The smoking ban has always struck me as an act of cultural vandalism, and part of a war on traditional British culture by people who, even if they have been elected as MPs, hate that culture.
The global warming scare can be seen as a war on industrial civilisation, upon business and trade. It also can be seen as a cultural war.
And then there’s the Christian churches. The Archbishop of Canterbury was complaining not long ago that Christianity was being "denormalised". Roman Catholicism has, relatedly, come under strong attack in recent years over paedophile scandals dating back many decades (This is something I find rather puzzling, because for 7 years I was taught by Benedictine monks, none of whom laid or finger on me, nor any of my fellow pupils. Yet we’re led to believe that paedophilia has been endemic in the church for half a century, if not longer.) This is another cultural war.
And then there’s the foxhunting ban, which is also cultural war.
Not being married, or having any children, I’ve not experienced the other cultural assaults on the family and upon education. But I believe there’s as much a cultural war going on there as elsewhere.
Add to that a mass media, led by the BBC, which pumps out propaganda for global warming, or for antismoking, or any other noble lefty cause, and it can be said that British culture is beset on all sides by cultural armies.
And it’s not just British culture, but also American culture. And for all I know, Dutch and French and Spanish culture too. In fact European culture in totality.
And perhaps this isn’t accidental. Perhaps there is a real cultural war. A "long march through the institutions" of a sort set out in the 1930s by Gramsci:
Gramsci insisted that alliances with non-Communist leftist groups would be essential to Communist victory. In our time, these would include radical feminist groups, extremist environmental organizations, so-called civil rights movements, anti-police associations, internationalist-minded groups, liberal church denominations, and others. Working together, these groups could create a united front working for the destructive transformation of the old Judeo-Christian culture of the West.
Isn’t that pretty much what’s happening?
The above quote is taken from an article about the Frankfurt School, which was set up in Germany in 1923 by Georg Lukacs, Herbert Marcuse, and Theodor Adorno to consider ways of transforming Western culture. When Hitler took power they fled to America, where Marcuse later became one of the leading lights of the US "counterculture" in California during the 1960s (I read one of his books at the time, and couldn’t make head or tail of it). Other leading lights included Erich Fromm (whose "To Have or To Be" is actually a very readable book, unlike anything Marcuse ever wrote).
I don’t remember the 1960s as being particularly infused with socialism. The hippies weren’t socialists. Socialism was a marginal influence. Marxism was (and remains) a rather alien Germanic sort of idea in Anglo-Saxon countries. It’s rather incomprehensibly turgid (as I found reading Marcuse, and later Marx).
The idea was to create the conditions needed for revolution.
If I understand this right, the "long march through the institutions" ends up with the media and schools under their control. And this control is used to undermine and destabilise society, and creating the necessary conditions of alienation to trigger a revolution against the oppressive capitalist-bourgeois ruling class.
But hang on…
If the Marxist-inspired Boomer generation is now in control of every public institution, haven’t they now themselves become the ruling class? Is there any need for a revolution, once that has happened?
Gramsci seemed to be thinking of a process where the media and schools and so on were secured in the hands of the Left, but the broader society remained bourgeois and capitalistic. But what actually seems to have happened is that more or less everything is in the hands of the Left, including pretty much the entire political class (Tories and David Cameron and BNP’s Nick Griffin and UKIP’s Nigel Farage too according to one source). What on earth is the point of fomenting revolution if the entire political class right the way down to the county council level, and the media, and the schools, etc, etc, is already in the hands of True Believers? The revolution has already happened!
The only possible sort of revolution, in such a circumstance, is a counter-revolution.
And that would seem to be (to use one of their favourite words) something of a contradiction. Which shouldn’t be too surprising, given the irrational character of this movement.
These people are visionaries and dreamers who have been trying to set in motion a socialist revolution. But their "long march" would seem to have been too successful. For not only did they infiltrate the media and the schools, but they are now installed in government all over the Western world. Any revolution now will not result in the overthrow of the Christian bourgeois capitalist order: it will result in the overthrow of the Marxist veterans of the "long march".
So what do they do next? If they instigate a revolution like they’re supposed to do, it can only be them who are overthrown. It is as if Marx and Engels and Lenin and Stalin and Trotsky and Gramsci and Marcuse all ran for office, and all got elected (without anyone knowing who they were), and then busily started working to overthrow the hated system that, erm, elected them.
Most likely they’ll all start falling out with each other. On the one hand there’ll be the Gramscian faithful, who’ll be demanding that the long-awaited glorious revolution be inaugurated. And on the other hand there’ll be others who will recognise that a revolution would see them all ousted. And the former will then accuse the latter of ‘selling out’ their principles, and betraying the revolution.
Furthermore, since they’re fundamentally all deeply irrational idealists and dreamers, they’re bound to make crass mistakes whatever they do – because that’s what stupid and irrational people helplessly do.
And they’ll find that, far from being the leaders of a revolution, they have themselves become the embodiments of a hated and tyrannical political order which ordinary people are struggling to overthrow. Even if they are now trying as hard as possible to forestall the revolution they had originally set out to instigate, ordinary people will want to overthrow them all the more with every crass mistake they make.
And all the Marxists in government will start to belatedly read up on how to manage a capitalist free-market economy. And the counter-revolutionary right will start reading the Marxist-Leninist handbooks of "How to start a revolution in 3 Easy Steps," or "Anarchy 101". For Left will have become Right, and Right will have become Left.
And when the counter-revolution finally comes, the counter-revolutinaries will act to restore the traditional culture which these political cuckoos usurped. The church bells will ring. And the media will start reporting openly and honestly. And children will be taught how to add and subtract. And politicians will start telling the truth.
And pubs will re-open to smokers.
And everyone will live happily ever after.