Some of you have wondered when I was going to write my anti-Gramsci articles here. Well, here is the first of many. I wrote on this before many years ago and now it is time to dig in and get dirty on this blog. Here is where some of my information is from, but not all, as some is my own construct over the years. Also, there is another link below for summaries.There are many sites on Gramsci if one wants a bibliography, I can send one on request. But, the letters are key. Just remember that the key to understanding all of this is that the ideology is based on materialism, that there is no spiritual world. The old Marxism is not exactly the same as Gramsci's ideas, except in the denial of the spiritual and the emphasis on pragmatism, but that denial of a spiritual hierarchy is key.
Martin Luther King, Jr. stated, "Communism is based on a materialistic and humanistic view of life and history. According to Communist theory, matter, not mind or spirit, speaks the last word in the universe. Such a philosophy is avowedly secularistic and atheistic. Under it, God is merely a figment of the imagination, religion is a product of fear and ignorance, and the church is an invention of the rulers to control the masses. Moreover, Communism, like humanism, thrives on the grand illusion that man, unaided by any divine power, can save himself and usher in a new society--"
Gramsci wrote that "the mode of being of the new intellectual can no longer consist in eloquence … but in active participation in practical life, as constructor, organiser, "permanent persuader" and not just a simple orator…" See above. Here is where the Chomskyites and Alinskyites come in. with grass roots political and social activism. But, there is more...The intellectuals were not merely to be in academia, or politics, but everywhere, changing the philosophical roots of the culture from within. Again, the emphasis is on pragmatism and what works in the relationships between people and groups of people,such as labor unions. However, what actually binds people together to want to do things together is a less than satisfactory explanation, being basically the historical context of "subjectivism", lacking any hierarchical ideology and denying any universals. In other words, humans create their own reality which changes constantly in history and context. This is a variation of the heresy of immanentism, which states that there is no God outside of man, and leads to the complete denial of God. Of course, if all meaning and history are created by humans, there is no God or plan outside the temporary. Historicism is a combination of immanentism and false progressivism or evolutionism, all condemned by Pope St. Pius X in his encyclical against Modernism (Star-Trek theories). Simplified here and here.
Gramsci also wrote of what he called the "long march through culture", which was his idea of infiltrating the media, the Church, journalism, schools, universities, the judiciary and so on. In the posting below on Levin a day ago, one can see how this has happened in government and political theory. Georg Lukacs, Gramsci's follower, was the one who came up with the idea of sex education as undermining Christianity in the culture. One can see that in Ireland today, with the push to end Catholicism in schools. This has already happened in England. These ideas have been part of the elite of education in America, in Great Britain and now, in Ireland since the 1950s. By placing anti-Christian curricula in the schools such as anti-abstinence and pro-homosexuality, the Christian, and specifically, the Catholic religion would be destroyed in the culture. Now, this is mainstream. In addition, Latin and Greek were to be removed from the curricula, so that the continuity of Catholic and Western culture would be destroyed. All this has happened. It happened a long time ago when my brothers were in high school, and now they are in their early fifties. They did not get Classical Education. Some of these references are here.
I had Classical Education, including Latin, and world history, as well as Church history, logic, ethics, civics, Plato, Aristole, etc. I was in the last generation to get the pre-Gramsci education, which was based on the Jesuits and on the Catholic-based Western Civilization. The destruction is now all but complete. All this was done in the name of "democracy" and the destruction of elitism. Anyone who decries elitism is a Gramscian at heart. In the early 2000s, I had a little business as a curriculum consultant, helping schools either move back to Classical Education or created new schools in this mode. Many people did this at the college level, like the founders of Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, or Wyoming Catholic, or Thomas More College. It works. Young people learn how to think and how to preserve the beauty of Western Civilization. They discern the Marxist fallacy of class warfare in the present milieu and the nihilism of Post-Modernism.
A drop in the ocean, I am afraid, are these efforts, as the powers that be are outlawing independence in education and outlawing home schooling. Look at developments this week in Sweden. The term "social engineering" has come to mean many things, but in academia and in politics, it means the appropriation of Gramsci and Lukacs' ideals of infiltration and destruction, of the emphasis on the pragmatic and not the person. In the construction of a new society based on relationships, this destruction of frameworks of relationship seems counter-productive. But, for Gramsci, humans are capable of inter-relating without religion or even metaphysics of any kind. I always wonder when reading this why people would bother to work for such a society.
