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Cultural Communists By: Joseph Yeager
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, May 09, 2003


In two provocative and convincing articles recently published on Frontpage Magazine, David Horowitz offers a new conception of the anti-American Left, and indeed, a new appellation as well: neo-communism, or neo-coms for short.  Aside from identifying and naming this increasingly dangerous political force, the most important aspect of Horowitz's essays is his explanaiton of how anarchists--a powerful element within the neo-com set--are also essentially Communists.

For the purposes of review, Horowitz's argument is as follows.  He asserts that the primary goal of the anarchist neo-coms is to destroy the United States, which they regard as the guarantor of an oppressive and inequitable status quo.  The anarchists see America as the magneto of capitalist globalization, and as an imperial slum-lord perpetually pursuing its own avaricious ends.  They also believe, perforce, that the annihilation of the United States will liberate the wretched of the earth and produce a new economic order that will be superior to current conditions.  And although the anarchists have no real bluepring for what their brave new world would look like, their radical egalitarianism, smoking-hot hatred for capitalism, and collectivist proclivities guarantee that it would look much more like the Soviet Union of Josef Stalin than the United States of George W. Bush.  Hence, Horowitz's identification of anarchists with communists is fundamentally correct.

This, in short, is Horowitz's explication of the anarcho-com subset within neo-communism, and it is persuasive.  In this piece, however, I would like to isolate and identify another and equally important element of the neo-com phenomenon, the cultural communists, or cult-coms.

The theoretical and historical foundation of cultural Communism is known as the Frankfurt School.  The Frankfurt School was not an institution, but rather, a school of thought within Marxism.  In the context of contemporary cult-com, its most significant figures were Walter Benjamin, Theodore Adorno, and Herbert Marcuse.  Raymond Williams, who shared much with the Frankfurt School, and whose influence is great among today's cult-coms, may be considered an honorary member.

The Frankfurt School coalesced in the mid twentieth century, largely in response to the discontent that many Marxist intellectuals felt toward orthodox Marxism, and to the growing realization that the much desiderated class war in the capitalist West was unlikely to occur.  Benjamin, Adorno, Marcuse, Williams et. al., then began to speculate on how best to subvert the capitalist society they hated so much.  Willy-nilly, they concluded that capitalism was far more vulnerable at the cultural than the economic level and that, therefore, the cultural norms of capitalist society should be attacked.  The obliteration of capitalism's cultural infrastructure would bring down capitalism and make possible the construction of a Communist society in the West.

To a large degree (and as noted by Paul Weyrich among others), this cultural Communism is the program of today's anti-American Left.  And although its goals--the destruction fo America and the ushering  in of a communist Utopia--are identical to those of the anarcho-communism that Horowitz exposed, its methodology is quite different.

Whereas the anarcho-coms urge violence, terrorism, mass vandalism, civil disobedience, and syndicalist strikes to bring down the system, the cult-coms deploy the slightly subtler weapons of multiculturalism and political correctness to achieve identical aims.  Where the anarcho-coms envisage a dramatic and cataclysmic revolution, the cult-coms seek to gradually mold the United States into an entity that all neo-coms could embrace, but that would resemble the United States in name only.

Because the cult-coms regard culture and race as virtually synonymous, their critiques of America are racialist, and, in some instances, baldly racist.  These critiques are two-fold.  The first contends that historical racism and oppression in America, beginning with slavery and attacks on Indians and continuing through Jim Crow, have created an ipso facto racial hierarchy and class structure that persists even in the absence of clear manifestations of white racism.  Whites, of course, sit atop this hierarchy while blacks languish at its base.  Such a race/class hierarchy is termed institutional racism.  The second critique simply declares that the United States is a flagrantly and irredeemably racist polity little different from Nazi Germany.

