Obama did not hide his intention to transform America. He stated that he would. What he did not say is what he would transform it into. But even a superficial acquaintance with his upbringing among dedicated Communists, education by Marxist professors, chosen affiliations to revolutionary and even terrorist Leftists, and activity as a “community organizer” could have told anyone paying attention in what direction he would try to move the country if he was elected to the presidency. He clearly intended to transform, if he could, a free capitalist country into an unfree socialist country. (What could not have been foreseen, but has become starkly clear, is that he also favors the advance of Islam in the US and the world.)
How a radical Leftist activist, once in power, might set about transforming America into a socialist country was blueprinted by Saul Alinsky – initiator of “community organizing” – in his Rules for Radicals. And Saul Alinsky had a blueprint in the works of Antonio Gramsci.
There’s an excellent survey of the life and works of Antonio Gramsci at Discover the Networks. Here’s an extract:
Antonio Gramsci was born in Sardinia on January 22, 1891. After graduating from the Dettori Lyceum in Cagliari, he won a scholarship to the University of Turin in 1911; by this point in his life, he was ideologically a socialist.
Four years later he became an active member of the Italian Socialist Party (PSI) and began a journalistic career that saw him develop into one of Italy’s most influential writers. In the Turin edition of Avanti! (PSI’s official organ), Gramsci wrote a regular column on various aspects of the city’s social and political life.
Also active in educating and organizing Turin’s workers, Gramsci in 1916 began speaking periodically at workers’ study-circles on such topics as the French and Italian revolutions and the writings of Karl Marx.
When Russia’s Bolshevik revolution broke out in 1917, Gramsci embraced the goal of spreading socialist transformation throughout the capitalist world.
In the spring of 1919, Gramsci co-founded L’Ordine Nuovo: Rassegna Settimanale di Cultura Socialista (The New Order: A Weekly Review of Socialist Culture), which became an influential periodical among Italy’s radical and revolutionary Left. Meanwhile he continued to devote much of his time and energy to the development of the factory council movement, which sought to advance the cause of a proletarian revolution in Italy.
In January 1921 Gramsci aligned himself with the Communist minority within PSI at the Party’s Livorno Congress, and soon thereafter he became a central committee member of the Italian Communist Party (PCI).
From May 1922 to November 1923, Gramsci lived in Moscow as an Italian delegate to the Communist International. In 1924 he relocated to Rome and was named general secretary of PCI. He also began organizing the launch of PCI’s official newspaper, L’Unità (Unity).
In 1926, Italy’s Fascist government enacted a host of “Exceptional Laws for State Security,” designed to suppress political opposition. On November 8th of that year, Gramsci was arrested in Rome and was sentenced to 5 years in confinement on the island of Ustica. In June 1928, his prison sentence was increased to more than 20 years, including a stint in solitary confinement. …
He died, still under guard, in a Rome hospital in 1937.
During his years as a prisoner, Gramsci filled 32 notebooks (containing almost 3,000 pages) with his political and philosophical meditations on how Marxist theory could be applied practically to the conditions of advanced capitalism. …
Gramsci accepted Marx’s assertion that perpetual struggle between the ruling class and the subordinate working class was the driving mechanism that ultimately made social progress possible. But he rejected the notion that direct physical coercion by police and armies was the method of choice for achieving and maintaining victory in that struggle. Rather, Gramsci held that if a population at large could, for a period of time, be properly indoctrinated with a new “ideology”—specifically, a set of values, beliefs, and worldviews consistent with Marxist principles — a Marxist system could be sustained indefinitely and without coercion or force. In short, Gramsci held that Marxists needed to focus their efforts on gaining “hegemony” (i.e., control or dominion) over the core beliefs of non-Marxist societies; to change the population’s understanding of what constitutes basic “common sense.”
Such a development, said Gramsci, would never occur naturally as a result of some inexorable, unseen, “historical laws” that Marx had accepted as axiomatic. Rather, Gramsci asserted that Marxism’s potential for transforming society was wholly dependent upon the willful initiative of activists committed to using a “reversal strategy” designed to establish a “counter hegemony”—i.e., an alternative dominant worldview—in opposition to the existing capitalist framework.
Specifically, Gramsci called for Marxists to spread their ideology in a gradual, incremental, stealth manner, by infiltrating all existing societal institutions and embedding it, largely without being noticed, in the popular mind. This, he emphasized, was to be an evolutionary, rather than a revolutionary, process that, over a period of decades, would cause an ever-increasing number of people to embrace Marxist thought, until at last it achieved hegemony. Gramsci described this approach as a “long march through the institutions”.
