CULTURAL MARXISM A Film Review
by Nelson Hultberg
"The United States has undergone a cultural, moral and religious revolution. A militant secularism has arisen in this country. It has always had a hold on the intellectual and academic elites, but in the 1960s it captured the young in the universities and the colleges.
"This is the basis of the great cultural war we're undergoing….We are two countries now. We are two countries morally, culturally, socially, and theologically. Cultural wars do not lend themselves to peaceful co-existence. One side prevails, or the other prevails.
"The truth is that while conservatives won the Cold War with political and economic Communism, we've lost the cultural war with cultural Marxism, which I think has prevailed pretty much in the United States. It is now the dominant culture. Whereas those of us who are traditionalists, we are, if you will, the counterculture."
So states Patrick J. Buchanan in the opening scenes of James Jaeger's new film, CULTURAL MARXISM: The Corruption of America. As always, Buchanan is outspoken and splendidly patriotic in his testimony on the present degeneration of our country. Many of us born before the 1960s and its shocking nihilism agree vehemently with him. We were raised in a land far removed philosophically from the America we are cursed with today, and this disturbing fact weighs heavily upon our hearts and minds.
America's Social Collapse
We, who were raised in pre-nihilist America, find most of today's movies, TV programs and literary works hideous and depressing. We cringe at the obsessive sexuality of Hollywood's cinematic pretensions, at its love affair with anti-heroes, and the reprehensible way it so cavalierly saturates its stories with over-the-top violence. We find ourselves aghast at how much boorish mediocrity and phantasmagoric ugliness pulsate through the commercial byways of modern America calling itself "cutting-edge art from the avant-garde." And we wonder what is it that has wrought such decadence -- where once righteous ideals and a heroic sense of life prevailed?
Is there a reason, we lament, why we must endure movies about sniveling Ratso Rizzos instead of dashing Rhett Butlers and plucky Gunga Dins? Why miasma and moroseness now dominate the social stream instead of the spirit of magnanimity and unbridled optimism of our ancestors? Why sweet drug poisons such as "crack " and "Methamphetamine" invade the lives of callow youths in ghetto and country club alike? Why middle class Americans (who once worshiped self-reliance) now shamefully demand more and more entitlement handouts from government? Why our elected leaders in Washington have become despicable quislings slithering around in Machiavellian muck? Why family life and marriage, the very founts of civilization, are treated so shabbily by psycho-babble experts? Why androgyny is so zealously promoted by liberals on every other television show and homosexuality is pawned off as a "Marlboro Cowboy life style?" Why tradition and honor are scorned by professorial elites pontificating endlessly about how America's original moral principles were repressive?
There is indeed a reason why this tragic disintegration of American life's value has swept over the country this past century. It is called "Cultural Marxism." It is not the only reason why our culture is collapsing into decadence, but it is perhaps the most important reason.
Cultures are vast mosaics of human aspirations, loves, needs and fears played out within the context of their time, their geography, their natural wealth, and the vision of their most brilliant thinkers. There are always numerous factors that move a culture toward truth and high-minded freedom or toward fallacy and the dust bin of history. But usually there are one or two of the reasons that are paramount while the others are secondary. In this case, the paramount reason is the deliberate ideology of "Cultural Marxism" that invaded our nation back in the 1930s.
What exactly is this horrific ideology that has brought our way of life to such a sorry denouement, and how did it originate? That is what Jaeger's film is all about; and he paints a riveting portrayal of a great country brought to ruin over an 80 year stretch by patiently sinister minds warped by a Mad Hatter's view of reality.
In 2007, William S. Lind, a brilliant conservative thinker affiliated with the Free Congress Foundation in Washington, wrote an article titled, "Who Stole Our Culture?" In it he outlined what Cultural Marxism was all about, hammering home for the first time to Americans in general what Cultural Marxism had done to America. The article was a political / sociological tour de force because of the exceptional clarity with which Lind explained the ominous goals of the Cultural Marxist theoreticians beginning in the aftermath of World War I in Europe, followed by exportation of their agenda to America in the 1930s.
James Jaeger's film duplicates the brilliance and lucidity of Lind, only with the visual imagery of film. It gives Americans a perceptive explanation as to why our nation is committing insidious suicide under the guise of erecting the false ideal of social egalitarianism.
