The drumbeat. It's always there. Day and night. Rain or shine. Winter or Summer. Sunday or Monday. It comes at you from every direction. It comes over the TV, the radio, at work, at school, in music, in the newspapers, from the politicians, in conversation with others, even in church. It wears you down. It robs you of the will to resist its message. Even short-lived victories, which stop it briefly, leave you with the knowledge that it will return; each minor victory bound to be lost to the redoubled efforts of this patient and persistent force. You can't escape it. It never stops. It never gives up. It never ends. It rains upon you from every possible angle, from every possible source.
It's the drumbeat of the left. It is political, philosophical, theological, and social. It pervades every activity. It is post-structural, post-modern, post-everything in the parlance of the day. It is tolerant, diverse, non-judgmental, non-discriminatory, egalitarian, politically correct, multicultural, globalist, and collectivist. It insists that there are no rights and wrongs, no moral absolutes. It turns everything upside down in its looking glass world.
It denies the correctness of all that produced what our culture revered before the deconstruction of the world in accordance with the tenets of cultural Marxism. It denies God, human exceptionalism, and the soul. We are reduced to Darwinian animals floundering in an amoral sea of meaninglessness. It is a product of the nihilistic, existentialist philosophical movement, which went hand in hand with modern art, atonal music, scientific materialism and modern physics, and the generally discordant nature of the twentieth century.
It is said that a fish is not aware of the water in which it swims since it is totally immersed in it. This is the way cultural Marxism is taking over our world in its inexorable Gramscian march. We swim in it. It enters every pore of our existence. It is everywhere. We can't escape it. Many people accept this world without even realizing it, just as the fish accepts the water in which it swims. They don't realize it as the left creates new conventional wisdom and new intuitions about truth.''
The subject of the Gramscian agenda to change and subvert Western society came up in a recent discussion here, as we discussed the possibility of 'cultural insurrection', a sort of Gramscian Long March in reverse.
Interestingly, I just came across a link at LewRockwell.com to a story about Gramsci. It seems that he supposedly repented on his deathbed, and reverted to his childhood Catholicism.
...He is regarded as one of the most important Marxist thinkers of the 20th century. His thought is crystallised in The Prison Notebooks, in which, among other things, he argued that Capitalism was based on a combination of force and consensus, and that Marxism could only supercede [sic] religion if it met peoples spiritual as well as material needs. ''
There is something important in that last sentence. We often say that leftism in its various forms is a type of religious belief. At the risk of engaging in hyperbole, I would say that leftism by whatever name is a (false) god, and a jealous 'god' which therefore does not brook belief in any other, competing religion. And as Christianity is the most troublesome competitor to leftism, Christianity in particular is the target of assaults by the left and their various allies.
Gramsci was right that Marxism had to meet people's hunger or need for a 'transcendent', and only by doing so could it hope to replace and eliminate Christianity. We can see in our day how successful it has been. Leftism has its own belief system, its own saints, its own martyrs, its own 'sins' based on an alternative morality. It is not possible to be both a Christian believer and a leftist. Those liberal 'Christians' who embrace leftist movements like 'liberation theology' and globalism have in essence abandoned Christianity, though they may continue to profess Christian belief.
Gramsci knew that he could not serve two masters, both Marxism and his childhood Catholic faith, so he chose to forego the latter in favor of the false god of Marxism. And on his deathbed presumably he repented of that choice.
If his repentance was genuine, I can only wonder what he might think of the harm he and his fellow travelers on the left have done to Western civilization and to the Christian faith. I can only think that he would be appalled, if he was genuinely repentant.
To return to the American Thinker piece quoted above, we read Staneski's description of the effects of the Gramscian efforts:
The principles upon which Western culture rests and upon which America was built are under attack by these slow acting but deadly forces. The drumbeat is grinding down the will of the West to maintain itself. The ideas of individual sovereignty and responsibility, natural rights, and objective truth have been derided by the left to the point that many of our young people reject them, if, indeed, they are even aware of them as the basis for our culture. All that ensures that a culture will pass its ideas down from one generation to the next is its cultural memory. The drumbeat is slowly but surely replacing our cultural memory.
As each school textbook is rewritten to reflect the new ideas of family and cultural heritage, our children are lost to the forces of the drumbeat as they learn to view America and traditional Western culture as oppressive and imperialistic. And it doesn't take long for there to be only a shell left, the substance of our culture sucked out and destroyed by the cultural Marxists.
If you believe that all this is a paranoid overreaction, you have plenty of company. Those of us who can still see the water and hear the drumbeat are subject to attempts to make us sound evil and foolish. To believe in traditional Western cultural values, American Exceptionalism, God, and moral truth is to be branded as old fashioned and foolish, even by the best assessments of those who have bought into the cultural Marxist's message. And by the worst of them, we are branded as stupid and evil, and in need of being destroyed.
It may be too late to do anything about this as the world plays out its story. [...] Technology, globalism, and the leftist drumbeat are joining together in a way that is allowing mankind to believe, on a worldwide scale, that it can control its own destiny. ''
Berit Kjos quotes Malachi Martin on Gramsci at the Crossroad link above.
