Remembering Martin L. Gross

In the late 1990s, I happened upon a radio interview with sociologist Martin L. Gross, who was promoting his book The End of Sanity: Social and Cultural Madness in America. The interview was broadcast on the local NPR affiliate in my area, and the host was predictably “woke,” well before that word was fashionable. He gave Mr. Gross quite a bit of pushback on many of the subjects covered in the book, such as affirmative action, gender issues, and Critical Race Theory long before most Americans had ever heard of the term.

The host brought up the issue of racially self-segregated dorms which Gross had discussed at length in the book. He derided Gross for cherry-picking what he termed “an aberration” and certainly not a cultural trend. Fast forward to 2021, and we find that not only are black-only dorms “a thing,” but commencement ceremonies are also being divided by race and gender identity. Gross was right on target and well ahead of his time.

Gross also saw the end result of political correctness, which was just getting off the ground in the 1990s. Again, the host mocked him for being “overly sensitive.” Today, we see the tyranny that this destructive Marxist-inspired ideology has delivered, put on steroids by the COVID-19 lockdowns and the demands surrounding the George Floyd protests/riots. It’s now a runaway train that shows no sign of slowing down any time soon.

Central to Gross’s thesis was what he called the “New Establishment” -- a dangerous combination of educators, judges, bureaucrats, and military leaders who abandoned the principles that have made America great in favor of cultural Marxism. Again, Gross was prescient in describing what we now recognize as the “Deep State” or “Permanent Bureaucracy,” which has regularly thwarted the will of a majority of the American people.

However, one of Gross’s predictions, unfortunately, did not come true. He believed that, even though judges have a cowardly tendency to avoid making definitive rulings on controversial cases, a solid conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court would effectively beat back these destructive far-left forces. Sadly, even though President Trump appointed what we thought were solid constitutionalists in Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Coney Barrett, these justices have, in many instances proven to be disappointing. The supposed “conservative” court’s refusal to hear the evidence in the 2020 election cases is nothing short of a disgrace.

Martin Gross’s remarkable career spanned over 60 years. In that time span, he took on government waste, affirmative action, political correctness, quack psychiatry and medicine, and confiscatory tax policies, as well as many other left-wing societal lunacies that have metastasized in the years following his death in 2013. It’s well worth your time to revisit the topics he covered in his books many years ago for perspective on how our society has reached this precarious position.

Michael A. Bertolone, M.S. is a freelance writer in Rochester, NY. You can find his American Thinker pieces here, as well as his other writings here.

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