Americans are being dumbed down to a vulgarian's existence with Orwell's famous reversal of definitions ("Ignorance is Strength, Slavery is Freedom") infecting everything in which we partake. Jaeger's film exposes in spades this heartbreaking destruction of the Republic. The film's power lies in its haunting imagery and conceptual resonance. Thus it offers a wonderful educational tool to spread the word to the populace about how and why we as a people are so apathetically condoning enslavement and decadence. Our most treasured values have been turned upside down in a diabolical, "behind-the-curtain," Marxist orchestration that has taken over our schools, churches, movies, publishers and media in the way gangrene spreads its pustules up the length of a man's legs to invade his body's core where the lungs and heart reside.
Cultural Marxism's Beginning
It all began in the aftermath of World War I. The original theme of Karl Marx in the 19th century was that capitalism had to be destroyed. It was tyrannical and exploitative in nature. Under the guidance of Marxist revolutionaries, the workers of the world could eventually be made to realize this and rise up in revolt. A "collectivist" and "classless" society would then commence in which men and women no longer strived for personal profit, but for communal contribution, out of which they all would receive equal compensation. "From each according to his abilities; to each according to his needs" was the mantra that promised the ushering in of a utopia for mankind. Naturally what man's needs constituted were to be determined by the superior thinkers and organizers of society. But the important goal was all-pervasive egalitarianism to be imposed by Marxist theory and the rising up of the workers of the world to confiscate the factors of production, i.e., all property that the capitalists had created.
Unfortunately the only country where this new ideology was able to take hold was in Russia, and there only by means of the most brutal dictatorial methods. Marxism failed to spread to the rest of Europe and the world. The hoped for supporters of the revolution, the allegedly "exploited workers" of the capitalist countries, remained largely indifferent and refused to support the Marxist revolutionaries.
It was at this time around 1920 that several socialist intellectuals in Europe began to rework the theoretical basics of Marx. Naturally they couldn't come to grips with the fact that Marx might have been grossly wrong in his worldview. There had to be some other reason why the revolution had not occurred. That reason was supposedly found by two brilliant Marxist theoreticians, Antonio Gramsci in Italy and Georg Lukacs in Hungary. They posited that Western civilization, built as it was on the Judeo-Christian religion, had instilled evil values into man -- values of individualism, personal industry, family solidarity, monogamy, private property, patriotism, belief in a Creator God, etc. These values had brainwashed the workers of the world, which kept them from realizing their true destiny, which was to revolt and usher in a classless society. Gramsci and Lukacs insisted that the glorious socialist revolution would be impossible until these Judeo-Christian values had been destroyed. Then the workers would rise up and complete the vision of Marx.
The Frankfurt School
Thus began what Gramsci and Lukacs termed the "long march through the institutions." This meant the institutions of culture (schools, churches, movies, media, etc.), and it meant taking them over with socialist thinkers and sympathizers. Once taken over, they could then impart "true socialist values" to the people and raise new generations to give their loyalties not to God, country, and individualism, but to the State and collectivism. To implement this new direction in Marxism, they established the Frankfurt School in Frankfurt, Germany and benignly named it the Institute for Social Research.
This school of thought grew rapidly amidst the intellectual left, attracting such thinkers as Max Horkeimer, Theodor Adorno, Eric Fromm, Wilhelm Reich, and Herbert Marcuse to advocate its vision. They all offered different slants on just how to promote Gramsci's and Lukacs' goal of a new "cultural Marxism" replacing the old "economic Marxism." But they all basically agreed that the emphasis should not be on galvanizing workers into revolt as the older Leninist revolutionaries had concentrated on. The new emphasis would be on liberating all men and women from the "evil repression" and "tyrannical values" of Judeo-Christian civilization. To bring this about, they designed numerous strategies to discredit and smear the values that had forged and sustained the West for 2,000 years.
"Critical Theory," the brain-child of Max Horkeimer, was the first and most important of these strategies. Under its auspices, every tradition of Western life was to be redefined as "prejudice" and "perversion." And these redefinitions were to be instilled into the social stream via devastating, scholarly criticisms of all values such as the family, marriage, property, individualism, faith in God, etc. These criticisms proved to be quite successful in the aftermath of the world's collapse into the Great Depression, which brought about widespread disillusionment with the traditional capitalist society that had evolved in the West since the Renaissance and discovery of the New World.