Among the key institutions that would need to be infiltrated were the cinema and theater, the schools and universities, the seminaries and churches, the media, the courts, the labor unions, and at least one major political party. According to Gramsci, these institutions constituted society’s “superstructure,” which, if captured and reshaped by Marxists, could lead the masses to abandon capitalism of their own volition, entirely without resistance or objection.
Gramsci’s formula was followed by Marxists throughout the Western world. “The long march through the institutions” was doggedly pursued. From the 1960s on, they began to achieve success, perhaps beyond their own optimistic expectations. And in 2008 their efforts were crowned by the election of Barack Obama to the most politically powerful position in the world.
Socialism (or “Communism” – even in the USSR the two words were used interchangeably) is an economic dream-system that cannot succeed. So it will not succeed. But it takes time for a socialist state to fail completely, and in the meantime it does ruinous and painful harm.
In Europe the failure of socialism is gathering pace as calamities crowd to a fall.
In America the harm is only just beginning.
Millions of voters who have resided in America their whole lives have immigrated without moving an inch. They don’t live in the country of their birth even if they’ve never travelled outside its borders. This is not your father’s America. It’s not even your older brother’s.
So writes Daniel Flynn, in an article at Front Page.
The electorate that voted Ronald Reagan into the presidency in 1980 was 88 percent white, ten percent black, and two percent Hispanic. The body politic that reelected Barack Obama in 2012 was 72 percent white, thirteen percent black, ten percent Hispanic, three percent Asian, and two percent “other” …
The changing complexion of America may be the most superficial of the major demographic shifts. Getting married and bringing children into the world are less popular now than at any point in U.S. history. In 1980, just 18 percent of births occurred to women not married to their child’s father. Now, that figure exceeds 40 percent. Without a daddy in their house, many single mothers look for a daddy in the White House. …
So many Americans now depend on government for food, shelter, retirement, education, health care, and even jobs that the party of government almost guarantees itself a majority long before the campaign has started. Consider that in 1980 slightly more than twenty million Americans received food stamps. In 2012, the number approaches fifty million. From bailed-out Toledo autoworkers to the comfortably unemployed approaching 99 weeks of benefits in Detroit to Georgetown co-eds desiring free birth control, the Democrat constituency is the coalition of the bought. …
Republicans Tuesday suddenly came to grips with the changes that have been slowly transforming the United States of America. …
There has been a revolution within the form.
The nation’s name remains the same. Its habits, and inhabitants, have changed beyond recognition.
A majority of Americans chose socialism. They may not call it that, but that is what they’re getting with their choice of Obama.
As Daniel Flynn says, the transformation of America did not come suddenly. The November 2012 election was only the consummating event. Preparation for it started decades ago. To choose an arbitrary date, one might say 1968. But the realization that it has happened has come suddenly to the Republican Party.
The change came to the West in general.
Since the advent of the “New Left”, generations of children have been educated to believe that socialism is good, capitalism is bad. In American public schools, the teaching of every branch of the humanities is an indoctrination of socialism. American history is taught as a shameful tale. The books of modern fiction prescribed for student reading more often than not carry the messages of the left: anti-capitalism, egalitarianism, environmentalism, multiculturalism. The nation state and military strength are bad. Pacifism and world socialist government are good. Business is a bad thing. (“Making a profit is a disease in our society”, declares that icon of the left, Noam Chomsky.) The person who succeeds in making money in business is ipso facto a bad person.
All this they were taught. It was a long concerted campaign. “The long march through the institutions” (the slogan that became a program, first uttered by Antonio Gramsci, founder of the Italian Communist Party) was patiently undertaken by the footsoldiers of the left, and steadily achieved. One by one the institutions were conquered: the schools and universities, many of the churches (easily turned from irrationalism to irrationalism, from one faith to another), the media, the entertainment industry; in Europe, and parts of America, even the police and the courts of law; eventually the government, and so the military and the intelligence services.
And conservatives did not notice the march. Or if they noticed it, they didn’t think it worth the effort to stop it. And now it cannot be reversed. It is a one-directional movement, a political ratchet.
So America goes socialist. The spectacle of other societies failing under socialism/communism/collectivism/statism should, in reason, make Americans shudder, not emulate them. But it hasn’t. Americans have caught the disease that is destroying the West.
What is its name?
As a failure to notice that socialist experiments have failed, it’s mental blindness.
As a failure to understand why they’ve failed, it’s mental feebleness.
As an open-eyed, fully conscious commitment to self-destruction, it is, in the medical term, suicidal ideation.
Democracy kills itself.
We often hear it said that the coming election is as raw a clash of political philosophies as can be imagined — the most important election since 1860. And in a sense, that’s true. The national divide over the issue of slavery and its expansion into the rapidly settling territories was a constitutional crisis of the first order. It took the Civil War to sort out an issue that the Framers had partially punted, at a dreadful cost of lives and treasure. Now we are engaged in a great Cold Civil War.