Why? Because these men hate the Church and Western Civ, they set out to destroy both, knowing what Belloc so succinctly wrote that "The Faith is Europe and Europe is the Faith." Thanks to Gramsci and others, like Kant, we barely have the Faith and we barely have Europe....Gramscians deny that he intended to destroy culture, but I cannot see that his explanations and plans mean anything but that as a consequence of human activity to set up a society without Faith or the culture based on that Faith. Herein lies a paradox in Gramsci.
When I met my first true follower of Gramsci he said to me. "One cannot be a scholar and a Catholic." The implication was that only those who had thrown off the tyranny of the teaching of the Church, of Aquinas, Bonaventure, Augustine, even Maritain or Gilson, could one think. Not so, as Gramsci himself needed the past to resconstruct or rather desconstruct Western society. He relied on the writings of some of the "great books", the same he seemed to decry. The Gramscian error lies in the fact that the Marxist has just accepted another ideology in place of the teachings of the Catholic Church, and one more illogical and self-serving than that of the Church. Gramsci's emphasis on intellectuals and activists leading society away from the Church and Western Civilization just replaces one ideal system for his own. The error lies in the denial of the basic premises of natural law philosophy and the desire of the human will for freedom from social engineering. Over and over, he writes about historicism, mentioned above, the idea that humans get their identity from societal relationships and not from nature. In this sense, Gramsci is the arch-relativist, the grave error of the American educational systems today. He is a relativist also in so far as he does not believe in the absolute materialism of the Marxist, but a created, practical materialism. This pragmatism may be where one sees Gramsci being influenced by Machiavelli, the ultimate pragmatist. However, even with relativism or utilitarianism, a backlash comes eventually and the backlash is barbarism. The only idea that has historically changed the barbarian is Christianity.
The reason why barbarism is the ultimate failure of Gramsci's desire for atheistic communism is that the lowest common denominator of a human mode of being emerges from the death of the West. Communism and historicism fall to the armies of complete selfish, narcissistic individuals who only think of themselves and not the common good. Ergo, the Russian mafia. There is no longer a common good. There is no state to adore. This is complete Post-modernist deconstructionism and nihilism. In the post-society, the only remaining ideals are the death-wish and the desire for power. Interestingly enough, Gramsci was against worship of the state and believed that the proletariat could rule without such an organization. He thought that a regulated society could rule itself-this is the false ideal of utopianism, see post below on Levin's book. Order does not spring out of mere pragmatism. In fact, I would state that relativism and atheistic anarchy comes out of utilitarianism. Here is the difference between Michelle and POTUS. She is a true Alinksy activist and he is a narcissist. However, they both fall into the Gramsci camp of relativism.
Sadly, all of the idealism of the Gramscian falls to the neo-barbarians desires for personal, physical satisfaction and the death-wish. What Gramsci and his followers fail to take into consideration is raw evil, or Evil, if one can be so primitive as to believe, as I do , that Evil is a Person, who is pure spirit. The idealism of the Marxist or neo-Marxist cannot stand up against the greed and hatred of the world, the flesh and the devil. It doesn't matter in the long run, as the Marxist, as well as Evil, desires the destruction of the West and the Catholic Church. Marxism undoes itself by unleashing deeper powers, such as one understands in the dabbling of the occult. There is always something under the atheism and narcissism. But, those who deny the spiritual world. those who are complete materialists, overlook this important concept. In that spiritual world is found naked power. In the praxis of history and human activity, as described by Gramsci, there is no accounting for this evil. However, evil exists. It states, "Non serviam" I will not serve. Jeremiah 2:20--"Of old time thou hast broken my yoke, thou hast burst my bands, and thou saidst: I will not serve. For on every high hill, and under every green tree thou didst prostitute thyself."
That is what the neo-barbarians understand. Naked power does not need an ideology in order to succeed. Power just wants power. However, the good news is that such power undoes itself. It self-destructs over and over again. That is the nature of evil-it cannot create, it can only destroy. But, destroy, it does.