November 25, 2012
The New Normal: Turning Back Cultural MarxismBy Keith Riler
Post-presidential election commentary has focused on demographic trends. Another trend should also be noted, and that is cultural Marxism, a movement that seeks the elimination of codes of behavior, binding obligations, and moral standardsi. With President Obama's re-election, this drift will intensify.
Rousseau-inspired cultural Marxists aim to convert our country from a virtue-based community to a wilderness of wildly autonomous selves. In Rousseau's own words, these elites seek to "force us to be free" -- free in particular from self-evident and objective truth.
As has been the case for the last four years, this state-sanctioned amorality will be bureaucratically implemented and ignored by a pornography-addled media invested in the system's success. Resistance to this attack on virtue will occur in the social issue trenches, be exhausting but faith-enabled, and likely require court intervention.
However, because broken homes, broken marriages, sexually transmitted diseases, and incarcerated youths are still widely unpopular, values-oriented Democrats and social conservatives should reject cultural Marxism. Resistance can be a popular cause and, thus, virtue the focus around which a new majority coalesces.
To summarize, cultural Marxism rejects good things. In elite parlance, these things -- faith, family, children, love of others, the home, and the womb -- are "oppressive institutions," threats to self-fulfillment in a conflict-filled jungle.
Realization of the good and happiness presupposes knowledge of reality. Are virtues good or enslaving? Is marriage a loving vocation or an enemy of fulfillment? Our hearts and minds tell us one thing. Cultural Marxists see it differently and thus destroy much that is good:
Because we are human, we often fail to do the right thing, but policies that encourage vice are another matter entirely. Cultural Marxism would make us prodigal sons, irresponsible and unhappy. The prodigal son would eat swine husks, thus cultural Marxism opposes dignity. (This paragraph's use of "sons" is another oppressive institution; by extension, so are grammar, language, and biblical references.).
Societies embracing cultural Marxism are waning. The European Union's moral relativism and exclusion of Christian morality from the public square have led to the "end of Europe"ii. The CIA concurs: France, the U.K., Norway, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Austria, Hungary, Germany, and Italy have fallen below their replacement fertility rates. So now has the U.S. What was once the developed world is now the disappearing world, courtesy of the elite autonomy project.
Clearly, cultural Marxism doesn't work. It is unreasonable, has victims, and is societal suicide -- but will it dominate here? Recent politics indicates so. The Democrat convention was an abortion love-fest, and Barack Obama was re-elected. However, his slim 2.6% margin and key voting groups may offer hope:
And this question of hope is one of values. Specifically, is there any group in the left column for which virtue is more compelling than free stuff, other things being equal and traditional safety nets being sufficient? Who is a ready ally of self-evident truth and virtue? At 13% and 10% of the electorate, respectively, black and Hispanic voters merit examination.
Unfortunately, it seems that many black voters are cultural Marxists. Barack Obama embraced gay marriage between 2008 and 2012, and his black support barely budged (slipping from 96% to 93%). Likewise, black illegitimate births have peaked at 72.5% of all black births, and nearly half of all young black women have genital herpes.
Black Americans are also major aborters. Since Roe v. Wade, one-third of the black population has been eliminated -- 13 million black babies totaling 40-plus percent of all abortions, despite that only 6% of U.S. women are blackiii. This nihilistic self-induced genocide is consistent with cultural Marxism. Pray not, but some combination of cultural Marxism, redistribution, and race preference seems likely to anchor black voters in the left column, even if to their detriment.
There has been much debate about whether the Hispanic story is different. Charles Krauthammer's recent column was hopeful, describing Hispanics as "religious, Catholic, family-oriented and socially conservative." He is correct, but Hispanics have also seen increases in illegitimate births, particularly in acculturated generations. However, studies have shown a tendency for Hispanic mothers to subsequently marry at relatively high rates, particularly in the early years following an out-of-wedlock birth. Perhaps they marry the father.
Hispanics are also moving away from liberal coasts to more conservative flyover country, interestingly to "states that are among the stingiest for public benefits." In these states, the Hispanic work ethic is observed to be strong, and Hispanics are active parishioners.
So Hispanics do seem like a promising audience for a virtues platform and a conservative partnership, particularly with the legal citizenship stumbling block removed. In fact, virtuous Hispanics can be a much-needed societal leavening agent, hopefully acculturating our pop culture rather than being acculturated by it. Asian voters may represent a similar opportunity.
Finally, free stuff must be considered because free stuff is being offered (not just education and health care, but also 99-week unemployment benefits and birth control). For the Marxist, materialism is everything, and free stuff is the natural delivery system with which a voting base and cultural Marxism might be established.
And it is a question not of free stuff's absolute value, but rather of its relative value. If the gifts are meaningful, recipients might better tolerate Santa's true agenda. Pro-choice/pro-euthanasia/pro-nudity/pro-pot/pro-sodomy Santa can bait the hook and "force us to be free," by increasing the numerator or by decreasing the denominator -- that is, by increasing the dole or shrinking the private economy, so as to maximize the public component and minimize the private one.
Therefore, the "new normal" may be deliberate and applicable to more than just economics. Perhaps taxation and regulation are now designed to reduce business investment, employment, and personal income, thereby increasing both the absolute and relative importance of government transfers in hopes of gaining more converts and eliminating virtue. Viewed as an ideology, even an elite religion of sorts, cultural Marxism's deliberate degradation of economic well-being could very well be just an ends-justified mean.
So the choice boils down to free stuff/cultural chaos/misery versus work/order/happiness -- which is really just the difference between vice and virtue, given that sloth is vice and industry virtue. Virtue is always the right choice, whether or not a voting majority is ever established.
A move away from love-based virtue toward self-based autonomy is unreasonable and a flight from truth. Contrary to the opinion of many who pursue freedom merely for freedom's sake, modern radical autonomy has victims, as did its Jacobin predecessor. And, finally, cultural Marxism will result in a slothful societal euthanasia. The real question is whether the country will reject cultural Marxism as a near-term act of will or a by-default act of extinction.
Take heart: The immutable disadvantage of cultural Marxism is that it is untrue. Waning utopia is an oxymoron, radically autonomous people are lonely, adversarial feminists are angry, porn addicts are sad, and fatherless families are struggling. Sanity seeks the good which it finds in virtue, from which comes happiness. Happiness cannot come from radical autonomy. Let's hope the country sees this, seeks happiness through excellence, and votes virtue.
i See Jeffrey Bell's The Case for Polarized Politics for a more extensive discussion.
ii Ibid, Chapter 9, p235.
iii Estimates indicate US fertility rates would be 50% higher, a growth rate of 3.0 children versus today's decline rate of 2.0 children, if it weren't for abortion on demand.