So Michael Walsh writes at PJ Media.
The decision American voters will make in November is far more than merely an ideological clash about what the Constitution meant or means. For that supposes that both sides are playing by the same rules, and have a shared interest in the outcome. That presumes that both sides accept the foundational idea of the American experiment, and that the argument is over how best to adhere to it.
That is false.
For some, this is a difficult notion to grasp. … The idea that one party — and you know which one I mean — is actively working against its own country as it was founded seems unbelievable.
But that is true.
Don’t take it from me, take it from Barack Hussein Obama who famously said on the stump in 2008: “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” …
“Fundamental transformation” is the Holy Grail of the modern Left — I do not say “American Left,” since much of its inspiration and sustenance is most definitely not American — and by “fundamental transformation” they mean the utter destruction of the founding principles of limited government, individual self-reliance and personal freedom. In their place, they bring the poisoned gifts of fascism, central planning and rule by a credentialed aristocracy of like-minded fellow travelers.
And when they say “by any means necessary,” you had better believe they mean it.
Election 2012 is not a clash of political parties but an existential struggle for the soul of America. To treat it as anything but that is both willful blindness and arrant foolishness.
We’ll accept the word “soul” in this context. He means the principles by which this nation lives. They must continue to be freedom and self-reliance, the principles on which this nation was founded, and which served it so well that it became the strongest and most prosperous in all history.
Until everyone on the Right fully grasps this, our country will remain under siege. It’s a siege that’s been ongoing, in one form or another, since the Wilson administration, with one side (and you know which one) “fundamentally” rejecting the Constitution — they’re getting bold enough to admit it now — and explicitly denigrating America’s history in order to prepare the way for their new progressive order.
The long march through the institutions has left a terrible trail of cultural destruction in its wake — which, of course, was precisely the intention.
This is why it’s crucial, when dealing with the Left, to reject the premises of their arguments, since those premises must necessarily posit that there is something “fundamentally” wrong with the American system, and that they are the cure.
By rejecting their premises, you do more than simply level the playing field: you also force them out of hiding and either cause them to flee or, more rarely, actually admit their true intentions — something that is almost impossible for them to do. For they [conceal] their destructive purposes under the rubrics of “Fairness,” “Tolerance,” “Compassion,” etc.
We think his description of the present intense clash between collectivism on the one side and liberty on the other as “cold civil war” is no exaggeration.
It’s a choice we have to make next November, and we’re only going to have one last chance to get it right.
Melanie Phillips writes:
Twenty years ago today, supporters of freedom and human rights cheered and wept for joy as the Berlin Wall was torn down by jubilant young Germans.
To so many, that heady day seemed to herald the emergence of a better world. The spectre of communism had finally been laid to rest. Liberty had triumphed over tyranny.
The end of the Cold War even led some to proclaim that this was ‘the end of history’ — which was to say that liberal democracy was now the dominant and unchallengeable force in the world. However, the 9/11 attacks on America tragically proved this to be absurdly over-optimistic. The eruption of radical Islamism revealed that, while the West may have been rid of one enemy in the Soviet Union, another deadly foe had risen to take its place.
So much is, sadly, all too evident. But what is perhaps less obvious is that communism did not just vanish in a puff of historical smoke.
The Soviet Union was defeated and fell apart, for sure. But the communist ideology that fuelled it did not so much disintegrate as reconstitute itself into another, even more deadly form as the active enemy of western freedom.
Soviet Communism was a belief system whose goal was to overturn the structures of society through the control of economic and political life. This mutated into a post-communist ideology of the Left, whose no-less ambitious aim was to overturn western society through a subversive transformation of its culture. …
The collapse of communism was actually a slow-burning process. Its moral and political bankruptcy became obvious decades before that glorious Berlin day in November 1989. … But as communism slowly crumbled, those on the far-Left who remained hostile towards western civilisation found another way to realise their goal of bringing it down. This was what might be called ‘cultural Marxism’. It was based on the understanding that what holds a society together are the pillars of its culture: the structures and institutions of education, family, law, media and religion. Transform the principles that these embody and you can thus destroy the society they have shaped.
This key insight was developed in particular by an Italian Marxist philosopher called Antonio Gramsci. His thinking was taken up by Sixties radicals — who are, of course, the generation that holds power in the West today.
Gramsci understood that the working class would never rise up to seize the levers of ‘production, distribution and exchange’ as communism had prophesied. Economics was not the path to revolution. He believed instead that society could be overthrown if the values underpinning it could be turned into their antithesis: if its core principles were replaced by those of groups who were considered to be outsiders or who actively transgressed the moral codes of that society.
