By Al Benson Jr.
In our day many of us have become aware of the prevalence of something called “Cultural Marxism.” We have a vague idea of what that means and we realize it is something that is not good, for this country or any country—and we are not the only ones who have imbibed it. Yet many do not really realize how it works to destabilize a society.
Recently, I read an interesting book called Saints and Scoundrels, written by Robin Phillips and published by Canon Press in Moscow, Idaho. Starting on page 272, Mr. Phillips gives as good a critique on Cultural Marxism and how it works as anything I have seen anywhere. It’s written in layman’s terms, not difficult to understand, and I believe he wrote it that way on purpose. John Q. Average, reading this, will be able to grasp how Cultural Marxism is affecting our society and culture today. If this book ever gets any kind of following in our day I can just imagine the response of the church-at-large. That response will be “The Lord’s in control, so don’t worry about any of this stuff.”
In dealing with Cultural Marxism, Mr. Phillips naturally had to deal with Antonio Gramsci, who, unfortunately for the world, was two steps ahead of some of his communist predecessors in the promotion of their evil ideology. Gramsci understood what they did not—that you had to insert your Marxist ideology into contemporary society not by means of economics, but by means of culture. Phlillips noted: “The real way to accomplish the Marxist revolution, therefore, was not first through economic adjustments, but cultural and institutional change. What was needed in particular was to undermine the institutional hegemonies rooted in years of civil and ecclesial ideologies. This involved an attack on the very root of Western civilization: Christianity itself…More crucially, Christianity attached importance to transcendent truths and values, in direct opposition to Marxism’s insistence that everything valuable in life can be attained by tinkering with man’s external environment.”
And Phillips also duly observed that: “What this meant in practice was that power did not rest only with those who controlled the means of production; rather it depended on those that controlled the institutions and disciplines of culture, including philosophy, politics, art, literature, media, religion, and most importantly, the educational systems from elementary school to university.” Look at what Mr. Phillips has told us and you will begin to be able to gauge just how successful Cultural Marxism has been in our day.
As the advocates of Cultural Marxism gained positions of influence in all these disciplines they began to exert their influence. This is not something new, folks, this has been going on for decades while most of the church slept on in total ignorance. Unfortunately, most of the church is still willing to sleep on in ignorance. They don’t know and they don’t want to know—just give me that “pie in the sky by and by” and that’s all I care about. Dare I say that we will live to regret our spiritual indolence? No doubt if I say that, someone will accuse me of being too “negative.”
That being the case, I might as well go all the way and make the connection with Cultural Marxism and what went on in this country in the 1860s. That was Cultural Marxism, too, only we just didn’t call it that yet. Gramsci hadn’t come along to annunciate just how the Marxists should insert themselves into our culture yet, but many of them were doing it anyway. You will get a good estimate of how they were doing it by reading Lincoln’s Marxists, written by Donnie Kennedy and myself. We deal quite a bit with how Cultural Marxism operated in this country from 1860 onward. Many of the infamous “forty-eighters” from Europe, when they got here, insinuated themselves into the fields of journalism, education, trade unionism, the military, and politics. Whether they appreciated fully the implications of what Gramsci would promote in later years or not, they were out to influence the people in this country toward a socialist worldview and they worked at it, again, while the church slept.
You might say that the “forty-eighters” that came here after 1848 were pretty much responsible for the first major wave of Cultural Marxism to hit this country, and their efforts bore fruit right into the early 1900s. Gramsci’s ideas, forwarded in this country by the Frankfurt School people who came here in the 1930s carried on after that.
For anyone wanting a little background on the Frankfurt School, I did four articles that dealt with those people in 2012 on this blog spot. Please go back and check the articles for 1/31/12, 2/2/12, 2/4/12, and 2/7/12. These deal largely with the impact of Cultural Marxism on American education, an impact that has, if anything, been strengthened and increased in recent years.
The Textbook Protest situation in West Virginia in the mid-1970s was an exercise in Cultural Marxism, although most of us who were involved in protesting the rotten books did not realize that at the time. The textbooks put forth by the school board in Kanawha County, West Virginia, against the protests of Mrs. Alice Moore and the protest leaders, were designed to water down the influence of parents and churches and to make the kids question what their parents and churches had taught them and to doubt it, replacing those eternal values with something much less desirable, even vulgar. That’s how Cultural Marxism works. The fact that the proponents of Cultural Marxism (and some of them may not even realize what they are, though some do) blew it in their initial attempt in Kanawha County did not keep them from coming right back and “keepin’ on truckin’” with their insidious agenda. These people can’t stop—they have a Christian culture to destroy—and they hope to do it before the church wakes up!
Christians and other patriotic folks have got to get it through their heads that the Marxists don’t quit, not ever. If this or that doesn’t work and they get slammed, all you have won is one battle, not the whole war. Who knows, if the church could bring itself to awake from its spiritual sloth, we might even win this war, but to do that, we have to get into the fight. And we’ll never do that as long as we have been programmed to believe that as long as the Lord is in control, (which He is) we don’t need to do anything.
I remember the bumper sticker that an evangelist talked about having on the front of his vehicle years ago which said “God so loved the world that He DID SOMETHING!” Maybe there’s a lesson for us in that thought.