Know Your Enemies

Mainstream Americans are about as harmless as they come. Focused as we are on work, family, church, sports, hobbies and recreation, we celebrate our holidays and special moments and mourn our loved ones when they pass. Who would want to overthrow a system that allows so many people to live, be free, and pursue happiness as they see fit?

Of course, every system has its enemies and ours is no exception. It used to be simple to identify who hated us. The English back in the day. The Nazis in World War II. The Soviet Union a generation ago. 

But we have been coping with a different kind of adversary for a long time—a set of people and interests who see a free, constitutional, patriotic, old-fashioned moral America as the biggest obstacle to achieving what they want. Power in some cases. Radical self-actualization in others. General basic welfare. Whether we like it or not, we have been in a war of ideas and values for a long time, and we have been ill-equipped to fight it on multiple levels. We have to understand the enemies of American liberty in order to even be able to begin to fight back.

First, most people don’t think this way. It’s really hard to get your head around the fact that someone who hates you, doesn’t just want to punch you out, they want to change the way you think. But that’s exactly what the Italian neo-Marxist Antonio Gramsci outlined so clearly in his Prison Notebooks. (If you don’t think this is relevant to today, keep in mind that Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s dad was one of Gramsci’s English translators.) Gramsci talked about how it is important for a ruling class to establish “cultural hegemony” to shape the way that people think. This could be accomplished through what he called “the long march through the institutions”—the takeover of academia, media, and the organs of culture. 

Many Marxists were dismayed when the proletariat of Germany and the other major industrialized countries did not rise up against the elites before World War I. It did not fit their model. A faction of them concluded it was not enough to seize the “commanding heights” of industry and government. Gramsci helped them understand that if they could first capture hearts and minds, the power they craved would fall into their hands organically. 

A One-Sided War

In some ways, World War I marked the beginning of the Left’s division into the “beer track” and the “wine track.” 

The beer track-thinkers continued to champion unions and the working class as their main vehicle to seize power. The wine-track thinkers, which included Jurgen Habermas, Theodor Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, and Max Horkheimer (otherwise known as the Frankfurt School), went down very different roads—they looked at the psychology of the disaffected, studied the emotive power of music, criticized analytical reason and elevated the importance of emotional truth. For them, the road to power and social transformation was to be achieved by organizing students, women, minorities, and the marginalized of all kinds.

This philosophical deconstruction of Western Civilization was complemented and reinforced by the work of Sigmund Freud, Jacques Derrida, Jacques Lacan, and Michel Foucault. The power of sexuality and the subconscious were elevated as being truly authentic, and the veneer of self-control and civilization were seen as artificial and inhibiting the true realization of what it means to be human. The idea was not to reward social cohesion, but emotional self-actualization. We see this all the time now in terms of the importance of people to “be real,” to be “woke,” to see through the trappings of existing order. (If you want a conservative history of this movement, check out Cry Havoc!.)

These leftists make Saul Alinsky look like a piker. They didn’t just attack Christianity and western traditional thinkers, they attacked the Enlightenment, instrumental reason, capitalism, and democracy. Their value system in many ways is neo-primitive (one suspects that they would like nothing better than to see people banging on their drums, howling at the moon, and having an orgy as a nightcap), but the intellectual warfare they have engaged in is the most advanced and sophisticated ever developed. 

They attacked language (linguistics, semiotics, epistemology); they weaponized sexuality, drug culture, sociology, music, and literary criticism. They built up new understandings of organizational behavior, bureaucracy, and even urban planning. Meanwhile, very few, if any, defense mechanisms were developed. The period from 1968 to the present will be studied by future scholars as a case study in one-sided cultural and intellectual warfare.

How Leftism Flourishes

But the enemies of free America would not be nearly as successful without the aid and support of certain transnational elites. 

Many people rail at George Soros because of his funding, but very few people actually understand his purpose. Read On Globalization:  

Our international arrangements are based on the sovereignty of states; and their own interests do not necessarily . . . coincide with the interests of humanity as a whole. These latter interests need to be better protected than they are at present. 

In other words, for Soros, the United States is the enemy of his view of human morality. The United States, as a champion of state sovereignty, must be taken down, for these views to flourish.

Transnational leftism is not a single ideology. It is an ideological coalition bound together by a common hatred of mainstream America and shared emotional bonds. It could never maintain power in a democratic system because the different factions ultimately would conflict with each other. 

The goal, for those who understand its dynamics clearly, is to set up a form of soft despotism based on providing a universal basic income or welfare system (sound familiar?) that justifies the concentration of economic and political decision-making power in an unaccountable, protected transnational elite. (The European Union is a kind of training wheels operation for this project). 

What these elites don’t understand is that just like the progressive aristocrats who lost their heads to Madame Guillotine, once unleashed, the sansculotte factions of the Left think that all of their enemies look the same. The Clintons, Obamas, and Soroses of the world are playing with fire. Look how Nancy Pelosi and progressive mayors have been treated by immigrant rights and Black Lives Matter supporters. That’s just a foretaste of what is to come.

A Quasi-Religious War

But what does this mean for the United States? It means that American citizens have to recognize that whether they like it or not, they are in a moral war (almost to the level of a religious war if these folks had any transcendental beliefs), not just a war of ideas or a political debate against the coalition of the extreme Left.

The enemies of the American way of life are super smart. They are well-funded. They are ideologically and intellectually doomed to fall apart because they hate each other too, but they could take a lot of people down with them before they crack up.

The first step is to know and understand the enemies of the American way of life and liberty and what’s at stake. Then, we can follow the immortal example of John Paul Jones and begin to fight back.

Photo: Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

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