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In every war there is something called tactics, and there is also something called strategy. The difference between tactics and strategy is easily explained. A tactic is a trick for getting the upper hand in a particular situation. A strategy is a way of converting many distinct situations into victory.
Suppose you have a war between equal powers, in which one side is led by a tactician and the other side is led by a strategist. Which side would have the greater advantage? Most military historians would probably say that the side with better strategy typically defeats the side with better tactics. A
good example of this might be the American Civil War. The best Southern commanders were excellent tacticians, while the North produced two strategists — Grant and Sherman — who were far from being tactically inspired.
In political warfare there is yet another dimension, even higher than strategy. It is the realm of sociology. What is sociology? It is the study of how society actually works, and how its various parts fit together.
There have been many bogus sociological theories, but there have been genuine insights as well. What these insights offer the political strategist is a powerful tool for anticipating and exploiting significant trends, or manipulating specific institutions. In fact, if we look at the history of the culture war from Lenin’s time to the present, the left has had its eye on sociology. They have tinkered with it, they have blundered at times, but through persistence they have found the secret keys to political power. From first to last they never lost faith in sociology’s usefulness as a tool. And
sociology hasn’t let them down.
If you can anticipate trends, or predict specific events, your political strategy can exploit those events — just as Lenin predicted, then exploited, the social collapse in Russia caused by the Great War. If you begin to understand the various mechanisms in society you can tinker with those mechanisms, and you can produce distortions or new outcomes that favor your cause. Such has been the approach of the left, which has been more sophisticated in appreciating the advantages of using sociology than the right.
Even the employment of an inferior sociological understanding can produce advantageous results, because every attempt at a larger understanding of the world makes us aware of something called “the big picture.” It is by looking at things in their entirety that we see the forest for the trees.
One-sidedness has been the right’s problem all along. We become fixated on the Clintons, or on some particular conspiracy theory, and we lose sight of real fountainhead of our troubles.
Does anyone really think that if the Clintons disappeared tomorrow our problems would be over?
We need to look at our whole society — at every part of it. We have to become sociological in our approach to things political. If we do not educate ourselves about our society we will never produce leaders of stature and insight who can lead us away from the socialist abyss.
The left has had many sociological politicians and thinkers. For example, Antonio Gramsci was an Italian Communist who looked back to his fellow Italian, Niccolo Machiavelli, author of “The Prince.” Gramsci decided to update Machiavelli’s prince. What is needed, said Gramsci, is a “modern
prince.” And who is this modern prince? The Communist Party, of course. By using sociological understanding and psychological insights the modern prince could transform society. Gramsci’s insight was that human nature could be culturally conditioned by institutional and intellectual influences. This would pave the way to a great social revolution. Human nature, Marx once
said, is a blank slate upon which anything can be written. The institutions of society, the relations of people to each other, can be reformatted. The key to this was to understand the mechanisms of society that allow for cultural reformatting.
And what are those mechanisms? The educational system, the culture, and the bureaucracy.
People are educated in schools, public and private. If you can insert your radical propaganda into public education, and disguise it as “what everyone knows and accepts as true,” you can transform the society within a generation. As a political party you target education first. You do this because educational institutions are the back door to invading other institutions, and to the reformatting of the whole society.
By penetrating education you also penetrate (and influence) the culture — which creates the books, movies, paintings, and music that affect the values of the larger society. Schools of journalism produce journalists much as a factory might produce widgets. These journalists, their heads stuffed
with “new ideas,” march forth and unthinkingly interpret the world around them through the pinkish lens they acquired in school. By the same token, the managers of corporate and government bureaucracies are also persons educated at universities. They too are touched by the poison of the modern prince, who long ago infected the universities.
Eventually, by attrition, the older generation passes away. In the 1960s the New Left said that “you cannot trust anyone over 30.” Today they would say “you cannot trust anyone over 60.” Soon enough, the reactionary generation fades into old age and death, leaving the field to the modern princelings and their reformatted bureaucratic drones, careerist rabble, and a dumbed-down public.
To a large degree the sociological transformation — the reformatting of our entire elite — has been accomplished before our very eyes. A whole generation of American leaders stands before us — secretly leftist, horribly ignorant, and rudely arrogant. Today America has become a geographical space governed by a narcissistic drone named Clinton, whose Marxist master program continues to guide his modern Machiavellian maneuvers.
The left has long recognized a deep sociological truth about capitalism: namely, that the market has no effective organ of defense against infiltration and subversion. The basis of capitalism is freedom. The one corrective to this was the strength of Christian faith. Once the Christian foundation of our civilization was sufficiently eroded, freedom descended into licentiousness. The sexual revolution and the drug culture were then employed as weapons. Yes, they were cultural weapons in a war for the soul of America. Drugs, sex, and rock ‘n’ roll stood in opposition to traditional Western values.
After this fashion, freedom was used to destroy freedom. Young people wanted the freedom to experiment with drugs, and they wanted the freedom to have sex without consequences. The logic of capitalist advertising, with its emphasis on sensualism — on selling things with sex — had finally turned against capitalism itself. Market hedonism became an atomizing force. Those who are purely self-seeking, who do not think of God or country, are the raw stuff of every dictatorship. As history shows us, the method of the dictator is to offer lucrative careers to those who will cooperate, and poverty or prison for those who do not. And if a man is purely selfish, he cannot but choose the lucrative career in support of dictatorship.
The situation is bleak because the human material of our country has been corrupted. It has been corrupted by market hedonism, and this corruption has been exploited and used by the enemies of our society — in order to transform our nation into a socialist dictatorship. Those of us who continue to believe in the Constitution, who cherish our cultural heritage, need to admit the weaknesses in capitalism that made this possible. We have been at war with people who have turned our own institutions against us. They have done this while we complacently relied on mere political tactics. Our enemies in the culture war were thinking in larger terms. They had a strategy, and they had a sociology. All the while, we were sitting ducks.
It is doubtful we can survive another decade of the Republican right’s tactical approach to the culture war. First, we have to acknowledge — with Pat Buchanan — that a culture war is being fought. Second, we have to have a strategy to win. And last, we need a sociological understanding of how so many of our institutions have come under Marxist influence. We have to admit that freedom and capitalism are partly to blame for this unprecedented disaster. We must admit that there are weaknesses inherent in a free society which must somehow be corrected. We cannot plod along with the same old ideological claptrap that everything will turn out all right because freedom always produces good outcomes.
If we want to get our country back, we’re going to have to think big.