacency, narcissism and nihilism. Some would argue this period of ingratitude started with Dr. Spock in the 60's. Now the first wave of those people are in power, especially on the left side of the political spectrum.
Absolutely, war is the forceful imposition of political will on an enemy. It's the only sure way to redraw a nation's borders, favoring the victor. Or it has a different result -- for example, the Battle of Hastings in 1066, though fought by only a few thousand warriors on each side, it vastly changed the culture and language of England, favoring the victorious Normans.
Nonsense. 90% of the country would agree that the West or America was/is superior to Nazism, Stalinism, and Islamism. Even people who violently disagree over politics and culture aren't saying that Hitler was better than or the same as today's America. Similar for Stalin and ISIS.
And it doesn’t necessarily have to be a physical war. For example right now there are a couple of cultural wars going on in the west - left vs right and Islam vs the west. They’re mostly being fought using propaganda, moralizing (guilting and shaming), and 1984 tactics.
The right could easily trounce the left in an all out physical war, but it doesn’t have the will. Similarly the west could rout the Islamists, but it also lacks the will.
Who will win these culture wars remains to be seen.
You would think they would learn lessons about socialism from Hitler (the National Socialist party) or Stalin (communism, socialism that disallows private property ownership).
But instead the Left says Hitler was right-wing, or Stalin and his henchmen were imperfect men trying to construct a perfect utopian socialist society who failed miserably. Accordingly, all that’s needed is a better leader, not a different ideology than socialism.
Islamism is seldom criticized by the Left, partly because they don’t understand or acknowledge its fascist ideology and perhaps because they think Islamists are their natural allies.
Yes, political will is essential! The Japanese gave us political will when they attacked Pearl Harbor (”awoke a sleeping giant”).
Hopefully the lessons of the demise of European culture will help us prevail over the scourge of Islam, but we were set back at least half a generation when our own Bush 43 mislabeled it “the religion of peace” right after 9/11.
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