The strategic criticisms were soon expanded by demarcating society's members as either "victims" or "oppressors." All who were economically successful were defined as oppressors, and all who were not successful were termed victims. Religious authorities became "witch-doctors." Advocates of different social roles for men and women became "fascists." Corporate heads became "exploiters." Fathers became "patriarchal tyrants." Families became "primitive clans." The stream of criticism was relentless and extremely sophisticated in an intellectual sense. Thus it mesmerized the pundit class who then disseminated the criticisms' fundamental content to the populace at large.
The New Marxism Comes to America
In the 1930s Hitler's rise caused the Frankfurt School to shift its base temporarily from Germany to the United States, where it settled in at Columbia University in New York City. From there it established a coven of collectivists that was to eventually spread its tentacles out to the entire American heartland. After World War II and the defeat of Hitler, most of the Frankfurt School intellectuals returned to Germany, but they left behind a large faction of sympathizers who furthered their strategies in the U.S. throughout the 1950s and into the '60s and '70s. One of the most important of these was philosopher Herbert Marcuse whose 1955 book, Eros and Civilization, promised a new paradise for man when all the trappings of capitalism and traditionalism had been rooted out of society.
Marcuse's next big tome in 1964, One-Dimensional Man, led to the New Left Hippie revolution of the 1960s. The famous Chicago Seven protesters in 1968 (Tom Hayden, Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, et al), along with radical feminist Angela Davis, were greatly influenced by the vitriol toward American capitalism found in Marcuse's One-Dimensional Man. Yale professor Charles Reich's The Greening of America in 1970 extended the New Left revolt. And earlier lethal contributions, such as Theodor Adorno's The Authoritarian Personality (1950) and Eric Fromm's Escape from Freedom (1941) continued to further seduce Americans into believing that everything they had formerly held to be true about life, morality and justice was terribly wrong.
Thus from the Frankfurt School's acolytes came a vast inundation of viciously destructive intellectual works, that eventually permeated every avenue of our culture to affect all Americans. Bevies of articles in the popular magazines attacked the traditions of American society year after year from 1935 to 1975. Subtly degenerate films such as The Wild Ones, Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice, Midnight Cowboy, Easy Rider, etc. invaded the traditional world of "straight Americans" to introduce them to the alluring joys of violence, mind-bending drugs, wife-swapping, secularism, materialism, relativism, and other new "liberating life choices." College courses proliferated about the "vast injustices" of capitalism and the "aristocratic inhumanity" of the Founding Fathers.
Herbert Marcuse heaped malevolent diatribes relentlessly upon the 1960s youth: "The West," he railed, "is guilty of genocidal crimes against every civilization and culture it has encountered. American and Western Civilization are the world's greatest repositories of racism, sexism, nativism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, fascism, and narcissism. American society is oppressive, evil, and undeserving of loyalty."
George Lukacs announced to gullible minds everywhere: "I see the revolution and destruction of society as the only solution. A world-wide overturning of values cannot take place without annihilation of the old values and a creation of new ones."
Did all this "critical devastation" come about conspiratorially? In a sense, yes, because it was behind-the-curtain so to speak. It was orchestrated from a small but fervent coterie of revolutionaries that lived in the thinker / writer world, the world of the Ivory Tower. But it was not precisely (or truly) conspiratorial because the term "conspiracy" means something secret and illegal; and the revolutionary goals of the Cultural Marxists were not exactly secret. They openly published books that furthered their goals. Yet their goals of destruction were secret in the sense that they were not divulged in full to the reading audience that flocked to their books. Were their goals illegal? Not in the sense of official law in the courts of mankind, but such goals were certainly illicit in the sense of natural law fashioned by Nature's God and decipherable by reason. So I think it is fair to say that the advocates of Cultural Marxism were engaging conspiratorially, just not the kind of conspiracy that prosecutors challenge in a courtroom.
