There is something very wrong with Western culture today. At first, it seemed only as if in gradual decline, but now it appears to be on a rapid course toward self-destruction.
For the everyday Australian, it is both frustrating and confusing that our leaders seem more out-of-touch than ever before. Politicians, academics, journalists, and other so-called ‘elites’ appear to be living on a different planet to the rest of us. We are left perplexed and puzzled as to why the public discourse is dominated by fringe issues while neglecting matters that regular people are actually concerned about.
It can often appear that there is little difference between the major parties. No matter where you cast your vote, it can at times seem as though the choice is between different versions of the same worldview. There are tragically few remaining in public life with the courage and conviction to stand up to the fervent march of the radical-Left and call them out.
One of the reasons the Left have been so successful in promoting their seemingly omnipresent worldview has been the effectiveness of their ‘long march through the institutions.’ This gradual takeover of our institutions has gone largely unnoticed, but the persistence of the Left is finally paying dividends. The consequences are becoming increasingly apparent.
Free speech in this country is under attack like never before. You might lose your job, or dragged before a Human Rights Commission for simply expressing a view that does not align with the views espoused by the establishment.
By their own actions, we can readily observe that the Left want to rewrite history, tear down statues, indoctrinate our children, criminalise free speech, and silence those who would dare disagree.
This is no exaggeration. If you are concerned about Islamic terrorism, you’re labelled as Islamophobic. If you are not in favour of redefining marriage, overnight you become a homophobic bigot. If you believe that there are only two genders, you’re transphobic. And certainly, if you adhere to the traditional values of Christianity, you’re certainly on ‘the wrong side of history.’
But what if there was reason behind all this madness? What if these seemingly isolated issues were actually all symptoms of the same problem?
There is, in fact, a philosophy for those who classify people into categories, and who view the world through the distorted lens of class struggle: Marxism.
Marx’s view was fundamentally based on categorising people into abstract groups, and then manufacturing a history of oppression. The strategy of Marxists has always been to cultivate a victimised group, and then convince its members that solidarity is required against the supposed oppressors. If this sounds familiar, it’s because it is: the modern identity politics that dominates our public discourse is actually a manifestation of cultural Marxism.
The ‘long march through the institutions’ is a term coined in the 1960s by Marxist, Rudi Dutschke. He believed that his fellow revolutionaries were too overt in their agenda and instead should concentrate on infiltrating institutions such as government, media, and academia.
But a key influence for Dutschke was Italian Marxist, Antonio Gramsci, who was the founding member of the Communist Party of Italy in 1921. According to Gramsci, the greatest obstacle faced by Marxists was the Christian foundations of Western European cultures. The only way for Marxists to achieve their revolutionary ideals would be to destroy the foundations of Judaeo-Christian Western culture altogether.
Gramsci described the obstacle that Christianity posed to his Marxist agenda in his prison notebooks:
Any country grounded in Judaeo-Christian values can’t be overthrown until those roots are cut … Socialism is precisely the religion that must overwhelm Christianity … in the new order, Socialism will triumph by first capturing the culture via infiltration of schools, universities, churches and the media by transforming the consciousness of society.
Read today, these words are chillingly prophetic. A pervasive Leftist bias now exists in all of these institutions. Perhaps most telling is the fact that the influence of the Church has now receded significantly, and most have completely vacated the public square.
Sadly, it seems the objectives of the ‘long march’ are finally being realised. In recent years, our schools, universities, media, and government departments have all taken a sharp turn to the Left. It has only been until recently that they have garnered both attention and influence over our students. Alarmingly, their ideas are now educating the next generation of teachers, journalists, and politicians – one need only look as far as the University of Sydney’s latest ‘Unlearn’ campaign. Intellectual diversity is evaporating from public life, and so is individuality. People are increasingly placed into categories and divided along the lines of race, gender, and sexuality.
We have self-described Marxists authoring gender-fluidity programs for our schools, local councils are refusing to celebrate Australia Day, and Human Rights Commissions are censoring free speech. One could be forgiven for thinking that the lunatics have taken over the asylum.
We should never forget that communism has killed more people than Nazism. In other parts of the world where the failed ideologies of communism, Marxism, and socialism have prevailed, they have only ever brought misery and despair.
One thing, however, is certain. If we do not learn from the mistakes of the past, we are doomed to repeat them. We ought to hope that the current trajectory of the West is not terminal. But at present it seems, that we have neither the awareness nor the will to save ourselves from the poisonous identity politics of cultural Marxism.
Damien Tudehope is the Liberal Member for Epping in the New South Wales state parliament.
Illustration: Ben R Davis.
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