Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

America the beautiful and free -- for how long?

By Aussiegirl

Fjordman writes a very important essay for the blog "Gates of Vienna". Vital weekend reading! It's a long article -- here are just a few excerpts with my own observations interpolated in italics.

Gates of Vienna: Political Correctness - The Revenge of Marxism

FrontPage Magazine: You make the shrewd observation of how political correctness engenders evil because of “the violence that it does to people’s souls by forcing them to say or imply what they do not believe, but must not question.” Can you talk about this a bit?

Theodore Dalrymple: Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.

I have heard people who have grown up in former Communist countries say that we in the West are at least as brainwashed by Multiculturalism and Political Correctness as they ever were with Communism, perhaps more so. Even in the heyday of the East Bloc, there were active dissident groups in these countries. The scary thing is, I sometimes believe they are right.

[Aussiegirl] Dalrymple is so accurate on this point. In Irina Ratushinskaya's memoir of her years spent in a Soviet camp for political dissidents entitled "Grey is the Color of Hope", she recounts one of her first days in confinement. She asked a fellow inmate, what was the worst thing about the system. "The lies." the woman said -- "The lies."

One of the reasons I am so upset by what I see happening around me is that I recognize it from what I know of the Soviet system. We aren't that far away from the kind of atmosphere of intimidation and censorship that existed there -- only it's being done on a cultural level rather than at the legal level (although we are approaching that also with bad law like "hate crimes" and "hate speech".)
One only has to look at the firestorm of opprobrium and downright hatred engendered by Ann Coulter for one phrase taken out of context from her latest book. Notice that not one review, article or interview with her has dealt with the substance of her book. Even conservatives have been dragged into this onslought of shaming and humiliation that has been meted out to her as punishment for daring to speak the truth. This isn't far from the ordeals that Chinese were subjected to during the Cultural Revolution when teachers and other "enemies of the state" were routinely subjected to public denunciations consisting of beatings, shaming, humiliation and other degrading treatment.
But how is that possible? Don’t we have free speech here? And we have no Gulag?

The simple fact is that we never won the Cold War as decisively as we should have. Yes, the Berlin Wall fell, and the Soviet Union collapsed. This removed the military threat to the West, and the most hardcore, economic Marxism suffered a blow as a credible alternative. However, one of the really big mistakes we made after the Cold War ended was to declare that Socialism was now dead, and thus no longer anything to worry about. Here we are, nearly a generation later, discovering that Marxist rhetoric and thinking have penetrated every single stratum of our society, from the Universities to the media. Islamic terrorism is explained as caused by “poverty, oppression and marginalization,” a classic, Marxist interpretation.

What happened is that while the “hard” Marxism of the Soviet Union may have collapsed, at least for now, the “soft” Marxism of the Western Left has actually grown stronger, in part because we deemed it to be less threatening. The “hard” Marxists had intercontinental nuclear missiles and openly said that they would “bury” us. The soft Marxists talk about tolerance and may seem less threatening, but their goal of overthrowing the evil, capitalist West remains the same. In fact, they are more dangerous precisely because they hide their true goals under different labels. Perhaps we should call it “stealth Socialism” instead of soft Socialism.

[...]We are now paying the price for this. Not only has Marxism survived, it is thriving and has in some ways grown stronger. Leftist ideas about Multiculturalism and de-facto open borders have achieved a virtual hegemony in public discourse, their critics vilified and demonized. By hiding their intentions under labels such as “anti-racism” and “tolerance,” Leftists have achieved a degree of censorship of public discourse they could never have dreamt of had they openly stated that their intention was to radically transform Western civilization and destroy its foundations.

[Aussiegirl] Isn't this what we are seeing in the present controversy surrounding the immigration bill in this country? Even our own administration and free-market types like the Wall Street Journal come out and label any opponents of this monstrosity as xenophobes, racists, nativists, etc.

Yes, I suppose you are a nativist if you are a patriot and love your country and want its great cultural heritage to continue and not be destroyed by a tsunami of Mexican immigration. We are chastized for not being sufficiently "sensitive" to these poor people who are just "trying to put food on the table." The WSJ chides us for being myopic in regard to business and free trade -- oh yes -- we need 100 million unskilled immigrants burdening our welfare system, our Social Security system, our health care system and changing our culture from the inside out. But you can't stand in the way of globalism. That's the future, you are told. You are hopelessly out of date if your heart swells when you hear the Star Spangled Banner, you are so narrow-minded when you get a lump in your throat when Old Glory is raised. You are hopelessly behind the times when you do not welcome becoming a bilingual nation and welcoming people who regard America as their land that rightly belongs to Mexico and the Reconquista. These elites are ill at ease with this kind of patriotism. They have risen above it. They are vaguely embarrassed and irritated by this down-home patriotism of those they derisively refer to as "Joe Six-pack". Well, let me tell you, Mr. Politician and Mr. Elitist Moneybags, the "Joe-Six-packs" of this world are worth a million of you. They are the salt of the earth and the people who built up this country, while the present day politicians are nothing but parasites sucking the people dry and giving them lip service (and lip) during the election cycle. It's Joe Six-pack and his son who are being paid less-than-standard wages because the jobs they traditionally held and passed on to their children are being taken over by illegal immigrants -- trades like carpentry, construction, plumbing, factory work, etc. And unlike you, I number such people as among my friends. Where is it written that everybody has to have an MBA from Harvard? Where is it written that the true American patriot has to be a lawyer? Where is it written that every kid has to go to college? Is physical labor no longer respectable? Is it no longer respectable to do construction? Do we have to import a slave-labor underclass to do those jobs that elites cannot imagine anyone wanting to do? Call a lawyer next time your plumbing bursts.

