In 1917 communism seized power in Russia through a coup. Thus, the first communist dictatorship in the world was established: the USSR.
The failure of communism in the West and Gramsci's strategy
Russia had the right elements for a Bolshevik revolution to break out: a very poor peasantry, a large urban proletariat, an absolute monarchy and, finally, a country mired in war. However, in the following two decades, and despite numerous attempts, communism was not successful in the rest of Europe. The USSR would only succeed in establishing communist dictatorships in other countries at the end of World War II, and by military means.
This failure of communism in Western Europe caught the attention of an Italian communist leader, Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937), who proposed an alternative formula to promote communism in the West through a strategy to long-term based on achieving Marxist hegemony in the most influential cultural nuclei of democratic countries (universities, the media, social movements, intellectual circles, etc.). In the notebooks he wrote during his time in prison, Gramsci noted:
"The massive structures of modern democracies, both as State organizations, and as complexes of associations of civil society, constitute for the art of politics as it were “trenches” and permanent fortifications of the front in the war of position: they render merely “partial” the element of movement which before used to be “the whole of war”."
Gramsci's theses, which have often been described as "culturalist Marxism" or "cultural Marxism" (because of his strategy of infiltrating the world of culture where it is not possible to obtain the support of the masses workers)were ignored by the communists of their time, who continued to try to implant communism in the West with a proletarian revolution like the one in Russia. Some attempts that always ended in failure.
The strategy of the KGB and the confession of Yuri Bezmenov
However, after the World War II, with the beginning of the Cold War and with the emergence of a large middle class in the West (not very receptive to the classic discourse of Marxism), Gramsci's theses began to attract attention in some communist circles, even in the USSR. What I just said is not a conspiracy theory or a speculative statement. In 1970, an agent of the Soviet intelligence service, Yuri Bezmenov, went to the West and told what the KGB dedicated its resources to:
"Only about 15% of time, money, and manpower is spent on espionage and such. The other 85% is a slow process which we call either ideological subversion or active measures or psychological warfare. What it basically means is: to change the perception of reality of every American that despite of the abundance of information no one is able to come to sensible conclusions in the interest of defending themselves, their families, their community, and their country. It’s a great brainwashing process which goes very slow."
Here you can listen to his words, which he repeated in numerous interventions at conferences and television programs over the years:
The ideological currents that emerged from this cultural Marxism
Was this Soviet strategy successful? Apparently not, since communism collapsed in Eastern Europe between 1989 and 1991. However, communists like Simone de Beauvoir and Shulamith Firestone had already launched the so-called third-wave feminism, whose thesis was to transfer the Marxist scheme of class struggle to men and women between bourgeoisie and proletariat. It is enough to look at the present to see that this war of the sexes has become an official doctrine not only of the left, but also of a part of the right and of many institutions.
In the early years of the 1990s, the extreme left also began an approach to indigenist, environmentalist and LGBT movements, again seeking to adjust their demands to classic Marxist schemes. In the following years theories began to emerge such as political correctness (which seeks to promote victimhood among certain groups that the left considers "oppressed", interpreting everything as an offense against them), multiculturalism (which considers that Western culture is no better than the others, and that it should even apologize to others because it considers that it oppresses them) and gender ideology (derived from the feminism of third wave and which advocates the abolition of sex as a biological category).
A strategy that has managed to subdue a part of the right wing
These new ideological currents became especially strong in universities and the media. As a result of them, the academic world has been reducing the limits of freedom of expression to extremes unthinkable only ten years ago. In particular, the media has taken on an unprecedented indoctrinating role, largely because journalism is a profession in which the left has an overwhelming presence.
Likewise, those ideological currents are imposing themselves today in schools and in the laws, largely due to the impulse of the left-wing parties, but also due to the surrender of the self-conscious right, which has deserted the battle of ideas for fear of being punished with the police-words coined by the left to impose its ideology through intimidation. Terms such as "machist", "homophobic", "racist", "xenophobic", etc., have become the new ways of signaling the dissenting of a left that had already tried something similar before, such as words like "fascist", "bourgeois", "counterrevolutionary", etc. The true success of "cultural Marxism" has been to subdue that self-conscious right wing, taking advantage of their cowardice and intellectual laziness.
The left says cultural Marxism doesn't exist
Faced with criticism of cultural Marxism, one of the most unusual responses is to deny its existence, saying that everything is the result of the paranoia of a right-wing that thinks it sees communists everywhere. Similarly, some say that gender ideology does not exist, nor does multiculturalism, nor political correctness, because its formulators did not call them that. They consider, therefore, that this new right is invented as hoaxes.
If we accept that argument, then Nazism did not exist either, because Hitler never called it that (he called it "national-socialism", and no official text of that totalitarian movement used expressions such as "Nazi" or "Nazism"). Similarly, we could not call dictatorships the communist regimes that define themselves as "popular democracies", a cynical disguise for some of the worst dictatorships that history has known. And for that matter, we couldn't call terrorists "terrorists" either, since they don't define themselves that way.
On the other hand, and as is often the case with some political agendas, one of the keys to the success of this strategy is that it be ignored by the majority of the people. How would many react when they found out that they were being treated like guinea pigs by fans of social engineering whose referents are dictators like Lenin, Fidel Castro and others? In Spain we have communists in government who they deceived many people saying that their model was Denmark, when in fact their referents were Cuba and Venezuela. Many people scolded and cursed those of us who warned that it was the extreme left of all life. There were even classic liberals who denied that those communists were communists. There is no worse blind than who does not want to see.
The reasons why a certain right wing also denies that strategy
The really fascinating thing is that a part of the right has also joined this denial of the existence of cultural Marxism. In other words, not only has it submitted to the dogmas of the left, but it also helps to mask them to the satisfaction of the left. Assuming that you let yourself be deceived is, for many, more painful than relaxing your mind and continuing to lie. This is how many charlatans have succeeded so many times in politics. For this reason and because it is always easier to let go of the mainstream (or what the media presents us as such) and thus receive approval of others, instead of taking the effort to go against the tide and disagree, especially when that makes you the target of the hatred of many intolerant people. This is how the most fanatical left wins and our democracy and our freedoms are degraded.
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