So he advocated a ‘long march through the institutions’ to capture the citadels of the culture and turn them into a collective fifth column, undermining from within and turning all the core values of society upside-down and inside-out. This strategy has been carried out to the letter.
The nuclear family has been widely shattered. Illegitimacy was transformed from a stigma into a ‘right’. The tragic disadvantage of fatherlessness was redefined as a neutrally-viewed ‘lifestyle choice’.
Education was wrecked, with its core tenet of transmitting a culture to successive generations replaced by the idea that what children already knew was of superior value to anything the adult world might foist upon them. The outcome … has been widespread illiteracy and ignorance and an eroded capacity for independent thought.
Law and order were similarly undermined, with criminals deemed to be beyond punishment since they were ‘victims’ of society …
The ‘rights’ agenda — commonly known as ‘political correctness’ — turned morality inside out by excusing any misdeeds by self-designated ‘victim’ groups on the grounds that such ‘victims’ could never be held responsible for what they did. …
This mindset also led to the belief that a sense of nationhood was the cause of all the ills in the world, precisely because western nations embodied western values. So transnational institutions or doctrines such as the EU, UN, international law or human rights law came to trump national laws and values.
But the truth is that to be hostile to the western nation is to be hostile to democracy. And indeed, with the development of the EU superstate we can see that the victory over one anti-democratic regime within Europe — the Soviet Union — has been followed by surrender to another.
For the republic of Euroland puts loyalty to itself higher than that to individual nations and their values. It refused to commit itself in its constitution to uphold Christianity, the foundation of western morality. …
We agree with most of what she says, but not with the value she places on the Christian religion and Christian morality. We do not believe that the greatness of Europe is due to Christianity. We share with Edward Gibbon the opinion that Christianity brought a thousand years of darkness down on Europe. What made Europe great was the Renaissance and the Enlightenment: the rediscovery of Greco-Roman civilization, the displacement of a deocentric by an anthropocentric world-view, the rise of scientific enquiry, the revival of the Socratean questioning of ideas in general, the ideal of personal liberty, the triumph of rationality. In other words, by the loosening and finally the casting off of the shackles of religion, even though Christianity, in proliferating variety, continued to exert a malign influence on Europe’s history for some centuries after Spinoza and Hume crippled it.
The dark ideologies of Leftism and Islam cannot be overcome by the darkness of another religion, but only by reason. Physical force may be necessary, and should not be shirked when it is. But victory in war – as victory in the Cold War demonstrated – is not sufficient if the ideology lives on, whether openly or incognito under new names. It is the argument that must be won, however hard it is to change by reason a view that has not been arrived at by reason. Reason’s victory is enormously aided by its practical achievements in science and technology. Even the dark-age Muslims extant in our world want vaccinations, organ-transplants, aircraft, telephones, television, computers, the internet, refrigerators – and also, ever more determinedly and dangerously, nuclear weapons. The West failed to keep those out of the hands of Communist and Muslim states, which is why war may be necessary again quite soon. Our side, the side of reason, demands that our weaponry should always be more advanced than the enemy’s. As long as we can innovate, we can win. Innovation is the child of freedom and rationality.
In the 1960s the New Left undertook to change the Western World to be more like the totalitarian East by embarking on ‘the long march through the institutions’. A target institution would be infiltrated and subverted, turned if possible, or discredited. The prize targets were the media, the universities, local government, the police, national parliaments. Philanthropic organizations like Amnesty International and the charitable foundations were among the easier targets to take over or exploit. Slowly but steadily, taking advantage of the freedom they were dedicated to destroying, the red revolutionaries succeeded.
To see how the trick was worked on a comparatively small scale, look at the ‘Chicago Annenberg Challenge’. A respectable charitable foundation was asked for funds for educating the disadvantaged. All-too-innocent trustees responded generously, since that is what they were entrusted to provide funds for. But the people who received and would administer the funds were far left ideologues, among them one William Ayers, a leading and active member of a terrorist organization who escaped being sent to prison through a legal nicety. He appointed BARACK OBAMA to head the beneficiary organization. The funds, granted in good faith, were misdirected, not to education – though it looked as if that’s what they were being used for – but to indoctrination. So the far left ideologues brought off another political scam. The appointment advanced Obama on his personal long march.
(Here’s a link to an article explaining how Ayers was responsible for the appointment of Obama to the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. )
The hands of the subversives are firmly on many of the levers of power. And now the most desirable and essential destination of the long march is within their reach: the presidency of the United States of America.
Make no mistake about it: whatever Barack Obama says to get himself there, however he seems to be ‘moving to the centre’ and distancing himself from his political origins, he is a creature of the Revolutionary Left. His policies and his appointees will prove it if he gets there.