Both positions insist that because white/black inequality is so deeply entrenched, the simple eradication of overt white racism and the maintenance of race-based set-asides in the form of "affirmative action" will not solve the problem.  Rather, something more essential and radical is necessary.  In short, in order to eliminate white racism and the capitalist class structure upon which it battens, it is necessary to reconfigure white consciousness, to impugn the history and culture of whites, and to exalt black history and culture.  Only after this colossal reengineering of consciousness and redistribution of historya nd culture have taken place, will American capitalism collapse, and the neo-coms be able to achieve their country.

Political correctness, which stems directly from Theodore Adorno and Herbert Marcuse's views on language and rhetoric, is cultural communism's primary tool for altering white consciousness.  The cult-coms believe that the very words we use serve to legitimize and buttress the power of the dominant class and to suppress the "subaltern" elements of society.  Moreover--and as David Alan Kors and Harvey Silverglate have pointed out--they believe that free speech reinforces hierarchies because elites have access to organs of communication while the disadvantaged do not.  The elites use this advantage to cement their high status and to seal the pitiable fate of the less fortunate.  The solution, therefore, is to gain control over society's cultural, educational and media spheres (a veritable fait accompli), and to use these redoubts as bases from which to regulate "hurtful" language and suppress the speech of the so-called elite class.  Over time, the enfor ced usage of "benevolent" language and outlawry of "hate speech" will reconfigure white consciousness along progressive non-racist lines.

The multicultural program is every bit as sinister and Orwellian as its politically correct adjunct.  It is a massive effort in deception, mendacity and reeducation designed to bring haughty white society down a peg, and to elevate non-white (but especially black) history and culture to its rightful position of high honor.  In realized form, this means denigrating and covering up the accomplishments of Western civilization while usurping and inventing achievements for non-Western societies.  It means focusing monomaniacally on atrocities committed by Westerners while sweeping non-Western abominations under the rug.  It means claiming that the philosophical, scientific and literray heritage of ancient Greece was in fact stolen from "black" Egypt.  It means pretending that slavery and wars of conquest are uniquely American, while eliding the successes of America's democratic government, its economy, its breakthroughs in science and industry, its struggl es on behalf of human rights, and the courage and decency of its soldiers.  And, of course, it means asserting that the United States got just what it deserved on 9-11, and that any punitive American responses were unjust.

Indeed, 9-11 and its aftermath are the perfect examples of cultural communism in crisis response mode.  To put it in its own bizarre phraseology, "9-11 ruptured the cult-com master narrative of non-white santliness and uniquely white malevolence."  Everything the cult-coms had been claiming about the evils of America and the harmlessness of Moslem/non-white societies was given the lie before the American public.  Instead, we witnessed with our own eyes the existence of barbarism within those societies and the reality of America as an innocent victim.

Initially--but not for long--the cult-coms were thrown off their stride.  They were simply unprepared to deal with an event so monstrous and which so completely confuted their most cherished items of dogma.  Eventually, however, a coherent and predictable message began to emerge from the academic, pop-culture, and media lairs of the cult-coms.  To subtract from the ominously swelling righteous indignation of "Euro-Americans," we were reminded incessantly of the European crusades against Islam, while Noam Chomsky raved about a U.S. missile attack on a Sudanese pharmaceutical plant, which he portrayed as killing millions.  To revive the lamentably deflated Islamic ego, we were all force-fed the ostensible glories of medieval Islam and made to swallow the bilge of continued Palestinian victimization at the hands of America and Israel.  To reign in a white consciousness that threatened to burst the dykes of political correctness, the cult-coms forbade flying the American flag where they could, and threatened "hate crime" prosecution against anybody who so much as glanced with less than benign eyes upon Moslems.  And, of course, they reprised this disgusting performance with heightened shrillness in the run-up to the wars against the Taliban and Saddam Hussein.

As long as America exists as a predominantly white, free-market state, it can expect to meet with anti-American multiculturalism and eviscerating political correctness from the cult-coms.  And the sooner Americans begin acknowleding that these people are the reactionary descendants of Lenin and Stalin, the sooner we can dismiss their disarming pretensions to pacifism, and the more quickly we can consign them to obscurity and irrelevance on the margins of a decent socity.




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