Gerald Warner: Impact of politically correct Britain
Published: 06 October 2013
THE War of Comrade Miliband generated much sound and fury, but all the belligerents and observers ignored its most salient aspect – that this imagined inquest on a supposedly dead creed was being conducted in the context of a society now dominated by Marxism.
The Party Line is currently termed Political Correctness, but the outcome is the same: the reconfiguration of language to police thought and impose an ideology, the harassing of religion, the destruction of marriage and the family, and the coercive remodelling of culture to accommodate a fanatical aberration that defies human nature itself.
Political correctness is cultural Marxism. The term was coined by Anton Semyonovich Makarenko, Lenin’s education guru and favourite wordsmith (he also invented the phrase “dictatorship of the proletariat”). From the beginning, Marxists recognised there was a lot more involved in imposing totalitarian social control than nationalisation of the means of production, distribution and exchange. In Hungary in 1919, during the short-lived but murderous Communist dictatorship of Bela Kun, his deputy “commissar for culture”, Georg Lukacs, introduced a programme of “cultural terrorism” under which he imposed pornographic sex education on schoolchildren, promoting promiscuity, denouncing the family and encouraging pupils to mock their parents and religion. The question Lukacs posed was: “Who will save us from Western Civilisation?”
Four years later, Lukacs was one of the founders of the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt, from which emerged the obscenity known today as Frankfurt School Marxism, dedicated to the destruction of civilisation. Max Horkheimer, its sometime director, followed up Lukacs’ experiment by grafting Freudianism onto Marxism. In this he was followed by Herbert Marcuse, an admirer of the Marquis de Sade, who expressed his belief in “polymorphous perversity”. This was complemented by the cultural Marxism of Gramsci and other adherents such as Adorno. Whether or not the Frankfurt Marxists had become sceptical of the command economy as an economic instrument, their main target was “the culture”.
Hitler’s accession to power drove the Frankfurt School prophets to seek refuge in America, for whose current state of debilitation they are ultimately responsible. Their pretentious vapourings found favour in academic circles. Idiocies such as “deconstruction”, whereby the texts of great writers were shredded by literary pygmies and reinterpreted in the light of Marxist neuroses, and “critical theory” set about debauching the classical literary canon and vandalising knowledge. Under this impetus, academic campuses, for half a century, have remained the unreformed temples of anti-culture; university library shelves still groan beneath the weight of delusory Marxist tomes. In the US, college campuses have become, in the words of Robert Lind, “small ivy-covered North Koreas”.
By corrupting the educators, Frankfurt Marxism secured its ascendancy over the elites. Education, the media, publishing, politics – all the commanding heights have been occupied by the cultural Marxist forces of anti-civilisation. The targets are vestigial Christianity, traditional institutions, national identity, the family – seen as an intolerable rival to the intruder state – and relations between men and women. The instruments of subversion are mass immigration and multiculturalism, to abolish homogeneity and national identity; the imposition of politically correct language (foreseen by Orwell as “Newspeak”) to prevent the articulation of dissident ideas; hate laws (also predicted by Orwell as “thought crime”); feminism, designed to alienate women from traditional motherhood and family roles; and promotion of the homosexual agenda (because anti-family). The introduction of “aggravated” offences has ended equality under the law.
Initially espousing advocacy, the agenda has become blatantly coercive. Bans and prohibitions proliferate exponentially. Hideous neologisms such as “homophobia” or “Islamophobia” are intruded into public discussion (“discourse” in PC terminology) to distort debate; last week the ludicrous Bonnie Greer promoted a new absurdity: “gynophobia”. Their common adherence to cultural Marxism has made all three political parties complicit in a de facto one-party state: a Conservative prime minister has a minister for equalities. Tory politicians are routinely described as “socially liberal”; politics is about society – if they are socially liberal, they are liberal per se. Saul Alinsky, the Marxist activist, was the inspiration for David Cameron’s “Big Society”.
The PC Terror threatens the employment and career prospects – on occasion the liberty – of those who do not conform. Public opinion is brainwashed by such devices as the “availability cascade”, collective belief moulded via the availability in the public forum of PC views; the “reputational cascade”, threatening social disapproval of dissidents; or the “chilling effect” on contrary viewpoints – the old Trotskyite “dysphoria” of 1970s campuses redeployed. In the tradition of Lukacs and Marcuse, society is offered a Faustian bargain: release from personal responsibility and legitimisation of hedonism if the public will embrace libertinism in exchange for liberty. Unless this totalitarian menace is quickly overthrown, Britain will confront a Marxist lunar landscape beyond the grimmest nightmares conceived by Ralph Miliband. «