At the very least, the people living in the former Communist countries knew and admitted that they were taking part in a gigantic social experiment, and that the media and the authorities were serving them propaganda to shore up support for this project. Yet in the supposedly free West, we are taking part in a gigantic social experiment of Multiculturalism and Muslim immigration every bit as radical, utopian and potentially dangerous as Communism, seeking to transform our entire society from top to bottom, and still we refuse to even acknowledge that this is going on.

In Norway, a tiny Scandinavian nation that was until recently 99% white and Lutheran Christian, native Norwegians will soon be a minority in their own capital city, later in the whole country. And still, Norwegian politicians, journalists and University professors insist that there is nothing to worry about over this. Multiculturalism is nothing new, neither is immigration. In fact, our king a century ago was born in Denmark, so having a capital city dominated by Pakistanis, Kurds, Arabs and Somalis is just business as usual. The most massive transformation of the country in a thousand years, probably in recorded history, is thus treated as if it were the most natural thing in the world. To even hint that there might be something wrong about this has been immediately shouted down as “racism.”Eric Hoffer has noted that “It is obvious that a proselytizing mass movement must break down all existing group ties if it is to win a considerable following. The ideal potential convert is the individual who stands alone, who has no collective body he can blend with and lose himself in and so mask the pettiness, meaninglessness and shabbiness of his individual existence. Where a mass movement finds the corporate pattern of family, tribe, country, etcetera, in a state of disruption and decay, it moves in and gathers the harvest. Where it finds the corporate pattern in good repair, it must attack and disrupt.” This corresponds exactly to the behavior of much of the Western Left in our age.

[Aussiegirl] And here's where the left and Islam have a meeting of the minds in case you were wondering:

Karl Marx himself has stated that “The meaning of peace is the absence of opposition to socialism,” a sentiment that corresponds almost exactly to the Islamic idea that “peace” means the absence of opposition to Islamic rule. Cultural Marxism — aka Political Correctness — and Islam share the same totalitarian outlook and instinctively agree in their opposition to free discussion, and in the idea that freedom of speech must be curtailed when it is “offensive” to certain groups. Former Muslim Ali Sina notes that “there is very little difference between the Left and Islam. What is lacking in both these creeds is the adherence to the Golden Rule. Just as for Muslims, everything Islamic is a priori right and good and everything un-Islamic is a priori wrong and evil, for the Left, everything leftist is a priori oppressed and good and everything rightist is a priori oppressor and evil. Facts don’t matter. Justice is determined by who you are and not by what you have done.” “Political correctness is an intellectual sickness. It means expediently lying when telling the truth is not expedient. This practice is so widespread and so common that it is considered to be normal.”

[Aussiegirl] And now the kicker of what went wrong with the supposed end of the Soviet Union. There have never been any trials. The former communists are all still in power and have given themselves new names, but they still run things, and have even greater power because they have managed to steal almost all the nation's wealth and hold it in their private hands. The former Soviet states are like behemoth thugocracies, and that's why reformers like Yushchenko in Ukraine don't stand a chance, in spite of the Orange Revolution. He can't get anything done because the mafiocracy and the oligarchs who are just communists by another name won't let him -- they hold too much power. Mass trials should have been held -- and the crimes of communism should have been exposed and the culprits punished as an example, and the communist party banned forever.

[...]John Fonte describes how this cultural war is now being played out in the USA in his powerful piece “Why There Is A Culture War: Gramsci and Tocqueville in America.” According to him, “beneath the surface of American politics an intense ideological struggle is being waged between two competing worldviews. I will call these “Gramscian” and “Tocquevillian” after the intellectuals who authored the warring ideas — the twentieth-century Italian thinker Antonio Gramsci, and, of course, the nineteenth-century French intellectual Alexis de Tocqueville. The stakes in the battle between the intellectual heirs of these two men are no less than what kind of country the United States will be in decades to come.”

Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937), Marxist intellectual and politician, “believed that it was necessary first to delegitimize the dominant belief systems of the predominant groups and to create a “counter-hegemony” (i.e., a new system of values for the subordinate groups) before the marginalized could be empowered. Moreover, because hegemonic values permeate all spheres of civil society — schools, churches, the media, voluntary associations — civil society itself, he argued, is the great battleground in the struggle for hegemony, the “war of position.” From this point, too, followed a corollary for which Gramsci should be known (and which is echoed in the feminist slogan) — that all life is “political.” Thus, private life, the work place, religion, philosophy, art, and literature, and civil society, in general, are contested battlegrounds in the struggle to achieve societal transformation.” This, according to Fonte, “is the very core of the Gramscian-Hegelian world view — group-based morality, or the idea that what is moral is what serves the interests of “oppressed” or “marginalized” ethnic, racial, and gender groups.”