Gramsci himself rejected Christianity and all its transcendent claims."
"Nevertheless, he knew Christian culture existed.... For that was the force binding all the classes... into a single, homogeneous culture. It was a specifically Christian culture, in which individual men and women understood that the most important things about human life transcended the material conditions in which they lived out their mortal lives."
"Gramsci agreed that the great mass of the world’s population was made up of workers. That much was just plain fact. What became clear to him,however, was that nowhere—and especially not in Christian Europe—did the workers of the world see themselves as separated from the ruling classes by an ideological chasm. ...
"There would never be a glorious uprising of the proletariat. There would be no Marxist-inspired violent overthrow of the ruling 'superstructure' by the working 'underciasses.' Because no matter how oppressed they might be, the 'structure' of the working classes was defined not by their misery or their oppression but by their Christian faith and their Christian culture....
So Christianity as one of the pillars of Western civilization would have to be undermined and subverted to leftist purposes.
''in this manner, they must enter into every civil, cultural and political activity in every nation, patiently leavening them all as thoroughly as yeast leavens bread.
"For this purpose, Gramsci felt the timing was rather good. For though Christianity appeared on the surface to be strong, it had for some time been debilitated by unceasing attacks against its teachings and its structural unity. ... Marxist action must be unitary against what he saw to be the failing remnant of Christianity. ... Marxists must change the residually Christian mind... so that it would become not merely a non-Christian mind but an anti-Christian mind.
"...he needed to get individuals and groups in every class and station of life to think about life’s problems without reference to the Christian transcendent, without reference to God and the laws of God. He needed to get them to react with antipathy and positive opposition to any introduction of Christian ideals or the Christian transcendent into the treatment and solution of the problems of modern life."
"...such goals, like most of Gramsci’s blueprint, had to be pursued by means of a quiet and anonymous revolution. No armed and bloody uprisings.... Rather, everything must be done in the name of man’s dignity and rights.... [The new world must not only move beyond -- it must learn to despise] the claims and constraints of Christianity, above all. ...
"Do that, he promised, and in essence you will have Marxized the West. The final step—the Marxization of the politics of life itself—will then follow."
Gramsci in his Prison Notebooks also talked about the idea of 'hegemony' and its importance. The definition as he used it:
"...Dominant groups in society, including fundamentally but not exclusively the ruling class, maintain their dominance by securing the spontaneous consent' of subordinate groups, including the working class, through the negotiated construction of a political and ideological consensus which incorporates both dominant and dominated groups."
As a leftist, of course Gramsci focused on the 'bourgeois hegemony', but he prescribed a new hegemony of the 'working class' which would need to ally with 'social minorities' to form the new 'political and ideological' consensus and new social order. The 'drumbeat' that Staneski describes in his American Thinker essay is this dominant ideology which the left has succeeded in imposing on us gradually over the last half-century or so. Now, despite the left's constant cries of underdog status and victimization by capitalists or rich old White guys, they have succeeded in constructing their own hegemony, and they have crafted a new worldview which is accepted to some degree by virtually everybody in our society.
Is it possible to reverse this, as we discussed recently on this blog?
We might look at Gramsci's own prescriptions, and see if they can be applied in our cause:
'A social group can, indeed must, already exercise 'leadership' before winning governmental power (this is indeed one of the principal conditions for the winning of such power); it subsequently becomes dominant when it exercises power, but even if it holds it firmly in its grasp, it must continue to 'lead' as well."
So paradoxically, a group has to exercise leadership before attaining formal political power. And though many majority Americans don't yet realize this, we are not in possession of any real power as a group now. As proof of this, we cannot even advocate for our own interests or utter a word in self-defense without paying some sort of social/political/economic consequences. Every other group can organize and agitate for their interests, but we cannot. We can be criticized, denounced, lampooned, slandered, and accused, while minority groups must only be spoken of with deference, under pain of ''hate speech'' sanctions.
So where does real power reside? Not with old-stock White Americans, despite the presence of figurehead White 'elites' and politicians who are busy selling out their brethren for gain or self-aggrandizement or power.
How can we then exercise leadership so as to regain any sort of power?
Gramsci wrote of how, when a crisis arose, revealing weaknesses and flaws in the existing system, those with opposing views organize and use the opportunity to present an alternative vision as the ruling powers are on the defensive. It may be that our present crisis will present opportunities in this fashion. But that presumes that there are people with alternatives to present as competition to the present failed system. We need potential leaders to step forward and present some countervailing ideas to oppose the prevailing orthodoxies.
The leftists have succeeded in ensconcing themselves in powerful positions, and their ideas have been mostly unchallenged for a few decades now. Given the fact that a dominant consensus often maintains itself only by inertia, and that many people simply accept the status quo because they take it for granted, it is possible in a time of upheaval and crisis to posit alternatives, and find receptive ears.
I have not been an exponent of the ''worse is better'' school of thought, but it may be that the worse is upon us, and that we will have to make the most of the potential opportunities to exploit the flaws and the failures of our present system. It may be that support for the existing order is very shallow and very easily shaken. It may just be that there is ''only a shell left'' of the liberal/leftist/PC ''faith''.