Antonio Gramsci’s Counter-Hegemony is Evident in Today’s America
For many Americans it is hard to understand how our country has changed so dramatically over the past several years. It is easy to blame everything on Barack Obama as he is by far the most openly “leftist” president many of us can remember; however, the problem goes much deeper than one man. Most of us have fallen for the left/right paradigm where we believe one side is evil and the other is good while the media constantly contrasts the policies of Republicans and Democrats in news programs that shape the way we view the political landscape. To blame Barack Obama, or just the Democrats for that matter is to completely ignore the real problem that plagues our nation and unless we are willing to do some real soul searching and admit it will take more than just the election of Donald Trump, (as if that will help anything) we will lose our country. The problem we face is that most people don’t understand this because the country we think we are trying to save, for all practical purposes, hasn’t existed for a long time. We are engaged in a culture war that has been waging for over one hundred years and conservatism is losing, plain and simple. We are dealing with a diabolically patient enemy who years ago, set out on a plan to change our culture so slowly, so incrementally that with each passing generation, change goes virtually unnoticed. We are at the point now that many people in the younger generations simply have no idea about the true history of our country, or the meaning of her constitution because the left has been in firm control of nearly every institution we have held dear, for decades.
As I wrote in my book “Not on My Watch: Exposing the Marxist Agenda in Education,” Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937) was an Italian Marxist who shared Marx’s ideas of a communist revolution. Gramsci realized however; after seeing how Marx’s forced proletarian dictatorship had failed, that change would have to take place much more gradually. His idea, known as The Long March Through the Institutions involved the undermining of American values by infiltrating every aspect of our culture and government. Today, it is widely acknowledged that many of our cherished institutions have been destroyed and that government has turned into an oppressive system of untouchable bureaucracies where they enforce rules and regulations that have not been legitimately passed into law. The nuclear family has been discredited, genders have been confused, we have a culture in our universities where everything is offensive and considered a “micro-aggression,” killing your own baby is considered a civil right while being pro life is a form bigotry and every white man in the country is considered part of a privileged class in a system designed specifically to benefit them and them alone. These are but a few of the shocking changes our country has endured over the past century and they can be attributed to the idea of infiltrating our institutions and slowly changing the culture.
To be more specific, Gramsci’s ideas would build off of Marx and elaborate on the idea of a struggle between the classes. Whereas Marx believed that a revolution would occur by pitting the oppressed and exploited working class against the oppressive “bourgeois,” Gramsci took it further by creating several different oppressed classes based not only on wealth but on race, gender and even criminal status and then claiming they are oppressed because they are forced to live as minorities in systems designed for a dominant class. This is why we have feminists claiming that we live in a patriarchal society where men are paid more than women, and that virtually every minority in America can claim some kind of victimhood status because they are “oppressed victims.” According to Steven Yates, Gramsci believed that before any revolutionary state of mind could exist there would have to be a sort of “counter-hegemony,” or system of values that would represent the so called oppressed people’s while at the same time de-legitimizing the values of the socially dominant group. The word “hegemony” simply means-the social influence exerted by the dominant social group, so to speak of a counter-hegemony means to develop a social influence that is contrary to the main culture. Looking at America today it is easy to see that this is exactly what has occurred. We have been divided into many different social groups with the white, conservative male being labeled as the dominant-oppressive class, and all other groups sharing the burden of being an oppressed class. Each class has been assigned its own collective definition of oppressed life in America and they are all bound by one common idea. This so called “counter-hegemony” is the idea that they are all down trodden and oppressed by the white majority.
In “The Superior Virtue of the Oppressed,” Bertrand Russell notes that the left, namely liberals, socialists and communists have assigned a superior morality to the poor, as if because they were poor they automatically possessed more compassion towards other people than the dominant social group typically would. He also notes how different so called socially oppressed peoples were assumed to have different, superior virtues. For instance, American intellectuals once assumed that the Africans had possessed a superior “earth consciousness” and were more connected to nature in the same way that the English once thought the Irish possessed a mystical insight. These virtues tended to disappear as these oppressed people gained liberation from the dominant group. In America today, virtually every social group is considered to be a victim of white privilege and they are allegedly bound by the superior virtues of community, collectivism and sharing. The individualistic, liberty centered culture of America is demonized and theories like Black Liberation Theology or Critical Race Theory teach that minorities cannot live under the American constitution because it was written purely to exploit and support white supremacy. Of course, this is untrue, if it wasn’t for the writing of the constitution there could very well still be slavery in the U.S. today; however, that is for another time. The left is portraying minorities in America as being bound in purpose by the idea that they all stand together to bring change to the oppressive U.S. and the white majority. This is all the result of Antonio Gramsci’s efforts to expand on Marx’s idea of class struggle and it has been very successful, especially under Barack Obama who is a master of social change.
You see, far too many people aren’t even focusing on the real issues we face. Too many of us show up on election day believing that if our candidate wins we will see change. We fail to realize that change occurs incrementally and that a plan set in motion many years ago is in fact, reaching its culmination now. Our culture has been changed because the left has changed the way people think about this country, electing Donald Trump will not change that. The only way this will change is if we as Americans put as much effort into teaching future generations the truth as the left has put into teaching lies. That means we may have to abandon our ambitions and put the country first. The left understood that in order to change the culture all of their efforts had to go into the future generations. Unless we are willing to make such sacrifices with the understanding that change will come slowly, nothing short of an all out revolution will change anything. Conservative constitutionalists must become the social workers and teachers. We need to be employed in the government agencies, slowly introducing ideas that may once again, shift the balance. At the very least every single one of us needs to be articulating what it actually means to be conservative and a patriot.
Article posted with permission from In Defense of Our Nation. Article by David Risselada.