[Aussiegirl] And how does this take place? Start with the school system. Do you know what you are paying those big bucks for in college? Read on:

[...]This can sometimes amount to virtual brainwashing disguised as critical thinking. Fonte mentions that at Columbia University, “new students are encouraged to get rid of ‘their own social and personal beliefs that foster inequality.’ To accomplish this, the assistant dean for freshmen, Katherine Balmer, insists that ‘training’ is needed. At the end of freshmen orientation at Bryn Mawr in the early 1990s, according to the school program, students were ‘breaking free’ of ‘the cycle of oppression’ and becoming ‘change agents.’ Syracuse University’s multicultural program is designed to teach students that they live ‘in a world impacted by various oppression issues, including racism.’”

John Fonte thinks that the primary resistance to the advance of cultural Marxism in the USA comes from an opposing quarter he dubs “contemporary Tocquevillianism.” “Its representatives take Alexis de Tocqueville’s essentially empirical description of American exceptionalism and celebrate the traits of this exceptionalism as normative values to be embraced.” As Tocqueville noted in the 1830s, Americans today are “just as in Tocqueville’s time, are much more individualistic, religious, and patriotic than the people of any other comparably advanced nation.” “What was particularly exceptional for Tocqueville (and contemporary Tocquevillians) is the singular American path to modernity. Unlike other modernists, Americans combined strong religious and patriotic beliefs with dynamic, restless entrepreneurial energy that emphasized equality of individual opportunity and eschewed hierarchical and ascriptive group affiliations.”

This battle is now being played out in most American public institutions. “Tocquevillians and Gramscians clash on almost everything that matters. Tocquevillians believe that there are objective moral truths applicable to all people at all times. Gramscians believe that moral ‘truths’ are subjective and depend upon historical circumstances. Tocquevillians believe in personal responsibility. Gramscians believe that ‘the personal is political.’ In the final analysis, Tocquevillians favor the transmission of the American regime; Gramscians, its transformation.”

[Aussiegirl] And here's the nub of the argument -- the basic difference between those of us who still remember what being an American used to mean and what it still means to us -- and those who want us to move on to a more "compassionate" and "tolerant" and "culturally sensitive" worldview that includes open borders and tries to shame and deceive us by telling us that America's real legacy and tradition is being a "welcoming nation". Yes, we have welcomed hordes of immigrants in the past, including me and my family. But those immigrants came at a different time when they were forced to leave their homelands behind them across a vast ocean, when communication was not as easy as it is today. Immigrants who had to learn the English language because they had no choice, and because they wanted to become Americans. Immigrants who did not feel a stronger allegiance to the land they left behind than to the land that now welcomed them. Immigrants, in short, who aspired to become as American as anyone else. Whose heart swelled on the Fourth of July, and who gave thanks at Thanksgiving, those quintessentially American holidays that are open to all. Not immigrants who fly the flag of their own nation and insist that it is America that needs to accomodate them and to assimilate to their ways. Not immigrants who have a ready made subculture that they can slip into without bothering to learn American ways or the English language. And not only that, demand that we speak Spanish and provide bi-lingual services and education -- while we are made to feel less than generous and kind for demanding from them what our ancestors and we did willingly. We will not be shamed. We have nothing to be ashamed of. It is the people advocating open borders who should be ashamed for not valuing their own country and for not being true patriots.

Now you know what you are up against. Get out there and fight with increased vigor. The powers arrayed against the last stand of the Great American Experiment are vast. But the voice of the American people is even vaster. The voice of the silenced majority. The voice of Joe Six-pack -- the voice of country music -- the voice of hard-working, patriotic Americans who still love their country and remember what it stands for. America is the last bulwark of Western Civilization. It stands athwart history and protects what remains of Western Civilization and Western values. It is under assault from all directions. If America falls, then the winds of Marxism and Islamofascism will blow through the world, leveling human freedom and dignity and national borders with them. It's now or never. We fight, or we die along with our culture and our grand experiment in human freedom and dignity.

I never imagined it would come to this when I immigrated to this great country at the age of nine. As wonderful as Australia was and as free, I always thought that once I got to America, not only would I be truly free, but I would be forever safe. Safe from war, which terrified me because I was raised on stories of WWII as related by my parents. To me, America was a place that had never been touched by war, had never been touched by tyranny, had never been touched by oppression and want. America has to stand, it has to survive, it has to lead. God Bless America!


At 5:33 PM, Anonymous Pindar said...

This is probably the best, most heart-felt thing you have published! Your final paragraphs brought tears to my eyes, with their beautiful patriotism and convincing logic that, as you write, "America is the last bulwark of Western Civilization".


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