The end result of all this is that from 1920 to 1960, the revolution of Karl Marx was thoroughly redesigned and re-launched. As Jaeger's film puts it, the Frankfurt School revolutionaries have given us "user-friendly Marxism" instead of the draconian Gulag version of the USSR. This new user friendly version took over the intellectual youth of the 1960s and turned them upside down value-wise. These intellectuals now control and administer our schools, media, courts, and legislatures. The cultural Marxists adopted Nietzsche's "transvaluation of all values," in which the Mad Hatter's world is instituted. Everything that previously was an evil now becomes a virtue while all the old virtues become evils. Individualism, self-reliance, property, profit, family, traditional marriage, fidelity to spouse, strength of will, personal honor, rising through merit -- all these integral pillars of our civilization become distinctive evils that oppress us as humans. They must be rooted out of our existence.
This was the purpose of the ideology of Cultural Marxism -- to root out the fundamentals of Judeo-Christian civilization and the splendid Camelot of Freedom it had created in America from 1776 to 1913. What is horrifying is that it has been triumphant. Marx has not buried us in an economic sense as Khrushchev boasted he would; but Marx has buried us in a cultural sense as Antonio Gramsci and Georg Lukacs planned over 80 years ago. James Jaeger's film demonstrates this in lucid fashion that is at once fascinating and abhorrent.
Can the traditional, Americanist vision that the Founding Fathers forged from the works of Aristotle, Aquinas, Locke, and Jefferson be saved? If it is to be saved, a very valuable tool for such salvation will be this elucidative film. It is a marvelous instrument to put into the hands of a teenager just entering college, or to show to apathetic neighbors who just can't seem to understand why modernity is in such shambles. It is the kind of film that shakes one up. It sends lightning bolts of insight into the viewer's mind.
In addition to Patrick Buchanan, also featured are other conservative / libertarian stalwarts of the socio-political scene in America such as Congressman Ron Paul; G. Edward Griffin (well-known producer and author of The Creature from Jekyll Island); Edwin Vieira, Jr. (constitutional attorney with four degrees from Harvard); and attorney-media expert, Dr. Ted Baehr (founder of MOVIEGUIDE and author of The Culture-Wise Family). Jaeger's company, Matrixx Productions, has teamed with producer-attorney, William L. Van Alen, Jr., and his Cornerstone Entertainment, to produce, not only CULTURAL MARXISM, but several other films in the past, among which were IF YOU CAN KEEP IT (featuring Dr. Peter Lillback, author of George Washington's Sacred Fire as seen on the Glenn Beck show numerous times), FIAT EMPIRE (which won the Telly Award, hit #1 on Google Video three times and has been screened or purchased by over five million people) and ORIGINAL INTENT (also featuring Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan). Cornerstone-Matrixx Entertainment, Inc. has been engaged in fighting collectivism in America by taking on the liberals in Hollywood, Washington and Wall Street for many years. You can buy a DVD of CULTURAL MARXISM: The Corruption of America at http://www.CulturalMarxism.org
The struggle patriots now face is titanic. It will require a Herculean effort to win, and the struggle is not relegated solely to Americans. All those throughout the West who love freedom and the resplendent values upon which it stands are inescapably drawn into this conflict whether they realize it or not. We are, all of us, confronted with a dreadful future because of the immense evil and falsity of past thinkers such as Marx, Lenin, Gramsci, and Lukacs. The only alternative to engaging their progeny in battle is to let these destroyers of our culture win by default -- which is utterly unacceptable.
CULTURAL MARXISM: The Corruption of America is a powerful arrow in the quiver of liberty. It needs to be viewed by patriots everywhere and then shared with friends and neighbors throughout one's circle of influence.
Nelson Hultberg is a freelance writer in Dallas, Texas and the Director of Americans for a Free Republic at http://www.afr.org His articles have appeared in such publications as The Dallas Morning News, the San Antonio Express-News, The American Conservative, Insight, Liberty and The Freeman as well as on numerous Internet sites such as The Daily Bell, Financial Sense, and World Net Daily. He is the author of The Conservative Revolution: Why We Must Form a Third Political Party to Win It, such book the new documentary SPOiLER is based upon. Email Mr. Hultberg at: firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTE: The above review appeared in THE DAILY BELL at http://www.thedailybell.com/1240/Nelson-Hultberg-Cultural-Marxism-The-Corruption-of-America.html
14 September 2001
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